In recently published economics studies, researchers reported that the poor do not differ from the rest of the population in terms of basic consumption patterns. The poor can spent as much proportionally for housing, food, and will even purchase a luxury item (television) or high calorie-items (food rich in fat and calories), even when more rational considerations dictate the consumption of non-luxuries and basic food. Based on your understanding of the course-materials thus far, please explain why this is so (do not refute the findings; they are made by well-established economists) (20 points).
nk. For the neoliberal orientated WorldBank and USAID, the ideology behind microfinance resonated with their obsession of promoting self-help, individualism and entrepreneurship as the only way poor people could ever escape poverty. ELI fail to explain the concept of microfinance on their Uganda project page, instead, offering the potential volunteer an explanation of how Yunus, who was eventually ousted from his position and accused of tax avoidance as well as other crimes (theguardian.com), won the Nobel Peace Prize and that Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) have had ‘mixed results–a few have been very successful while others struggle to survive’ (eliabroad.org). However they do have a page linked to a project in Mexico where they frame microfinance in such a way that the potential volunteer can comprehend in relative terms. Here it is worth quoting them at length; ‘In the States, we often say that someone “started with nothing,” but our “nothing” and Third World “nothing” are miles apart. Without education, without infrastructure, without government programs, success is virtually impossible. This is where microfinance comes in. Microfinance entails providing financial services to those that traditionally are of no interest to banks. A full-service microfinance program offers loans, savings, insurance and training to these forgotten ones’ (eliabroad.org) So for ELI, not only is success in the ‘third world,’ ‘virtually impossible’ but those who reside there have been ‘forgotten’. We aren’t told by who they have been forgotten but in light of the rhetoric presented on ELI’s website more generally it seems safe to assume they mean ‘us’. ‘Us’ being wealthy westerners who have all the tools and resources to make sure ‘they’ succeed and are not forgotten again. The idea of ‘us’ in the Global North having all the solutions and ‘them’ in the south having all the problems is, unfortunately, still too common in development discourse. Seeing development as a ‘necessary’ and ‘justifiable’ intervention in order to ‘rescue’, ‘civilise’, ‘educate’, ‘heal’, ‘salvage’, ‘comfort’, ‘represent’ or ‘speak for’ those in the Global South so that ‘they’ can become like ‘us’, is a way of conceptualising development as some sort of moral justification – and that is the extremely dangerous attitude of those obdurate colonial powers we are drastically trying to distance ourselves from. In this way, ELI are perpetuating a colonialist attitude and glazing over the issue of how microfinance can actually worsen people’s economic and social situation. The collapse of microcredit began in Mexico when The Public Offering of Mexico’s largest microcredit bank, Banco Compartamos, exposed shocking levels of profiteering by high level managers as well as many outside investors and absolutely no evidence of reduction in poverty for it’s poor clients (Bateman, 2005:2). The whole microfinance model had been over run by greedy and aggressive private banks and investors. Exposed as fundamentally flawed, in a report called ‘What is the evidence of the impact of microfinance on the well-being of poor p>GET ANSWER