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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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  • Feb 1 2013: I feel the fundamental problem with global action is that the masses don't care, enough. Put the subject on the table & most people feel empathy for those in poverty... But these issues are always quickly forgotten as we all deal with our own individual lives. I feel most of these talks are as fruitless as the discussions 'people's front of judea' from 'the life of brian'.

    Following, with each countries population mostly concerned about their own welfare & prosperity, their leaders/politicians will always make decisions that are going to get them re-elected. This means very little is spent on things that benefit others or long term goals in general. I really can't see this cycle changing for a very long time. We can't even get our leaders to save our planet from the uncertainty of climate change.

    I think the keys to a comfortable & sustainable future for us all are cheap clean renewable energy & population caps. We need to remember we are animals. Like all other life forms on earth, from simplist single cell to the most complex organism, life has always been about reproduction. We have always fought for space & resources in order to thrive and spread. Are we smart enough as a species, to overcome our instincts? Or will our population keep snowballing until something inevitably goes dramatically wrong?

    As for clean, cheap energy... The answers are coming. It's frustrating we aren't putting more effort into getting the technology sooner. But once we have it, each country living in poverty should have the ability to pick THEMSELVES up.
    I think that scientists globally should suspend some areas of less important research & work on this one goal.
    • Feb 2 2013: Brilliant! You have figured it out. Al;though I would note that prosperity seems to automaticallly lead to birth control,, so energy is enough.You might be interested to learn tha scientists have ALREADY solved the energy problem, but politics and various other complications have so far interfered with carrying it outI'm referring to the secret Cold War development of a nuclear fission aircraft engine, called the Thorium Liquid Fueled Reactor.(LFTR) Perfect for civilian power, as it is failsafe and has a great many more virtues than the common Uranium LWR reactors , like the Fukushima type. LFTRS have no high pressures, steam, water, hydrogen explosions, or solid fuel rods.. In addition, they can safely burn up LWR long lived waste, using it as fuel. Their big drawback , and the real reason they were abandoned 40 years ago is that they do not make usable bomb material. Their inventor, Alvin Weinberg, thought that Uranium LWRs were completely unsuitable for civilian power, whereas Thorium LFTRs were exactly right. Look this up on Youtube, or read "Thorium : Energy Chealper than Coal", by robert Hargraves, if want to know more . Or website "energyfromthorium.com"

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