Post 1 – Poverty in our Future

I always used to think of poverty as not having a lot of money in your pocket but I have learned poverty is so much more than that. According to Jacqueline Novogratz poverty is a condition of choice and lack of freedom. There are four billion people who make less than four dollars a day but poverty is not just a lack of money it is a lack of having opportunity. In her TED talk speaks about how the poverty wasn’t so bad it is the humiliation people go through who live in it. She speaks a strong message about understanding people and the opportunities that are taken away from people who live in poverty. People want to be able to solve their own problems and they don’t just want hand outs so we need to find ways to help them help themselves basically. Jacqueline says to make poverty history we will need to build business models that matter that are scalable and that work with people all over the developing worlds. People who are poor will help themselves and make smart decisions if you give them the opportunity.

Sustainable development is a method for solving global problems. It is a way to understand the world’s complex interactions between the economic, social, environmental, and political systems. As the population on our planet sky rockets to around 7.2 billion the sustainable development goals will guide the worlds economic diplomacy in the up coming generation. It helps guide the way for economic and social development while combating issues such as climate change, extreme poverty, and environmental health. Nothing good will come from cutting government spending promoted by the World Bank and IMF, which is also known as neo-liberalism. Some of the negative impacts of this are increasing numbers of population falling into poverty, greater mortality rates, and a decline in life expectancy.

The MDGs goals are to eliminate the dimensions of extreme poverty along with new challenges such as environmental issues, hasty spread of diseases and the growing number of countries with internal poverty challenges. The bench players are Bush and the World Bank in this case. McArthur criticizes Bush because he refused to directly engage with the MDGs in early years because his administration viewed them as “UN-dictated aid quotas”. Because of Bush’s late actions the United Stated missed out on an opportunity to develop and raise awareness to international kindness. The World Bank also missed out during early years due to lack of assistance. The author explained that the World Bank should have done a better job and “have helped poor countries assess how they could have achieve the MDGs and sounded the alarm about donor financing gaps”.

In the article “How to Help Poor Countries”, efforts are discussed about giving aid to poor counties. There is numerical evidence that shows a connection between aid and financial growth. Increasing assistance to countries facing poverty can have potential to be a great thing but making sure they know how to handle the money is key. The countries receiving the aid should understand how to use the money wisely therefore need a leader who knows how to deal with the money even with all of the restrictions put on it. There is potential for problems such as when the recipients become overwhelmed by multiple donors giving aid for multiple projects, these factors can cause confusion and a lack of focus. Consequently the aid is only as good as the ability of the countries economy and government is at using it productively.

Jeffrey Sachs, The Age of Sustainable Development
John W. McArthur, Own the Goals
Birdstall et al, How to Help Poor Countries


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