by John Hawkins | January 20, 2012 12:12 pm
The scope and scale of world poverty is titanic. In fact, the majority of the world could be fairly considered desperately poor by 1st world standards.
So what do we do about it?
Some people say we should forgive the debt of third world nations. Well we certainly can do that, but you have to understand that will pretty much be the end of significant loans to third world nations. That’s because the nations, banks, businesses, etc, that give out loans are doing it to make money. No money =’s no more loans.
Others say the 1st world needs to give a lot more money to poor nations. Well there are two problems with this.
First off, the overwhelming majority of poor nations are run by tinpot dictators, Islamo-fascists, or corrupt and wasteful communist regimes. So large portions of the money given to these nations goes down a rathole, into a Swiss bank account, or is used to make “El Presidente” a new palace.
The other thing to consider is that the 1st world can never give enough charity to get these nations back on their feet. To pull Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, etc, out of poverty will cost trillions of dollars EVERY YEAR because these nations can’t keep their heads above water without massive foreign subsidies. There’s no way that the industrialized world could, would, or should, pump that kind of money into the third world.
So what’s the solution? Globalization. Introducing business capital into third world nations gives a huge boost to their local economies. Furthermore, the things that spring up around foreign businesses in third world nations like roads, airports, and reliable power and communications help bring in new business as well as help the residents of those poor nations.
Now people who are against globalization will tell you that these people are being exploited because they’re not making $10 an hour with extensive benefits like the workers in the 1st world. Well of course they’re not going to make that kind of money. Going to foreign nations means dealing with language barriers, excessive transportation costs, difficulty in getting needed supplies, etc, etc. So the only reason any business would ever go to a third world country is for cheap labor or cheap materials.
Furthermore, these workers don’t have guns to their heads. They work for businesses because it’s the only job available or because it’s a better job than they could get elsewhere. You think paying a worker 20 cents an hour is exploitation? Not if the other options are either making 5 cents an hour working for a local business or being unemployed. It’s all relative to the nation you’re in. That’s the reality that anti-globalization protestors just can’t understand.
We have to understand that charity and debt relief alone will NEVER come close to pulling poor nations out of poverty. Only free enterprise and globalization can help these nations end the cycle of endless poverty and despair that they’re trapped in.
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