TED Conversations

  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


This conversation is closed.

Why do we NOT invest effectively in the poor and marginalized so they can participate in the global economy?

Nearly half of the world's population cannot effectively participate or contribute to the global economy. Basic economic theory holds that each 'participant' in the economy is a 'unit of productivity' providing a return on investment. In other words, it's more profitable to have people working and consuming than not. Yet nations continue to allow and accept that the poor and marginalized are - to borrow from another popular phrase - 'too big to succeed'.

In my view, the (relatively) small investment in infrastructure, education, and basic healthcare in the poor and marginalized will be more than made up by their increased productivity and spending. The rich think they're rich now, just imagine the wealth created by having 3 billion more people buying their stuff? I know there are obvious problems with this: corruption, unified effort, immediate ROI, etc. - but why is this such a 'tough sell' to national leadership? They're always looking for ways to increase the tax base.

3+ billion people now contribute to the world gross productivity. What if that were doubled? To me, this is the next threshold of economic growth -bringing in those who have been left out. Yet, we don't even talk about it. What do you think?

Topics: economics society

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  • Nov 2 2012: Too bad. The great thing about the net is that we don't have to be locked in the same space at the same time for a conversation or dialogue to be spread or negotiated to some useful, if not at least edcuational terms. So, I take it that either you just aren't interest all that much, want easy answers that fit your preconception, or just don't want to risk having someone else know your e-mail address--which is understandable. I have invited people into loose conversations before an they proved so far afield, I had o block them. No harm done though. I'm not here to embarrass anyone or win knowledge game--I'm here for the sheer joy of sharing knowledge that might help an already open mind find good cause to stay open and keep at it until priorities change. With the non-linear nature of the Internet where we can answer or initiate at out own time, the old excuses of not having time or buy "busy" don't work any more because Like most people I'm busy too and it is tacitly insulting to have someone else imply they are and you must be not. I MAKE TIME for the things that offer intellectual engagement I can't get anywhere else--especially on jobs where everyone is indeed locked in the same space at the same time with the bosses agenda is imperative uno. Just be aware how this relates to your TED question--how do we engage all echelons of society in productive economy without do anything more than staying anonymous and floating questions on a TED forum? Take care.
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      R H 30+

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      Nov 3 2012: Hahaha! Well, I guess you've got me pegged, huh James? I'm not sure how such an 'open mind' can lead to such conclusions about someone they've never met, but hey, I guess that just fits another one of 'my preconceptions'. Yup, TED is, as far as I know, about building bridges between people through ideas. Looks like you and I have a long way to go.
      • Nov 3 2012: No, you have a long way to go. You're just not interested in puting in any time. I've already given 22 years to the cause of finding out how or why we as a society can't or won't change priorities to take advanatge of vast untapped pools of labor and innovation to build a rapibly progressing world instead of continuing to throw god money after bad on preparing for the next war. The answer is not a coincidence and might take a few hours to get a few new cues on. But I'll let you go, your're surely too busy. No offense. Your wish..
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          Nov 3 2012: James, for what it is worth, I don't think RH meant to suggest that she is busy and you are not.

          This may be THE big issue to which you dedicate huge energy every day. For all you or I know, RH may, rather, be working long hours every day saving lives in a big city emergency room and coming home every night late, drained and falling into bed.

          Not being able to find time in the moment, or even in the month of November, doesn't fairly mean "just not interested in putting in any time."

          Different people are 'at the front line' on different issues and working at a variety of worthwhile ends.

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