Perhaps severe poverty won't be a problem in 30 years

Not really a debate, but I am happy to have read this. I have read Jeffrey Sachs before and his claims about 1/6th of the world being in severe poverty. However from reading his stuff I got the impression that many of the poor lived in Africa. Nope. Although Africa isn’t lifting itself out of poverty well and has poor economic growth, most are still Asian.

of the 1100 million

380.6 live in India
219.5 live in China
21.6 live in Pakistan
91.4 live in Nigeria
55.0 live in Bangladesh

Why is that important? All these countries have rapidly growing economies. India & China have the 2 fastest growing economies on earth and are going at about 8-10% a year. THe other 3 are growing at 5-7% a year. So off the bat almost 760 million of the 1100 million extremely poor people live in countries with rapidly growing economies. Just 60 years ago S. Korea was an agrarian society but 9-11% growth rates made them a developed nation. I don’t think these countries can continue their 5-10% growth rates forever, but hopefully they can long enough to lift 60-70% of the world’s extremely poor out of poverty.

China has done alot to address severe poverty in the last 30 years. India, not so much but it is trying to change and address the problem. since 60% of the world’s poor live in those countries that is a good thing.

Sachs said that in 1980 it would’ve taken about 2% of GDP in rich nations spent on infrastructure and humanitarian aid to help lift the world’s poor out of poverty. We didn’t do that, but due to economic growth it now only takes 0.7% of GDP as we have more money and there are less desperately poor people. Hopefully by 2020 or so it will be down to 0.2-0.3% of the GDP of wealthy nations. By that time humanitarian interventions (which are increasing in the developed nations) & economic growth will be competent to lift everyone out of desperate poverty.

then we can all get naked and sing ‘we are the world’. I’ll bring my jews harp.

Hasn’t the “we’re ending poverty” thing been said before? Lots of times? I’ll believe it when it happens.

The problem with this is that due to corruption and lack of socially democratic legislation, the economic growth tends to remain within plutocracies, and due to lack of government infrastructure investment, it remains within the cities. In China and India, the rural poor are still not benefiting from ‘trickle-down’ at all.

Interesting concept, but does this take into consideration things like natural disasters, wars, global economy fluctuations, global warming and other major factors? Not trying to be snarky, but those rapidly growing economies in the countries you mentioned are not based on so much on local needs as much as they are reliant on global economies. China might be an exception, as they do have a huge domestic market that is only recently being tapped. But even China currently relies on their global marketing to finance their domestic growth.

I hope you are right, and it would certainly be nice to think you are.

Just wondering if all factors have been included in this theory.

If you look at graphs of Chinas severely poor it is a slope downward. From 60% of their population in 1981 down to about 20% today.

India doesn’t do as much for their poor, but they seem to be coming around.

A much-cited 2003 study by Goldman Sachs projects that over the next 50 years, India will be the fastest-growing of the world’s major economies (largely because its work force will not age as fast as the others)…By 2050 it will be five times the size of Japan’s and its per capita income will have risen to 35 times its current level.
About 60% of the worlds desperately poor and relatively poor people live in India & China. I realize it is naive to assume that economic growth automatically = reductions in poverty, but I also don’t see how a country whose economy and per capita income doubles every 7-10 years isn’t going to be more capable to tackle poverty in the future.

My reasoning is like this.

As technology increases it becomes cheaper to provide basic necessities
Economies in the developing world and developed world are growing
Fighting poverty is becoming a bigger, more serious issue globally.

back in 1980 it would’ve required 2% of GDP of wealthy nations to tackle global poverty (200 billion from the US alone). Now due to growth in wealthy nations, more technology and growth in small nations it only requires about 0.7%. The developed world currently spends about 0.2-0.3%. So I’d guess around 2020 is when developmental aid and poverty will be matched enough to finally address the issue.

Ice Wolf - we are ending poverty. The % of humans who live on less than $1 a day in real, constant funds (non-inflation) decreases all the time. It has gone from about 42% in 1980 down to around 21% today.

Besides, poverty is a relative term. Modern Africa (I think) has lower child & infant mortality ratings than America did 100 years ago. The modern poor live better than the middle class of 60 years ago.

I worry about global warming too. If global warming is severe it could totally set this issue back 50-100 years. And pollution is becoming a problem in China, and economic growth may need to slow to fight it. I do know that it is unrealistic to expect this growth forever. From what I can tell alot of India & China economy is due to trade with the developed world. And sooner or later that market will be too small for their rapidly growing economies. I really don’t know enough about economics, but it seems like India & China will keep growing enough to lift much of the world out of severe and relative poverty, as this may only take 10-20 more years. I’m not really concerned about India & China obtaining US lifestyles as I’m concerned about severe and relative poverty, and it seems like they will both experience enough economic growth to address these issues assuming they have the political will to address them.

India has a rapidly growing middle class of 300 million. So there is a massive potential market there too.