Research conducted by Oxfam this year concluded that 85 people own 46% of the world’s wealth. Economic analyst John Mauldin cited that research in an article in which he also said,
“You need an annual income of $34,000 a year to be in the richest 1% of the world, according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic’s 2010 book The Haves and the Have-Nots. To be in the top half of the global population, you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it’s $5,000 per year. You enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000.”
I recommend the book, “Factory Girls” by Leslie Chang, which is about Chinese sweatshop labor. The Chinese have suffered so much since Mao Zedong tried to be communist and ruined the whole country resulting in 70 million deaths. To this day the Chinese are suffering such oppression, such physical and spiritual poverty. Human rights, environmental rights, labor rights are all trampled under the foot of corruption and to make it worse, the only consolation of the poor, Jesus Christ is banned Eucharistically from the country! I know of a Divine Word missionary who is under cover as an English teacher doing his ministry as a Catholic priest. Not only Christians suffer political imprisonment but even New Age Buddhists, Falun Gong. So much in the past 100 years in China has been the fruit of Satan’s reign and his terrible hatred for man. I read in the Financial Times that in 2001 Chinese factory workers made $0.35 an hour. Today they make an average of $2.25. The hours they work are grueling. 60 hours a week is considered progressive. 80 hour weeks are common and the tasks are often so repetitive. 230 million people are migrant workers and many live in the factories. Pope Benedict spoke about this in his encyclical Charity in Truth, “uncertainty over working conditions caused by mobility and deregulation, when it becomes endemic, tends to create new forms of psychological instability… (there is) difficulty in forging coherent life-plans, including that of marriage.” Very few people love each other, or are capable of monogamy. It seems like everybody struggles with depression and despair and their only hopes are worldly material ones which few will attain.
There is such terrible inequality. The GINI coefficient in China is 0.47. Poor girls work in brothels which are like hotel/restaurants. Business men come into a lounge and are served nice food and drinks. Then they order women to come to them in a line wearing nightclothes wearing numbers. They call the woman by her number or send the women away for another row. The women party with the men and they can decide to have sex in the hotel, for how much if they want. These women make ten times more than sweatshop women but it is still not much. During one interview, a woman began to cry when she said she has sex with three different men a week, although at first she tried to act as if she had a positive attitude about the job. Other hopeless people have a lot of sad stories in this book. At the Apple computer sweatshop they had to install suicide nets because people kept jumping off the roof. Think about whether or not you really should be occupying your mind and spending your money on those products. In the same year, 2012, Apple profit per employee was $460,722. In another story, a woman gets pregnant but doesn’t know what to do so she goes to the bathroom to deliver the baby, from her job on the assembly line of an adidas sneaker factory. In the bathroom she drowns her baby in the toilet, puts the corpse in the garbage and returns to work.
This is what the Bible talks about in Ezekiel when the Lord says you have hearts of stone but I want to give you natural hearts. (Ezek 36:26) We should be giving our money to charities who support people in third world countries, the first and most efficient, loving and earnest being Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity but in our society most people don’t care about poor people at all. People think more about how much they want to buy all the things that are being advertised to them that are made by these people rather than that they want to help them. Remember the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Also remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:31-46, what you did or didn’t do for the least of my neighbor you did or didn’t do for me. In Bangladesh, garment workers make $38 a month. I have a pair of shorts made in Bangladesh from Banana Republic that cost $39. I made that in 3 hours with a part time job in college. In Bangladesh, 144 out of every 1000 children die before the age of 5. That’s from the WHO organization’s annual report last year. A lot of the blame for this is Satan and the Red Dragon, atheistic communism, which did this to China. As our Lady said in Fatima of Russian communism led by Lenin and Stalin who directly killed over 20 million of their own people in their attempt at communism, Russia “spread her errors.” Internationally, the evil elites purposefully impoverish third world countries for the purpose of exploitation. The World Bank is their greatest tool for this. The World Bank is as evil as the third reich.
As much as the causes of these problems are above our heads though, being first of a spiritual and then of a political nature, we must not forget that Christian ethics need to be applied to our personal choices as well as decisions in public policy. Knowing how much people in third world countries suffer, we must not be vain or superficial, wasting our money, time and the energy of our minds and souls chasing the demonic allurements these inequalities produce: esteem, luxury, domination, prestige and comfort because these come from the vices pride, avarice, envy and gluttony which are opposed to faith, charity, justice and temperance. Instead we must renew in ourselves a simplicity of Spirit (Mat 5:3, 1 Pet 3:3-4) and place our value in the greater treasures. Not plastic, wood or metal stuff with a “Made in China” (By the Red Dragon) stamp but in virtues and gaining merits for the benefit of souls and the consolation of the beloved two Hearts. Let’s reaffirm our commitment to gospel poverty, in the Spirit of Saint Francis, as our Pope wants and spurning the ill begotten wealth of the world pursue the first theological virtue, charity.