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http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=1487583

How does one solve this myriad of problems?

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Police repairing poth***s? When will they get to their Police duties? Rather then spending ridiculous amounts of money on roads that will fall apart due to the ground conditions and traffic congestion why not invest in other Off Road transportation, 4 wheel drive vehicles, or even small aircraft and instead of One big Brewery located far away from the supplies make several smaller breweries and place them nearer to the supply depots. Having to pay for 4 months of Storage does not sound cost efficient at all. The rest of the world is trying to reduce inventory size. As for the 18 wheeler avoiding the weigh station ... Fines should be levied to any heavy traffic that attempts to avoid Weigh Stations by alternate, and less worked on roads.
I don't think poverty is that correlatd to culture, because its not in culture that you find its source, porverty is rooted in the lack of oportunities the people have, not just about employment of education, but also the liberty to fully develop all of its potential,and that is not a cultural phenomenon.

The porverty is more linked to the failure of the institutions, the lack of social awereness and all of the sideeffects that brings upon people, like corruption, low productivity etc.

I suggest you read the works of Economics Nobel Prize of 1998 Amartya Sen, he is probably one if not the most important academic in the study of the poor.
Interestingly I have read Sen extensively and seen him speak. I enjoy him a great deal. His discussions on capabalities and even his examples of famine both spoke to the ability to engage in political debate and freedoms.

The best examples are actually studies of endemic poverty within groups having a shared geography, ie. chronically poor within a geography. Endemic fatalism, deference to authority and certain issues related to a lack of participation are contributing factors to chronic poverty. The cultures beliefs can be self-limiting and self fulfilling.

To ignore culture in the aggregrate is to deny the power of the indidividual to change themselves. I am not blaming the poor, but rather indicating that often changing beliefs and political/cultural realities are as important as structural (political) and material changes.

The great thing about cultures is that they can change and are fluid. Cultural traditions which have evolved as survival and coping mechanisms in a different era are not necessarily beneficial to the individuals now. I am not advocating cultural imperialism, but merely saying that for a group to leave chronic (rather than acute) poverty that culture must change part of its beliefs and motivations about the potentials, capabilities they have and how the act upon them. Anything less is to demeen the individuals within those cultures as unable to become the change they wish to see.
Dambisa Moyo's book "Dead Aid" helps shine a lot of light on poverty and development. Worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.
I read Dead Aid, it was interesting. would also recommend bill easterlies, "the white man's burden" and review ted talk by Esther Duflo. All excellent ways of thinking about measuring outcomes and focusing on sustainable outputs.
Diego,

thanks, I have read a lot of Sen and had the pleasure of seeing him speak. Here is some nice work from Harvard on the topic. http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/lamont/publications/Small-Ha...

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