Sunday, March 28, 2021

Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created — Jason Hickel

Over the past few years, this graph has become a sensation. Developed by Our World In Data and promoted widely by Bill Gates and Steven Pinker, the graph gives the impression that virtually all of humanity was in “extreme poverty” as of 1820 (i.e., living on less than $1.90 per day, PPP; less than is required for basic food). OWID has used this figure to claim that extreme poverty was the natural or baseline condition of humanity, extending far back into the past: “in the thousands of years before the beginning of the industrial era, the vast majority of the world population lived in conditions that we would call extreme poverty today.” In other words, virtually all of humanity, for all of history, was destitute until the 19th century, when at last colonialism and capitalism came to the rescue.

There’s only one problem: the graph’s long-term trend is empirically baseless....
Bad methodology, how to lie with statistics?

Jason Hickel Blog
Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created
Jason Hickel | economic anthropologist, author, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics, and Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. He serves on the Statistical Advisory Panel for the UN Human Development Report 2020, the advisory board of the Green New Deal for Europe, and on the Harvard-Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice.


Andrew Anderson said...

Yes, poverty has been created and a major instrument, besides no limits to land ownership, has been government privileges for usurers. Both of these are contrary to the Old Testament which proclaims:

However, there will be no poor among you, since the Lord will certainly bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, if only you listen obediently to the voice of the Lord your God, to follow carefully all this commandment which I am commanding you today. Deuteronomy 15:4-5.

Thus when Jesus says "The poor you will always have with you" it's NOT an assertion of the inevitability of poverty but an INDICTMENT of disobedience for that particular generation? That's why it's important to read the ENTIRE Bible lest one apply a faulty interpretation to portions of it.

S400 said...

Yeah give us a land lottery where some will win the excellent land and some the crap land!
That’s what real justice is!

Andrew Anderson said...

What's your idea of justice, S400?

Besides, who says that crap land would even be in the lottery?

But what's your idea of justice? The standard MMT line of increased welfare for the banks, and by extension, for the rich, the most so-called "credit worthy" and continued rent, debt and wage slavery for their victims?

Matt Franko said...

“but an INDICTMENT of disobedience for that particular generation?”

Was an indictment of apostate Israel... ie the tribes that were attempting a synthesis with Greece/Rome...