Monday, April 6, 2009

Sally Struthers Never Mentioned This

I just came across a clarification of just how poor the world's poor people are.

The World Bank defines extreme poverty as not having enough income to meet the most basic human needs for adequate food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, health care, or education. One widely quoted statistic is that a billion people are living on less than one U.S. dollar per day. That was the World Bank’s poverty line until 2008, when better data led to a new poverty line of $1.25 per day. As a result, the number of people whose income puts them under the new poverty line is 1.4 billion.

On hearing the “$1.25 a day” figure, the thought may cross your mind that in many developing countries it is possible to live much more cheaply than in industrialized nations. But the World Bank has already made that adjustment in purchasing power, so those it classifies as living in extreme poverty are existing on a daily total consumption of goods and services — whether earned or homegrown — comparable to the amount of goods and services that can be bought in the United States for $1.25.

Emphasis mine. I'm not one of those "feed the children" types by any means. I think that aid, especially in Africa has done as much harm as good. As a matter of fact I am friendly with an Ethiopian guy that will say as much to anyone that will listen.

But I know I always said to myself "yeah, but $1.25 will get you pretty far in Africaland". I had no idea this was an adjusted number.

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