Poverty, Inc.

Poverty, Inc. is an excellent documentary.
michael-matheson-millerDirected by Michael Matheson Miller, it explores some of the inner workings of foreign aid, as well as some of the unintended consequences that come from it: A system that creates wealth for a few NGO’s by creating a living from poverty, although unintentionally. It is a system that creates more debt and relegates the benefactors of this morality of altruism to perpetual beggars.

This process of assistance to resolute poverty is painful to comprehend. I mean. It’s what you suppose to do, help the needy. But a lot is lost, or gain, in the process. Along the way, crony entrepreneurs discover that this is also a way to make money.


Poverty, Inc. does show us a way to get out of poverty, Capitalism, start a business. Not to be confused with Crony Capitalism the exploitation of the poor.

Crony capitalism is not an excellent system. But for many, it’s hard to figure out where Corny Capitalism and Capitalism separates. In Poverty, Inc. President Clinton explains how his policies are the direct cost for the destruction of Haitian rice farms. Although unintended. President Clinton did not want to bring poverty to Haiti, a country struggling hard to get out of poverty. But with his high profile, Nothing is heard from  about any significant reversal of the subsidizing, overproduce, high protected tariffs of American agriculture dumping on the lower forced taxes of Haiti. I’m sure the World Bank is aware of this “injustice,” but it’s also a consequence of smart banking. The consequences, however, is the destruction of the Haitian farmers and the Haitian economy.

Clinton on Haitian agricultural policy: “It was a mistake.” | Poverty, Inc. from POVERTY, INC. | The Movie on Vimeo.

America knows how to make money. America knows the most important things that poor people need to get out of poverty is a free exchange. But first, as Hernando de Soto points out, they need private property and justice in the courts, and clear title to their land.
Poor people are poor primarily because they lack the institutions of justice that enable them to create wealth and prosperity for their families and their communities. Without this insurance, or collateral. You can’t go to the bank and get a business loan.
This process if painfully difficult in developing countries. The World Bank ranking of The Cost of Doing Business as well as Mr. Hernando de Soto in his book “The Mystery of Capital,” makes the distinction that poor people have to wait longer and pay more to start a business. The Center for Research and Governance in India did a study, and it takes an average of twenty years to get your court case heard. And it’s expensive. So if you’re poor, you’re excluded.


How did we get here?

The Morality of Altruism is not new. Ayn Rand explained this ideology a long time ago. The Morality of Altruism is different from altruism, helping people in need, like in a natural disaster. However, somehow we feel the need to be Paternalistic, or controlling.

I’ve never given much thought to the catchy “Band Aid 30” song. A symbol of the White Savior Complex. But lyrics are revealing:
“Thirty years on, little has changed. Geldof has done a 30th-anniversary song, this time sending proceeds to fight Ebola. The title and tagline: “Band Aid 30: Buy the song. Stop the Virus.” Accordingly, Geldof changed some lines. Instead of the famine-themed “Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears,” the line alludes to the contagious disease “Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there is death in every tear.” Live Aid and its famous Christmas song aren’t just qualitatively lame. They’re ineffective and condescending.

It might seem convincing that this is a consequence of racism. But it’s not. Racism is a byproduct of Poverty, Inc. The writer, Toni Morrison points out.

Racism was always a con game that sucked all the strength of the victim. It’s the red flag that is danced before the head of a bull. It’s purpose is only to distract.

while many of our well educated young people spend their time fighting the injustice of Racism with a vigorously campaigning for the Black lives matter. Our Peace Prize president has now been at war longer than any other American president. Our first black President, the first U.S. president to bomb African country, Libya, and dropping drones without the criticisms from black people, is sadly predictable.


Poverty, Inc. is an excellent documentary, although it has its negative criticism, The Village Voice: Doc Poverty Inc. Fails to Inform or Guide by DAPHNE HOWLAND who called it a haphazard film. However, some people will never, because of their ideology, understand a particular logic. In fact for many this documentary will be anathema to their beliefs. But at the very least, we should listen to the Africans, the poor people, how they feel about their poverty and how to resolve it. This documentary does that. It gives voice to the individuals who are fighting poverty. And as Senegal businesswoman, Magatte Wade has to say about Savior Complex, “Bono Should know better.” we all should be aware. Please see this documentary.