Last Updated on March 13, 2021 by Anil Premlall
It’s amazing how much things have changed in the last 100 years. It’s also very interesting how similar some things are.
About a hundred years ago, a few miles from where I sit, New York City’s Lower East Side was as impoverished and crowded as many cities in Latin America, Africa and Asia are today.
There was a very big difference between a minority of well off people and a large number of poor people right here in New York City, already one of the most prosperous cities on the planet.
In the 1890s, New York City’s Lower East Side was one of the most densely populated and impoverished places on the planet.
The way it is today
Unfortunately, unequal opportunities and great poverty are still widespread in many nations.
That can change. Successful reform in the United States, Europe and elsewhere helps show the way.
Inspiration for change
A hundred years ago, things some people saw in New York City inspired them to work for changes.
Thanks to their efforts, life is much better in many nations. Hundreds of millions of people escaped poverty, sometimes within a few years.
We can learn from how this happened:
Starting with small groups of people, reform movements grew in strength. Politicians who answered only to wealthy special interests were voted out or forced to change their policies.
Laws were passed to end slavery, discrimination, child labor and unsafe workplaces.
Workers were better able to organize in labor unions with freedom to strike. They successfully created better employment conditions.
Large monopolies were broken up. Free enterprise gave increased opportunities for economic growth and the development of many useful, less expensive products.
Substantial public and private funds were spent to improve public health, education and social conditions.
Things changed, sometimes quickly. As a result, most people were living better than even royalty a generation earlier.
Now we have the resources to make poverty history – worldwide. Here’s a platform that takes into account many factors that can cause – and solve – poverty:
We Can Help End Global Hunger and Poverty
– for less than the Marshall Plan – a letter you can send to your elected representatives
More on our Global Survival Campaign with easy, effective actions you can do right now!