March 18, 2009
Eradication of Poverty
During the Abe Lincoln love fest that was broadcasted on C-span. I was captivated with the conversation of Jesse Jackson Jr. The concept of Public Private Partnerships was quite interesting to me. Jackson kept stressing that he was not requesting any money from taxpayers. In fact, he would be helping the local and state governments raise capital and also spark entrepreneurship. Essentially PPP is sometimes called PPA. The example he used was the construction of an airport, and the ability for municipal projects of this sort to create jobs and provide an avenue for people to begin to escape the shackles of poverty. As I began studying this business model I immediately began to see value in this approach.
When you begin to realize that one strategy for stimulating the economy is through creating short-term infrastructure revitalization projects, PPA makes a great deal of sense. No building an airport is probably not the best example of a short term stimulus project; however, you could utilize this approach for building a learning academy or media centers in urban and rural areas.
Obviously, another means of stimulating the economy is be certain that _everyone_ is employed and nobody is impoverished. How do you accomplish this daunting task?
Well the concept of microloans have been discussed in some detail. Perhaps I may have heard smatterings of it here, but I have never heard about someone creating a social business around micro loans. Muhammad Yunus, Economist, Nobel Laureate and largely responsible for making the term microloan mainstream. Although some would argue that micro payments to the poor do little to solve the macro problem of poverty, I would assert that it certainly is better than ignoring impoverished. Moreover, I believe Yunus is more interested in helping the poor understand how to leverage their innate talents and ultimately break the cycle of generational poverty.
Hmmm. What if we could deploy Public Private Partnerships and link them to a social business concept. In my mind, this is exactly what Yunus has done with companies like Dannon, Nike, and others. I would think that if this approach can scale well in Bangladesh and other developing nations, we could do something similar here stateside.
Lastly, we have a struggling economy and many people are witnessing an increasing growing gap amongst the working poor and the 'so-called' middle-class. I would hope that new ideas are being considered in earnest.
Posted by AG at March 18, 2009 7:20 PM