Traveling to cities with distinctly rich and poor areas, causes in me anguish, indignation, and misery, as I ponder how metropolises can still have rich and poor areas. Averting the poor areas and even the cities altogether, does not solve the problem, because such averting appears immoral and severs one from reality. What can I do?

As summarised in the Economics SE post linked above, I can exemplify with:

  • London (Boroughs): I was disturbed by the failure of the prosperity and wealth of Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster, to ameliorate Hackney, Tower Hamlets, and the southern boroughs like Lewisham, Croydon.

  • Vancouver: West & North Vancouver, West Side, South Vancouver vs. Downtown East Side, Surrey.

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    If you think London is bad, wait till you get to India. – JonathanReez Nov 13 '16 at 6:36
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    If seeing the reality of the world causes that much mental anguish and stress perhaps you need to address your mindset. – user13044 Nov 13 '16 at 6:41
  • @Tom You may be correct: but strangely, the inequality only affects me while travelling, but not in my hometown, probably as I expect more justice from the places that I travel? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Nov 13 '16 at 6:48
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    With regards to wealth distribution most places in the world are a lot worse than London or Vancouver. Your best shot may be Scandinavia. – Hilmar Nov 13 '16 at 16:34
  • @Hilmar I'd suggest a place like Martha's Vineyard — literally nothing but super expensive real estate on the whole island. – JonathanReez Nov 13 '16 at 16:45

Let it sink in. A part of traveling is learning about the area and experiencing the realities there.

Averting the poor areas, and even the cities altogether, appears not a healthy solution, because not only does ignoring the poor areas or these cities appear immoral, but also means ignoring reality and problems of this world. Is there some better solution?

I'm not sure if it's immoral, you're free to ignore or pay attention to whatever you feel like, on a personal level. The world is full of injustice and inequality, and a single person can't really absorb it all mentally. However, if you're going to travel somewhere then it will be very hard to ignore the conditions in that area when you're actually visiting it.

If you can't handle seeing poor social conditions, then don't travel to areas that have them. If you want to travel to such places, then you should be mentally prepared to experience and acknowledge those conditions.

You mention some areas in Canada and the UK. I haven't researched those particular areas. However, if the inequality there disturbs you, then you should certainly make these same considerations if you were to visit certain developing countries. I'm just mentioning that as an aside.


The tourist industry generates a significant number of relatively low skill jobs. See, for example Tourism industries - employment, which discusses tourism as a route into the labor force for women and young people in the EU: "Regions with high tourist activity tend to have lower unemployment rates".

London has an effective public transport system. If you go there and stay in one of the more expensive areas, it is likely that the people cleaning your room, washing the dishes when you eat in a restaurant, etc. live in the less expensive areas and get to work by bus or tube.

If you don't want people in a region to be poor, one of the best things you can do is go there as a tourist, spend money, and tip well. Avoiding a region because it has poor areas only makes matters worse.

It is perhaps worth noting that people living in the poorest areas of London have access to numerous welfare benefits, universal health care, free education to age 18, and subsidized college education, making them wealthy by world wide standards.

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