TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Feb 2 2013: The Capitalism of the past several hundred years has had more benefit to the society than damage, although a lot of unneessary suffering was involved. But it looks like that paradigm is about finished, thanks to the all-too-human clevernesss of the "Capitalists": at present, inspired by Ayn Rand (in "Selfishness as a Virtue") and enable by their controlling position to "game the system", they have lately taken to abandoning the Capitalist idea of creating Industries, mass production, and great profits, having found out that capturing the government, expanding into financial "casino" swindles, guaranteed by the taxpayers is, ever so much more lucrative for them than stuffy old "Business". And in the process , they have even managed to take control of :"corporations" away from the supposed owners, the stockholders, and siphoned off the profits for themselves. And by hiring the very best lawyers, they have managed to stay out of jail , so far. But it is unsustainable, because it is not really creative. It is not really capitalism, either. I guess the best system would be a Swedish type mixture of Socialism and Capitalism, but as the Russian Yeltsin noted, every country doesn't necessarily "have enogh Swedes".

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.