Despite all the advancement that we have seen in recent decades, despite all the plans to reduce global inequalities (Millennium development goals as main ones), despite the fact that the world’s richest 2% on course to gather even more wealth, it is really a shame that in 2016 we have to talk about poverty and inequality; more than 1.4 billion people live in poverty and this is a number that is well and truly expected to rise (global issues. 2013. Poverty Facts and Stats). So, if we are to discuss major issues facing the global economy then this is a topic that we cannot afford to ignore.
The level of inequality in today’s world can be seen in the latest report produced by Oxfam which claims that the richest people on this earth are expected to get even richer, this comes under no surprises as capitalism has and will keep being at its peak point. The extent of poverty and inequality in the richest capitalist economy such as the United States could be argued as further evidence that there is something wrong with today’s global economy as the wealth of this world is not being shared equally, this is not to say capitalism is good or bad but when one looks at how the world is shaped up they cannot help but be disgusted that is if they still have some human values about them.
In Africa, the number of poor people has doubled over recent decades which we have seen globalization rising but is that really a coincidence or could globalization be just a new form of colonialism? Despite rapid advancements in standards of living for a large proportion of the world population in recent decades, Africa remains behind when it comes to development, education and quality of life; many African countries are below the absolute poverty meaning that people actually live on less than £75p according to World Bank, meanwhile the rest of the world has had their shares of poverty improving in the last decades. Despite an increase in the economy of some countries in Africa and in the Global south in general the number of poor people has been increasing and this could be due to many reasons; unequal distribution within societies is an easy reason to relate however, the problems in many of those countries go back to post-colonial years. The impact of external debt has become so great that any government with debt will not be able act well as they have to repay; Damien Millet in his “who owes who.p.15” explains how by being in debt, international agencies like the IMF, World Bank have the ability to control governments.
Time and time we are seeing international organization such as the IMF and the World Bank coming out with solutions to reduce extreme poverty and global imbalance, but one could argue that they have not achieved much, for instance since the introduction of the Millennium development goals the number of poor people in the Global South has been increasing. Similarly, back in 2005 managing director of the IMF Rodrigo de Ratoy Figaredo has published a report explaining how they are going about in order to reduce global imbalances; when addressing this issue he says “Their resolution requires a collaborative international effort to address the underlying causes”, (Institute for International Economics.) 2016but it could be argued that in order to discuss these issue the causes can only be understood by the people of the land so that means less involvement by foreign governments and the so called “international organizations”. ; Lastly, it is very important that the people in the Global south take charge of their future plans in each department including social, economic and political, they have a nearly perfect example of China when it comes to being in charge of your own matters.
1. global issues. 2013. Poverty Facts and Stats. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats. [Accessed 04 December 15].
2. World Development Indicators 2007 (World Bank, April 2007)
3. The World Bank. 2015. While Poverty in Africa Has Declined, Number of Poor Has Increased. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/publication/poverty-rising-africa-poverty-report. [Accessed 01 February 16].
4. Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.imf.org/external/np/speeches/2007/040907.htm. [Accessed 17 February 2016].