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Masami Hayashi

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What makes difference between low-income people (or people living in poverty) and the others (or people who do not live in poverty)?

What can we do to end the world poverty? If you are not living in poverty, think what brought you to where you are. Why poor people have become poor? Is it because your parents were not poor? Is it because the ways you think are different? I think here lies some answers to how to end the world poverty.

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  • Sep 5 2011: "What can we do to end the world poverty?"

    Change the definition of poverty.

    Every place defines poverty differently. I hate how it is defined in the United States because it is not true poverty to me.

    -"Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars."

    -"Ninety-eight percent of poor households have a color television; two-thirds own two or more color televisions."
    -"Eighty-four percent of poor households have air conditioning."

    -"The average intake of protein, vitamins, and minerals by poor children is indistinguishable from that of children in the upper middle class."

    http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2009/09/understanding-poverty-in-america-what-the-census-bureau-doesnt-count
  • Sep 10 2011: hi, sorry I thought you were talking about something else. I am fully aware of what sorts of things go on, and some of it is so transparent, you'd have to be blind not to. All politicians are exposed to it, and all parties are potentially corrupt, but as to what extent we may never know. Does this mean that the only sensible thing is to vote for parties where we might benefit, or to vote with your feet and let politicians know you aren't interested in their lies and pocket lining and spoil your papers?

    Funnily enough, I live in an area that has always been very conservative, although that isn't my preference. I once met my local MP, and she asked if I was voting for them. I said no, and she looked very concerned, until I said I probably wouldn't vote for anyone. That was good enough for her. he wasn't interested in my vote as such, only about a vote against her.
  • Sep 9 2011: Thank you everyone for your interesting answers. I tend to agree with most of what you've said.

    To answer the question myself, I think it is the education you have been given, or the values you have been taught, by your parents or other people who have had a major influence in your life. And of course, they form who you are and what you think.

    Actually I came up with this question after talking to the cleaning lady I have at home. She is not someone who live under poverty line, but she is definitely a low-income person.

    So, the other day, she was telling me that her boy won the first place at primary school. I asked her, "would you like to send him to a university?" And her answer was, "I would like to encourage him to study as much as he wants, but he is becoming lazy already (because he did not do his homework the other day)."

    For me, as many of you I guess, if finishing university or not is not a question to ask. We all know that there are (many) days they do not do their homework, but that does not change if a kid should finish university, unless s/he has a good reason not to.

    Anyways, when I look back this anecdote, I cannot help but think that it is only in person's mentality what kind of lives they should be living (including how much education and how much income they should receive). And where do you get that mentality? From your family (or equivalent).

    Then, in order to end poverty in the world, why don't we give a coach or a mentor or a psychologist to people who live in poverty, instead of spending million of dollars in all sorts of development projects, like teaching handcrafts, fishing, etc.? What are you thoughts?

    (NOTE: I am being provocative here on purpose. I hate to be paternalistic towards "poor people".)
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    Sep 7 2011: I think it's not their(poor people) fault.
    There are many causes to their poor condition.
    Like nation, ethnicity,their parents, their education level, or etc.
    Of causely, there are their inadequacy.

    If one man has been failed in business, there's many causes.
    So that's not entirely his fault.

    Likewise, Steve Jobs is great entrepreneur,
    but his success is not entirely come from his greatness, I think.

    Consequently, I think there is some important factor, coincidence.

    I apologize for my poor English.
    • Sep 7 2011: I agree. Why Steve Jobs isn't African? Because Africans are dumber? No, it's because there's no means for a Steve Jobs to come up with Mac in Africa.
      It's easier to drive a car on a highway then walk through the desert.

      Jang hun don't apologize, your English is pretty decent.
  • Sep 6 2011: It depends by way Individual person thinking, about what he or she whant in theire life, how they can reach it, what alternatives they have. But main point is that: You are rich then, when you know that everything what you want you already have.

    Always You can lost what you have or you can improve your thinking algorithm and become richer then today.

    Start point, resourses for begining life, depends where you born, everything other depends only by you.
  • Sep 6 2011: >If you are not living in poverty, think what brought you to where you are.

    In my case, the reason is that my parents were/are not poor, and I’m not used to being poor. I have been afraid of poverty, so I have been trying to keep my life style and income.
    On the other hand, in my father’s case, the reason is that his parents were low-income people. He hated poverty when he was young, so he tried to escape from that situation.
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    Sep 5 2011: difference between high-income and low-income person: productivity. that is, the amount of value (in money terms) the person can create. it is dependent on many factors: state of the economy, capital stock at hand, health, education.

    it is relatively rare that someone gets poor. the majority of poor people never were any richer. those areas that got poorer, usually did that because of war, civil war or crazy dictators.

    how to rise productivity: through the factors i've mentioned above. create a stable economic environment, increase capital stock, focus on education and health.
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      Sep 6 2011: And make laws and enforce them to keep greedy people honest.
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        Sep 6 2011: what do you mean? for example pay taxes as due? certainly, the law should know no excuses and exceptions.
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          Sep 6 2011: Hi Krisztian...Here in America corporations have bee give the status of entities enabling them to contribute limiless amounts to campaign coffers. You can see how that might skew elections by providing more media exposure,
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        Sep 6 2011: helen, i agree that this is a disgusting practice, but i see the other side of it. i would not vote for a party or politician that accepts a huge sum. and i blame the people for the current situation, because they do.
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          Sep 6 2011: Krisztian........Some of this stuff is clandestine so how does one tell ?
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        Sep 6 2011: how do you know about it? i don't think you are such an insider. should the people care, parties would open up their campaign records, both the income and the expenditure side. not only sum, but each and every contribution, and each and every bill they have payed. if a party does not have this, no votes. so technically, it is perfectly possible, and if not happening, well, you know the verdict, i still blame the people.
        • Sep 6 2011: You are quite correct Krisztian, the people are to blame for that. I think the reason is that we are encouraged to vote in governments where we feel that we will be personally better off. People will prefer to have a government that lets them keep more of their earnings by lowering taxes, but pay for it by cutting benefits. For those out of work, there can be no worse outcome. You can't please everyone, of course, so it would be better to be able to vote for a party that had solid core principals driving it forward, not just keeping wealthy wealthy, or poor people more benefits, or any number of other polarising subjects. I will be voting for the Green Party from now on, as I believe that their policies address the problems that actually matter. I don't mind paying more tax if I know it is doing good. The power is in our hands, but most people can't think beyond their own needs.
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          Sep 6 2011: Ok I will accept the blame...But how the politics in this country work, sir, you are a babe in the woods.
      • Sep 9 2011: I don't really know what you mean Helen - can you clarify?
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          Sep 9 2011: Stephen....Birdia has a good grasp of this practice. And Kr, you think right , I am not an insider.
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    Sep 5 2011: See poverty is something that you should look from the inside. Few of my friends are below poverty line and all hope they had is the studies. Its all on what you think. If you study well tirelessly at young age you can live happily earning(not always though). If you don't strive much in the younger age you cannot expect to have a so called comfortable life. If fact those of my friends were far more happier when they had less money, now they work and earn for their family but now they feel they were happier with family with small limitations. If it all starts as ending poverty? the conversation could go timeless. Its in the people's mind. Donating money would make them look like beggars so help them but don't burden them or leave your hand to them.
    Hope you have a confusing read
    Sidharth