10 votes

5 Myths About Global Poverty

12 comments

  1. [3]
    Nmg
    (edited )
    Link
    If you want to say East Asia does not count and remove a country from your calculations, why not remove Nigeria and the DRC and boost Africa? Furthermore, while China might not be as free market...

    If you want to say East Asia does not count and remove a country from your calculations, why not remove Nigeria and the DRC and boost Africa?

    Furthermore, while China might not be as free market as some other countries, they are certainly further along in that direction than they were in the early 80s. Why isn't that part of their analysis?

    I feel like the author is playing games that confirm their biases. Pinker never claimed that progress is monotonic, on the contrary. Anyone who thinks it hasn't happened over the long term can't imagine what people went through only a few generations ago.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      Dogyote
      Link Parent
      They were referring only to the more recent neoliberalism when mentioning China. What'd Pinker say?

      Furthermore, while China might not be as free market as some other countries, they are certainly further along in that direction than they were in the early 80s. Why isn't that part of their analysis?

      They were referring only to the more recent neoliberalism when mentioning China.

      I feel like the author is playing games that confirm their biases. Pinker never claimed that progress is monotonic, on the contrary.

      What'd Pinker say?

      1 vote
      1. Nmg
        Link Parent
        Source: https://quillette.com/2019/01/14/enlightenment-wars-some-reflections-on-enlightenment-now-one-year-later/

        At the same time, progress does not mean that everything gets better for everyone everywhere all the time. That would not be progress. That would be a miracle. Progress is not a miracle; it’s the result of solving problems. Problems are inevitable, and solutions create new problems that must be solved in their turn. For this reason, some aspects of life can improve while others stand still or go backwards. Progress would still be a reality if most of humanity is better off than they were before—if, as Obama put it, the answer to the question “When would you choose to live if you didn’t know who you would be?” is “Now.” The wrong way to determine whether progress has occurred is to compile a list of everything that is currently going wrong anywhere in the world—the gimmick that columnists periodically rediscover as a way to scare the bejesus out of their readers and assume the mantle of a prophet.

        Source: https://quillette.com/2019/01/14/enlightenment-wars-some-reflections-on-enlightenment-now-one-year-later/

        4 votes
  2. Dogyote
    Link
    I've read Harari's last three books. I never got the impression that he liked capitalism or defended it. In one of the books I remember him comparing the data processing abilities of 1945-86...

    Silicon Valley futurist guru Yuval Noah Harari dreams about it [capitalism lifting humanity out of squalor] during his meditation retreats

    I've read Harari's last three books. I never got the impression that he liked capitalism or defended it. In one of the books I remember him comparing the data processing abilities of 1945-86 capitalism to the soviet system, but he didn't say one system was absolutely better than the other. What'd I miss?

    5 votes
  3. [6]
    Litmus2336
    Link
    I'm very critical of some assertions in this piece This is very dubious, bordering on basically completely false. But to dispute it would take books upon books. Ultimately, I think the key point...

    I'm very critical of some assertions in this piece

    the East Asian countries that have made the most progress against poverty (namely, China, Korea, and Japan) have explicitly rejected the sort of laissez-faire, free market orthodoxy often heralded as the secret ingredient to economic development.

    This is very dubious, bordering on basically completely false. But to dispute it would take books upon books. Ultimately, I think the key point is the author conflates "capitalism", which Japan, China, and Korea very clearly were, with "free market orthodoxy", which they weren't exactly. Those three countries got rich largely because of private enterprise, supported by government anointed monopolies, trade liberalization, and general mixed economy policies that are very much capitalistic even if not always "free market orthodox".

    So, his assertion is that capitalism didn't lead to growth, but despite not being "free market orthodox" all these countries are very clearly capitalistic.

    Also, lmao at him stating that "consultants" aren't a real job. Turns out paying someone temporarily to provide advising makes you an enemy of the revolution I suppose.

    4 votes
    1. [5]
      Dogyote
      Link Parent
      Here's the rest of the paragraph you quoted: It really looks like you just paraphrased the rest of the quoted paragraph to set up a straw man.

      Here's the rest of the paragraph you quoted:

      These countries took advantage of extremely high tariffs, protected infant industries through import substitution, pirated Western inventions, invested in massive state-owned enterprises, and allowed for high-levels of inflation—all of which directly contradict the “neoliberal” (or as Chang calls it, “neo-idiotic”) development model characterized by free trade, privatization, strict parents, deregulation, and public austerity.[7] Meanwhile, the countries in Latin America and Africa who more closely followed the neoliberal development path failed to develop at nearly the same levels.

      It really looks like you just paraphrased the rest of the quoted paragraph to set up a straw man.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        Litmus2336
        Link Parent
        I would assert that The author is incorrect, Japan, China, and SK took part in wide scale free trade, tariff reduction, privatization and deregulation which would be considered 'neoliberal' Even...

        I would assert that

        1. The author is incorrect, Japan, China, and SK took part in wide scale free trade, tariff reduction, privatization and deregulation which would be considered 'neoliberal'

        2. Even if we assume the premise that these countries were not 'neoliberal', they still very much were capitalistic.

        China, SK and Japan were not slinging Milton Friedman and waving the black and gold, but I disagree with the assertion that they were not neoliberal or capitalistic.

        1 vote
        1. [3]
          Dogyote
          Link Parent
          I dunno about your first point. Yeah those things are associated with neoliberalism, but I wouldn't call a country like China neoliberal. Would you? It's like the countries are neoliberal on the...

          I dunno about your first point. Yeah those things are associated with neoliberalism, but I wouldn't call a country like China neoliberal. Would you? It's like the countries are neoliberal on the international stage, but less so internally? I dunno, this seems like a silly argument on my part but I can't agree that the countries are neoliberal in the same sense that the US is.

          Yes, they are very much capitalistic, even China in a lot of ways, but the author was limiting their discussion to neoliberalism, and like I said, I can't agree that they're neoliberal, especially China.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Litmus2336
            Link Parent
            I find it odd how the author, in section 2, focused so much on "neoliberalism" while exalting supposedly anti-neoliberal countries, yet the focus of the article at large definitely seemed to be...

            I find it odd how the author, in section 2, focused so much on "neoliberalism" while exalting supposedly anti-neoliberal countries, yet the focus of the article at large definitely seemed to be anti-capitalism.

            1 vote
            1. tempestoftruth
              Link Parent
              Where did you see the article exalting anti-neoliberal countries? It outlines their policies as opposed to those of free-market laissez-faire capitalist nations, but it doesn't appear to make any...

              Where did you see the article exalting anti-neoliberal countries? It outlines their policies as opposed to those of free-market laissez-faire capitalist nations, but it doesn't appear to make any kind of normative statement about them. The article seems to be arguing that the type of capitalism that the West is trying to sell globally doesn't actually lead to development in other nations (since all the wealth is going back to the West), it's only these alternative forms of capitalism that East Asian nations are implementing that prioritize their interests above all else that is working for them, which makes a lot of sense, I think. The article is written from an anti-capitalist perspective but appears to be criticizing the neoliberal order in particular, as dictated by Western powers. The article doesn't really say this explicitly, but the DWEIB kind of reasoning that it focuses on throughout the article is surely a Western issue and in particular one prevalent in the United States.

  4. Dogyote
    Link
    I've also been skeptical of the claim that capitalism lifted the world out of poverty. It seems like a correlation/causation problem to me. Did capitalism cause a reduction in poverty, or was it...

    I've also been skeptical of the claim that capitalism lifted the world out of poverty. It seems like a correlation/causation problem to me. Did capitalism cause a reduction in poverty, or was it just widely implemented at a time when some other combination of factors lifted a lot of people out of poverty? Imagine if we had a parallel universe we could see, and in this universe the majority of the world was following socialist/communist ideas, would we still see the same reduction in poverty? I think you would, why wouldn't it happen?

    Also, and the author discussed this, what is poverty? Are those people living on <$2 a day really impoverished? Do they have other means of meeting their needs that don't neatly translate into a dollar amount? A subsistence farmer, for example.

    2 votes
  5. stromm
    Link
    I'd like to point out that "poverty" is a fluid concept due to how it's measured. Giving everyone a million US, won't cure poverty. It'll just move the threshold up.

    I'd like to point out that "poverty" is a fluid concept due to how it's measured.
    Giving everyone a million US, won't cure poverty. It'll just move the threshold up.

    1 vote