Re: ECON: Global progress...

Dan Hook (
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 14:39:44 -0400

> "The eradication of poverty must be at the centre
> of our development efforts into the 21st century.
> For as long as poverty is allowed to grow
> unchecked, child malnutrition, preventable disease
> and widespread illiteracy will continue to
> thrive," said Ms. Bellamy.

It is of course a nice sentiment if it is voluntary.
It is important to note that while there is certainly a lot that additional
money can do for these people, welfare cannot completely eliminate poverty.
In the Newsweek of May 5 there is an article titled "The Culture of
Poverty." It reviews a study called "What Money Can't Buy" by economist
Susan Mayer of the University of Chicago. It says that the poor (this is
the US we are talking about, not places with real poverty) are different
from the not poor in ways other than money. Specifically, diligence,
honesty, good health, and reliability are the key factors. A child must be
raised with parents that instill these values for them to have a good
chance in life. Sending welfare checks will not help assure that these
values are taught. I am not suggesting some plan of government
intervention to correct this problem. I am just saying that poverty cannot
be eradicated with the economy like it is. We will have to get to the
point where everyone is so rich, that those who lack the valuble values
mentioned above can live well through charitable organizations. That is,
supplying someone with constant nutritious food, medical care, and housing
is as cheap as giving them some change is today (raise this figure if your
a little more generous or willing to pay a little more to get them off the
streets and into their clean, well lit lower class housing).

Paragraphs will return next posting.
Dan Hook