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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The facts are unambiguous: despite public perceptions to the contrary, extreme poverty has declined significantly, to the point where its end may actually be in sight. So next time you hear someone bemoaning a supposed rise in world poverty, encourage them to have a look at the evidence for themselves.

Chelsea Follet

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    That sounds like very good advice, but we live in a fast-paced world, and must rely on glib headlines to inform us of what is happening in the world. If I tried to do in-depth research behind all the claims, I might miss out on my coffee breaks, or not watch my favourite soapies!

  • rxc

    It is like pollution – the progressives are always re-defining the terms, so that an absolute measurement of some characteristic that would be considered “acceptable” today, becomes unacceptable tommorrow. Even when the absolute numbers move inexorably in one direction, the goalposts are moved at the same time, in order ensure that there is always a crisis that must be addressed, and which can used to gain more power.

  • bobby b

    “It is like pollution . . . “

    It’s like everything.

    You’d think the world would soon choke on its own wastes, but it’s cleaner than it’s been in hundreds of years.

    You’d think crime was driving us all to distraction, but (aside from recent upticks in several large US cities) we’re safer from crime than any time in history.

    You’d think being openly gay was more perilous than ever, but there’s never been a safer time for LGBT peoples in the West than right now.

    You’d think that racial hate was becoming all-consuming, but all of our societies are becoming more and more integrated with less and less overt discrimination.

    As the OP says, you’d think poverty is burning more and more of the world, when it’s actually retreating.

    Between “watch our news!” and “we victims deserve your money!”, it’s all marketing. You can’t start a revolution with contented people.

  • On several of these issues, we are into far-side -of-Laffer-curve territory. In my own field of IT, I have very recently found myself wondering whether the rapidly increasing focus on getting more women into IT is becoming positively counterproductive even in its own terms. That black communities are harmed by ‘black lives matter’ activities seems far less a thing to wonder about, far more a thing to see as quite obvious. I’ll let other commenters say if they’ve seen the same elsewhere.

  • David Bolton

    Perhaps because we’re living in the 21st century?

  • Paul Marks

    Poverty in the world has indeed declined.

    However, when the international Credit Bubble economy collapses it may well increase again. And, remember, there are still many starving people in the world.

    The decline of extreme poverty in China (after the rejection of economic socialism – Maoism) and in India (after the rejection of Fabian socialism) is especially noteworthy.

    However both India and China (well perhaps China) are now making the Western mistake of making Welfare State commitments that can not be afforded. The argument being “now we have a stronger economy we can affort to……”

    No you can not afford to ……. no nation can afford unlimited commitments (essentially “Black Hole finance”).