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-   -   How To Eradicate Poverty (http://www.sowpub.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5680)

Ankesh October 15, 2008 04:29 AM

How To Eradicate Poverty
 
Today is Blog Action Day - where a few thousand bloggers will post their thoughts on poverty. (http://www.BlogActionDay.org)

What do you think needs to be done to eradicate poverty completely from this world? (Or do you think its an impossible task?)

MichaelRoss October 15, 2008 05:36 AM

Define Poverty...
 
Ankesh,

Thanks for asking.

The question shouldn't be "What do I think needs to be done to eradicate poverty".

It Should be... "Do I think Anything should be done to eradicate poverty?"

See the difference?

The first version Assumes we should do something to eradicate poverty.
The second question asks if we should do something.

Poverty. Poor. Needy. They are all generic terms used by do-gooder groups to garner support/money from other people.

You want to eradicate Poverty? First define what Poverty is. Define what Poor is? Define needy?

I'll add nothing else until you have those definitions. But will leave with this... you do not help anyone by stealing from productive people and giving it to unproductive people, or people who have shown no ability to handle/manage what they earn, let alone what they are given.

Michael Ross

Ankesh October 15, 2008 09:57 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Thanks Michael.

I agree with you with "you do not help anyone by stealing from productive people and giving it to unproductive people, or people who have shown no ability to handle/manage what they earn, let alone what they are given."

(You could read my views on dealing with poverty on the nontoxin.com blog. You'll like the title at least... it is: "How To Eradicate Poverty (Without Doing Charity)")

Poverty = when people can't afford the basic "survival" amenities of life. Roof over their head. Clean water to drink. Food to eat. Ability to pay their medical bills.

You may say that its not our job to help give these people a roof over their head. And provide them with food or water.

But I think people's standard of living is pretty much like the fax problem. The higher the number of fax machines, the better are things for everyone. Similarly, the higher the number of un-poor people, the better the society is for everyone.

Because richness is not having money. Its circulation of money.

---

This to me is poverty that we should work to eradicate - even if it means being anti-objectivist:
http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2005/...b__430x387.jpg

-TW October 15, 2008 10:06 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ankesh (Post 22663)
Poverty = when people can't afford the basic amenities of life. Roof over their head. Clean water to drink. Food to eat. Ability to pay their medical bills.


Yes -- but isn't that pretty much everyone, if we were to stop pedaling our financial bicycles furiously (if we were to stop actively being productive)?

One aspect of poverty that needs to be focused on is, HOW DID [whomever] GET (to be) POOR?!?!

The answer to that question makes a BIG difference, when you ask yourself what needs to be 'done' about it.

-- TW

Ankesh October 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Millions of people didn't GET poor. They were BORN poor.

How would you go about teaching them to become productive?

SteveSki October 15, 2008 11:12 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ankesh (Post 22665)
Millions of people didn't GET poor. They were BORN poor.

How would you go about teaching them to become productive?


Great question Ankesh!

I'm not sure what the best way to do that would be but I recall reading in the book "INFLUENCER - The Power To Change Anything"
about someone in India who started to give out micro loans to poor people so they could start businesses.

And the success rate of those he helps is very high!

Some people just need a hand up - not a hand out.

Cheers,
Steve Shulenski

Ankesh October 15, 2008 11:17 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Thanks Steve.

That someone is Muhammad Yunus. He is from Bangladesh. He started the Grameen Bank. Which has been modeled by a lot of other countries now.

And the bank had 98% rate of loan payback because Muhammad gave out loans only when people who wanted money grouped together.

The groups added to peer pressure - the groups made sure that each member paid their loans on time. And each person worked hard. The group also worked as a mastermind - helping a member with difficulties.

So it wasn't just micro-financing. It was micro-financing + groups that did that trick.

-TW October 15, 2008 11:54 AM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ankesh (Post 22665)
Millions of people didn't GET poor. They were BORN poor.


Yes, I understand that -- I was just pointing out there;s a difference between those two.

There's a further distinction among people who were born poor -- do they live in a society in which people move up (+ down) the socio-economic ladder?

America is one of those places, imo. Therefore, being born poor here may or may not qualify one for help. In other words, even if you're born poor in America, it's much easier to help yourself OUT of poverty here than in other places. Therefore, you'd have to prove MORE hardship here to get a hand-up or a hand-out.

The basic question is, is the poverty coming from withIN or from withOUT.

For lack of a better word, whose FAULT is it?

If it's the person's fault, then they should dig themselves out. If it's society's fault, then society should help out.

But 'fault' is not easy to determine!

Analogy: trying to figure out whose 'fault' a heart attack is. Is it right to start charging a 'fat tax' on food that isn't heart healthy? Is it right to blame the person who eats fatty foods for a heart attack? How can you be SURE that's what caused it? People who eat healthy + jog 10 miles/day ALSO get heart attacks.

-- TW

Ankesh October 15, 2008 01:28 PM

Re: Define Poverty...
 
Ok let me try rephrasing things a bit.

A video I once watched had a quote that has stuck with me. To paraphrase, it went: The Sun gives light and warmth to everyone. It doesn't see who is poor or who is rich.

Can we use technology to raise food / water / clothing / shelter to the level of sunlight?

(Actually - water is mostly free in most developed nations already... can we do the same thing for basic food too? And then for clothing and shelter?)

Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid has 5 levels. Can we take care of the bottom level for everyone - no matter if he is good or bad - or smart or dumb?

(For Michael - should we? If not - why not?)

* I'm not talking communism over here. I'm not talking equal benefits for everyone. I'm not saying people can't buy Evian water if they want to. I'm just saying - can we make tap water free for everyone in the world? And can we make other basic survival amenities free for everyone? Rich folks can buy upgrades - no restrictions on that.

KenWeyer October 15, 2008 01:41 PM

Re: How To Eradicate Poverty
 
Ankesh,

I was going to mention micro-financing! :)

I think that is a great way to give a hand up and not a hand out.

I am wanting to invest in micro-financing.

A question for everyone. Which organization should be invested in? Which is on the level with the money going to help the people and mot the administration? Which helps the most people? Where would my money do the most good?

OK. It was more than one question but you get my drift.

Thanks,
Ken


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