Over the past week, the topic of inequality has been floating around me. I have been thinking about inequality and its direct impact to the well being of, what I would argue the majority of the people on this planet. I started this thinking marathon last weekend when I was at a barbeque and I heard one of the other guests shout something similar to this, “I know, they just raise the prices and kick everyone out!” I looked towards the source of this statement and we made eye contact, the source proceeded with a drawn-out head shake. That is all I heard him say and that was enough for me to know what he was talking about; gentrification. All over America cities are going through gentrification: getting rid of the old and bringing in new money.
Hearing a conversation regarding the topic of gentrification at a friendly barbeque was both a bad thing as well as a good thing. The bad thing is that gentrification exists at all and we have to deal with it, on the other hand it is a good thing because I see it as a sign that it might be becoming more of a concern to the common individual.
My first encounter with gentrification took place at least four years ago when I was at a local tea shop studying for an exam. During my stay there I met a man(I do not remember his name now) who made it clear to me that he was homeless. We talked for most of the day,we talked about life and the adventures that come with it. But one of the things that he said is that he noticed that a lot of people are leaving San Francisco, California. When I heard this I was shocked, “really,” I thought, because as far as I know everyone wants to live in San Francisco. But now I think about it he was probably referring to people who were more like him, people who did not have enough money to afford to live in San Francisco. Since that day I had kept my mind open to learning more about gentrification.
Fast forward one year and I am enrolled in a class that provides me with the opportunity to learn more about gentrification. I had a final paper assignment and the topic that I chose to write on was “the history and impact of murals in San Francisco.” My professor really wanted me to focus on the, “weirdness and or the peculiar messages in the murals,” to this day I do not know what he was saying. But I knew what I wanted to learn about, I surrounded myself with everything regarding gentrification and absorbed as much as I could.
Now back to my marathon of thoughts regarding economic inequality. a couple of days ago I came across pictures(below) of extravagant hotels/resorts in Dubai. I know that Dubai is one of the wealthiest cities but after seeing these pictures I think, “really,” people still have money.
I mean, because I recently started taking business courses, so it is all new to me. But I do know that big corporation(s)/companies do their research before they open a business in a certain area. They find out how much they are going to make, how many people come each year, when they need to advertise, who are their main clients, etc; they find out everything before the invest their money. So basically it surprised me that this resort is doing so well(in this day and age), while others are suffering. One of main problems I find with the state of the world is that things do not have to be the way that they are. It is not necessary to produce or consume nice things in the expense of others; which is exactly the way the world functions today.
To sum it all up, I found a video that really puts the economic inequality in America and ultimately the world into perspective. This video is pretty impressive. This video is found on upworthy.com and it is called,”9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact,” posted by Adam Mordecai.
Most Americans want a more ideal and equal distribution of wealth.
The actual distribution is ridiculous
1% of America has 40% of the wealth.
“Only my body is here because I am thinking about what is happening around the world.”-Mumia