One reason people live poverty-stricken lives in developing countries like Nicaragua is that jobs pay meager wages. Also, there aren’t that many places to save your money. Also, workers spend a big chunk of what little money they do make on vices, including alcohol, prostitutes, and Coca Cola.
So writes NY Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof:
One of the ugly secrets of global poverty is that a good deal of suffering is caused not only by low incomes but also by bad spending decisions. Research suggests that the world’s poorest families (typically the men in those families) spend about 20 percent of their incomes on a combination of alcohol, cigarettes, prostitution, soft drinks and extravagant festivals.
In one village here in Nicaragua where children were having to drop out of elementary school because they couldn’t afford notebooks, a midwife, Andrea Machado Garcia, estimated to me that if a man earned $150 working in the mountains as a day laborer during the coffee harvest, he might spend $50 on alcohol and women and bring back $100 to support his family.
Well, there goes my brilliant idea for a book I wanted to write called Drink, Smoke, and Fornicate Your Way to Financial Prosperity.