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Is the World Without Povert an Impossible Dream

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Although there is increasing attention and awareness of poverty, it remains as a major issue across the globe. This is due to the deeply entrenched causes, which cannot be simply eradicated and the ineffectiveness of international aid and efforts. Hence, I agree that a world without poverty is an impossible dream. Opponents of my claim would argue that a world without poverty is indeed possible and that it is only a matter of time, based on statistics and data, which show that the percentage of poverty is declining.

However, I would argue that it is just mere numbers and that these statistics are insufficient to support closed countries such as China in the past and North Korea. In fact, the Hermit Kingdom’s level of poverty has increased from 21 percent to 32 percent in the 1990s. Additionally, since North Korea is politically inaccessible, international organizations and aid are unable to divert their efforts, food packages or donations to the people of North Korea. Another example would be Cuba, whereby the oppressive government rejects foreign intervention to solve its state of poverty.

Thus, the people living in such countries are further slump into the mire of poverty and hence a world without poverty will still remain as an idealistic dream. Opponents of my claim would also argue that a world without poverty is possible as the Earth has adequate resources to help and alleviate this enigma of poverty off the poorer nations. I would strongly disagree with that statement. Affluent economies such as the United States and Western Europe continue to gain prosperity, however, at the expense of the poorer nations.

These powerful economies exploit the resources of the less developed countries and leave them in a far more dire state. As evident by the historical World War I and World War II, whereby Japan and Germany invade into other territories for the resources. Adam Smith’s theory of scarcity suggest that the rich countries will get richer, while leaving the poor countries worse off. Hence, at this point of time, I feel that poverty will remain as an impossible dream because we now live in a capitalistic society.

In my opinion, total eradication of poverty would seem far-fetched, as the root causes of poverty are multidimensional, deeply entrenched and are simply unavoidable. These causes of poverty are mainly natural disasters, geologically isolated locations, historical colonies and corruption. According to the National Centre for Disaster Management based in the United States approximately 90 percent of the victims of natural catastrophe live in less developed countries.

The poor are forced to live in disaster-prone areas, as they cannot afford to live in a more secured region. Take Africa for example, where drought is experienced twice a year. Farmers are unable to germinate and grow their crops for subsistence due to the extreme weather. Hence, their food supply depletes drastically, the economy suffers inflation and many mouths are left hungry as food becomes more expensive. I feel that to counter this particular issue, technologies such as irrigation and weather-resistant food should be implemented to counter the root cause.

But before the government could channel its resources towards eliminating poverty, it will continue to be a prevalent issue and hence absolute elimination of poverty will remain as an impossible dream. In addition, another politically rooted cause of poverty that simply cannot be eradicated is corruption. In totalitarian societies such as Myanmar in the past and North Korea, the high officials continue to gain from the country’s earnings and leave its citizens to suffer.

Based on a research conducted by Transparency International in Berlin, it shows that countries such as Tunisia, Afghanistan and North Korea are amongst the countries with the highest corruption rate and poverty level. Moreover, in North Korea’s case, the government has requested the United Nations for monetary funds and use poverty as leverage but in turn, divert the funds towards nuclear research. Hence, before these oppressive governments allows for foreign intervention to access its corrupted political officials, the citizens will still be trapped in the poverty cycle and thus a world without poverty is an impossible dream.

Lastly, many poverty campaigners criticize that international aid such as the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Funds, ONE campaign, End Poverty 2015 and many others are rather ineffective. This can be seen especially in Brazil. The Bolsa Familia Program was established by the Brazilian government to counter the issue of poverty by providing families with money and education for the children. Each family is given about USD12 per day.

However, the families under this program became too dependent on the government and many suffered during the period of recession, when the government was unable to provide for these families and had to divert the money to other areas for development. Hence, we can see from this that most of the international organizations can only provide short-termed solutions. Then again, the poor are left stranded below the social ladder and cannot be independent and rise above poverty level.

This is why a world without poverty would remain as an impossible dream. With these reasons, I would claim that poverty will indeed remain as an impossible dream simply because the rate at which poverty is increasing, due to unforeseen events, is far more rapid than the rate at which we are trying to reduce it. On top of that, many of the solutions are ineffective and are not long-termed oriented goals. This is a prime example of the saying, ‘give a man a fish and he lives for a day, teach a man how to fish and he lives for a lifetime’.

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