47% of British head teachers who responded to a survey on pupil poverty say they or their staff have had to wash their pupils’ clothes, and 75% say so many children turn up hungry, they offer free breakfasts. 91% have given clothes to pupils. 96% think pupil poverty has increased in recent years. 60% say their school has endured “severe” budget cuts. Some 3,000 schools were asked to take part in the survey; 407 responded. (Association of School and College Leaders/The Times)
I don’t know how many times one has to point out the huge wealth divide, whether you are in America or Britain, a divide which is extrordinarily bad for both countries, for democracy and for social stability. To ignore it is folly, another way of saying short- sighted. Create a situation where both parents have to go out to work for minimal pay, sub-par healthcare and no hope and there is a strong chance that someone else, bless them, has to feed their kids in school. 75% of children needing breakfast at school! Unacceptable.
Epicurus would, I believe, have strong opinions on these statistics. He was no “socialist”, but he was a pragmatist, believing that everyone, not just a small group of the lucky and rich, should enjoy the pleasures of life, and not live lives of desperation and deprivation.