Is humanity better than ice cream? Everyone I know is a big fan of ice creamGiven the context of poverty, humanity with its greatest accomplishmentsAnd it’s worst failures, can be a mixed bag
Even though Up and Out of Poverty covers a lot of solutions,18,000 children still die every day from hungerKotler, P., & Lee, N. R. (2009). Up and Out of Poverty: The Social Marketing Solution (1st ed.). Pearson Prentice Hall.
It would appear that humanity is missing a crucial piece of the puzzle.Contrast our general desire to help our fellow human beings with theendless stereotypes of lazy, drugged out poor people.UN World Food Programme. (2007). Hunger Stats. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from http://www.wfp.org/hunger/stats
48% of Americans feel the poor aren’t doing enough to help themselvesIn the UK, nearly two-thirds think poverty is either inevitable or due to a person’s own lazinessAlthough public opinion is harsh, maybe it’s incorporatingRosenbaum, M., Altman, D., Brodie, M., Steffenson, A., Blendon, R., Pelletier, S., & Benson, J. (2001, February 27). Poverty in America. Retrieved February 17, 2011, from http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/poverty/staticresults.htmlJoseph Rowntree Foundation. (n.d.). Attitudes to poverty. text/html, . Retrieved February 17, 2011, from http://www.jrf.org.uk/work/workarea/attitudes-poverty
Although public opinion is harsh, maybe it’s incorporating the circular nature of povertyDoes laziness cause poverty or does a lack of money cause people to give up?In any case, being lazy and on drugs is not unique to poverty.
My sister just got back from being in Mozambique with the Peace Corpsand was telling me about an NGO that built a factory for drying fruit withthe goal of creating local jobs.Brien, S. (2011, February 1). Dried Fruit Factory in Mozambique.
The only problem is that people don’t really eat dried fruit thereSome people don’t even know what it isSince they can’t sell it, they end up giving it away to schools.Where the packaging turns into litter…
But the point is that the NGO had the best of intentionsAnd there are many organizations and people who do make society better,Hopefully better than ice creamAnother example where people have the best of intentions…
Another example where people have the best of intentionsIs the overpopulation argument.It applies the idea of carrying capacity to human populationsAnd concludes there are too many poor people
Since developing countries have higher birth rates, having more kids must be preventing families from overcoming poverty.Current evidence does not support this.
…Current evidence does not support this.The UN Population Database estimates that overall growth rates are going downAnd that in one generation, by the year 2040, the world’s population will begin to declineBut should…2.1 Kids: A Stable Population. (2010). Overpopulation is a myth (Vols. 1-4, Vol. 2). Retrieved from http://overpopulationisamyth.com/2-point-1-kids-a-stable-population
But should carrying capacity even by applied to human populations?This is still very much up for debate.Regardless, applying this theory in the real worldIs a real nightmare.
I would argue that population control violates human rights. The most notorious example is the millions of men and women involuntary sterilized in india as part of their family planning policies.Caselli, G., Wunsch, G., & Vallin, J. (2005). Demography: Analysis and Synthesis, Four Volume Set: A Treatise in Population. Academic Press.
Given the track record of population control implementation I’m surprisedKotler and Lee don’t provide more of a historical contextOf course, that’s not to say family planning initiatives can’t foster human rights.
I would argue these programs have very different motivationsSuccessful programs provide people reproductive choices, they don’t dictate family size.
Successful programs provide people reproductive choices, they don’t dictate family size.If ALL I had to go on were these crazy foreign aid and population control ideas,I would probably go get a big ice cream cone and call it a day
Because, to paraphrase Bono, poverty makes a farce out of our idea of equalityIt doubts our concern.Poverty isn’t about charity, it’s about justice.Which brings me to my conclusion:Bono. (2005). Bono's call to action for Africa. Presented at the TED Talk. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/bono_s_call_to_action_for_africa.html
Sometimes with poverty, it’s hard to tell the difference between cause and effect.Too often the general public blames the poor for their situationEven with the best of intentions, silver bullet solutions can do more harm than good.
Having said that,The cost of preventing malnutrition among all children Under 2 years old is $3.6B.For comparison, we spend $11B on ice cream.So humanity has to be better than that. UN World Food Programme. (n.d.). Nutrition in 2 Minutes. Retrieved from http://www.wfp.org/nutrition
I would suggest that poverty in today’s world is a question of prioritiesPriorities that can be influenced and changed.And to talk more about how to do thisJake will explain the idea of social marketing