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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 27 2013: It is sad that countries endowed with vast natural resources are the ones lagging behind development in all respect. A lot has been done to aleviate this scourge but it is not relenting. We must all start with our mind set especially on the accumulation of wealth. Rich countries want more and more wealth which has created a certain world order that has distorted the social and developmental fibric unique to each setting. This has lead to huge quantities of wealth to be lost. To me wealthy expires just like human life does. Accumulating it is to suffocate or deny other a chance to better their lives, especially the slow thinkers and those with no exposure. Unless we all read from the same page in terms of ending human misery, then all effort seem to exacarbate the problem than solving it. The order created has left many especially the most vulnerable out of order.
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      Jan 27 2013: natural resources do not count anymore. they contribute a small small percentage of the total value generated. natural resources are cheap, compared to all the labour and knowledge that need to be added in order to make something out of the resources. what makes a country rich is capital. capital means all the goods that are used to produce other goods. capital includes machines, tools, buildings, trucks, raw materials, half-made goods, parts and all of that. germany is rich because it has a lot of factories, computers and people trained to used them. india is poor because they don't have that much machines, a lot of things still made by hand, and delivered in small vehicles.

      that knowledge is important. without this knowledge, one easily subscribes to the notion that automation hurts people, because it takes away their jobs. this thinking effectively hinders and slows down the very best vehicle of progress.

      if you really want to help poor people, you need to seek ways to increase capital accumulation. both the accumulation of local capital, and capital transfer from other, richer regions.

      as of now, you don't even have to promote capital accumulation. it is enough to remove the artificial barriers that we put in place to prevent it. how easy is that? we just give up some money wasting activities, and our lives become better. but it requires understanding of these mechanisms.
    • Jan 29 2013: The US subsidizes agriculture and in doing so has moved
      from small farmers to large corporations farming and ranching.

      Chemical manufacturers provide artificial stimulates to both plant and animal production.

      TODAY, The US produces enough food to feed the staving peoples of the world.
      Yet they still starve. Yet they still starve.
      Capitalism just isn't meant to be "charitable above all else".

      Trickle Down Economics, doesn't trickle.
      There is a catch basin at the top.

      Our government sees itself as a policeman.
      An enforcer.
      A killer of those opposed.

      But certainly not a charity to be shared.

      You may disagree.
      Perhaps it is not Capitalism, the system, but we the people who are at fault.
      • Feb 2 2013: Frank: you are not wrong, but the reasons for our arrangements has to do with what our society believes is "Right". In the first place, "Diversity" has triumphed to the extent that we do not even have a society any longer. By that I mean, the leaders of our society , say those on Wall St., have become impervious to shame, as well as deluded by the money they have stolen from the rest of us. IIf you criticize this , they'll quote Ayn Rand at you. And our education system, once the envy of the world , has deteriorated dramatically. So even those with top ranking educations , are easily fooled, it seems.It seems ironic, but giving everyone more money, including those at the top, might just get us out of this. All we need is "Energy Cheaper than Coal" . Energy translates into money, and wealth., and corresponds to the level of civilisation. Go Thorium LFTRs!
        • Feb 2 2013: Shawn, I agree with you, on everything except giving everyone more money.
          Money is a small bandage, only a temporary fix, lasting for a only short period.

          Money never really reaches the impoverished.
          We had Oil, "Energy Cheaper than Coal".
          It gave the US a 40 year lead on the rest of the world.

          Poverty was unaffected. Peoples starved by the millions.
          Wealth begets Wealth. aka: Competition.

          A story,,,
          I started a company, new product, sold by agents nationwide.
          I had 60 competitors who copied my new product within 90 days.
          They copied and used my sales literature, without even
          taking my own name off of the proxy statement in the contract.
          I almost split a gut laughing...

          The same thing happened with Oil.
          That 40 year lead disappeared in 20.

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