February 20 2006
The Asian elite benefits in the first place from
the Asian economic boom.
"China is trying to sweatshop its way to success through low wages and the exploitation of a workforce." (Bangkok Post 1-1-2006)
The poor working masses have hardly any prospect on a better life, the rural masspeople are even worse off.
About three billion people live in Asia. Hedrick-Wong describes in the Bangkok
Post of 30-12-2005 (http://www.bangkokpost.com) the Asian middle class as those who earn more than $ 5000 a year:
"As many as 80 million people in China, 15 million in Thailand, 12 million each in India and Indonesia, 9 million in Malaysia and 6 million in the Philippines make the grade by that measure.
Another 200 million or so in India now have an annual income above $ 1500 and are buying shampoos, toothpaste, bicycles and other basic consumer goods."
The policy of the Asian elite is however determined by only one rule: how can we increase our own wealth and power. Masspeople get some crumbs of the economic pie when they are able to work long and hard. Elderly, sick, incapable, farmworkers, poor women etcetera do not profit form the economic boom.
The leading paradigm in our society is the improvement of the life of elitepeople, what happens to other people is secondary. That a relatively small middle class also benefits from the increasing affluence of the elite is accidentally, something that is called collateral damage in wars. It has no influence on the development of the eliteworld. The differences between the life in the eliteworld and in the massworld are immense and growing. The two worlds are even drifting faster and further apart in times of economic booms.
The leading paradigm should change to the idea that all people should have equal status, that all people should have the same possibility on decent housing, good health care, clean water, adequate education etcetera as the elite has.
But change happens only when masspeople show that they also have power, that they can invade the privileged eliteworld just as elitepeople carry out a controlling invasion in the massworld.
Yours truly, Joost van Steenis