The Global Poverty Machine, and What to Do About It (Week 09 Reflection)


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The way the world is set up today, poverty is extremely hard to escape. Strangely, poverty is harder to escape than it would be if we did nothing to help. Throughout human history, poverty has been regarded as not good, and rightly so. As a result, people have always made many attempts to help those suffering from poverty, or to free them from it. However, in modern times, the scale has grown so large that feedback loops have been created. The way aid is institutionalized causes the help given with good intentions to be fed as fuel into a global machine that creates and sustains poverty. This machine functions to sustain the poverty it was intended to eradicate because the aid given is far more than can be adequately handled, and so as a result, the distribution of resources is badly flawed, causing much more than needed to be poured into some places, while other places do not have enough. Also, the massive quantity of “free” goods being donated to these struggling areas absolutely destroys the local markets. The destruction of the local markets makes it impossible for the impoverished people living in the area to climb out of poverty, because even if they were or could be providing a good or service, without a market in which to do so, they have no place nor method of actually producing anything or staying in business. The reason this problem has not been addressed yet is a combination of it being a very labor-intensive problem to solve, as well as the fact that the people in charge of these aid organizations are profiting off of the situation continuing.

This is not good and needs to stop as soon as possible. I believe a way to do this would be to put a separate organization in charge of organizing international aid, but an organization that is completely unaffiliated with any of the countries involved and is also not affiliated with the aid organizations involved. I also believe that an international law should be instituted that no donation-based aid may last longer than one year and can only be reinstated if a disaster requiring aid strikes the same place again. With these regulations, if the first regulatory committee is unable to stop the market destroying effect of foreign aid, then the one year hard lined maximum will guarantee that even if the markets are destroyed, they will be able to recover without external meddling.


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