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View Diary: Meet President Obama's pick for World Bank: Dr. Jim Yong Kim (111 comments)

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  •  I hope this is a major shift in World Bank (3+ / 0-)

    policies and focus. Just yesterday there was coverage of a significant critique of the World Bank's unfounded claim that it had helped reduce world poverty by one half: Why the World Bank has no real intentions of reducing poverty

    The World Bank congratulates itself for slashing poverty, while global hunger soars. "It's a massive crime against humanity. By Joel Elliott

    It’s time for the World Bank to stop pretending significant progress is being made in reducing extreme global poverty. The self-congratulatory report it issued recently claimed it had achieved its stated goal of cutting global poverty in half. This was extremely misleading at best.

    This goal (the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals) was originally announced as being to cut in half the total number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015. When it became obvious that the economic policies of the Bretton Woods Institutions of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and also the World Trade Organization would never allow for that to happen — because they were not intended to reduce global poverty, as will be explained — the UN General Assembly redefined the goal as being to cut in half the proportion of the global population of those living in extreme poverty. This redefinition enabled the World Bank to put forth the illusion of progress when none was actually occurring.

    Thomas Pogge, Director of the Global Justice Program and a professor of philosophy at Yale University, is deeply skeptical both of the World Bank’s findings and its methodologies. In his 2010 book, Politics as Usual, Pogge argues that, besides the troubling redefinition of MDG1, the World Bank’s methods of calculating consumer price indices (CPI) and purchasing power parity (PPP) fail to count many people who actually are experiencing extreme poverty, which is defined as living on less than $1.25 a day.

    “It’s a massive crime against humanity,” he said in an interview. “How can this be? How can people be less and less poor, and more and more people are hungry?”

    The number of chronically undernourished as tracked by the United Nations increased from about 800 million in 1992 to 925 million in 2010, according to this UN report, and increasing food prices are likely to have pushed it much higher since.

    Between 1990 and 2008, the number of people living in extreme poverty shrank only incrementally, from 1.2 billion to 1.1 billion, when you exclude China. And you should exclude China, because its radical poverty reduction has been achieved via methods that are completely at odds with World Bank and World Trade Organization policies.

    David Dayen has his assessment of Kim, here.

    I was hoping that Kim would somehow be in the same mold as South Korean economist Ha-Joon Chang, who has been crusading against the neo-liberal lie that industrialized countries used free trade and open market policies to achieve economic development. But Dayen notes that at least one wrong-wing bloviator likes Kim, so that may be a warning sign.

    A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

    by NBBooks on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:57:50 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Terrific expose. China is going to have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larsstephens

      major health problems due to their environmental degradation, safe water and major air pollution among others.

      The wrong winger is Fred Hiatt who started his comments with this:

      Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President Obama’s pick to head the World Bank for the next five years, is an old friend, so don’t look for any objective journalism here.
      And later adds this:
      Further bias alert: My father, Dr. Howard Hiatt, has been another key player in Partners’ success.
      It is actually a very good support for Kim.  Bipartisan support is not a bad thing.

      "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

      by Ginny in CO on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:17:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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