The peer reviewed journal Science just came out with a study showing exactly how we can eliminate poverty

OR How to eliminate poverty without forced taxation (which hasn’t eliminated it anyway).

Here’s a cool fact: we now have evidence for the best way to reduce poverty in the world.

The journal Science has done a rigorous meta-analysis of different types of charities and concluded that the scientific evidence is statistically significant and we can eliminate poverty without forced taxation. Here is the pdf without the whole needing to login thing: (Source) Also, here’s a simpler article explaining the study in case you’re not interested in the jargon: (Source)

Cash, livestock, and training.

That’s it. 3 things.

Now let’s delve into what the heck that means.

1. Cash

People in 6 different countries were each given a cash grant of $150. That’s it, $150. 2 years later, households doing the program now had a total of $202, or the equivalent in purchasing power of $500.

How did they do that?

2. Livestock

The subjects were given a choice between sheep, goats, chicken, cattle, etc. A market analyst would sometimes help them make the decision as to which livestock to choose. Which leads me to the training part.

3. Training

The training provided about livestock included: how to manage a business with their livestock, including feeding, how to rear them, vaccines, and treatment of diseases.

Training also included: health education in nutrition, hygiene, clean water, psychosocial counseling, prenatal health, HIV prevention and medicine; traditional and financial education such as investment and savings; emotional support; and staff supervision for running their business.

What doesn’t work

The study found that microloans don’t increase quality of life or incomes significantly, because the people getting the loans cannot afford to pay them back. Especially at the very high interest rates, microcredit lending charities have to charge to stay open. These programs usually take 18 years to break even. (Source)

Just donated livestock alone was not enough to lift people out of poverty alone.

Just cash while a short term solution, it did not help long term.

Services alone was not efficient enough as well.

Cost-benefit analysis

Most charities do not pass the cost-benefit analysis test. Most charities are costly to run and require high amounts of fundraising money to operate. Very often, it costs more to operate than the benefit the charity gives to others.

What am I supposed to do? How could someone like me help with extreme poverty in the world?

I did an exhaustive search of the best charities that do the cash, livestock, and training programs. The best rated one I found that had the best benefits was easily FXB International.

And here is why I like them so much:

  1. They only help the poorest of poor families in the world.
  2. Their model was developed with input by Harvard University experts.
  3. Their program is based on eliminating the five drivers of poverty: nutrition, health, education, housing, and income.
  4. They’ve already lifted 83,500 people out of poverty; the size of small city.
  5. They have a proven track record that 86% of the people they help STAY out of poverty 4 years later.
  6. They’ve been around for 27 years.
  7. They have great transparency for where their money goes.
  8. Only 12% of the money goes to overhead. That means for every $1 you donate, .88 cents goes to the actual person you’re helping.
  9. It only costs $140 per year to help lift one person out of poverty, for a 3 year program.

So, if you have $140 lying around that you weren’t going to spend in a better place. Here is their donation page: https://fxb.org/donate/

Maximum political, social and economic freedom

It is my opinion that the maximum freedom economically, politically, and socially, given to all people, regardless of who they are, helps the maximum number of people, out of every system I’ve ever researched, and has the most scientific evidence to back it up.

Quality of life is not higher in countries with more social and economic controls on its people. In fact, the opposite is true.

The Human Development Index is the best quality of life measurement we have. It takes into account life expectancy, education, and income standard of living, among many other factors.

Here are the top 5 highest quality of life countries in the world:

  1. Norway 2. Australia 3. Switzerland 4. Denmark 5. Netherlands

(The U.S. is #8, in case you were curious)

Here are the bottom 5 lowest quality of life countries in the world:

  1. Niger 2. Central African Republic 3. Eritrea 4. Chad 5. Burundi

Then there’s an index of countries based on political and civil freedom such as, freedom of speech, religious, individual economic choice, association, assembly, freedom from violence and crimes, movement, LGBT rights, women’s rights, as well as, human trafficking, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, homicide, freedom of movement, and adoption by homosexuals. (Source)

By lowest 5 on the above quality of life scale, on a scale of 1-7, 1 being best, 7 being worst:

1. Niger: freedom rating: 3.5 civil liberties: 4 political rights: 3

2. Central African Republic: freedom rating: 7 civil liberties: 7 political rights: 7

3. Eritrea: freedom rating: 7 civil liberties: 7 political rights: 7

4. Chad: freedom rating: 6.5 civil liberties: 6 political rights: 7

5. Burundi: freedom rating: 5.5 civil liberties: 5 political rights: 6

Now let’s look at our top quality of life countries and compare their freedom ratings from the same index we just used.

  1. Norway: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1
  2. Australia: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1
  3. Switzerland: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1
  4. Denmark: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1
  5. Netherlands: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1

And here’s the U.S. in comparison:

United States: freedom rating: 1 civil liberties: 1 political rights: 1

The more freedom people have, the higher the quality of life.

What about economic freedom? Do people with more economic freedom have a higher quality of life?

Let’s do this thing again with an economic freedom index.

Here is the index’s definition of economic freedom: Freedom to: “work, produce, consume, invest in any way they please. Government allows: labor, capital, and good to move freely, refrains from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.” (Source)

Let’s start with the highest quality of life countries (scale is from 1-100, 1 being the least free, 100 being the most free economically):

  1. Norway: 70.8
  2. Australia: 80.3 (5th highest in the world)
  3. Switzerland: 81.0 (4th highest in the world)
  4. Denmark: 75.3
  5. Netherlands: 74.6

And here’s the U.S. for fun:

United States: 75.4 (#11 on most economically free)

Now let’s see the countries with the lowest quality of life:

  1. Niger: 54.6 (#129 out of 178 countries)
  2. Central African Republic: 45.2 (#168)
  3. Eritrea: 42.7 (#173)
  4. Chad: 46.3 (#164)
  5. Burundi: 53.9 (#133)

The most economically free country was Hong Kong, the least economically free was North Korea.

(Source)

So there we have it. The most socially, politically, and economically free countries have the highest quality of life, and the least socially, politically, and economically free countries have the lowest quality of life. That is a big reason I believe allowing the maximum amount of freedom, given to the people, increases quality of life.

A very brief history of the beginning of capitalism

Since capitalism began, worldwide incomes have risen to levels higher than they ever have in history.

WorldGDPPerCapita1500

worlduntil2000

(Source)

It surprises me that people still believe capitalism has caused people to become poorer than ever in history. Pre-capitalism we had a system of feudal lords and serfs. Capitalism began in the 1300s between the monarchs and the serfs.

Everybody was poor and the further you go back, the poorer people were. We live in the wealthiest period in history, by far.

Do people who are anti-capitalism want to return to that pre-capitalist society? Certainly serfs were poorer than our poorest of today.

GDP per capita (PPP) in 1 A.D. vs 2003 A.D. (Source and Source)

The highest GDP per capita was in Italy in 1 A.D. $800. That’s right, $800 per person for a whole year. That’s in 1990 dollars. Not 1 A.D. dollars.

Japan had the lowest GDP per capita of $400 per year. $400. The U.S. was also $400 annually but this was before Europeans came over and screwed up the place for everyone.

Now, the highest GDP per capita in 2003, was the U.S. with $29,037. Keep in mind this is 1990 dollars AND in 2003. It’s much higher now. As of 2016, it has almost doubled, and is at $55,805.

The lowest GDP per capita in 2003 was in Africa, $1,549 annually. That is appalling and we should do everything in our power to raise the standard of living in Africa, but also, in comparison to 1 A.D. number, Africa is still twice as better off than the wealthiest country, Italy, in 1 A.D.

So enough about how great the world could be without capitalism. We know what the world was like without capitalism. Would you want to live in it again?

Pre-capitalism: serfdom

Serfs performed self-sustenance labor, which would look like farming to provide just enough food for themselves. There was little technological innovation because there was no competition to incentivize it. (Source) Serfs were paid by getting to live on their land and having a house. They still had to pay rent and when they did get money from their lords, it was salt or small pieces of gold OR none at all.

“Because serfs had obligations to produce for lords, they had no interest in technological innovation; because serfs produced to sustain their own families, they had no interest in co-operating with one another.” (Source)

That is why technological innovation was stagnant.

Then agricultural productivity reached it’s technological limitations and stopped growing, they had a famine, and the black death led to a population decline, and as a result, a decline in labor. (Source)

Fuck.

The feudal lords decided to spend all their money on war, which is expensive, so they taxed the serfs.

Wow.

In a panic, Nobles competed to find enough serfs so their estates could be kept up. The nobles began trading human beings for wages, which encouraged people to move to towns that were offering to pay wages, rather than just earn their keep.

As a result, the population grew.

In England, the serfs rebelled and started buying out their landlords’ land, which they accepted because they were desperate for cash.

Serfs began a more capitalist system in the form of landlord-tenant relationships over land. If they made enough money, then they could actually buy the land.

I think the serfs rising up after the famine TOTALLY proves my point that people only overthrow their government if they are hungry.

Anyway, so that’s what led to the collapse of the manorial system and ushered in mercantilism. That’s what led to the beginning of investment in new technologies and a burst of discoveries, especially in the field of agriculture. This led to the marketplace, where the serfs could sell their shit.

Mercantilism

Towns began to trade, and when towns had similar goods, they would compete for money, lowering their prices as a result, and more people could afford what they were selling.

Colonization

What’s the best way to acquire wealth? To steal it, right? Get it for free.

But actually, this doesn’t lead to the greatest wealth creation. Under colonization, countries would go to war with other regions, and strip them of their resources.

One of the problems, besides the destruction of human beings lives, as well as their cultures and civilizations, in the worst, most inhumane ways; is it actually wasn’t that profitable. Machines became more profitable than free human labor.

So for a while at least, slavery was profitable, just not as profitable as industrialism.

Industrial capitalism

Adam Smith was the one who initially noted that mercantilism was not the development creator that the world thought it was. He believed it was a continuation of the feudal system and keeping the world from advancement. His influential book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations wrote on paper what we now read in our economics textbooks in school on what is now capitalism.

With capitalism and industrialization, technological discoveries were developed rapidly. For the first time in history, the poorest people could become wealthier without being born into it. It was the first time poor people COULD become wealthy, and wealthier than their feudal lords, nobles, and banking families. It was the first time in history that could benefit levels of society besides the noble class. It reduced the class system that was stringently in place previously.

Slavery has grown more now than ever in history

More people are in slavery now than ever in human history.

Slavery what we now call human trafficking. I think people imagine slavery is something that happened in the past. It was bad, but we learned from it and now it doesn’t exist anymore.

The ancient history of slavery

Slavery possibly began after the agricultural revolution, around 1760 B.C. and is rarely found in hunter gatherer societies. It began in Africa, in the cradle of civilization, Sumer.

The highest population of slaves I found was 90% in Arab-Swahili Zanzibar, as well as 50% in Madagascar.

What percentage of the population in the Americas were slaves?

Across the Atlantic in Brazil was the largest population of slaves in the Americas. 35.3% of all slaves in the Atlantic slave trade went to Brazil. (“The West: Encounters and Transformations”) Imagine if every 3 people you saw on the street, 1 was a slave.

In comparison, 5% of slaves went to “the New World,” with the majority going to Caribbean sugar colonies, South America, or Brazil.

Every region and culture in the world has taken part in slavery

Every imaginable group and region was engaged in slavery. Christians were taken as slaves, Christians sold Muslims as slaves, and Muslims engaged in slavery.

“At the beginning of the 19th century, an estimated 3/4 of all people alive were trapped in bondage against their will either in some form of slavery or serfdom.” – David P. Forsythe, The Globalist

3 in 4! Imagine if every 4 people you saw, 3 of them were slaves. I used to wonder why they didn’t all rise up, since they were the majority, but apparently they did frequently, and they were almost always overpowered for a reason I can’t seem to find.

Denmark-Norway was the first European country, at least, to ban slavery. Which is great and also not a surprise because the Scandinavian countries always seem to be more ahead of the game than the rest of the world!

The Atlantic slave trade and the Middle Passage

In America, we mainly only hear about the Atlantic slave trade. I don’t think I ever remember learning that any other culture had slaves except western Europeans. It’s presented to us as children in public school as a stain upon our history. Understandably. And at least for myself, it was only when I got older that I learned just how horrific the Middle Passage truly was.

Probably the most horrific thing I can think of that I read was from the book  The Slave Ship by Marcus Rediker. In it, he states the harshest punishments were given to slaves who tried to rebel. One event included the captain of a ship punishing a failed rebellion by killing one of the slaves involved and forcing two other slaves to eat his heart and liver.

That’s definitely up there with the worst thing I’ve ever heart. How could someone even think that up?

And you certainly never hear about that in school. Probably because they want to keep things age appropriate and white washed. But for high schoolers, I think it is important for them to know and would probably keep them more interested in the education as well. Maybe they would turn out to be people of action who donate money or time to charities that pressure governments to crack down on human trafficking now. Maybe.

15% of slaves died making the voyage from Africa to south america in the 18th century. (The Creation of the British Atlantic World by Mancke, Elizabeth and Shammas, Carole)

The economics behind slavery

Could the industrial revolution only have happened if it weren’t for free labor? Well, not really. The British Caribbean, at least, profited most from the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

So what then ended British slavery? The people. Specifically, the voting British population, who were morally outraged by the practice. (Econocide: British Slavery in the Era of Abolition)

The truth is that slavery WAS profitable in the 1830s, but also in large part due to innovations in agriculture. The profits from the slave trade only amounted to less than 1% of domestic investments in Britain. (The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume II: The Eighteen Century)

By 1750, Africa became wealthier due to the slave trade, and could demand higher payment, while it became less profitable for Europeans to profit from it because of the larger cost to profit ratio they were getting. Costs meaning shipment, slave mortality on the journey overseas, killings of British peoples in Africa, and defense.

The profits from slavery in the British economy during the Industrial revolution was around 5%. But this number is also disputed as too high or too low. So take it with a grain of salt.

What REALLY ended slavery? Some ideas with some evidence but mostly ideas.

My theory that I have no proof for, is that the British government was getting pressure from the people, formerly and recently enough in history peasants themselves, to rid the practice, and at the same time, the government found the practice to not be all that profitable for them anyway, so it was a win-win situation. Sadly, my impression from what I’ve read is that that could possibly be the case.

Another hypothesis of mine is that we have such unrest and poverty in Africa today due to an economy that was historically based so heavily in slavery of its own people.

In Africa, groups of people would capture other groups of people and sell them to the Europeans or the Arabs or whoever, for a profit of raw materials like indigo or rum. Meanwhile, Europeans would cross the Atlantic and sell the slaves for the modern day equivalent of $32,000-$40,000 per slave. (“Hell on the Water” by Ron Soodalter)

The slave trade caused destabilization of the economies and depopulation in the millions in Africa, which I think at least, we still see today as a result.

I also think the generations of slavery, when all you know is slavery, could be a cycle of abuse continuing because of generations of this dynamic. Much like abuse of a child from a parent can cause that child, when it becomes an adult, to abuse their own children. It’s all they know.

I also wonder, but can’t find information on civilization development and the agricultural revolution playing a large part in the African slave trade. Social stratification began at this time. Sub-saharan Africa was one of the last regions in the world to develop into the Iron Age. The beginnings of civilization began around 11,000 BC, with Sub-saharan Africa being second to last, 5,000-4,000 BC, and the Eastern USA being very last, 4,000-3,000 BC.

I wonder if the late development of civilization in Sub-saharan Africa is what contributed to the rest of the world thinking Africans were backwards, sub-human, and “barbarians,” of which the word comes from, unsurprisingly, all non-Greek-speaking peoples. Maybe, due to the rest of the world getting a leg up on the benefits of economic systems early, it became easier to profit off the backs of the African people, without feeling too bad about it.

What is going on in modern day slavery.

The League of Nations, as late as 1926, which later became the UN, pressured and continues to pressure governments into ending slavery, which was a large contributor to reducing legality of the practice.

The very last country to have legal slavery, Mauritania, just made the practice illegal in 2007. This officially at least, makes slavery illegal in every country in the world. However, 20% of their population still remains in bonded labor.

Currently 29.8 million people are living in slavery today, or .4% of the world population. 55% of which are women and girls. 43% are used for sexual exploitation, and 32% for economic exploitation.

Reparations. Should we pay them today?

How far back should we pay reparations if you think we should, and should it only be for black people or should it also be for Asian internment and white slaves too?

How far back in history should a culture go, to pay back its debt to society? It’s a seemingly impossible question to answer.

I think it’s a catch-22 and we’re pretty fucked just in general because if we pay reparations directly OR give grants or some kind of subsidy, we’ll have to either 1. raise taxes 2. cut spending on social programs, or 3. print more money, inflating the currency.

What’s being done about modern slavery by the U.S. government right. now.

It seems like governments in underdeveloped countries take a blind eye to this. It’s already the law though and it still happens.

I didn’t know that it’s illegal to accept any slave labor or sweatshop labor created products to enter the US.

And as of THIS. YEAR.

It specifically includes slave labor in regards to fish. They block the supply chains now so they can’t make money.

Also, apparently we still have child labor on farms in the US and it’s totally ok by law. Which is also terrible.

There are more slaves in the world than ever.

Here is a map of what percentage of slaves are located in different countries in the world

ModernSlaveryMap

This is an interesting article if you want to boycott slave made products:

http://listverse.com/2014/12/16/10-everyday-products-that-are-made-with-slave-labor/

It feels hopeless and unavoidable but knowing it’s not found everywhere in the world in every culture still is encouraging. Hunter-gatherer societies, without social stratification, have egalitarian societies that don’t participate in slavery.