Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Life of the Poor in Society

A few days ago a column was used on this blog to give the thoughts of a journalist on the movie Parasite; this time in the Catholic Peace Weekly a critic on welfare policy gives her thoughts on the same movie on the current situation in Korea.

The movie without any filters shows the breakdown of the middle class and the contradictions of society and the anxiety that follows and difficulties of coexistence because of systems that have developed. Both the wealthy and the poor are living together but a lack of understanding and even the existence of the other is hidden. The poor do not have any status in society, they lack the education, the competence the capitalist society demands and consequently 'losers', not helpful to society.

The poorest people in society are forced to live in the poorest sections if the city we call them the slums. These neighborhoods have one room accommodations without toilet facilities for about 200 dollars a month without deposit. One study showed that from 2005 to 2015  the number of those living in unsafe housing has increased 7 fold.

Of course, the municipal government has policies to reduce poverty, such as environmental improvement policies and rental support projects but they don't always end up helping all that need it. The owners of these rentals in most cases are not sensitive to the inhabitants of these neighborhoods and are only looking for profits.

Human dignity, the fundamental right of everyone, depends on socioeconomic conditions in society. Some classes monopolize profits, while others have to deal with the inequalities in society. This situation is readily seen by those who want to see it. More. then ever the government has to take measures to guarantee that all have an opportunity to live like human beings. One of the surprises is that you have Christians who see this kind of talk as unChristian, a mystery of the highest order— little sympathy for efforts to help the poor.

Pope Francis has criticized the neoliberal financial system of society. He would have great difficulty with the so-called trickle-down economics, which excludes others with indifference and without knowing it we end up being incapable of feeling compassion for the poor. He considers capitalism another form of dictatorship where the poor are not seen only profits.

Everything is competition and the weak become the food of the strong. They take away hope from the poor. What has to change is more than possessions but sharing, win-win instead of competition, a new economic approach.

In conclusion, she wants a change in the way we look upon the poor. We need a culture with an emphasis on solidarity, cooperation, and subsidiarity. In addition to housing welfare policies, the government needs to play a role in changing the way we think about the poor. We need a culture where all are respected and the weak feel like members of society and helped to live as human beings.

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