What Comes After the Greatest Anti-Poverty Campaign in History?

Extracts from an article written by Moisés Naím, on The Atlantic:

“[…] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named a panel of “eminent persons” to assess the Millennium Declaration, consult broadly, and outline a post-2015 agenda. Their report sets forth a roadmap for the effort going forward. I asked Homi Kharas, a respected development expert who coordinated the work of this group for over a year, what surprised him most during the endeavor. “How much the interdependence between poor and rich countries has intensified. It has always existed, but it is now deeper and more important than ever,” he replied.

We already knew that some policies of rich countries—trade barriers or weapons exports, for example—hurt poor ones. And we also knew that there are many problems—global warming and illegal migration flows, for instance—that rich and poor countries must face together. According to Kharas, the list of problems in these categories has grown larger and more complex.

But the real revelation is that there is a new and important category: problems where rich countries can learn from the experience of poorer ones. Indeed, some issues, once typical of less developed countries, are now also plaguing the most advanced ones. Economic inequality is perhaps the most notable example. Living with high levels of inequality has been the norm in many poor countries, but now it is increasingly widespread in the U.S. and Europe. In the United States, the gap between the richest 1 percent and the rest of the population is now the widest it’s been since the 1920s, and Europe is also seeing its income distribution worsen. We’re seeing these trends in unemployment as well. The high rates of unemployment suffered by the hardest-hit European countries mirror those found in lower-income countries, where chronic unemployment is common. Youth unemployment is now particularly acute in both rich and poor countries.”

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