Vast amounts of state aid, and governments imposing endless regulations, are not the way to solve global poverty. Rather it will be done through trade, private enterprise and helping populations in poor countries to contribute to their own prosperity.
This is the view shared by members of PovertyCure, an international network of individuals and NGOs who are seeking to encourage anti-poverty solutions through fostering opportunity and unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit in the developing world.
A leading partner and one of the main organisers of the network is the Grand Rapids-based Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.
Its president and co-founder, Father Robert Sirico, said in an article published in Zenit that there is "plenty of data across the board" that has long been known to create prosperity — namely low taxation, low regulation and increased market globalisation.
"This doesn't come without some problems as the Pope and others have indicated, but this is the first time in human history where we know how to solve poverty."
The American priest noted the challenges of overcoming a static mindset that believes government aid is the only real solution to global poverty. But he also highlighted a "perhaps more sinister" problem which is a "huge institutional vested interest in leaving the situation as it is."
Instead he prefers what, in Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI calls "fiscal subsidiarity" - a form of creating credits in various nations not for foreign governments to invest in developing nations but for the citizens to invest in businesses in poor countries, and to have their tax burden lightened with respect to the investment that they give.
FULL BLOG: Rev. Sirico: Change thinking on poverty (Acton)
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