The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

My Proposal for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/20/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 843 times Debate No: 44323
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




The United States turns its attention to a poor nation like Haiti.
The United States spends billions of dollars repairing their infrastructure and setting up useful farms. Here's the catch: they hire the locals to do all this work, on the payroll of the US Government. The workers would be paid in either food, money, or both. Farms will provide food for the nation, and the people will learn to support themselves without foreign aid. The people will believe in their own ability for the first time in a long time. After everyone has food to eat, other professions will be explored, such as office jobs.
After twenty years or so the country will be much better off, and then the US can end its program and perhaps do the same thing in another country.

I am well aware that this would probably not benefit the United States in any way, but it would be done in the name of eradication of poverty. If all the wealthier nations funded these programs, extreme poverty would be nearly extinct within 100 years.
I await a response, from someone who's willing to debate this topic with me.


Reasons why this program wouldnt work in a million years:

1) There are simply too many poor countries in the world to dump billions into.

Pro's program focuses entirely on Haiti at first, which has less than 0.15% of the global population, and then claims that if it will work in Haiti then it can work in the rest of the world.... The problem is though that the world consists of downtrodden countries that are WAAAAAAAAAY bigger and more populated than Haiti, and improving the wealth of those nations will dwarf the cost it takes to fix up a country as small as Haiti....... Countries like Zimbabwe, India, Somalia, Nigeria, Egypt, etc are all countries of much larger size and much bigger populations that any effort to eliminate extreme poverty in those nations would require trillions to fix over a couple of years.......

2) The US and other wealthy nations arent that wealthy

The US isnt this vast source of wealth where it can dump trillions of dollars down the drain in trying to help every dirt poor country in the world become slightly less broke. The US already owes more money than any other nation in the world, and other nations in Europe arent much better off in terms of their debt either.... A proposal like this that calls for all the wealthiest nations to pour trillions into half of the nations in the world that struggle with extreme poverty would simply drive the wealthy nations that much further into debt, perhaps into outright bankruptcy, because those coutnries dont have that much money to burn on other nations.

3) It probably wouldnt even work

In the past ten years alone, the US has poured hundreds of billions, maybe even a couple trillion, dollars into Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan in an effort to build up those countries and also to fight the war on terror...... Despite these TRILLION dollar interventions over the course of over a decade now, Iraq and Afghanistan are still two of the most failed nations in the world, and Pakistan is still towards the bottom of the list as well:

Dumping trillions of dollars into a country that only averages a couple billion in GDP each year simply doesnt lead to explosive or even modest improvement over the years like your program suggests it would..... In fact the only reason why Iraq and Afghanistan have jumped a few spots is because other nations have gotten even poorer, not because theyve necessarily improved.

If pouring TRILLIONS into Iraq and Afghanistan for 10 years didnt fix the poverty in those countries, then what in the hell makes you think that pouring billions into other countries for 20 years would have a better effect?

4) The US and wealthy nations cant just walk around wherever they want and nation build as they please

Despite nations like Haiti and Iraq being poor as hell, they still have governments which have sovereignty in trying to fix their nations. Any donation by the US and wealthy countries to fix up a country therefore goes to the governments that are already there trying to fix the problem, and if I know governments of crappy countries like I think I know them, then chances are they are going to completely blow that money on something else.

Nations gripped with poverty correlate very well with nations that have super corrupted governments (Nigeria and North Korea for example). If you are going to dump billions into a country, then what you actually are doing is giving it to the governments in those nations and hoping that they dont misuse it, or even use it inefficiently..... And 10 out of 10 times they WILL screw something up and the money wont go where it is supposed to go.

5) A lot of poor countries dont have arable land.

Youre entire program focuses on first setting up infrastructure and building farms..... Well thats a problem for countries that are almost entirely desert and dont have many areas to even build farms in the first place.... Libya, Chad, Algeria, Niger, Somalia, and Mali are all countries where only small percentages of land can be farmed at all. Mali is only listed at 5% of percentage of land that can be farmed, and many other countries arent much better off

Your program focuses heavily on farming to build up the country, but in countries that dont have any land that can be farmed, this program is completely useless and doomed to fail.

6) The program operates on a lot of idiotic assumptions

"the people will learn to support themselves without foreign aid. The people will believe in their own ability for the first time in a long time"

There literally is no evidence suggesting this will happen at all..... This is just wishful thinking. If the only reason a country is growing is because of stupendous foreign aid, then everyone there will believe that they can only improve their country if they have lots of foreign aid coming in, which is the exact opposite of what you claim they will do. In addition to that, corrupted government officials will also look at foreign aid as the only way they can keep get massive sums of money for their country, which could easily cause them to drag their feet or delay efforts to improve the country just so that they can prolong how much money foreign nations keep giving them.


In summary: The program wont work, similar programs havent worked in the past, wealthy nations arent that wealthy, there are way too many poor nations in thw rodl to dump billions or trillions of dollars into, a lot of poor nations dont have that much arable land, and this is a really dumb program to advocate for.......
Debate Round No. 1


1. Too many countries:
It can be done one country at a time, over a period of 100 or 200 years.
2. The US and other countries don't have enough money:
If done over a long period of time the money needed shouldn't overwhelm the nations doing the giving.
3. The US already tried that:
What we did in Iraq and Afghanistan was send soldiers. We didn't hire the Iraqis and Afghans to rebuild their infrastructure. Not as far as I know, anyway.
4. We Have No Right To Do That:
So a nation doesn't have a right to help another nation on its feet?
5. Many Poor Countries Don't Have a Lot of Farmland:
With today's technology, including fertilizers and stuff like that, I'm sure we could make that land arable.
6. The Program Relies on Idiotic Assumptions:
It seems like if they have their own businesses, and if opportunity abounds, the people will indeed learn to support themselves. And we wouldn't simply be giving them aid. We would have them build their own infrastructure, and we'd be paying them. They'd eventually learn to help themselves, even after the US lets go of the strings.

Summary: I think the program would work, if done properly.


1) Too little time

"It can be done one country at a time, over a period of 100 or 200 years."

Theres too many countries for that to be an option though.... Over half the countries in the world have to deal with extreme poverty, and if the US and wealthy nations were to focus one country at a time for 20 years like your original plan suggests, then it would only be able to help 5-10 countries. That still leaves a large chunk of the world without any form of aid while still financially criplling the wealthy nations

2) The US and other countries don't have enough money:

"If done over a long period of time the money needed shouldn't overwhelm the nations doing the giving."

Thats EXACTLY what will happen dingus... Youre proposing that wealthy nations dump hundreds of billions of dollars into poor countries every year for 100-200 years, its a fact that such a policy would financially cripple even the wealthiest of nations such as the US

3) Dumping Billions into a country doesnt work

"We didn't hire the Iraqis and Afghans to rebuild their infrastructure. Not as far as I know, anyway."

Yeah we did, thats the only thing we've been doing in both of those countries for the last 8 years.

4) The US and wealthy nations cant just overtake poor countries and rebuild them

"So a nation doesn't have a right to help another nation on its feet?"

Thats not what im saying idiot.... The argument was that the US and other nations cant actually control the money they are giving to the poor nation and that they have to simply trust it to the local government that runs the poor nation.... And that time and time again that has shown to be problematic since poor countries tend to have horrendously inefficient and corrupted governments that would completely screw up handling hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid a year.....

5) Many Poor Countries Don't Have a Lot of Farmland:

"With today's technology, including fertilizers and stuff like that, I'm sure we could make that land arable."

Dude you cant turn a desert into farmland, and even if you could Africa doesnt exactly have a bountiful supply of water to maintain such a farm

6) The Program Relies on Idiotic Assumptions:

" I think the program would work, if done properly."

But it WONT be done properly because it never HAS been done properly..... Dumping trillions into a country to improve it has shown to not work at all, and youre ignoring that simply because you 'think' that this time it will be different.
Debate Round No. 2


You appear to be halfway insulting me and halfway arguing your case.
However, your points are all valid. Therefore, I concede victory to you.


"You appear to be halfway insulting me and halfway arguing your case."

Yeah I have a really, really bad habit of doing that in debates and ive been trying to kick it for a while now.... Unfortunately ive only made minor progress.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
You'll find out soon enough....
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
As my opponent has himself admitted, he mostly engages in "troll debates." Does he intend on debating this matter seriously?
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
I think it's weird that my opponent, who according to his profile is male, has a princess movie set up as his profile picture.
Posted by bsh1 3 years ago
Many poor nations are poorly suited to farming. Moreover, if everyone is farming, then prices will plummet.

People will produce so much food, that food will become really cheap, and the farmers will earn virtually nothing. You could do serious damage to the value of local currency in the process too.
Posted by Oromagi 3 years ago
The argument implies a number of false assumptions:

A. That we don't already do this.

Of course we do this already. Look at the example you suggested, Haiti. The 3 principle programs the U.S. runs in Haiti are building 3 power plants with Haitian labor, training 6,000 teachers, and training farmers to run modern farms. We don't spend billions, but we've spent close to a billion since the earthquake.

B. That Haitians don't already know how to feed themselves.

They do of course. Remember that Haiti was founded by plantation workers. Half of all Haitians today are farmers. If all the governments and corporations disappeared tomorrow, the one thing we can be confident that Haitians would be able to do is feed themselves.

C. The problem is food.

Food is not the problem. Politics, greed, ignorance, and improper planning are problems. If the 50% of Haitians who farm the land were allowed to own the land they farm, make the decisions about what to grow, reap the benefits of their labor, Haiti would still be poor but it would be well fed. Instead, 1% of Haitians own half of Haitian land and much of the rest is owned by foreign interests. Instead of food, Haitians grow cocoa, coffee, tobacco, sugar, pineapples, dates, and figs, mostly for the US market. All this is only about 6% of Haiti's exports. 85% of Haitian exports are T-shirts, underwear, sweaters, and suits for North America. The wool and cotton are not grown or spun or dyed in Haiti, but the sewing is done in Haiti because US and So. Korean companies can pay workers between $1-$2 each day. If these people were paid $3 or $4 an hour, Haiti would be transformed overnight into a country that could feed itself. However, the price of a T-shirt in the US would double or triple and/or companies would abandon Haiti in search of labor to exploit elsewhere. There are many other problems, but the upshot is that Haitians would probably be better off without any US interaction at all.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by kbub 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Honorable FF. Nice debate! Nice arguments Con.