“We seek to confirm, not to question, our ideas” “African poverty and stagnation is the greatest tragedy of our time.” Blair Commission for Africa, 2005 Don't Believe Everything You Think The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking Thomas Kida, 2006
“They use statistics as drunken men use lamp posts – for support rather than for illumination.” “The world has met some important targets–ahead of the deadline.” UN, 2012 Andrew Lang Scottish poet
MDG 8: Global Partnership 1. Debt relief 2. ODA 3. Trade policy & patent laws Passing grade Retake exam
Progress has continued L But it is slowing down L Much of it bypasses the poor; inequalities Storyline since 1990 Is it inequality, stupid?
Inequality in OECD countries Gini coefficients for late 1980s to late 2000s Up: 17 countries Same: 3 countries Down: 2 countries
High inequalities have a price – slower growth, more instability, less efficiency. They hurt everyone, also those at top. The way the economic pie is cut has a bearing on its size. What matters is not only how affluent a country is but also how equal it is. There is such thing as ‘too much inequality’.
Adam Smith/Karl Marx What did philosophers say about inequality?
Does the free market corrode moral character? 1.Categorical ‘No’ Rick Santorum – No. Qinglian He – No. Jadish Bagwati – To the contrary. Ayaan Hirsi Ali – Not at all. 2.Nuanced ‘No’ Tyler Cowen – No, on balance. Michael Novak – No! And, well, yes. Garry Kasparov – Yes, but… Bernard-Henri Levy – Certainly. Or does it?
3.‘It depends’ John Gray – It depends. John Bogle – It all depends. 4.‘Yes’ Kay Hymowitz – Yes, too often. Michael Walzer – Of course it does. Robert Reich – We’d better not know.
“ To feel for others and little for ourselves, to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature. ” Adam Smith
Adam Smith/Karl Marx John Rawls/Ayn Rand What did philosophers say about inequality?
MDG s = M inding D evelopment G aps
¾ see the MDGs as a ‘good thing’ nearly 90% want a similar agenda post-2015 CAFOD survey, 104 people from civil society organisations in 26 countries
UNECA survey, 112 representatives from government, civil society and academia in 32 African countries. “Overwhelming majority agrees: MDGs are important priorities for our countries They should feature in the post-2015 agenda.”
Why had the MDGs such staying power? 1.Clear 2.Concise 3.Measurable