Thats capitalism


According to the Financial Times of February 22nd, the after tax income of the richest 1% of Americans rose 115% between 1977 and 1999 while the incomes of the poorest 20% fell by 9%.

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A recent Oxfam estimate, reported in the Wall Street Journal of January 7th, found that if Africa could get a 1% additional share of world trade this would inject $70 billion into African economies. If 10% of that went to health Africa would have the means to confront its health crisis. That is $7 billion. This is a fraction of what it has spent preparing for the invasion of Iraq. But capitalism will not deliver $7 billion to health care in Africa.

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Apparently, in the budget for the coming year in the United States George Bush Junior is proposing to spend EUR380bn on the Armed Forces. This is greater than the combined arms budgets of the world's next ten military powers. (Pentagon Power program, BBC Radio 4) So much for a fall in arms budgets following on from the cessation of the cold war. Less than 2% of this spend could help the continent of Africa avert it's impending health crisis.


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This edition is No75 published in March 2003

Blood on your hands