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.

  • Jan 10 2013: Sorry Bob but in my opinion you have to be able to survive and even thrive in the environment in which you live. If you live in a super cold climate you have to know how to survive. If you live in a jungle you have to know the laws of the jungle. this is no different. How can you say that it is nonsense to understand how to survive the environment in which you live. Also if you are financially literate you will have the skills to raise some money. Example: I know some people that came from a very poor Caribbean island. They got jobs doing whatever they could and pooled their money together. They did this for a number of years and were soon able to open a convenience store, they then invested the money they earned from the store into real estate. They came here with nothing but they took the time to learn how the system works. I also understand how Americans have a different mentality than immigrants but can be taught and it happens all the time. In a country that prides itself on innovation, I don't see why it couldn't happen on a larger scale. The problem is that the will is not there to even try.
    • Jan 10 2013: Not every country is like the US. In some places, there is corruption in law enforcement, there is very little demand for goods and services due to collective poverty, and the system generally rewards the wealthy for simply being wealthy, when it is innovators that should be rewarded instead.
    • Jan 15 2013: Remember the island in the South Pacific.
      The one with the Totems pointed out to sea.

      The inhabitants cut down the trees and
      the island died.

      We inhabitants have learned to do that world-wide.

      There is little hope because we rule our lives wrongly.
      Thank God for short lifespans.

      Our grand-kids could soon be living in an oven of our creation.
      Parts of the world's populations will be there sooner than you think.
      No one has yet estimated how hot will get next century...
      Scary. When the water runs out it will crowded quickly.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.