TED Conversations

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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  • 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.

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