Daniel Halliday
Oct 15 · Last update 2 mo. ago.
What stands in the way of alleviating poverty worldwide and what can be done about this?
The 20th century oversaw a period of rapid reduction in poverty, but currently 760 million people still live on less than $1.90 a day. What challenges face societies as they try and lift everyone out of poverty, and what solutions are possible?
Stats of Viewpoints
Healthcare
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Economic development
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Investment in human capital and education
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Adequate government investment in social welfare schemes
1 agrees
0 disagrees
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Healthcare

There is an undeniable link between poverty and healthcare with the correlation being higher in countries with no national healthcare system in place. Taking the burden and expense of healthcare out of the hands of the most poverty stricken, by providing some form of universal healthcare system could go some way to help alleviate poverty in some countries. The healthcare situation is so bad in the United States that 4% of all bankruptcies are caused by medical debts that are so huge the individual is unable to pay back.

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Economic development

Corruption and the lack of economic development breeds greater poverty for the whole of society. Extreme poverty is usually dealt with on the large scale through international aid, that is the donation of money to poorer countries. However international aid has been criticised by economists such as James Shikwati and William Easterly for feeding corruption, disrupting the local economies and destroying incentives. Arguably if a countries economy is doing well and corruption is minimised, poverty would naturally be alleviated as a consequence. This makes investments and pro-trade policy a lot more effective than aid, and means that economic development is a more powerful tool than donations in the fight against poverty.

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Investment in human capital and education

The end goal when tackling poverty is to develop a society that are self-sufficient and can survive from their earnings and can sustain themselves to earn. A society that is educated can on average secure better jobs with better pay, and are more likely to save assets to outlast potential economic downturns. The burden of nationwide education ultimately falls in the hands of governments, with standards and investment dictated by them.

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Adequate government investment in social welfare schemes

Undoubtedly states that provide an adequate welfare system for their citizens maximise the chances of reducing poverty in their country. Taiwan is a good example of this, as following the development and expansion of a state welfare since the 1960’s, poverty has fallen to 1.5%, one of the lowest in Asia according to a CIA survey. Although Taiwan faces new challenges in recent years as its economy shrinks, it still clearly displays the power an effective welfare system has on poverty.

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