Thursday, January 17, 2013

Who is poor?

There´s a fierce debate raging in Sweden over the supposed number of 250 000 poor and famine ridden children existing in my birth nation.

So where are these homeless starving sad and crying little bastards?

Well, nowhere. It is not THAT kind of poverty we talking about. What is referred to is those who cannot afford to go skiing with the rest of the kids, those who cannot buy the latest iPad and have only been abroad twice – both times to the Canary Islands, which is sad in its own right.

If parents cannot buy the latest laptop to their kid and, horrifically enough, cannot get those 2000kr sneakers their kid wants, then the kid is poor, unhappy and apparently also starving. One human rights organization in Sweden compered Swedish kids to those of famine areas of Africa claiming that Swedish kids have problem with hunger and finding food. Another organization based their assumption on the great investigate work they did with 14 children…

Poverty is a weird word. It is defined and re-defined in pretty much every country and the arbitrary and to a large extent fictional numbers is then used to force legislation and bring forth socialist argumentation.

With this sort of argumentation about supposed poverty in Sweden I guess I was poorer then a slaves rat and should have grown up looking like a skeleton and been riddled with both diseases and horrible boils. I never went skiing, my parents barely could afford to get me football shoes and a football, and although never really starving, there were times where the cupboard and fridge was echoing empty. I was always wearing hand-me-downs and things like going on vacation was a pipedream.

Strangely then that I never felt poor.

I thought poverty was when you don´t have roof over your head and you literarily starve every day. I thought that poverty was something that came from wars and government oppression. I thought that poverty was when you begged at the street corner by day and prostituted yourself at night just to be able to fill your stomach.

Apparently I was wrong.

Apparently poverty is when you don’t have the latest clothes from Paris, apparently poverty is when you cannot fly off to the Maldives every year, apparently poverty is when I only own one phone and it is not the latest model.

Yepp, sounds reasonable. Now I am going to buy some KFC for my very low Czech salary that puts me below Swedish poverty level but way above average Czech people…