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An insider's look at how the elite create and perpetuate poverty all over the world by economist Alfred P. Thorne.

In the last twelve months, the uprisings around the world--from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movements--demonstrate that people around the world want self-determination and the opportunity to build prosperity. This book describes a key but unmentioned cause of poverty, and what happens when the peoples' will is undermined by the interests of a small group of elites.

People are poor but not for the reasons you think they are

Even after 60 years of foreign aid, there are many reasons why the world's poor remain poor. This book uncovers one of the least understood. 

Alfred P. Thorne (1913- ) wrote this manuscript after conducting extensive research around the world. During his travels, he met people from all walks of life, including business leaders and government economists in developed and developing countries. The insight he gained led him to put the pieces of this manuscript together.

He realized that in spite of the foreign aid that has been made available to underdeveloped countries, some of them do not develop because those in power actively work to preserve the status quo. He also found that a healthy manufacturing sector is a key indicator of a country that is not controlled by an elite bent on sustaining poverty.

Through his unique first hand experiences, and through documented country-specific histories, the book illustrates the contrasting economic policies that delivered many from poverty, while condemning still more to its persistence. It complements, and sometimes challenges arguments about why countries are poor. This book also shows how well-applied foreign aid can dampen the drive toward radicalism in the poor countries of the world.

I want to publish the manuscript my grandfather wrote while he is still alive.

Where you come in

Kickstarter facilitates funding for important projects. It is an all-or-nothing platform, so if we don't reach the fundraising goal, we don't keep any of the funds pledged towards this project. Your pledge to pre-purchase a copy of the book will brings the eventual publication of this book one step closer to reality. If you don't have the funds to pre-purchase a copy, please share this Kickstarter project with someone who can.

How the funds will be used

The funds raised for this project will be used to hire a copy editor to make the final revisions, a book cover designer, and to print, ship and promote the book. The promotional copies of  the book  will be send to reviewers, schools, universities and NGOs. 

About Alfred P. Thorne

This book brings a unique perspective to the on-going discussion about poverty, aid, development and growth. My grandfather got a Ph.D. (1958) and an MBA (1950) from Columbia University in New York and his bachelors from the London School of Economics. He was born and raised in the former British Guiana, located in South America. There he worked for the Governor's first Economic Advisor as a young man. He is going to be 99 years old this year.

Alfred P. Thorne, 1965-66

Alfred P. Thorne in 2004 with his wife, Edith V. Thorne

As a boy, my grandfather would take train rides with his mother through the Guiana country side, and observe the home lives of the very poor. As he rode by he would often ask himself why there were so many barefoot people in a country with so many resources. He has spent his entire life looking for an answer.

After he left his home country, he wrote a very influential book called Size, Structure and Growth of the Economy of Jamaica (1955), which made him well-known and respected as an economist. He's worked and traveled all over the world and has seen its transformation. He brings the experience and perspective of an insider, but the passion of an activist engrossed with ending poverty.

Some of his previous work includes "Sector Income Accounting and Analysis for Latin American and Caribbean Economies--More Appropriate Equations" presented at the International Conference in Corfu, Greece (1965), sponsored by the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth and published by the MIT Press, "Critical Analysis of the Statistical and Economic Factors in the Growth Rates of Puerto Rico and Jamaica, 1950-1959" published in the Review of Income and Wealth, and Development without Aid: The Translucent Society with Leopold Kohr (1973).

What's been done so far

This project has taken over eight years to complete. I began working with my grandfather after I graduated from Brown University in 1998, and continued while getting my MBA at the Sloan School of Management at MIT. With the help and support of family and friends, former professors and colleagues, we have been able to put together an informative, eye-opening and worthwhile book. Working with my grandfather has been an incredibly rewarding opportunity. I have learned immensely about economic development--a subject that used to scare me--and I want to share what I've learned with as many people as possible, especially during the current economic climate in the U.S. and abroad.

I could continue working at the current pace, but my grandfather is very old and I want to give him the peace of mind that comes from knowing that his book is out there. It is an excellent book and it is worth reading. We need your pledge to speed up the publishing process.

When the book is finished, we will print and send out promotional copies. Last year we printed a number of preliminary copies, which were purchased by investors and a professor. We know the book will sell. We have also tried out different cover designs and titles. The final touches include settling on a final title, cover design, printing and shipping. So, that's it. Pre-purchase your copy today!

Countries and regions included in this book

Haiti, India, Brazil, Iran, the Koreas, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guyana, the U.S., the Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Malta, Singapore, Cyprus, Thailand, Bermuda, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Belize, Europe, Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, Caribbean island-countries, Sub-Saharan Africa, and other poor regions

Thank you for your support in bringing this book to the public and happy reading!

More works by Alfred P. Thorne

Comments on a Monograph on Exploitation and Some Relevant Reminiscenes

An Economic Phenomenon: Study of an Apparent Psychological Trait and its Probable Effect on Regional Economic Development

FAQ

  • This question has come up several times.

    The U.S. populations addressed in this book are tax payers, shareholders, policy makers and people who want to help create alternatives to what we're living with today.

    This book is about the people who are in power in the poorest countries in the world and one reason why their countries may continue to be impoverished.

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