TED Conversations

  • R H
  • Chicago, IL
  • United States


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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 3 2012: My latest theory is this. I think an empire system is the way to go in our current situation, as people are unwilling to fight for a direct democracy, in others words REAL democracy. I would learn more about the Athenian Democracy if I get the time etc.

    So empire, and it seems to me that in an empire the Kaiser/Emperor, his advisors and the lords etc. That they basically decide over the subjects. So in the sense of the poor and marginalized that are barely participating in the global economy. Offer them 'relocations' where they can actually produce something.

    My personal will is to be allowed to live in Iran. No matter what they would do to me there, I feel a strong urge to be with them.

    BTW 'R H' can you possibly extend the time to comment here? Also do you use facebook?
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      Nov 3 2012: Hi Hartog!

      So you want a feudal system and relocate to Iran?
      Also you don't care about your human rights?

      I'll assume you are trolling...


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      R H 30+

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      Nov 4 2012: Just re-ask the question in your own way.
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      Nov 7 2012: It depends on what you mean by "people are unwilling". While there is always a large group who don't get involved, the core group that is involved is the ones we should be polling. We can forget the rest. They will end up with whatever the core group decides. The core group is not, all, empire decided. There are many more (IMO) who support democracy as core political framework. I might add that empire implies that we might encroach on the boundaries of other countries. You can't really have an empire if you don't go stepping on cultural toes in other parts of the world.

      So, in the home base, political situation, I don't see a sense of Empire building up anyway among the core group.

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