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Garcia, Natalia V.

10943633 The End of Poverty

GLOBDEV Reflection Paper

If there is one major cause I can stress on that I feel has the strongest effect on the worlds poverty, as much as it mayin commercial termssound very appealing, it would be the monopoly of resources. In the short film it was mentioned as the third problem of poverty, although it seems as if it is the root of all evil. The two other problems, trade and debt, may generally be referred to as causes of it from a certain perspective. It may be an endless debate as to which exactly started what, but we all know Colonialism has caused the rich in resources to be the richest in debt. From watching, I realized that monopoly is the result of nothing but greed; the desire to be the most powerful; and the act of stepping on those you can, especially since the cost of ones new colony is the debt of the ever-struggling country. Colonizers only cared about themselves and how they can eat more land, people and resources. An example of this would be the Spanish Conquisitadors who confiscated land from countries in Asia and Africa and enriched themselves through taxes and religion. We would know. Our ancestors, just like many others who suffered, struggled to survive by means of succumbing to abusive taxing policies, which were levied on lands they owned to begin with. And so unfortunately until now, people in Kenya, Brazil and many other affected areas are paying for the debt they never had to have. This has spiraled into a viscous cycle where the rich keep getting richer and the poorwellmore hopeless than ever. I now also understand how Colonialism has caused poorer countries to be the source of raw materials, and the rich countries, finished products. Ironically, this is only possible due to the fact that countries in debt are actually financing those who have caused them that situation. The video explains, It is actually the South financing the North. I could not forget this statistic: Sub-Saharan Africa is paying $25,000 in debt every minute. No wonder people there are either dead or dying of hunger. It is a devastating statistic, but it is as real it gets. So where does the World Bank come in? What does globalization and development have to do with this? The World Bank provides policies that supposedly

help countries manage their finances. But the problem started when they came up with suggestions for third world countries to impose gigantic projects that immersed them in more debt than they caused development. Since first world countries are the reflection of what developing countries should develop into, the poor countries try to Keep up with the Kardashians while they fail to realize that theyre hardly anything like them (just yet). As much as development has general standards for everyone, it is most often forgotten that different cultures have different means of adapting to international norms. Thus, development should be realized as a slowly but surely kind of progress, as opposed to an erratic, and later on insufficient, rushed change. It should be sustainable. And so it came to be, that the richest 1% of the population owns a whopping 32% of the worlds wealthanother strikingly disturbing statistic but nothing surprising. The most prominent organizations and individuals basically own more than they should. It has reached a point where farmers and their families are now tending their own land for someone elses products. How is it that people can allow this? How can some manage to turn their heads and close their eyes while people die and struggle from their rightful freedom? I agree with Amartya Sen: the system really is a failure. There actually is enough for everyone but not everyone makes it so. It is the allocation of these resources that makes it scarce. It is the monopoly of these commodities that harm the public. If everybody lived like the Americans, who consume 30% of the worlds commodities but is less than 5% of the worlds population, I really think the population itself will decrease to a measly 5% or even less. Lastly, I couldnt help but notice one more thing about the video: the different backgrounds (literally). The different setting of the places where the documentary itself was shot is a great example of the contrast of worlds between the rich and poor. The scenes where the professors and the economists were expounding on the worlds poverty were safe, comfortable and sometimes even luxurious while those of the subjects were beyond unhealthy, dangerous or less than bearable. Ironically the cinematography exposes more than just the different cultural perspectives. It is an explicit reminder of inequality, injustice and of course, poverty.