Poverty—Money or Mentality

September 23, 2016

In his book of to End Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs, stated that … the case of Africa. Africa needs around $30 billion per year in aid in order to escape from poverty. But if we actually gave that aid, where would it go? Right down the drain if the past is any guide. Sad to say, Africa’s education levels are so low that even programs that work elsewhere would fail in Africa. Africa is corrupt and riddled with authoritarianism. It lacks modern values and the institutions of a free market economy needed to achieve success.

Aliko Dangote Africa’s richest man, has disclosed that he plans to buy English Premier League team, Arsenal, within the next four years – a bid that could make him the first African owner of a Premier League club if successful. The Nigerian billionaire reportedly made the disclosure on Wednesday during a television interview in New York but said that he is not in a position to acquire Arsenal now because his finances are committed towards completing more than $20 billion worth of infrastructure projects, including the construction of a refinery.

Over $500 billion (U.S.) has been sent to African nations in the form of direct aid. The consensus is that the money has had little long-term effect. In addition, most African nations have owed substantial sums of money. However, a large percentage of the money was either invested in weapons (money that was spent back in developed nations and provided little or no benefit to the native population) or was directly misappropriated by corrupt governments.

Reading an excerpt from Dambisa Moyo’s, ‘Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How, there Is a Better Way for Africa. Paternalism towards Africans today is remarkably like late colonial attitudes towards Africa, after it had dropped some of the more racist… there are, sadly, common ties that bind sub-Saharan African countries together. Well-publicized are the degree of poverty, the extent of corruption, the incidence of disease, the dearth of infrastructure, the erratic (but mainly poor) economic showing, political instability, and the historical propensity for violent unrest and even civil war. These are universal themes shared, albeit in varying degrees, across most nations of the African continent.

To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, chief economists, Jeffrey Sachs, calculated that the total cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined income of the richest countries in the world. The military budget in the USA is about $680 billion per year. A large amount of other funding is directly connected to military spending in the states, bringing the total closer to $1 trillion per year. The amount required in the above to end poverty is 26% of the total budget of the US military.

And what does $175 billion dollar mean in this world?

  • On Friday, asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within 17,200 (27,700km) of Earth. DA14 is about 50 meters wide, and will be the closest ever fly-by of a celestial body that astronomers have known about in advance — at a distance of 17,200 miles, DA14 will actually travel inside the orbit of Earth’s geosynchronous satellites. If that wasn’t thrilling enough, though, celestial mining company Deep Space Industries is saying that the asteroid, if we were to harvest its resources, may contain nearly $200 billion of minerals and water.
  • The first three richest people wealth accumulation sum up to USD 202.5 billion dollar.
  • Volatile stock markets, cratering oil prices and a stronger dollar led to a dynamic reshuffling of wealth around the globe and a drop in ten-figure fortunes for the first time since 2009. For our 30th annual guide to the world’s richest, we found 1,810 billionaires, down from a record 1,826 a year ago. Their aggregate net worth was $6.48 trillion, $570 billion less than last year. (Source: Forbes magazine). This is 0.003% of what they have.

The point about ending poverty is not about giving money from the accounts and pockets of the rich to the poor, but rather changing and shifting the minds and thinking machinery of the state of being in poor conditions of life to the world and realm of richness. It is paradigm shift that is required in every citizen way of thinking and way of life along with their given respective leaders. This is one of the significant matters that should be noted and addressed in which money cannot solve the problems of poor nations and societies; but rather it is the shift in mentality and thinking, which is important and useful aspect of their given life.

Ending poverty is within reach. There is nothing unreachable. The point is about commitment and determination not only with leaders of every walk of life in the world, but also with unshakable will and choices of every individual and citizen of the world at large do make.  It is not only matter of time, but it is matter of devotion and sacrifice which people make in every walks of life.  The higher level of devotion and commitment, the lesser time it takes to abolish poverty as the other way round is also true. Poverty in here is not only about material aspect of economic, but also in terms of other human features and realities of life as well.

Experts identify for causes of poverty in poor nations besides political and economic strategies they employ such as:-

  • Mismanaging of land
  • Misused money
  • Lack of adequate human resources and its management
  • Diseases
  • Lack of infrastructures
  • Conflicts
  • Climate change
  • Other effects of poverty

In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.

They say, the eyes are useless while the mind is blind, and the ears are futile while the mind is deaf!!


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