I can compare it to most other countries. Rich areas/Poor areas same as the UK/US etc.....but the divide I think is larger between rich & poor.
Try telling that to someone who lives on a sink estate in South Shields that they are not as poor as someone who lives in Belgravia, London. The people in South Shields do not have to keep goats and sheep, they get their rent paid and dole money provided by the taxpayer, child benefit, free school meals for the kids, clothing allowance, excused paying community charge. I would say the difference between the poor and rich in Poland is a lot different than the UK.
I live in (a village near) Tarnów, halfway between Kraków and Rzeszów and I have not seen what you are describing. There are poor families here, but everyone helps each other out.I have seen much poorer people in my home city of Bristol. There are no beggars except for the local alcoholics, nobody is starving and you do not hear of old people lying dead in their homes and not being found for 10 months. Two friends visited me last Summer, a couple from my home City who had never visited Poland before, I asked them to keep an open mind before they came over. During the visit I asked them what they thought of Poland, the wife kept asking me "where are all the poor people", it became a bit of a joke. They loved the size of the houses, the cost of food and drink and they both commented on how I had made the right decision to move here.
You take away the welfare support away from the English and there would be riots. The Polish are used to making do and helping each other.I have seen with my own eyes, the poor giving to the poor, the belief in their religion helps them to do this. They are not all Saints, there are good and bad all over the world but the avarice and general attitude of me, me, me does not exist here. I have made genuine friends here who do not give a damn about what I have or what I do. I cannot say the same for my own city, it was always the competition and jealousy which seemed to prevail, especially if you were doing well.
In the nine years I have been here, I have seen dramatic changes, people doing up their houses, new pavements, new (newer) cars, ( I hardly ever see a Maluch or a Polonez any more, the Police used to drive them but they are all driving new vauxhalls and Skoda Octavia's now, even 4 wheel drives which I never saw a few years ago. People complain about the wages but when has a wage ever been enough, who is satisfied when they think they can get more.
Put things into perspective, 5,000 children die every day in Africa, whatever money you send, whatever amount, it will only save a few, because, their governments and the dictators will steal from their own people. You cannot change the nature of man.
What would be better, to send 10 millions pounds of aid to their governments or send a Hercules transport to drop sacks of rice, grain, whatever, directly near the villages.The UK government gives it to their government because it makes them feel good but more importantly, its good for trade.
Everybody is going to have a different vision of what is poor. I think Poland is rich, not in wealth but in the spirit and attitude of its people. And, its getting richer every year.