When problems arise, we attempt to solve the problem by addressing the events caused. This approach delivers perceivable results in the short term, but it may not solve the problem’s root cause. Without eliminating the root cause, the undesirable events may occur again.
Poverty is a problem that exists in both developing and advanced economies. It is not an inevitable by-product of economic or social activities, and it is not a condiion that should be left unsolved. Most societies address this problem to a certain extent, but regions and countries tend to prioritize other activities, such as moneymaking and further enhancement of luxury.
The pursuit of luxury and enjoyable events is not entirely inappropriate, if the focus on these activities is moderate and controlled. Problems surface when the pursuit of individual gain, whether at the personal or organizational level, becomes excessive. Behavior becomes mean and malicious when hurting others is permitted or neglecting the people with need is allowed. Unfortunately, commonly practiced business and social procedures support and reinforce excessive individual gain in the name of competition and survival.
Inappropriate business behaviors have been controlled in the past and are still deterred today. Because the business rules and the conscience of the business people do not restrict overly aggressive behavior at the expense of the whole, the anti-dumping law is enforced. Because suppliers collaborate in raising the price, the anti-trust law is enforced.
The laws bound corporate behavior, but the insufficiency of the laws is not the issue. The concept of acceptable behavior held by self-centered entities, organizations, and people, and the resulting common practices, are closer to the root cause of the poverty problem. These conditions tend to increase the income differential while inadequately improving the poverty situation.
Acknowledging the appropriate level of competitiveness and growth that supports the well-being of everybody is needed in the next generation business environment.