I am watching the wonderful video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pktOXJr1vOQ

Here are some thoughts … may be right, may be wrong, may be immature.

Millions of people all over the world are dependent on structures and systems hundreds of kilometers away from where they live for basic necessities. This is the main cause for poverty. The only way to solve the problem of poverty is to decentralize and localize creation of wealth and value addition.

The poverty in the world today is the remnant of the devastation created by the colonizing powers like Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, French and British. The devastation is continuing today in the form of capitalism and multinational corporations. Countries half way across the globe were looted of their gold, silver and tin. Food crops were replaced by cash crops. Cash crops were exported and food was imported. Raw materials were exported to the colonizing country and finished products were imported, even for basic necessities like clothing. This model, which makes the rich richer and poor poorer is followed by multinational companies across the world and by corporates within the country.

Every business should ask this question: “Is the way that the product is developed, services offered and the business done make the rich richer and the poor poorer, or does it tend to make the gap narrower?” If every effort is made to make the gap between countries and between people narrower, then it is an ethical business. Otherwise, it is not.

The basic necessities of life like simple food, primary health care, quality education from 5 years to 17 years, water for drinking, washing and agriculture, materials and technology for construction of houses, financial institutions that give loan, employment round the year, etc should be available within 100 kilometers of every person. Any person anywhere in the world should be able to live based on food, medicines, water, building material and schools completely procured and produced within 100 kilometers. A person may have to go beyond 100 kilometers or procure from beyond 100 kilometers for luxury food items, higher education, fancy construction material, luxury items like cars, TV, mobile, etc.

Similarly, local language, local myths and legends, local religions, local literature, local drama troupes, and other local art forms should be promoted. Of course, customs which divide people, customs which do not uphold the dignity of every person, etc should be reformed. But the local cultural diversity should be preserved as a living human legacy and not as a dead museum piece of the past.

Local support systems like families, extended families, communities, cooperative societies, etc., that can collectively take care of people who are facing tough times by supporting each other at a local level are always more accessible by everyone than big banks, insurance companies, orphanages, old age homes, etc.

More number of children and poverty almost go hand in hand. As the number of children go up, the attention given to their health, education, care, etc go down. This creates a generation of people of less quality. But lone children have other attitude problems. Good schooling and extended families living close together give a better environment for children to grow into better adults intellectually and emotionally.

Poverty can be ended. The solution is decentralized administration and decision making, developing local economies at village level and empowering people at the lowest level. Raw materials should not be moved. As much as possible, finished products should be developed as close to the place where raw materials are produced. This will improve the local economy. No part of the world should entirely depend on food and water from beyond 100 kilometers. This basic empowerment will make people stand on their own legs.


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2 Responses to Poverty

  1. Sankhdip says:

    Whether Marxism or communism is answer to poverty? The theory is wonderful. There should be balance, but why the system fails in Soviet and running successfully in China? However there is presence of poverty even in China.

    • gokulmuthu says:

      Dear Sankhdipji,

      There will always be rich people and not-so-rich people. The difference will be there and should be there. However, the not-so-rich people should not lack the basic requirements of food, health, education, employment and social status. This can be achieved if the rich people can slightly control their greed and follow some basic morality in life. It is not wrong to be rich or even greedy. But it is wrong to be too greedy, that morality (satya and ahimsa) is violated. Wherever this is violated, poverty (lack of basic requirements to some people of the society) will be the result.

      With regards.

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