“The statistics are horrifying. Out of a total of 6,373 million human beings (in 2004), about 1,000 million have no adequate shelter; 831 million are undernourished; 1,197 million have no access to safe water; 2,742 million lack access to basic sanitation; 2,000 million are without electricity; 2,000 million lack access to essential drugs; and 799 million adults are illiterate. About 170 million children between 5 and 14-years-old are involved in hazardous work (for example, in agriculture, construction, textile or carpet production); 8.4 million of them in the “unconditionally worst” forms of child labour, “defined as slavery, trafficking, debt bondage and other forms of forced labour, forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, prostitution and pornography, and illicit activities”. People of colour and females bear a disproportionate share of these deprivations.
Roughly one third of all human deaths – about 50,000 daily – are due to poverty-related causes (pdf file 60KB), easily preventable through better nutrition, safe drinking water, mosquito nets, re-hydration packs, vaccines and other medicines. This amounts to 300 million deaths in just the 16 years since the end of the Cold War – more than the 200 million deaths caused by all the wars, civil wars, and government repression of the entire 20th century.
Never has poverty been so easily avoidable. The collective annual expenditure of the 2,735 million people living below the World Bank’s “$2 a day” poverty line is about $400 billion. Their collective shortfall from that poverty line is roughly $300 billion per year. This is 1.1 per cent of the gross national incomes of the high-income countries, which totals $27,732 billion.
These countries contain 15.5 per cent of the world’s population with over 80 per cent of the global product. The global poor are 43 per cent of the world’s population with 1.2 per cent of the global product. At market exchange rates, the per capita income of the former is nearly 200 times greater than that of the latter.” (s. auch detaillierter Pogge hier).
Dagegen seitens des neokonservativ – libertären Cato-Instituts Schmidtz und eine Kritik von Chris Bertram im Crooked Timber – Blog. Andrew Hacker hat übrigens just in der NYRB über “The Rich and Everyone Else” geschrieben – Class Matters.