Chapter 1: A Global Family Portrait
Sachs outlines elements of life in four countries – Malawi, Bangladesh, India and China which broadly correspond to four ‘stages’ of development –
• Malawi – caught in ‘the perfect storm’ is portrayed as a Malaria and AIDS infested rural backwater, largely cut off from international trade – represents the four billion people trapped in extreme poverty – living on less than $1 a day • Bangladesh – ‘on the ladder of development is ‘ integrated into the international economy but at the bottom end of it, and characterized by ‘sweatshop’ labour but also increasing amounts of micro-financed businesses which offer hope for more independent economic development – represents the poor – or the 1.5 billion people living on between $1-$2/ day • India – at the centre of an export services revolution – is provided as an example of a country that is increasingly populated with people on ‘middle incomes’ – with increasing numbers of city dwellers working for Transnational Companies and related home-grown business earning $250 -$400 a month – although India is a country of extremes – with many in rural areas living on $1-2 a day • China – is characterized by rising affluence – again like India there are millions who live in poverty, but parts of China are increasingly coming to resemble the West. Sachs in fact tells of how he first saw cell phones with cameras in Beijing, not America. Who are the poor?
Poverty is not uniformly distributed across the globe – i.e. there are rich and poor people in every country, although most of the poor live in three regions – South and East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Where extreme poverty was concerned Sach’s notes that the figures were as follows – (NB these are 2001 figures!) – (Updates to follow)
• South Asia – 400 million (30% of the population)
• East Asia – 250 million (15% of the population)
• Sub Sharan Africa – 300 million (40% of the population ) Sachs...
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