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Claudia Valdes

International Traffic Department, Diamonds International Corporation

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Is it really possible to eliminate poverty around the world? or is it just an utopia?

I'm from Mexico, and this Sunday Mexicans will elect a new president. Why do I give this explanation? Because the main topic that all the candidates had was the elimination of poverty in our country. But those statements really make me think deeper in the subject, and look back across human kind history, just to find out that poverty is almost inherent to human kind, and across all this years the people have been in this world, there always have been poverty.
Why? simply for the very own nature of the human kind and the relation between each other.
Then I ask myself, how a single person, in this case the president of a nation, can promise millions of persons, that will eradicate such a big problem, that has been with us for thousands of years.
Going in another line, millions of persons across the world are becoming more aware of the world situation about poverty, but it just stay there, very few people do something about it, including myself, I must say. But how can a few persons can make a difference? and going on with that idea, will it be sufficient to really solve the problem? Will it be eradicated for good? or just because our nature it will never be possible?

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    Jun 30 2012: .

    First of all the term poverty is relative, which makes it a bit difficult to compare throughout this world.

    But if we would define poverty as a state of daily struggle for nutritious food, clean water, appropriate cloth, adequate shelter and medical care the answer to your question is YES, it is possible to eliminate poverty arround the world.

    For the given population the earth has enough resorces to support all of its habitants in all basic needs for a living.

    It would even be possible to raise the standard of living for each individual way beyond those basic needs, including education, energy access, own property, etc.

    In my view the moment mankind claimed to be distinct from animals, we took on the responsibility of humanity with all its immanent obligations. Since that time we are constantly failing, which is also part of our nature, yet we also made locally become true what can be achieved.

    The reasons why poverty has not been overcome globally by now is manifold and are to be found within our nature as well. Personally I consider greed, for power and wealth as the main reason why this task has not been accomplished yet. And will we ever be able to get there? If we'll have enough time as a species, YES, I truly think so!
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        Jun 30 2012: Hello Don,

        the argument you contribute is valid in my opinion too. Before I wrote this comment I was debating on a quite similar subject for quite some hours, in which, to stay in your picture, a lot of wood got burned into ashes. So when I found this debate I choose for a more optimistic approach to start anew forming my views into words with an emphasis on casting more light than shadows.

        I am with you that poverty exists because of injustice and crime. To me, the greed for power and wealth implies injustice at its very core in most of, if not all the time.

        Thank you for adding this precision by naming the cause.
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          Jun 30 2012: The only smoke I can see comes from the dope you must be smoking to come up with this nonsense.

          Poverty comes from sloth. Of course if you are looking for an excuse for poverty blame it on someone else (preferably with self righteous indignation), the most popular is big business, you know the one that has raised the standard of living of mankind for the past millennium or so...
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          Jun 30 2012: Hello Pat,

          it seems to me you have not witnessed the 'opposite in opinion' often,
          or is it just me not getting your sense of humor?

          Please let me in on this, so I know were to put your comments.

          If poverty was caused by sloth as you promote, how do you call those people who are working hard every day, yet still remain below the poverty line in many countries?
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          Jun 30 2012: Jan-Bernd

          On this site, you are the one who is joking.

          The sloth would be with regards to communication and learning, in other words doing the same thing without changing.

          Everything that is accomplished is accomplished by a decision, most likely that is the way they want it. The question would be did they decide that is the way they wanted it without questioning the leaders or culture that told them this is the way it is?
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          Jun 30 2012: Hello Pat,

          I still don't know were to put your comments as your last intro still allows interpretation were I wish to be certain. So I like to ask you again what your intention is by that.

          Yes, I have seen people remaining in low paid jobs or within our welfare system because of sloth and especially the last mentioned are constantly causing debates on this topic in Germany, and it turns out difficult to get them motivated or re-motivated once they settled into that sort of apathy. But this is no form of poverty as they get all the necessities for a life in dignity.

          The poverty I am concerned about is were sloth is not an option. No living beeing would freely choose starvation out of sloth, as starvation is getting them to the core of plain survival were the luxury of sloth is out of discussion and far beyond any influence.

          Poverty is no matter of choice, indeed, choice is what is missing. Communication and learning, what you also propose, is neither addressable nor accessible to many due to a variety of reasons. At such a state of existence you may question the leader or culture, yet beeing the last in the chain of influence, questioning does not result in any change.

          Situations like this are not acceptable and regardless what causes it, the cause has to be stopped and the people helped to that point, they are able to sustain themself again or even the first time ever.
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          Jun 30 2012: Jan-Bernd

          To be as clear as I can be I'm not joking and I certainly get more disagreement than agreement. I hope that is clear?

          If these people are below accessing any kind of education then how do you know that they are in poverty? Claudia Valdesl or Shokrullah Amiri in Afghanistan are not below this level. I'm sure there are people who are below this level but then the question is would they not be removed from where the water is polluted and are not only surviving but happy as unlike you they do not know how things are supposed to be?

          Once again perfection is a heavy cross to bear and will always result in failure?
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          Jun 30 2012: Hello Pat,

          now you are talking! And because you have not been joking, some of your remarks has therefore to be taken as intended insults, which I am neither willing to accept nor to tolerate.

          I am sincerely willing for any sort of discussion, debate and exchange of minds yet this at a minimum of appropriate and polite manners only. Get harsch on my arguments, not on me personally.

          So if you are willing to return of what you can expect from my side and to stay to those basic social rules, you are welcome to talk with me abot anything at any time.

          It is now up to you, only.
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          Jun 30 2012: I did make the comment about you must be smoking dope to come up with the trope about fairness.

          Earlier you commented that you (in effect) don't use logic.

          Humor by definition is pointing out things that don't make sense. I have shown great restraint in this regard.

          Claudia Valdes is looking for some benchmarks on the subject of poverty, it would be a disservice to her to allow specious comments (no matter how well intentioned) to go unchallenged.
          If your feelings are hurt too bad.
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          Jun 30 2012: Is there a way of direct 1on1 communication?
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          Jun 30 2012: Go to my profile and click on the send pat gilbert an email
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    Jul 28 2012: Theoretically it is possible
    Probably not practically in my life time
    The richest 1% own 40% of the worlds wealth.
    Spread it around and we'd all be reasonably well of for a while.
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    Jul 5 2012: Hi Claudia -Yes, I believe it is possible to eliminate poverty around the world.

    This is a simple solution but it will not be easy to implement. I submit that eliminating currency and replacing it with credit earned by time worked is the solution. The credits earned will validate their subscription to obtain all the benefits of the program. Those benefits would include most wants and all needs. See the following site for more details: http://thenewsocialsecurity.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/the-new-social-security-position-paper/
  • Jul 4 2012: Yes, but there is a catch 22 involved. There is simply too much imbalance to fix what we currently have right now. If you wish to tax the most wealthy in order to limit wealth to "upper middle class", those wealthy will use their influence and power to prevent it from happening.

    If you try and print money in order to dilute the value of their existing wealth, handing out enough money for each person to have the same amount of money, thereby inflating the currency to such an extent everyone is equally wealthy, the printing will be stopped before it happens by the same wealthy elite.

    Those in power tend to want to remain in power. Voting can only go so far, as when only a multimillionaire can run for president, you will never have an opportunity to see poverty become a main focus. The only means to solve poverty is working outside the current government structure, as with any democracy of today, tyranny by the majority means majority of the money, not majority of the people.

    By moving the world to democratic nations we have moved from hoping a single ruler, with complete power, rules well to voting for which ruler with little power will rule less poorly. At least with emperors the common people had a chance, in a democracy the cries of the common people are silenced by the influence of the super-wealthy.

    In short, in a fair democracy you have the few being slaves to the many, and in today's party-based democracies you have the many being slaves to the leaders of the party in power. In most cases, those leaders are those with the most wealth, and they intend to keep it that way.
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  • Jul 3 2012: However, contrary to my last post, I believe that some level of poverty is going to always exist simply because of human nature. Human nature has a desire to survive. It is a pretty basic one. Food is great motivator. A lot of people don't realize, but there is a transfer of wealth between nations going on constantly. When nation A sells overseas to nation B, nation A is gaining wealth while nation B is losing wealth. When a nation loses real wealth its real income will go down (if ceterus paribus is held). This means that it citizens will be able to buy less and its standard of living will go down. No one wants their standard of living to go down, and this is why people work hard. This competition with other people in different countries is part of life. It basically means that if one works hard he can advance in status in life. The only thing is that in order to do this, an individual must sell to (or work for) another person, and he ultimately taking that wealth from someone else (because someone had to buy his service or good). This type of competition is vital to society.
    However, if there was some sort of program that prevented people from having any sort of need, a lot of this incentive to work would be taken away. Human nature can also be pretty lazy, so why work if there is no danger of starving? This is why some people complain about government programs like welfare. And ultimately if there were a global program that would support people who chose not to work, the rest of the working population would have to cover that cost. (I am not saying anything about the validity of America's welfare program. Also I do not believe that everyone on welfare "chose not to work;" I am just noting some humans do not wish to work.)
    Really though, I cannot see humans giving up some of their resources to help those who simply choose not to work. I most certainly believe that people would help those who can't work, but poverty will remain. The competition is too vital.
    • Jul 3 2012: No matter how harsh that comment and explanation may seem I can't help but agree with you.

      I would love for poverty to go away eventually but the majority of the worlds economy is held by rich and powerful men who are only being human. Greed and lust are part of our very nature. Civilization is what trains us to be more kind to our neighbours and teaches us right and wrong but we are far away from perfecting such things to the point where everyone is equal in skill and resources. I my self would love some sort of existence similar to the Federation where there is no wealth only service to ones work and a prosperous life guaranteed to all. Such a thing if it did ever exist is far away and such a thing would require the unification of the planet to prosper properly. Sharing resources globally and group collective community could maybe, one day create this paradise.
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      Jul 3 2012: "When nation A sells overseas to nation B, nation A is gaining wealth while nation B is losing wealth"

      it is the complete opposite of what economics and common sense tell us. if both nations agree to the transaction, it means they both gain, both get wealthier. nation A will have more money than they valuate the product sold (otherwise would not sell), nation B get a product more valuable than the money they gave for it (otherwise they would not buy).

      one can argue, however, that money has no real value, only products does. so in that sense, not nation A, but rather nation B is the winner. it gave up worthless money, and got valuable products. of course, nation A will not sit on that money. sooner or later they will show up in nation B to spend their money on something, and so the equilibrium is restored.

      at the end, any transaction must have its mirror transaction. it is impossible that nation A constantly sells more to nation B then vice versa. if this happens, nation A soon will have loads of money of nation B, while nation B will have less and less of his money. this will increase the value of money for nation B, and lower it for nation A. this reverses the flow of materials, and restores balance of trade.

      that, unless nation B is the united states, and nation A is a poor country anywhere. the united states prints mountains of money to exchange it for real goods in china, india and others. how they can get away with it, is a mystery. but the beneficiary is the united states, not any country A.
      • Jul 4 2012: Maybe I did a poor job explaining what I was attempting to say. The concept I was trying to explain was net capital outflow. It basically says that if a country imports more than it exports, it is losing real wealth (not money but actual "stuff"). I was talking about if the imports were consumed and if there were no government involvement or change in productivity. (America isn't printing any more money in this case.) Having a negative NCO will eventually result in less income per person and a lower standard of living. Sorry if i did a poor job of explaining, but I don't believe that this is incorrect.

        I said this to make one point: if i want to sell a good or service, someone else has to buy it. This means someone else has to pay for it. This in the big picture means that if (if productivity isn't going up) one country does well (gains 100 dollars), another country has to do the opposite (had to pay the 100 dollars). This world-wide competition makes this utopian idea of equality basically impossible.

        The idea of equality is great, but I still don't think it is possible. While I love the notion that everyone can be equal, I know that money is a great incentive to work hard. If everybody were treated equally, there would be little motivation to do hard jobs or do them well. This competition is vital to society. That being said, I still think people should help those who do not have the resources that they do. Generosity can go a long way.
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          Jul 4 2012: i don't think that it would be misunderstanding or poor wording. you committed serious mistakes in this post again. i think it is deeper.

          first. you got it reversed again. if a country imports more than it exports, the country is gaining, and not losing, real wealth. if it could go on forever, it would be ideal for that country. however, it can not go on forever, since the difference is produced by someone else, who will sooner or later stop doing that. that is what happens now. large parts of the world consumes more than it produces. the USA, greece, spain and others. they enjoy this as of now, but it is not sustainable, and must be reversed in the future.

          second .the very nature of exchange is not zero sum. zero sum exchange does not happen, because it has no motivation. exchange happens only if there is gain for both parties. that is explained well in the wealth of nations by adam smith, so kind of old wisdom. it is called the division of labor. this is the primary source of our wealth. the difference between our lifestyle and the lifestyle of the neanderthals can be attributed to exchange and division of labor.
      • Jul 4 2012: Krisztián, I think you are ignoring some parts of the issue:

        1: Some imports are durable, some are consumables. A country which imports its consumables will eventually bankrupt itself. A country which imports durable goods has those goods, potentially, forever. The latter is truly a zero sum game, as they paid for those goods with the equivalent amount of good/services/money.

        2: All things being equal, exchange is indeed zero sum for those exchanging. If both parties win, they are still on even ground, in other words, zero sum. The fact they both are happy about getting what they want doesn't make the trade lopsided. The 'sum' only leaves zero when other factors, like need vs want and consumable vs durable come into play. In short, if both parties win, neither party wins. Zero sum.

        -------------------------------------

        @Noah's comments, I think he is ignoring the lopsidedness of taxation and regulation. Only in a purely free-market society can more work equal a better lifestyle. I, personally, have turned down salary increases due to being bumped into a higher tax bracket. If I accepted the raise, I would end up making less money due to taxes.

        As for people simply "being lazy", I think that is complete nonsense. If someone were risking starving to death, do you honestly think they would sit there and die if given the opportunity to work for food? It is industry, discrimination, laws and regulation which prevent many people from working who otherwise are willing and able. Some easy examples are refusing work to convicts, homeless people, people without a home phone, drug testing, required college degrees for otherwise simple work and I haven't even listed regulation based discrimination such as licensing requirements.

        There are a rare few jobs which are purely skill/performance-based anymore. Have you tried getting a government job, even a low end one, without a degree? It is nearly impossible today, for jobs which people are otherwise highly capable of.
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          Jul 4 2012: i'm actually losing my patience debating economics with people who does not understand the basics. i assume you would be rather upset if a computer illiterate tried to tell you how css works.

          1. durability or any other property is just muddying the waters. at a certain point in time, goods have a market value which comes from supply and demand. at any time if a country has a negative trade balance, it means that at market price (!) they are getting more than they produce, and they compensate for it by promising future goods (accumulating debt). you have some elements of truth though, because a country that imports production goods will easily meet its obligations later, due to the increased production. production goods (=capital) can be seen as "durable" in the sense that it maintains and even creates value (if used the right way, let me add). borrowing for consuming leads to hangover.

          2. an exchange is NOT zero sum. zero sum means that the gain of one plus the gain of the other is zero. if there are only two parties, one's win is the other's loss. if they both win the same amount, it is not zero sum, it is positive sum. in addition nobody said they gain the same amount, they can win very different amount. more precisely, we can not even measure how much they gained, since it is subjective. all we know is that they both gain, otherwise the exchange would not happen.
      • Jul 4 2012: "i'm actually losing my patience debating economics with people who does not understand the basics."

        Then add citations to your explanations, so those of us who are confused or wish to learn more, can. You state yourself how it is counter-intuitive, so unless people, like myself, have a means of fully learning it, the chances of us understanding it from a few sentences is pretty unlikely.

        Just as I wouldn't simply capitalize the words in my arguments, but point a person to where they can learn more about CSS and better understand where I am coming from.

        Do you have a link to share which explains how trade is not zero-sum? As, even after reading your explanation, I still do not see how both parties can win in a trade.

        Here is my confusion, which I'm hoping your link will explain to me:

        Party A trades item A to Party B for item B. The most even trade which can happen is both parties slightly lose after transaction costs. Any other outcome would entail Party A getting more of item B than item A is worth on the open market because, say, Party B needs item A badly (or the exact opposite). If Party B were in desperate need, Party B could simply go to the open market and find it for market value instead of trading more of item B than they had to. It seems your example assumes there are only ever two parties in existence, which isn't realistic.

        Again, all things being equal, ignoring transaction costs, if Party A wants item B and Party B wants item A, neither is going to pay more than the market value, unless one of the two parties has a monopoly on that item. That said, I can't think of a single example of a nation being the only one in the world with a certain product, but that doesn't mean there isn't an example.

        So, with that said, I don't see how two nations can ever 'win', as they both would have to overpay for a double 'win' to happen. So, that is my confusion, and I hope you can provide a link which corrects that confusion, if my understanding is wrong.
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          Jul 4 2012: okay, tell me then. if not both of them win, why the loser engage in exchange? until you answer that question, there is no advance. there are other formulations of this question. namely: if you think that a bar of chocolate worth exactly its price, so you are not better off not worse off, why do you buy it? it does not worth the effort. but if it worth more than its price, why don't you buy two? three? a hundred?

          what you need here is another basic principle of economics, namely the diminishing marginal utility. these theories are more than a hundred years old.
        • Jul 5 2012: Mr Webber, the point I was trying to make about "being lazy" was not exactly what I intended. I was merely stating that this competition and the fear of starving is probably the biggest motivation to work. If we had some system in which prevented any sort of poverty, this fear of starving would be taken away, and the motivation to work would go away too.

          Mr Pintér, I believe that a side may engage in an exchange out of simple need. I was mainly talking about consumable goods. If Party A is very populated and cannot produce enough food, it would often import food from Party B. Party A values the food bought and that why Party A buys it. However, Party consumes the food and it is gone. Party B still has the money that Party A spent on the food. It is still a sum zero exchange, but more of the world's wealth is going from Party A to Party B. If Party A does not have some export that it sells to offset the food that it had to import, it will eventually have a standard of living/net income per capita decrease. (assuming government doesn't intervene or some other force acts on the market.) This is because net income is consumption + investment + government expenditures + net exports. If net exports is negative and consumption, investment, and govt expenditures are the same, the income must go down. After a while, Party B would begin buying more and reverse the process. This competition makes countries attempt to gather wealth and resources in order to improve the lives of its citizens. This competition makes total equality very unlikely.

          This being said, Mr Pintér, your choice of words is very derogatory. If I am committing "very serious mistakes" that are "the complete opposite of what economics and common sense," you probably should simply ignore what I say. If you are losing your patience because I don't "understand the basics," just don't respond. If I am blatantly wrong, people will realize that and disregard my statements. Condescending remarks aren't necessary.
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      Jul 9 2012: " I believe that a side may engage in an exchange out of simple need."

      the satisfaction of a need is a benefit by definition.

      "Party A ... import food from Party B. ... consumes the food and it is gone. Party B still has the money"
      "If Party A does not have some export that it sells to offset the food that it had to import"

      depending on how party A got the money they spent in the exchange: either they worked for it, in which case it is perfectly balanced, and then don't become any less wealthy. or they did not, in which case party A is the winner here, they get food for worthless papers. i assume you are referring to saving vs consumption here. that is valid, but a completely independent issue.

      "It is still a sum zero exchange"

      no, it is still not zero sum due to the same reasons i have said already. but now i add division of labor as an addition to the perceived value gain (which is the real gain). with exchange, the total sum of produced goods is higher.

      "This is because net income is consumption + investment + government expenditures + net exports."

      in the keynes-ian theory. in common sense theory, income is the sum of production.

      but even in keynes-ian theory, nobody says that a country borrowing for consumption would be worse off. in fact, based on keynes-ian theories, the US borrows like crazy to consume. the only problem with that is the world won't always be a partner in it. and when they stop financing the party, the party will end abruptly.

      "very serious mistakes"

      does not constitute as an insult. unless you have the self image that you can't make mistakes.

      "you probably should simply ignore what I say"

      why should i? mistakes are to be corrected, not ignored.

      "If I am blatantly wrong, people will realize that"

      come on now, not everyone is an economist.
  • Jul 2 2012: It is impossible to eliminate poverty in the world; just like it is impossible to end wars, crimes and other evils.
    Laws or education can not stop greed, selfishness, deciet and hypocrisy.
    This world is not perfect as it is; human nature will always produce the best of us, the worst of us, and everything in between.

    However, the most important thing is our efforts in improving our state and at getting the best out of our imperfect state.
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    Jun 30 2012: Jan-Bernd really got it right with the need to define poverty. Poverty in the US could be making less that 30,000 a year with only one car and less that two TVs. Match that with a family in Ethiopia. Quite a contrast. In many countries there is a upper class and a lower class with a very small middle class. my theory is that if you put five people in a room at the end of the day there would be three at the bottom, one at the top, and a hustler playing both sides against each other in the middle. This has always been and will always be. I believe it is necessary in societies. You have leaders, managers, and workers. In effect upper, middle, and lower class. Without this division little would be accomplished.

    In Mexico I have seen this first hand. Ultra rich, a small middle class, and a large lower class. The top makes little or no effort to resolve the gap between the two.

    I do not think it is a goal to eliminate poverty. Most agencies goals are to eliminate suffering.

    All the best. Bob.
  • Comment deleted

    • Jul 5 2012: "And to move more of the Worlds Cash Flow from the Super Rich "inventories" to the "inventories" of the middle classes and those in poverty."

      You mean theft by taxation? Off to the labour camp with you.
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        • Jul 5 2012: I see no correction in your reply, maybe red herrings.
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    Jun 29 2012: it is kind of a moving goalpost. what is poverty today, thousand years ago it was the norm. so we really don't have to do much to eliminate poverty as exists today: just let the economy develop. however, politicians conjoined with the media will keep redefining the word to fit a lot of people. they like to get some extra votes that way. of course, they can do nothing to further the situation in any way. more like they hinder it.
  • Jul 29 2012: It' been said that the Earth is not big enough to give every person their every want, but it is big enough to give everyone their needs. (Was that Gandhi?)

    I'd say it's possible for everyone to live comfortably & happily.
    But we'd have to have a little wider vision to see what other people are needing outside of our neighborhood, & hav e alittle more openness to give; patience for our gifts to come to fruit, and a little more integrity to hold ourselves & others to a fair accountability.
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    Jul 13 2012: Let me start my conversation by providing latest IMF data on average income which stands at $10,727 per person per year i.e almost $40,000 for a family of four, with this income there shouldn't be any poor in the world. But the same IMF data mentions that 2.7 billion people (39% of world population) earn less than $2 a day, which translate into $2920 a year for a family of four.
    Thus we see that generating income is not a big deal, but its proper/equitable distribution is the need of this hour.
    Now, in Mexico's context, which is a developing nation and an emerging economy, a participant of globalisation, which is fast privatising its economy along with essential services like education, electricity distribution, health care etc, which will certainly increase efficiency, competition in the market, and also will bring up the revenues, but will increase the inequlity between the haves and havenots.
    So do vote, but choose wisely.
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      Jul 13 2012: suppose there is a hypothetical planet called X. on planet X, a certain region starts to progress like never before, due to their culture, innovations, politics or whatever. they start to build roads, factories, cities. they enjoy this high standard of living. they continue with innovations, and they anticipate an even brighter future.

      until one day Gunjan Joshi arrives on a spaceship. and he says: in the name of fair play, you know have to give half of your wealth, machines, grain, tools, clothing to those people over there, because you are the "haves" and they are the "havenots". and if you refuse this, i will take it, and give it to them, for i'm here to help out your planet, and lift it out of barbarism and misery.

      how do you like your role in this tale?
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        Jul 14 2012: Sir, though I have no intentions to offend you, but I think you strongly belive in private capitalism, which in many cases doesn't think about the welfare of the society, which actualy should be top priority of any economic model.
        So, comming back to your tale, anyways why go to planet X, come back to earth, to my nation, where the richest 100 people earn the same what the bottom 25% or 0.28billion people earn. Indeed it was their hardwork, ideas, inovations which brought them to that position, but if they donate only 10% not half (not everyone can open up Gates foundation) of their wealth, it will have a significant impact on the lives of havenots.
        As we know that for any enterprise whether capatilist or not initial investments are necessary, thus havenots with same "culture, innovations, politics or whatever" can't translate their hardwork and ideas into an revenue generating entrepreneurial model due to lack of capital, thus dirtribution of resources and income comes into picture, so incentives are ought to pull people out of "barbarism and misery", whereby they can earn a decent income if not equal to that of richs.
        (typed in India)
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          Jul 15 2012: i can only hope that you don't say i don't think about the welfare of society. because that logical link suggests you do. i don't think that you don't want a brighter future, but i do say that you don't know how to get there.

          and it is demonstrated by the fact that you haven't really addressed the essence of my tale.

          if you believe that something unfair is going on, pinpoint it, and work on eliminating it. but simply because one people have more than another, it is not warranted to take any of it.
  • Jul 9 2012: Poverty as we know it today may not always exist. I think that gradually the "quality" of life for humans world wide will increase. However, there will always be those who have and those who don't, this is the unfortunate truth. We can impose laws that help those who are have less, like the Heath Care Mandate recently passed in the U.S. but until the time humans are collectively moral enough to give up the money they earn to help someone less fortunate there will always be those who have less.
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      Jul 9 2012: we can watch it from the other side.

      surely, some people will have less.

      but other people will have more. and we might celebrate the fact that if you try hard enough, and you can produce something worthy, you can get more, you can advance forward. we do want to reward work, effort and success.
      • Jul 9 2012: Of course we do the problem arises with the kids born in these poor enviroments who have no chance for success. If everyone started out life as relatively equal then I wouldn't have near as much of an issue with rewarding the successful and helping the poor less, but there are people who all there lives have had the cards stacked against them. The question is which is the more noble thing to do, to help those who have no chance in the world or reward those who are productive or successful. I personally think helping the impoverished people comes first but it is purely a matter of opinion.
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          Jul 9 2012: this idea is self defeating in a way. if we provide equal start to everyone, and then reward the successful, the next generation will not start the same way. so it is either short term, or we need to re-level the playing field frequently, which is the opposite of rewarding success.

          there is really no escape from this. you can not have the cake and eat it too, either you reward success, or you don't.
  • Jul 7 2012: why do people continue to debate using broken ideas, from broken systems, trying to rebuild what cannot be rebuilt, with tools that don't work, on systems that have utterly failed and still do not work when the work is done, which it never is?

    Yes it is very possible to eradicate or eliminate poverty from the world.

    Many of the causes are mentioned in the conversations of economics, government and law, tax-talk, perpetuating false beliefs that it is human nature, such as greed and lust, when it is not. It is unjust systems that create those situations and desperation that breeds the behavior that we call crime, greed, and unethical.

    What we have, what we have destroyed, cannot be repaired, nor rebuilt. It will just be the same again, because it will be the same, using the same checks and balances that fail, and with the same reasons for creating poverty, inequality, slavery, greed and crime, those reasons will be availed by those who can. That's what all this talk is all about.

    The cause isn't sloth, it isn't human nature, it isn't wicked hearts and minds, it is our very systems that people keep debating about fixing and how to fix them. They are unjust and cannot be made just.

    The only solution is to create just systems, based on conditions that don't breed reasons to be unjust, which is fear.

    Fear, that one won't get what they want, or will lose what they have makes a person act in ways they "NORMALLY AND NATURALLY" would not act. It is not human nature.

    The other main feature is money and everyone will just scoff and dismiss this out of hand, without real deep thinking about it that involves thinking about it with the idea it can and will work.

    Poverty isn't inherent to humans. It is created by humans based upon their systems of fear and the aspect of unjust is built into them, thus they cannot be made just, they cannot be repaired or fixed, they have to be done away with.
    • Jul 28 2012: What exactly would we do to fix these unjust systems though? While I understand what you are saying, I cannot imagine a system that would be feasible. The principles of capitalism have been around since people started bartering. This goal of increasing one's standard of living (or just getting food for survival) has been the driving force of civilization. Sometimes this does create problems for others, but I am not sure that any other system would be viable.
  • Jul 3 2012: This is quite an intricate topic. I believe that this idea of eradicating poverty is based on what exactly you define poverty. Mr. Paull brought up a very good point by defining what he saw as poverty. I do believe that eventually the human race will make it where everyone has access to clean water and food, and, if that is your goal of eradicating poverty, it is going to happen. Technology will eventually make this possible; rapid population growth could complicate these problems though. Eventually education would be universal, and I could imagine healthcare too. However, that would probably be the extent of these efforts.
    It seems to me that the two best ways to accomplish this happen to be rather unfavorable though. Population control seems to be the best way. As much as I hate to say it, the earth only has so many resources, and, while technology is helping us get the most out of what we have, the earth cannot handle this much population growth this quickly. Not only that, in many of the areas where poverty is common, many parents have lots of children. I went on a mission trip to Guatemala and saw this first hand. I met a seventeen-year-old named Miguel who had five children. Miguel was working as hard as he could, but he simply could not earn enough to support his family. Since he couldn't pay for schooling for his children, Miguel will probably have his children drop out of school to work so that they can eat. Since they don't have a proper education, they will most likely get a rather low-paying job like their father, and they will likely remain in poverty. This sounds very callused, but I think it is the horrible cycle of poverty. If people are encouraged to have less children, they can give more resources to the few that they have.
    One of the best cures to this problem is education. Luckily many groups are now building schools and starting to change the next generation. This, I believe will be one of the best ways to eradicate poverty.
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    Jul 1 2012: It is absolutely possible to eradicate poverty, and it will never happen until we realize that we are one family. Everybody wins if everybody is taken care of. It doesn't matter if someone does nothing to earn their keep. It's the level of living that is the incentive for effort, but a minimal level is required. When we look at the very wealthy, the very successful currently, we see that they have members of their family who do not participate in the production of wealth, but are subject to those who do produce and are limited in their ability to be independent. Many of those same people have the ability to pursue the talents they have for the non-wealth producing expressions of humanity, and some wind up supporting themselves on their own terms. But they are never in want, never anxious, have no incentive for criminality (unless ill or bored), and have no need for 'social services', welfare, humanitarian relief, or any of the myriad efforts we provide for the 'repair' of those currently in proverty. Teenagers are their own special catagory. So take the money spent on welfares, extra police, jails, courts, food relief, medical relief, public housing, shelters and provide a decent standard of living for all. You see? It will never happen until we realize who we are.
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    • Jul 5 2012: "Don [From The Silent Generation - the 30's]"

      From the proselytizing on here, I'm guessing you outgrew that phase.
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    Jun 30 2012: Hi Claudia
    I agree with couple of participants comments below about the relativeness of ther term "POVERTY".
    How you want to define POVERTY for this discussion will bring more focused debate.......

    As mentioned about inherentness of poverty across all the years, seems happened due to inequal distribution of resource. If poverty eradication means equal distribution of resource then it really may sound like utopia with a backdrop of history of human civilization so far.......
  • Jun 30 2012: Ignore the ignorant
    • Jul 5 2012: Is that your stance on removing poverty?
  • Jun 30 2012: IMO, poverty will one day be eliminated, but it will take a century (or 2 or 3), and result from economic forces, not politicians. When politicians talk about eliminating poverty, they are making empty promises to get votes.
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    Jun 30 2012: Claudia

    This video might give you some insight. In a word it is education. I have been told that the average amount of education a Mexican has is 4 years is that true? If so that is the problem.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/yasheng_huang.html

    Other than that opportunity is taken away by the oligarchy colluding with the government. But you can not do much about that so worrying about it is a waste of time.

    At the end of the day everyone is responsible for their own education if you have the internet you can educate your self.
    • Jul 5 2012: "But you can not do much about that so worrying about it is a waste of time. "

      Something can always be done about government. There are revolutions being fought on the planet right as I type this reply. There are too many who are comfortable in their lives to do what must be done. Donating a few dollars to a charity or soup kitchen is enough for most people to feel better about themselves and sound all righteous. What they pretend is it will lead to the end of poverty around the world.

      These casual "poverty is so uncool" people ignore the fact people have been trying to work within the system to end poverty in my country hundreds of years, yet we have the technology to do it, but the political will isn't there and never will be as long as profit is heralded as King. It requires more than a yearly donation to charity or volunteer work, it requires real change where exploiting people as much as possible stops being promoted as "The American Way" (speaking of my country).

      Do I wish a revolution were not required? Absolutely. I'm comfy on my sofa as well. But we have to wake up and realize the greed is good mentality has a limit, and beyond that limit initiative stops becoming a factor to the lifestyle success of people, the elite become slave owners via legislation, monopolies and political parties, just claiming the populace is still free. The sad part is many of the slaves wish to keep the status quo, using facebook as the virtual sand to stick their heads in.
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        Jul 5 2012: Edward

        Revolution is a bloody thing that rarely makes much change as the revolutionaries focus on what they want to stop but don't have a clue what they want to accomplish. Mexico is pretty bloody as it is.

        I think the trick is an evolution one that puts people to work which is really what is going on in Egypt and Mexico and a bunch of other places.

        What is miraculous is when you have some guys who have the genius to frame written constitution that created the exceptional Republic of the United States of America. Because this set a goal that was inclusive of all and created more employment than a nimrod like Keynes could ever dream of. So the U.S. is the paradigm to create a BOTTOM UP evolution without the blood shed and with the results of a Republic the likes of which this planet had never seen.
  • Jun 29 2012: Hi Claudia. I do agree with you. Nonetheless, one cannot deny the fact that poverty has been proportional to the rise of population within society. Albeit poverty did exist within the middle ages, the stats were not what they stand as today.the governments today have successfully implemented several laws and thus would hold the capacity to implement a law to decrease the population growth. China;s government was successfully able to decrease its population growth and increase the standards of living without falling into a dictatorship. Unfortunately, the uprising within the Middle East, coupled with the uprising tensions due to the financial crisis have lead to increased levels of instability. Alliance systems do continue to exist, coupled with problems between individual nations. In the past few years, none of the nations have had the opportunity to get rid of the aggression and the problems continue to boil up. Unfortunately , the prelims will explode, lead to war , which would be during our lifecycle.
  • Jun 29 2012: I personally believe that the elimination of poverty would be spontaneous to a decrease in the populations in LEDC's. Thus , the governments of LEDC's must implement strict regulations to decrease the population growth. A decreasing population size would allow for the living standards in LEDC's such as India to rise, allowing us to tackle poverty. I believe that if we would like to decrease the poverty in the world, a majority of the nation must be willing to cooperation and if not cooperate be forced upon taking protective measures. Without this, I don't believe that we would be able to eliminate poverty.
    Although millions are well aware, I must say that most do not translate this into action. the gap between the rich and the poor continues to augment each day. The financial support from the fortunate is still missing. They are unwilling to compromise upon their own living standards and needs and yet continue to complain about the worsening situation.
    I don't believe that poverty will ever be eradicated for good . Looking at the uprising political situations and the crisis in our world, another war is likely to take place in the future, which would augment the poverty.
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      Jun 29 2012: Hi Anisha, maybe your idea of reducing the population may help, but we have to remember that in the Middle Ages, there were very few people compare to this days, and by then poverty all ready persist in the population. So I don't think the solution for the problem will be the reduction of the population just because.
      And in another hand, you say nations must be coerced to take protective measures, but I have to ask, who you think will be morally perfect to be able to manage the power of obligate an entire nation to do his will?, It is very difficult, and I think it could lead us to a dictatorship, such a great power can not be in the hands of few.
      I also don't think the elimination of the poverty will be seen by this generation, or the following ones in the short term.
      And honestly, I hope we don't see a war in the near future, at least in this part of the continent we haven't have an evidence of such thing.
      I think we must focus on what we can do to attenuate and try to diminished the impact of poverty across the world.
      • Jun 29 2012: Hi Claudia. I do agree with you. Nonetheless, one cannot deny the fact that poverty has been proportional to the rise of population within society. Albeit poverty did exist within the middle ages, the stats were not what they stand as today.the governments today have successfully implemented several laws and thus would hold the capacity to implement a law to decrease the population growth. China;s government was successfully able to decrease its population growth and increase the standards of living without falling into a dictatorship. Unfortunately, the uprising within the Middle East, coupled with the uprising tensions due to the financial crisis have lead to increased levels of instability. Alliance systems do continue to exist, coupled with problems between individual nations. In the past few years, none of the nations have had the opportunity to get rid of the aggression and the problems continue to boil up. Unfortunately , the prelims will explode, lead to war , which would be during our lifecycle.