Knowing Vs. Understanding Poverty
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Knowing Vs. Understanding Poverty

How Barefoot Economics Can Help Us

85
Knowing Vs. Understanding Poverty
right livelihood

What is Barefoot Economics? How does it contribute to your daily carriage as a human being? Spawned from the Chilean Economist Manfred Max-Neef, Barefoot Economics has an objective to provide an evaluation tool to all of those that are involved in decision making within enterprises, in efforts to create a healthier workplace. I’m sure we all can relate to the corresponding topic, especially those who are currently working full-time within an office setting. This concept was introduced in a book entitled “From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in Barefoot Economics.” The book addresses, as well as criticizes, the pioneering efforts of orthodox development economics, as well as a new vision of development in which the poor must learn to circumvent the national economic system.

With an extraordinary influence on grassroots development projects, Neef guides us into a world where the poor are suffering, and do not necessarily care about the GDP within their own country. Rather, they want to know where their next meal is coming from. More of this issue was addressed in the Democracy Now Transcript.

"And we were looking at each other, and then suddenly I realized that I had nothing coherent to say to that man in those circumstances, that my whole language as an economist, you know, was absolutely useless. Should I tell him that he should be happy because the GDP had grown five percent or something? Everything was absurd."

The above excerpt highlights the difference in perception, as well as wealth of understanding, between the economist and the villager. The art of language was also highlighted which was interesting to read. Besides being a “method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way”, language can also be felt, as if it’s a spiritual essence or presence among two human beings.

Given the conditions the villager was in, as opposed to the conditions the economist(Neef) was used to, it's pretty obvious that the language was different. There is no concern for the GDP rate growing at all. That villager doesn’t care about the GDP rates. All he wants to do is provide a stable living environment for his family.

"The point is, you know, that economists study and analyze poverty in their nice offices, have all the statistics, make all the models, and are convinced that they know everything that you can know about poverty. But they don’t understand poverty. And that’s the big problem."

There is a huge difference between knowing what poverty is, and understanding what poverty is. Understanding requires experience, which is something that economist may know nothing about. Of course they have to study poverty, hence the models and statistics they have to concoct on roughly a daily basis. However, they are concocting these models from a place with no understanding or experience of poverty. This is what separates a Manfred Max-Neef from a traditional development economist. Nobody is willing to tear one hundred dollar shoes off and truly live inside of the very subject that they are studying. This is a problem that has to be addressed as soon as possible.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

3 Couples From 'The Vampire Diaries' Who Deserved A Happy Ending More Than Damon And Elena

Unfortunately, not every couple got their happy endings on "The Vampire Diaries."

170

If you are just now tuning into "The Vampire Diaries," then beware of spoilers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Just Spent $300 On The New Xbox For My Boyfriend, And It Was Worth Every Penny

Happiness is important, and sometimes money helps, not gonna lie.

43

As everyone probably already knows, the new Xbox Series went live for preorder yesterday, and while they cost a good chunk of change, I bought one for my boyfriend. This would normally not be something I would have the extra money for, and to be honest, probably wouldn't want to buy, but I still ordered it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

5 Couples Get Real About Canceling Their Dream Weddings Because Of COVID-19

"It definitely reinforced that as long as we have each other, we can make it through anything together."

2396
Courtesy of Georgia & Mike Bernstein

There isn't one person the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn't affected. While COVID-19 is risking everyone's physical health, it's also destroying the world's economy and personal finances, weakening mental health, wreaking havoc on education... and, well, the list goes on.

Among the many things being impacted is love.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Couple's Wedding In Peru Was Postponed By COVID-19, But A Lifetime Of Love Is Worth The Wait

"We'd prefer to wait and have the wedding that both of us have always thought of."

1576
Courtesy of Rory Semple

During their first semester at Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School) while working on graduate degrees in Madrid, Spain, soon-to-be-newlyweds Rory and Gigi met when they were placed in a workgroup together — and the rest was history. Now, four years after their relationship began, the couple's fall plans to get married in Perú, where Gigi is originally from, have since been postponed by COVID-19.

Though things haven't always been easy for the pair because of immigration, starting a skincare business together, and now, canceling their dream wedding because of the pandemic, they have always worked together as a team (maybe we should all be in a workgroup with our future spouses).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Bumble Couple's Wedding Was Canceled By COVID-19, But Nothing Could Come Between This Perfect Match

"The whole purpose of all the stress and time and tears was that we love each other and that was all that mattered."

1632
Courtesy of Shanna and Kaihla

Shortly after Kaihla's sister made her a dating profile on Bumble (despite her fear of being catfished), she matched with Shanna, and their chemistry was quickly undeniable. So much so that only a month and a half into dating, Shanna told her best friend "I think I'm going to marry her," and eventually, the nonprofit worker and elementary PE teacher duo proved this to be true.

In the fourth episode of a new docuseries called "Pandemic Weddings" by SoulPancake, the couple opens up about how they met, the difficulties of canceling a non-refundable wedding of their dreams (that took a year and a half to plan), as well as the pain of having family members who didn't support their marriage use the pandemic as a convenient excuse not to come.

Keep Reading... Show less
Bobbie Hall

This fall was my boyfriend and I's two-year anniversary! In the past for special occasions, we've typically gone out for a movie and dinner or just did something fun in general. However, in the year of COVID, we didn't really feel safe doing something like that.

Instead, we wanted to try something new that kept us significantly more socially distanced. Luckily, I found a TikTok trend a few months ago that gave me the perfect idea! The Target TikTok trend blew up all over for couples and friends alike. It seemed like a fun activity for us but also a good way to get each other gifts that we might not have thought about.

Keep Reading... Show less
Roman Holiday

In case you're tired of searching for new movies worth watching, consider going back in time for date night and watching a romance classic (or 30).

From black and white films to colorful '90s chick flicks (many of which I've watched alone or with significant others), the list below features romantic thrillers, rom-coms, historical romance, or just classic romantic stories for any given decade, here is a list of movies you need to add to your must-watch list ASAP.

Keep Reading... Show less

If there's one thing everyone's talking about right now, it's voting — in real life, on social media, and yes, even on dating apps.

And rightfully so! Because is there really anything sexier than someone who cares about using their voice to be the change they want to see? In my opinion, no... not much, honestly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments