Joanne Knight

January 30, 2014

What does Bill Gates Know about Poverty?

Published by Countercurrents Jan 29 2014

The Gates Foundation 2014 Annual Letter confidently declared the end of poverty by 2035. It criticized all the nay-sayers in poverty reduction and spelled out the good news to all the terrible sceptics in the world. With some personal wisdom thrown in, Mr. Gates proudly expounded on the achievements in poverty reduction around the world.

“The global picture of poverty has been completely redrawn in my lifetime. Per-person incomes in Turkey and Chile are where the United States level was in 1960. Malaysia is nearly there, as is Gabon. And that no-man’s-land between rich and poor countries has been filled in by China, India, Brazil, and others.”

Institutions like the UN Development Project and the World Bank have similar reports on poverty reduction: 650 million people lifted out of extreme poverty (living on $1.25 per day) in the last three decades. These organizations approach poverty reduction within a framework of increasing economic growth and trade liberalization. However, too many poverty reduction projects rely on the ‘generosity’ of the global elite, like the Gateses, scattering a few crumbs of their obscene wealth. It seems after three decades more should have been achieved.



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