6 Ways People Move Further into Poverty

Poverty is a highly complex problem. But when examined from an economic standpoint, the reasons for poverty can become clearer. This is what Jeffrey Sachs in his book The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities of Our Time has done. Sachs identifies six major ways people move further into poverty. The list is Sachs’; I have built upon his ideas in my explanations. Where Jesus’ Economy’s model is applicable, it is noted and explained.


1. “Lack of Saving”

If a family has no savings, they are unable to absorb the cost of unexpected setbacks. Something as simple as a broken plow or chronic hunger can destroy their economic standing. Sachs notes that even a “broken plow [can] count … as capital depreciation, or a fall in the amount of capital available per worker.”

Jesus’ Economy aims to fix this problem by funneling more money into a community via microloans with ecommerce in mind.


2. “Absence of Trade”

If there is something as simple as a road absent from a community, a person may have to pass on a possible commerce opportunity. Thus, rather than move with the times, they experience a setback.


3. “Technological Reversal”

When a community loses an entrepreneur to disease or something else, often the next person in line to take over the business will be forced to reverse the use of previous technologies, as they may not know how to use them.

Jesus’ Economy aims to provide a support system for such circumstances. But above that, Jesus’ Economy seeks to meet basic needs via partners to help tackle some of the major curable problems facing the poor, so that they can remain healthy and able to work. This is the case for every holistic community transformation project.


4. “Natural Resource Decline”

In a farming situation, natural resource decline—meaning part of the land being unusable or inaccessiblecan destroy a livelihood.


5. “Adverse Productivity Shock”

Natural disasters are common; there is little that can be done about these situations.


6. “Population Growth”

Populations are always growing, rarely decreasing. This means that the needs of a community continue to grow. Thus, commerce must grow with it.

For this reason and others, Jesus’ Economy’s model is based on an infinitely expandable commerce platform—that’s the advantage of ecommerce. There is no limit to the growth a company can see.


It is my hope that this information will help you understand the needs of those in the developing world. You have an opportunity to help take care of many of these problems: Donate to holistic regional transformation.

(This post is part of the “What I Learned from Jeffrey Sachs” blog series.)

John Barry
John Barry


CEO, President, and Founder of Jesus' Economy. John is the author/coauthor of 12 books and General Editor of Faithlife Study Bible and Lexham Bible Dictionary.