|The End of Poverty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
You hear about "the root causes of poverty"; the analysis generally blames the wealthy and the West for being oppressive and exploitive. In other words, "it's not their fault -- it's ours". I'm thinking nations and societies here, not so much individuals, but they come into play as well.
But what if poor nations are poor because they simply don't have the cultural characteristics that tend towards wealth creation and preservation? I suspect that most of the well-meaning remedies will fail because they are based on wealth-creating assumptions, attitudes, predispositions, and values that may not be present in the host culture.
I think we've been going about it the wrong way. I've seen tons of money fall through Africa's hands and it remains as poor as ever. Here's a thought: money is not the answer to poverty, and those "Make Poverty History" signs, directed at the West, are pointed in the wrong direction.
Instead of studying the root causes of poverty, we should study the root causes of wealth, and then assess poor countries/individuals against those criteria. Why does resource-rich Zambia languish and resource-zero Singapore prosper?
I did a Google search. The phrase "root causes of poverty" gets 1.5 million hits. The phrase "root causes of wealth" gets 20,000. I noticed these hits were in the context of a longer phrase "root causes of wealth and poverty". When poverty is subtracted out of this phrase, the number of hits are, are you ready for this? -- thirty-eight. As in 3-8. So, the analysis goes 1.5 million to 38 in favor of explicating root causes of poverty rather than wealth.
I think we're going about it the wrong way. Someone should research and write a book called "The Root Causes of Wealth".
Does anyone else think I might be on the right track here?
And that's the way the Ball bounces.