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Readers respond to 'An End to Poverty'

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Poverty will not end until and unless the girls and women of the developing world are empowered. We have no chance at ending poverty when half of the population that does the vast majority of the work continues to be marginalized, oppressed, and unsupported.


 

Nearly 20 years ago, I started to sponsor a 3-year-old-child, Wilson, in Guatemala. I chose educational help, rather than direct handouts, thinking it would lead to employment. Wilson graduated with a teaching certificate but there were not enough jobs. He is now helping his father sell vegetables in local markets, precisely what he would have done without his education. I then realized the need for well-intended efforts like mine to be coupled with a larger-scale effort to improve the local economy and create jobs.


While I do not agree with China on most basic human rights issues, its mandate on only one child per couple is an environmental and economic necessity. In Africa, South America and the Middle East, large families seem to be encouraged by a mixture of history and religion. That norm needs to be challenged and broken. Without addressing this aspect of the causes of poverty, all other proposals will go nowhere.


Economic growth is only valuable to those who get to participate in it.


Mr. Lange has not listened to what more than 22 nations have been trying to tell the World Trade Organization since before 2003: some regulations are not "barriers" but essential to enable a country to develop without being overwhelmed by outside resources that would destroy any hope for self-sufficiency or stable economic processes that are eliminating poverty.

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