Unformatted text preview: s them ev en More from our blogs » s lightly better off, it hauls them ov er the line. With fewer people jus t below the offic ial m is ery
lim it, it will be m ore diffic ult to pus h large num bers ov er it.
So c aution is jus tified, but the goal c an s till be ac hiev ed. If dev eloping c ountries m aintain the
im pres s iv e growth they hav e m anaged s inc e 2000; if the poores t c ountries are not left Most popular
Recommended behind by fas tergrowing m iddleinc om e ones ; and if inequality does not widen s o that the Commented 1 ric h lap up all the c ream of growth—then dev eloping c ountries would c ut ex trem e pov erty Facebook is bad for
Get a life! from 16% of their populations now to 3% by 2030. That would reduc e the abs olute num bers
by 1 billion. If growth is a little fas ter and inc om e m ore equal, ex trem e pov erty c ould fall to
jus t 1.5%—as near to z ero as is realis tic ally pos s ible. The num ber of thedes titute would
then be about 100m , m os t of them in intrac table c ountries in Afric a. M is ery ’s billions would
be c ons igned to the annals of his tory .
M arkets v misery 2
5 India's econom y: How India got its funk
Labour m arkets: On "bullshit jobs"
Bo Xilai's trial: Straying from the script
Politics this week That is a lot of ifs . But m ak ing thos e things happen is not as diffic ult as c y nic s profes s . The
world now k nows how to reduc e pov erty . A lot of targeted polic ies —bas ic s oc ial s afety nets
and c as htrans fer s c hem es , s uc h as Braz il’s Bols a Fam ília—help. So does binning polic ies
lik e fuel s ubs idies to Indones ia’s m iddle c las s and China’s huk ou hous eholdregis tration
s y s tem (s ee artic le) that boos t inequality . But the bigges t pov erty reduc tion m eas ure of all
is liberalis ing m ark ets to let poor people get ric her. That m eans freeing trade between
c ountries (Afric a is s till c ruelly punis hed by tariffs ) and within them (China’s real great leap
forward oc c urred bec aus e it allowed priv ate bus ines s to grow). Both India and Afric a are
c rowded with m onopolies and res tric tiv e prac tic es .
M any Wes terners hav e reac ted to rec es s ion by s eek ing to c ons train m ark ets and roll
globalis ation bac k in their own c ountries , and they want to ex port thes e ideas to the
dev eloping world, too. It does not need s uc h adv ic e. It is doing quite nic ely , largely thank s to Advertisement the s am e ec onom ic princ iples that helped the dev eloped world grow ric h and c ould pull the
poores t of the poor out of des titution. From the print edition: Leaders Rec ommend 182 Share 235 377 Submit
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