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The Forum > Article Comments > Our generationís choice > Comments

Our generationís choice : Comments

By Andrew Hewett, published 17/11/2006

Overcoming extreme poverty is not simply our generationís challenge - it is our generationís choice. This weekend, it is the G-20ís choice.

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Andrew, I have posted this information before but here it is again: between 1950 and 1985 the West transferred to the Third World over US$2 trillion. That sum of money (US$2 trillion) was enough to purchase all the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange PLUS the entire American farm system.

It's only about a week or so that Andrew Bartlett of the Democrats suggested that our farmers, in trying to make a living on the land, should be told to toss it in and further funding was money wasted. Maybe his principle applies here. In spite of vast sums of money spent trying to help these people our efforst have been wasted.

I would say that the enemy is not poverty. The enemy is the typical esurient despot who is in charge of some of these desperate countries gripped by poverty.
Posted by Sage, Friday, 17 November 2006 1:58:38 PM
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I often wonder what our obsession is with helping the poor in countries, which are so far away that they would be totally invisible to us were it not for the all seeing eye of the modern media/celebrity millionaires, when we have a rather large poverty problem on our doorstep.

I'm sorry, and my heart goes out to the people in those countries who are in these awful situations, but I can't see any justification for helping them, when we haven't sorted our domestic issues first.

Just throwing money at them will create more Saddam's & Osama's, as it's inevitable a dominant power will come to the fore when there is a profit to be had.

I don't get the impression that our help is appreciated either, as it seems whenever we go in to help (Indonesia & Afghanistan are cases in point), that all the problems the locals have (which are more often than not of their own making) are then blamed on the west because we didn't help enough, or we had an influence over this dictator, or that warlord who was stealing the money.
Just doesn't seem like a good investment, since the money is inevitably wasted, and rarely makes it to those most in need. We should learn from past mistakes, that we need to leave these people to their own devices, and if a few or many die, then it just isn't our problem to fix. Also, there's something to be said for natural selection. Some are lucky & some aren't in terms of where they're born & who their parents are (I consider myself incredibly lucky btw), and this unfortunately often determines whether one lives or dies. The west should apply the law of the jungle & stop with the bleeding heart leftisms.
Posted by Stomont, Friday, 17 November 2006 3:13:55 PM
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It is truly sad when we cannot see compassion enough in ourselves to help others less fortunate.

I'm not a great fan of self-promoters (e.g. Geldof or Bono). But one point that really hit me between the eyes in Geldof's series on the ABC was that the west TOTALLY controls exports from the third world via the WTO. This IS a global cartel which dictates to any producing country the price at which goods will be traded.

So. The example he gave was Coca beans (which we know as cocoa and is used in chocolate in the west). The WTO will ONLY buy raw, harvested beans, not value added powder (for which the producer could obtain a bit higher price). The WTO traps the producer into a price at which THEY will screw them down to, with no hope of developing any value added exports. This, to me looks like economic imperialism at its worst and can only be created by a global cartel!

What price the economic freedoms of the west?
Posted by FU2, Friday, 17 November 2006 3:42:25 PM
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Iím more than happy with the donations that I have made to select NGOís that deliver real outcomes where they needed.

Bono might be able to crank out a snappy tune but I get offended when Australiaís effort to tackle poverty is considered inferior to European contributions.

Economic empowerment of third world countries is a more viable solution to poverty in the long term.

European Union faming subsidies especially to countries such as Bonoís native Ireland are appalling, inefficient and especially unfair to the third world.

If Bono the great bothered to take on the reduction and removal of EU farming subsidies then we really could progress along the path to making poverty history.

Conspicuous compassion displayed through passive donations at rock and roll concerts whilst ignoring the real trade inequities facing the third world are more likely to just make poverty perpetual.
Posted by jimbo, Friday, 17 November 2006 3:57:47 PM
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In an era of unparalleled COMMODITY based economic activity, its such a pity that one commodity lacking in the STOPG20 protest and even the article in question here is.... INSIGHT.
The most abundant commodity evident is "sentimental naivity".

Meaningless sloguns like
-'We must dig deeper'
-'we must do more'
-'Lets halve poverty'

etc.. are evidence of the bankruptcy of most organizations which seek to address the issues.

They are targeting the wrong things.

3rd world countries are POOR....why ? 2 reasons.

1/ Corruption of Local Nobility who look after their own interests b4 the nation.
2/ The Corrupting Influence of Multi Nationals who are complicit in point 1

Solution ? aah.. I've got it.. form a 'noise band', blow whistles, be disobedient little brats (supported by their parents or the dole)

What a load of infantile stupidity !

ROOT CAUSES.

a) 2 have been mentioned above.
b) MultiNationals seeking cheap labor and/or manufactured goods.
c) Point b above is resulting in outsourcing to India and China.
d) Non democratic countries such as China calling the tune in a big way and basing its economy on forced low/slave labor rates.

It could be argued that the 'greedy multinationals' are in fact HELPing the less developed nations by giving them the jobs of Australians and Americans etc.

But still, the root cause is human corruption and greed.
This coupled with the economic power of China with its low labor costs, is the real cause.

REAL SOLUTION/TARGET.
1/ Dismantle Corrupt Political regimes in 3rd world countries.
2/ Force China to pay a living wage to is workers.

Anything else is simply dreamland
Posted by BOAZ_David, Friday, 17 November 2006 7:39:13 PM
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CALL FOR ACTION.

The STOPG20 protest is being coordinated by the Green Left weekly and many leftist socialist groups. I understand there are some Christian groups too, but dont know much about them.

AIM FOR THE REAL TARGET.

They should divide their protest and equally assemble outside the CHINESE CONSULATE (in ACT most likely)and harangue them for their despicable, inhuman mistreatment of working people.

So, why does the GLW and STOPG20 do this ? Simple. they are using the protest simply to advance a socialist alternative to capitalism, which has never worked and never will while humans remain unrenewed in mind and heart.

SOCIALISM will bankrupt the nation.
CAPITALISM will bankrupt the resources.

BIBLICAL APPROACH.

It's really quite simple.

1/ Love God first
2/ Love your neighbour as yourself.

All human conflict and reasons for poverty can be resolved by these 2 values.

Capitalism

will be constrained by values of sustainability, compassion and accountablity.

Socialism

will reject its amoral atheistic valueless approach to society and adopt more realistic measures based on the true nature of people. It will provide for aspirational fulfillment rather than collective dumbing down of the whole socieity to the lowest common proletariat denominator.
Posted by BOAZ_David, Friday, 17 November 2006 7:48:01 PM
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