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Poverty as a transient reality in a globalised world: an economic choice

A.D. Slabbert (Research in the Faculty of Business, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
W.I. Ukpere (Department of Industrial Psychology & People Management, Faculty of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 30 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Poverty is indeed a terrible monster confronting humanity today. It is alarming and, indeed, not without despair to note that 22,000 children under five die every day as a result of poverty. Thus, in a calendar year, more than eight million children do not progress past the age of five years. One of the world's worst atrocities, which has endured in the minds and hearts of humanity, was the Holocaust, in which six million people were murdered. It continues to be viewed with indignation and revulsion. Bizarrely, the deaths of eight million innocents pass without notice, without indignation and revulsion, and with very few tears being shed. Does this mean that in maybe 50 years from now, we will be condemned as mass murderers, and mentioned in the same context as Hitler's murderers? It is necessary to take note of this. It is necessary to consider our own personal position vis‐à‐vis this reality and take moral decisions. This paper aims to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a meta‐analysis, which relied on secondary sources of information. It is a qualitative study which is based on conceptual analysis, theory building, and the emic perspective (authors' viewpoint).

Findings

Humanity is entrusted with the wellbeing and survival of our planet and its inhabitants, and we have definitive custodian responsibilities to exercise. In the final analysis, the hallmark of a successful life is the ability to say: I have left this earth a better place than when I arrived. If poverty is left unchecked, will we be able to make that statement with a clear and untroubled conscience?

Social implications

There is indeed a solution to global poverty. In order to reach this desired state of affairs, there is just one requirement: international commitment and willingness to change the current status quo. This is not negotiable, but a necessary and sufficient ingredient for change. The rest is detail and can be achieved through a process of hard work, involvement, and essentially, empathy.

Originality/value

This paper is valuable because it confronts one of the disgusting issues affecting humankind today – poverty. Poverty cannot be eradicated if we stand akimbo watching without addressing it. This piece of treatise is an effort by the authors to address it, and proffer possible ways to tackle the malady.

Keywords

Citation

Slabbert, A.D. and Ukpere, W.I. (2011), "Poverty as a transient reality in a globalised world: an economic choice", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 38 No. 10, pp. 858-868. https://doi.org/10.1108/03068291111170406

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited