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Ending World Poverty

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posted on May, 2 2005 @ 03:44 PM

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

I disagree there. People don't educate themselves when there is hope for the future. Hope comes from education. When you recieve education, you also recieve hope. When you are taught that you have power, and can become whatever you desire with hard work, it motivates you to improve your lot in life,...

You are assuming that there is not a system in place to deprive you of hope. In the West, there is a reasonable expectation that you will be a significant beneficiary of your own efforts to better yourself. That is not true in most of Africa, nor in most of the poorest places on earth. De Facto caste systems, slavery, endless tribal warfare, and other forms of confiscation and destruction prevent individuals from benefitting from their own efforts. No amount of education will help a person in this situation to better himself, as all efforts will simply be stolen from him.

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

And youre wrong about property rights and capitalism. The reason the poor in this country have more than poor people in other countries is because we are richer, and many products are cheaper because they are made in third world countries or developing nations where labor and materials are cheaper.

The poor in the US are not only richer than the poor in most of the world, they are richer in an absolute sense than the vast majority of the humans who ever lived present or past, and are better off than most royalty of the past.

It was only in the past 40 years or so that manufacturing began to really shift outside the US, yet the poor in the US have been relatively wealthy (compared to the rest of the world) since the industrial revolution, so your claim that it's due to cheap labor offshore makes no sense either historically, or even today, where presumably the poor in the US are now in competition with that cheap offshore labor.

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

Plus over time, through alot of hard work, we were able to improve our standard of living. This was possible not by capitalism alone, but by capitalism balanced with sane govornment intervention to protect not property rights, but human rights. If we had pure, unregulated capitalism, we would also have slave labor, child labor, unsafe worker conditions, we would be working 14 hours a day for next to nothing with no overtime, no vacation, no medical benefits.

In the decades leading up to the US Civil War, slave labor was perpetuated through regulation. Fugitive slave laws and forced citizen slave patrols maintained slavery. US history demonstrates that slavery can only exist when perpetuated by the state. The same is proven simply by examining where slavery exists today.

Most worker safety is voluntary motivated by the fear of lawsuits, lost productivity, and believe it or not, some employers are actually human have concern for the safety of thier employees.

Child labor played a very small role during the US industrial revolution, as there are few tasks suitable for a child to perform. Even in those cases, it was limited mostly to rural areas where child labor was acceptable. Child labor exists only within cultures wherein it is acceptable and has nothing per se to do with capitalism.

14 hour days without compensation can only exist within a system where high entry barriers have been errected to prevent competition, i.e., mercantilism as opposed to capitalism. Employers are not required by law to provide any benefits, yet many do, so where you get the idea that regulation is to credit for that is incomprehensible. There are tax advantages to such benefits. But that isn't a promotion of such benefits by the state, it's simply a removal of the disincentive to production that such taxation imposes - a small glimpse into what life would be like without confiscatory rates of taxation.

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

We see unrestricted capitalism in third world countries where people have no workers rights who are exploited by rich cooperations.

No, what we see in third world countries is mercantilism, communism, and socialism, all perpetuated by the state.

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_ElfAnd, even in this country, capitalism does not protect property rights, as we see where Real Estate Developers are permitted to force people to sell their land or homes so they can use it to develop real estate projects.

Yet another example of mercantilism, not capitalism. Without eminent domain these things could not happen. Capitalism does not guarantee property rights, it's the other way around.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 04:12 PM
Okay I see alot of debating but no one is actually discussing Jeffery Sachs plan of action. For those of you interested in learning more you can purchase his book at this link.

Of course it could be a tough pill to swallow by some more Right leaning members of ATS as the foward is written by Bono and has been praised by people such as George Soros, AND The Economist. 2 Left Endorsements and 1 Right interesting...

For the person who wished to know the exact figures of Aid as per GNP here it is...

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:55 PM
In every historical context, we see education comes first BEFORE quality of life improved. The church ruled supreme in Europe for 1,000 years due to lack of education and ignorance of the population. It was only AFTER people began to become more educated that they began to question and oppose the falsehoods and tyranny inflicted upon them by church and state. This required people to become educated, to learn new ways of thinking for themselves, before they could realize and properly oppose the powers that were. The situation did not improve first, it took rebellion and education to bring it about. The American revolution was brought upon by EDUCATED people, who, because they were educated, were able to see the nature of the tyranny instilled upon them. The French Revolution occurred in the same way: educated people overthrowing tyranny. The situation did not improve on its own, had there been no education first, people would have continued to blindly accept their oppresion and never dream for better things, as they will believe it is "God's Will" or " the way its always been". Before the physical body or society can be freed, the mind and collective soul of the people must be freed first, otherwise, they will blindly follow whatever doctrine that they are fed.

Contrary to what you say, workers rights were not granted by benevolent employers who were afraid of lawsuits. In the days of the industrial revolution, people often lost fingers, hands, ect, and because no laws existed to protect them, they were left unemployed with hungry families, as their employers could and did simply drop them. There was no legal recourse for them until govornments, through EDUCATED activism, set up laws requiring workplace safety, and giving employees legal recourse when they were injured or made sick because of their employers lack of adherence to safety measures. Otherwise, had govornment intervention not taken place, employers would still, in an effort to pinch pennies, would still hold no regard for worker safety. It took legilsation and alot of blood, sweat, tears, and threats of Unionization to get these measures in place, not because cooperations, in their eternal humane benevolence, were concerned for worker health, safety, and lost productivity. In the days of the industrial revolution, cheap labor was a dime a dozen, and once could replace a broken laborer quicker and more cheaply than they could broken sprockets.

Child labor occurs when there are no laws to prevent it. In our society in the days of old, child labor was just as culturally acceptable as it is in the third world. People often had more kids for the sake of family fortune. The more kids you had, the more you could send off to earn income for the family. It wasnt just in rural areas, in large industrialized cities, kids were often sent off by their parents to work as servants, factory workers, apprentices, instead of going to school. Because it was culturally acceptable at the time to do so amongst the poor. It is only when laws were passed ending any form of child labor, and requiring instead, for children to attend school, did this end, otherwise, families would still exploit their own kids as sources of income. When children were required to attend school instead of work, we began to see improvement in overall quality of life, as the more people became educated, the less they were willing to settle for lesser standards. In the third world, child labor exists not simply because of unique cultural standards, but because it is allowed, and there are no laws requiring children to attend school and preventing them from working.

The right of eminent domain was for the govornment, and thus, the public, to be able to force land owners to sell their property for PUBLIC works, when the need for that land outweighed the right to own it. For example, the need for a sewage treatment plant that cannot be reasonably built elsewhere, or because a public road must be built that cannot be reasonbly diverted. Private real estate developers are not covered by eminent domain, because they are not public entities using the land to develop it for the sake of the greater good. They are private entities devloping the land for profit, as a private development of luxury houses does not benefit the public as a whole. Until laws are enacted preventing private companies from seizing private land from private citizens for the sake of devloping private enterprise, it will continue as an example of Capitalism with no regulation.

The reason socialist or communist get into power is because of capitalism, unregulated, has run those countries into the ground, and the people, who have not experienced healthy capitalism guarded and regulated by moral govornments, erroneously believe that socialism and communism, the direct opposite, must be the answer. In America, where, for most of our years, we have been lucky enough to have healthy capitalism balanced by reasonable regulations, socialism and communism have not gained a foothold, because we have seen that capitalism can work and benefit everyone. However, in many poor countries that turned t communism, we see that the previous govornment was either an authoritarian monarchy or plutocracy that had bankrupted the nation through poor management of resources and wealth. In these countries, the corrupt govornments and the elite, who possesed most of the country's wealth, ended up squandering it, and allowed foreign nationals to come in, rape the resources, and leave nothing for the citizens. This is what happened in Cuba, when the pre Castro Junta allowed western fat cats to wring the country dry with things like cheap sugar, cheap tobacco, ect. When communists and socialists come in promising things like worker rights and redistribution of wealth, this appeals to the people who until that point, have been slaving away in fields and factories and never enjoying a bit of the fruits of their labors.

The greatest defense against communism and socialism is an educated public, an accountable govornment, and reasonable regulation. In America, because laws require children to attend school and forbid them from working except part time jobs in the easy sector, because we have laws preventing discrimination in employment, requiring employers to grant people leave for family emergencies, and employers are required to ensure the safety and health of their workers, that we enjoy a higher standard of living, and thus, the people are content. No body here wants socialism or communism because our system works well.

A clear example, is that many American companies, who employ workers here and are required to give ethical treatment to employees, do not treat workers in developing countries with the same respect, in fact, they exploit them mercilessly. This is because in America, they are required by law to do certain things, in other countries, they can get away with horrendous abuse of employees. Coorperations are not benevolent human beings who care about worker safety and health. Cooperations, by their very nature, put profit before people. You cannot expect them to do otherwise, that is their nature. That is their nature, that is what they do. It is just like human individuals. We have laws govorning individual behavior, preventing people from murdering or stealing. And thus, we have laws govorning employer behavior and setting minimal standards to ensure everyone gets a fair shake.

We see in this country even with our laws and regulations people who still are trying to slip through and get away with stuff. So imagine what it is like in foreign countries with corrupt, undemocratic govornments, who have no laws in place to protect people. And you are wrong when you say companies are not required to offer benefits. In many states, it is required by law that companies must give benefits to employees working full time. Since we see that many employers are sidestepping this by reduicing people to part time, or moving their operations overseas to less ethical countries, your arguement that companies give workers benefits out of the kindness of their hearts or to increase production are quite moot. They dont. Profit before people.

Now, I don't have any paticular problem with companies valuing profit before people, thats what capitalism is about. Thats fine, so long as their behavior is curbed and reasonably controled by proper govornment standards that ensure that people dont get screwed over blindly.

And Im not going off topic, either. By examining the west, our history, our govornments, we can see that at one time, we were in very similar situations that the poor countires are in today. Once upon the time, both Europe and America had vast populations of uneducated, impoverished people who were ruled by greedy elites who could do whatever they wanted to the people and got away with it. Our govornments and rich people once exploited us, denied us basic human freedoms and rights, and had no inclination of changing a thing. Even though we are still ruled by greedy elites, much has changed, in the fact that those elites are now held accountable, and can no longer blindly exploit and wring us dry with impunity.

So the west should examine just how exactly it was that we emerged from authoritarian oppresive govornments and became first rate economic powers. We will have a better understanding of what is going on in the poor countries, and how to work towards building stable, sane ethical countries which benefit their people.

And on another note, I do believe that debt relief is essential to helping third world countries get out of their poverty. It is pointles to keep collecting debt from these nations, its basically trying to squeeze blood from a stone. These countries will never be able to pay back the loans, and its not like the west is really gonna miss the money. To encourage freedom and prosperity, however, I believe that a nation's debt should only be forgiven after corrupt regimes are removed, and an accountable, ethical govornment is isntalled in its place. Its pointless to give debt relif to nations run by evil men and women who got them into debt, as they will continue after the debt is forgiven, to run it up again. So debt relief should be a reward to countries who have successfully removed evil govornments and installed ones that will benefit the people. This will be a great step not only in removing poverty, but also in peacefully spreading justice and freedom, as opposed to "regime change" at the end of a barrel.

Sardion, you are wrong in assuming that right wingers automatically discount or dislike Bono. I know several right-wing people who agree with quite a few of his points and respect him, however, they disagree with execution of such plans.

posted on May, 2 2005 @ 05:56 PM
If people knew anything about economics they would know that ending world poverty is not possible unless we all become communists. Unending wants and limited resources. enough said.

posted on May, 3 2005 @ 03:33 AM

Originally posted by Trustnone
If people knew anything about economics they would know that ending world poverty is not possible unless we all become communists. Unending wants and limited resources. enough said.

Why wouldn't a socialist system, with a graduated tax system that limits excessive wealth, and has a safety net that protects the poorest people with a minimum guaranteed quality of life. For example, all citizens are guaranteed a basic, healthy diet, safe shelter, and clothing. And the very wealthy are taxed in an ever increasing manner so that at some point, ie: $1 000 000 per month income, anything above that amount is tax.
I don't see why a system like that would not work.
Of course, it would have to be designed by people far more knowledgeable in macroeconomics than me.

posted on May, 3 2005 @ 03:35 AM
What if Mother Teresa had been made the ruler of the whole world 50 years ago, with total power? I have a hunch world poverty would have been ended very quickly.

posted on May, 3 2005 @ 04:40 PM

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf

Until laws are enacted preventing private companies from seizing private land from private citizens for the sake of devloping private enterprise, it will continue as an example of Capitalism with no regulation.

I have no idea what you're talking about, and honestly I don't think you do either. There are already laws to prevent private companies from seizing private land from private citizens.

I'm not seeing anything that backs up the claims you're making.

[edit on 3-5-2005 by spamandham]

[edit on 3-5-2005 by spamandham]

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