Make poverty permanent?

I chanced upon this article by Timesonline entitled Click, click, click. If only saving half the world from poverty were so simple from From a Singapore Angle.

If those behind Make Poverty History were serious about ending poverty they would be campaigning for property rights and the rule of law — for better governance, in other words. And they would campaign not to abolish free trade but to extend it — attacking, for instance, the EU Common Agricultural Policy and its immoral tariff barriers against the developing world. The EU spends €2.7 billion a year subsidising farmers to grow sugar beet; at the same time it imposes high tariff barriers against sugar imports from the developing world. And the EU’s agricultural tariffs average 20 per cent, rising to a peak of 250 per cent on certain products. The European market remains barely open to the majority of low-cost textiles from the developing world.

I guess this is very true. Government institutions and the legal framework are key for free trade to work and be advantageous to the consumer. It would most defintiely help people get out of poverty by allowing them access to financial and technological capital from around the world. Trade justice is a very European Welfare concept which does not go beyond solving the roots of poverty. And coupled with the problem of poverty is political instability, social chaos and etc, with makes such conditions favourable for economic development literally inapplicable.

But I would still champion the cause simply because it has the power to change the mindset of world leaders to prioritise this issue as a continuous global concern. This would allow active engagement with the Third World, and would be most advantageous to them, especially to Europe. With fears of mass migration from the African subcontinent to Europe in the next century, economic development in their own countries would only serve to make them more rooted to their countries. Make poverty history, while not so forseeable in the near future would leave an indeliable mark in making people more aware of the problems of eradicating reducing poverty in the world.


One Response to Make poverty permanent?

  1. ~fatma says:

    yes i agree..jeffrey sach’s book “the end of poverty” has a lot of emphasis on what the govt can do rather than what we as individuals can do. but i wonder if politicians are concerned enough to make a concerted effort to alleviate the poverty problems

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