How To End Poverty

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In Commemoration of the 75th Birth Anniversary of the United Nations, October 24, 2020

By Togba-Nah Tipoteh

As we commemorate the 75th Birth Anniversary of the United Nations on October 24, 2020, we know that the United Nations was founded to bring peace to the world. Peace to the world can come only when there is Justice for All. In the midst of the prevailing violence globally, especially in West Africa, let us become motivated to end poverty so that it can no longer be used as a pretext for violence, including Civil War.

To end any problem, it is most important to know the source of the problem. Any problem comes from the decisions made by decision-makers. From the family, the community and to the Country, there are decision-makers. When Parents and Guardians help children to choose right over wrong, then they develop a sense of justice, where everyone, male and female, young and old, is treated fairly/equally, meaning that everyone has access to equal opportunities.

When the access to opportunities becomes unequal, then poverty sets in because some people can enter the door of benefits while other people are not allowed to enter. Some people get the power to deprive other people from being treated fairly because they get their power through inheritance and corruption, where some people take for themselves what belongs to other people. The powerful people get some people to work for them but the workers get very little of the value of the work/production while the employers get the big share of that value. These powerful people are supported by even more powerful people in the big countries, called developed or advanced countries. The local and foreign powerful alliance makes sure that their choices for national leadership get elected through an electoral system set up by them. Out of this electoral system come national decision-makers who work to make sure, through corruption and violent means, that the decision-makers in the developed countries get the raw materials produced in the undeveloped countries. In this way, the rich within countries get richer while the poor get poorer and the gap between the developed and undeveloped countries becomes wider (UN/WB/IMF/ADB).

Now that we know where poverty comes from, we can proceed to knowing how to end it. On account of the fact that the powerful national decision-makers get elected through an unfair electoral system, national decision-makers who take actions to bring Justice for All can be elected only when the electoral system becomes fair. How will the electoral system become fair? The electoral system will become fair only when the knowledgeable people take united non-violent actions to raise awareness among the masses of the people in ways that motivate them to work together non-violently to change the electoral system from an unfair one to a fair one. We must bear in mind that powerful people use violence to prevent the masses from changing the electoral system for the better. The masses must persist in their democratic actions and not be intimidated by the powerful decision-makers. In their persistence, with globalization in existence, they will be joined in the global democratic alliance by the unfairly treated masses in other countries to build up enough power to change the electoral system from unfair to fair, from bad to good.

When the 40th Anniversary of the Commemoration of the United Nations Human Rights Charter was held in Paris, France, I was there and it was concluded in the Paris Declaration that the main problem was the lack of implementation of the Human Rights provision in the Constitutions globally. The Constitutions around the world declared that “All People is with the People” but such was not being implemented. When the Power to the People posture is achieved, then the masses of the people will participate in the making of decisions that affect them and they will choose poverty eradication over poverty generation. Then the masses of the people will be able to produce what they consume and their national decision-makers will take action to add value to human and natural resources, leading to manufacturing and economic growth with economic development, where there is improvement in living standards sustainably. Growth with development means poverty is eradicated as the economy grows, as seen in the People’s Republic of China, where the poverty rate has declined from 80 percent to less than 5 percent in four decades (UN/WB/IMF). In effect, with poverty eradication, the use of poverty as a pretext for violence becomes non-existent. Democracy, Power to the People, end poverty, through the Rule of Law, the Constitution of a Nation.

The Author

Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh is the Founding Leader, Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) and Chairperson, Servants of Africa Fighting Epidemics (SAFE).

3 COMMENTS

  1. Let’s not forget that Dr. Tipoteh was also a long time professor of economics at the University of Liberia; Economic Advisor to the President, Executive Mansion, R.L., and a former presidential candidate, R.L.

    Most of us will agree with the discourse articulated by the professor – the powerful and richer folks get more powerful and richer, and the weaker and poorer folks get weaker and poorer! I also agree that this economic philosophy does not just happen from the clear blue skies just by chance. There are lot of sleepless nights spent by decision-makers, to paraphrase the learned professor, in charting such a course so that this economic trajectory keeps on favoring the rich and powerful at the detriment of the weak, the poor, (and I must add) the ignorant. It may be equally true that these powerful and developed countries may put in strategic positions, their minions in smaller, weaker, “developing” countries just to ensure that the course of the economic trajectory set in motion by them remains undisturbed.

    For how long have we watched our valuable “raw materials” (others call it natural resources) transported from our virgin land as unfinished products to these powerful and richer countries with no valuable returns to us? This happens while OUR “decision-makers”, advisors to our president, are distracted fighting over peanuts from the little we have in our national coffers meant for national development! It is even sadder when the president THINKS that he knows it all. He is the president of the nation and also a Minister of the Gospel, a Reverend!

    Dr. Tipoteh, you cannot blame the ordinary Liberian in the street, that he/she has not been trying his/her God-given best to go to the polls, time after time, to elect people they think will fight for them and turn this wicked economic trajectory in their favor, for once. Unfortunately, when their hero wins the big trophy to the executive mansion, you get the caricature depicted in the Daily Observer on the eve of the 2018 inauguration, showing their hero up in the tree rich with fruits of lucrative government jobs ripe and ready to be delivered to his friends and cronies!

    What does it take to let our decision-makers know that all the Liberian people need is that their government should empower the people. They, the people, can develop their personal economic wealth only when the government builds the infrastructures like good motor roads and bridges, good schools, good healthcare delivery system, uninterrupted electricity, and a touch of honesty and hard work in government. Some would smartly say that “Rome was not built in one day”, but the Liberian people are not stupid. They know when someone is sincere by having the right advisors around him and STARTING something that is sincere and transparent in the right direction.

  2. Very good analysis Charlse of Dr. Tipoteh’s thought-provoking commentary on how so-called Liberian leaders could chart a proper course in getting the nation out of abject poverty.

    However, if you may recall, I conversed with you about a few weeks ago pertaining to the chronicity of ritualistic killings within the Liberian society. Lo and behold our short conversation was a prelude of a prophecy awaiting fulfillment or another ominous sign heralding in the commission of more horrendous murders for the sake of acquiring power and wealth.

    Sir, I do wonder sometimes if Liberia is finally a lost cause. How can the decision makers even think about planning to eradicate poverty when they have created an atmosphere in which citizens are becoming uncivil and when many are afraid to interact with each other because of growing fears and deep suspicion emanating from every side of the political spectrum?

    So, I candidly agree with you and Dr. Tipoteh. However, like you said, government must first put its best foot forward and then the people will follow suit.

  3. Dreams that leads nowhere?
    We are without knowledge of (KnowHows , productions); NOT Educated!.
    Same old same; I saw all of that since 1978?
    Liberia is not smart enough? Liberia is functionally illiterate; not going anywhere? Don’t we know that?

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