Quality of Life Improvement RESPONSIBILITY

PART II - Political Responsibility

Finally, we have a political responsibility. There seems to be no way we can influence the world, unless we happen to be a very powerful socio-economic or political figure. Yet, there are many ways we can pool our resources and exercise political influence.

Taking responsibility for our world is essential to improving our Quality of Life.

Given the inequality of the Quality of Life in various parts of the world, we must consider this 'inequality' the problem to be solved.

What are the forces at work that allow us to improve our Quality of Life and what are the constraints?

There are three forces that we can apply:

Technological change, sociological change and economical change. But any of these forces are totally controlled by the political environment and the market conditions it generates. If the market is not properly functioning then proper distribution of wealth becomes impossible. If the power is concentrated in high places of a dictatorial government, then their friends will end up with the benefits, while the masses keep starving. This means that before we can allow technological change and socioeconomic change to take place, we must improve the political system, without destroying the functional infrastructure. This is the lesson learned from the collapse of the USSR. China is not letting that happen, fortunately.

Even markets in the Western world are deficient. Massive layoffs and poverty are existing, without the Government doing anything about it. What could the Government do? Simply manipulating taxes. e.g. Sales taxes are the most unfair and counter productive taxes. Why? Because they cut directly into the disposable income of the poor. Income taxes do not. The excess income of the rich does not end up in the economy but often ends up in foreign and other investments. While any disposable income at the lower levels of the economy stimulates the economy because it comes back immediately and has the 'multiplier' effect until it reaches the rich investments and foreign spending.

Graft and bribery and skimming of foreign aid is another major problem when trying to help poor nations. Feeding people is necessary, but providing the means to feed themselves is more important. Where the local conditions do not allow the latter, employment must be assured to provide for trade can can yield food. These basic rules are often ignored when major project are introduced, such as hydrodams, which displace hundreds of thousands of people without helping them get back on their feet. Moreover, little attention is being paid to other solutions that are more suitable for the improvement of their quality of life. Why? Because of the monetary gain the people in power are getting from these big projects. This does not only happen in poor countries. It also happens in Canada, where major projects bulldoze over the rights of individuals, ecological concerns and the quality of life of those affected. Does that mean we should stop major projects? No. But our governments should do more to protect the 'little people', the individuals.

If our democracies are working, we should have some influence over what is done. That is if we take an active part in our government, by taking part in elections and in communicating with our representatives, as well as keeping a close eye on what they are actually doing.

Taking responsibility for our world is essential to improving our Quality of Life.


Back to where we left off in QOL, The Quality of Life

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