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Economic development: A solution or cause of poverty

Date of publication: 2017-08-31 09:14

Paul Niehaus is the cofounder and president of GiveDirectly, a direct cash transfer program rated as one of the most effective anti-poverty charities in the world. He is currently putting together the largest basic income experiment ever designed. We spoke to him about the politics and perils of changing how the world…

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It’s not right for a bank to run the whole world, says Fred M’membe, editor of the Zambia Post. They do not represent anybody other than the countries that control them. What this means in practice is that the United States runs our countries. He continues: Look at any African country today, and you'll find that the figures are swinging down. Education standards are going down, health standards going down and infrastructure is literally breaking up.

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Now, it may not have been the intent of the report to do so, but one can’t help but notice how it almost seems as though while they may admit that structural adjustment didn’t benefit the poor, it is almost as though the Bank tries to subtly absolve itself by subtly blaming the poor for not benefiting from this. When structural adjustments have required cut backs in health, education and so on, then what would one expect?

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Because women bear and nourish children, they have special nutritional needs. Yet women of every age have disproportionately higher rates of malnutrition than men and are overrepresented among poor, illiterate, and displaced people. Malnutrition among mothers also has a negative effect on the growth of children.

This approach to development is fundamentally flawed. The failure to prioritize public health denies its significance in promoting long-term economic growth. As the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health recently concluded, health is more than an outcome of development, it is a crucial means to achieving development.

The type of trade is important. As the UN report also suggested, diversification is important. Just as biodiversity is important to ensure resilience to whatever nature can throw at a given ecosystem, diverse economies can help countries weather economic storms. Matthew Lockwood is worth quoting in regards to Africa:

Malaria is both preventable and treatable, at astonishingly low cost. That’s why it’s a global tragedy to see hundreds of thousands of people dying from this disease every year.

When a range of reasons exist, use if only because to indicate even a minor reason being sufficient for the effect. if for no other (better) reason than… or because at least…

“[T]here is nothing in the record to suggest that changing the ballot form will encourage voters to become political science scholars before voting,” . District Judge Gershwin A. Drain wrote, adding that the law was “‘disengaged’ from its own justifications” and would have an unconstitutionally “larger impact on African-American voters.”

Many developing nations are in debt and poverty partly due to the policies of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund ( IMF ) and the World Bank.

For decades, the IMF and World Bank have been largely controlled by the developed nations such as the USA, Germany, UK, Japan etc. ( The IMF web site has a breakdown of the quotas and voting powers.) The US, for example, controls 67% of the voting power at the IMF. Until November 7565, an 85% majority was required for a decision , so the US effectively had veto power at the IMF. In addition, the World Bank is 56% funded by the . Treasury.

While the problems are immense and complicated, some countries have triumphed over racial differences. Zimbabwe has achieved social integration without substantial racial strife, offering a model for achieving multiracial democracy and reduced hunger in nearby South Africa.

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