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Sanjeev, with due respects, you seem to have read too little of my message
and paradoxically read too much into it!

I am in full support of the fact that the best way to alleviate poverty is
through growth, increase the size of the pie and only then there is a
that all of us can have more! The point I was trying to make was the perils
of unbridled growth, leading to huge income disparities.  Indonesia, being
good demonstration of what can happen because of disparity (of course they
did a lot of things wrong). 

I have extracted and presented below some points from the Human Development
Report (1997 and 1998) published by UNDP to give some statistics to support
this. These are facts and I believe the result of "thick" thinking!! The
full report can be read at 


BTW, I think there are two ways one can contribute to a debate, the first
and the most effective way is to give constructive ideas. Second is to
provide sanity checks when people get carried away with a particular idea.
Both have a role to play. From the tone of your mail it seems that you
rather not have the second type!



Human Development Report 1997

"The transition from socialism to democracy and market economies has proved
more difficult and costly than anyone imagined. The costs have been not
economic, from the dramatic decline in GDP. They have also been human, from
falling wages, growing crime and loss of social protection. In some
countries life expectancy has fallen by five years or more."

"Economic growth can be a powerful means of reducing poverty, but its
benefits are not automatic. Argentina grew 2% per capita a year in the
1950s, yet saw income poverty rise. Honduras grew 2% a year in 1986-89 and
saw income poverty double. New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United
States all experienced good average growth during 1975-95, yet the
proportion in poverty increased. That is why the policies for growth must

"This growth, if the right kind and if equitably distributed, would double
incomes in a generation or even sooner."

"Poverty eradication must be a core priority of national economic policy,
it was in many countries that have successfully reduced poverty, such as
Malaysia and Norway."

"Proceeding at breakneck speed but without map or compass, globalization
helped reduce poverty in some of the largest and strongest economies -
China, India and some of the Asian tigers. But it has also produced losers
among and within countries. As trade and foreign investment have expanded,
the developing world has seen a widening gap between winners and losers.
Meanwhile, many industrial countries have watched unemployment soar to
levels not recorded since the 1930s, and income inequality reach levels not
recorded since the last century."

"The bottom line for poverty and incomes: The share of the poorest 20% of
the world's people in global income now stands at a miserable 1.1%, down
from 1.4% in 1991 and 2.3% in 1960. It continues to shrink. And the ratio
the income of the top 20% to that of the poorest 20% rose from 30 to 1 in
1960, to 61 to 1 in 1991 - and to a startling new high of 78 to 1 in 1994."

Human Development Report 1998

"Inequalities in consumption are stark. Globally, the 20% of the world's
people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private
consumption expenditures-the poorest 20% a minuscule 1.3%. More
specifically, the richest fifth: 

* Consume 45% of all meat and fish, the poorest fifth 5%. 
* Consume 58% of total energy, the poorest fifth less than 4%. 
* Have 74% of all telephone lines, the poorest fifth 1.5%. 
* Consume 84% of all paper, the poorest fifth 1.1%. 
* Own 87% of the world's vehicle fleet, the poorest fifth less than 1%."

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