What can be done to alleviate global poverty?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If we knew for certain how to end or seriously reduce global poverty, it is likely that we would already have done so.  The truth is that we do not know how to eradicate poverty because human societies and economies are too complex to really fully understand.  That said, there are some general ideas that most people think will help to alleviate global poverty.  They include:

  • Better education.  Globally, most poor people are poorly educated.  This significantly reduces their life chances.  Bringing better education to poor people would increase their human capital and make them better able to get good jobs.
  • Better government.  Many countries that have large populations of poor people are very poorly governed.  These governments are often undemocratic and corrupt.  Better governments would not waste public money as much and would be more likely to act for the benefit of the public, not only the politicians.
  • Better infrastructure.  As an example of this, land transportation in Africa is very poor.  This prevents goods from moving freely around much of the continent.  This reduces the potential for economic activity and makes people poorer.  Good roads, reliable electricity, and other such things would be beneficial.
  • More trade.  Most economists argue that free trade is an important way of pulling people out of poverty.  They point to the gains that China has made through trade.  They believe that a more globalized economy would bring more jobs and economic development to the less-developed world.

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