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Who is responsible for Third World poverty?

MiamiFlorida

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Is it our fault the Third World is underdeveloped?
 

nkgupta80

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third-world poverty can be attributed to too many factors to say that it is just our fault. Colonialism had a lot to do with the current affliction of poverty in these countries. The colonial powers left , otherwise stable, societies in ruins. Of course it goes both ways in that some local leaders in those afflicted regions would succumb to greed and give themselves up to colonial rule. Bad agricultural practices in those areas (especially africa) have lead to further problems in progress.

Today corporatism is in many ways seen as the next mode of imperialism.
 

MiamiFlorida

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nkgupta80 said:
third-world poverty can be attributed to too many factors to say that it is just our fault. Colonialism had a lot to do with the current affliction of poverty in these countries. The colonial powers left , otherwise stable, societies in ruins. Of course it goes both ways in that some local leaders in those afflicted regions would succumb to greed and give themselves up to colonial rule. Bad agricultural practices in those areas (especially africa) have lead to further problems in progress.

Today corporatism is in many ways seen as the next mode of imperialism.
Colonialism can be used as a crutch for awhile, but many of these countries broke free of colonialism 200 years ago. When was the last time Argentina was governed by a foreign power?
 

nkgupta80

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True, and Argentina has faired much better than other latin american countries that haven't broken free. Standard of living over there is comparably higher, and most of their problems can be contributed more to their corrupt government.

BTW, most of the colonies didn't break away 200 years ago... only the US and a few other countries did..Remember WWI and WWII was when the colonial powers lost their grasp of the colonies. Even today, corporations from these governments have a lot of influence in these countries.
 

nkgupta80

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the borders themselves established by the imperialist powers, have caused most of the tribalistic/ethnic wars in Africa and the Mid-east, this in itself is the source of many ongoing problems over there.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
BTW, most of the colonies didn't break away 200 years ago... only the US and a few other countries did..
Yeah. Haiti and Mexico were pretty early, and they haven't exactly been through good times. Then again - and I'm not as familiar with the history as I should be - hasn't there been all sorts of intervention in Haiti.

Puerto Rico's got deal, though. Of course, there's a difference between their commonwealth status and colonialism.
 

MiamiFlorida

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nkgupta80 said:
True, and Argentina has faired much better than other latin american countries that haven't broken free. Standard of living over there is comparably higher, and most of their problems can be contributed more to their corrupt government.

BTW, most of the colonies didn't break away 200 years ago... only the US and a few other countries did..Remember WWI and WWII was when the colonial powers lost their grasp of the colonies. Even today, corporations from these governments have a lot of influence in these countries.
Between 1806 and 1826 almost all of Latin America became independent. (Haiti in 1804.) not 100 or 140 years years later as you suggest.

In developed countries they say that man's best friend is the dog. In the Third World, it's the scapegoat. Why? Because of their obstinate perception that the causes of people's misery is the capitalist system, the market economy, and of course, the perfidious corporations....especially if they are American.

The justifications are endless and they all point in the same direction: Us. They are repeated in university classrooms, used in political speeches, read in newspapers and preached by religious leaders.

Without a market economy and democracy the Third World doesn't have a prayer. I've told you that before. The right to create private enterprise and own property is not enough. In Latin America private enterprise and property owners have always been around.
 

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Connecticutter said:
Yeah. Haiti and Mexico were pretty early, and they haven't exactly been through good times. Then again - and I'm not as familiar with the history as I should be - hasn't there been all sorts of intervention in Haiti.

Puerto Rico's got deal, though. Of course, there's a difference between their commonwealth status and colonialism.

Theoretically, Swiss and Paraguayan societies subscribe to the same economic and political models, but those models work very well in Switzerland and very badly in Paraguay. The problem, then, is not in the theoretical model but in the way that it's applied.

In Switzerland, the rule of law is reliable, politicians and citizens obey the law, people have the right to reasonably fair trials, universities teach and carry out research, enterprises grow and invest, labor unions don't press absurd demands and diverse ethnic communities -- though they don't love each other deeply -- don't aim to demolish the state. It has been thus for a long time (at least since 1848), which has provided sustained Swiss growth and the rewarding certainty that tomorrow will always be better than today.
 

MiamiFlorida

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nkgupta80 said:
the borders themselves established by the imperialist powers, have caused most of the tribalistic/ethnic wars in Africa and the Mid-east, this in itself is the source of many ongoing problems over there.
True. It happened in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. But the root cause is not the borders...it's the tribal mentality and RELIGION.
 

nkgupta80

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i
t's the tribal mentality and RELIGION.
sure, but all humans are like that, isn't that why we have borders? The colonial powers basically placed borders in Africa the way they saw fit for themselves regardless of the cultural, social, and ethnic differences in the area. They left without the people fighting for independence (most left because they were weak), and the un-united countries now had a power vaccuum to fill. That only created conflicts and those problems are still seen today.


Between 1806 and 1826 almost all of Latin America became independent. (Haiti in 1804.) not 100 or 140 years years later as you suggest.
Latin America is still doing a lot better overall than Africa and Asia. Latin America fought for its independence. Thus in leaving earlier, teh colonial powers hadn't devestated the region too much. A sense of unity within the fighting people coupled with an early independence kept Latin America from experiencing the effects of colonialism. The Monroe Doctrine also helped protect South America.

The countries that were hit the hardest were in Africa (almost all the twenty poorest countries in the world are in Africa). This is where the imperial powers kept their greatest stronghold. India is a great example of how an otherwise prosperous region got screwed by colonialism. The poverty there is directly due to the fact that the infrastructure in India was built to accomodate for British needs, not Indian needs. A growing population needed to be checked by growing agriculture and an evolving economy. Instead, the British would heavily tax farms, people were forced to grow only certain crops, land would be confiscated, etc.

The justifications are endless and they all point in the same direction: Us. They are repeated in university classrooms, used in political speeches, read in newspapers and preached by religious leaders.
they shoulnd't be called justifications cause what are they trying to justify. Colonialism is a big reason, and we can blame the old imperial governments of Europe for a lot of the current problems. However, in complaining the third-world countries should be figuring out ways to stop this. Still, curing third-world poverty is an enormous task in itself, because some of the steps would compromise corporate interests and first-world interests. Thus while the rich countries are ready to take come steps in helping, they are against the other necessary steps.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
i

sure, but all humans are like that, isn't that why we have borders? The colonial powers basically placed borders in Africa the way they saw fit for themselves regardless of the cultural, social, and ethnic differences in the area. They left without the people fighting for independence (most left because they were weak), and the un-united countries now had a power vaccuum to fill. That only created conflicts and those problems are still seen today.




Latin America is still doing a lot better overall than Africa and Asia. Latin America fought for its independence. Thus in leaving earlier, teh colonial powers hadn't devestated the region too much. A sense of unity within the fighting people coupled with an early independence kept Latin America from experiencing the effects of colonialism. The Monroe Doctrine also helped protect South America.

The countries that were hit the hardest were in Africa (almost all the twenty poorest countries in the world are in Africa). This is where the imperial powers kept their greatest stronghold. India is a great example of how an otherwise prosperous region got screwed by colonialism. The poverty there is directly due to the fact that the infrastructure in India was built to accomodate for British needs, not Indian needs. A growing population needed to be checked by growing agriculture and an evolving economy. Instead, the British would heavily tax farms, people were forced to grow only certain crops, land would be confiscated, etc.



they shoulnd't be called justifications cause what are they trying to justify. Colonialism is a big reason, and we can blame the old imperial governments of Europe for a lot of the current problems. However, in complaining the third-world countries should be figuring out ways to stop this. Still, curing third-world poverty is an enormous task in itself, because some of the steps would compromise corporate interests and first-world interests. Thus while the rich countries are ready to take come steps in helping, they are against the other necessary steps.
No, no, no, no......

In order for a combination of market and democracy to produce in Asia and Africa the same results as in the First World, they have to forge a clear consensus within the largest segment of the population and ruling class...to the right and the left of the political spectrum.

That consensus involves agreement on these basic pillars:

-Respect for the rule of law

-Democracy that cannot violate individual rights. Remember, even in a democracy, the majority can oppress minorities. Majority rule is not enough.

-Private property and market without overbearing government intrusion.

-An opening to the exterior, for the purpose of interrelating decisively with the First World in the fields of finance, technology and trade.

Any society that firmly sets its course in that direction for a prolonged period of time will arrive at a safe port. The problem in Asia and Africa is not in the model; it's in the way it is applied.
 

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The problem in Asia and Africa is not in the model; it's in the way it is applied. Any society that firmly sets its course in that direction for a prolonged period of time will arrive at a safe port. The problem in Asia and Africa is not in the model; it's in the way it is applied.
Sure that works, once you have a basic infrastructure and a setttled population to work with in the first place. Frankly, if people aren't getting enough food, water or shelter in these third-world countries, do you expect them to really think about democracy and individual rights? Most of them want a freakin bite to eat and a roof over there heads. In their present situation they don't give a **** about anything else.
To fix that, you need an infrastructure built in combination with a new working government. The government only goes into effect if the infrastructure is stable enough to support the people.
 

MiamiFlorida

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nkgupta80 said:
Sure that works, once you have a basic infrastructure and a setttled population to work with in the first place. Frankly, if people aren't getting enough food, water or shelter in these third-world countries, do you expect them to really think about democracy and individual rights? Most of them want a freakin bite to eat and a roof over there heads. In their present situation they don't give a **** about anything else.
To fix that, you need an infrastructure built in combination with a new working government. The government only goes into effect if the infrastructure is stable enough to support the people.
We don't have an argument there. How do you propose We, in the developed world help fix that?
 

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Who knows...a greater reconstruction effort maybe? I mean it was easy for the imperial powers to go in and ruin the region, itll be a lot harder for the people of those regions to fix their mistakes, and the new mistakes they continually make.
 

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nkgupta80 said:
Who knows...a greater reconstruction effort maybe? I mean it was easy for the imperial powers to go in and ruin the region, itll be a lot harder for the people of those regions to fix their mistakes, and the new mistakes they continually make.
Somehow I think those former imperial powers, namely Great Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, France, etc...are reluctant to help their former colonies unless they are willing to help themselves.

It is commonly believed that by simply putting more money into the economy of these countries, by developing their economy into a model similar to ours, their problems will gradually diminish. Not so.

Foreign aid has rarely done anything that countries could not have done for themselves. And it has often encouraged the recipient governments' worst tendencies--helping to underwrite programs and policies that have starved thousands of people and derailed struggling economies.

In agriculture, in economic planning, in food assistance, U.S. foreign aid has routinely failed to benefit the foreign poor. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID) has dotted the countryside with "white elephants": idle cement plants, near-empty convention centers, abandoned roads, and--perhaps the biggest white elephant of them all--a growing phalanx of corrupt, meddling, and overpaid bureaucrats. The Europeans haven't fared any better.


Instead of breaking the "endless cycle of poverty," foreign aid has become the opiate of the Third World. AID and other donors have encouraged Third World governments to rely on handouts instead of on themselves for development. No matter how irresponsible, corrupt, or oppressive a Third World government may be, there is always some Western government or international agency anxious to supply it with a few more million dollars. By subsidizing political irresponsibility and pernicious policies, foreign aid ill serves the world's poor.

Until Third World countries start taking responsibilty for the conditions within their borders...and stop scapegoating developed nations for what their ancestors may or may not have done....the status quo is going to remain.
 

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MiamiFlorida said:
Is it our fault the Third World is underdeveloped?
I don't think that everyone is to blame. Our ideas of 3rd World Poverty is dealing more with economic success, which some of these people could care less about.
 

nkgupta80

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Foreign aid has rarely done anything that countries could not have done for themselves. And it has often encouraged the recipient governments' worst tendencies--helping to underwrite programs and policies that have starved thousands of people and derailed struggling economies.
exactly, the type of foreign aid we foster is stupid. Dropping parcels of food, or feeding billions to some corrupt governmetn isn't my idea of aid.
 

MiamiFlorida

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Arch Enemy said:
I don't think that everyone is to blame. Our ideas of 3rd World Poverty is dealing more with economic success, which some of these people could care less about.
But economic success leads to social change. The problem is that we have not found the right formula to bring true economic success to these areas. We've only encouraged parasitic dependency.
 

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Interesting discussion in this thread and one critical to U.S. foreign policy I think.

Walter Williams, one of the more visible economic gurus of our modern era, cites a study from the Ayn Rand Institute stating that capitalism is the answer to poor countries’ current economic woes. More foreign aid is absolutely not the way to go.

Excerpt
Beginning in the late 18th century, there was a dramatic economic turnabout in Europe. How in the world did these once poor and backward countries break the "vicious cycle of poverty" and become wealthy, without what today's development experts say is absolutely necessary for economic growth —— foreign aid handouts, World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans, and billions of dollars of debt forgiveness?
The answer is simple: Capitalism started taking root in Europe. Capitalism is an economic system where there's peaceable, voluntary exchange. Government protects private property rights held in goods and services. There's rule of law and minimal government regulation and control of the economy.
(I encourage reading the entire short essay here:)
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams071305.asp

In another short essay from 2004, Williams also addresses this subject explaining how colonization, natural resources, or no other phenomenon explains poverty in Africa and places like it and how foreign aid is not the way to go. This short essay is an especially good read.

Excerpt:
Most of what Africa needs the West cannot give, and that's the rule of law, private property rights, an independent judiciary and limited government. The one important way we can help is to lower our trade barriers.
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams063004.asp
 

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MiamiFlorida said:
But economic success leads to social change. The problem is that we have not found the right formula to bring true economic success to these areas. We've only encouraged parasitic dependency.
But social change isn't always a good thing, even if it was a good thing.. it can happen without economic success. A social change could, in-fact bring economic success.. example: Nazi Germany.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
Interesting discussion in this thread and one critical to U.S. foreign policy I think.

(I encourage reading the entire short essay here:)
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams071305.asp



Excerpt:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams063004.asp
Well some how he didn't mention that what USA and other European didn't have free market. They had protected boarders agaisnt foreign goods and invested alot in there industries. Also is the exact samething Japan and Corea have done. But the probably is that Africa is not allowed to do the samething because WTO, worldbank, IMF all tell them to open up the market, that at the same time USA and EU is allowed to still have the right to protect there own industries.

That is exactly the opposite to the last 19:th century there the leading country England didn't have large protection against foreign goods because there so rich from the exploting of ther colonies. So they allowed the other countries to have boarders at the same time they allow who's countries to easilly import to them. That was a great help for the USA and the other european countries to get developed.
 

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Bergslagstroll said:
Well some how he didn't mention that what USA and other European didn't have free market. They had protected boarders agaisnt foreign goods and invested alot in there industries. Also is the exact samething Japan and Corea have done. But the probably is that Africa is not allowed to do the samething because WTO, worldbank, IMF all tell them to open up the market, that at the same time USA and EU is allowed to still have the right to protect there own industries.

That is exactly the opposite to the last 19:th century there the leading country England didn't have large protection against foreign goods because there so rich from the exploting of ther colonies. So they allowed the other countries to have boarders at the same time they allow who's countries to easilly import to them. That was a great help for the USA and the other european countries to get developed.
All the capitalistic countries engage in free trade--the people are allowed to trade with other peoples--however. There are tariffs, sanctions, and similar barriers in place and Williams made it clear that to help the poorest nations, lowering our trade barriers would be a good place to start.
 

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AlbqOwl said:
Interesting discussion in this thread and one critical to U.S. foreign policy I think.

Walter Williams, one of the more visible economic gurus of our modern era, cites a study from the Ayn Rand Institute stating that capitalism is the answer to poor countries’ current economic woes. More foreign aid is absolutely not the way to go.

Excerpt

(I encourage reading the entire short essay here:)
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams071305.asp

In another short essay from 2004, Williams also addresses this subject explaining how colonization, natural resources, or no other phenomenon explains poverty in Africa and places like it and how foreign aid is not the way to go. This short essay is an especially good read.

Excerpt:

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams063004.asp
You are absolutely right. You don't give fish to a poor man. You teach him how to fish.
 

MiamiFlorida

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Arch Enemy said:
But social change isn't always a good thing, even if it was a good thing.. it can happen without economic success. A social change could, in-fact bring economic success.. example: Nazi Germany.
Social change with individual freedom and democracy. Nazi Germany didn't have those.
 

MiamiFlorida

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AlbqOwl said:
All the capitalistic countries engage in free trade--the people are allowed to trade with other peoples--however. There are tariffs, sanctions, and similar barriers in place and Williams made it clear that to help the poorest nations, lowering our trade barriers would be a good place to start.
I can't speak for Europe, but I can assure you that in the U.S., where we have trade barriers it's mostly reciprocal. You don't expect us to open our markets unless those who would sell to us do likewise, do you?

The U.S. has free-trade agreements with Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, Morocco, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Israel and Jordan. Negotiations are under way to include Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and others.

Because of these free trade agreements, China is foreseeing stiff competition in the American market. In Bucaramanga, Colombia, the Chinese have established dozens of textile factories whose target will be the U.S. market. Already even the possibility of free trade with the U.S. is bringing Colombia foreign investment and jobs.

Now, if Brazil levies import duties of 130% on American automobiles, you don't expect us to let Brazilian products enter our market scott-free, do you?
 
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