The End of Poverty

The End of Poverty

2008, Society  -   112 Comments
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Ratings: 7.43/10 from 68 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.

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Rushabh
Rushabh
6 years ago

I concur in some routes that, as you say, the vast majority here carrying on with a more basic life wouldn't straightforwardly enhance the lives of others without some significant and far reaching developments to the world economy... Nonetheless I trust that on the off chance that I take an interest less, produce less wage, and consequently give less motivator to the affluent 'in my name' to perpetrate this sort of wrongdoing against humanity.... everything includes. Without conscience in saying this, you and I are in any event aware of our effect, and we're endeavoring to live with less. Less calories in my body "could" possibly mean more for another person who needs them, and so forth. At the point when the day comes that "poor people" of the primary world understand that they are in reality exceptionally well off contrasted with about 66% of humankind, we may be on the correct way. A few of us have to live by calm illustration and ideally this may happen. There might be a lot of extremely dire, outside tensions building that could deal with it sooner than later.

Nisha
Nisha
6 years ago

After seeing this video, it is really unjustice to all those who still living life under poverty. Firstly the people whose ancestor's had worked under slavery must get reward to compensate their hard work.Equity should be between richer and poor.Government can do more in this regard.

misha
misha
6 years ago

$11 trillion stolen resources a year from the South to Corporations in the Northern Hemisphere. It does not find its way into the infrastructure, superstructure of Northern countries but is siphoned through off-shore accounts to evade tax. The tax system needs to be changed so that those who own property/land are paying the taxes not wage earners. That would begin to even the odds but still would not be a solution. Our leaders are a criminal cabal. Natural resources belong to all of us but now a small group owns them all and we are forced to pay them just like our Southern hemisphere cousins. This was a brilliant documentary - it made me weep for the poor and disadvantaged everywhere, particularly Africa and South America. We need a global shift on a massive scale to right the wrongs of the World Bank, the IMF, the empires, corporations; BUT how ?

Glen
Glen
10 years ago

Poverty is one thing money can't buy.

Layal Sabra ?
Layal Sabra ?
11 years ago

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?

carkrueger
carkrueger
11 years ago

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

UnPublishable
UnPublishable
11 years ago

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.

said mail
said mail
11 years ago

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

James Best
James Best
11 years ago

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).

Mike Peine
Mike Peine
11 years ago

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

Sébastien Talbot-Vachon
Sébastien Talbot-Vachon
11 years ago

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.

Harpreet Gill
Harpreet Gill
11 years ago

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

ranii02
ranii02
11 years ago

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

Terry Beaton
Terry Beaton
12 years ago

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.

phillip wong
phillip wong
12 years ago

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

bobcat43
bobcat43
12 years ago

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

David Brown
David Brown
12 years ago

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.

Siddharthamithu
Siddharthamithu
12 years ago

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.

bluetortilla
bluetortilla
12 years ago

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.

Waleed Sajid
Waleed Sajid
12 years ago

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

Shannon Elizabeth Staley
Shannon Elizabeth Staley
12 years ago

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.

Eric Dahms
Eric Dahms
12 years ago

superb.

Choi
Choi
13 years ago

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. )

AndyA
AndyA
13 years ago

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.

Choi
Choi
13 years ago

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.

AndyA
AndyA
13 years ago

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

jack1952
jack1952
13 years ago

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.

Cameron H
Cameron H
13 years ago

@Polo

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.

polo
polo
13 years ago

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).

polo
polo
13 years ago

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

tini
tini
13 years ago

title stolen from Jeffrey D. Sachs

will
will
13 years ago

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

ashman
ashman
13 years ago

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.

Cameron H
Cameron H
13 years ago

@clix

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.

clix
clix
13 years ago

@Cameron H

...to live simply so that others may simply live.

I love that!

Lary Nine
Lary Nine
13 years ago

@ 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: >en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamu_Archipelago<

Omar Ahmed
Omar Ahmed
13 years ago

The Lamu Archipelago was a series of Kingdom Islands. The portutuguese came and destroyed everything, then the arabs "freed" us and left us with Islam...no 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 politicians...it's a total mess!!!

TheTruth
TheTruth
13 years ago

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.

jack1952
jack1952
13 years ago

@ AndyA

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

AndyA
AndyA
13 years ago

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

AndyA
AndyA
13 years ago

It's called "Brainwashing"

jack1952
jack1952
13 years ago

@ AndyA

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

Lary Nine
Lary Nine
13 years ago

@AndyA
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.

AndyA
AndyA
13 years ago

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.

Cameron H
Cameron H
13 years ago

@Guiana

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.

jack1952
jack1952
13 years ago

@ 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.

Guiana
Guiana
13 years ago

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???

phelanrocks
phelanrocks
13 years ago

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

rise up people

Lary Nine
Lary Nine
13 years ago

@Henry~
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?

Henry A.
Henry A.
13 years ago

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