Many countries in the Caribbean and Latin America have achieved significant growth over the years, Chile, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil, to name a

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One response to “The Myth of Poverty Alleviation – Part 2”

  1. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID Avatar
    ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID

    The Myth of Poverty Alleviation Part 1 and 2 should be a must read for all individuals, —- and of course policy makers at various levels in respective Third World countries, especially the Caribbean area and in particular Jamaica —- who have a strong interest in comprehending the tenacious, persistent and intractable ill of poverty in Third World countries, despite economic growth or/and development in certain countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. Interestingly, although Dr. Judith Soares’ piece is extremely instructive, edifying, and indeed, convincing in explicating the myth of poverty alleviation, one would have hoped, that Dr. Soares would have incorporated or utilized the four ‘Asian Tigers’, i.e., Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan in her analysis, since these countries have actually broken through in terms of economic growth, industrialization, and development,, and, ostensibly, are actually perceived and considered developed societies, although constantly referred to as Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs), and in so doing, measure the real incidences of poverty — quantitatively and qualitatively —- in these societies vis-a-vis economic growth and development. Granted, the utilization of Chile is laudable, nonetheless, Chile is still not at the stage of growth and development as the ‘Asian Tigers’ that/who would be considered more ideal or appropriate in such an analysis .

    Also noteworthy, is the question of dependency theory(ies), and their validity in terms of underdevelopment, as it relates to these political economies —- South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan —- since, they in essence, had a considerable amount of contact with the centers and the metropoles being peripheral /satellite societies/polities within the global political economy, prior to their trajectory of industrialization and development. Interestingly, one would expect that the level of historical contact with metropolitan societies, via, trade, aid, investments, inter alia, would lend or allow for their satellite status experiencing a considerable amount of surplus drain to the metropole or centers, and as such, they would not be in a position to experience the trajectory of growth, development and of course a first world status. As a consequence of economic transformation to first world status, this contradicts the crux or the principal characteristics of the dependency schools of thought.

    Indeed, poverty in its relative and absolute sense, varies from polity to polity, as a consequence of historical, social, political, cultural, economic and psychological state and experiences. Notwithstanding, the experience of the ‘Asian Tigers’ should not be cavalierly or capriciously slighted or dismissed. We in Jamaica can learn from the experience of such societies. And even with growth and development, irrespective of the paradigm or model incorporated or employed in the development process, poverty alleviation, in essence, may be a myth as contended by Dr. Soares, but the burning, critical and all-important question, is the degree and incidence of poverty that/which can be alleviated or tolerated by growth and development in any given society.

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