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 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.

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