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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 30 2013: RESCUE THE IMF AND WORLD BANK. They have the experience and technical sophistication to play an important role. They have the internal motivation of a highly professional staff. Yet they have been used like debt-collection agencies for the big creditor countries. It's time to restore their role in helping all 182 of their member countries, not just the rich ones, in the pursuit of enlightened globalization.
    STRENGTHEN THE U.N. It is no use blaming the U.N. for the missteps of recent years. Why are U.N. agencies less operational than they should be? Not because of "U.N. bureaucracy," though that exists, but because the powerful countries fear ceding more authority. Yet U.N. specialized agencies have a core role to play in the ending of poverty. It is time to empower the likes of the U.N. Children Js Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and many others to do the job - on the ground, country by country.
    HARNESS GLOBAL SCIENCE. New technology has led directly to improved standards of living, yet science tends to follow market forces as well as to lead them. It is not surprising that the rich get richer in a continuing cycle of growth while the poorest are often left behind. A special effort should be made by the powerhouses of world science to address the unmet challenges of the poor.
    PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Ending extreme poverty can relieve many of the pressures on the environment. When impoverished households are more productive on their farms, for example, they face less pressure to cut down neighboring forests in search of new farmland. Still, even as extreme poverty ends, we must not fuel prosperity with a lack of concern for industrial pollution and the unchecked burning of fossil fuels.


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