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33

Two

The End of Poverty . . . Has Been Postponed

1
terms
5
notes

Hickel, J. (2017). Two. In Hickel, J. The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions. William Heinemann, pp. 33-64

42

[...] global poverty headcount increased during the 1980s and 1990s, while the World Bank was imposing structural adjustment across most of the global South. Today, the extreme poverty headcount is exactly the same as it was in 1981, at just over 1 billion people. In other words, while the good-news story leads us to believe that poverty has been decreasing around the world, in reality the only places this holds true are in China and East Asia. This is a crucial point, because these are some of the only places in the world where free-market capitalism was not forcibly imposed by the World Bank and the IMF. Everywhere else, poverty has been stagnant or getting worse, in aggregate. [...]

—p.42 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

[...] global poverty headcount increased during the 1980s and 1990s, while the World Bank was imposing structural adjustment across most of the global South. Today, the extreme poverty headcount is exactly the same as it was in 1981, at just over 1 billion people. In other words, while the good-news story leads us to believe that poverty has been decreasing around the world, in reality the only places this holds true are in China and East Asia. This is a crucial point, because these are some of the only places in the world where free-market capitalism was not forcibly imposed by the World Bank and the IMF. Everywhere else, poverty has been stagnant or getting worse, in aggregate. [...]

—p.42 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

(adjective) keen, sharp / (adjective) vigorously effective and articulate / (adjective) caustic / (adjective) sharply perceptive; penetrating / (adjective) clear-cut, distinct

48

a trenchant indictment of our global economic system

—p.48 by Jason Hickel
notable
3 years, 4 months ago

a trenchant indictment of our global economic system

—p.48 by Jason Hickel
notable
3 years, 4 months ago
51

There is a strong consensus among scholars that the $1.25 line is far too low, but it remains in official use because it is the only line that shows any progress against poverty--at least when you include China--and therefore is the only line that justifies the present economic order.

—p.51 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

There is a strong consensus among scholars that the $1.25 line is far too low, but it remains in official use because it is the only line that shows any progress against poverty--at least when you include China--and therefore is the only line that justifies the present economic order.

—p.51 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago
53

[...] Sudhir Anand and Paul Segal show that if we take China out of the Gini figures, we see that global inequality has been increasing, not decreasing--up from 50 in 1988 to 58 in 2005. This is important, because--once again--China and East Asia are some of the only places where structural adjustment was not imposed by Washington. Instead of being forced to adopt a one-size-fits-all blueprint for free-market capitalism, China relied on state-led development policies and gradually liberalised its economy on its own terms. [...]

—p.53 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

[...] Sudhir Anand and Paul Segal show that if we take China out of the Gini figures, we see that global inequality has been increasing, not decreasing--up from 50 in 1988 to 58 in 2005. This is important, because--once again--China and East Asia are some of the only places where structural adjustment was not imposed by Washington. Instead of being forced to adopt a one-size-fits-all blueprint for free-market capitalism, China relied on state-led development policies and gradually liberalised its economy on its own terms. [...]

—p.53 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago
54

[...] If a poor country's income goes up from $5,000 to $5,500 (a 10 per cent increase), and a rich country's income goes up from $50,000 to $54,500 (a per cent increase), the Gini index will show decreasing inequality because the income of the poor country is growing faster than that of the rich country, even though the gap between them has grown by $4,000. In light of this, many economists reject the Gini index as an overly conservative measure. It is possible to correct for this bias by calculating the absolute Gini index. Sudhir Anand and Paul Segal have done exactly that and estimate the global inequality rose from a Gini index of 57 in 1988 to 72 in 2005--a dramatic increase.

—p.54 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

[...] If a poor country's income goes up from $5,000 to $5,500 (a 10 per cent increase), and a rich country's income goes up from $50,000 to $54,500 (a per cent increase), the Gini index will show decreasing inequality because the income of the poor country is growing faster than that of the rich country, even though the gap between them has grown by $4,000. In light of this, many economists reject the Gini index as an overly conservative measure. It is possible to correct for this bias by calculating the absolute Gini index. Sudhir Anand and Paul Segal have done exactly that and estimate the global inequality rose from a Gini index of 57 in 1988 to 72 in 2005--a dramatic increase.

—p.54 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago
58

[...] achieving this level of growth would mean driving global per capita income up to $1.3 million. In other words, the average income would have to be $1.3 million per year simply so that the poorest two-thirds of humanity could earn $5 per day. This gives us a sense of just how deeply inequality is baked into our economic system.

on the only way we can eradicate absolute poverty (defined as $5 per day) while relying on growth (and preserving the current levels of inequality): GDP would have to be 175 times what it is now (which is obviously absurd)

ofc, by that point, if we maintain the current economic system, inflation will have moved the line much farther upward

—p.58 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago

[...] achieving this level of growth would mean driving global per capita income up to $1.3 million. In other words, the average income would have to be $1.3 million per year simply so that the poorest two-thirds of humanity could earn $5 per day. This gives us a sense of just how deeply inequality is baked into our economic system.

on the only way we can eradicate absolute poverty (defined as $5 per day) while relying on growth (and preserving the current levels of inequality): GDP would have to be 175 times what it is now (which is obviously absurd)

ofc, by that point, if we maintain the current economic system, inflation will have moved the line much farther upward

—p.58 by Jason Hickel 3 years, 4 months ago