Inequalities, it’s time to change course: here are ten possible solutions

The pandemic has inflicted and is inflicting suffering on us all. But in this suffering, the inequalities are great: in accessing treatments and vaccines; in the economic consequences, from those who have lost everything to those who actually got rich; in the social and psychological effects, depending on the family and community context and one’s gender, race or class; in the ability to adapt to sudden changes. These inequalities have manifested themselves along existing faults, which have grown in the last forty years, in Italy as in the whole of the West: strong diffusion of precarious and irregular work; care burdens primarily on women; territorial inequalities in the quality of schools, health, social services, digital coverage, mobility, air health; inaccessibility and concentration of knowledge; failure to listen to the voices and aspirations of large sections of the people.

Here is a long itinerary that L’Espresso and the Inequalities and Diversity Forum, ForumDD, have chosen to follow together, ten figures of our time tell of these inequalities and how disappointing the ability to counter them is so far.

Nicoletta Dentico, head of the global health program of the Society International Development, tells us that 2021 will not be remembered as the year in which Covid-19 was eradicated, but as the one in which rich countries grabbed most of the vaccines, leaving the South of the world adrift, in what he calls “the arrogant ignorance of governments”. (VIDEO)

The year that is about to close, in the words of the activist and writer Ben Phillips, will not even be remembered for the victory of human rights, crushed by an authoritarian drift, the daughter of inequalities. (VIDEO)

On the Italian front, there is a state that treats the most vulnerable elderly as a problem, placing the burden on families, as the sociologist tells us. Cristiano Gori. (VIDEO)

It is the same state that can offer only promises and beautiful words to the aspirations of young people: the demographer Alessandro Rosina describes that third of people under 35 who do not study, work and live poorly. (VIDEO)

while the elementary teacher Franco Lorenzoni he writes that even the smallest are being hit by a “ruthless subtraction of the future”, with a leap in acts of self-harm. (VIDEO)

The sociologist Chiara Saraceno raises the alarm of the poor workers, who despite having a job, are unable to combine lunch with dinner. And here too the intervention of the government languishes, because not even the citizenship income has been able to intervene to improve its effectiveness and justice. (VIDEO)

The economist talks about women and technology Francesca Bria, warning that “if half the world does not move forward, then the whole of humanity stops”, referring to the gender gap, serious in all its forms, and exponentially worrying in the technological field. (VIDEO)

The urgency to put a stop to the spread of inequality comes from very different cultures and thoughts, embracing Senator Mario Monti with the researcher Marta Fana and the poet Franco Arminio.

Marta Fana he says that “Italy this year catches a recovery of 6 per cent, but not a cent ends up in the pockets of those who have produced that extra wealth. Because 70 percent of the heads and arms of this improvement are temporary workers or hired workers ”. (VIDEO)

Mario Monti speaks of “two optical distortions that paralyze the Italian political system when it comes to taking concrete action to reduce inequalities”: taxation seen as “an abuse, if not a theft”, which leads a prime minister to reject “a slight increase in taxes of succession to the richest to finance a significant endowment for young people “; and the protection of competition, underestimated in its power to erode the rents. (VIDEO)

A universal optical distortion is highlighted by Franco Arminio: it afflicts the world political system, unable to recognize and respond radically to the anxiety of all the inhabitants of the earth due to the effects of crazed time, to understand that “ecology is not a party, it is a necessity”: it is here the “silent desolation” with which he, together with so many others, welcomed the results of the Glasgow climate summit. (VIDEO)

The ten snapshots of 2021 inequalities are not a list of complaints, but a clear indication of the key points on which to intervene. A strong correspondence emerges then with the proposals of many organizations, social movements and the ForumDD, summarized in the gloss of each contribution. So let’s not say that we don’t know what to do. Rather, it is a question of political will: to stop hiding behind techniques and technicians, to choose priorities, to open up to heated and informed confrontation, to build agreements. The pandemic, Arundhati Roy wrote in April 2020, «is a portal between one world and another. We can cross it with our old ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies. Or with a lighter luggage, ready to imagine a different world; and fight for it ». We risk getting stuck in the first street, using the money from the Recovery and Resilience Plan to shop, dripping the funds into the old channels. But there is a social and industrious tingling in the country ready to dare the second way. Which asks to change course. This is the game of 2022.

Source: L'Espresso – News, inchieste e approfondimenti Espresso by

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