Friday, October 14, 2016

Why is it not possible to eliminate world poverty?

Conceptually, poverty cannot be eliminated because being poor means being the person(s) with the least money and resources. Someone will always be richest and someone poorest unless some way is found for everyone to own and have income that is exactly identical.

However, poverty as a condition in which essential needs such as food, clothing and shelter are unmet, can in theory be eliminated. For the past 100 years or so humanity has possessed the means to produce enough food, clothing and shelter for everyone, whereas in the past the lack of industrial machinery might have prevented this and genuine shortages existed.

What is lacking is the political will, the collective disposition of most people and most societies to make an earnest effort to make sure these become available to all. This could change. The fact that the United Nations Millennium goal to eliminate extreme poverty is slowly being met shows much more can be done. What cannot be done is eliminate poverty and keep societies that have excess luxury intact.

Also, a much more difficult way to eradicate poverty involves providing everyone the access to education and employment sufficient to help them become self-sustaining. This is a much more complex problem.

This is a repost from my replies to questions posted on Quora, a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users, at The questions in italics and their subtexts are not mine.

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