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The End of Poverty – The Discussion

Please leave your comments, concerns, and questions here regarding the materials we’re working with in class.

Make sure to leave at least 2 quality comments by Thursday afternoon (5/12/2011).

49 replies on “The End of Poverty – The Discussion”

Even though this movie is hard to follow because it has subtitles, it is a good movie that shows us what poverty is like for other people in other countries. It is hard to live with little money nowadays and it is sad to see people living like this. But this happens all over the world and the government doesn’t always feel like they need to help people.

It makes me so sad to see how people can really be this poor. People complain about America’s poverty problems, but they are nothing compared to other countries. Seeing that one section of the movie where the workers have to cut 40 of the reeds just to get pay for the day was so upsetting. They put in so much hard work only to make about $6.50 a day, and getting about a total of $27.50 a month.

I think that it is crazy to think about the numbers from the poverty. Thinking how the United States only have five percent of the world’s population, but then we take twenty-five percent of the planets resources. We also put out thirty percent of the pollution that is in the air today. Even though slavery is illegal in America, you don’t realize that it is legal in other countries, and 80 million people still live in slavery-like conditions, even if they aren’t forced to.

The movie opened with a few interesting and shocking facts, one of which was that every day 24,000 people die of hunger. Then a few experts commented on how as a nation and a world, we have enough resources and food to prevent this from happening, so therefore these people are not dying from lack of food, but from the system that we’ve created. I’m not really sure why this makes me think of this but there was once a time when someone told me they think that the cure for cancer is out there but that we don’t use it on everyone because of population control and I feel like this could somehow be crazily related to that. Like maybe we could be doing so much more about the distribution of our resources but we don’t because it’s important that we have population control. Look at how many people die every day just due to hunger, 24,000 is a lot of people and our population is still huge. 25% of Earth’s resources are used by the 5% of the Earth’s population in the United States. Why are we hoarding so many resources, and more importantly why are there still forms of slavery in our world? Aren’t we supposed to be a civilized, advanced society as a whole? I want to know why someone with a video camera making a documentary can easily find multiple encounters of people undergoing slave-like conditions whereas a government official can’t get involved and stand up for these people. 60 to 80 million people are living in slave like conditions. Why isn’t this a more prominent issue? I never even knew that many people lived like that, let alone anyone lived like that at all. I’m kind of having trouble seeing how colonialism, slavery, and poverty are all related because I personally look at them as serparate issues. However, I can kind of see how colonialism and slavery have set up certain groups of people and nations to become dependent on other people and nations, and this dependency allows for them to be taken advantage of. I think the tricky part is that poverty is an economic and social issue, in a way. I’m not really entirely sure what to think right now but I guess I’ll have a decision by the end of the movie.

I think it is sad that so many people have to starve because they don’t have the money to buy food. The one family we saw where the dad lost his job and has to sell bottled water, and their daughter died, they shouldn’t have had to beg for money to bury her. The fact that colonization ruined a lot of countries is interesting. Colonization was supposed to be a good thing, but it ruined many peoples lives.

The movie really gets to the point in other countries but what about here? It makes sense that they make sure that the citizens of where they were couldn’t grow things. Companies want the employers, if they aren’t growing for the companies they aren’t helping. Local farms might be gone but if they work for the company. not only does the company get money but so does the government because of tax.

The movie we watched in class today was about poverty all around the world. A lot of emotion hit me watching this movie seeing what people who are less privileged have to go through every day. At the beginning of the movie the narrator mentioned we’d have a look into the lives of people who have to live off of less than one dollar per day. One woman was speaking about her and her family’s situation. Her husband lost his job and had to sell purified water on the streets now instead. They have many kids and used to live by the beach. One of their daughters died and now they live in a one bedroom living area in a basement without sanitation, where they all sleep on the floor. A man was speaking for a group of Africans and said that they used to have their culture and wealth until wealthier countries came in with their “guns and bible” to take it and their land away. Another group of men were talking about working in the fields. They woke up at 1 am to make breakfast and worked all day in the fields and only made about $6.50 per day, less than minimum wage per hour here in the US. A statistic in the movie said that the ratio of wealthy countries to poor countries used to be low but as of 1997 it was 74:1. Watching this movie made me feel very grateful for what I have knowing that other people have to live this way without much food, little to no sanitation, and no material items. Even though we have economic problems, they seem minuscule compared to the less developed countries like the ones in the movie.

I think the first day of this film was very eye opening, i have never actually learned about people who live in poverty. The film stated that 24 million people die daily from starvation, but we have enough resources which makes our system a failure according to the people in this film. And less than 5% of the world’s population lives in the US and we consume 25% of resources and we produce 30% of the world pollution. Also, the system of labor laws are a lot like slave laws, and 60-80 million people live in slave like conditions. And on top of that the countries that experience poverty in great numbers today have for many years due to colonialism which caused them to be totally dependent on the motherland and provide the mother land with all of their resources.

Fellow scholars: I agree, the movie is difficult at times due to the many languages spoken, and the fact that many of you, if not all, are not used to subtitles… ah, the luxury we live in where most of what we see is in English. Ha!

Now, imagine living on $6.50/day, or less, as many do, doing manual labor like cutting sugar cane. What would your life be like, then? Could you make it one day here in the U.S. spending only a dollar? Before you say ‘yes’, how much do you spend before leaving your house?

I know that I certainly couldn’t make it through a day spending less than a dollar. First, considering monthly expenditures, we consume electricity and water, and usually have various other bills like phone, internet, or TV, all totaling up to far over a dollar a day. Even before we leave the house, we’ve likely consumed breakfast, added money to the electric bill with the lights and appliances we used, and added similar charges with water. For nearly everyone, this accounts for a dollar spent before even leaving the house.

As this is just the beginning of the day, we have plenty more expenses we’ll accrue no matter what. Living in suburban Ohio, we almost certainly need a car to get around, and with high gas prices, it’s certainly a large cost. Throughout the day, other expenses could include medications, fees and fares, and certainly food. Food alone accounts for a large total; what can you eat for a dollar or two?

To recap your question, no, I certainly could not get by on 6.50 a day, or especially the one dollar challenge. My life would certainly be different, as essentially every expenditure listed would far exceed my income.

People had no shoes or socks, they slept on beds made out of sticks,and their houses were not sanitary at all. When kids are hungry they need to eat and the parents were unemployed so they didnt have any money to get the food. Some people still work as slaves and on plantations with their families in order to get money for food and a home. This leads some kids into drugs and other kinds of crime like murder. I find all this very sad and this video is very eye opening to the struggles people face all arounf the world everyday.

This movie was such an eye opener. I totally didn’t think about the fact that slavery is illegal in the U.S., it’s legal everywhere else: 60-80 million people live in slave-like conditions. The fact that 24,000 people die a day due to just starvation isn’t right. No one should ever go to bed hungry, and should know they’ll be able to have at least one good, full, satisfying meal a day. Less than 5% of the world’s population lives in the U.S., yet we consume 25% of the resources and produce 30% of pollution. But our poverty isn’t nearly as bad as it is in other countries. The movie talked about a family, and how the father had a job, but lost it. Now he has to sell water on the streets to try and get some money to feed his family. This family used to live on a beach, but now they share an one-roomed basement where they sleep on the floor. They had to beg for money to bury their daughter that passed away. Thinking about that makes me sick. If I have kids, I shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to bury my kids. Even though it’s hard to follow due to all the different languages and subtitles, it’s really helping to see how other people live, and how fortunate we really are.

The movie we watched today really it me becuase these people have been suffering and battling all of their lives. They work themselves too much, but it’s needed to make dollars a day. If they don’t follow the rules exactly, they don’t get any food or supplies. It really hit me when I saw the woman talking about her family’s situation and their struggle. Sometimes it was hard to undertand because of the language barrier, but overall, I got the messageand felt an enormous amount of sympathy for all of those people.

Before we even began watching the movie, I already expected what I’d be seeing. Yes, there were a few facts that caught me off guard but most of the movie.. I knew what was going to be said and shown, yet I still was shocked. It shocks me how sooo many people aren’t as fortunate as I am, as we are. Every time I visit India, and see millions of people on the streets, begging, dancing for money, doing magic tricks for money, and what not, my heart breaks. I see people sleeping under bridges, sleeping half naked on the side of the street, people so dirty cause they haven’t showered in weeks and people with huge bellies.. not because they eat a lot but because they don’t get the amount of food they should be getting. I see so many different faces everyday while I’m there and it just disgusts me how there are so many people just like them, all around the world. When I heard how much they made a day, I thought to myself.. could I ever live with that much a day? Could anyone in my econ class live with that much a day? But that’s not even an issue; I just hope that one day I can do something to make a difference in at least one person’s life who is poor, hopefully I can follow my dad’s footsteps when it comes to donating.

I can’t imagine working all day long, from 1 a.m. to the end of the day, for only $6.50. That’s less than i make for one hour of work at my job. It’s unfortunate that people who live in poverty are forced to find these kinds of hard labor jobs and not get paid what they deserve. It’s unfair that they only get paid if they cut 40 barrels. It puts a lot of pressure on them throughout the day, because if they don’t complete their job, they can’t provide for their families. Also, I have sympathy for the woman whose husband lost his gas transporting job. They have to struggle everyday just to put food on the table for their children

During the movie, I thought that it was interesting that other countries that have bad poverty ratings as us or even worse. It seems even worse than ours because they don’t even get as much money as the other countries during poverty.

Its blows my mind that people try to live off such low salaries. 26 dollars a month is absolutely insane. I believe all that labor deserves more appreciation. All countries need fair labor laws and rights against that.

I feel like this movie is hard to follow but at the same time its touching and hard to relate to. The part of the movie that got to me the most is when the family in Kenya was talking about how their family started off with 60,000 families or whatever the number was and is now down to 6 because of the government. Then when he was explaining that the families got arrested for planting food in the land. I do not understand how you get arrested for planting food on your property that will help you live. Where does the government think there food is coming from? I am glad I am from the US where the government can not control every aspect of my life!

I had no idea that the U.S. only has 5% of the worlds population and yet we use 25% of it’s resources when there are 24 thousand people dying everyday from hunger, it just doesnt make any sense to me. And then I thought it was eye opening to hear the kinds of jobs these poor people have to do, like only getting paid 6.50 a day if they meet there quota of 40 bushels of sugar cane. Otherwise they can’t provide for their families which according to the video are pretty large.

I don’t really understand this movie and it’s hard to understand and pay attention because none of it is in English. But from what i got out of it so far, it’s very sad to see how many people are in poverty and how much them and their families suffer. I was so shocked by the ratio of poor countries to wealthy ones, 74:1. Seeing how the people in these places lived made me feel very grateful for what I have and how i live each day, I can’t iamgine not having enough money to eat everyday or buy something i wanted.

It’s sad to think about how people in third world countries live. To think about how 854 million people around the world are malnourished, that’s one out of every eight people that are not eating a good diet. You don’t realize how many people don’t eat enough, since we live in a country where almost everyone over eats. It’s also hard to think about how some men do manual labor all day for only six or seven dollar a day, not even six dollars an hour, six for an entire day. How is any family expected to live off of that?

Today, the movie was kind of slow. But there was one fact I found interesting: 1/3 of the worlds population doesn’t have access to usable water. I think that is sad that some people have to live like this. There is poverty all over the world especially in African countries but we cant really fix that easily. Also, it would be terrible to live on 5 bucks a day. If that was the case, everyone would be living in boxes.

I think its a pity that people have to pay a lot of money just to get water to drink. especially people in poverty it’s not right. Also with the village that got flooded for no reason and the people didn’t even know and they had to rebuild stuff and they have to deal with aerial dusting which is a hazard to their health what’s wrong with people today?

So I’m not gonna lie, I don’t enjoy this movie nearly as much as I thought I would. It’s not as much like Food Inc as I thought it would be and it doesn’t really catch my attention. I figured since it’s dealing with people, it would. Anyways, today during the movie one of the experts gave her opinion on the flow of money and such and I thought she brought up a super interesting point. She said something similar to the South paying nearly $25,000 a minute, and paying $200 billion a year to the North. She said that in reality, it’s the poverty-infested countries and nations that are supplying the money for the United States, not the other way around. I thought this was a very interesting perspective, especially because a lot of us would think that the people living in poverty are doing so poorly because other people are doing so well, but in reality it’s the fact that people are doing so well because of the people living in poverty. This also made me think of progress. I think progress has to come with poverty. Due to the high maintenance and greed of people in the United States, I think progress is now defined as finding a faster, better way to get richer, in all honesty. I also think that in our society nobody notices when you push people down to help yourself. Nobody really said anything about it 500 years ago when colonialism was taking place and during many of the slave years. I think that it’s sort of like if you want to raise yourself up and progress, then you need to push someone else down. And the more selfish you are, the more people you push down. So the reason we have so many people sufferring in poverty and slave like conditions is because we’ve had selfish people push them down to hoard wealth. Why else are the majority of resources, goods, land, etc owned by the rich, but the majority of the population is poor? Why are these people taken advantage of? Profit, right? You even said yourself Mr. Johansson that the only reason to start a business is to make a profit. Isn’t poverty in southern and african nations looked at as a positive by business owners? It’s a chance to make a profit with cheap labor from desperate people. It’s sad really, but I don’t think selfish people are really going to care too much about that.

In today’s part of the movie, I thought it was sad when I found out the US kills the other presidents in other countries. I think that it is sad because if they have a good leader in that country and we go over and kill him/her. Then we look like the idiots through the rest of the history.

But if you think about it this way, it may be wrong but if they aren’t listening to us or we don’t like them there isn’t very much they can do. The US is a super power. They can come over here and try to attack us but it will be for naught because their army against ours would be a blow out. So its an easy way for us to get more out of the situation.

It is crazy how people have to live in many countries. It is really horrible how the United States government gets people in other countries killed so that they can have what they want or when Dominion gas came into the one country and flooded every ones homes and took all of their farming land that they lived off of. Our government and companies are part of the reason that other people have to live so horribly. That shouldn’t be the case. People shouldn’t have to beg for food or money or health care. In one of the families, the father had to work long hours every day so that he could pay for the milk and diapers for his baby. His wife said that most days he went without eating so he could buy the things the baby needed. That isn’t right. It is sad how people have to live.

the movie opened my eyes on how well we have it in america. in some other places everyday is a struggle and working all day to only make what we make in two hours but they make that in a week to a month. the number of people living in poverty is crazy high. what we think is poor here in america is rich to them. overall this movie has impacted me and it shows that as people we need to help others even if they are not living in america.

The second day of the movie talked a lot about why these countries were so poor. The reasons all went back to other countries being responsible for the poor countries’ poverty. The movie told us that the rich 1% of people in the world own 32% of the wealth. That is an overwhelming amount showing that these rich people live so lavishly, the middle class lives commonly and the lower class lives dangerously. One of the historians in the movie said that when all these countries started becoming poor and impoverished, it was because the world was going through the start of capitalism and believed it was “every man for themselves”. The movie let us explore the slums of South America. It was a very sad and disgusting place yet home to more than one billion people. When new countries get started, they borrow money from the World Bank. Then, they always end up in debt to the bank. Therefore, the World Bank tells the countries what to do and they have complete control over them. The World Bank can tell them to do things such as sell oil to others cheap, or to vote with them on the next United Nations election, for example. One country that pays the United States is Sub Sahara in Africa. This is the poorest country in the world. In Africa, the south finances the north. Children being born in these countries are automatically having debt. Third world countries have such sad and unbearable situations.

I agree with Tori. The practices of the World Bank are incredibly shady. I think the only way to get rid of their evil ways is to abolish the World Bank and to forgive the national debt that these third world countries have. It’s important that we do this so that those countries can start using their own resources and become more involved in their own and the global economy.

From day two, I basically got the same message as day one. Countries were made poor and remain that way today because of countries like the US who gain their resources and give them nearly nothing for them, as well as we in a way take their money because they are in debt to us and we give them basically nothing. The film, like the other film we watched made the US seem like a horrible country that cares nothing more than to gain resources, but if we don’t gain resources how can we grow as a country? It’s essential for growth to gain resources we cannot possess here in the US. So sorry we go in and use up a countries sources and then when they have nothing else to offer us we leave, it’s a terrible thing but life is survival of the fittest and you need to know how to get what you need to be successful. To be honest today was harder to focus with the constant “shushing” when anyone made a simple peep, it was quite annoying.

They are portraying poverty in other countries and making the U.S. look like the bad guys when we have our poverty problem our country. I think we should start focusing on our problems before we go off and help everyone else when there is always a problem with poverty everywhere and it is impossible for one country to help everyone.

Well, even before seeing this film, I knew that imperialism and colonialism was evil, and this movie has not only reaffirmed my beliefs, but it has also opened my eyes to another evil: capitalism. Just so anyone isn’t confused, I’m not a communist, socialist, etc., nor have I ever been. However, our system of free enterprise is based on the exploitation of poor people. The “White Man” forced itself on people of the Americas, Asia, and Africa. He also enslaved the indigenous people,stole their resources and continues to do so today, and keeps them in their poverty by not allowing them to have access to the resources that are native to their land. If anyone were to look at the world after seeing this film, it would be clear that all of the world’s problems are results of the “White Man” and His imperialism. However, going back to capitalism, seeing that it is based on exploiting, enslaving, and extorting people who are seen as “less civilized,” we must ask ourselves, “When can we stop exploiting these people?” or”Why do they have to suffer while we reap the benefits of their hard work?” When is it time to say, “Ok. We got all the cookies. Let’s allow some of these other people to partake in making money.”

Watching the movie today, I was surprised that the United States would go to such lengths to get rid of leaders in the south because they didn’t agree with them and would put someone else in power, like how they did with Iraq and putting Saddam Hussein in power which didn’t work out to well. And it also surprised me that 1% of the population owns 32% of the worlds wealth, which is not helping to improve thew poverty problem. One story that made me really upset was the one with the small town of villagers trying to harvest crops but they can’t because a large corporation has taken over the area and is spraying their crops during the day when they are outside working and it is harmful to them, it just doesn’t seem fair.

I find this movie very interesting because it shows a little bit more about poverty than the media shows. Also to learn about other countries conditons with the poverty issue is fascinating as well. But what I found most interesting from today is that our own country killed world leaders and put in new ones to fill our own pockets. One of those leaders we put in was Saddam Hussein who was a big threat to the U.S. Makes me think about our countries decisions on a global scale.

I agree. We decided to get rid of the leader that was good and well-liked purely for our own economic interests. It seems like we did the same after Hussein started to act like his predecessor. This time however, we were able to cover it up with claims of injustice and weapons of mass destruction. Overall, I’m very ashamed of how the US has handled itself globally.

Seeing in the video today how our government takes so much from people is really upsetting. The family from Africa that they showed where all of their possessions were gone from the flood was mind-blowing. They lost everything and there was nothing they could do, and no one to help them. Those people can’t even look to their governments for help.

On day two of this movie I feel like they were repeating a lot of the same fact from yesterday, about how people in other countries work all day long, and get paid very little. Also that slave-like conditions need to be stopped was what I kept hearing. We all know it’s wrong, and here in the U.S. it’s illegal, yet in other countries it is legal. There’s nothing being done to protect people in these conditions. I feel like we’ve grown up and should be more civilized nations, but yet we still have slavery. It’s not right. These people in these conditions work hard to earn the little that they do. Imagine how they would feel if they weren’t treated like slaves, treated like actual human beings, and worked for the same person/company they did before. I’m sure the workers would be thrilled, and even work harder; knowing they were free and not as much pressure would be on them. I think they also wouldn’t have the fear of not being able to feed their families.

No I could not last an hour on one dollar in the United States. I wake up to an alarm clock which runs through the electricity in my house. The electricity then costs more than a dollar in and of itself. I would not last on only a dollar a day. The part of the movie that got me today was the conversation about the health care system. They said that one third of the people that go to the hospital in an emergency or urgent situation die there because they do not have the money to pay for the treatment. And that many die from simple “diseases” because they do not have the money to go to the hospital and buy medication. If this was us in the USA we would be screwed? I enjoy my health care system here and am once again glad to be living in the USA.

This movie is very hard for me to follow, but at some parts, it gives me a good look at what poverty is really like. Our only sense of poverty that we have in Cleveland is the people who live on the streets. We don’t see the people working 18 hour days in the hot sun, just so they can provide food for their family. Most of the people in this movie live in dirt shacks. And if I understood it correctly, one of the men speaking starting talking about resource wars. To my knowledge, that is when a country goes to war with another country, or becomes their ally, just because they have some resources that are useful. Then he used Somolia as an example. He questioned why we don’t help out more in Somolia, but we help many other countries. It’s because Somolia doesn’t have anything to offer in return. If I’m correct in what I’m saying, that is very wrong and we should do something to correct it.

I think that it is horrible to think about the numbers of people living in poverty. Thinking how the United States only have 5% of the world’s population, but then we take 25% percent of the planets resources. We also put out 30% of the pollution that is in the air today. Even though slavery is illegal in America, you don’t realize that it is legal in other countries, and 80 million people still live in slavery-like conditions, even if they aren’t forced to. Labor laws act like slave laws in that they force males in some places to join workforce at 16 and must work, fir very minimal wages.

The movie we watched we watched yesterday really talked about how the world’s richest 1% has 32% of the wealth. It also talked about how peoples’ water is being taken away because they can’t pay, and big companies own the water companies so the prices raise by over 50% in some cases. It is really sad to see how people struggle throughout their lives to have all of their small amount of money and belongings taken away from them.

I think the abuse people working below poverty take just to make a little money. Also people below the poverty line stuggle to provide for themselves and their families. One family in the film said that they were lucky on days that they could eat one meal. That would be very hard for many of us who are use to three meals a day.

Someways that people go into poverty can be very sad. One family in the film lost everything and went into poverty when a company from the United States came and flooded their feilds and houses. Now they have nothing and struggle to put food on the table for their family. The number of people living in poverty is horrendous. There are many families in the world just like the one in the film who have lost everything and cannot afford food. Living in poverty is very bad.

I missed a big part of the movie from being absent on Wednesday, but from what I got out of it, this movie was very eye-opening. It was sad to see how many people actually do live in poverty. I felt so bad for the women who lost both of her sons and the one was just graduating. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. It’s also sad that all of these big companies don’t care at all about what they’re taking away from people, they just want more money. Poverty is something all countries really need to focus on fixing because it is a huge problem in our world.

I believe all the wealthy countries could find a way to get the two hundred billion dollars to help these poverty stricken countries. Providing them with land or labor or even helping establish labor laws so no one has to live like that. Imagine living on .50 cents in America. You would never make it. No healthy food supply or housing is that cheap. That’s immediate failure

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