Express your thoughts on the root causes of poverty.
To start the discussion, I will put forth a simple "downward spiral theory" as what I call it.
Assume a family is currently in a state of basic sustenance but without much savings (i.e. the earnings barely match the spendings of the family). My theory is that one of the main causes of driving such a family into a state of poverty is an "action" that triggers a downward spiral where the family is forced into a situation where the spending drastically overshoots the earnings for a short timeperiod. This leaves the family in a big debt trap that they are unable to come out of.
Now if this negative cycle continues for a prolonged period (say 2-3 years), then it would make it much harder for them to come out of it. The moneylenders who milk this situation by lending money at exhorbitant rates further worsen it.
In my opinion, healthcare has been a main cause of poverty in Africa. The average expectancy in Africa is in the 40s. So an average person gets ill in the mid 30s and ends up spending a big chunk of their earnings on healthcare. Some statistics state that in certain places more than half of the earnings is spent on healthcare. Also, a very low expectancy rate drastically reduces the working population which is critical for maintain the "earnings" in a family. In Africa, I feel healthcare costs drive the downward spiral.