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How to Feel Good about Poverty


How to Feel Good about Poverty

Martin Kirk

Hope sells. Not quite as well as sex, but certainly better than despair. Politicians know this, marketers know this, and the politicians and marketers in the organizations concerned with global poverty know this.


Keen analysis, Mr. Kirk.

It's wonderful to see you mention the many lies used to push a corporately-controlled agenda. The PR that insists it will address poverty is akin to Monsanto's claim that it will feed a hungry world while mostly what it does is push farmers off their lands, create urban populations dependent upon corporate food suppliers, and remove the knowledge of farming from future generations.

I am very glad that you deconstructed the idea that rising wealth lifts all ships. I'm surprised that you didn't mention the results of the best-selling Piketty Study which PROVES that most wealth created over the past decade went not to the top 40%, but the top 1%.

Nonetheless, it's important to separate the truth from the "good news" false narrative.

While many of us were apprised--through John Perkin's book (Confessions of an Economic Hit Man) and other sources--of major exploitation of the developing world, I doubt that most C.D. readers knew these details. Thus this paragraph bears repeating:

"Right now, for every $1 that is given in foreign aid to the global south, around $18 is taken out by other means, most notably rigged trade deals than benefit the most powerful countries and corporations, debt repayment on debts already paid off many times over, and massive tax evasion and other forms of corruption, committed by political and business elites north and south, and facilitated by a large and growing web of tax havens. So in the grand scheme of things, who’s actually developing who?"

Central banks, gigantic seed conglomerates, energy cartels, and various industrial producers are all consolidating their power and thus control over citizens and nations.

Yesterday I posted a link to a brilliant discussion with Catherine Austin Fitts. What she explains is that these corporations, due to their financial muscle in a world largely run on capital, now effectively control governments and write the policies imposed on citizens. I agree with that 100%.

The urge towards privatization (financed through strategic U.S. political campaign contributions) effectively made for corporate control of formerly government run--and thus accountable to The People--functions. Now, there is no chain of accountability and in the same way that the military hides its covert acts behind the clause of "National Security," the corporate offenders hide their own behind "Business Proprietary exclusive rights." (Author Janine Wedel explains THESE covert machinations brilliantly in her book on Shadow Elites.)

Programs like spreading terror and eviscerating human liberties could only take place were they couched behind claims that such actions are in place to protect citizens. In parallel manner, further efforts to rob the poor (and working classes) to substantiate the royal lifestyles of the 1% could not happen without extensive P.R insisting that all their (faux) wealth creation is about eradicating poverty.

If THAT were the case, standards of living would not have been falling for so many so quickly. Note the unemployment rates in Spain, Italy, Greece, the U.S. and elsewhere as corporate consolidation continues on its march to total global control.


Excellent and informative article.

Is there no end to the flavours of B.S. foisted upon human consciousness? The idea that this is all being promoted by the biggest ever advertising campaign is itself B.S. Highest-funded propaganda exercise ever is closer to the truth... if the word brainwashing does not belong in there.

Many thanks to all concerned.


The thinking of Buckminster Fuller is that of a human being I frequently turn to for affirmation of the journey of exploration in this brief life. A philosophical conversation - a long lost interview - touching on his direct experiences as a young man, and very difficult early life rarely touched on where he at one point considered taking his own life. This was the impetus for his decision 'not to play the game', and today the world still continues to discover the elegance of the fruits of a life well lived. For your consideration:


The article's title reminded me of one of the more notable faux pas by village idiot disguised as President GW Bush. A single parent of several small children was telling Dumbya about having to work three different jobs to try to feed, shelter and clothe herself and the children. At this point President Doofus became effusive in his congratulations of her for having such spunk and determination and launched into a soliloquy about how this was what made America and and her people so great. Truly there are none so blind as those who will not see.

For one brief shining moment Etan Thomas said it all. Nothing much has changed in the past 10 years.


The old notion that has to be somehow overturned is that people somehow deserve what they get. The wealthy love that theory because it depicts their economic success as proof that God has found them worthy and is giving them a just reward.

The corollary to that belief is that the impoverished also deserve their fate. That's what all that palaver about their unwillingness to slave away so it's their own fault, so any attempt to help them only enables their immoral laziness and desire to live off the success of their "betters."

To those who hold these views it the height of virtue to let them suffer and die. The rich feel that they don't owe the less fortunate anything. This version of reality is so deeply embedded in so many people that only those who have faith in a sudden onset global consciousness change could alter it. I wish I could believe in that.


I think one thing that's missing is...I am 64 years old, the worlds human population has doubled, yes 2 times, from what it was when I was born...After I read The Bell Curve I wrote one of the lead authors and asked why oh why didn't you say "stop making babies" and his reply was that they had on such and such a page in one (1) paragraph, that was it, one paragraph...the planet has become too small, with too many people in way too short of time...how are the planet and human systems going to catch up? They Won't.


The problem is not as much about excess population as it is how humanity chooses to live.
This earth could and would support the population it now has were the major causes of pollution of air, water, and land eliminated or greatly reduced.
This world could also support the population it has were it to decentralize populations away from large mega cities and spread them out into a more sparsely distributed pattern.
The planet has much more carrying capacity for population than is now being utilized due to vast expanses of land being reserved for wilderness areas and horizon to horizon agriculture and grazing for vast herds of cattle to feed an unhealthy addiction to excessive meat consumption.
Our choices of lifestyles have created this problem and not the people who inhabit the earth. Such a notion that there are too many people is just a do-see-do away from the Nazi idea of lebensraum (living room).
That doctrine posited the notion that it would be better to eliminate excess population by genocidal war than to conquer the people. (I don't think you mean to suggest that you endorse such a course of action, but there are many who would in the cold and cunning calculus of the privileged figure that such plights as our collective bad decisions have created would justify such conduct).


Thanks Poet, I also like your opposition to what I wrote but will it/they come to pass? They are grand concepts to be sure but maybe a bit idealistic...and thanks too for I am not advocating doing away with even one soul...a shift in how we distribute goods/services would help too but getting over the speed bump of greed and capitalism, why is that such a fight???


I read the article. Sounds like Mr. Martin is so hide-bound by his own ideology that he only sees in black or white: that the "SDGs are a corporate PR gambit for further global control". Just like a lot of conservative bloggers, he offers up a lot of sweeping generalizations and unsupported "facts," like .. for every $1 of foreign aid $18 are taken by other means .... What does that mean? Where did that data come from? Is that all types of aid from all sources? I suspect that may be a cherry picked instance used to bolster his weak premise.
The SDGs are much more than an economic program of foreign aid. Kirk comes across as a conspiracy theorist where, in his world view, all NGOs and government agencies are in this to further corporate economic domination. Really!?