Why is global poverty an important problem?

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Global poverty is an important problem for several reasons. One factor is that it may lead to radical solutions to try to solve it. In countries with high poverty rates, people may turn to dictators or a strong form of central government to try to ease its impact. When an...

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Global poverty is an important problem for several reasons. One factor is that it may lead to radical solutions to try to solve it. In countries with high poverty rates, people may turn to dictators or a strong form of central government to try to ease its impact. When an economy is going well and people aren’t hurting economically, they tend not to look for extreme solutions to economic problems. In many instances, people have turned to terrorism to try to solve their problems. They look at prosperous countries and want that same standard of living for themselves. The terrorists often blame the policies of the prosperous countries for their misery. In other situations, people have turned to dictators who promise them many things to improve the standard of living in their country. These dictators often preach nationalistic ideas, which can have serious implications for people in other countries. This occurred in Germany and in Italy before the start of World War II and contributed to its outbreak.

Global poverty also has a direct impact on people. In countries with high poverty rates, there is usually more sickness, lower levels of education, and shorter life expectancies. These countries also can’t afford to provide for the basic needs of their citizens. This hurts not only their economy but also the economies of other countries throughout the world. Since these poor countries can’t buy as many products as they would like, all economies are negatively impacted. Additionally, these poor countries don’t have the resources to develop their economies, which makes it difficult to escape the negative impacts of the poverty that they experience.

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Global poverty is a major problem for at least two reasons.

First, it is a problem for humanitarian and moral reasons.  All people deserve the chance to live decent lives.  While we in the rich world have relatively easy lives, there are many who are wretched.  To the extent that we can alleviate this, we have a moral responsibility to do so.

Second, it is a problem for pragmatic reasons.  Poverty causes problems that can reach us even in the rich world.  For example, truly widespread poverty in a country can help lead to a “failed state” such as Somalia or Afghanistan.  Today, this sort of failed state can become a haven for terrorists.  As another example, poverty reduces our global standard of living poor people cannot afford to buy many things.  This reduces demand for goods made around the world.  If there were fewer poor people, all economies would be better off, including those in the rich world.

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