This is not so far wrong... I know of a case of a computer engineer, PhD from Purdue University, who took a year to find another job after he was laid off from his previous position. I too was laid off from my previous company because they were going through economic difficulties... it took me 4 months to find a job. In discussion the issue with experts, I found that someone with my quallifications, PhD in computer science, 20+ years of experience, excellent resume, takes on average 6 to 8 months to find a new position. That's a long time between pay checks... I can tell ya...
I have a master's in software engineering and considered going for a doctorate. However, the computer field is kind of funny. Sometimes, having a Ph.D can work against you in getting a job. Apparently, some employers believe that makes you overqualified (which I read as meaning you're a potential threat to their jobs).
Relative poverty will probably always be with us barring some disasterous "spread the misery" scheme that serves to tear everyone down instead of allowing individuals to build themselves up. Here in the US, the poor have access to a host of services that would make them appear wealthy by the standards of many "developing nations" with things like cars, TVs, and so much food that obesity is a major health concern.
Several years ago, I read a report that if someone was on welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the other routine programs, they'd need to get a job paying about $15-19 an hour (depending on the state) just to break even. Given that many of these people don't have a lot of job skills, they don't have much of a chance at earning that kind of salary so they have a big incentive to stay on welfare. I've seen it up close and personal. The long term effects are devastating. I went to college in a poor county where some kids came from 3rd, 4th, or even 5th generation welfare families. A high percentage of those kids' life plan was to drop out of school at age 16 and get on welfare themselves. That was over 20 years ago, so there's probably some 6th and even perhaps 7th generation families by now.
It could still be factually true and plainly evident that their choices lead to poverty. But those are choices made because they will forever be unintelligent. They'd probably choose to be intelligent people making wiser decisions in life if that was a possibility.
I´d also say that a person trying to find out causes of poverty from a US-centric POV will never understand poverty. This talk about choices hold true only in the US and Europe, if so.
OK guys. Lets not kill the discussion.
Argos, I understand what you mean. There are obviously different causes for poverty in different areas of the world. In western countries it seems most causes are bad life choices. I don't think if you have gotten a degree you would go into extreme poverty (no food/shelter) in these countries. Most homeless people have chosen to live that way.
But in other places this is different. Please note my discussion is based on extreme types of poverty.
These sorts of extremes of poverty are mostly found in Africa, south america and middle east . This map shows percentage of poverty below the poverty line.Originally Posted by Wikipedia-Poverty
I'm curious to know the reasons for poverty in these areas and if they can be avoided. Most of the reasons I can think of are:
* Unstable economy with high inflation, wars and tyrannical leadership in the middle east
* Arid soil, widespread disease, Biological disasters, lack of infrastructure and education, civil wars and tyrannical leadership in Africa
I understand this is a topic which could well go into political discussion much to the dislike of the moderators so kindly avoid going there.
Most of the reasons listed (and please add more) can be solved. I like to think of the earth as the base line of which provides all the material necessary for life. So as long as there is a good earth and resources in an area I do not see why it cannot hold a thriving population. Of course this view may be too general.
More complex political reasons may then be the cause of poverty. We could compare North and South Korea (both having the same kind of land, area and people) being so much different in wealth. Although bear in mind South Korea has nearly twice the population. Some Facts:
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
- Total $22.85 billion (85th)
- Per capita $1,007 (149th)
GDP (PPP) 2006 estimate
- Total $1.196 trillion (11th)
- Per capita $24,500 (34th)
I think that is a striking difference. Nearly 24 times the GDP per capita is significant. It just goes to show that things are more political and leadership related rather than land and resources related.
What do you think?
Order of Kilopi
OK, TRS. We´re in agreement.
Poverty and economic development is something I'm interested in, but I'm not sure what I can offer to this disscussion. If anyone has any specific questions I can try to give my take on them but I'd like to stick to the more practical side of things than the philosophical side.
You are right when you refer to 'economic systems', because poverty is indeed a systemic problem. It´s a result of the organization of society as a whole. To talk about personal choices is to take the discussion to the realm of morality.
To tackle the questions asked in the original post, "Does absolute poverty have to exist?" No it doesn't. This can be clearly seen when you look at various countries that have more or less eliminated absolute poverty.
Definitely. And when you look at the percentage of the world's population that was living without reliable food supply, access to safe water or health care it is obvious that the world has made huge advances in this area, with much of the improvement in India and China. But even the Middle-East, an area that is often in the news and not for good reasons, has shown an increase in average life expectancy from about 48 years in 1962 to 69 years in 2002.Another issue is the basic requirements of life such as food, water and suitable shelter with sanitation as well access health care. Is it possible to eliminate this type of deficiency and have virtually everyone access these basic requirements?
No it doesn't work that way. There is nothing that obligates some people to live in absolute poverty. There is no reason why some people being rich requires some people to be poor (unless you are getting into an inflexible relative definition of poverty). Eliminating poverty contributes to economic growth. Think of how little Japan contributed to the world economy in the 1950's and how much it contributed after becoming wealthier.Or does the world work so that there always has to be some living in poverty and a small percentage living in luxury?
A logical way to end this perverse incentive is to index welfare and other benefits to one's work income. If one's work income increases (whether from zero or from other baseline), government benefits would not stop abruptly, but would smoothly decrease so that one's overall income would increase. Two problems with that idea are a) it requires much finer distinction between individual situations than any government agency was ever capable of, and b) it threatens the livelyhood of welfare agencies. To illustrate the latter point, my father (an architect) was once involved in designing a housing project. He divided the cost of the project by the number of families it were to house, and found it costs $45,000 per family. He asked the managing state agency, only half-jokingly: "Why don't we just give these people $45,000 apiece, under condition that they use it as a downpayment on a house?" (In early 80's Albany, NY $45K was easily half the price of a house.)
Needless to say, his suggestion was ignored -- not in the least because of all the people whose salaries were paid by these "$45K apiece" (himself included), and who most certainly were not going to lose their jobs for the sake of welfare recipients getting their own (as opposed to government) homes.
Man, this discussion is right up my alley, but I've been away from the boards due to work. At least I'll have an interesting read when I get more than 5 minutes to check in.
I seem to remember a Guiness Book stating that folks with higher IQs were often underemployed to to having to go through the motions that 'to them were obvious."
But the underemployment gives them more time to rotate three-dimensional objects in their minds, which is what such intelligent people tend to spend their time doing.
"Avoidable or inevitable" great assertion, but on which I can prefix my remark, I am in jumble".
“Bad cycle”: poor availability of the resources = least chances of growth =lower the standards of life = bad impression on the required needs =suffering from the severe health problem = not participating their share in the total growth of economy = economic imbalance =lower the development rate =slower the rate of returns from the economy, stagnant position occurs and no one develops thoroughly. This is a bad cycle.
Thank you radiation specialist for the topic, this topic is so much important. the topic is related with the field of "Socio-economic" theories. Before starting my point I will tilt towards the education system of this world, because main cause in earning less is "poor education". Why this is so, because the people are not in a position to take a higher education due to the economic crunch, and secondly why this is so only because what they are earning or doing a job under "disguised unemployment" which is a continuous process in the rural parts of the world.
The number of people in this world are on "only hand to mouth" status, what does it mean, means they earn today and in the evening they eat their today's bread, later they think about tomorrow. The population rise gave this thing a very bad shape, people do not think that growing population of this world is also inviting some dangers infront of them, infact birthing is right of every one on this earth, but only the problem of facing the later problems about food, water, shelter, education, employment.
What today everyone is expecting on the earth, that they want to receive all types of contentment of this world, they are doing imitation of others in making the things possible, if the same is not possible for them they are snatching from one to other hand. Why this situation is coming slowly only because of severe unemployment problem occurring in this world.
The remedy over this situation is 1. Controlling the population growth, 2.proper management of world funds diverting into "total removal of poverty problem. Below poverty line people are not the problem for this world, but only the problem is "in thinking that how they are badly living in such circumstances where they even can not meet to feed their children properly".
When we look at this scenario that why the poverty problem is growing like a "skyrocketing prices", we need to think and research into it. This sector is not receiving a proper assistance. Or they are not getting direct help, or they are not in a position to upgrade themselves by evolving into the "proper position" or they are least ambitious, or they do not live the higher standards only because of laziness and they are thinking if they are upgrade thoroughly they will not receive any sort of assistance eighter by financial mode or by the food supply to them.
Or they require readymade supplement all the time to live their life without any kind of physical exercise, or exertion. They are growing and making the new problems for this highly growing world. Our implementation should be in the proper way to manage their problems with the new techniques use each time by educating them properly, by limited assistance, by giving them social support to grow and uplift, there are several procedures to overcome on this poverty problem, but the question will rise "from where to start". If we are living in the society, we have to make first the surveys that how many poverty line people requires really "assistance", then do a list of them, later work on the list and see the results quarterly or annually, how they upgrade by giving them a financial assistance.
In the globalization process, during different rounds of talking before entering in to the GATT (general agreement on trade and tariff). The different countries can also take part by admitting these class into their overall trade, otherwise what will happen, again the barter trade practice will take birth (what is this barter trade practice "you give me 2 barrel oil, I will give you 1 silver coin), the practice of the commodities in making the useful mutual transactions to meet the needs, this is called as "barter trade".
Your topic having many great things and it need hundreds of paragraphs to write, but here the space is a problem.
Until the industrial revolution about 200 years ago, nearly all human societies operated in "Malthusian" mode (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Malthus), which meant that the bulk of society expanded to the maximum extent to consume the resources available to them. In other words, Malthusian societies expand to maximise poverty subject to the survival constraint, with only a core elite escaping that fate. Indeed, the best time to be a peasant in Europe in the period between the Roman Empire and the Industrial Revolution was immediately after the Black Death, which killed off so many people that there was temporarily an excess of resources for the remaining population, and the wages of labour increased through shortage. Even in apparently wealthy 18th century societies such as Britain, the material comfort of the peasanty remained just as limited as it had been in the Iron Age. Productivity growth merely facilitated population growth.
The wealthy nations escaped the Malthusian poverty trap for reasons explained in the new book "A Farewell to Alms: A Brief Economic History of the World" by Greg Clark. Much of Africa remains in the Malthusian poverty trap. Essentially, saving and investment (eg in education, business and property) were the basis of wealth of the non-poor, and people became able to aspire to that, and the culture of non-poor behaviours came to dominate the culture of the poor. Places like India and China have a dual society where the non-poor core is now much expanded, but the bulk of society remains in the Malthusian poverty trap.
Lets imagine 30-40 years hence when an energy
crunch is well esablished. Aviation is a fond
memory with only the ultra rich or politicians
using aircraft. Cars are parked up most of the
time with ocasional outings. Governments have
organised things as well as they can to keep
people occupied and keep some sort of progress
going. Folks grow vegetables for themselves
and the local market. People tend to stay in
their own locality. I can barely imagine what
might happen. But there might eventually be a
great outbreak of happiness. Folks will not
feel they are losing out with all the fun
being had elsewhere. Always an illusion but
kept going by media. I wonder, I wonder!
I don't remember who said this: "Civilization is only three meals away from barbarism".
And yet there is plenty of poverty in Colombia...The network maps show that economies tend to develop through closely related products. A country such as Colombia makes products that are well connected on the network, and so there are plenty of opportunities for private firms to move in to, provided other parts of the business climate allow it.
If by eliminating poverty one means creating a world in which all ~6.5 billion of us consume at the level of Americans, then eliminating poverty would be impossible. The reason is simple: it would take the resources of serveral planet Earth's for the entire human population to live like Americans. This is a sign that we better reevaluate, soon, the assumption that economic growth and endless consumption of wasteful consumer goods is a good thing for humanity or for the creatures with whom we share the planet. To see why the popular notion of economic growth cannot be sustained please note the following example: if the housing market kept expanding at the current rate in not too long (I forget the exact figure) there would be no land on Earth left to build houses on!
If by eliminating poverty one means creating a world where all ~6.4 billion of us has access the clean water, decent health care, education, food, and clean environment, then eliminating poverty is surely possible. Mixed capitalist/socialist green energy run societies appear to be the best way to bring about this future.
However, possible and likely are two very different things, as most of us are keenly aware. Greed is a major factor impeding a the creation of a just, peaceful, and sustainable world. The big question facing us is this: will our instinct to be cooperative and compassionate overcome our instinct to be greedy and competitive before it is too late?
This is only correct if six billion plus people of the world attempt to consume resources in the same way that the people of the United States currently consume rescources. For example currently the U.S. rans its transportation system almost entirely on oil, but I'm sure the average person in Zimbabwe won't be running her car off oil in the year 2030. With Chinese levels of economic growth Zimbabwe could be as rich as the United States in 40 years.If by eliminating poverty one means creating a world in which all ~6.5 billion of us consume at the level of Americans, then eliminating poverty would be impossible.
EDIT: Better make that 30+ years.
Last edited by Ronald Brak; 2007-Sep-30 at 07:50 AM.
I don't see an energy crisis in the developing world. I do see nations that will want to increase their energy consumption and won't use oil to do that as it will be too expensive. And I live in a developed nation and as far as I am aware we're not keeping any developing nations down. Well one yes, but let's not talk about that.I think its a bit naive to assume we will have solved the energy crisis by the time the developing nations (the ones that the developed world can't successfully keep down at least) reach western standards of living.
uptill it was avoidable, the problems persists in the early years when the population explosion was to happen, later the poverty become so much severe, we know there are different causes about it, to uplift the poverty line there is huge need in making proper economic planning, food, shelter, clothes are the primary needs of the humanbeing.
In the ancient times when the population growth rate was slower the severity was also declined, but due to uneducation the human being expands in millions. On earth there are natural resources are bigger, uptil the survival is just making with a good sense. But the proper management and utilization of such resources must be a top agenda to work on.
This topic is quite embrassing and have good background of multidimensional aspects of understanding the realities of the poverty problems. Any restrictions are depends upon the efforts made to restricts
Poverty is inevitable As long as wealth is unevenly distributed among humanity there will always be the exceedingly poor and the egregiously wealthy.
My theory regarding this phenomena is that it is centered on the concept of entitlement. Folks who are rich because they're living off the spoils of three years of work from twenty years ago believe they're entitled to the rewards of their former labor allowing them to tour the links with Brad and Chad then go home to seduce their non-English speaking house servants.
Yet redistributing wealth may not be beneficial for the economically disadvantaged because they might spend it faster than it was spent in Brewster's Millions without the subsequent jackpot nor would it be used to elevate their station through education or pursuing newfound opportunities. The rich would resent everyone and decide not to continue making money until everyone thought just. like. them
Obviously I'm a bit pessimistic but I couch it in my false belief that I am a realist and lending money to high-risk cliients every day. Also getting off-topic yet remaining tangential (i hope) charities tend to be a joke because most times the beneficiaries are lucky if they see 10¢ from every dollar given to that organization As it stands the human species gets what it deserves because right now capitalism works while communism has failed and socialism is being really earnest but just spins its wheels trying to engage both aspects of capitalism and communism.
All IMHO (fwiw), email me for your complimentary grain of salt
sorry i couldn't help myself, i don't want to be b&
Originally Posted by folkhemmet
That is a good point. I think it would take more time for powerful people to realize that they can sustain power without resorting to evil actions. The big cooperations are clearly failing at it. Google is an example which was built upon "Not doing Evil" yet their profitable deals with certain countries over certain issues seems to indicate otherwise.
Could you explain about that? It would be interesting to learn more about the poverty in India and about the consequences that make it so.Originally Posted by suntrack2