In spite of progress achieved in some fields the present economic system does not create affluence for all, but rather consolidates existing distribution gaps: At global level but also within individual countries the gap with respect to access to resources, education, labour, assets and income is widening.
- How does a fair an equitable distribution look like? What are yardsticks for distribution and gender equity?
- Which aspects of an economic and financial system would be central aspects in order to ensure distribution equity, gender equity and avoidance of poverty?
- How can at the same time welfare, quality of life and distribution equity be maintained and/or increased in industrialised countries, and on a global scale economic development and a catching-up process be made possible for all countries?
- By means of which instruments can distribution equity, gender equity and combat against poverty be ensured effectively at global and national levels?
Social justice and poverty – production follows wage costs
In order to be able to keep up with global competition Mr. Little is professionally permanently searching for saving potentials. The year before 40 employees, predominantly women, were already dismissed. However, this resulted only to a certain extent in an increase in the competitiveness of the enterprise; the company is still not able to keep up with the competition from China due to the high production and wage costs.
The company produces noise insulation boards from plastics for break lining, which are manufactured in a standardised, but very labour-intensive production process. After intensive calculations made by Johnny Little the management takes a decision. The complete factory will be closed down and the production will be dislocated to Asia. The distribution will continue to take place in Austria. As a result of the closure of the factory 60 employees are losing their jobs. From next year onwards the production of the noise insulation boards will take place in Bangladesh. More than eleven million people are living in the wider area of the capital of Dhaka, who have moved, in the hope for a better life, from the countryside to the mega city. But this dream comes true only for a few of them. Most of them are living in slums on the outskirts and are working for companies like the one of Mr. Little.
The workers who will in future produce the noise insulation boards are earning on average 30 Euros per months. This is as much as Mr. Little spent on the bottle of wine he bought to drink with his wife on the wage bonus which he will receive due to the successful saving measure. However, Mr. Little knows: His bonus is only a fraction of the profit that the shareholders of the company will receive as a result of the relocation of production to Asia.