Oh dear, oh dear oh dear

The new president of the World Bank is determined to eradicate global poverty through goals, targets and measuring success in the same way that he masterminded an Aids drugs campaign for poor people nearly a decade ago.

Jim Yong Kim, in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, said he was passionately committed to ending absolute poverty, which threatens survival and makes progress impossible for the 1.3 billion people living on less than $1.25 a day.

\”I want to eradicate poverty,\” he said. \”I think that there\’s a tremendous passion for that inside the World Bank.\”

Kim, who took over at the World Bank three weeks ago and is not only the first doctor and scientist (he is also an anthropologist) to be president but the first with development experience, will set \”a clear, simple goal\” in the eradication of absolute poverty. Getting there, however, needs progress on multiple, but integrated, fronts.

It would help if he knew a little economics perhaps.

For example, this Washington Consensus/neoliberalism/globalisation shtick has at the very least coincided with the greatest reduction in absolute poverty in the history of our species.

Meaning that, to a first approximation at least, it would seem sensible to continue with the Washington Consensus/neoliberalism/globalisation shtick.

As far as we can tell it\’s even managed to do something in sub Saharan Africa, the place where all other development ideas give up the ghost.

Why stop doing what apparently works?

10 thoughts on “Oh dear, oh dear oh dear”

  1. “If I care about poverty, I have to care a lot about investments in the private sector. The private sector creates the vast majority of jobs in the world”, he says in the piece.

    It’s almost as if you were pretending he’s some kind of commie fruitloop, rather than someone who’s planning to do exactly what you, me and the consensus of economists agree is a good idea.

  2. “doctor and scientist (he is also an anthropologist)”: you can construe that in more than one way. I suspect it means that he’s not a scientist at all.

  3. Let’s see, what’s happened in the last 25 years:
    1) End of the cold war, and with it the end of superpower support for usurpers and dictators on the principle of “he may be a son of a bitch but he’s our son of a bitch”.
    2) China has become a major manufacturing power
    3) Significant increases in many commodity prices
    4) Williamson wrote down a list of ten policy directions the IMF and World Bank agreed on.
    5) Absolute poverty globally has fallen, especially in China, but hardly at all in sub-Sarahan Africa

    So tell us why we should suppose that (4) is the cause of (5).

  4. He’s a medical doctor with a PhD in epidemiology, whose academic career has been focused on the human/organisational factors that screw up attempts to treat treatable-in-principle diseases.

  5. China was run by murdering socialistic scum who mostly died off of old age after running their nation almost into the ground and those remainingknew they could not go on as before and saw at least a glimmer of the light. SS Africa is still mostly run by murdering socialistic scum who have would have reached the end of the road long ago were it not for help from well-meaning(?) western idiots.
    Also what i9s your evidence that nothing has picked up in SS Africa?.

  6. Absolute poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa rose up to a few years ago, and has fallen a bit since. That’s according to the people who compile these statistics, which you can find using the internet search engine of your choice.

    I’d say that the biggest single factor there has been the AIDS epidemic.

    socialism: the theory, principle, or scheme of social organization which places the means of production of wealth and the distribution of that wealth in the hands of the community.

    Murdering scum: yes, many of them. Socialists, I don’t think so.

  7. No, crackpot neoliberalism/Washington Consensus etc has not contributed to the alleviation of poverty anywhere.

    That was done by the ripple effect of the dynamic Keynesian consensus which continued to flow out after the West lost its head and took a mighty step backwards with Reagan Thatcher.

    Now the nefarious ripple effects of neoliberalism are reaching back out to these areas strangling their development like it has strangled ours.

  8. PaulB
    “I’d say that the biggest single factor there has been the AIDS epidemic.” That’s a good point, but there seem to be quite a few countries that are significantly dysfunctional which doesn’t help eg Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Congo.

  9. You can divide sub-Saharan Africa into those areas dominated by Marxists – Zimbabwe, Congo, Angola, Mozambisque until recently, Tanzania under Nkomo, Uganda under Obote – and the rest.
    There is compelling evidence that Marxism has hurt the poorer majority.

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