Monday, 24 April 2017


There are many articles out there about income inequality.  They assume its unfair one guy can make a billion or more dollars while hundreds of  millions live in extreme poverty. The problem, is an attack on the rich wont help the people at the bottom.

Articles and conversations on the subject, including the one that lead to this post, do not attempt to establish the connection between disparity and problems for the poor. Disparity is often demonstrated then stated as a problem in itself. The benefits of getting rid of disparity are not. How to get rid of it is even further removed.

The reality is that as the number of billionaires have increased the number of world the worlds extreme poor reached record low levels. Extreme poor is defined here as people earning under $2 a day. These record low levels were reached in 2006, 2012 and again in 2015. The question I have been asking myself, since I first heard Fareed Zakaria talking about this issue on his PBS show (about 2006), is couldn't it be possible the extreme rich and extreme poor get better at the same time?

Note: I am not saying there is a cause an effect relationship between these two classes. I am also not discounting such a relationship.

Poverty is still a terrible problem in the world. At about 700 million or so by the World Bank's $2 definition, we still have a long way to go. Still, that's a big drop from what it was in 2012, about 900 million.

Anyways folks, don't always assume everything is a zero sum game.

To see more on this issue check out the World Bank's section on poverty:

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