There are those amongst us and I am sad and sorry to say, who take the position that life is getting progressively better, that only a minority experience poverty, and that the standard of living for the majority, while being far from perfect, is nevertheless improving all the time, even tho' they may see with their own eyes the hardships experienced and encountered by many around them.
From a socialist standpoint poverty can be defined as the economic, and living conditions of the working class as compared to the capitalist class. It is the contrast between the environment experienced by the working class who, in order to live, have to work for wages, because they are propertyless, and they are not only grievously blue-collar and wage-earning, if you sell your labour, whatever you do, then you are a member of the working classes. The contrast of that environment of workers in comparison, is completely different to the economic circumstances and environment of a small section of society, the capitalist class, who live on rent, interest, and profits, and are the owners of the means of life.
Just how hard is it to believe that a quarter of a million children in Greater Manchester alone, are living in poverty.
Shocking is it not that 150,000 kids live below the breadline - representing 24 per cent of families, and local charities say the government's programme of cuts will only make the problem much worse.
Hoarded wealth and affluence has become more and more centralize, big corporations, multi-nationals and them bloody banks command altogether. The awesome advancements made in technology, and thanks to the globalization of our economic system, the people with all the money don't have to engage as many workers anymore. They can hire and fire all the labour the want at a fraction of the cost from abroad . So the rich don't have that much use for the working class in Britain anymore. The only thing of value that the working class had to offer (labour power) has been devalued.
Factories closed jobs shipped overseas, and what's more they aren't coming back. The corporations are thriving while millions of ordinary people in Britain are profoundly enduring such suffering, a dull and steady pain. Almost all the wealth being produced is going to a very centralized group of people at the very top of the economic food chain. The rich are getting richer whist the working class are systematically getting much, much the poorer.
So the fact that we are now confronting rampant long term unemployment should not be any real surprise should it? If we take the governments 'official' unemployment rate as it stands at 7.7 per, which has been contended and contested on this blog as being not trustworthy, it still stands as a substitutional and unacceptably high level in this the age of excessively propagandised and in your face consumerism, as if that's all that matters. But to those of us on benefits it's no piece of cake' managing to live and make ends meet on the crumbs, a very small quantity of nothing that passes for the benefits system. Poor people are to be found in all societies and in all countries. Declaring to be a "developed" country does not mean that the poor have some sort of dignified life or they are cared for. Being poor is a real affliction; burdened by three things - powerlessness, helplessness and very voiceless.
So it is an absolute crime that the tiny minority who run the show are able to witch-hunt and set-about the most vulnerable in our society; this week they used almost every media spanner and hand tool, used to hold twist and nut the truth about the sick and disabled who are forced and not through any choice or alternative, but have to rely on benefits for subsistence and survival. This is the 'Big Society' in all it's glory - promoting the survival of the fittest!"
In actuality the term "standard of Living" is a misnomer - it is really a "standard of poverty."