Thursday, December 07, 2006

Incomes, Inequality, and the World Bank

The Post has a story about a World Bank report that came out recently, describing the broad-spectrum failings of poverty alleviation programs.  In short, according to the report, 60% of countries receiving poverty-alleviation loans from the Bank have remained stagnant, or actually lost ground in the "war on poverty".
My favorite, exerpted quote, though is this:
"For a sustained reduction in poverty over a period of time, it really pays to worry about both growth and distribution," said Vinod Thomas, director-general of the Independent Evaluation Group. "It has been a mistaken notion that you can grow first and worry about the distribution later."
As China-watchers (and Chinese themselves) can speak on, one of the main concerns for the CCP right now is growing income inequality (and the social unrest that is coming along with it).
There are two big challenges that I see on this right now.  First, finding a plan for any given country that will allow it to effectively redistribute wealth/income while not creating a 'welfare state'; and Second, how to convince those who are accumulating the wealth and earning the income that it's actually a good idea for them to surrender some of that wealth.
My guess is that the first person who figures out a highly effective way to do this is going to earn a Nobel Prize.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not that Americans don't like helping out internationally - they do. But they prefer specific projects to broad goals, and they don't see it as a moral obligation or as a way of making us safer.

Check it out: