St Margaret's News October 2017 - Page 4

Poverty :

Events conspired recently to focus my attention on the ideas of a young ( 29 ) historian from the Netherlands whose research leads him to a radical understanding of the reasons for poverty and to an idea for eliminating it !
He believes doing away with poverty would unleash an amazing amount of energy and talent .
I saw him briefly on Q & A a month or so ago where he didn ’ t really have a chance to expound his ideas due to the domination of the program by two very passionate women ! However the next day I heard him interviewed on Radio National . His name is Rutger Bregman and I recommend his TED talk on the web .
He began his talk saying that whether our views are to the left or right we have both in the past believed there is something wrong with the poor and that they are responsible for their own poverty . Like Margaret Thatcher some may think it ’ s a lack of character whilst others focus their attention on helping the poor with handouts as they obviously lack the ability to help themselves .
The question he believes boils down to “ why do the poor make so many bad decisions ?” His research found a study of Indian sugar-cane farmers who due to the way the market worked were paid in full for their crop straight after harvest which resulted in 60 % of their time they were relatively rich and 40 % of the time relatively poor . Their IQs tested in the rich and poor times showed a difference of 14 points of IQ equivalent to the drop experienced by alcoholics .
The poor are not making dumb decisions because they are dumb but because of the situation of scarcity in which they find themselves .
Anybody in a position of scarcity whether it be of food , time or money is overtaken by a “ scarcity mentality ” which narrows our focus and any long-term perspective goes out the window . In these situations we all make dumb decisions not just the poor .
George Orwell in his studies of poverty believed he understood its true nature when he realized it “ annihilated the future ”.
Rutger Bregman believes the solution lies in the development of a Guaranteed basic income which he says is not a new idea but first outlined by Thomas More 500 years ago , also by Martin Luther King , Richard Nixon and Milton Keynes subsequently and surprisingly . The
St Margaret ’ s News 4 October 2017
Poverty: Events conspired recently to focus my attention on the ideas of a young (29) historian from the Netherlands whose research leads him to a radical understanding of the reasons for poverty and to an idea for eliminating it! He believes doing away with poverty would unleash an amazing amount of energy and talent. I saw him briefly on Q&A a month or so ago where he didn’t really have a chance to expound his ideas due to the domination of the program by two very passionate women! However the next day I heard him inter- viewed on Radio National. His name is Rutger Bregman and I recom- mend his TED talk on the web. He began his talk saying that whether our views are to the left or right we have both in the past believed there is something wrong with the poor and that they are responsible for their own poverty. Like Margaret Thatcher some may think it’s a lack of character whilst others focus their attention on helping the poor with handouts as they obviously lack the ability to help themselves. The question he believes boils down to “why do the poor make so many bad decisions?” His research found a study of Indian sugar-cane farmers who due to the way the market worked were paid in full for their crop straight after harvest which resulted in 60% of their time they were relatively rich and 40% of the time relatively poor. Their IQs tested in the rich and poor times showed a difference of 14 points of IQ equiva- lent to the drop experienced by alcoholics. The poor are not making dumb decisions because they are dumb but because of the situation of scarcity in which they find themselves . Anybody in a position ͍ɍݡѡȁЁѥȁ䁥)ٕх䁄q͍ɍ䁵хtݡɽ́ȁ́)ѕɴѥٔ́Ёѡݥܸ%ѡ͔ͥՅѥ́ݔ)յͥ́ЁЁѡȸ)ɝ=ݕ́Ցٕ́䁉ٕչѽ́Ք)ɔݡɕ镐Ѓqѕѡɗt)Iѝȁ ɕٕ́ѡͽѥ́ѡٕЁ)ՅɅѕͥݡ́́ͅЁ܁Ё)ѱQ́5ɔ啅́ͼ5ѥ1ѡȁ-)Iɐ9ὸ5ѽ-幕́Չ͕Օѱ䁅ɥͥ丁Q)MЁ5ɝɕӊé9()=ѽȀ