IJMC A Bit Old, But It Is All We Have

               IJMC - A Bit Old, But It Is All We Have

You know, I was sitting here with an incredibly swollen eyeball...trying 
to send out the night's message...and only two people responded. To 
correct my spelling! I gotta say, I love you guys...nevermind that I 
could hardly see, that I could hardly type...but one uncorrected typo and 
blammo! Do I really care? Nah, and I needed the correction anyway. I just 
would not be me if I did not give those two a hard time...they know who 
they are and I am sure if I miss another spelling they will jump on me 
again for it. Now where were they back in eleventh grade?           -dave

...SEPTEMBER 27, 1998. Every year, the United Nations Human Development
Report looks for a new way to measure the lives of people. This year, the
report takes its first look at what people have -- from simple toilets to
family cars -- and what proportion of the world's goods and services are
consumed, comparatively, by the rich and by the poor. The pie is huge --
the world's consumption bill is $24 trillion a year -- but some servings
are very small indeed. 

THE HAVES -- The richest fifth of the world's people consumes 86 percent
of all goods and services while the poorest fifth consumes just 1.3
percent. Indeed, the richest fifth consumes 45 percent of all meat and
fish, 58 percent of all energy used and 84 percent of all paper, has 74
percent of all telephone lines and owns 87 percent of all vehicles. 
THE SUPER RICH -- The world's 225 richest individuals, of whom 60 are
Americans with total assets of $311 billion, have a combined wealth of
over $1 trillion -- equal to the annual income of the poorest 47 percent
of the entire world's population. 

THE HAVE NOTS -- Of the 4.4 billion people in developing countries, nearly
three-fifths lack access to safe sewers, a third have no access to clean
water, a quarter do not have adequate housing, and a fifth have no access
to modern health services of any kind. 

NATURAL RESOURCES -- Since 1970, the world's forests have declined from
4.4 square miles per 1000 people to 2.8 square miles per 1000 people. In
addition, a quarter of the world's fish stocks have been depleted or are
in danger of being depleted and another 44 percent are being fished at
their biological limit. 

SMOKE -- Of the estimated 2.7 million annual deaths from air pollution,
2.2 million are from indoor pollution -- including smoke from dung and
wood burned as fuel, which is more harmful than tobacco smoke. 80 percent
of the victims are rural poor in developing countries. 

AFRICA -- The average African household today consumes 20 percent less
than it did 25 years ago. 

COSMETICS AND EDUCATION -- Americans spend $8 billion a year on cosmetics
-- $2 billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide basic
education for everyone in the world. 

MEAT -- Americans each consume an average of 260 pounds of meat a year. In
Bangladesh, the average is six and a half pounds. 

WRISTWATCHES AND RADIOS -- Two-thirds of India's 90 million lowest-income
households live below the poverty line but more than 50 percent of these
impoverished people own wristwatches, 41 percent own bicycles, 31 percent
own radios and 13 percent own fans. 

TELEPHONE LINES -- Sweden and the United States have 681 and 626 telephone
lines per 1000 people, respectively. Afghanistan, Cambodia, Chad, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo have one line per 1000 people. 

ICE CREAM AND WATER -- Europeans spend $11 billion a year on ice cream; $2
billion more than the estimated annual total needed to provide clean water
and safe sewers for the world's population. 

AIDS -- At the end of 1997, over 30 million people were living with HIV.
With about 16,000 new infections a day, 90 percent in developing
countries, it is now estimated that more than 40 million people will be
living with HIV in 2000. 

$40 BILLION A YEAR -- It is estimated that the additional cost of
achieving and maintaining universal access to basic education for all,
basic health care for all, reproductive health care for all women,
adequate food for all, and clean water and safe sewers for all is roughly
$40 billion a year OR less than 4 percent of the combined wealth of the
225 richest people in the world. 

(New York Times)

IJMC November 1999 Archives