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Wealth and poverty have long been existed on this world. Only ten to fifteen thousands years ago, people were able to extract human effort on the basis of need. Since there were no surplus to hoard, everybody must contribute effort to his society to help his society, and so himself, survive. As human’s knowledge of using tools in producing, gathering and hunting increased, they had not only enough supplies for their demand but also surplus to be struggled. There were some individuals in the society who had better privilege or social position (because of their strength or their ability to contribute to society) would share those surplus.
The gap between who had the surplus and who had not – which we call inequality – began appearing. Those who had surplus could use their wealth to have more power or authority and then used their power to earn more wealth, and so on… Since human’s intellect and experience has grown up continuously, the gap has never stopped increasing.
In our modern world, the gap has been so enormous that the problem of wealth and poverty have been so obviously to all of us. Wealth is apparently a problem to the society.
First of all, wealth is money and any belonging that can be converted to money, such as: cars, houses, real estate, furniture, house facilities… That are also the human’s need, and the human’s need is unlimited. When a man has no home, he only wish for a house; but when he has a house he will probably wish for a car, when he has a car he will work hard to have a bigger house with good facilities, and so on… This is the nature of human, when a man reaches his target, he always set a higher target for him to reach; he would never satisfy with what he has.
This nature pushes our society forward but it also cost the man many things that money cannot buy. Devoting his time to earn money means he has less time for his family and himself. His wife and his kids do not expect him as a money supplier, they expect him to be a good husband and a nice father. The wife, who does not receive the love from her husband that she deserves, will tend to seek for other loves; that’s why divorces are so common in rich country. The children, who grow up without their father’s love can barely be the good ones; furthermore, when they are parents, can they be better parents than theirs?
In Vietnam, children from rich families are usually bad. Because their parents earn so much money, they are allowed to spend money in whatever they want. Their parents do not spend time playing with them, teaching them what is good and what is bad, what is the value of a person… they only give their kids money, send them to school, and think they are done with the kids. They do not know that without a guilder, a kid cannot choose the good way to grow up, since the bad way is always appealing. Very often, their children will spend money on dancing, drugs, alcohol… Having no time for the man himself is also a problem, he will gradually lose his good personal values since money is the scale of a man’s value, nowadays. How will this society be with all these people? Nowadays, having money means having the power. Rich people may do anything to make more money, for example they can use money to hire someone to do bad things for them. Moreover, wealthy people have everything that a normal person want, so they usually want something different, and most of those different things are disgustingly out of this world.
Universally, seeking for more money is the main reason that people move from rural to urban areas, from country to country, it makes the society more complex and uncontrollable. It is no doubt that poverty causes great problems to the society. The first question that arises may be “How poor is poor?”. To many people, having a house and no car is poor, but to other people , having no house is poor. In my country, a poor means not having enough food to eat. He has to give up everything to earn his little money for his survival. Even education is free in my country, poor kids cannot go to school: instead of spending time in school and earning no money, they’d better stay at home and help their parents. A child without education cannot have a good job and earn much money when he grows up, hence he will very likely to be poor; moreover, one cannot expect well behavior from an uneducated man. Struggling to survive, a man may do anything he can to earn money, this is how the problem comes. He can be a robber of a thief. He can do anything others pay him to do. Seeking for wealth, people move from villages to big cities. In my city, the slums are very common.
Diseases, drugs, prostitute… they have all bad things in slums. The police cannot control them. For them there is no law, to them living is not better than being dead. Government cannot help them, because Vietnam is a poor country. A poor country cannot take care of all the poor people. It does not have good health care system, when a transmitting disease comes, only a small amount of people can be cured. Besides, it cannot provide free education to everybody, so there will be many uneducated people, some of them could have been famous professors or engineers. Even though wealth and poverty are different classes and they seem to contradict each other, the rich and the poor are living in the same society, they need each other to survive and their relationship is surprisingly mutual. The rich has money and power but he cannot himself work for his factory. To make more money, he need labors for his enterprise. The poor has little money but he can work hard. Since there are so many poor people, the rich can hire them with cheap price and the poor has little choice. The main characteristics of capitalism is exploiting.
The boss tries to exploit his workers to produce surplus. Vietnam is a poor country which has so many unemployed workers, they are willing to work with a little wage, they are willing to be exploited. Vietnam does not export much goods, we export labor to rich countries. It is so ridiculous that they use our cheap labor to produce goods that will be exported to Vietnam. Usually, the rich’s attitude toward the poor is ignorance. They do not know how the poor are living, how the poor are suffering. An example is the great catfish war between Vietnam and the US. “…which it calls another example of how wealthy countries that preach gospel of free trade when it comes to finding markets for their manufactured goods can become wildly protectionist when their farmers face competition; notes that while catfish industry pursues its own disinformation campaign against Vietnamese catfish, one branch of government insists that Vietnamese catfish must be labeled something else and another insists that it is catfish in order to impose antidumping tariffs without any evidence that it is being sold below cost…” (The New York Times). They insist that the catfish cannot be produce with that low cost. They do not know that the labor in Vietnam is so cheap and the fish is grown in natural environment without modern technologies as in the US. The US is so rich and powerful that they can apply their own law or force other countries do what they want.
However, it is undebatable that the rich can sometimes be philanthropist. Without loans and gifts from rich countries, many poor people must have dead. Many roads and buildings in Vietnam are built with money from the US and Japan. Rich people like CEO of big company, pop stars, athletes… sometimes hold philanthropy activities to collect money for the poor, but it is no doubt that this is also a way to show up they names and polish their images. Needless to say, wealth and poverty are problems to the society, and I personally do not like any gap between them, but they are essential elements that make up our society. It is natural for any society to have different classes. A man must be paid by his ability and effort, otherwise he will not have motivation to work. Any effort to make the society more equally distributed will slow down the development of it. However it does not mean that we do not have to do anything to help the poor. Since we are human, unlike animals we know how to love, to sympathy with other people, everybody should help each other live a better life.
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