Blimp deflator: Letting out the gas

Cognitive dissonance: How we’re better off, despite the pain

Posted in economy, united states by Blimp deflator on October 25, 2011

The legacy of Reaganism — predatory lending and financial fraud — have taken the world to the brink of the abyss, yet somehow we are all better off — with the possible exception of the “squeezed” middle class, the writer below argues. She hails the “unprecedented global economic boom” that resulted from Reagan’s policies of tax cuts (largely for the rich), financial deregulation and privatization of state assets, and says that this has been most beneficial to “some of the world’s poorest people”. In my comment to the editor of the Manawatu Standard, where the article appeared on October 15, I point out that the World Bank statistics, on which this assertion is based, are highly suspect. (See letter to the editor below.) And incidentally, shouldn’t the word “boom” be replaced by “bubble”?
Left struggles for sound bite
Letter to the editor:

I write in response to the article headlined “Left struggles for sound bite for US’s angst” (Manawatu Standard, October 15).

The World Bank’s statistics, which show that “between 1981 and 2005 the number of people living in poverty in the developing world fell by 500 million”, have been challenged by several academics.

In How Not to Count the Poor, Sanjay G Reddy and Thomas W Pogge, of Columbia University, say “the bank uses an arbitrary international poverty line that is not adequately anchored in any specification of the real requirements of human beings”, and that its approach is therefore “neither meaningful nor reliable”.

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs says global poverty levels “have changed very little over the past two decades” and that “the situation today may be even more deplorable than a money income poverty line would suggest”.

As Adam W Parsons notes in his article “World Bank Poverty Figures: What Do They Mean?”: The World Bank uses statistics “to support its policies of deregulation, privatisation [and] market liberalisation…” In other words, the bank is a biased researcher whose “findings” are to be regarded with scepticism.

To read the above article, click on it.



One Response

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  1. Darren said, on September 4, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Good way of telling, and nice article to get data on the topic of my presentation subject matter, which i am going to deliver in school.

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