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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 15 2013: If the anything, I think it is a government's responsibility to impede those who would limit opportunities. I agree that the corporate structure is seriously flawed in ways that lead to endemic unethical behavior. If one were to apply Christian iconography to them, corporations could be seen as "The Beast"; a soulless entity who's sole purpose to devour and subvert. That's what happens when you blindly chase profits with no sense of social responsibility and it's what corporate managers are legally required to do. They must serve the best short term interest of the shareholders. Too, often the major shareholders are other corporations and the wheel turns again.

    I don't think that all governments are evil. I think they are a reflection of those who support them. For the most part, we get the government we ask for and that we deserve. The people have the power to change anything, but we're willing to trade freedom for comfort and complacency.

    I still believe that poverty is not the solution because it is relative. Talents, intellect, skills, etc. are not distributed democratically. As long as those are rare, those who possess them will be better rewarded, hence someone else will be less well rewarded. Those with the fewest or most common skills will be rewarded the least and will therefore be poor(er). That inequities exists is undeniable, but we need first to frame an ideal and then determine how best to bring it into being.
    • Jan 15 2013: David, you wrote,
      "I don't think that all governments are evil.
      I think they are a reflection of those who support them."

      Yes they are evil.
      If they were otherwise - the sad and bad things citizens today experience from contact with their
      governments, would not happen.

      If they were otherwise - the taxes collected would be returned in services to the worker
      citizens through healthcare, welfare, and home care, citizen's homes would carry
      allodial titles", free of any mortgage or other debt.

      If they were otherwise - They wouldn't pay the media to convince voters that there are
      only 2 real choices for voters to consider.

      If they were otherwise - They wouldn't use an archaic Justice system to imprison
      more US citizens than any other nation in the world.

      If they were otherwise - They wouldn't ignore the system of Checks and Balances
      that has all but disappeared.

      I would continue, but I tire of explaining the obvious.

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