'Make Poverty History' was an anti-poverty campaign that was promoted in several countries. exists in a number of mostly Western countries (including Australia, Canada, Denmark , Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom). It was not promioted in the United states for some reason so I am only recently finding out about it. The Campaign was coordinated by the international Global Call to Action Against Poverty campaign and associated groups. This is a coalition of aid and development agencies which try to publicize global poverty and achieve policy changes. The interesting aspect of this program is that the effort was to change policies of Wesrtern Governments, not the policies of the countries where the poverty is most prevalent, developing countries especially African countries. The inference here is that poverty in the Third World is the result of capitalism and Western policies, not the heavily socialist policies and coruption endemic in the developing Third World. The Campaign made no real effort to identify what the root causes of poverty were. The asumption was that the capitalist West was responsible and thus the goal of the campaign was primarily to increase foreign aid, remove trade restrictions, and to forgive the debt of developing countries. The term social justice was commonly used. I first became aware of this with the British comedy 'The Vicar of Dibley' had a piece promoting the campaign including a heart-wrenching clip of orphans who had lost their mother and were caring fior their father who was dieing from AIDS. Of course no one with a heart would not want to help those children. But what these and other similar campaigns refuse to deal with is that the historical record is quite clear. The only effort that has suceeded in reducing poverty is free market capitalism. All one has to do is to look at once poverty stricken countries (Brazil, Chile, China, India, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and others) where huge numbers of people have emerged from poverty because of free market reforms. Compare this to the Sub-Saharan African countries which adopted socialist policies where after more than $2 Trillion in aid, most countries are now poorer than they were during the colonial era. Yet there is not the slighrst hint in the 'Make Poverty History' campaign thst the poor countries should change their policies and adopt free market capitalism.
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