We won’t have peace until we correct the gross inequalities that plague our world. The United Nations Annual Report on Human Development notes that more than one billion people "suffer human deprivation and stunted lives marked by illiteracy, inadequate income and exclusion from the social mainstream."
The world’s 235 richest people have a combined wealth of more than $1 trillion. This amount equals what 47% of the world’s population (2.5 billion people) have as income. The 3 richest people on the planet have assets that exceed the gross national products of the 48 poorest nations. Europeans and Americans spend $37 billion each year on pet food, perfumes and cosmetics. That staggering sum is enough to provide education, water and sanitation, basic health and nutrition to all who now live in deprivation of these basic human necessities and still leave $9 billion for cat food, Chanel #5 and hair gel! If we want peace, if we believe in nonviolence, then we must work to end these inequalities. We are all impoverished by this unbridled greed and spectacular conspicuous consumption while others starve.
- Ken Peters