I think the most interesting thing that we discussed during the course was the Great Divergence. The Great Divergence is a topic that has many points that can be argued, in regards as to how and why it happened. Although I am a bit skeptical of convergence, I think that the Global South can catch up in some ways, but not completely.What I found most surprising and what I was unaware of was how the IMF sometimes hurts a country’s situation more than helping it, at least according to William Easterly who believes that the IMF should stay away from countries that are “true disaster states.” I always thought that the IMF was some great organization that truly helped countries in need, but I learned otherwise for certain countries like Argentina. The IMF creates a perpetual circle of debt and poverty for some countries that they are unable to rise out of. What I found useful from this course was how successful is aid really. I always thought that aid was something that was positive, I never thought it could be something negative or that we should stop and think about what we are doing by providing the aid. I never had thought about the fact that by providing aid, Western societies have to be invasive. I was unaware that sometimes providing aid has little benefits, and I didn’t know about the research behind the success of aid.
My views on the causes of poverty in the Global South have not changed much, I was aware the corruption and some of the reasons as to why the Global South is so impoverished, although my opinion of the possibility of the Global North changing poverty in the Global South is much different now. I am now much more skeptical of our ways of helping the developing world. I believe that we have a lot to learn in terms of helping those in need. We need to research more and see if the aid we are providing is actually working. I think that we should continue to provide aid, but I also think we should focus on more programs that help rebuild communities, provide educations, and help the people find a way to provide in the future for their communities. I think that sometimes we just give in the moment without thinking about how to help people in the long run, which is what they truly need. I think that Western society also generalizes states in poverty and thinks that they can all be “fixed” the same way, which is part of the problem. Each state in poverty needs its own plan, that is researched and well thought-out, sometimes each community within a country needs a specialized plan for there to be progress.
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