Jim Meehan

La razón y el fin de la pobreza

WASHINGTON, D.C. – El Banco Mundial se ha fijado dos nuevos objetivos: acabar con la pobreza extrema y crónica en el mundo de aquí a 2030 y fomentar la prosperidad compartida, definida mediante los avances del 40 por ciento más pobre de la población en todas las sociedades. Ahora que el Grupo de Trabajo Abierto sobre los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas ha hecho suyo el objetivo antipobreza, el debate sobre cómo lograrlo ha reavivado la vieja pregunta: ¿acabarán los beneficios del crecimiento económico revirtiendo en toda la población por sí solos o harán falta políticas redistributivas específicas?

Por un error en el razonamiento deductivo, muchas personas sostienen la opinión de que el crecimiento bastará; a diferencia de los ideólogos comprometidos, se puede lograr que abandonen su posición. Ésa es la razón por la que el segundo objetivo del Banco Mundial de fomentar la prosperidad compartida es importante por sí mismo y también como complemento esencial para la consecución del objetivo de acabar con la pobreza.

Como el Banco Mundial reconoce que a lo largo de los dos próximos decenios persistirá inevitablemente cierta pobreza “friccional”, su objetivo oficial es el de reducir el porcentaje de personas que viven por debajo del umbral de la pobreza, definido como un consumo diario de menos de 1,25 dólares (en  paridad de poder adquisitivo) por persona, a menos del tres por ciento.

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