Hear: What Keeps Countries Poor?


January 12, 2015 11:53AM

Arthur Poston Jr.

July 10, 2009 4:57 PM ET

Laura Conaway

As of December 2008, Zimbabwe owed $4.69 billion to international creditors.

20:22 29:09

On today’s Planet Money:

The planet’s rich nations met this week to discuss, among other issues, ways to help the planet’s poor nations.

But those poor (and developing) nations have their own group. It’s called the anti-G20, in a nod to the G20 collection of industrialized states. The anti-G20 met at the U.N. last month, where Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and Martin Khor explained what keeps impoverished countries down. Answer: Their debt to the IMF and wealthier nations.

We also take a second look at the surprisingly complex financial lives of the poor, with a focus on burial societies and very alternative banks.

Bonus: A mildly sunny indicator.

Download the podcast; or subscribe. Intro music: Terry Lynn’s “IMF.” Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Flickr.

Julie writes:

I have a number for you! 10,623.

That’s how much I earned last quarter on one of my retirement plans, after having posted losses, for what, a year or more?

Of course it’s still worth less than when I opened it in early 2001 (just in time to see it take a big fall after 9/11… sigh) but this gain has to mean something!

For what it’s worth, she’s the second person this week to tell me they opened an investment statement and got good news.

Hear: What Keeps Countries Poor? Jan12


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Everyday Society Technology and our youth

Have you noticed that today instead of a child being outside riding their bicycle, they are now planted in front of the TV, game system, cell phone in hand. I think most of it comes from our era though when parents wanted us inside but didn’t have anything to entertain us with. In our day there were such media headlines as the “Atlanta Child Murders” where a guy was abducting children and killing them for no apparent reason that I remember. This headline was small at first with most of the disappearances being thought of as the kids being drug dealers and the like with the deals going bad. It wasn’t until the 4th or 5th victim was killed that the murders become a high priority and hit the NEWS media like wild fire, again though our parents had no way of entertaining us so we remained social by being outside. Today kids have so many electronic outlets that now they struggle to interact in real-life situations. The fear our parents had for us manifest itself onto us for our kids. We are hurting ours though because without a strong balance of healthy outside play mixed with some electronic stimulation they are unfavorably unbalanced. We can still win though parents it will be a little harder because we ourselves have to unplug from the digital world and pay attention to our youth. I am still a little bit of a dinosaur though. I mean if I can get mine outside to ride their bike with me or play basketball I am there. It is just hard though to pull them out of the house when we have made the virtual world a reality for them by purchasing the game systems, cell phones and computers.

The era that I grew up in and those that came before me is gone, so we as the new generation have to create some boundaries for our children that are safe and allow them time to still enjoy the devices that we have given them. Remember balance is the key we have to give them some sort of rules of engagement when interacting with the world and their virtual worlds. It seems funny we only had to deal with the right now as it stood. Our kids have to deal with the right now, the was, and the going to be. Wheeew that is something to have to deal with at such very young ages. We are going to have to help them navigate through what we have aided them to create. I think that we as a society can overcome this but it will take a lot of the adults hard work and time to better this situation.

Till next post I am



Article 35 – Praise and Uplift for my Beautiful Wife

Hey babe I am going to uplift you today for something that you never even realized. Support – you are supporting your sister by hanging out with her and keeping you guys bond strong.  You both need this time together more than you know.

I know that I called you out on our personal relationship and I still am waiting to see the changes. We are married to one another and I have waited this long to see the changes 2 weeks isn’t going to kill us.You have to know how important it is that you spend that time with her she comes to hang out with you. None of mine do that; keep that bond strong and special. I am always going to be here for you. Long as Jesus allows I am here. Your strength is great and I love you so much.

Your Honey,