end world poverty

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The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

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airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, end world poverty, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Live Aid, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, publication bias, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

A Searcher believes only insiders have enough knowledge to find solutions, and that most solutions must be homegrown. Columbia University professor and director of the United Nations Millennium Project Jeffrey Sachs is an eloquent and compassionate man. I am always moved when I listen to him speak. Unfortunately, his intellectual solutions are less convincing. Professor Sachs offers a Big Plan to end world poverty, with solutions ranging from nitrogen-fixing leguminous trees to replenish soil fertility, to antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, to specially programmed cell phones to provide real-time data to health planners, to rainwater harvesting, to battery-charging stations, to twelve-cent medicines for children with malaria—for a total of 449 interventions.

A cow can nicely feed a family with a steady supply of milk, butter, cheese, and (unfortunately for the cow) beef. Of course, you could win the Kentucky Derby if you had a championship-caliber horse, but this book will review the decades of experience that show aid agencies to be cows, not racehorses. Likewise, we will see in this book that aid agencies cannot end world poverty, but they can do many useful things to meet the desperate needs of the poor and give them new opportunities. For example, instead of trying to “develop” Ethiopia, aid agencies could devise a program to give cash subsidies to parents to keep their children in school. Such a program has worked in other places, so it could take children like Amaretch out of the brutal firewood brigade and give her hope for the future.

Social engineering showed up in Africa and Latin America in the eighties and nineties as IMF/World Bank–sponsored comprehensive reforms called “structural adjustment.” Military intervention to overthrow evil dictators and remake other societies into some reflection of Western democratic capitalism is the extreme of contemporary utopian social engineering. The plan to end world poverty shows all the pretensions of utopian social engineering. Democratic politics is about searching for piecemeal solutions: a local group engages in political action to campaign for a missing public service, such as trash collection; and a politician recognizes an opportunity for political gain from meeting these needs and winning over this particular group.


pages: 464 words: 116,945

Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism by David Harvey

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, California gold rush, call centre, central bank independence, clean water, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, drone strike, end world poverty, falling living standards, fiat currency, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Food sovereignty, Frank Gehry, future of work, global reserve currency, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, market clearing, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peak oil, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, rent-seeking, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wages for housework, Wall-E, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

Everywhere, the rich are getting richer by the minute. The top 100 billionaires in the world (from China, Russia, India, Mexico and Indonesia as well as from the traditional centres of wealth in North America and Europe) added $240 billion to their coffers in 2012 alone (enough, calculates Oxfam, to end world poverty overnight). By contrast, the well-being of the masses at best stagnates or more likely undergoes an accelerating if not catastrophic (as in Greece and Spain) degradation. The one big institutional difference this time around seems to be the role of the central banks, with the Federal Reserve of the United States playing a leading if not domineering role on the world stage.

Even in many of the poorest countries, inequality has grown rapidly. Globally the incomes of the top 1% have increased 60% in twenty years. The growth in income for the top 0.01% has been even greater. The crisis of 2007–9 onwards made matters worse: ‘The top 100 billionaires added $240 billion to their wealth in 2012 – enough to end world poverty four times over.’2 Billionaires have erupted all over the place, with large numbers now recorded in Russia, India, China, Brazil and Mexico, as well as in the more traditionally wealthy countries in North America, Europe and Japan. One of the more significant shifts is that the ambitious no longer have to migrate to the affluent countries to become billionaires – they can simply stay at home in India (where the number of billionaires has more than doubled over the last few years), Indonesia or wherever.


pages: 190 words: 61,970

Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty by Peter Singer

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Branko Milanovic, Cass Sunstein, clean water, end world poverty, experimental economics, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, microcredit, Peter Singer: altruism, pre–internet, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Silicon Valley, Thomas Malthus, ultimatum game, union organizing

His recreations, apart from reading and writing, include hiking and surfing. Copyright © 2009 by Peter Singer All rights reserved. RANDOM HOUSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Singer, Peter The life you can save : acting now to end world poverty / Peter Singer p. cm. Includes index. eISBN: 978-1-58836-779-2 1. Charity. 2. Humanitarianism. 3. Economic assistance. 4. Poverty. I. Title. HV48.S56 2009 362.5—dc22 2008036279 www.atrandom.com v3.0_r1


pages: 293 words: 81,183

Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference by William MacAskill

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barriers to entry, basic income, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, experimental subject, follow your passion, food miles, immigration reform, income inequality, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job automation, job satisfaction, labour mobility, Lean Startup, M-Pesa, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, Nate Silver, Peter Singer: altruism, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, randomized controlled trial, self-driving car, Skype, Stanislav Petrov, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, universal basic income, women in the workforce

I helped to develop the idea of effective altruism: Toby and I were both heavily influenced by Peter Singer’s arguments for the moral importance of giving to fight poverty, made in “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, no. 1 (Spring 1972): 229–43 and The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty (New York: Random House, 2009). On the basis of his arguments, we both made commitments to donate everything we earn above £20,000 per year—about £1 million pounds each over our careers, or 50 percent of our lifetime earnings. Because we were putting so much of our own money on the line, the importance of spending that money as effectively as possible seemed imperative.


pages: 346 words: 101,763

Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic by Hugh Sinclair

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, Bernie Madoff, colonial exploitation, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Gini coefficient, high net worth, illegal immigration, inventory management, microcredit, Northern Rock, peer-to-peer lending, pirate software, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, profit motive

It is essential reading for anyone involved in microcredit and for all who are committed to ending global poverty and injustice. For some twenty years we have heard the story that microcredit is the cure for global poverty: An amazing visionary economist in Bangladesh named Mohammed Yunus founded the Grameen Bank and demonstrated a simple, effective way to end world poverty. Small, low-cost loans to the poor unleash their entrepreneurial potential and allow them to start profitable businesses that bring prosperity to themselves, their children, and their communities. It is a win–win solution that doesn’t require charity, redistribution, rethinking economic policy, or restructuring existing economic institutions and relationships.


pages: 324 words: 93,175

The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home by Dan Ariely

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Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Burning Man, business process, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, second-price auction, software as a service, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, young professional

Deborah Small, George Loewenstein, and Paul Slovic, “Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 102, no. 2 (2007): 143–153. Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, no. 1 (1972): 229–243. Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty (New York: Random House, 2009). Paul Slovic, “Can International Law Stop Genocide When Our Moral Institutions Fail Us?” Decision Research (2010; forthcoming). Paul Slovic, “ ‘If I Look at the Mass I Will Never Act’: Psychic Numbing and Genocide,” Judgment and Decision Making 2, no. 2 (2007): 79–95.


pages: 412 words: 115,266

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris

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Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey

Simons, D. J., Chabris, C. F., Schnur, T., & Levin, D. T. (2002). Evidence for preserved representations in change blindness. Conscious Cogn, 11 (1), 78–97. Simonton, D. K. (1994). Greatness: Who makes history and why. New York: Guilford. Singer, P. (2009). The life you can save: Acting now to end world poverty. New York: Random House. Singer, T., Seymour, B., O’Doherty, J., Kaube, H., Dolan, R. J., & Frith, C. D. (2004). Empathy for pain involves the affective but not sensory components of pain. Science, 303 (5661), 1157–1162. Singer, W. (1999). Striving for coherence. Nature, 397 (4 February), 391–393.


pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, creative destruction, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, end world poverty, financial innovation, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, very high income, War on Poverty

David Hume, 1912 [1777], An enquiry concerning the principles of morals, Project Gutenberg edition, part I (originally published in 1751). 7. Peter Singer, 1972, “Famine, affluence, and mortality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1(1): 229–43; quote on p. 242. 8. Peter Singer, 2009, The life you can save: Acting now to end world poverty, Random House. 9. The data on aid in this chapter, unless otherwise noted explicitly, come from Development Assistance Committee, OECD, http://www.oecd.org/dac/stats/, or from World Bank, World Development Indicators, http://databank.worldbank.org/data/home.aspx. 10. The term comes from Jonathan Temple, 2010, “Aid and conditionality,” Handbook of development economics, Elsevier, Chapter 67, p. 4420. 11.


pages: 494 words: 116,739

Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama

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active measures, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K

Predicting adolescent cognitive and self-regulatory competencies from preschool delay of gratification: Identifying diagnostic conditions. Developmental Psychology 26(6):978–986, http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1991-06927-001. Sinclair, Upton. (1934 [1994]). I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked. University of California Press. Singer, Peter. (2009). The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. Picador. ———. (2011). The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress. Princeton University Press. 60 Minutes. (2011). Extra: Revolution 2.0. CBS News, Feb. 14, 2011, www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7349173n. Small, Mario Luis, David J. Harding, and Michèle Lamont. (2010). Reconsidering culture and poverty.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

Deborah Small, George Loewenstein, and Paul Slovic, “Sympathy and Callousness: The Impact of Deliberative Thought on Donations to Identifiable and Statistical Victims,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 102, no. 2 (2007): 143–153. Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1, no. 1 (1972): 229–243. Peter Singer, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty (New York: Random House, 2009). Paul Slovic, “Can International Law Stop Genocide When Our Moral Institutions Fail Us?” Decision Research (2010; forthcoming). Paul Slovic, “ ‘If I Look at the Mass I Will Never Act’: Psychic Numbing and Genocide,” Judgment and Decision Making 2, no. 2 (2007): 79–95.