Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 Post: Poverty - Why Does Poverty Matter?

Long time no see. I'm back (semi-permanently) to write about poverty for Blog Action Day 2008. The problem is: what to write about?

I'm sure there's thousands of other political blogs out there profiling Obama and McCain's respective positions on poverty. That would be boring.

I could write about the millions of things you could do to help fight poverty. Once again, I'm sure hundreds of other blogs are doing the same thing.

How about this: why does poverty matter? From a humanitarian position, of course it's terrible. But what about from a realist political position? Who gives a sh!t about the poor, homeless, and starving of the Earth?

There are plenty of reasons.

  • Poverty spreads disease, greatly undermining the effectiveness of local governments.
  • Poverty causes violence, also undermining the effectiveness of local governments.
  • People living in poverty are more vulnerable to extremist political persuasion, and feel less loyalty to a state unable to deliver basic services.
  • States with high rates of poverty are more likely to have malevolent dictatorships, threatening regional stability.

For these reasons conditions of poverty increase the risk of political violence, terrorism, war and genocide, and make those living in poverty vulnerable to human trafficking, internal displacement and exile as refugees. Countries suffering widespread poverty may experience loss of population, particularly in high-skilled professions, which may further undermine their ability to improve their situation.

Poverty is not just worry for "lefty commies"; it's a geopolitical concern for governments everywhere.



13 comments:

GDAEman said...

You might give some thought to the "cause" and "effect" relationships in your list. As we're taught in statistics, there can be a relationship without it necessarily being causal.

E.g., Kids that smoke have lower grades in a particular high school. Some might incorrectly conclude, smoking causes low grades. No. It just so happens that the kids who smoke also tended not to study much, which leads to lower grades. Smoking is just something they do while they're not studying (they could be having sex, in which case the false result would have been that sex leads to low grades).

Manuel Schuhe said...

" it's a geopolitical concern for governments everywhere" - Absolutly right.
But in many countries the problem is the culture. They behave in a wrong way to this issue. What can we do against that?

biblestudylessons said...

I necessarily do not agree with some of the reasons, you have given about effects of poverty. Especially regarding violence. Poverty can not be equated with violence and extreme political views. There are many more factors affecting their positions. Just an honest review. Nice analysis though.

Mieszkania Gryfino said...

Violence is the worst effect of poverty. Starving people are nothing compared to that. You can help people who don't have anything to eat. You can't help people who are used to killing each other for food since they were 8.

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