The world isnt improving for the bottom 80%.
Put simply, that's complete bollocks.
Put simply, that's complete bollocks.
A few paragraphs from that article which highlight the problem:
This is a story that we have become accustomed to hearing from the Bank, and other significant participants in the debate about poverty and development in the global South (Asia, Africa, and Latin America). But does the story actually hold true? For example, the World Bank measures extreme poverty in terms of the number of people who live on less than $1.90 a day. But is this in fact a meaningful measurement of poverty?
For example, more than 55% of South Africa’s population lives below the country’s upper poverty line, of 1,138 South African rand ($80) a month. But, according to the World Bank, only 18.85% of the South African population lives in poverty. This suggests that the international poverty lined touted by the World Bank systematically underestimates the extent of global poverty. This point is partially acknowledged in this year’s report. Accordingly, the World Bank proposes new and higher poverty lines—$3.20 and $5.50 a day, respectively. According to the report, almost half the world’s population lives below the $5.50 a day poverty line. However, we need to go further than this—indeed, the World Bank’s widely touted story of historically low poverty levels must be rejected.
Much of the economic growth that has lifted countries from low-income status to middle-income status has resulted from the emergence of global production networks and global value chains since the late 1970s. Poorer countries have been integrated into these networks in large part due to their large reservoirs of cheap labour. It is this process of industrialisation that has turned low-income countries into middle-income countries.
But if global production networks come with so many developmental benefits, why is it that world poverty is concentrated in countries that have experienced economic growth precisely because they are integrated in these networks? To understand this paradox, it is important to remember that global production networks are comprised of different value tiers, and that different countries and different groups capture different amounts of the value that is created in these networks.
This is evident in the fact that the distribution of national incomes and wealth at a world scale is still characterised by a pronounced North-South hierarchy. But it is more important still to be aware that countries in the global South that have witnessed strong economic growth have also experienced marked escalations in national levels of inequality. In India in 2016, for example, the richest 10% of the population received 55% of all income. This is an increase of more than 20% since 1980
Also, foreign aid from most state actors is a smokescreen used to mask financial colonialism. The pillaging of Africa never stopped and now China's getting in on it. This same practice is visible throughout most of South America, South Asia and other pockets of weak countries unable to defend themselves.
The statistics are lies and the rhetoric is nothing more than aesthetics to make richer countries feel better about enslaving most of the species.
This last bit isn't directed at the claim made in Wjfox's quote. It's just related and I think worth saying when this sort of conversation comes up.
There are tendencies that will argue that markets are inherently flawed and others that argue that modern inequality is only a result of interference with the market or a market that is in some other way hindered and thus not a tvue market. In any case, the vast majority of modern philosophers and economists would argue that inequality is a bad thing for one reason or another whether they brand themselves capitalists, socialists or something else. This being said I believe the tendencies remaining that argue inequality is a good thing and should be desired are rooted in monarchism and or authoritarianism. Liberal democracies killed the monarchs for a reason and me saying that is not a radical statement, it is a founding principle of democracies worldwide, many have simply forgotten it. The rhetoric claiming this line of thought is radical is founded by the same monarchists who kept slaves of nations and murdered all who opposed their entitlement. Even the democracies who kept their monarchs like the United Kingdom often have their parliamentarianism rooted in civil conflicts like the English Civil War of 1642 between monarchists and advocates of democracy. I'm firmly convinced that most rhetoric defending inequality is monarchist holdover from people who don't realize they are actually monarchists, or oligarchists or some other brand of authoritarian.
I should touch on why inequality is a bad thing from my understanding for any closet authoritarians from around the web. Inequality is bad even from the most selfish amoral perspective for two reasons. First, there is no guarantee that the selfish amoral person in question will be in a position of benefit within the economic hierarchy. Even if one is in a position of benefit from the outset there will always be other people trying to exploit that position for their own gain. Meaning that in a society in a state of conflict, as economic hierarchies inherently demand due to their structure relying on extraction of wealth, positions of power are always under threat and tenuous. There is no security in economic hierarchy.
Secondly, by oppressing others the authoritarian prevents those he oppresses from contributing to the world and mutually benefiting himself. There's an illusion about that billionaires are freer than the poorest of our world. The truth is that if we had a scientific industrial complex running from the 1900s through to today instead of a slavery based military industrial complex focused on hoarding wealth we would probably be colonizing space, have cured most diseases including cancer and possibly even aging by now. We would have practically unlimited energy and material wealth distributed to us all through well thought out mixed economic systems that are largely automated. We would all be free to pursue lives of art, science, love and spirituality if one chooses. Our lives would be infinitely more enriched than they are now from the utter deluge of human creativity and passion flowing through our culture. I'm not being a hippy, small minds with armies of slaves are just being moronic and failing to think about the bigger picture. No billionaire today will live as well as the average citizen of a truly post-scarcity society free of major conflict. By enslaving others one only enslave themselves, they're just too dame stupid to realize it.
Edit: Would you look at that, it's the erorant hour