TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 3 2013: “Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices”
    ― Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    "Ending poverty is a want and thus it is society that will end poverty, government is just in society’s way."
    - Don, TED Forum ;)
    • Jan 4 2013: I see your point, and I agree we have to stand up for our wants. But what would we tell the Government to do? We can't expect it to do magic, right?
      • thumb
        Jan 4 2013: LOL Yep we can’t expect it to do magic, in fact I say the only magic governments seem to know is how to make money disappear.

        Like Thomas Paine was say government should only restrain our vices and in this case that would be a few peoples’ desire to take advantage of those in need.

        Society/majority of people has natural desire to help those in need and the government acting as a middle man is often the cause of poverty. So government needs to stop taking money from society to ineffectively stop poverty and let society keep the money so it can effectively end poverty.
      • thumb
        Jan 4 2013: they could show us a cool disappearing trick

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.