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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 26 2013: I live in a country that is full of poverty. The government takes hundreds of millions of US dollars from other countries to fight poverty. Money is given directly to the people. Housing developments are built and people are "transmigrated". The developments are soon abandoned. The aid to this country has increased in the last 10 years and the level of corruption has increased with it. 95% of the people go to school that is paid for by the government, and yet in the last 20 years the poverty level has not changed.

    I agree with Gareth and Mandela that education is the weapon of choice. It must be a quality education that promotes respect and responsibility. As a participant in the education system in this "developing" country, I not only see that there is no educating going on, but that most everything in this "education" system is corruption. (I could document it but it does no good.)

    Mike said it correctly,
    " In every country there is poverty. Governments can not cure poverty. If they could, it would have been done long ago. They can cause poverty, they can maintain people in a level of poverty as to provide political support as you have noted.
    "People are impoverished because they do not know to create wealth or they are prevented by outside forces. Capitalism is the easiest way for an individual to create wealth. He does this by taking his stuff transforming it to something that others want and exchanging it for what he needs. He gains wealth through his efforts. It's really simple. The problem is that most people in poverty have lost the desire to escape, they live in despair and I know of no answer to that problem."

    I can see that the government wants the people in ignorance so that it can continue taking money that is intended to make the peoples lives better. The natives in the villages who use capitalism are actually making a better life for themselves and others.

    I also see the money taken from infrastructure which will help increase capitalism also.

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