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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 7 2013: Giving people the rights and freedoms to take charge of their own lives might be a good start. Many people are in poverty because they have no right to complain or freedom to change their situation. Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, many African countries come to mind, let's not forget China.

    Freedom for an individual to be on equal standing with any other individual is paramount to creating an environment for a person to move out of their living situation towards better conditions. People say that the US uses most of the oil and has the fewest people per capita but that is a testament to the effects of freedom and individual rights.

    Having a complete and intact manufacturing system did help to give us a hand up after WWII but we squandered any progress we may have made fighting the cold war. Now that the world is settling down and globalization is being created to a more sophisticated level, we need to accept the idea we may have to share resources and technology to prevent us from falling into the same trap that put us in WWII. Thankfully, technology has the answer and Natural Gas is the ticket.

    Climate change appears to be something we will have to adapt to rather than then manage. It would be nice if it was different but we have to accept the real facts of human nature.

    The trend is towards the decline of despotic ruling parties and towards a more democratic social climate on our planet. This is a path towards ending poverty and increasing efficiency and developing energy supplies that will carry us towards becoming a Class I Civilization. Capitalism, will just have to give way to some other process of balancing the needs of earth citizens with the available resources.

    Personally I think Corporate joiner-ship is the way to go. Everyone becoming part of their corporate group, with the ability to change groups if necessary. Each corporation would have one vote based on the majority vote of the whole corporation. It would be an easy international function.
    • Jan 9 2013: Indeed, the Poor have absolutely no freedom at all to change their situation. They are doomed to be like that for the rest of their lives. Now, how can you introduce to them the notion that "they can change their life"?

      I guess the only way is education, but most kids are forced to earn money for their family by asking for hand-outs. And that's a shame, because they can't go to school then. And if they did, without satisfying their basic needs, how can they be good students? That's why the Government helping them is not a bad idea in itself... but they usually do that as a way of clientelism, and they do little to improve the education system at the same time.

      But yes, I agree that if they knew they could change their position, they could make themselves be heard. It's a pity the victims are not conscious they are victims.

      And I liked what you said that "have to give way to some other process of balancing the needs of earth citizens with the available resources". Emphasis on available resources. If technology keeps on developing and we can go about without polluting the Earth, then there's no reason why all citizens cannot have and do the same things. We may not be able to have 7 billion fuel automobiles on the earth, but why not 7 billion electric cars? (lol that would be a mess, but you get my point).

      Oh, and could you expand a little bit on your Corporate joiner-ships idea? It sounds interesting.
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        Jan 9 2013: Coporate-joinership. Think of every individual belonging, working and living in close facility to the corporation they are a member of. The corporation is responsible for meeting the needs of all their employees. If the corp. manufactures a much needed item for industry and they can't make enough to meet the needs of their employees, the Corporate Central (The government) steps in with some help.

        Every corp would serve a vital function and all the corps would be duty bound to make sure everyone had a job with a basic wage. If the employees can come up with good ideas to expand the corp, they could be rewarded with bonuses.

        As an employee acquires more education, they can move about to another corp (make application) where they will live, work, etc. and perhaps make more money.

        The basic premiss is to give private enterprise the reins of our future and "bound" them with the responsibility to make sure everyone is cared for.

        If we had 1000 corporations in the US who employed everyone, each employee would have one corporate vote and the majorly of votes would signal the corp. one vote in the corp union (kinda like the electoral college we currently have). Making all votes equal assures equanimity.

        Such a scheme would divide the population according to abilities but still give everyone the same opportunity to evolve, or not, if they desire. There would be no Medicare, Social Security, etc. everything would be worked out, for the benefit of the citizens, by private corporate, industry.

        We might end up with poor corporations but the size of the problem would be scaled down to those small groups and the other corporations would be responsible to help alleviate any problems those groups incur.

        Think of us living one one life boat and expanding the boat fleet (as we can). Everyone is responsible to row the boat, looking for land (our new future).

        Before we can divide the problem and solve it we must put everyone in the same box and work our way out. We are scattered.
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        Jan 9 2013: The only way to solve the population problem is to bring in the poor under one umbrella and take hold of their lives. All basic needs should be met. Freedom and democracy is a two edged sword. On one hand those who profit the most do so because they worked hard for it and had a good climate to climb the ladder, as well as the self motivation. It's simple really, free the mind and the body will follow.

        However, some people no matter how educated they are can't solve simple day to day life problems or have too many problems because of large family associations, etc. Because they feel bound to help the large family, they find themselves integrated back into the bounds of poverty.

        It is easier to keep the educated, free minded people working than it is for the uneducated and depressed of spirit. We have to put those dispirited people in a group, make sure their basic needs are met and work with them according to the resources at hand. With all these people spread out in different parts of the country, it's impossible (due to lack of resources) to work the problem out.

        We've tried this with housing projects but they always fail due to lack of proper management and help from the private sector. Today it is cheaper to immigrate someone who is skilled or educated and put them to work (immediately) as opposed to spending the money and taking the time to educate a local population. Hiring educated and skilled immigrants is becoming the norm in all countries. Trying to cover over the poor is also becoming the norm.

        If the poor are not willing to give up some of their freedom to live a managed life for a short while, I don't see any way to help them. We can just do what we are doing now..... ignore them if they are quiet and put them in jail if they act up.

        The problem is always the cost of helping someone who rebels against that help. Over time those who want to help get tired of the lack of success.
        • Jan 9 2013: Interesting to know! Great idea! Although I have some doubts about it... how do we make sure employee can satisfy all their needs with their salary? It's pretty much impossible to make EVERY corporation (dedicated to a different activity) give out the same wages to their workers, right?

          Take a Hospital, for example (Or whatever Institution that would focus on health care in this society). You would obviously need a high number of workers (doctors, nurses, the ones who do the cleaning) . Now think of a small business, say, a hairdresser's. My point is, how can you make sure these workers will all have enough to get by and be paid the same amount? Obviously, the hospital, as an organisation, might get a higher amount of money to distribute (if it all goes well) on account that its a Private Hospital, and say, that many people in our society are facing different health issues so it has a big clientele. Would the doctors be paid the same amount as the hairdressers?

          That's all I wanted to ask. But anyway, thanks for your contribution! Thumbs up! ♠ :)
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      Jan 9 2013: Sounds good. But your idea disregards corruption of corporate and government leadership. There are also opposite ideas (anarchy) promoting abolition of all power structures. Corruption would bring that system down too.

      Then, there is the largest and the oldest corporation in the world - the church, that dwarfs any known government or business entity by size, age, and budget. It is supposed to oppose corruption, encourage care for the needy, etc. But even the church is not immune to corruption.

      We need to solve our own moral and economic problems, perhaps, even before solving other people's problems. "Kindness goes a long ways lots of times when it ought to stay at home." -- Kin Hubbard
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        Jan 9 2013: Actually Mr. Grudzinsky, you have brought forth "THE" problem.

        We do need to solve our own problems in the USA, Europe, India, Asia, the Middle East. The sad side of this goal can be seen by simply asking,

        "How long will it take women in Saudi Arabia to be able to come out of their forced concealment in public and when will they be allowed to get a drivers Lic. and travel abroad without a male escort."

        Given the slow rate of change in that country I'd speculate a wild guess of somewhere around half to 3/4 of a century. That's well beyond my lifetime. The world I will see in my last days will not be the world you and I want to live in. It will still, generally, look pretty much as it does today. The gadgets may be more functional and stylish but Human nature will not change by much at all. It's human nature we need to focus on.

        How long will it take a large group of free minded, Liberal, humanistic, emphatic people to bond together world wide and exert some kind of influence that can't be ignored or stood against? The goal we seek is to become a Class I civilization. Such a civilization can feed everyone on the planet, provide health care for every human being and distribute ample energy without destroying our environment.

        When I think of how the world needs to change, I use this class I civilization idea as a marking point for how far we need to travel.

        However, I'm getting to old to play in the game. It's up to you and others in your generation to finish the job that is still a dream of my generation. I hope you understand the scope of your task --it is huge. But considering your words and the intelligence they imply, I think you can accomplish more than I ever dreamed of.

        You have a huge job ahead of you Mr. Arkady Grudzinsky. Good luck.
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          Jan 9 2013: Re: "The gadgets may be more functional and stylish but Human nature will not change by much at all. It's human nature we need to focus on."

          This is my opinion too. Technology or science seem to be of little help here.

          Re: "The world I will see in my last days will not be the world you and I want to live in. It will still, generally, look pretty much as it does today."

          I protest!
          "Mudhole?! Slimy?! My home this is!" -- Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

          If we don't want to live in this world, where else do we want to live?

          Let's not forget that "human nature" is our nature. So, improving it should start from ourselves. Seeing each other, ourselves, and this world in a more positive way could be a good start :-)

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