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Reducing poverty

Longish article in the Economist in the rapid fall of extreme poverty, from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 1.2 billion today, extreme being living on less than $1.25 a day.
http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21578643-world-has-astonishing-chance-take-billion-people-out-extreme-poverty-2030-not

I just note that giving 1.2 billion people $1.25 a day would cost $547 billion a year. Not far off the cost of the US going to war. Compare to global GDP of $71,000 billion nominal, or $83,000 billion PPP. Less than 1% of world income. And giving poor people money seems to be really effective in helping them (shock! surprise!) as you're basically giving capital to the extremely capital-constrained.

http://chrisblattman.com/2013/05/23/dear-governments-want-to-help-the-poor-and-transform-your-economy-give-people-cash/
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/05/unconditional_cash_transfers_giving_money_to_the_poor_may_be_the_best_tool.html
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/08/23/eitc_works_higher_benefits_lead_to_better_outcomes_for_kids.html
http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/03/want_to_help_people_just_give.html

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/363087.html#comments

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
fpb
Jun. 1st, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
Giving people free money for no work done does not decrease poverty, it just makes the recipients into beggars. Free money is always disastrous, which is why I am watching the current obsession with so-called Quantitative Easing with absolute horror. Money is only worth anything if it is given or taken in exchange for something else.
mindstalk
Jun. 1st, 2013 03:48 pm (UTC)
Your first statement is contradicted by the articles linked to, did you read any of them?

Do you favor a 100% inheritance tax? Inheriting money must be disastrous, by what you say.

As for money only in exchange... where do you think money comes from in the first place?
fpb
Jun. 1st, 2013 04:06 pm (UTC)
From printing presses and coin punches, of course.
notthebuddha
Jun. 1st, 2013 09:22 pm (UTC)
the knee-jerk Calvinism is not entirely without merit. It was doubltess informed by confirmation-bias stories of wastrel heirs and such, but from a purely practical resource management and systems theory POV, there should usually be some sort of resistance to a one-way flow of limited-supply resources, like money. The linked article I read, for example, has a least the barrier to entry of maintaining a cellphone, for instance.

fortunately without shared languages, baddies can't hire them to do captchas!
notthebuddha
Jun. 1st, 2013 01:26 pm (UTC)
I just note that giving 1.2 billion people $1.25 a day would cost $547 billion a year.

...if you have perfect and free distribution, sure. the 10% figure in the article sounds good, but who controls that figure?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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