Or more importantly, what has neoliberalism ever done for the poor?
It identifies “star performer” nations such as Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh as places where deprivation could disappear within the lifetime of present generations. Close on their heels with reductions in poverty levels were Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia and Bolivia.
The study comes after the UN’s latest development report published last week which stated that poverty reduction drives in the developing world were exceeding all expectations. It says: “The world is witnessing a epochal ‘global rebalancing’ with higher growth in at least 40 poor countries helping lift hundreds of millions out of poverty and into a new ‘global middle class’. Never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.”
As you know (for you are all avid Ritchie, TJN, Action Air, War on Want, Oxfam and the rest readers) everything that has been happening in recent decades in the world is a result of neoliberalism. You know, those absolute bastards like me who suggest that the Washington Consensus isn’t that bad, that trade works, that the only thing worse than being exploited by multinational corporates is not being exploited by multinational corporates.
And we’re told, endlessly, that we’re evil for having promoted this sort of exploitation.
And yet, and yet, the really remarkable thing about this neoliberalism, this exploitation, is how damn pro-poor it is.
Yup, sure, the top 1% have got even more one percentier. You’ll just have to forgive me if I don’t give a fuck given that the much larger effect of all this is that hundreds of millions, billions, have at the same time, as a result of the same policies, risen up out of destitution into those petit bourgeois pleasures of a change of clothes, a roof over their heads and three squares a day.
After all, that is what all of us liberals have been trying to do for these past decades isn’t it? Make the poor rich?