December 30, 2016

...AND THE LIVIN' IS EASY...:

And the poor shall rise (Johan Norberg, 12/30/16, spiked)

These figures are still very high, but they mean that extreme poverty is now rarer in Africa than it was in the world's richest countries in 1820. In the US, Britain and France, between 40 and 50 per cent of the population lived in what we today call extreme poverty. In Scandinavia, Austria-Hungary, Germany and Spain between 60 and 70 per cent were extremely poor. Between 10 and 20 per cent of the European and American population were classified as paupers and vagrants by officials.

The Industrial Revolution began to change that. The doubling of the material standard of living, which by earlier trends should have taken mankind more than 2,000 years to achieve, took the British only 30 years. Now the rest of the world is doing likewise, but even faster.

Between 1960 and 2000, rich countries still grew faster economically than poor countries on average. Only 30 per cent of the so-called developing countries grew faster than the US. In 1997, Lant Pritchett, then chief economist of the World Bank, published the paper Divergence, Big Time, a title that left little to the imagination. He wrote that divergence in living standards 'is the dominant feature of modern economic history', and that periods when poor countries rapidly approach the rich were 'historically rare'.

But since then, that is exactly what has happened. Between 2000 and 2011, 90 per cent of the world's developing countries grew faster than the US, and they have done it on average by three per cent annually. In just a decade, per capita income in the world's low- and middle-income countries has doubled.

Between 2000 and 2011, per capita-income in the world's low- and middle-income countries has doubled.

Posted by at December 30, 2016 9:53 AM

  

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