So extreme poverty has been cut in half five years earlier than 2015, when the United Nations set Millennium Development Goals for that. Now, in 2013 we are looking at an increase in the rate at which people exit extreme poverty. The comparison between the developing world and the developed world is the comparison between extreme poverty and poverty. Both have issues, one more stark than the other. Beyond the statistics the Economist points out are the normal everyday people living on the other side of these numbers whether they are in Brooklyn or Bangladesh.
“The biggest poverty-reduction measure of all is liberalising markets to let poor people get richer. That means freeing trade between countries (Africa is still cruelly punished by tariffs) and within them (China’s real great leap forward occurred because it allowed private business to grow). Both India and Africa are crowded with monopolies and restrictive practices.” Economist article
I think that’s great. Capitalism should be a driving force in new market creation and expansion. However, when we talk about India and Africa being crowded with monopolies and restrictive practices, I wonder what role these two play in America.
Look at Google and Apple. Consider Samsung and Sony. How about WalMart?
Perhaps our focus on fixing everyone else and lifting people out of extreme poverty needs to be coupled with a focus on bridging equality in America and the developed world. As inequality decreases between the extreme poor and the poor in the developing world so does inequality between the poor and the middle class, the middle class and the rich, the rich and the richest in America. And these trends build (without the middle-class in Africa, India, and many capitalized developing markets)
Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Glass-Stegal– Monopoly busting laws and regulations that draw more lines between public funds and private funds can be one part of the change. The way we teach business and economics and an innate change in it may be another part of what this change can look like. Given the statistics of how inequality is continuing to fragment America I think we have to focus on re-liberating our markets to make sure that capitalism can succeed not only on the upper echelons of society, but for all people.
The American Dream and the capitalism that has been tied to it is something that every man, woman, and child can enjoy. But this dream comes with a secure government that can’t be chained via corporate election finance or campaign finance.
We have the ability to help everyone be lifted from extreme poverty. We should continue our mission to do so. And while we work on that we should ensure that their upward trajectory remains possible beyond poverty.