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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: Thank you guys for your opinions!! I've enjoyed reading them all :)

    Just wanted to share something else with you:

    Here's an article published by TIME Magazine in 2005, concerning poverty. It's a really interesting piece: http://www.earth.columbia.edu/docs/endofpoverty/time031405.pdf

    Basically, the most important views of the author are these:

    COMMIT TO THE TASK. Oxfam and many other leaders in civil society have embraced the goal of Making Poverty History. The world as a whole needs now to embrace the goal.
    ADOPT A PLAN OF ACTION. The U.N.Js Millennium Development Goals, approved by all of the worldJs governments at the start of the millennium, are the down payment on ending poverty. The MDGs set out specific targets for cutting poverty, hunger, disease and environmental degradation by 2015 and thereby laid
    the foundation for eliminating extreme poverty by 2025. The rich and poor countries have solemnly agreed to work toward fulfilling the MDGs. The key is to follow through.
    RAISE THE VOICE OF THE POOR. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. did not wait for the rich and powerful to come to their rescue.They asserted their call to justice andmade their stand in the face of official arrogance and neglect. It is time for the democracies in the poor world - Brazil, India, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and dozens of others - to join together to issue the call to action.
    REDEEM THE U.S. ROLE IN THE WORLD. The richest and most powerful country, long the leader and inspiration in democratic ideals, is barely participating in global efforts to end poverty and protect the environment, thus undermining its own security. It's time to honor the commitment to give 0.7% of our national income to these crucial goals.


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