Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “close eyes and point.” When you’re ready to write your post, open a book, a newspaper, or whatever is handy and close your eyes and point. Whatever word or picture your finger lands on, make that the basis of your SoCS/JusJoJan post. Enjoy! https://lindaghill.com/2021/01/22/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2021-daily-prompt-jan-23rd/
Inequality – don’t get me started – well actually the prompt did. I read the prompt then pulled some pages I’d just printed out of my printer tray, closed my eyes and pointed – the world ‘inequality’ was the word my finger landed on.
Nothing like a pandemic to highlight the inequalities in society. I saw on the Australian TV news last night that the latest economic findings show that the rich have actually become richer through 2020 while those in the lower economic stratas of society have become poorer. The reason being is the richer people are more likely to have jobs that have enabled them to work from home so their expenditure to and fro work has decreased, they have been unable to take overseas trips during the past year and they have, for at least a large portion of 2020, been unable to go out to dinner and the theatre. All those factors along with Government stimulus packages have meant they have been able to save more.
At the same time the people on lower incomes who often work providing services for the richer people, have been laid off. Government stimulus packages have provided some relief and the scheme, over here in Australia, where people have been able to withdraw money from their superannuation account has helped people here to a degree but often the extra money has gone on online purchases to help alleviate the boredom of the long lockdowns we’ve endured (particularly here in the State of Victoria). For those like me, who don’t actually have a superannuation account to draw on, there’s been very little increase in money coming in. For many there has been a big drop in income.
From what I can gather of conditions elsewhere it seems Australians have, thus far anyway, been relatively lucky in the pandemic. The death toll in America and Europe boggles the mind. The economic hardship many people are experiencing across the globe is heartbreaking.
Another type of inequality that the pandemic has revealed is plight of refugees, the disabled, people of colour and others in socially disadvantaged positions. We had a terrible situation over here in Melbourne, Australia where some people living in social housing were plunged into an extreme lockdown with only a few hours notice. These were mostly refugees who had little or no English. Many had endured severe police brutality and martial law in their countries of origin. To have large numbers of police suddenly arrive at the tower blocks where they live and confine them to their rooms was terrifying. Some families of eleven or twelve people were confined to their three room apartments for several weeks. While there was a public outcry while this lockdown was in progress the matter seems to have been largely forgotten now.
This post could go on and on and it would make for better reading if I researched the inequalities of Covid 19 has exposed. As this is written as a Stream of Consciousness piece for Linda Hill’s SOC and JusJoJan prompt I’ll draw into some kind of conclusion now.
Who knows what injustices and inequalities the pandemic will expose in 2021. It’s Australia Day tomorrow. Sometimes called Invasion Day. It’s a contentious day and many unhealed wounds regarding colonisation surface at this time. Over here the Black Lives Matter movement has focused on Black Deaths in Custody. Since the 1990s over 400 indigenous people have lost their lives in custody and not one police officer has been charged! The federal Government in power here is a right wing conservative party that has parallels with the Trump’s ideology. There are known conspiracy theorists in parliament. There is a level of unrest in the country that is simmering just below the surface. Inequality, injustice and intolerance of minorities and those who dare to question the status quo seems to be going hand in hand with measures to control the populace through technological surveillance. The economic fallout from 2020 is yet to be fully revealed. Chances are the inequality in society will deepen this year.