For a startling number of seniors in the United States, aging is marked by intensified physical deprivation, insecurity, isolation and humiliation. Approximately 9 million Americans live below the poverty level, and of this group, seniors constitute nine percent.
In the summer of 2005, the world rocked to Live Aid concerts and the Make Poverty History Movement celebrated developed countries’ fresh commitments towards the International Development Goals (IDG), development assistance, and debt cancellation at the G8 summit in Gleanagles. Some three thousands miles south of this euphoria, a nation witnessed thousands of its children die of hunger. This was summer 2005 in Niger, the poorest country in the world.
Rapidly changing conditions of the working classes in China, and their struggles in response to the new circumstances, have enormous implications for people everywhere. Chinese workers, peasants and migrants, together with elements of the “new middle class,” make up one-fifth of the population of the world. The transformation in their circumstances, and the choices that they make over the next few years, will not only have an impact in China, but will be felt far beyond its borders.