The End of Poverty

Ratings: 7.12/10 from 42 users.


The End of PovertyGlobal poverty did not just happen. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor.

Today, the problem persists because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies - in other words, wealthy countries taking advantage of poor, developing countries.

Renowned actor and activist, Martin Sheen, narrates The End of Poverty, a feature-length documentary directed by award-winning director, Philippe Diaz, which explains how today's financial crisis is a direct consequence of these unchallenged policies that have lasted centuries.

Consider that 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate.

At this rate, to maintain our lifestyle means more and more people will sink below the poverty line. Filmed in the slums of Africa and the barrios of Latin America, The End of Poverty features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts; government ministers such as Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the leaders of social movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania.

It is produced by Cinema Libre Studio in collaboration with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation. Can we really end poverty within our current economic system? Think again. Not Available in United States.

More great documentaries

109 Comments / User Reviews

  1. g4143

    What is the end of it the end of different societies? We are the most arrogant of people, who force are ways onto the poor...explaining, we are right or our banks are right...please down here.

  2. Lary Nine

    At what point does the fraudulent "zero-sum game" of extreme capitalism become untenable? When the global population has swelled to 6.5 billion from its lesser census origins, the deception of visionary Friedman economics has stretched credulity to bursting point. The world continues to be engorged with hungry mouths. The only realistic response is to regard the emerging 21st.century world as 'one world'--- a collective gemeinschaft crying out for the socialistic restructuring of society. It is the only answer.

    We, here in the USA, are the last bastion of capitalism's imperial highwaymen. The last 500 years of "greed-is-good" pseudo-idealism has served its purpose and is long overdue to expire. Let us together overturn the game board and start afresh.

  3. pammy

    `We` I am not part of the 1% which own 30% of this worlds wealth.

  4. Dante

    Most if not all of the crimes against humanity is perpetrated by the white man- europeans and americans.I wonder if the white man is genetically predisposed to being criminals.

  5. Zatarra

    Great documentary its really sad how the vast profits for the few can take so much from those who have so little. I wonder what the cheapest way is to make all the poor in the world less poor? We could give them some of our loot making us less wealthy somewhat and raise the world out of poverty ect... doubt thats gona happen. We could make war and call them the enemy thus killing them or poison them with pollution thus killing them or starve them out. U know its sad i think we are trying the latter 3 options and we are still getting more poor in the world. I think this problem like many other problems confronting mankind might never be solved as long as "Dems Wit Da Gold Make Da Rules". Maybe one day people wont be greedy and covet others wealth for their own profit and it will all change to fair and more just world.

  6. grey area

    man is greedy. man is vain. as long as money exists there will be rich and poor , this is the greed of man. why split the pot with that guy when you can just snatch it up all for yourself?? 'if he dies , he dies'- ivan drago. there has to be poor so the rich jaka$$es can donate a few cents and claim theyve done their part. until u see 'hands across the world uniting' explotation for profit will continue. worlds greatest perpetrators are america and russia right now, military wise that is

  7. 8kin

    A sense of community develops a sense of responsibility for those around you.

  8. Another viewer

    a/Serious long term family planing, b/micro loans to self suficiency,c/land reform to feed yourself, instead of native utopian do goodering or dreaming of a better world. Real action in the real world by real means. How many more decades until we understand this.

  9. knob hill farms

    "you owe us a pound of flesh" I Think that sums it up

  10. IrishKev

    @ Another viewer
    a/sounds a bit like eugenics,b/why should we have to borrow to be self sufficient?, c/agree with that one.

  11. knob hill farms

    @Dante good question don't know the answer...another question is why don't the British and USA erase all debts from countries that which there great ancestors committed genocide against countless number of people in order to obtain there lands...poverty is a race issue simple and plan we all know who the 1percent is but what we don't talk about is the other 12 or 13 percent myself included who keep the system going buy eating,sleeping,and most of all working for the about this for a new world order tomorrow me and millions of others hit the streets demanding a real change in like thats gonna change anyting

  12. Artist

    @Dante Well genetic predispositions are just a mirror of the society and the thoughts of majority. It can influence the same decision making process, as you can see in nature (fractals...) So no, US and EU ppl dont have that exploiting behaviour in them, they are programed to think that way.
    And sadly im one of them, even though strong will can change everything

  13. Smoke

    Sadly we are all far to late in the game to change the rules by that its played. The whole institutional infrastructure must be changed for that and no one,even the most powerful can do that at this point in time. It will be a total train-wreck for one or two generations from now on and our grandchildren grandchildren will dam us for it but probably they will be smarter then.

  14. Green Warrior

    it would be nice to go there and set up a elec. system,village showers,and a village refrigeration system and a iragation system so they could grow there own food but the people making money off of them would go after you and your family.all americans north and south need to get off the grid and away from big brother goverment.

  15. jack1952

    The poor will always be among you. Jesus said this to his disciples 2 thousand years ago. The concept of rich and poor had been a reality since humans settled down in towns. As economic systems changed over the centuries, there has always those who tried, successfully, to take advantage of their current system for their own gain. The market system of capitalism is the modern economic form and once again we find this discrepancy between rich and poor. To lay blame does not solve the problems that has been inherent in human society for thousands of years.

    Arnold Vinette has some interesting ideas is post #2. As long as we value things over people, poverty never be a thing of the past. Unlimited economic growth and increased productivity cannot be sustainable. Less people to create more things can only marginalize those who are not employed. It will only end in chaos.

  16. Anthony

    what's that old saying; every society in history is three meals from revolution? something like that, well we might have our bellies full but half the world is hungry.

  17. Brian

    @Dante I am white. I can tell you I have been disgusted ever since knowing of colonialism. If the tables were turned, the profits are the driving force/incentive. Not melanin. Important to remember.

  18. Cameron H

    Great documentary about a difficult subject. I'm almost ashamed to understand that 100 million people live on 50 cents a day, and here in Canada - with a population of only 30 million - people think of themselves as poor if they have less than 25 dollars a day. My parents live alone in a 4 bedroom house, and 'actually' use about 300 square feet of that space... kitchen to TV to bed.

    I live comfortably on less than 1000 a month. I have no apartment, no phone bills. I work. I pay taxes (both income and sales).... I haven't felt lack of anything for years. I'm going to try living on less and less each year. Technology becoming cheaper, access to information becoming free... it should be easy for those of us in the first world who want to, to live simply so that others may simply live.

  19. Cameron H

    Oops... that might read like I live with my folks. I don't... I live out of a backpack, in community spaces, or off-grid depending on the season and/or the needs of others.

    @8kin - Nice one.

  20. Ace

    Excellent doc!

  21. jack1952

    @ Cameron H

    I live in Canada and I have my own apartment. I live on less than 1000 dollars a month. I see so many people here who live in 2500 square foot homes, have two vehicles, a snowmobile, a boat, and a Harley and go to the Caribbean every winter. Yet all they talk about how they don't have enough money. Even if they lived the simple life like you and I do, it still will not help anyone in the third world. Their poverty is ingrained in the system. The only way to make their life better is to change World Bank policies and to put human rights over corporate rights.

  22. Cameron H


    I agree in some ways that, as you say, most people here living a more simple life wouldn't directly improve the lives of others without some meaningful and sweeping changes to the world economy... However I believe that if I participate less, generate less income, and thus provide less incentive for the wealthy 'in my name' to commit this kind of crime against humanity.... it all adds up. Without ego in saying this, you and I are at least conscious of our impact, and we're trying to live with less. Fewer calories in my body 'could' potentially mean more for someone else who needs them, etc. When the day comes that the 'poor' of the first world realize that they are in fact very wealthy compared to nearly two-thirds of the human race, we might be on the right path. Some of us need to live by quiet example and hopefully this may happen. There may be plenty of very urgent, external pressures mounting that could take care of it sooner than later, though.

  23. Lary Nine

    As a survivor of the 60s and the great Vietnam debacle (from both sides of the issue (civilian & military), I believe that real grassroots activism will not come until we, as a country, actually taste it and invite it in... to feel the intolerable outrage of it--- and each of us personally.

  24. jack1952

    @ Cameron H

    I can only sincerely hope that change doesn't include violence. People in Canada quite often equate success with a bank account. Those with the wealth will not freely give it up and desperation make drive the poor to force them to. The violence and loss of human rights and lives that resulted in Russia and China because of the rage of the poor is not a road that the world would like travel down again.

  25. Jay

    I haven't watched this yet, but it'll be next on my list. I didn't see it mentioned in any of the comments or the description of the documentary, but there's a book by the same title by Jeffrey Sachs.
    Anyone interested in development, economics, or poverty should definitely check it out.

  26. Cap'n Canard

    where does the blame lie? I tend to believe it is the fraudulent Free Market Mconomic system that Milton Friedman promoted. The problem is that such a system doesn't work if there are no poor. Poverty is a sure sign that "Free Market Capitalism" is working. Relying on currency that has value in and of itself is a recipe for disaster. Get rid of the Monetary system and make WORK more valuable than currency

  27. Jason

    Important to watch, but at the same time, the bias against the northern peoples is evident. Sorry, we had winter to train us to think ahead, although that shouldn't be something to feel sorry about because it seems to be the smart thing to do usually.

  28. Bobby D



    Hey look, I can make sweeping racist statements, too! Thing is the above statement would be considered racist (rightly so), but you get a "good question" for a statement just as dumb and racist. It's the exact same logic, but if I made the above statement I'd be shouted down, while you get white people apologizing to you for what ppl with the same skin color did. Friggin' hypocritical nonsense- you're no better than the racist white ppl, just less powerful.

  29. Rob

    Evil is the root of all money - say it like it is. Nothings going to change until the $$ are gone and we try to do it differently. I live on $80 a week, use solar/water power, drive a very small car, have one bank acct, grow my own food and medicine, dont use credit cards, and worry about my kids future.

  30. Ryan

    Societies, even where the aim is to end classes, end up devolving into classes, even if they are non economic. You're telling me being well connected with the government is really that different than being well connected with business leaders? It's still inequality, just different inequality. There will always be the haves and the have nots. People will always be judged by how much money they make or how much influence they have etc.

  31. sahotak

    @ bobby D
    Don't get into this unnecessary discussion about the past and the racism..don't get distracted from the main subject..

  32. jack1952

    @ Ryan

    A lot of truth to your post. The idea would be to allow the poor people to have a dignified life. The problem today is not that some are rich, but that they refuse to use their wealth to help the unfortunate. There should be a safety net; not that some people won't be poor, but that the poor are guaranteed access to food, safe drinking water, medicine, a decent shelter and education. The rich may feel that they are supporting the poor but they wouldn't be rich if they weren't taking advantage of cheap labor.

  33. Vitor Mendes

    There should be a class in all primary schools teaching this topic,so future citizens of the world become better people than we are,because all we care about in life is to have a nice car,eating in restaurants,have enough money to spend on silly stuff etc...

    this doc make me really sad,how can this be????

  34. Andd


    Your post only makes sense (of a kind) if you believe that the current state of the world was somehow pre-determined; that the sweep of human history made it inevitable that first Europe and then North America would become the dominant powers in the world.

    Three simple examples should be enough to demonstrate why your idea is false. If Carthage had defeated Rome in the Punic Wars, North Africa and Mediterranean Asia would have secured centuries of predominance. If the Tartars had defeated Russia, at least a quarter of the world would look very different. And if the Ottoman Turks had captured Vienna, European power would have been strangled in it's infancy.

    Unless you are willing to speculate that any of the above would have resulted in a humanitarian utopia, in contrast to the situation brought about by European dominance, your post if senseless racism.

  35. Lary Nine

    I'm amazed at the sheer range of literacy displayed in some of the posts. Some come prepared to argue the most sophisticated points of history and science; others seem lost amidst the basics of western civilization. It's as if a 'comments group' was cobbled together from Stanford grad school, a local Shoprite supermarket, East Peoria high school and Ms. Shansky's 6th. grade class.

  36. Aristotle

    How is it that all forget that these impoverished countries are now self ruled? They have established their own governments one way or another.

    In Africa there are now 53 independent states. There are 2 partially recognized. There remain 2 French and 1 British protectorate. There remain 6 island groups under foreign protectorates 4 Spanish, 1 Portuguese and 1 French. The highest GDP is Republic of Equatorial Guinea with $16,312.00 per capita. The lowest is Republic of Malawi with $569.00 per capita and they vary widely in between.

    Egypt has its own wealth of natural recourses. The Middle East, save Jordan, is awash in natural recourses and wealthy.

    Other self ruled countries awash in natural recourses, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China.

    South of the US boarder is the independent state of Mexico and in Central America there are 7 independent states. In South America there are 13 independent states and 6 European protectorates split between the Netherlands, French and the British. All are natural recourse rich and most can and some do nationalize them.

    Colonialism is a bygone area. It is now within the power of these states to regulate and share their wealth. How is it that in all the Independent self ruled States mentioned above the wealth of these nations is sequestered within the few and one in particular being a Pseudo-Marxist state, the Savior being hinted at in this documentary. Within each of these countries there live most of the most impoverished peoples of the world.

    Mexico, Central and South America are the Revolution capitals of the world and after each Revolution we find a repeat of the same problem and the cause is not the Daemon Capitalism. It is the lust for power.

    With each overthrown despotic ruler comes another just as bad or worse. As one state or country begins to improve some group lusts for the seat of power or a neighboring state pillages it. The problem isn’t an economic system and no economic system is the cure. It is the corruption within each of them that impoverishes their citizens.

    Hunt for the daemon within it’s lair, the country of origin.

  37. a dept slave

    Aristotle what planet are you living on?

  38. jack1952

    @ Aristotle

    I think you are underestimating the power of the multi-nationals. These companies have no national affiliations or loyalties. Their only goal is increased profits for their themselves and their investors. They will offer huge incentives to third world despots so they will pass laws that strongly favor an environment for the multi-nationals to operate in. These laws can be very oppressive towards the poor who live there. The rulers are happy because they now have the cash resources to retain power and the multi-nationals can operate monopolies. The World Bank is then pressured to only grant loans to those countries who will privatize both industry and social institutions. The only ones who can afford to purchase these enterprises are the huge corporations. Once again the despot thrives because he now has the support of the Banks and has access to it's and multi-national assets.

    It is not the economic system that is at fault. It is the belief that capitalism can do no wrong. This allows totalitarian governments in conjunction with international corporations to create monopolies in the third world. They don't care about the state of the people there and as long as this system is in place the starving masses have no hope.

    Corporate rights should never super-cede human rights. When the health of a company takes precedence over the health of a child, we should re-examine our priorities.

  39. 420 Vision

    Has there ever been a time when organized crime was not in charge of the dime ?

    I think not, and so goes the way of this world, today and tomorrow too.

  40. Marc

    @ Annd
    Well said.

    @ Dante
    I'm fed up with being made to feel guilty over events that happened a long time ago by people of a very different world to that we live today. WTF! Human nature is corrupted by power, plain and simple. It doesn't matter what colour we are, it's just the way the world is... Are you familiar with "president Mugabe"?? Need i say anymore.

  41. scott_of_the_rock

    @ dante

    dude whats with the race hate? this is about the third post on this site ive seen of yours that pisses and moans about the white man, for shits sake. history should be learnt from, not bleated over by someone whos most likely far removed from the events or repercusions.
    im and aussie and i can tell you now that aboriginals here have a great many stories about the relations between tribes around Oz and the various horrible things that were done to one another because someone was from a diffrent tribe or good hunting ground moved with the seasons to another tribes land.

    if you think that things like conquest, segregation, oppresion and genocided are purely the white mans realm then i think you need to actually have a look at the history involved and educate yourself a bit cause it aint.
    if you can fill me in on a single culture of indiginous peoples who didnt have something horrible in their past then ill learn all i can about them and hold them on a pedistool and praise their souls for the wonderful beings they are.
    but human nature is human nature and unless you think that blacks arent human it dosent make much sense to think that they are removed from the goods and bads that ALL cultures experience (except for the amish, not a single recorded homoside so far).

    just give it up dude, everyone has a choise as to whether they hold onto their hatred or let it go. you obviously hold onto yours like a crutch. keep being a racist if you like but just remember that the only thing that separates blacks from white is a pigment in the skin which is a progresive byproduct of the environment in which you and your ancestors lived, thats all.

  42. jasminetea

    I'm completely shocked that no one has noticed or commented on Arnold Vinette post? It sounds really shady. It actually sounds like the current system I live in. We are the product. We are the asset. One way or another we a apart of the big slavery picture.

    Also, I understand how people feel about @Dante's post. But remember that we are all being conditioned to be separated. To hate each other and to blame each other. In America, there is a lot of oppression from higher authority figures, even teachers and the administration offices or city hall (gov). The people who hold these positions are dominantly white. A person of color living in a world that is dominated by oppressive officials that happen to be white might see the world way different from a white person. Its a very strange idea, a lot of people of color feel that way. For most of my childhood, I had people even tell me that white people aren't to be trusted. I'm asian!! I don't think that way though. :)

  43. Lary Nine

    Re: Arnold Vinette.
    The resaon I didn't comment after reading it... he established a second front---and I was still on topic with doc.
    Re: Dante
    He seemed firmly entrenched in his racial opinions... not worth a comment really.

    As for my racial attitudes...I'm a "Spencer Wells/Genome Project" guy. I think racial distinctions are just about as important as spots on a beagle... no more, no less. Now, before you jump on me for being naive, let me add that I acknowledge cultural differences, of course... some respectable and worth having parades to celebrate and some unworthy of respect. But they're not racial... they're about political economy.

  44. Cali

    I feel the need to comment regarding @ Dontes comment because he has been beaten down by a few of you who have not shown any signs of emphaty towards him. Of course, its logical, people who are not minorities (blacks, asians, hispanics, etc.)don't quite understand what its like coexisting in a world where your cultural history is filled with repressive and dark passes. The causes of this in most cases have been the Europeans and Americans. the imperialist/colonialist nations. You can't blame people for wondering if the white man is predisposed with some kind of criminal genetic make up. I mean, white's did once regard everyone of color as inferior beans. I know I am going to hear it from you folks that are like "it was my ancestors not me" but just take into consideration what the people on the other end are suppose to make to things. Especially, when the Western nations are still the cause of much of the instabillity in other nations that directly affects the social groups in question. If you watched this documentary you clearly get an understanding of why that is so. So, I am not trying to defend the "racist comments" but they are not completely unfound for. And by the way, I am white person from California.

  45. nader

    where is the introductory commentary from?

  46. AndyA

    There is evil makeup in every race. We have a choice to to good or evil so in reality we all are to blame in a sense, aren't we. We all have our giving and good side and we have our greedy and selfish side.All too often we play the "Blame game", the devil made me do it.

  47. Nique

    Fantastic documentary

    It makes me feel a little helpless though... very helpless actually. Charity, as admirable as it is.. is not the answer. It's not up to me to repair or alleviate the damage done by my country and it's industries. Right now, I am very concerned by something that is happening in my own country (Canada) with this new trade agreement with europe which among other things, would allow them to privatize our water. Canada is not a poor country by any means, but I think it's big step in the wrong direction. Even so, I am powerless those decisions are made without me in mind, in fact, there's been very little in the media about it. All in the name of economic freedom.

    I think the more aware people are, the more likely a wind of change can instill itself, as naive as that sounds. We need to know where our products come from and more importantly... who really paid for it.

  48. lyall

    "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth". (MATTHEW 5:5)

  49. Wayne

    I hear a lot of complaining but I see very little attempt by these people to change their situation.
    Being a pacifist is ok when times are easy.

  50. deanxxx


    The answer is: of course not. No such biologically driven behaviour exists like you suggest, it's an all too common myth - I'll draw short of calling you ignorant ;-)

    Moreover, if the white man hadn't have behaved this way and opportunity arose for another group to do so (which it has, many many times in the past), then it would be some other group being demonised. Sadly, it’s part of HUMAN nature.

    You remind me of the Nation of Islam’s "white devils" bigotry although to be fair, you were only raising a question (I hope you weren’t being rhetorical).

    If anyone is so willing to demonise a whole race of people, they become no better. In fact, they have started to reflect the kind of warped, rationalisation that allows these kind of atrocities to recur. It’s as serious as that, prejudice kills!

    I hang my head in shame and sadness at what PEOPLE do to PEOPLE regardless of which group they or someone else puts them into. Bringing race into it isn’t helpful, warranted or of any use. It only makes matters worse.

    Finally, your remarks are in fact racist! You’d do well to retract them.


  51. AndyA

    Which is why "GOOD" principal needs to be taught and practiced to man no matter what it is other wise they can grow into brute beasts. Man is self-corruptible no matter what race he is.

  52. riley

    "I hear a lot of complaining but I see very little attempt by these people to change their situation."

    the powerful people came (with their guns & armies & ships), stole my gold, wrecked my economy, took my land, enslaved me with insurmountabe debt - but should i be complaining?

    were you watching? these people have been mauled - rather than objecting to their victimization, you might consider the mechanism of the victimizer - that was the point of the doc.

    as far as what to do - it looks like throw the foreigners out, rebuild subsistence economies and develop internal industries - thats my guess - not a bad corrective for the u.s. either - wean ourselves off of outrageous consumption, & with it, the impetus to subvert every developing country that will let us near them.

  53. Lary Nine

    I wonder if all these documentaries and the affirmative comments ever really convince anyone to adopt a new "weltanschauung". Nobody ever changed my mind about such things but, after having been provoked into rethinking an issue, I've often changed my own mind.
    So I guess these documentary social exposés are good if they entertain the true believers and/or provoke new thinking in the 'nay-sayers'.

  54. Otieno

    Otieno Owido
    ?" Settle in Kenya, Britian's youngest and most attractive colony. Low prices at present for fertile areas.... Secure the advantage of native labor to supplement your own effort." - Newspaper advertisement, circa 1900.

  55. jaak wassmuth

    I’ve been reviewing history, specifically the history of imperialism. We all know the sad story of the destruction of the American Aboriginals: from Terra Del Fuego to the Artic Circle. We know about the struggle for self-rule in India as well as the apartied of South Africa. Some are aware of the criminal activities of King Leopold in the Congo and the near destruction of the Australian Aboriginals and the systematic murder of Canada’s Indians, the Russian Crown’s march across Asia. The destruction of the Aztec’s of Mexico, the Hawaiians, and the tribes of the Banda Islands: these people were simply brushed out of the way. The 1903 genocide in Namibia as well as the Armenian death marches were only another in a series of thefts perpetrated by the Occidental culture. The victims did not have the weapons to repel, and in some cases, the heart to hurt another living creature. We call that innocent, primitive. We have regarded these people as animals that require a corral and a task. We, in the west have made of these people slaves because we can. We, and people like us have killed them, terrorized them, stolen their land and we have done this in the name of god.

    Primitive is a convenient moniker that we thieves attach to our victims because it conjures images of a childlike vulnerability. Our religions come wrapped in the hope that we will ultimately be reprieved for the sins of our greed because it has been served on a platter of “bringing Christianity to the heathens.” We really love the Christianity wheeze and we always apply that wedge and accompany it with overwhelming military powers, just in case.

    I got out a map of the world and I started to black out any country that had not been “colonized” by a European Country in the past thousand years. Ethiopia. Swaziland, Antarctica was the only ones left at the end of this exercise. Every other country in the world has been colonized by someone at some time. At a later date, I was corrected in this finding which required that Ethiopia be deleted from that list.

    The sale of God at the point of a gun was the initial ruse and now it’s been changed to the new deity; Democracy. That is not selling widely either.

    Today we are engaged in the same sort of crimes as our ancestors have always been. Think about it, near half of every tax dollar we pay our government goes to arms because we are going to “bring democracy to the Middle East,” or “stop the spread of Communism in Nicaragua.” When I say these things out loud, I can hardly believe they are serious statements made by our diplomats and not some xenophobic who has stopped taking his meds.

    If you consider this behavior from an objective point of view, this self righteous attitude of ours seals us off from what these people have on offer, their collective wisdom, their local knowledge, their friendship and cooperation. We destroy any trust we might build between our cultures and then we impose our morality as we brush their experience aside. What a waste of knowledge. It is truly sad that we are so afraid of new ideas that we destroy what is better incorporated into our lives.

    Beliefs are mindsets. As the Buddha said, “if the string is to loose, it will not play, and if it is too tight, it will break.” In Thailand they greet each other, sawa di cap / I greet the god within. When does that start? When do white workers earn the same as women, or black workers? Where is the Christian / Jewish / Voodoo / Hindu / Muslim god element there? Why do the children have to suffer deprivation, forgo nurture, family, education and put up with the bullshit that adults present to them as ‘civilization’ in their communities?

    Worldwide there are over 270,000 slaves today, January 10, 2011. We need to adhere to, not celebrate, the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King this coming weekend…

    So, an adult would look at the situation and say, the first thing we have to do is make sure everyone is alright, provided for, you know; eating every day and they have a dry place to sleep, that their family can be together.
    It may not be up to the standards of Cosmic Muffin or whatever flavor god you have today, but, human beings have been on earth for over 100,000 years. We managed for all but 5,000 years to survive all by ourselves, without the help of Jesus or Buddha, Cosmic Muffin or the Bright Light of the Inner Helix. Somehow we had seemed to figure out how to live with the planet without money, or god for ninety-five thousand years. Perplexing, how we managed to get along without these characters all those years, puzzling?
    So what exactly is a terrorist? A Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu? No. A terrorist is an oppressed person who uses any means at their disposal to rectify the injustice. They are typically the victims of foreign speculators, for example; in Bougainville the people put an end to international mining in their little bit of paradise. It took seven years. They mounted their insurrection with bows and arrows. This is just one of the lesser known incidences of foreign military intervention against an indigenous population by corporate/governmental interests. Iraq is on this list.

    In current events Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, and the Sudan are all experiencing popular uprisings. Why; economic disparity. One of the interesting things about all these uprisings is the overall continuity of the impetus of the conflicts. These people want economic parity, not democracy. Robert Newman said, “The dissolution of corporations is the sine qua non of democracy.” WE, the people know that. We, the people are being turned into slaves to a corporate run system where we become poorer and poorer while our rights as human beings are being sequestered by the fear of terrorism. It is, we, the people that are resorting to terrorism to fight back against this anti-humanist paradigm; defined as world wide Corporatocracy.

    The most interesting thing about these uprisings is the similarities and differences that these societies experience under their governments administrations.
    The demographic similarities are plain enough: In all of the countries listed 2% of the population control 90% of all wealth.

    The differences are plain enough: In Egypt they are throwing stones. However, WE the people of America are well armed and a substantial number of us are ex-military, trained by the most awesome military force ever! If that conflagration takes place it will not be on MSNBC, FOX, CNN, or Aljazerra. It will be fought by groups of variously trained militia, families, and gangs who are heavily armed. It will not be Cairo revisited. I should think it would be more like the sequel to the French Revolution, 21st century style. “You can bake gold all you want, you still can’t eat it but it will make lovely bullets.”

    The issue is disparity and it’s control. The global disparity in wealth / the distribution of our abundance has been usurped, often with our blessing. But, as stated above, this fear based compliance was presented to we the people as a threat. Besides, any love affair can be called off at anytime and for no reason. WE the people have our reasons and our controllers are subject to our discretion and because of that, we the people do not have to provide reasons. In tennis terms, governments, banks and corporations have double faulted, strike three, you’re out, one, two, three, pinned, KO’ed in the last round!

    I do not think we need to use violence to make our changes, and as an adult, I know that there are better methods available to make a transition to a system that benefits the entire planet, not just human beings. There is nothing, we could use as a benchmark that exists in the current paradigm that we could use in the building of this new world: not money, not fear, not putting a value on comfort or security. Therefore, since violence has not and can not solve any social problems, lets’ not use that as a path to our garden.

  56. Henry A.

    There will always be rich and poor due to their karma. Today's bankers were generous in previous lives, but will be poor in a future life due to their greed. You have to lie on the bed you make. "The poor you have with you always" - John 12:8

  57. Lary Nine

    I'm certainly relieved that you cleared that up. It's always comforting to have unimpeachable references like Hindu & Buddhist texts and sources like the Christian Bible (John 12:8).
    The only thing is I'm confused because of this slight problem:
    'Karma' is an Indian religious concept (Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) in contradistinction to the 'faith' espoused by Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), which view human actions differently. Abrahamic religions believe in free will---that the individual is totally responsible for his choices in life, but is potentially redeemable from the consequences of evil acts. In theistic schools of Hinduism, humans have free will to choose good or evil and suffer the consequences, which require the will of God to mediate karma's consequences, but Buddhism and Jainism which do not accord any role to a supreme God or Gods. In Indian beliefs, the karmic effects of all deeds are viewed as proactively shaping the past, present, and future of individual experiences. The results or 'fruits' of actions are called karma-phala. How did you reconcile these two conflicting schools of theological thought to come up with your theories of poverty?

  58. phelanrocks

    ........pretty good documentary.....
    world bank = evil greedy child killers in suits

    rise up people

  59. Guiana

    The real problem is...there's too many of us in the world...let's stop making babies please, if you can't feed them, if you can't educate them, don't have them in the first place...People don't have food for them selves but have 5 children...why???

  60. jack1952

    @ Guiana

    It's lack of education and access to effective birth control. In the developed countries birth rates are way down and most of those countries will have declining populations in the near future.

  61. Cameron H


    It's a biological mechanism that causes people (and all species) to reproduce when heavily stressed. 9 months after a large earthquake in California the birth rate spikes dramatically. If an entire region in Africa or anywhere else is starving and diseased, genetically speaking the population goes into reproductive overdrive to try to cover its losses. In other words, out of those 5 kids that are born, if even 2 survive through starvation and disease that family will in effect survive annihilation.

    It's laughable when people say we should stop feeding hungry countries "until" they stop having babies. In all 1st world countries the birth rate is far less than one baby per couple... suggesting that better education and an abundance of food/shelter actually decreases birth rate. If you want Africans to stop having so many babies, think about giving them MORE than enough to eat.

  62. AndyA

    The human race wasn't designed to plan having babies.
    You are born to parents, you grow up, you meet you mate, it results in a child or 5. Birth is not designed to be controlled.With each additional mouth ,food will be supplied without controls.

  63. Lary Nine

    If you've found a copy of the "Human Being Operator's Guide" and are hiding it somewhere, you really ought to let us know what else we're supposed to do and not do.

  64. jack1952

    @ AndyA

    We may not be designed to plan babies but somehow in the industrialized countries we seem to be voluntarily doing it anyway.

  65. AndyA

    It's called "Brainwashing"

  66. AndyA

    I found an "Operator's Guide" but the person that wrote it seems to have left out a lot.

  67. jack1952

    @ AndyA

    What does brainwashing feel like? Is it like a ringing in my ears every time I'm confronted with the truth?

  68. TheTruth

    Poverty in Africa is by design. Even today most resources in Africa are controlled by descendants of colonialists. They have secret army bases and mercenaries.

    Whenever a leader tries to change the status quo, the armies are activated and you get Genocide and violent regime change.

    What do Robert Mugabe and Idi Amin have in common? They said "we want our resources back" and the colonialists werent very pleased about that. Off to the media they went.

    Brainwashing is real. The world is ruled by a few people and they will stop at nothing to retain control.

    It's called "arms length Genocide". Indirect - yet devastating. More people have died from colonial and neo-colonial designs that from holocaust itself.

    Hitler is nothing compared to the Queen of England.

  69. Omar Ahmed

    The Lamu Archipelago was a series of Kingdom Islands. The portutuguese came and destroyed everything, then the arabs "freed" us and left us with education was given on how we can move on after losing our livelihoods...150 years on and our islands still bear the ugly portuguese structures (now called artifacts by unesco...those structures generate no income for my people!). today, all prime property is owned by europeans. prime beach property is bought from the locals at very low prices and sold by europeans to europeans at very high prices...local people again dont make anything out of this. we have drug lords, foreign's a total mess!!!

  70. Lary Nine

    @ Omar Ahmed~
    I went to Wikipedia and looked up your home, The Lamu Archipelago, and it's quite lovely. I see what you mean about development. I found many adverts on Google that revealed the islands to be a tourist destination for Europeans just like the Bahamas and St. Maarten are for Americans, et al. Don't you all have a nativist movement to extract shared wealth from the Europeans as the develop your homeland? Here's the link: ><

  71. clix

    @Cameron H live simply so that others may simply live.

    I love that!

  72. Cameron H


    That's Gandhi - I can't take credit for that.

    He's a good example, though, of living simply and encouraging others to do so as well. Together with millions of Indians he helped gently steer some of the wealth and power out of English coffers and into the vicinity of Indian born citizens... which is what I'm getting at for North America or Europe. If we all started doing more of our daily tasks simply, without corporate or government consequence, we could dramatically shift the energy flow of the whole world. How many of us know how to make shoes, build our own home, or create our own entertainment? Why don't more of us know how to do these things for ourselves? You see what I mean? Each one of these things and a thousand others taken for granted by us creates a dependence on, as this documentary states, 'cheap labor' and economic domination in one form or another of. It cultivates iniquity. We should do our daily things for ourselves.... and let others do it for themselves.

  73. ashman

    Its painful from any angle to see another being suffer. The division also bleeds into being right or wrong.
    Has anyone been to a buffet in Vegas? Makes you wonder what they do with all the food left over at the end of the day.

    Stop the bickering. Please see the spirit within each other. Maybe it would help if we all were blind and only heard each others voice maybe then we could see with our minds eye that we are all the same and that there is no one better than the other. I know not practical.

  74. will

    wow.. there really is no hope anymore is there?

  75. tini

    title stolen from Jeffrey D. Sachs

  76. polo

    Re 46th minute of doc when he talks about IMF coming in taking your assets after you fail to pay your debts. Gas was discovered off the west coast of Ireland a few tears ago. A later convicted corrupt politician made the exploration deal with BP (he has since died). A few years later after locals' disputes stalled work(over safety and land rights), Ireland's banks implode (mostly through self-inflicted greed). Instead of letting the big capitalist banks and bondholders suffer their gambling losses, the Irish govt. turned socialist and agreed to, or was forced to, accept a loan from the IMF and the European Central Bank (part of the bondholders). Strict austerity measures have to be undertaken (by the poor-(er), the govt receives the IMF loans, then has to pay the banks' losses and I bet in a few years when the gas starts flowing, the profits from that will have to pay the loan interest. Welcome to the third world, in Europe (world colonisers, except Ireland, of course). All govts should default on their IMF loans. They don't because the IMF says it will cause economic collapse, poverty and market instability. So what? That's what the majority of us live with anyway, (Admittedly on different scales, as what is called poverty in Ireland would be luxury for all those poor countries).
    All the best

  77. polo

    Also re Cameron H. about trying to do a little less in the west. The govt here in Ireland is trying to get people to spend more to stimulate the economy. The country is only referred to as an economy and we people as 'consumers', until election time, when they start on about 'the Nation and its citizens'. The point is we have to stop consuming useless goods for the sake of it. We work as slaves/robots for big companies so we can receive useless paper dockets we can redeem for useless consumer goods. I prefer to consume less, work less and enjoy life. (This is easier to do in a rich western country, of course).

  78. Cameron H


    Bang on man, that's the way. I've been connecting with more and more people in my travels who live off-grid or at least less-grid, who don't use more than they need, who live in tiny spaces and don't drive cars... not because they're broke but because they know the system is broke. Because we allowed it to break. And we can fix it. It's our system. We live within it. But until we understand how it works, and how to change aspects of it we are, as you say, stuck in roles that dictate how we act. But once we have some insight into it, it is easy to move around and learn and grow in the west. We have a wonderful starting point here. It behooves us to share what we know with as many people as possible.

    I believe places like South and Central America, and even China, are going to have a much easier time in some ways adapting to the new reality... because they haven't got the same level of attachment to the old way of doing things like we in the west do. Not saying these places will necessarily do it with grace or shining human rights records, but they may be able to do it faster and with less resistance. Watch the doc on here called 'Waste=Food'.... it's a good example of how wise people are finding ways to make change attractive to big investors. That's the movement I believe we'll see more of soon.

  79. jack1952

    The Central Bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our Constitution... if the American people allow the private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers have conquered. Thomas Jefferson. U.S President

    I would think that Jefferson would be appalled at what has become of the country he helped to found. The American founders fought for human rights and freedoms; not capitalism. Corporate rights should never super cede the rights and welfare of a country's citizens. Those corporations should not then leave that country do exploit the welfare and security of the citizens of another country. These rights are universal.

  80. AndyA

    That's right Polo, If everyone defaulted and walked away they could make up their own rules about paying IMF, if they wanted to.

  81. Choi

    The large corporations and their privatizations are causing much of these poverty, the documentary presents.

    And what is causing these large corporations to act this way?

    The habits of consumers.

    If the people of the affluent nations are willing to look beyond the monetary price of an object, opening their eyes instead to their moral and ethical ramifications, then, they finally can, I believe, begin building a world without destitution.

  82. AndyA

    Yes Choi, but do the corporations have a say in the policies in how they treat the locals? The corporations often point blame the blame some where else rather than show a human face.

  83. Choi

    AndyA--That is a good point also.

    If only the corporations were to change their policies... then what a trivial thing it would be to eradicate poverty!

    ( but I wouldn't expect the corporations to change their policies anytime soon... unless the people are stop buying their products because of its ethical conflicts.

    That, I believe, is the only way to change things. As I have said, the CEOs are not going to suddenly change their mind and treat the locals nicely just because they were endowed with an ethical enlightenment. )

  84. Eric Dahms


  85. Shannon Elizabeth Staley

    Very good. WOW. Talk about inhumane....the IMF, World Bank and big corporations have stripped developing countries of just about everything they have, including their cultures and languages....The Bolivians were very brave in fighting and winning against Bechtel....wait until we are fighting over drinking water! Ugh.

  86. Waleed Sajid

    nice doccumentary though it could have use more english speaking so i could go afk

  87. bluetortilla

    Wow. Great documentary. Straight facts, easy to confirm. Turned around perspectives (the South is financing the North). Chilling as well.
    I knew most of this already, but we're lazy and tired in life and tend to forget things. Great wake up call.
    There are things you can do. Buy local. Buy recycled clothes (Goodwill, etc.) or make your own! Visit countries and spend your money in the local economies. Curb your spending. Economize. Often when you consume, you contribute to corporations and the perpetuation of modern slavery. Grow your own fruit trees. Etc. Every bit helps.

  88. Siddharthamithu

    Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in 'Culture of Poverty'(a theory introduced by an American anthropologist Oscar Lewis), irrespective of cl-ass or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, real poverty. All of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of 'poverty') in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in 'Production of Space' (Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up. - Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101, India.

  89. David Brown

    They might want to change the image they put up for this documentary; it is portraying the cover of the 2005 book by Jeffery D. Sachs called "The End of Poverty: Economic possibilities of our time" in which rather psychotically (i.e. loss of contact with reality) the author establishes that poverty can be eliminated by 2025 while highlighting the benign effects of neoliberalism. This film on the other hand is titled under the question form "The End of Poverty?" and intends (I believe) to highlight the contradictions of neoliberal (and capitalist) policies and the socio-politcal relationships it has formed.

  90. bobcat43

    Coming soon to Europe, no wait! it's here

  91. phillip wong

    EU, like the US can 't do anything but become economic parasites. They solve problems by printing money

  92. phillip wong

    while have a culture is great, but I am sure most people in the world just want to not be poor.

  93. Terry Beaton

    There's a song by Canadian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn called; "And They Call It Democracy". Check it out on Youtube. It describes perfectly everthing spoken of in this documentary.

  94. moorepatty must be out of your mind. How would you try to climb a tree when a giant is seated at the top with riffles, war planes and bombs with his main objective being to stop you from climbing. any developing country that will industrialize will so so only if they allow you to, else there will be regime change. If you are in the same room with your Junior brother and you don't want him to go outside, you can lock the door, take the key and then be pretending as if you are helping him to open the door with another key.

  95. moorepatty

    How can developing countries be free to do what they want when the military diplomacy is available as the main tool used by rich nations to bomb and bring them back to their poor situation and dependance.

  96. ranii02

    wish there was a version of this doc in a simpler format/ less interviews perhaps. itd be easier to encourage and recommend this doc

  97. Harpreet Gill

    great documantry real wake up call to the wealthy out there who go on with there daily lives not careing about a soul.

  98. Sébastien Talbot-Vachon

    This documentary is full of extrem left europhobic clichés, irrational simplification and exaggerations. They forgot about the fact that European were also victims of exploitation and imperialism in the past and today. Natural resource belongs to nature and that what belong to nature belong to everyone, not just one people. The Arab where those who use slave the most, and it didn't make them more developed then the west. There is no mention of any of the discoveries, progress and advancement in agriculture, medicine and other science and technologies brought by the west to the rest of the world, this is the real source of wealth. They seem also to forget the fact that during the first half of the 20th century, Europe lost nearly 100 millions people and got virtually completely destroyed because of wars and imperialism. However, they are still more developed that almost every other peoples. They also forget that many poor countries never were European colonies (Etiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti is independent since more than 200 years.) and many rich countries were colonies (US, Australia, Hong Kong, etc.). They also forget that many of the countries conquered by European empires where part of other empires before, like the Mughal empire in India and that many of those empires were certainly not better (Aztec, for example). Many empires existed since Babylonian time but people remember just European empire, which is unfair. They accuse the west to be responsible for everything bad. The world elite exploits the people of the North as much, especially with dept, and tries to accuse the European people of what they do. They try to manipulate people by turning the south against the north.

  99. Mike Peine

    The 1st COMPRESSED AIR CAR traveled 100miles IN THE 1820's ! C.A.LOCOMOTIVES 1829 to 1948 until The Rockerfeller OIL Cartel expunged them. Powered by Water/Windmills etc... compressors store energy for years / until needed & can power most everything = FREE ENERGY ! & It's dirt cheep ! Drake's 1st OIL well = The Commissioner of Commerce Declared FREE ENERGY DEAD & The BIRTH of the 1% These are THE FACT'S ! STOP POVERTY & THIS CORRUPT CANNIBALISTIC GOVERNMENT FROM ENSLAVING YOUR CHILDREN THE UNBORN OWE OVER $50,000. IN DEBT. WORTH MORE AS ORGAN DONORS THAN ALIVE. It's easy to blame others, however your the ones to blame for every baby rotting in the arms of it's dead mother. Giving $ is another government scam. Just ask Bill & Geo. what happened to the $money ? LEARN FREE ENERGY & TEACH IT TO EVERYONE FREE ENERGY CANBE USED TO FARM , SUCK WATER OUT OF THE AIR. AND END POVERTY ! I have 9 FREE ENERGY DEVICES & ALL OF THE INFORMATION NEEDED TO BUILD THEM IS FREE TO EVERYONE WILLING TO LEARN & TEACH OTHERS. Mike Peine perpetualmotion100

  100. James Best

    Terribly uninformative documentary. It would not be persuasive to those who did not already have the beliefs espoused in the documentary. A complete disregard for evidence and economic experts who in large part are no such things. The best part is the few words Joe Stiglitz gets to speak.

    For someone wanting a good left-ish discussion of global poverty + some MODERN mainstream economic analysis of the modern economic system I recommend:

    Poor Economics by Banerjee and Duflo (Straight up scientific approach to understanding poverty).
    The book and/or blog "Why Nations Fail" by Acemoglu and Robinson which is an excellent analysis of why poverty persists (Plus a criticism of the Geography and Culture theses of economic growth).
    Stiglitz's 2 books on Globalization.
    Ha-Joon Chang's "Kicking Away the Ladder" and "23 Things they don't tell you about capitalism.".

    If you are on the left (Like me) I think you should also read a good mainstream economic principles textbook like Mankiw's economic principles and take some of the arguments seriously. There is a lot of real problems that we ignore on the left: This is one of the reasons that we are failing (Not because people are stupid and don't know what's good for them).

  101. said mail

    developing countries be free to do what they want when the military diplomacy is available as the main tool used by rich nations

  102. UnPublishable

    In Canada their are few homeless Canadians than non-Canadians in subsidized housing.

    If Canadian Citizens were housed before immigrants and economic refugees from foreign countries no Canadian would be homeless and Canadians could be able to work.

    The Federal Government should be able to let anyone into Canada, but Non-Canadians should not deny Canadians services given to Non-Canadians.

  103. carkrueger

    I was wondering when Ronald Reagan would be blamed for 500 years of poverty; it came at the 58 min mark.

  104. Layal Sabra ?

    Last night I watched 1 of the hour long documentaries “Why Poverty?”.
    Then I went to my bed -a new soft bed in a warm house.
    It felt weird.

    I don’t own that bed rather than I own the house I live in or the plates I eat from. I have as good as no money (as I haven’t had any income for 9 months now) but still I have the opportunity to let my personal voice be heard, to be seen both online and offline, I have my education, experience and relations from places all over the world.

    I realize how lucky I am to have people around me who believe in me and support me, who allow me to focus on the things I believe in to make a difference for others too. I realized that even though I own nothing in this material world I’m extremely rich of everything but money.

    Imagine if we could give, with today's technology and access to it, the same to the developing countries. Not just some paper-stuff but the opportunity to let personal voices be heard, to be seen both online and offline, free education, experiences and relations from places and people all over the world. And the feeling to be surrounded by supporting people who believe. So i ask you "Why Poverty" ??

    Just imagine. What would that be worth for an individual?

  105. Glen

    Poverty is one thing money can't buy.

  106. Vicki_in_Greece

    Wars cause poverty too. He was great at fundraising for war

  107. Abiola


  108. David Sendero Del Santos

    I agree with your post, but what school of socialist economics ever recommended privatizing profits while socializing losses?

  109. David Sendero Del Santos

    It was not stolen it was parodied.

Leave a comment / review: