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: May I suggest trying not to be the TED defender. Your opinion can go either way. Sorry but it just kills me when people ask how do we change the world and and then say they don't have time to talk about it. I pointed out that the Internet frees us from HAVING to TALK about it in the traditional ways people find taxing.--like being on the telephone at the same time or being in a room at the same time. But so what. I wasn't proposing a dissertation, an pesky dialogue for as long as i takes for us to see things the same way, and I assumed this person a male, so I didn't expect to propose marriage either. Just offered to get out of these confining boxes on this forum which are limited not only in number of characters, but in point size. I can just assume he or she isn't interested in the subject enough or just not interested enough in my offer--or anything I have to say--without an interpreter or avenger. I just for one would like TED to not be so "one way"--we can all ask questions, but if no one listens, what is it all for? All I pointed out was that "being busy" doesn't work on the net for such a small offer--we can answer a week later and no love lost.
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      R H 30+

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      Nov 5 2012: Ok James. In the spirit of TED, and at the risk of appearing as a "TED defender", I'll try one more time. You mention 'TED defender', 'dissertation', 'pesky dialogue', 'propose marriage', 'interpreter or avenger'. All I said was I'm not willing to do email at this time. You then made it personal. So again, in camaraderie, I will offer one personal note: TED is all I'm willing to do right now, and I have my reasons for it. So let's stick with the subject, or we can move on to different conversations.
      • Nov 6 2012: I think you read the wrong response. All of that stuff you quoted was to the third party with the bulldog avatar that felt they had to assume you female and defends you as a she and explain to me that there may be a "side" to it I wasn't seeing. I was addressing that person when I said words to the effect of "what? are you the TED avenger?"

        You see how crapped up these things get because the forum is so poorly designed and seems to frankly not expect much in the way of promoting real synergy between members. I think you probably have some accidental misconceptions now that would be a job to unbais. Because you took a post addressed to someone else and applied it to your self. And you've probably put more into this already than taking me up on the offer to free ourselves from this miserable microscopic interface to see if there is any way I could help without obligation. Being as confused as it is, I have other things to do that I'd just best get to. You weren't interested at the time--bottom line. No big deal. There's an election on--go Obama four more years.
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          Nov 6 2012: Gender is irrelevant. My only point was that saying someone (RH in this case) doesn't care enough about the issue just because she/he chose not to proceed in private discussion with you was not fair and likely an inaccurate interpretation.
          It has nothing to do with defending or avenging TED.
          People will listen to someone better who doesn't accuse people he doesn't even know of not caring enough.

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