Can We Reduce Extreme Poverty?

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We entered the 21st Century with 6.6 billion people and our generation’s challenges become bigger. Reading an article on worldhunger.org I found out that according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one person in eight on this planet suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2010 to 2012 (p. 2). Extreme poverty is an extremely debated issue and it’s about today’s world population that live with one dollar a day. 70% of them live on the African continent and the rest are dispersed between Asia and South America, according to Paul Collier in The Bottom Billion (2007). Together with Jeffrey D. Sachs, the director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, they analyze the reasons of this major poverty and try to bring remedies to it. In the beginning of his book, The End of Poverty (2005), Sachs announces a sad truth: “…more than eight million people around the world die each year because they are too poor to stay alive.” (p. 1), and makes a major appeal to our generations’ consciousness to take actions and stop this drift, which he believes it’s possible in our lifetime, more precisely, by 2025. His statement is sustained by a research he has done along the years looking at humanity’s economical and political progress in the past two hundred years that followed the Industrial Revolution, which started in Great Britain. By looking back in history, he says, we can understand how some countries managed to grow economically and socially and also why others didn’t. The countries that live in an extreme poverty now, had a bad history (they were exploited by colonial powers), faced geographical barriers and finally made erroneous choices in their national policies, they never caught up with this wave of techn... ... middle of paper ... ...he uneven distribution of wealth makes more difficult a progress into taking any real action against extreme poverty. With a wider gap between classes (the rich become richer and the poorer become poorer) in the developed countries, there will be less interest to provide effective aid even though it exists. Will then the richer do something about it? Piketty’s conclusion of his book, written by Krugman, “ (…) with a call to arms–a call, in particular, for wealth taxes, global if possible, to restrain the global power of inherited wealth” is a controversial one (p. 8). A new way of thinking has emerged which could hopefully bring positive revolutions not only in our society’s economic views but also more clear actions towards eliminating extreme poverty. Works cited http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/may/08/thomas-piketty-new-gilded-age/
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