Jose Bove Against the Poor

Support for increased foreign aid, debt relief and debt forgiveness comes from all sides. From rock stars, to "anti-globalists," to religious organizations, to various advocates for developing countries, to the UN, the calls are becoming deafening.

The "story" promoted by the pro-aid movement is simple and appealing. Global differences in income per capita are too extreme; globalization is increasing income inequality; the poor are becoming progressively poorer and many starve in order to pay their debt. So more aid is needed, and more debt forgiveness, because the world's rich become rich only at the expense of the world's poor. Aid and debt forgiveness will lift poor countries out of poverty

This story is almost completely wrong. The only part that is true is that differences in per capita income are extreme. All the rest is false. Globalization is not responsible for third world poverty. Corrupt and inefficient governments of developing countries are.

There is not one shred of evidence showing that more openness to trade increases poverty, but anti-globalists do not let facts interfere with their ideology. More trade makes both sides of a transaction wealthier. Even if globalization did increase inequality - a big if - since nobody has shown it convincingly, it still reduces poverty. That is, it increases the income of both the poor and the rich who trade - more so the rich, of course, yet the poor gain too. The anti-global alternative is to make both sides poorer. Inequality may be lower, perhaps, but poverty higher. What's appealing about that?