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The Poor and The Rest of Us

Juan Carlos Monterrey

What does it mean to be poor? Amartya Sen and proponents of the capabilities approach believe being poor means not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being. According to Poor Economics, being poor, among other things, means having limited access to information. Most of the poor do not have a salary, a retirement plan, or a bank account. The World Bank...

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    People ARE the richest when they can realize their full potential!

  • Juan Carlos Monterrey

    Hey Hannah! Thank you for you comment. I believe there is enough motivation to reduce/eradicate poverty; however, we are not listening to all stakeholders...we are not listening to the poor! The World Bank, the IMF, and the UNDP continue to promote policies and projects based on assumptions about the lives of the poor. They continue to use 'simple models' to fight poverty in multiple countries. The development community needs to understand that no two countries are the same. It is completely irrational to implement the exact same project in two different settings...I know this sounds like common sense; however, common sense has been lacking among 'development experts' for a long long time.

  • Hannah Wasserman

    Great piece! I don't think any cause is less worthy than the next, but you do make a really valid point that we have made advances in areas like space exploration but not as many in solving poverty. Why do you think this is? Is there not enough motivation to reduce poverty?