Poverty: How do You Promote it? How can You End it?
How Does Poverty Give Birth to More Poverty?
Poverty: Why do You Promote it? How can You End it?
Imagine not having a roof over your head. Imagine having to carry all your belongings in a bag with you everywhere you go. Imagine having to sleep in a public place, with nothing but a mat, and having to use your shoes as a pillow. Imagine having a child with you in this situation, and not being able to afford soap, diapers, toilet paper and other basic luxuries of life.
Your imagination is some people's reality! Many live today without decent food, clean drinking water, warm lodgings, and HOPE for a better tomorrow. How did this come about? Is there something you ( or I) can do to help? Read further down to find out!
Efforts to end Poverty
Socialism and/or Communism are sociopolitical systems brought forward by higher minds as Karl Marx, Albert Einstein and Freidrich Engels. They theorize a system in which all citizens are equal, all lands and factories are state owned, and the products are apportioned to the people 'each one according to his need.' Naturally, because these systems provided an almost completely equitable distribution of resources, the weak were well looked after.
Sadly, even in Socialist countries, some began to resent having to work to take care of the weak;, saying that the provisions made for them had made them lazy and disinclined to work. Surely, there must have been some truth in that; There must have been those who said 'hell, why do I need to work when the government takes good care of me?' So maybe those who rejected Socialism had a valid argument.
Let us now consider a system with More popularity in the West, and till date more acceptance in many countries around the world.
Capitalism-the American Dream
The American Dream-the dream of a place where anyone willing to work hard could become prosperous. Around the world, many nations adopted the policies-democracy, free enterprise, and free trade-that made the United States rich. But not all countries could replicate the American Dream because north American wealth resulted not just from its economic system but from its great abundance of natural resources.
In addition, the American economic system produces not just winners who prosper (mostly White People), but losers who suffer(mostly us Blacks). While many American Bankers and Businessmen make Forbes Level wealth, they ride on the backs of millions of Slave Wage workers who suffer lack and deprivation, almost as bad as people in Third World Countries. The Business Owners refuse to pay more, to provide better working conditions, or even to accept Government policies that could better the lives of their workers. They must be thinking: ' what's the point of being rich if you don't have some poor people to push around?' or 'if we pay them more then they will save up and open businesses of their own. Who will work for us then?'
At the end of the day, one word resonates: GREED.
Still, the American Idea has being peddled, propagated, and even enforced in other lands with fervor. Let us consider how and why this has been done in the following paragraphs.
The Marshall Plan to End Poverty
After World War 2, Europe was devastated and many countries were threatened by starvation. The U.S government was concerned about the popularity of Socialism in Europe. So for four years, it gave vast sums of money to restore industry and agriculture in those countries that would accept U.S. Policies. This European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan, was considered a success. In Western Europe, American influence increased, and life-threatening poverty became rare. Did that mean that Poverty had been defeated in our World?
Foreign Aid-How Effective
Despite the huge amounts of money spent by the governments of America and Britain, and by the United Nations through its agencies, have you noticed that many Third World Countries continue to live in squalor and subhuman privation? Have you ever asked yourself 'where does all that money go?' Well, this is often because Foreign Aid is easy to steal! The officials in those countries must say 'hey man, look at all this cash! I say we steal it. Next year the U.N will just bring more!' And so they steal it, buy fancy cars and fine women, and wait for the U.N to bring in more cash. With their GREED they continue the Cycle of Poverty which we discuss in the next paragraph.
The Cycle of Poverty
Even when all the money does not get stolen, the Cycle of Poverty is not easily broken. This is because Poverty gives birth to more Poverty. Disease causes Poverty, and Poverty Causes Disease. Malnourished children can be so weak physically and mentally that they cannot take care of their own children- who in turn will be poor.
Rich countries often export their produce to other countries who lack the capacity to produce said items on a level that will compete with the rich countries. That means the death of industries and the loss of jobs, which in turn mean the creation of more poverty.
When the countries become so poor that they cannot afford to pay for food items anymore the U.S sends them Food Aid. This food aid means that many are saved from the threat of immediate starvation, but at the cost of a terrible loss of business for local farmers. When the farmers are out of business and the agriculture of that country goes completely kaput, then the Cycle of Poverty has taken a firm hold. The people become mad with hunger and take up (American/European-made) arms. Many welcome a revolution, and that ugly word which we all hate to mention comes up: WAR!
And so the people go to war, not just to kill each other, but to destroy whatever infrastructure may be left standing. And there you have it.. The cycle continues! More Poverty is born even before the existing one has had a chance to die.
So you see; the U.S is not really interested in the growth and development of the Third World Countries. Food and Monetary aid only serve to advance American interests, and open up more markets to American Corporations. Food and Monetary aid can be described as a great Mouse Trap. Like little mice drawn out by a sweet smell, they wiggle their noses with excitement at the prospect of filling their stomachs, and then just when these countries are savoring the taste of perfectly sweetened American food, the Trap snaps shut, and crushes the life out of African economies while the people squeal in pain!
This is a list of the world's poorest countries as published on infoplease (DOT COM)- a popular information website, The list references 'United Nation's 2011 Human Development Report and reflect the countries with the lowest human development.'
1. Congo (Democratic Republic of the)
7. Burkina Faso
8. Sierra Leone
9. Central African Republic
In the next article we will look extensively at African poverty, how it affects you no matter where you live, why it persists, and how to end it. But now let us take our minds back to America, and why there is poverty in such a wealthy country.
In a recent debate with some American citizens of Caucasian ethnicity (A.K.A White People) via my twitter handle -@ikepius- on the subject of poverty, it was said that poverty in America is almost restricted to the African American ethnicity, and that 'Blacks just don't want to work.' Instead they 'prefer to live on welfare.' I made a defense by asking a series of questions. I repeat same questions here with the hope of bringing a similar effect as the first time. The questions follow below.
'Is it possible that too many young Black people suffer from prejudice, and are therefore unable to find employment? Is it possible that this stereotypical prejudice is encouraged by the police who seem to arrest and harass Black people, helping to make them unemployable? Is 'The System' designed to keep Black people in the World of Crime? Are WE forced by powerful forces to live as gangsters and thugs, without any hope of redemption?'
If the above mentioned 'excuses' are even remotely cogent then you can do your part by not being racist. If you are employed in Law Enforcement then please do not target the weak and vulnerable either for sport, or for a quick promotion. If you are a business owner then please give SINCERE Black People a chance to earn a decent living. If you work in the Electronic, Print, or Social Media (YES, THAT INCLUDES HUBPAGES) do not produce derisive materials that could influence others to give in to Prejudice, to Greed, or to any other evil volition.
I welcome your thoughts!
Are you interested in eradicating poverty? Do you have any ideas to contribute towards the fight against poverty? Please contact the Author via twitter, through the comments box, or through the information provided on my profile page.
References: I had help from the June 1, 2011 edition of The Watchtower Magazine titled: End of Poverty How?