Global Poverty & Global Politics
The New Testament tells us that the poor will always be with us. And, early in the 21st Century, the statistics remain grim: Over 1 billion people live in desperate poverty – on less than 1 dollar per day. Between 50 and 60 countries are actually poorer than they were in the 1970s. Hundreds of millions have no access to clean water and experience hunger and malnutrition. Must we accept that grinding poverty will always be with us? Often lost in the bad news about poverty, inequality and globalization is the fact that hundreds of millions of humans have moved out of poverty in the years since most current UNH students and professors were born – through a combination of economic growth and good government. A key challenge for 21st century citizens and policy makers alike is that, in general, the people who are escaping the worst kinds of poverty around the world live in different countries than the "bottom billion" who live in countries without good government, economic opportunity, or much help from the international community. Too many, in other words, live without much hope. In recent years, many policymakers and scholars supportive of globalization – but opposed to many things done in the name of globalization – have begun to draw lessons from policymaking, statistical analysis and the lives of everyday citizens about what can be done to meet the challenge of global poverty. This proposed discovery dialogue essay will attempt to outline some of their conclusions, and explain how they arrived at these lessons. They reject the notion that the desperately poor will always be with us, instead arguing that "another world is possible" . This program was developed as a part of the University Dialog Program.