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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: MAKE A PERSONAL COMMITMENT. It all comes back to us. Individuals, working in unison, form and shape societies. The final myth I will debunk here is that politicians are punished by their constituents for supporting actions to help the poor. There is plenty of experience to show that the broad public will accept such measures, especially if they see that the rich within their own societies are asked to meet their fair share of the burden. Great social forces are the mere accumulation of individual actions. Let the future say of our generation that we sent forth mighty currents of hope, and that we worked together to heal the world.

    What do you think about his ideas?
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      Jan 30 2013: These solutions have been offered for the last 50 years. A world wide effort to end poverty that is based on the redistribution of wealth. What is not explained is what has causes poverty, what level is determined to a poverty level, what level must achieved to be out of poverty. When the out of poverty level is achieved, will it become self sustaining or will it require continuing wealth input. Will the wealth be taken from the contributing states or will it be investment. If attempted to take, that could led to war. If investment, what would prevent exploitation. If contributions, could that led to adoption proceedings. Grandiose proposals, not well thought out, requiring commitments by others, have been made many times before. If the poverty question was easy, Plato would have answered when asked by Socrates. I do not make light of the situation,
      poverty is a terrible waste of human potential. But we don't seem to know what causes it; lack of education, food, mental impairment, geography, the problem has been examined from every conceivable standpoint and the answer fails us. Is there poverty on the African savannas because of the lack of rain? Then moving them to more moderate areas would end the poverty. It doesn't seem to work that way. Now what?
      • Feb 2 2013: Mike the simple answer to this is, the whole world is "energy poor"; energy translates into money, and what we really need to end poverty, , as well as maintain our own level of civilization, is "Thorium :Energy Cheaper than Coal" (a book by Robert Hargraves,) about all possible energy solutions, that we know of at the moment. We are not going to solve poverty , unless we increase the wealth in the world. otherwise, it is just shuffling it around, a zero sum game..

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