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Submitted by Anonymous on
There isn't likely to ever be an absolute end to poverty, in Africa or elsewhere. Granted, it's a maudlin statement to make, but fairly realistic - given that in the industrialized countries there exists income disparity far greater than in the developing countries. (Although I object to the term "developing" - it implies that the universal ideal is an industrialized economy which assumes one particular life way is superior to others, which smacks of arrogance and eurocentrism, but then again, it's semantics.) Take for instance, the USA - Americans like to assume that they are the creme de la creme of the world, in just about every area. (Obviously not in humility.) Now the median income (GDP per cap) of the USA is above $40,000 (USD), and between 12 and 17% live below the poverty line (30 - 40 million people) of about $10,000 per year for an individual, and roughly 60% of Americans will fall below that threshold at one point in their lifetime. (It's called college, at least for some.) However, the number of millionaires and billionaires have grown exponentially over the last 40 years, whilst the median salary and purchasing power of the dollar has fallen dramatically. For instance, the average salary of a bachelor's degree holding university graduate was roughly $40,000 in the 1970s - it is the same today - 30 years later. Most occupy the societal rung of the working poor - the Proletariat. The US is beginning to see a dramatic rise in microfinanciers, such as KIVA, which is normally thought to be a realm of impoverished countries. Many working poor do not have access, or a dearth of access to medical care - among a lack of other essential services, and urban working poor have to wait incredible amounts of time to get emergency services, such as police protection, fire or emergency services - while though these services are simply unavailable in the "Third World" they are hampered in impoverished urban areas. So while the idea is that growth, or industrial and therefore economic growth, is something that does need to be stimulated in developing nations, the end result is still the wealth of resources concentrates into the hands of the few, and the bulk of the taxes which fund the legislative, executive, and judicial government branches come from the very people who the economic and governmental systems tend to favor the least. I don't think that's an idea that needs any more proliferation.