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A Future Without Poverty

An Idea Book by Rahul Deodhar


Poverty and Us
Poverty questions and tests our values in difficult times and often it wins. Experiencing
poverty can break a person's character. That is why we all care about poverty. We discuss it
all the time. We help with fund-raisers, we donate to charities. We pay a dollar or two more
for products that share benefits with the poor. We are content to have made a difference in
the life of the poor. The charities assure us. But often a question still nags us.

Why is poverty still around despite the aid?


Well, not all the aid helps. The reason, I believe, is that we still do not understand poverty.
We cannot simply donate food to the hungry and clothes to unclad and solve the problem.
People like Dambisa Moyo, Jeffery Sachs and Jacqueline Novogratz have initiated some
developments in this direction.

I intend to push poverty alleviation a bit further by suggesting a framework based on my


observations of the poor. I want to share some insights about the life of the poor. I propose a
“snakes and ladders” approach to design a better solution.

It is time to help the poor in a structurally stronger way that will make a real lasting difference.
It is time to give them a ladder out of poverty.

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Snake and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders as a basic poverty alleviation strategy, is applied at two levels
household and community. Just as in the game, household and community has to move from
start square (poverty) to end square (out of poverty).

Snakes represent traps like illness that prevent or restrict ability and potential. It could be
illness, legal issues, unforeseen expenses (marriage dowry etc). Effective poverty alleviation
programs prevent “snake traps”. Ladders represent quick way out of poverty. These come in
the form of new skill training, education of children.

Broadly, the strategy to counter poverty should comprise avoiding “snake traps” and assisting
households on to a “ladder”.

A “Snakes and Ladders board” needs to be developed for target household. This uses soft
knowledge of local culture, peer-group behaviour, psychology, personal preferences etc. A
community level “board” may be equally applicable.

Before we understand this approach, it is important to understand the poor life in greater
detail. Let us to know them through their journey out of poverty.

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Who are the poor?
The poor are usually defined as part of population living below certain specified income. This
specified income is called "poverty line".

There are two dominant approaches to defining poverty line. The first defines poverty line as
minimum income required to sustain a healthy family in terms of nutrition and other basic
requirements. The second defines the line as certain standard deviations below the national
average income.

Ideally, we should define poverty line as that income level below which it is nearly impossible
for a family unit to move towards prosperity on its own. Below this income poverty becomes
self-reinforcing.

The objective of poverty-alleviation programs should be to move people above this income
level.

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Poverty Types - Structural vs. Transient
In any economy, we will always have people in the lowermost income group. We can call
them poor. But not all poverty is the same. There are essentially two main types.

If the lowest income people have the resources and opportunities to move out of this group
then we have transient poverty. In this case the people in this group keep changing. Some
move out of poverty, some fall back into it. Usually, unfortunate illness, accidents and other
unforeseen expenses lead to transient poverty. Since transient poverty is recurring
phenomenon, we need to set up a long term infrastructure (institutions and processes),
renewed regularly, to help tackle this.

Structural poverty, on the other hand, represents a chronic disease where a majority of
poor people stay poor. This condition represents social, economic and political problem.
Structural poverty alleviation is broader, more complex process. It requires multi-dimensional,
focussed, sustained effort. If properly executed, structural poverty problem can be solved
once and for all. I have dedicated an entire section to structural poverty at the end.

If not tackled transient poverty problem becomes structural poverty problem. Solutions to
structural poverty problems do not help in eradicating transient poverty.

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Section I – Phases of Poverty
Are we born poor or do we become poor?
Every worker when he / she becomes earning age is technically non-poor. At this time they
are young and productive and mostly staying with their parents. They may not be rich to start
with – but their entire labour earnings can become surplus.
At a household level, there is suddenly additional wage earner – thereby giving a normal
household an income boost. At this time, the household should not be poor (unless they have
liabilities).
Then, how do the poor actually become poor? Our able household slips into abject poverty
over three phases. At each phase, it is possible to help them out of poverty, to provide them a
ladder to climb out.

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How Do Poor Become Poor?
People end up poor in three phases. Everyone starts with a positive
income expense gap.
Income
Phase I – The Border Phase
In the border phase, the expenses are lower than income. So often there
is surplus – very thin but a surplus all the same. If we collect this surplus
in a disciplined manner it can set us on path of prosperity. But this surplus
is not invested or saved in a bank. It is carried on person.

Often times we hear stories of claims made on this surplus by friends, or


occasional lapse of discipline or occasional giving-in to vices. Usually,
this comprises single person with middle aged parents etc. This is time
when people acquire vices be it alcohol, tobacco, gambling etc.
Expense

•  Migrant workers who typically send money back home tend to manage this phase better.
•  The cash-flow cycle also determines if surplus will be wasted or not. In case of daily-wage the surplus is difficult to save.
•  In case of monthly salary financial discipline forces people to manage it better hence leads to savings.

The poor from this segment can move out of poverty mainly on their own. A gentle push towards savings will often do the trick.

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How Do Poor Become Poor?
The second phase is where the problems begin. Yet it is possible to save
Income
the family from falling into the poverty trap.

Phase II – The “shaky ground” phase


Here the average income is higher than average expense but income
profile and expense profile intersect, leading to cash-flow based problems
seeding the ground for poverty.
Expense
Such cases can be saved from the trap if we are able to support him/her
with occasional aid that helps smoothen the expense curve and bring it in
line with income curve.

Often most people realize the benefits of savings and discipline in this
phase. But this is a phase wherein the family is very sensitive to falling in
poverty trap.

•  Often it happens when a single worker takes on additional responsibility - gets married or has kids etc.
•  People make “consumption asset” purchases – like a two-wheeler, car, illegal house.
•  A healthy lifestyle is critical to keep such a person employable consistently. Any income disruption pushes the family into the
next phase – the poverty treadmill.

This phase requires a holistic intervention. Generally, small loans at affordable rates can ease this situation.

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How Do Poor Become Poor?
The final phase is one of loss of hope. It is the most difficult phase to bring
people out of.

Phase III - The poverty treadmill Expense


This is a phase where average expense far exceeds the average income.
From here it is all downhill for this family unit. Often this is caused by
illness (often major), unforeseen costs (death in family) marriage of family
member (dowry-related issues) etc.

The issue is aggravated by loans from unorganized sector. The interest


rates are high and consequences are income disrupting (physical harm
preventing employment) Income

Structural Poverty looks a lot like this phase except people remain poor
despite efforts.

•  Usually people try to get loans from friends and relatives. Failure to repay alienates the family and removes the safety net.
•  The loss of face in such circumstances is difficult to handle and has psychological implications.
•  People often try asset sales and get caught in legal issues.

This phase requires comprehensive poverty alleviation arsenal including bigger loans for asset financing, priority re-skilling,
income augmentation etc. By far this is most complex stage.

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Section II – Using Snakes and
Ladders Approach
Snakes and Ladders represents a very simple approach to eliminating poverty. We need to
apply this approach at two levels – at household level and at community level.

Households and communities around them have an interdependent relationship. It is difficult


for a household to save in a community driven by overspending. Similarly “bad habits” tend to
spread within the community – e.g. spending on social functions like marriage. It is important
to create a community acceptance for lifestyle that helps people out of poverty.

Subsequent entrepreneurship resulting from poverty alleviation program can be better


leveraged by the entire community if it remains together.

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Snakes and Ladders
The first step is usually to the path the household or community takes out of
poverty. Typically, households that escape poverty trap seem to follow these
Create Income Expanded steps. These are also consistent with first principles.
generating Assets Consumption

3 4 We can identify 4 phases over which the path is usually spread. The first step is
2 1 increasing income surplus – or increasing income and reducing expenses. In the
second step, the resultant surplus is accumulated and used to pay off
Increase outstanding debts. Further surplus is used to create income-generating assets
Eliminate Debt
Income surplus
forming step three. Step four is what sets the household on to a sustainable path
out of poverty into expanded consumption.

Poor households labour through this path exposed to challenges (snakes) and
opportunities (ladders).

Identifying the challenges (snakes)


Each community and household face unique challenges, or snakes, while on this
path. Some communities have idle people indulging in drugs, others gamble on
holidays, some others have idlers loitering at corners making the area unsafe.
Some households have terminally ill elder whose care requires lot of expense.

Challenges or snakes are result of resources that poor lack.

Enabling Solutions (ladders)


A locally aware facilitator can structure solutions in acceptable forms helping
communities convert idle resources into productive assets. These work as
ladders customized to local preferences.

Solutions or ladders are rooted in resources available to the poor.

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Resources of Poor
Poor do not lack all resources. They just lack financial resources.

Further the resources they have are not efficiently channelled to succeed financially in this
world. We need a new perspective, a new angle on resources available to the poor.

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Resources in a Poor Life
Time
Time is very important resource. The really poor often get paid on hourly basis. They also
“waste” a lot more time than we can imagine – and not necessarily because they are lazy.

They often walk to work rather than using public-transport (for whatever reason). Or
procedures like paying bills require their physical presence hence waste time.

The savings from public transport expenses are often off-set by physical strain and loss of
time. This is one reason why poor prefer to live in slums closer to work-place than commute.
They also rely on errand-boys for making bill payments. The eldest child in the area is usually
given the responsibility for taking children to school.

Harnessing time productively is very critical to improving their conditions. Innovative time-
saving methods, at household and community level, can free up this resource for more
productive endeavours.

Ladies from lower-income households cut vegetables, stitch, or do other household work on
Mumbai suburban trains thus releasing time for other activities at home.

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Resources in a Poor Life
Human labour and skills
After time, this is second most important resource. Each household has a labour potential – a
specific amount of physical activity the household can undertake. Poor people agree that the
hard labour is the way to prosperity. Higher labour potential can help households move out of
poverty. Often, households need help to transform potential into most effective economic
value.

Labour potential can be strengthened by numbers hence poor households prefer more
children (one of the reason) failing to see the expense side of equation.

Labour potential is augmented with adequate physical fitness, wholesome food and regular
preventive health check-up. Often the ideal labour potential of the household is under-utilized
due to excessive drinking, smoking and other vices.

Good food and hygiene presents the biggest challenge in unleashing this potential. Regular
medical camps only target the ill and therefore do not address this resource.

Villages in rural Maharashtra use the concept of “Shramdaan” (donation of labour rather than
money). So every villager contributes his labour to development of village, agriculture
improving assets and productivity.

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Resources in a Poor Life
Community as a resource
Community is resource for everyone. But more so for the poor. Smaller private space (per
capita) is one reason we see community develop in slums and other poor localities.

A community means lives are interlinked. It means people can help out each other. Often
people have different work timings so can share some work, like dropping kids at school.
People have different skills, so they often help each other in electric work, plumbing, etc.

Yet, community has not yet translated into aggregated action; for example in the collective
procurement of food and toiletries. Such initiative can reduce cost and improve quality.
Community kitchen, similarly, can reduce wastage and cost of food while guaranteeing better
nutrition.

Community also is informal point of collection of news and information about employment
opportunities, skill development and other economic possibilities. This needs to be
augmented through better communication tools.

Further, a lot of exchange of good and services is unmeasured-value creation. New ways to
capture value might help poverty alleviation. For example, community can be broadened
through skill-barter (aided by information) with a barter fee.

People who come out of poverty often support their community members and help them.
Soon a lot of people in that community can move out of poverty.

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Resources in a Poor Life
Assets poor own
Unlike popular perception, the poor often own assets. A proper utilization of assets can
effectively free some from the yoke of poverty.

The assets may not seem to be valuable or “unencumbered” but the poor own them. Often
preying outsiders armed with information advantage (legal and otherwise) misappropriate
these assets at throwaway prices.

Land, vehicles (even though old), house (even though dilapidated) are assets some poor
people have. They need to have access to information on how to use these assets to get out
of poverty. Because of this lack of understanding, poor are often at a disadvantage. These
households often fall prey to unscrupulous buyers who steal these assets from them.

Better utilization of ground water for poor farmers, yield enhancing seeds, bio-fertilizer
ensuring long term cultivation sustainability are means of enhancing assets and returns on
assets in rural areas.

The poor, for example, often cannot get loans against vehicles they own, partly because lack
of adequate paperwork or lender apathy. Moneylenders step in at these time charging more
than 24% interest at exorbitant terms.

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Resource Challenges of the
Poor
The poor need money – but they don’t need “aid”. They would rather help themselves
become more prosperous than take free money. We just need to shift our view of what they
need.

The poor actually lack those resources that restrict their potential.

Currently, a lot of infrastructure and services are aimed at average-income households.


Banking is a central example. The poor cannot reach the banks and banks do not reach the
poor. And thus poor are denied ways of managing money.

And there are other challenges.

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Resource Challenges of the Poor
Micro savings
The poor often have small surplus, particularly in the first phase of poverty. This is the time to
help them save it. They cannot come to a branch to deposit their excess cash – the banks
should go to them. Micro-savings will might just prevent most households from falling into
poverty trap than any other preventive program.

Empathy banking
Poor households need separate accounts for husband and wife or other adult members of
family. This may help prevent mismanagement by either spouse. A non-earning wife and
each child should have their account credited with certain sum that gets transferred to term
deposit. There is a huge cultural barrier in many cases. Further, in these scenarios, opinion of
bankers and their judgement affects household conditions drastically.

Legal aid
A lot of time this aspect gets ignored. Poor households often get into contracts that they
cannot keep or enforce. Further, people take advantage of this fact tying the poor households
into contracts that are “no-win” contracts. Ignorance and unavailability of legal guidance leads
a lot of families into poverty. Free legal aid can help them enormously. This also prevents
harassment by authorities.

Just penalties refer to a percentage of sale price fee – that additionally gets debited from
household account when certain banned good is consumed. The penalty should then be
transferred to separate account – of the same household – to work as pension contribution or
other “rainy-day” term deposit.

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Resource Challenges of the Poor
Preventive healthcare
Preventive healthcare is probably most critical “aid” that can be provided. This helps
household to be employable for more days per year thus increasing their income. Preventive
healthcare is well developed for children both as pre-natal and neo-natal care. A similar
parallel is required for adults as well. Normal healthcare and patient facilities are obviously
required to augment patient care.

Education and skill development


Poverty can be best tackled by education. Education is the most potent weapon in war
against poverty. Skill training or formal education or both can help address poverty. Part of
the poverty trap is inability to get or continue education because of lack of money or time.
This is cause of poverty being inherited down the generations. Free or aided education is
critical support for the poor. Absenteeism, high drop-out rate, lack of focus on grades etc
make matters worse.

The most potent solution, I believe, is developed by Bhumi, an NGO in India. They believe
the solution of these lies in mentorship. They pair poor students with highly educated
professionals just out of college thus giving the child a role-model for educated lifestyle. In a
community filled with drug addicts and unemployed idlers, this is a refreshing change. The
mentor is young enough to have narrower generation gap than other similar concepts I have
seen.

The status of teachers will often tell you which communities will move out of poverty. The
children from communities that respect teachers are less likely to dropout. They are more
likely to study further thereby creating an ideal launch pad out of poverty.

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Resource Challenges of the Poor
Capital the critical element
The best poverty alleviation “program” is entrepreneurship. And the poor are totally capital
starved. Capital is required to move the existing services rendered by the poor households
into entrepreneurial ventures that benefit both the provider and consumer.

Drivers can collaboratively become organisation that provides drivers on daily basis.
Domestic help can collaboratively become organised as “housekeeping” organisation. Such
organisations can train available prospects from the community and employ them. Banks and
investors can provide capital for procuring equipment to help grow the business.

Communities will need help in creating and managing such ventures. I believe here lies the
role of “patient capital” in alleviating poverty. Clearly, the business opportunities in poor
communities do not come from what works with “top of the pyramid”. New opportunities lie at
the bottom, The Blue sweater famously describes the “mosquito net” business.

However, the role of entrepreneurship in job creation, both temporary and permanent, is most
beneficial for the community. The resultant economic stimulus-multiplier is larger and more
potent in bringing the entire community out of poverty.

Banks can give loan for house cleaning equipment that can increase productivity of the
house-keeping organisation referred above. The company can now clean more houses and
pay the loans back.

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Resource Challenges of the Poor
Poverty mindset – the ultimate challenge
Passion, they say is the greatest resource and in such a context, a poverty mindset is the
biggest hindrance. A lot of poor communities are trapped in “poverty mindset” a set of beliefs
that justify and glorify being poor. Such beliefs coax the community into inaction and make
the poor continue to wallow in the poverty.

Some of the beliefs are aided by religious teachers, local thought-leaders. “Better to be poor
than make women work” is something I have seen first-hand. The women in such
communities invariably have to work harder in harsher conditions.

A lack of good examples is central cause of such mindset. People come to believe, mainly
through reinforcement, that only way to get rich is cheat, exploit or in general be evil. A true
potential of such communities can be unleashed by showing and glorifying real role-models.

“Profits are bad” mentality victimised entrepreneurship in lower-income Maharashtra. The


struggling entrepreneurs were considered to be of loose morals and could not marry or make
friends. This shunning of entrepreneurship kept the most potent poverty alleviation tool from
taking effect.

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Snakes and Ladders
A Summary

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Summarizing Snakes and Ladders
Phase I Challenges (Snakes)
Increasing Income 1.  Vices like excessive drinking, gambling
Surplus 2.  Unforeseen expenses like hospitalisation, accidents etc more so for children
3.  Job losses due to layoff
4.  Lack of knowledge about govt. sponsored benefits

Opportunities (Ladders)
1.  Information about part-time / one-time contracts
2.  Pooled grocery purchases (helping in reducing costs)
3.  Independent income streams based on idle time utilisation
4.  Free medical aid and health counselling
5.  Child care and crèche facilities

Phase II Challenges (Snakes)


Eliminating Debt 1.  Money lenders or loan sharks
2.  Cash-flow management to repay on time in full
3.  Collateral protection
4.  Lack of legal knowledge

Opportunities (Ladders)
1.  Micro lending / Micro savings
2.  Free legal expertise availability
3.  Free financial expertise for debt restructuring for lowering interest cost

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Summarizing Snakes and Ladders
Phase III Challenges (Snakes)
Create Income 1.  Herd mentality for purchasing assets (In our area lot of poor people bought cars (on loan)
generating Assets for renting to companies leading to excess supply and therefore economic catastrophe)
2.  Inappropriate due-diligence and price discovery (People often buy homes, vehicles
without checking documents or ownership titles leading to future losses)

Opportunities (Ladders)
1.  Expert advise on income generating opportunities (Often advising on which business to
go into and which to refrain from before committing expenses)
2.  Trainings and skill development programs (For addressing new opportunities that are
tested and established)
3.  Entrepreneurship advice (financial, market advisory)

Phase IV Challenges (Snakes)


Expanded 1.  Excess consumption (lavish weddings, unaffordable holidays etc)
consumption 2.  Ignoring children’s needs (education, discipline and work ethic)

Opportunities (Ladders)
1.  Empathy credit card – protection against overdrawing on credit card debt
2.  Life and medical insurance - developing a safety net for families’ future
3.  Planning for education expenses for children.
4.  Career guidance for children

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Moving out of Transient Poverty
It takes one work-generation
From my observations, even the best programs take, on an average, one work generation
(about 20+ years) to move a household out of poverty.

Entrepreneurship is best route out of poverty


Capital is required to move the existing services rendered by the poor households into
entrepreneurial ventures that benefit both the provider and consumer.
Further, one entrepreneur amongst the poor community creates more local jobs for the
community helping them out of poverty. The multiplier is simply too high to ignore.

Children are our hope


Children, with good education and disciplined work ethic are surely get the household out of
poverty as soon as they become employable.

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Section III – Structural Poverty
Earliest observations suggest that structural poverty is heinous form of injustice. It often
seduces the household into believing that it is possible to get out of such circumstance. But
despite income growth the affluence is elusive. Structural poverty breaks the character of
people – very slowly. Farmers have been the worst affected by such structural poverty.

I believe, the root of structural poverty is a “treadmill effect” where no matter how hard you
work, you do not move up the income ladder. Such “treadmill effects” occur at various income
levels. Below a certain income threshold, we end up with structural poverty. Above it, the
treadmill leaves the household susceptible to income or expense shocks. A lot of developed
country households are currently in such a treadmill effect at substantially high income levels.

Please note this section only proposes a hypotheses explaining structural poverty.

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Treadmill Effect & Structural Poverty
Treadmill effect
The treadmill effect is when no matter how hard you (seem to) try, you seem to become
worse off. The treadmill effect happens at all income levels. People who are behind on credit
card dues often experience this. No matter how hard you try to pay things off, the debt is
never paid off! These households are experiencing the treadmill effect. This puts the
household at huge risks. Just one accident and the household is pushed into bankruptcy.

Ability to lower lifestyle is central part of the solution to treadmill effect. But this requires a
mature social acceptability. Real friends are the greatest support system. A good tribe that
emphasises simple living and high thinking helps a lot in such situations. People at higher
incomes experiencing this effect do not need financial help – they simply need (Suze Orman
style of) counselling. They also need financial training.

Treadmill below poverty line


At low incomes, treadmill turns into a ghastly unbearable yoke. I would say this is grave
injustice to the poor. Here the lifestyle is already the lowest it can be. So there is no scope for
lowering it further. Poor households then need one additional person to start working. If all
adults are employed then usually the eldest child is pulled into income-earning duty. From
this point on, it is a negative spiral.

The treadmill occurs primarily because income does not grow as much as expense whereas
hope of income growth is still alive.

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Treadmill Effect & Structural Poverty
Fairness of wages
There is some truth regarding the current discussion on appropriateness of wages and jobs.
To understand this better, we need a new metrics. I propose two.

First is a interrelationship between various jobs based on either wage content of a job or job
content of a wage over time. In either case, we will get benchmark jobs and wages in
conjunction with absolute wages and inflation. There should be a reason why certain jobs pay
lesser (relatively) than others. A farmer’s job pays poorly in India. Farm labourers (landless
farm workers) are worse off. One reason I can think of is related to their sources of income. If
income sources of a segment of population forms part of inflation basket then inflation
targeting caps their incomes thus pushing many into abject poverty on a daily basis.

The second is age and productivity relation of a job. The structurally poor, often, tend to get
stuck in jobs that have declining relation (beyond a certain age as the worker ages,
productivity drops).

These parameters, I believe, will help kick-start a more appropriate discussion about
structural poverty. It may show that inflation targeting has reduced the relative wage of
certain jobs. Consequently, poor need to move out of, or add other income streams to these
jobs.

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Politics of Structural Poverty
Politics behind keeping people poor
Part of the structural poverty is rooted in politics. It is politically beneficial, in some cases, to
keep the people poor. Dambisa Moyo elaborates how the aid-receiving countries actually
have governments that keep the people poor. Politicians use the power nexus to create a
self-reinforcing structural poverty. A lot of development funds meant for teachers, doctors and
civic engineers are diverted into paying for illiterate goons supporting the politicians.

Information arbitrage is other way. For example, politicians acquired a lot of agricultural land
in a certain area that was later notified for large-scale urban development. Such arbitrage is a
sin in financial markets but is often practised in politically sensitive sectors.

Financing riots, fiery divisive speeches are other mechanisms that essentially keep social
development forces unaligned for political advantage. Such mechanisms often result in
structural poverty for those community.

The slum dilemma


Slums are often hailed as open-source solutions to real estate problems of the poor as they
urbanise in large numbers. But reality is far more complex. Slums artificially depress the cost
of doing business within the city thus preventing development from reaching out. The
detrimental impact of slums on public infrastructure is well accepted. Slums also put their
residents at health risk. The development of slums is rooted in political land grab and vote-
bank politics amongst other things.

Yet slums represent a very vibrant community / economic ecosystem in urban areas. Slums
are poor people’s solution to lack of localised development. In addition developing slums give
a sense of opportunity to the poor while absolving the political rulers of furthering
development. This is self-reinforcing malice.

Slum, to my mind, are poverty creators. They depress the quality of life despite increasing
incomes. They give poor an illusionary hope of getting out of poverty. Structured one-time
slum elimination programs will actually benefit the poor.

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A future Without Poverty
We can eliminate poverty! We can prevent poverty! We just need to understand poverty
better. This is just the first step.

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Readings and links
Some readings on this topic:

Portfolios of the Poor - How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day


-by Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch and Stuart Rutherford

The Blue Sweater


- by Jacqueline Novogratz

Dead Aid
- By Dambisa Moyo

End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our time


-by Jeffrey Sachs

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
-by Muhammad Yunus

Moving out of poverty – World bank initiative


-http://go.worldbank.org/8K2Q8RYZ10

Out of Poverty
-Paul Polak

Bhumi – An organisation working on poverty


-www.bhumi.in

Economist Walter Williams video outlines government initiated structural poverty


-http://tinyurl.com/povertywalterwilliams

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Disclaimers Acknowledgements etc.
I closely watched my father help many poor people get out of poverty by helping them get
their land rights. A lot of them soon became poor again – for various reasons. But some took
this opportunity to leap-frog into a new income level. They have since become successful in
their own right.

The ideas expressed on poverty were mostly my own – drawn from my observations of poor
families. But quite a few of these observation appear in World Bank project Moving out of
Poverty listed above. The suggestions are hypotheses and we need to test those out. I have
not tested if they work as a rule. I would love to have feedback about these.

Ample reading material is being created that does sometimes validates my observations. I
have listed some in previous slide.

Acknowledgements
Seth Godin pushed me to translate my passion from a few blog posts into a full scale ebook.I
am part of his Triiibes.com network where I have met some of the most awesome people in
this world who have graciously read and improved this document - Jule Kucera, John W.
Furst, Daniel O’Neil, Matt Goodman, JD Stein, Becky Blanton, Marcos Gaser, Anne
McCrossan, Tom Bentley, Randell Waddell and Ellen Di Resta.

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A Future without Poverty by Rahul Deodhar is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Rahul Deodhar
rahul@rahuldeodhar.com
www.rahuldeodhar.com

www.rahuldeodhar.com 32
A future Without Poverty
A dream that is achievable!

About Me - Rahul Deodhar


I work in financial services industry as a buy-side analyst. I look for value and I would like
to see everyone prosperous. I believe business models can be augmented to serve the
bottom of the pyramid. I believe, prudent innovation will help poor become prosperous. I
believe we need to help make this change possible. I am part of Seth Godin’s tribe
(www.triiibes.com).

Read more about me at www.rahuldeodhar.com