Comments about ‘In our opinion: The challenges of global poverty are being tackled through economic growth’

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Published: Wednesday, May 21 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

"The data also reveal a side to the debate over income inequality across the world that is not often raised — that while the wealthy are getting wealthier, the poor are enjoying increasing wealth as well."

Please don't suggest that because someone in say Haiti has slightly better access to fundamental resources (which still place him below 99% of Americans), we should simply turn a blind eye to the modern robber barons who threaten our nation's economic, social, and political foundations.

Salt Lake City, UT

Are things getting better or worse? You conclude that things are getting better because the percentage in "extreme poverty" has gone down.

However, I'm sorry to bring this up, but the top 1% globally own nearly half of all wealth, and this concentration is increasing. If Piketty is right we are approaching a choke point. From this perspective things aren't rosy at all.

Salt Lake City, UT

And we are approaching a choke point for two reasons. 1) As the rate of return to capital exceeds the global economic growth rate labor will be squeezed tighter and tighter as wealth concentration accelerates, and 2) desperately needed economic growth, attempting to keep up with the returns to capital, increases greenhouse gases forcing an environmental showdown to be seen by some now living.

Clearfield, UT

The real issue is about decent fairness and the glorified image that many Americans have from their nice homes and relatively wasteful living. While it can be argued that extreme poverty is not increasing percentage-wise, your argument only covers up how without strong informed democratic government, the poor nowadays will be kept alive to be used by the elite, rich society for their own lavish life styles.

Salt Lake City, UT

The majority reaction to this article is very telling.

Here we have an article that reveals some encouraging news about the actual decline in world poverty while also noting the simultaneous perceptual disconnection in that 2/3rds of people believe that poverty is actually getting getting worse!

As of this writing, all 4 of the other comments suggest they come from some of the 2/3rds as they all moan about how we ought not be encouraged by the decline and instead rant on in typical disparagement of the "1%" who still live too well.

In the face of this reality disconnection, I thought I'd add the observation that almost **all** of the improvement in the welfare of the world's poor is directly due to increased participation in world-wide free enterprise in countries all over the world but particularly in places like the disintegrated Soviet Union, still Communist China and Vietnam and a much less socialistic India.

Sadly, I suspect these facts will also not make much of an impression on the minds of the other commentators or the similarly oblivious 2/3rds.

Casa Grande, AZ

No, it's not getting better at all.

Currency manipulations are really just labor value manipulation. Gold, corn and raw materials cost the same across borders yet labor is 1/10 the value just across the Mexican border and much less elsewhere. Goods flow freely while people can't.

The EARTH was created as an inheritance for God's children that kept their first estate. I feel sorry for all those that deny those people what is rightfully theirs. The first shall be last and the last shall be first.

Springville, UT

Christ said that the poor will always be with us. That being said, we should endeavor to lift them up. Do we have the will to do this as a nation? I have my doubts. How many, especially on the right, argue for positions that imply hoarding? In fact, the Tea Party is based on greed and selfishness, not the common good. And let's look at a related issue, that of global climate change. Rising seawaters and melting ice packs will wipe out about 1/3 of Bangladesh, driving millions of refugees into neighboring countries from Bangladesh as well as the mountain regions of Nepal due to flooding. These refugees will live in dire circumstances and overwhelm India and other nations. This is but one example of the effects of our actions. The future promises some serious setback if we don't act now. Instead, we refuse to invest in alternate energy and make other changes, all in the name of greed and personal self interest. See, I don't think we have the will to change the world for the better, especially in the current political environment. And this paper feeds this environment with its editorial stance.

Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Samhill "As of this writing, all 4 of the other comments suggest they come from some of the 2/3rds as they all moan about how we ought not be encouraged by the decline and instead rant on in typical disparagement of the "1%" who still live too well."

I can't speak for the rest, but that is not my point at all. It's good that "extreme poverty" has decreased(?). But it is also true, unfortunately, that those of middle income are being forced downward out of the middle class. This process is documented in Piketty's "Capital in the 21st Century," and in "Capital" by Karl Marx.

With both Piketty and Marx (very different theoreticians BTW) the point is not that the 1% are demons. The dynamics of the system are driving the concentration of wealth, which is occurring apparently in spite of the decline in "extreme poverty." I say "apparently" because I'm not convinced it's true, and I have questions about how "extreme poverty" is different from plain old "poverty."

liberty or ...?
Ogden, UT

Esquire the tea party is based on greed and selfishness? where is any evidence of that? Most Tea partiers are from middle to low middle class communities and by stats conservatives give more to charity by over 50-100 times more than their liberal counter parts. By the way they are out spent in elections by your establishment candidates on both sides as much as 70-1 odds because they are genuine grassroots and don't have special interests or your so called % Koch or Soros buddies. And your hoarding accusation is a mischaracterizations of self sustainment and preparednes. I put away money and have food storage for hard times so that I don't have to take wellfare or be dependant on the government and by proxy my neighbors rather than suckoff them to support standards of living they can't afford. you justify the right to legally rob your neighbors because of their success and you refuse to be accountable to your self. help when given is charity. when compelled it is theft. And your quip pro quo common good talking point is hollow because you advocate forced theft without accountability and freedom without consequence.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Unless we can solve the problem of poverty locally... we can't solve it Nationally... OR Globally...

The problem gets exponentially difficult as you expand from an individual, to a family, to a community, to a State, to a Nation, to Global solutions.

We can fix it at some levels. But others would require a better and more perfect leader, and a different life philosophy than even Ghandi could imagine.

Not many people are ready for that (yet).

Sandy, UT

All things being relative. My parents first house cost 20k in 1975 and my dad started at his company with no college education at 40k a year and my mom did not work. That same house sold for 200k recently but my dad's salary at the same company is 70k.

So his first house rose in value by 1000 percent over 39 years but his salary has only rose in value by 180 percent. It seems to me we are going backwards.

Pasedena, CA

Here is something that I am sure the liberals are going to hate. According to various global outreach studies, the best way to pull the poor nations out of poverty is CAPITALISM. The micro-loans have allowed poor people around the world to start their own business, repay their loans, and pull themselves out of poverty. The cool thing about these loans is that even a middleclass person in the US can afford to invest in the micro-loans.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT


That micro-loan concept would really irritate the left. Mainly because YOU (and others) may profit from someone else becoming profitable.

I see no problem with that... (BOTH profiting from the loan). They hate that (the person with the money, who made the loan, profiting also).

They would rather just tear everybody who's profitable/wealthy down to their size, even if it means NOBODY prospers. Makes em feel better...


I think it's one of the better ideas I've heard for solving this problem.

Sure beats... just take it from the rich people (who don't need it) and give it to the poor people (who need it)... Hit em... and hit em HARD...

Making it a loan means there's some accountability attached, and encouragement to get out of your current situation, take the money... find success... pay it off... and you are out of the poverty cycle, and never have to borrow again. And they can pass that successful business on to their kids (for generations).

Just sending them a monthly welfare check... just insures they are comfortable in their poverty and would be more likely to stay there (for generation after generation)...

seattle, WA

We can all take part to help reduce poverty by reminding congress to support passing the relevant bills

Pleasant Grove, UT

2 bits is right. In our search for national and global solutions, let's not forget to help the family next door. Anything we can do to help our neighbor to find work, improve job skills, get more education, or maintain a stable home environment will go a long way toward alleviating poverty. The problem is best solved at a personal level. I like the LDS practice of fasting once a month, and giving to the poor, which helps to foster empathy in the giver, while providing aid to the receiver.

Donating to such causes as the Perpetual Education Fund is another great way to help, because it strikes at one of the roots of poverty.

Only let our efforts be made willingly, without coercion. To give up political freedoms in the pursuit of equality would be short-sighted and foolish.

Sandy, UT

There will always be poor people in capitalist society. This needs to be recognized and this is why we have a safety net in this country.

The problem is not capitalism necessarily but political power can buy influence that can rig a supposedly fair game in to a rigged one.

clearfield, UT


Good grief, the T-Party is about greed and selfishness. Can you be more pejorative? If conservatives and Republicans are so greedy, then where do you put the Democrats and liberals? Statistics show that the conservatives, especially religious, give much more in charity than do liberals. Check out the wonderful Biden for instance. Sorry, but if the T Party types are as bad as you say, then your side is much worse.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I'll give you an example marxist between poverty and extreme poverty.

In poverty in America, you still might have a cell phone, a place with good water to drink, sewage and of course probably television with cable.

In extreme poverty like in Bangladesh, you might live in what I believe is called a Char or basically a sandbar in one of the ever expanding "rivers" in Bangladesh. There you have no access to clean water, good sewage let alone a cell phone or television (with or without a cable tv package). Being poor in the United States and Europe is much different than being poor in the developing world so it makes sense that millions of immigrants are coming to these places.

However, I agree there is angst in the world and the uber wealthy better wake up or that marxist revolution is going to come. But it won't likely come from the impoverished but from the middle class as they head toward poverty. These people are going to be ticked off...

Sweet Ginger
Salt Lake City, UT

Thank you, Deseret News for a great editorial! Yes, even while income inequality is widening we have seen great decrease in extreme poverty world-wide. Experts such as Dr. Kim Jim—the current World Bank president estimate we can end extreme poverty by 2030. Economic growth, especially in China has been a major player in decreasing poverty. Also of great benefit has been microcredit programs, the Global Fund (which saves 100,000 lives each month by treating HIV, TB and malaria—diseases of poverty), and the Global Partnership for Education.

We can end poverty. A great organization, and active here locally is RESULTS (www.results.org) which creates the political will to end poverty. Our foreign aid does help, and we can be a part of making it even more effective!

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