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Extreme poverty could be wiped out by 2030

Extreme global poverty could be eradicated by the end of the next decade under optimistic new targets unveiled by the World Bank. The bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, claimed  that there was now an “opportunity to create a world free from the stain of poverty” by 2030.

“We are at an auspicious moment in history, when the successes of past decades and an increasingly favourable economic outlook combine to give developing countries a chance – for the first time ever – to end extreme poverty within a generation,” he said in a speech in Washington. The World Bank’s projections, defining extreme poverty as the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 per day, come as governments and international institutions prepare to set new targets to update the 15-year Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2000.

This was not an April Fool
– it came a day late. Jim obviously does not realise that as soon as people are better off, the gains are snatched away from them in rent increases. Which makes a nonsense of the claim.

This is high-grade piffle. There are those who own land and collect rent. The rest must pay rent and work for whatever wage they can get on the so-called labour market. The model that applies is the island where a boatload of people turn up to find that all the land is owned. Alternatively, think of a new player joining a game of Monopoly when all the squares are owned by those who were in at the start.

Any assertion which does not take this into account is not worth taking seriously. Inter-galactic travel is more likely by 2030 than the elimination of extreme global poverty.