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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 17 2013: Summary: Communism (if your vote doesn't matter now why not, and its the fastest way for a country to unite and grow) Or the worlds wealth must be shared (like that will happen).

    poverty is very hard to define and is always changing with time and place. I too would like to see the decline of poverty in Argentina and all over the world, unfortunately that is one of life's greatest questions. But I have a few unique ideas.

    1)First view each country as a company competing for the worlds business, and only the countries well structured, planed, and innovative will last.
    2)The Key is Innovation: what type of innovation will let the country succeed?

    Is Argentina ready for sweatshops? Or can it invent a new advanced automated manufacturing style to lower the price of there goods?
    Will Argentina produce high-end organic produces?
    Or will it have to resort to communism? so the country can rebuild and educate its people?

    The fact is Every County will fall soon the same way, so don't worry. We will all redefine poverty and rebuild together.
    In a way that will create and equalism among the world, thus creating world peace.
    • Jan 24 2013: Drake, the thing is that if one country "innovates and develops" then consequently, another country is repressed. You asked if Argentina can invent a new manufacturing style? I don't really ever see that happening. Here there is no industrial development. Truth is, we can't compete with the First World's manufactures. We depends on the imports of capital goods, which means we need to produce competitive manufactures to get a fair amount of foreign currencies for our imports. This has been Argentina's (and many other Latin American countries) problem over its whole history. We just rely on the exports of primary goods, like soy, in our case. There would need to be a close control of the Government in global trade to bring about an industrial expansion here, kind of like what Peron tried to do in the past (incentivating the industries to produce manufactured goods to be consumed IN the country, at the same time taxing the primary goods' exports to get the amount of dollars needed to support the industries).

      That is why we can't progress. It's an unequal commercial distribution between the developed and "manufacture-creator" countries, and the undeveloped, primary-products exporting countries. It is essential to ask ourselves, what will happen when we have no more primary goods to sell? Erosion is a problem for us, for other Latin American countries like Venezuela, they will eventually run out of oil...

      I must admit that if I had lived in the past, I would've been a communist. Now I'm not so sure, however, after seeing its results. It's a shame we can't have communism without a dictatorship... people just don't have freedom anymore. Besides, it is clear that Freedom should be preferred over Equality. Take Cuba, for example. The citizens don't like to live there. They're not free, they can't have ambitions...

      I'm not sure what would be right, but at least in my opinion, communism isn't the answer.

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