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What can governments do to end poverty in their countries? Is a solution possible under capitalism?

Hello, I come from Argentina, and in my country, poverty is an issue we still can't eradicate, even though extreme poverty has been around for many decades now.

What still baffles me is the fact that although the Government gives away money to those with reduced incomes, poverty is as bad as always. Poor people can now (at least) fulfill their basic needs, but they have now become dependant on the Govt to give them the necessary resources for life (and politicians do not care about this, since this way they can keep on "buying" their votes with cash). They don't have jobs (and some do not even bother to find one) and most still live in slums under really poor conditions. So, it's obvious this solution is only benefitial in the short run... eventually the Government is going to run out of money and we'll still have the same number of people in the streets.

Moreover, I read yesterday how India is going to start doing the same thing, but I guess that probably won't go anywhere either.

Now, what do you think is the solution to stop this vicious circle of poverty? What is your Government doing about it?

Bear in mind that Latin America has just extreme poverty levels (not as much as Africa), but still much more than the First World countries. At least in my country there is a surprisingly high number of slums (check some photos in wikipedia: http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villa_miseria )

In my opinion, emphasis should be made on giving labour to these people outside-the-system. But for that, we need to offer public AND quality education. Yet I'm conscious that a malnourished child is not going to be able to be properly educated, is he?. So what can we do to ensure that child will have a better future? It's difficult to come up with a solution, but we're in the 21st Century now, it's about time we stopped poverty.

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  • Jan 2 2013: There is no one-size-fits-all approach to poverty eradication. This is one problem that can not be solved in our world as it is, because of the variety of flawed economic systems that are in operation.
    There is too much dependence on government, which is surprising, considering the hypocrisy and corruption; and then the tendency to believe that what is being offered by the school system is the totality of education.
    1. Intergrity and accountability should be demanded in public and private sectors of the economy.
    2. Education should be seen as a personal responsibility; that is, learners should build on what the school gives and apply such for societal impact.
    3. We have to discourage the societal tendency towards unbridled materialism.
    4. Where there is a will, there's a way; but if there is no willingness and sincerity in the search for solutions, then all the talk about poverty reduction will be futile.
    5. Poverty will not end; but we should keep trying to end it.
    • Jan 2 2013: I definitely agree with what you say, specially with points 4 & 5.


      You DO have a point when saying it's important to discourage the societal tendency towards unbridled materialism. Pepe Mujica (Uruguay's president aka. "The World's Poorest President") said something similar in june during the Rio+20 summit:

      "We've been talking all afternoon about sustainable development. To get the masses out of poverty. But what are we thinking? Do we want the model of development and consumption of the rich countries? I ask you now: what would happen to this planet if Indians would have the same proportion of cars per household than Germans? How much oxygen would we have left? Does this planet have enough resources so seven or eight billion can have the same level of consumption and waste that today is seen in rich societies? It is this level of hyper-consumption that is harming our planet."

      Mujica accuses most world leaders of having a "blind obsession to achieve growth with consumption, as if the contrary would mean the end of the world".


      Yet points 1, 2 and 3 seem pretty impossible to achieve. I hope I am absolutely wrong, but will anyone stand up to stop Hyper-consumption/Materialism? Will the public and private sectors be transparent without Govt. control? Or actually, can Govts. control the economic most powerful sectors without giving into corruption?

      It is definitely food for thought, don't you think?

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