I had $14 and I used most of it to stock up on dry beans. I think I ended up with around one and half meals a day, basically of nothing but beans and rice. I didn't last the full week.
In my opinion it's not possible to live like that for any longer stretch of time. As soon as an emergency presents itself, you're wiped out and end up destitute. I had the luck of being young and mentally and physically healthy, and I only had to provide for myself. That being said, it wasn't an easy time for me. 1/10 would not recommend.
Yes, and this is basically the financial norm for the poor. Everyone has some money coming in, and the precise amount varies, as does the need for money ("unforeseen expenses in the $20 range"). So large families provide financing internally; when you have less money to hand than you need, you get help from your extended kin, and when you have more than you need, it goes to help your kin.
This is often phrased as "borrowing", but it isn't really; these transfers aren't supposed to be paid back.
When variations in income and expenses are backstopped by a group of dozens of diversified people, you can live right on the edge of your average earning power. When you're a single atomized person, you have more need for a buffer of savings, because your income and expenses are so comparatively erratic.
$2 a day in the US is impossibly little. I'm almost sure that food stamps would equate to more by itself.
I have read several stories where celebrities struggle with this for a week.
Edit: Thanks for the price lists of Big Stores. I only have info about Indian Grocery Store.
BJ’s 25-pound bag of rice is $9.89.
Costco’s 25-pound bag of rice is $9.49.
Sam’s Club offers a 20-pound bag for $7.23.
Winner: Pound for pound, Sam’s Club’s rice comes in cheapest at 36 cents per pound — even though it’s in a smaller bag!
BJ’s has 10 pounds of dry pintos for $6.42.
If you’re looking for canned, prepared beans, BJ’s has a pretty decent deal on an eight-pack of 16.5 ounce Bush’s — they’re $9.59 at my club.
Costco has a 10-pound package of black beans for $13.69 — it may have been out of pintos the day I went!
Its Bush’s eight-pack of 16.5-ounce cans is just $8.99, however.
Sam’s Club’s 10-pounder of pintos is $5.79. It carries the same package of Bush’s for $8.98.
You'd basically have to grow your own food, deal with getting some land to live on without paying rent, and the $2 couldn't go to daily expenses, it'd need to be saved up for basically capital expenses and surprises.
Realistically, you'd need a close-knit community of similar people in a commune-style setup.
I mean, $2/day for food probably doesn't get you a healthy number of calories after adjusting for surprise expenses. So alternatives must be found.
If you're desperate or just old fashioned, peanut butter goes a long way. Cheap day old sandwich bread or bagels found at a bakery, and cheese, like cheddar cheese slices, make $1 a day feasible. Bananas can sometimes be pretty cheap too.
Likewise, it's super cheap to bake food at home. This is how people ate during the great depression. They'd make pancakes, waffles, and other sorts of items. I don't know what the price of Bisquick is because I just make this kind of thing from scratch when I'm in the mood, but it's mostly the price of milk. Some items take an egg, but eggs tend to be optional when it comes to breakfast cooking, especially if you're making Swedish pancakes (so good!) or crepes or similar.
Then there is the standard:
- Corn chips and beans
- Vegetables are cheap, and quite good steamed or as a stir fry.
- Potatoes. They can be had for cheap, are quite filling, and left over potatoes from dinner can be used for breakfast. eg, mashed potato biscuits.
- Chicken can be quite cheap, but you'd be using very little. You can make a soy chicken, veggy, rice dish on the cheap, for example.
- And as odd as it sounds, there are a lot of stack foods and dessert foods you can get in super markets that are filling compared to their cost. Eg, pretzels or Doritos. A larger bag is around $2 and can be broken up into multiple meals. Or, eg, at Trader Joe's they have a box of pralines for $2 that can fill one up for a day. These foods can add variety to the cheaper foods (like rice) by eating a bit a day.
And, possibly the most surprising bit, if you're living it up, at $3 a day: Trader Joe's has frozen pizzas for $2.95 that are not only quite good, one pizza fills me up for an entire day. They have tv dinners for $2 or $2.95 too, but most of the time I'll eat multiple meals a day, so this kind of premade food comes closer to $4 to $6 a day without necessarily trying to be cheap. Trader Joe's has good cheap food.
Ultimately, if you want to take on a challenge like this, be prepared to buy everything in bulk, and be prepared stop eating meat, or eating very little meat.
edit: Oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. A meal is ~20 cents and it will fill you up.
Agree on the meat, however: Most folks that are poor simply cannot buy in bulk. If you are lucky you get paid once a month, but getting paid once a month also limits how often you can eat fresh vegetables. Canned might be your only option. If you don't get paid once a month, it doesn't matter if it is cheaper to buy 12 rolls of toilet paper if you can only afford the 4-pack. Or you might be able to afford bulk at tax time, but as soon as an emergency comes up, you can no longer buy bulk.
Not only this, but things like transportation and storage become an issue. You may or may not have cold storage, freezer space, or containers to store leftover/bulk food in. You may or may not have a vehicle of any sort to carry the stuff in. Even if you have transportation, you might not have the money to use it (or public transportation, if that is a thing where you live).
I'll mention that the unfortunate bit of $2 per day doesn't actually include only groceries, but other necessities as well. I don't know what the amount is in the states, but wherever it is, it doesn't leave a lot of room for anything but the most basic food. No spices. No chips since you can buy beans (or lentils!) and rice that last for multiple days cheaper than you can buy the bag of chips.
Bulk here meaning usually 1 weeks worth of food. Small enough the average person buys in that quantity, including people who are paycheck to paycheck.
>'ll mention that the unfortunate bit of $2 per day doesn't actually include only groceries, but other necessities as well. I don't know what the amount is in the states, but wherever it is, it doesn't leave a lot of room for anything but the most basic food. No spices. No chips since you can buy beans (or lentils!) and rice that last for multiple days cheaper than you can buy the bag of chips.
The $2 a day food challenge is just food, nothing else. It's a challenge, not a hypothetical for someone who is homeless. Food stamps give quite a bit more than $2 a day.
Also, most pizzas they sell are around 1050 calories. eg, https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/trader-joes/piz...
I know because I spent 5 months cycling through the US on a tiny budget.
For calories you would buy ramen noodles. Aim for 2000 calories per day or more.
For Vitamins and fibre, buy apples ($1.11 per pound). At least one apple per day.
An iceberg lettuce every 10 days or so is a good idea.
What does that average to ? Maybe $5 a day ??
Won't go very far anywhere in the US, but it'll go a bit further around Canton, MS than it will in Houston, TX. But yeah, you're screwed either way.
Which is OK, I guess, but it's never explicitly mentioned, and the way 5 out of 6 people in the videos talk about those loans is entirely non-organic. Those are not some random people making < $2 day, but people selected because they participated in those loans...
They would helicopter money at people if they really wanted to help them.
"Hundreds Of Suicides In India Linked To Microfinance Organizations": https://www.businessinsider.com/hundreds-of-suicides-in-indi...
Counter point from the Guardian on the whole Gates approach (also linked on another thread here): "Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong" https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/29/bill-g...
Edit: I linked to this article because it makes an informed critique of Gates but the ultimate point is that all that is being measured by removing "extreme poverty" is a movement from subsistence (living outside the money economy) to existence within it. This isn't accomplished by charity and trends for those within the money economy have not been towards increasing wages.
A move out of subsistence could be good, bad or indifferent, depending on particular conditions and who interprets the situation. But the big thing is it's particular (and pretty much inevitable) change, not a general "trend to the good" and ultimately the question is where those in the money economy get good and rising wages, something Gates seems to pay zero attention to.
Characterizing the Gates foundation as sharks? Interesting.
> when it’s been a long time since we’ve known it has really bad effects and is the new cool way to prey on the poor.
What? source for that claim please. It's far from an obvious or widespread idea that making access to small amounts of capital easier leads to more problems for poor people.
Don't know for the parent, but as a European, where we have seen all kinds of things in the political and economic sphere, we tend to be less gullible and more cynical.
Many charitable funds are basically ways to take huge tax breaks and still have control of your money.
Others are based on you giving an insignificant amount of your fortune (which can still be huge percentage wise, but it's insignificant in its consequences to you: if you have 100 billions, even giving away 99 of them leaves you with enough money to sustain a lavish lifestyle for several generations) and trade it for a say in global politics and power. In other words, you use your funds to 'play god' and help manage the world the way you like it...
>What? source for that claim please. It's far from an obvious or widespread idea that making access to small amounts of capital easier leads to more problems for poor people.
It's a shame but it seems to me like Bill came up with the wrong answer due to a bad diagnosis of the problem.
If you really want to help these people, your best bet would be to highlight how rampant corruption affects these countries and how their rulers should be held accountable for it.
Foreign aid, by itself, will never be enough to solve this problem as long as there are tyrannical and corrupt regimes.
I think the general opinion of Bill Gates would be very different if he'd used his billions to hire mercenaries and overthrow governments, even un-elected ones. (Then again, Ross Perot did something close to this to rescue a few staff in Tehran and was hailed a hero).
However, is this really what Bill Gates should be trying to implement in other countries?
Edit named wrong company initially
Although, let's not actually compare greatness here, anyone voluntarily giving away their vast fortunes to charity deserves applause in my mind, and saying that one is greater than the other is kind of pointless.
When people are uneducated and barely feeding themselves tyranny and corruption flourish.
In 1800 the health conditions of our ancestors were such that 43% of the world’s newborns died before their 5th birthday. These estimates are shown in the visualisation below.
In 1960 child mortality was still 18.5%. Almost every 5th child born in that year died in childhood.
Over the last decades we have seen a very rapid decline of child mortality globally. In 2015 child mortality was down to 4.3% – 10-fold lower than 2 centuries ago. You have to take this long perspective to see the progress that we have achieved.
> According to the World Bank, more than 850 million people have lifted themselves out of extreme poverty as China's poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 0.7 percent in 2015
China was not historically poor, and this is a reversion to the mean once minimal free trade was allowed.
Still, what caused the advance does not diminish the success of humanity. Progress is progress.
It is? Don't you think, there can also be progress in the wrong direction?
China just managed to dramatically shit itself from the Great Leap Forward through to the early 90s, and is now undergoing the growth spurt that it’s Eastern neighbours experienced decades previously.
We still have a great deal more room for improvement.
I love how every time there's talk of povery, some first world beneficiary jumps in to point out how much better poor people are compared to the past. Why they think that's relevant is beyond me.
Really? How so?
This is an absurd fixed-pie view of reality.
Mandatory health,rent,home owner, car (liability) insurances don't exist. Housing codes are not that good or not enforced well which means cheap housing (think huts for example) with no running water,plumbing,extensive electrical wiring,toilet and more is a lot cheaper than in a developed nation. People don't use microwaves,dish washers,laundry machines and similar convenient appliances. Bills are mostly limited to electricity and cellphone. Income tax is pretty much non-existent for people in extreme poverty. If you survive all the way to adulthood in extreme poverty you probably havr a well fortified immune system.
Things also cost what people are willing to pay for them. At least the bare neccesities will always be affordable to the majority,which means if there is extensive poverty in a certain area then food,used clothing,etc... Are affordable (albeit not of good quality).
My point is, a "day in the life" is probably a lot different than you might think. It's not so much that they struggle to pay rent,good healthcare or afford food (typical american poverty) but more like if they get sick for simple curable diseases they just die. Because they make so little,they can't afford to let the kids go to school at all after a certain age (the kids help) or even if they can they can't do homework or study with bad housing or lacking electricity and other tech. In many cases,kids walk really far to get to school (think 5+ miles). Nutrition is of course horrible.
The type of poverty you would experience in the US is different. You have food pantrys and emergency medical treatment is always available or at least you can get to a hospital within a few hours. Public libraries and relatively great public schools make raising a child a bit easier. In the US though,housing means a lot of complicated requirements,things cost a lot more,you feel a lot worse with what you lack which means the mental trauma is very high which in turn drives many to turn to easily accessible vices and crime trapping the person in a spiral of misery.
Poverty is horrible wherever it happens and very tragically it persists in the west wearing a different mask.
Growing up in extreme povery and experiencing it after living in a 3rd world country are not comparable. When you grow up in a certain environment you accept certain realities(e.g.: I can't afford a 3rd meal and toilet paper vs
I have to live in my car with my child because I got evicted ).
What you said about growing up in poverty and experiencing it later are super different things. I grew up in Sri Lanka and while I have not lived in one, we have small villages in tea estates where 50-100 families have created small village, all of whom work in the same estate. Even today, they make about $3 a day, and they have totally different economics to compare with the outside world. Food exchange is quite common (someone grows one type of vegetables, and the other, a different type), and costs like transportation and utilities are not that extreme because they already have a store, a small school, and even a public water well for drinking, shower, toilets, etc. I am totally agreeing with your last paragraph saying there are different types of poverty.
I feel like the videographers missed the point by trying to make it pretty.
Its a robotic form of expression you see everywhere these days. People are trained how to do one thing well for one context. They take that blindly and apply it to everything they see whether it fits or not. They do it blindly because thats what all the other "educated" folk are doing.
Jaron Larnier has a nice term for it - digital maoism.
You see it in how Journalists and news orgs behave when you visit poorer countries. They are all trying to be CNN in fancy suits and surrounded by flashy graphics covering a cancer ward with no electricity. You see it in the Entrepreneurs and Engineers who want to emulate Apple or Google, more worried about the smoothness of GUI and the typography and icons than thinking about why an uneducated poor person needs it.
While this cognitive dissonant prettification style is all pervasive, whats really interesting is not everyone falls for it. Somehow nature has ensured populations will always have people who go the other way. And thank god for them.
Compared to say how much ZANU-PF has taken.
While true, this feels to me like a deflection. It seems to come up any time inequality is mentioned here. It feels like an excuse.
"yes things may be hard for someone making $2 a day, but they're better now so it's all ok."
I find it to be a distraction. I don't care if things are better than ancient times. I think they can improve significantly more, and I'm frustrated by such short-sighted viewpoints distracting from the point of the article.
It's not that things are improving so we don't need to do anything else, it's that current efforts are working and we should keep going.
The world population living in poverty has decreased from >1.7 billion to 700 million over the past 25 years. So, it's not a comparison to ancient times. We've made considerable progress in just the past couple decades.
There's still a lot of work to be done, and we should celebrate the progress made at the same time.
Often people seem to use ideas in Factfulness (Rosling) to assuage the guilt of living well and free when there is suffering all around. This is fine, but this also seem to give ammunition to others who argue that people's fates are in their hands alone, minimum wages should be abolished, and being a rickshaw driver is fine - because they need jobs, and it is as good a job as any for people "like them". The reasoning from "things are improving" to "society don't owe individuals succor" seem to be illogical, but reoccuring nonetheless.
I really don’t care about your stats, make your own post if you wanna talk about them. My point is that folks like you redirect the topic because you’re uncomfortable with reality.
I don’t think we’re anywhere close to “celebrating”
I totally disagree with the sentiment that being change oriented means avoiding positive news.
Because if the population living in poverty has decreased by 1 billion in 25 years, then were clearly doing the right things to reduce poverty. If you think reducing poverty is a bad thing because you’d only accept a solution that eliminates it instantaneously, then I’d question your priorities.
Because the definition of poverty is $1.9/day or less. Did you read the article?
In other words, these improvements are not the result of a valiant effort to fight poverty, but a regression to the historical meaning happening because the effects of colonization are beginning to fade away.
"We shouldn’t be looking at the cost of ending poverty as a percentage of total world income, but rather as a percentage of the income of all the people who are not poor; say, those who live on more than double the poverty line. In 1990, it would have cost 12.9% of their total income to end poverty. In 2013, it would have cost only 3.9%. According to this measure, our capacity to end poverty has improved by a factor of 3.31."
I think the problems of poverty and extreme poverty are undeniable when you look at the examples gates gave. OTOH, in terms of political discussion^ it is a mistake to avoid including positive trends in a discussion. Trends are a huge part of understanding. Does the world need a break from the processes ongoing or do we need to double down and continue/accelerate the trend?
The idea that good news is bad because it distracts from the bad news that still needs attention is shortsighted... and common in change oriented politics.
^id argue when arguments like deflection and staying on message come into play, it's a sign that this is a political discussion
It's sustainable and compatible with a 'normal' life, I found food from:
- student university restaurants, I asked the permission to collect in the bread 'trash', most bread was in perfect state. I heard this food was used for chicken farms
- end of markets, I was even helping merchants in exchange of their damaged but perfectly good legumes and fruits. I was coming back with a lot of food. It's important to eat the most damaged first of course
- some supermarket bins, where I could find some salad plastic bags, eggs. There was other kind of food, meat, biscuits, dishes, but I wasn't interested by those processed foods
If I had $2 per day, I'd buy a huge rice bag periodically, eggs, and damaged legumes every week at the end of markets
Just a few more questions out of curiosity from a fellow french student:
How much time a day were you expending in exchange for free food? Did you also use extreme frugality for other commodities?
What motivated you to to take up this lifestyle? Do you think it would have been possible to “have family responsibilities” in your situation?
What alternatives seemed available at the time?
Going at resto-u, it'd take 30mn/1h (I was using a bike), end of markets the Sunday morning, between 11h and 14h, so about 2-3h. Extreme frugality yes, I literally paid for nothing else than accommodation
Motivation: I was quite alone, and I suddenly wanted to stop eating all the junk food I was eating since years (american sandwich, mcdo, pizzas, kebabs, biscuits, chocolate bars, saucy recipes, I started being disgusted by oily or buttery things), and at the same time I saw the opportunity to consume all the wasted food around me, saving money was also a challenge. Obviously it's not compatible with raising a young child :p
A better alternative would have been to spend a bit of money for food, because I probably had some deficiencies. Nowadays I'm still frugal, spend around 400-450€/month for food for myself, on the same kind of diet with some good extra like honey, and still choose damaged fruits and legumes at the supermarket, as a reflex, and to try to lower their wastage
The problem appeared to be injuries (of scavengers, and the potential for the supermarket to be liable) and extra work of cleaning bin areas.
High-street bakeries used to sell off all the food cheap at the end of the day. At some point in the last 15 years - Greggs took over all my local bakeries (or out-competed them). Greggs policy is now not to sell off stuff because then poor people will buy it instead of paying full price - they throw it away instead (according to staff at my Greggs).
How does he do it?
* By using perishable sales at Tesco and other places.
* By bartering for food
This is not easy to do by any means because the competition is fierce. The scenes are reminiscent of Black Friday insanity in US.
Shows the economic realities of living in London.
Personally, I would rather try to pay less on rent and more for food but that is not always an option.
It seems like the supermarkets don't have as many deals as much now, I suspect they donate more to food banks (they can probably write it off at a higher value than they could sell it?).
Tesco in particular no longer have a "cheap" section, it remains on the shelves. I'd guess that's so that people will mistakenly buy expiring goods (netting them a higher sale price, and earlier repeat sale).
All elements of the squeeze on the poor and the widening poverty gap.
> He supports his wife and three children with his income of about 1500 Rwandan francs per day (about USD $1.73)
My understanding is that raising a child in most developed western countries is just mind-bogglingly expensive. The purchasing power here has to be wildly skewed from the actual FRw/USD forex rate.
What does 1500 FRw look like in USD (or EUR or AUD or, ...), not going by the official forex rate, but normalized for the cost of raising three children? Like the Big Mac Index but a childcare index.
I lived with less than $2 a day. The average salary in the country was less than $100 and this was in Eastern Europe, not in Africa. What changes the story completely is that the exchange rate makes all the difference in my case: we all had a fairly regular life, but the exchange rate was showing a very dark picture. Yes, we were not able to buy American cars in dollars, but a local built Renault copy was a few thousands dollars new. All the prices were extremely low in dollars, but meaningful in local currency. We had not just the basics (food, electricity, house), but an almost normal life.
25 years later, the average salary is more than 10 times more, in US dollars only. An iPhone is now 10 times cheaper, but the price structure is more or less the same and nothing changed, just the exchange rate. The food is 10 times more expensive in dollars, rent is 10 times more, the few things that are more expensive today in local currency are the ones that are heavily taxed, like gas and tobacco.
Gates talks explicitly about World Bank’s international poverty line measured in PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) dollars. It accounts for differences in the cost of living across countries (the PPP exchange rates).
example: PPP for India is 18.128. In India the international poverty line ($1.9 PPP) is $0.10 per day in USD.
> Still, the number of people living on less than $2 a day—$1.90 is the World Bank’s international poverty line—is over 700 million.
and links to article that defines the powerty line: https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/10/04/w...
This may or may not be what the GP was trying to say.
That is a direct conversion. Where is the purchasing power conversion?
Philanthropy in a nutshell.
On a more serious note, I couldn't agree more. Any sort of international metric for poverty (like the $2 here) is downright useless because it ignores all the local context.
> I hope you will be touched by their stories, their challenges, and their dreams for better lives. I also hope that you’ll ask yourself what you can do to help the millions of people like them.
You could ask people in the US living below the poverty line and reach this same conclusion. Hell, you could give away 50 bucks directly to a person living in a country with a crappy economy and literally change their life, instead of filming them with thousands of dollars worth cameras to "inspire" people in the west. That's why I prefer GiveDirectly.org over any other charity that attempts to fight poverty.
I think that what philanthropist can do to help is to effectively replace the government: build infrastructure, educate people, provide healthcare, employ the locals for these jobs.
Any money you give to anyone for free will just get someone rich while the rest will continue suffering.
Also, to directly answer your point, you can give those $50 to a person OR spend those $50 to get 50 people to donate instead. This is the point of this “expensive” documentaries.
That's where 95% of the problem lies. As someone whose origins are from a poor country, I can name you a lot of organizations that don't have this in mind. A huge chunk of your donation goes to some westerner going on a "spiritual journey" to teach locals, or whatever bullshit they tell to themselves that's needed. It very rarely "trickles down" to the poor people's pockets.
What they need is money. Like literally any single poor person in the world, that money will go first and foremost to securing basic life necessities (food, shelter, water, medical bills), and the rest is gonna get reinvested in their local town or village (either by starting a business or by paying for education).
> Any money you give to anyone for free will just get someone rich while the rest will continue suffering.
What's missing from your equation is taxes. Whatever they do with the money will get taxed, filling the local budgets. Thinking that westerners know more what's needed then people that actually live there is preposterous at best, superiority complex at worst.
> Also, to directly answer your point, you can give those $50 to a person OR spend those $50 to get 50 people to donate instead.
If you think this post without a direct call-to-action is gonna inspire people to donate more than it took to go there and film these documentaries, I honestly hope you're right. I personally don't buy that one bit.
Just because you solve their main issue it doesn’t mean that money will be “reinvested” by an uneducated person. You can still have grants for people with ideas, but handing out bills in villages isn’t going to change their lives.
$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America:
This is talking about people living on less than $2/day cash income. Which is still quite different from trying to get all needs with $2 cash each day, something that is more or less impossible in the US today. Those without cash live on hand-outs, soup kitchens and government assistance.
Certainly, US poverty has gotten worse over the last twenty years and is a serious problem, of course. But it seems like the focus on $2/day in particular fails to see poverty in any holistic sense.
Counter point from the Guardian on the whole Gates approach: "Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong"
I don't understand, is the increasing inequality and income concentration a mirage, a lie, or propaganda?
It would be nice to introduce the concept of relative and absolute wealth. If you increase the size of the cake, the poor will get more crumbs, and you did reduce poverty, but it's not really a fair improvement.
I wish Bill Gates would have to guts to do politics. He seems smart but to me it's never enough.
If I had needed to pay for housing, health care, everything on $2 I am not sure how I would do so.
Poverty isn't defined by how much american currency you'd get at exchange for your cost of living.
Poverty is directly correlated to large family size. This is true all over the world.
Quite a far cry of how life is there now... Belgium was going to transition away and give the Congo it's independence, but the Congolese people had no patience for that and began getting violent. This led to a premature departure with a weak and new Congolese government. What followed was civil war and complete destruction of all infrastructure and means of living free of poverty... A sad story for sure. You can't blame the Congolese people for wanting their independence and certainly the Belgian people didn't treat them as equals (segregation wasn't the law, but it was a common social practice). I sure wish things could have worked out better. Though the Congolese people didn't have autonomy, quality of life was far better.
Be careful what you wish for:
1. If you need healthcare you get it for free or almost free.
2. If you make billions of dollars, you pay a lot more taxes.
3. Workers have as much power as their employers.
4. Everyone has access to food, water, and basic shelter.
5. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
This seems like a good start.
Capitalism (with some changes)
Criticizing an economic system doesn't require me to create and name an alternative. I can present issues, we can solve those issues, and then we'll have a new economic system that is quite close to capitalism.
Once it's significantly different we can figure out how to name it. But that's not important right now.
* Establishing a high tech industry with programs like this potentially leads to increasing tax revenue for the country, thereby making funds available for fighting poverty.
* It could be used as a point of identification for the population in the country, helping to see oneself as a citizen in a nation, not just a member of a tribe, enlarging the "us" in "us vs. them". This can lead to more empathy towards the poor (as they are now part of "us"), which can pave the way for political changes leading to less poverty. To enable changes in a democratic country, you don't just need the funds, you have to have a political plan that resonates with a big part of the population.
Also ISRO makes a profit through its commercial satellite launching missions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antrix_Corporation
Their space program is actually closer to profitability than a lot of the tech IPOs recently with ~$780 million in revenue on ~$1 billion in expenditures.