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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 9 2013: Many of you have said that education is the key in the long run to solving poverty and I agree. I am not an educator but know that early intervention at a very early age is most important. In developed countries this usually means smaller class sizes and extra help for young students. In less developed countries creative solutions are required since education infrastructure is probably lacking - for example I recently read that in a remote region in Kenya with no teacher available, the young kids were given inexpensive tablet computers with good learning software, and proceded in small collaborative unsupervised groups to teach themselves language skills.
    To education I would add some sort of values and "life skills" education to counteract some of the poor family environments younger kids might come from. I am not sure how to do this best but non government charitable organizations might come into play.
    Governments can help with all of this by setting up good education programs. As far as capitalism goes the most benefit probably comes from tycoons who have already made their billions and set up foundations to do good - such as Bill Gates.
    • Jan 15 2013: Government is great at 8 things only. Secrecy, Propaganda, Begging Money for Political Gain, Borrowing Money to Make WAR, Borrowing Money to Pay Welfare Benefits, Borrowing Money to pay Interest on Borrowed Money, and Collecting Taxes.

      Government is worst at these 7 things, and many others. Open Government, Honesty, Integrity, Constitutional Checks and Balances, Campaign Promises, Staying within a Budget, and the
      Regulation of Commerce.

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