The End of Poverty?

Exploring the history of poverty in developing countries, filmmaker Philippe Diaz contends that today’s economic inequities arose as a result of colonization, military conquest and slavery, with wealthier countries seizing the resources of the poor. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this absorbing documentary includes interviews with numerous historians, economists and sociologists who shed light on the ongoing conditions that contribute to poverty. We all know the extremes of poverty in the world, but this movie explains it in a very well-articulated manner. We see how the history of poverty is established and how it has not ceased to exist but has become even stronger over the years. Slavery, colonization, and imperialism still exist with us today, and even worse, are promoted by institutions that claim to do the very opposite. This movie illustrates this perfectly.  We used to steal their raw materials, now we make them pay interests on our developmental loans. Whatever the economic system, we stay rich, they stay poor. And with every passing year, they grow poorer and we richer. No wonder why the rest of the world hates us so much!  I never realized that the World Bank and investors would want to keep people impoverished instead of building them up to succeed. I have known about the unethical policies of the IMF for several years but this film showed me that the problem is significantly worse than I thought. It also gives some perspective on how all this poverty originated with European imperialism and predatory economic policies. To sum it up: The governments in developed countries like the USA support (politically, and often militarily) institutions like the WTO, World Bank and IMF which bribe or strong-arm leaders in third world countries to institute policies and pass laws which enable large transnational corporations to effectively enslave their populations for labor, and steal their natural resources at low prices.  Imperialism used to be a word even bourgeois economists and politicians used, but sadly today, our corporate controlled information and media systems do not ever engage on why or how it can be that 100,000 humans die of starvation per day, why 3 billion humans earn less than $2 a day, and 500 Corporations own 52% of all the world’s created wealth.. Oh, that’s why! Banking speculation on food which has driven up the price for wheat 400% in 2008 and currently over 100% of its actual production & handling cost is topped off by the symbolic burning of cereals for bio fuel. Exceptionally informative. The bonus being explanations of how to fix the broken systems that we have bought into, that we continue to endorse, and that we still accept. Very inspirational especially at the end, in what we can do personally to help fight the causes of injustice and poverty. As one last thought, free trade and globalization is essentially doing the same thing to the US right now – after you watch this documentary you will see the direct correlations between what is happening to us and what has happened in third world countries already. Our manufacturing industry has been obliterated, our debt has skyrocketed out of control, our only major exports are our dwindling wealth and agricultural products, and the number of people living below poverty is escalating – sound familiar? Let me see a show of hands if you still think free trade and globalization is good for America?  Large corporations have exploited workers in the US also until labor unions were put in place.  It makes you think about the future of the United States as we are leaving debts to our children. What about people in the US that have to chose between their prescriptions or their heat bill or their groceries. This movie has some disturbing parallels to our growing financial problems.  I wish that films like this could have the budget of, or the distribution of some of the more Hollywood films. So more people could comprehend what is going on.  The revelations in this documentary are astonishing. We live in a world of institutionalized poverty, where the rich intentionally keep a stranglehold on the poor in order to secure its wealth.  In the land of mass consumption, we owe it the world to watch this film.  Every person who complains about immigration into the US should have to watch this movie, so they can understand how their own lifestyle encourages immigration.  This is an excellent movie, and should be a required viewing for every American to understand the New World Order. This movie should be required viewing in all colleges and schools.  Every person in this country should see this movie!  This movie shares the same title as Jeff Sachs’s amazing The End of Poverty book.  Read it yourself. While you’re at it, pick up anything by Joe Stiglitz.  Best parts of this movie are the 20 minutes with Stiglitz.  Another book tip in conjunction with this film: The Empire of Shame by Jean Ziegler, Commissioner for the U.N. human rights for food.  Documentary 2008 NR 104 minutes.

SEE ALSO:

John Perkins Speaking Freely

Harlan County, U.S.A.

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