Caution! This is a MAD AS HELL post. Poverty has been a rallying cry for developers, Multinational Investment, and top down control to monetize the developing nations “for their good”. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is strongly self funding through investment promoting multinational profiteers that they are partnering with. Some of the Investment “Leverage” includes: Chemical based rather than agroecology based Agriculture, Seed patenting/GMO companies such as Monsanto, Pharmaceutical companies who make cut-rate vaccines by antiquated but highly profitable methods using nerve toxic and immune suppressive Mercury unnecessarily to reduce production costs, large scale agribusiness such as Cargill corporation who stands in place for massive gain in the partnership which is also supported by G8-Nation hi-pressure agreements to take indigenous lands for sell-off to massive internationally owned and operated farms, and partnerships with banking slated to add half a billion people to a fees based cell phone banking scheme when they did not previously use banking at all. These investments drive mega-industrial prosperity and wealth generation enabling the continuance of the “growth mantra” success with the implied goal that it will also provide a platform to bring developing nations into “our way of living” aka alleviated poverty. This can all be rationally linked to a quasi-evolutionary perspective of the peoples of the world that defines indigenous lifestyle as “poor” or by implication of past terminology, less evolved. Arguably alleviation of poverty equates to the modern politically correct version of “the white man’s burden.” If this is exaggerated, at the very least we can all smell a lot of BS in the modern jargon and push of big money to “Re-Conquer Africa” for peace. Remember that at the same time a few Western journalists involved in a war of words and cartoons with ISIS and Al Qaeda got shot by the same group, innocent people who were not pestering anyone were killed in mass in Nigeria by Boko Haram and it barely made the news. Rationally, this equates to lower value people vs higher value people as also exemplified in the covert and open war policies creating “collateral damage” and attitudes dramatized in the recent “Sniper” film which shows the precursor to super and secret drone based warfare. Obviously, the western world having ravaged the resources of Africa while discounting the human value after slavery was abolished has found a way to monetize them again. The “Lesser Peoples” viewpoint is referred to with words like the poor, those without electricity, those without washing machines, and those without easy access to modern medical services. Poverty is described in the West by the future system that the “lesser peoples” are being primed to live in when “the future” catches up to them. It is a future that masses who grew up in it are trying desperately to change and that has the entire world in an environmental and social degradation spiral victimized by the mandate that for the system to work it must grow endlessly. Those nations being captured in the name of poverty, are needed to continue the “growth” to keep the system paying dividends for those invested in it, employing those employed by it, and feeding those fed by it. Poverty’s simplified working definition is: Not invested in, Employed by, or Fed by the Multi-national Economic Industrial Politic. As the article below accentuates, there really is rampant poverty in Africa and reliance on the system that has been created by outside interests. The West has created the poverty seen in Africa and grown wealthy and powerful in the process. The West is now a country-less Ideological Multinational Economy purging money to the top through pipe dreams of the poor and middle class with upper middle class sitting fat and happy on their dairy airs spending rampantly to further amplify the upward drift. Now as was rabidly discussed in Davos 2015 World Economic Forum, the flows are slated to slow down if we don’t come up with a hell of a lot more human resources to fuel the machine. We were drawing so little blood from the vast peoples of Africa (partly because of the poverty we imposed on them) that they can damn well step it up and do their part by doubling or tripling the contribution to the world economy! The cries for alleviation of poverty are translated “Let the African Blood flow West again!” The stench of it all happening again to an entire continent of some of the world’s brightest people makes those with their heads above the clouds nauseous and angry; but the answers are not in the fight, but in the wise struggle of solidarity for knowledge and local empowerment. Still, let the African people save themselves from a second round in a battle that is not their own! The excerpt follows:
Here is an excerpt of an excellent article:
WRITTEN BY Martin Kirk Joe Brewer and Jason Hickel
POVERTY FACT #1: POVERTY IS MADE BY PEOPLE. IT IS NOT JUST PART OF NATURE
Greece provides a clear and present example of this. Under EU-imposed austerity put in place in hopes of stabilizing the economy—which, among other things, slashed spending on social services, laid off tens of thousands of government workers, raised taxes across the board and and cut the minimum wage—unemployment shot up from 8% in 2008 to 28% in 2014, while wages plummeted. A humanitarian catastrophe followed, with hospital closures, lack of medicines, andwidespread homelessness. Now 44% of Greeks live below the poverty line, up from 20% in 2008. Even middle class citizens have been forced to resort to soup kitchens. Similar stories can be told about Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, England, and even the United States. No one is under the illusion that any of this is a natural phenomenon, which is why people are starting to vote for dramatic change. Sam DCruz via Shutterstock The Greek experience isn’t uncommon; it’s just that it has until recently been uncommon in the West. People across the global South have been on the receiving end of such policies for decades. In the past it was called “structural adjustment” and was spearheaded by the IMF andWorld Bank, with devastating consequences. They argued that, through aggressively pro-business measures like privatizing essential services and structuring economies so that debtors are paid off before the population is taken care of, they could kick start economies. Today, we call that agenda “austerity.” The effects are the same. Richard Cavalleri via Shutterstock Poverty doesn’t just exist; it is created. So when the Gates treat it like a naturally occurring problem—by leaving out any mention of what’s causing the problems in the first place and instead focusing exclusively on new technical interventions and big bets for the future—they’re telling a story without any of the main characters present. It would be like a football coach saying that understanding what helped the team win or lose last week, or the ongoing fitness of the players doesn’t matter; we just need better technology and a bigger crowd of supporters this week. In other words, it helps makes small technical interventions sound adequate when they are not. POVERTY FACT #2: HISTORY MATTERS In order to understand the causes of poverty we have to understand history. Before the 1500s, there was no discernible difference between the West and the rest of the world in terms of human development. The impoverishment of the global South began first with the plunder of Latin America, followed by the Atlantic slave trade, then the British colonization of Asia and the European scramble for Africa. This architecture of wealth extraction was essential to Western development. Later, neoliberal policies—like the deregulation of capital markets, privatization of essential services, elimination of social and environmental protections, and a constant downward pressure on both corporate taxation and workers wages—were imposed across the global South, mostly by way of western-supported dictators and the structural adjustment we mentioned above. This turned into the biggest single cause of poverty in the 20th century, because it created both the incentives and the systems required—like tax havens—for wealth and power to be centralized in the hands of the elite. Today, the process of wealth extraction continues in the form of tax evasion, land grabs, debt service, and trade agreements rigged in the interests of the rich, a reverse flow of wealth that vastly outstrips the aid (the epitome of a small, technical fix) that trickles in the other direction. Gil.K via Shutterstock It is no surprise, then, that the fortunes of rich countries and poor countries continue to diverge. Or that the richest 1% have managed toaccumulate more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined. By leaving this history out of their grand story of poverty, Mr. and Mrs. Gates are either saying it isn’t true, or it doesn’t matter. POVERTY FACT #3: THE “GOOD NEWS” STORY IS PREMISED ON FALSE ACCOUNTING The “good news” narrative that the Gates rely on asserts that humanity is making remarkable progress against global poverty. People who hold this view insist that aggregate wealth is a legitimate proxy for well-being. Thus, because global GDP has grown an astonishing 635% since 1980, we have never been better off overall. Close on the heels of this come claims that the number of people in extreme poverty is declining so dramatically that we should all believe that it will soon—i.e. by 2030—be eradicated. The World Bank, the governments of wealthy countries, and the UN Millennium Campaign all agree on this narrative. Relax, they tell us. The world is getting better, thanks to the spread of free market capitalism and western aid. Yavuz Sariyildiz via Shutterstock It is a comforting story but unfortunately it is just not true. For a start, it all rests on The World Bank’s $1.25-a-day poverty line, which is insultingly low. The UN body UNCTAD has pointed out that anyone living on less than $5 a day is unable to achieve “a standard of living adequate for health and wellbeing”: the inalienable right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If you use that figure, a soul-scorching 5.1 billion people, or 80% of humanity, are living in those conditions today. POVERTY FACT #4: POWER MATTERS All of this is about politics and power. It’s a well-established truth that those with the money make the rules, usually in ways that serve their own interests. This is why 93 cents of every $1 made since the 2008 crash has gone to the 1%. The Gates want us to believe that it’s possible to solve poverty without challenging the forms of power that caused it in the first place. It sounds nice, especially for rich people, but it’s a fairy tale. Solving poverty will require a fundamental reorganization of power away from the oligarchy and toward real, meaningful democracy. Any plan to end poverty that doesn’t put this front and center isn’t really a plan at all. By relying on cherry-picked evidence, the Gates promote a rosy picture of recent progress in order to make the case for more of the same into the future. In other words, they want us to accept that more unregulated neoliberal capitalism is the answer. No need for better, more representative politics, more sustainable economic models, or constraints on corporate control of national and international governance. Solving poverty will require a fundamental reorganization of power away from the oligarchy. There are plenty of alternatives. A movement is underway to create genuinely new economic thinking—one that is based in the rigorous sciences of human social systems and complexity research. It has been quietly taking form for decades in various academic departments. Groups like the Santa Fe Institute and Institute for New Economic Thinking have vigilantly explored the need to incorporate real human nature with a grounding in systems thinking to create effective social policies. We might have had to settle for small technical fixes 30 years ago. In 2015, we certainly don’t. So much more is now known about the structural causes of poverty that it is possible to get at the real roots of the problem. Doing so will require that a lot more people know the facts about poverty creation, something we hope Bill and Melinda Gates also learn as they continue to grapple with this thorny problem along with the rest of us.