May 1st, 2013
09:34 AM ET

Global poverty is falling, so what's the problem?

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By Global Public Square staff

Watching countries from around the world grow and prosper, we tend to assume that global poverty is falling. And in fact, the World Bank says that in 1981 nearly half of the world's citizens were impoverished, that is, they lived on less than $1.25 a day. And today, less than a fifth of the world's population lives in poverty. In raw numbers, that translates to a 40 percent drop from about 2 billion to 1.2 billion people.

But when we dig deeper, it’s clear the picture is more murky. Put simply, most of the reduction in global poverty has to do with one country – China. Take it out of the equation and the numbers look very different.

Let's go back to 1981. Back then, China accounted for 43 percent of the world's poor. The other major contributors were South Asia, with 29 percent, and sub-Saharan Africa, with 11 percent. Fast forward just a decade, and you'll see that China's share of the world's poor began to drop. The trend continues through the 2000s. By 2010, China accounted for only 13 percent of the world's impoverished population. South Asia's share had jumped to 42 percent, while sub-Saharan Africa's share tripled, to 34 percent.

The World Bank data shows that the total number of impoverished Chinese declined by nearly 680 million people in the last three decades. That's about 95 percent of the total global decline. By registering double digit growth for three decades, Beijing has transformed the fortunes of a poor nation within a generation. That's amazing, but it tells you that in the rest of the world, progress has been much, much slower – if there's been progress at all.

There's a lesson here for other developing countries.

Take India, for example. New Delhi has also made strides against poverty. The problem is, those strides have only been a few steps ahead of population growth. Look at the numbers. In 1981, 429 million Indians lived in poverty – about 60 percent of the population. By 2010, the percentage of impoverished people had dropped to 33 percent. And yet the total number of Indians living in poverty was still around 400 million. Why? You see, India's population had expanded by about half a billion. For all the millions who were lifted out of poverty, millions of others were born into it.

More from GPS: Why Africa still needs aid

What's the answer? Growth. In the 1960s and 70s India was infamously stuck in a rut of slow growth, a mediocre 2 percent a year often. Then, in the 1980s, it began opening up, and in the 1990s New Delhi scrapped much of the old socialist set of controls. By the mid-2000s, India was growing at around 9 percent. That growth helped create India's middle class, and dramatically reduced the number of people living in poverty. But according to the pro-free-market Cato Institute, if those reforms had taken place two decades earlier, India would today have fewer impoverished people: 175 million fewer. That's why India's recent drop in economic growth is alarming – those most affected will be the poor.

Africa is also changing, but for its poorest, change is still too slow. Since 1981, poverty rates have been dropping steadily in both the developing world, and the world as a whole. But in sub-Saharan Africa poverty rates actually got slightly worse in the 1980s and 90s. It has only recently begun to turn the corner, again, thanks in large part to faster economic growth.

Global poverty is falling. But China deserves most of the credit. And thanks to the Communist Party of China, we now know that the path to poverty alleviation is…capitalist-led growth.


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Topics: China • Economy • India • What in the World?

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soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. 100 % ETHIO


    What causes poverty?

    1) War.....
    2) Recession.....
    3) Natural disaster.....
    4) High cost of living....

    So, did not all the above happened after the year 1981 and until recently?

    Give it a hand clamp.

    May 1, 2013 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • JASC92

      more precisely, the lack of proper education prevents richness and prosperity.

      poverty is not caused, prosperity is not achieved.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Reply
      • ed dugan

        I don't think it's education. Every African nation other than South Africa has proven incapable of governing itself. They got their independence a century before they were ready. And the supply of real leaders is almost nonexistent. Other than Mandela they all have proven to be a bunch of ignorant crooks.

        May 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • JohnKon

        Those growth in population in india is due large number of muslim kids. They don't follow any family planning but what a fatwa from Imam.

        May 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Devon

        The lack of natural resources is what causes poverty.

        May 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
      • frank

        @ed dugan, who made you lord overseer of Africa to decided when the African states deserve to be free of colonialism? From your statement, I can tell you are clearly ignorant of the African affairs. If you can write that South Africa of all countries in Africa is the only one proven capable of running their country, you most certainly are ####. Have you seen Ghana, Egypt, Libya or Tunisia?

        May 4, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
      • David Witcraft

        Why isn't the education solution working in the US? We've had record proportions of high school graduates pursuing further education over the last 25 years, but the poverty rate is rising, sharply! We have a shrinking middle class, for the first time in almost a century!

        May 6, 2013 at 12:24 am |
      • peridot2

        Overpopulation destroys everything.

        May 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
    • Rick

      Wrong. Wars is what uplifts a nation from poverty and irrelevance. The US became a Super Power because of WWII. Germany rose from the ashes by gearing up for WWII. Britian became a super power after it defeated Spain. History is fully of occurences whereby a nation rose high because of war.

      May 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • almost, but no

        The wars you mentioned are not what elevated those countries to power, they simply gave them a venue to exercise their already gained power. exploitation is how each rose to power.

        May 2, 2013 at 10:13 am |
      • max3333444555

        west Germany rose. east Germany was dismal until the wall came down

        May 2, 2013 at 11:00 am |
      • Rob

        Lmfao your post is ridiculous

        The US economy boomed after ww2 due to Bretton woods, the rest of the world being bombed into the stone age, and less command control of the economy. Living standards were terrible during the war; war destroyed the economy worse than the great depression did.

        Germany's recovery from hyperinflation had to do with monetary policy. Again, war destroyed their economy and living standards during ww2.

        Britain FELL from being a superpower due to overspending on their military to maintain their empire, leading to debasing their currency. Just like Rome.

        Wars wreck economies due to command control systems (communism).

        May 2, 2013 at 11:39 am |
      • She

        Nice cherry picking, Rich. What about the growth of coutries in Latin America for example, in where war has not been seen in many, may decades?

        May 3, 2013 at 10:31 am |
      • Dave

        All of the wasted money and resources that went into WWI could have *EASILY* paid for every human need on the planet.

        Yeah, WWII helped the US economy because we were the only nation that wasn't blown to pieces.

        But to WANT for that world, where money is made by the destruction of society – while opposing a better use of our resources to help ALL people – is the major damning force behind America's decline.

        Willful ignorance. Willful disdain for one's fellow American. Willful desire to set state-upon state, for countries to murder millions


        What a freaking joke, Rick.

        May 3, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • max3333444555

      it was clearly MFN status that lifted china out of poverty as it exported its way to wealth.

      now it is time to have a review of why we still maintain MFN status for china when parity would make more sense.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • Kevin Q

      Yes those things cause poverty. Also, finite resources being hoarded by the wealthy and powerful.

      May 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  2. karthick

    Good article but there should be mistakes in your report take an example that I'm living in India we use rupees India you can live well with 100 rupees a day that is equivalent to 2 us dollars still we can buy many materials because we deal with in rupees .
    hence my point is you are wrong that you measure poverty in us dollars but you should not as Indian standard of living is very well even with 1 dollar so try to calculate the people's standard of living for measuring poverty and not US dollars a standard because your report could be entirely wrong.

    May 1, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • almost, but no

      they take exchange rates into account. it is written with respect to $US because of the audience.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:17 am | Reply
    • Epacific

      Your point is well taken but, obviously, Mr. Fareed Zakaria is well aware that India uses the Indian Rupee (vs. the Nepali Rupee, Indonesian Rupiah, etc.). But, regardless of what unit of currency you use to measure the economy, India's misguided economic policies in the 60's, 70's, and 80's is what led to the dismal "Hindu Growth Rate" of 2% or so and stunted India's overall growth. Moreover, there are millions of people (roughly 400 million per this article) who live in poverty in India, i.e. less that $1.50 a day. In other words, yes, it's true that you can live relatively well on $2 a day in some parts of India- but 400 million people in India don't have $2 a day. They have less than $1.50 a day (the definition of poverty). Despite India's recent impressive growth, there are still more people living in abject poverty in India than in neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. In short, the living standard in India is not really that good at all unless you are a part of the rising middle class.

      May 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Reply
    • ed dugan

      So, according to you, my wife and I can bring enough dollars over for a $5 a day budget and live in luxury? If that's true you can create one hell of a retirement haven for middle class Americans!

      May 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Reply
      • KJC

        It depends what you are buying. If you have traveled to many other parts of the world, yes, you can get a gourmet meal for $6 at the fanciest restaurant in town – the one that only foreigners can afford to go to. In Ecuador, a HUGE size beer is $1. You can buy a pretty nice condo for a few thousand dollars in many countries. You can buy food, clothing, etc in the market for dirt cheap. (To be fair, in those same places, you may not be able to afford a car due to the tremendous tax, making some vehicles cost nearly ten times what the do in the U.S.) So yes, I would say most basic living necessities do cost a lot less in the third world, even in U.S. dollars. At the same time, you may find yourself with a fancy condo and cheap food, but no services to pick up your trash, dirty streets, non-drinkable tap water, etc. – in the lap of luxury in some ways and not so much in others.

        May 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
  3. sand

    what I am reading is Paul Krugman international economics damn I am so cool.

    May 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  4. JAL

    Great article.

    May 1, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  5. Quigley

    Maybe if the United States, Great Britain and France would only quit trying to bully the rest of the world, the world wide poverty may lessen somewhat. We need to take a laissez-faire approach to these countries instead of pushing them around. Again I say, Isolationism is a great idea whose time is way overdue!

    May 1, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • max3333444555

      the west has been responsible for any gains made against poverty. the gains certainly weren't the result of the people living in those areas. even eastern Europe largely has the west to thank as US policies broke up the soviet union.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • Quigley

        Tell me please max3333444555, how did a very small country like England acquire so much wealth and become a world power? The answer is relatively simple here. The English did it by taking so much out of other countries like India, Ireland, South Africa after the Boer War(1899-1902) and a host of third world countries! Of course they also defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588 and thus become dominant on the high seas and that enabled them to conquer so many other countries

        May 2, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • Song Sing Sing

        Quigley. You didn't mention China. China too lost a whole lot of silver to England. I am talking small mountains worth of silver, that they were made to pay for losing the Opium Wars, for daring to block Britain in its righteous path to sell cases of Indian opium to the Chinese. It bankrupted the Chinese for a century. Not assigning blame here. Just history.

        May 3, 2013 at 1:51 am |
      • Quigley

        Sorry, Song Sing Sing. I did forget to mention China and what you posted above is very true! Thanks for your input.

        May 3, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  6. Jason

    Seems to me a large part of the solution to poverty is the empowerment of women, aka birth control and employment. Look at China as an example. Fewer babies and more women contributing to the workplace = greater economic and social development. That pattern holds true throughout the history of modern development. You can even look at America as an example. The baby boom of the late 40's was followed by the worst crime wave in history in the late 60 and 70's followed by a steady decline as women gained control over their lives and started having fewer children and entering the workplace. Growth in and of itself is not necessarily the answer. Social progress is the real key to lasting economic success.

    May 2, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • almost, but no

      i think you nailed it with the "fewer babies" fact. crime also fluctuates with abortions. more abortions (less unwanted pregnancies) less crime (~15ish year delay). more women working can degenerate family structure and proper child rearing thereby negatively affecting society and offsetting some of the gains of fewer kids.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:25 am | Reply
      • Warren Lewis

        Do you realize that you are advocating genocide for the sake of its positive side effects?

        May 2, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • Song Sing Sing

        Warren Lewis. Nonsense. He was advocating no such thing. He was talking about sensible ways, in many places, the only way, to curb the population. Genocide this genocide that. Does the word even have actual meaning anymore?

        May 3, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • endoscented

      What? Lower birth rates are not due to the empowerment of women. They are due to the oppressive restrictive policies of the Chinese government.

      May 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • Jerry

        For what's it worth, according to Pew Research Center, 76% of Chinese people support the one child policy.

        May 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  7. j. von hettlingen

    Growth contributes to prosperity, which is positive to mankind. But how about population explosion? Can the environment absorb more pollution, over-farming and exploitation of natural resources?

    May 2, 2013 at 10:35 am | Reply
  8. Skorpio

    Usually in third world countries and China, a poor person is the skinny one who does not have enough food. In the US is the opposite.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:04 am | Reply
  9. Patrick Powers

    An article written in order to press the author's view rather than present a proper analysis. Not only that but but simply say that the World Bank issues one measure of poverty for all countries is ludicrous. This article only demonstrates the author's ignorance of a very complex problem.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Epacific

      While I agree that poverty is a complex problem, I fail to understand why you say that Zakaria is wrong. China has, indeed, achieved development much more rapidly than South Asia or Africa. This is not an opinion- it's fact. You don't have to believe Zakaria or me- just go look it up on the internet. Moreover, China has accomplished this via capitalism- another undisputed fact. So, exactly where is Zakaria wrong?

      May 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • andrea

      I like your comment. A problem is presented on economic level of comparison and sight views of material life.Poverty becomes like a desease or death.when we regard this like an enemy, It becomes the anti life force to live.If I will think on such problems being commented here,one solution is befriend with it. live go with it when it happens to your poverty existed before us.But poverty is neither too bad,but for is like a hell.

      May 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Reply
      • trueguy4ever

        Your not from around here are you?

        May 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm |
      • Song Sing Sing

        The only reason that poverty is not bad for you is because you have not lived in it. Or else you are enamored to such a view by misguided religious or romantic reasons. Poverty is like cancer. Live with it? Sure, what choice does a poor person have? Like it? You are off your little rocker my friend.

        May 3, 2013 at 1:58 am |
      • Song Sing Sing

        While rampant materialism can be very bad, it does not mean that poverty is a cure of any sort. Given your philosophical bent of mind, you should reflect on how untenable these extreme positions are for a reasonable person, that maybe they are equally bad. Something in the middle perhaps.

        May 3, 2013 at 2:02 am |
  10. iceload9

    Soooooooo their poverty is dropping and ours is taking off. Right now the administration and congress defend the corporations, no one speaks for the American citizen so this trend will continue.

    May 2, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • Song Sing Sing

      Some perspective please. The article is talking about dollar a day extreme poverty. Being less well off in your neck of the woods does not translate to extreme poverty.

      May 3, 2013 at 2:04 am | Reply
    • peridot2

      I'd wager you woke up in a house with heating and air conditioning this morning. You have clean drinking water on tap in this house in the kitchen and a shower with a flush toilet in the bathroom. There's no raw sewage in your town, village or city.

      You rhetoric of poverty is hyperbole. You've never seen true poverty in person in your life, nor have you ever known hunger.

      May 6, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Reply
  11. mikeosity

    This is BS as usual. How can they accurately tell if it is dropping? Did they survey the tax returns of people starving in Africa? I

    May 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • Bongo Still

      I can see a lot of EXPERTS on here Africa as usual...saying all they don't have a clue about! Isn't it surprising that the IMF and World Bank specialist on Africa are westerners?

      Despite all this, It still baffles me why people in SA Africa still consider the west as economic/development partners after they have shown Africans how much they care about them!! Partnership with China is the way to Go! Otherwise I always ask myself this question: Which infrastructure system in Africa, introduced by the west, has been successful in civilizing Africa, and can be easily progressed for that matter? Africa is in its current depraved state because of the west and buoyantly the tide is turning! Undeniably power is shifting from the west and the continent with its abundant resources will unquestionably dictate how the world advances in future.

      Western influence on Africa essentially accounts for dwindling innovation on the continent. Resource exploitation to some degree in reality led to most of the remote settlements we find in Africa today– settlements which increased the cost of infrastructure development in terms of economic growth. With western backing on the continent, never was infrastructure meant to bridge trade zones, warrant economic development, ENCOURAGE INNOVATION or lead to regional integration in Africa. Actually to a full extent, infrastructure development by our 'western partners' led to regional division and wars in resource rich areas. Currently it is this existing legacy that has to be overhauled to meet ever-growing populations. Meanwhile, most aid to Africa has been elusive; in support of pointless humanitarian causes (so called millennium development goals). Just like the introduction of religion by the missionaries; to date the benefits of religion to Africa are yet to be appreciated in terms of development. We need solid infrastructure: roads, power, schools, hospitals and that's what China is giving us! On a developmental scale, these are measurable.

      The question STILL REMAINS though: whose responsibility is it to develop Africa?

      The ANSWER IS CLEAR! It’s OURS! Every day is a new opportunity to get things right. we can build on yesterday's success or put its failures behind and start over again. That's the way life is, it's like a new game every day. The game is Russian roulette ... if you pull the trigger, maybe it's a shot! If you hear "click", then perhaps it’s another chance to get it right! hmm-mm...But why load the gun in the first place, when you know it can kill you? Such is the power of choice in the game! Then comes the role of the gun-manufacturer in your life *(western allies!!!) they perhaps own AFRICA if she keeps playing the game? Such is her plight!

      At least we have a growing population that is aware of all the above and striving to meet up to the challenges anymore. The power of population is so superior to the power of the earth to produce subsistence for man. However, in a fair world, one must appreciate the fact that it is this “power of population” that drove the industrial revolution. In contest it is comparable to the “power of population” that is driving the emergence of the developing world into the global economic scene within a modern era. Otherwise who should be deliberately denied access to resources meant for all, and for that matter their life? If this question cannot be easily answered within the ethical and moral heights of society, then it stands that if any effort in life should supersede another in terms of giving every human a fair share in global resource use, it should be the effort that perpetuates humanity. Not efforts that actually depopulate the world. Indeed there are always going to be factors such as intelligence, slavery, religion, energy and knowledge that will always shape or other visit the human race. But for a select few of the global population to see the future need to stifle the growth of other societies rather than the need to cut down their consumption habits and meeting others halfway, automatically makes them precursors in the great army of self-destruction.

      With their need, speed and exponential greed for AFRICAs RESOURCES, the west should always be ready for surprises. Without a fair share in global resource use, the positive change AFRICA is always chasing shall only come as a result of the spill-overs of western greed. Otherwise, does anyone have a clue what in 2100 a “developing country” would actually be, or which countries in our present world would be known as “developing countries” in future? Could perhaps some of our current developed counterparts be on the “developing countries” list of the 2100s receiving aid from the “developed countries” of that Era?

      Just Asking…

      Thanks to the long awaited ‘awakening’, Africans now see the need to look elsewhere for productive and rewarding partnerships.

      May 7, 2013 at 6:48 am | Reply
  12. GIUK

    The world's poor are far better off today. I talked to a homeless man just today who was very excited and hopeful about being homeless. "Just two years ago I was eating generic cat food. Now, I eat nothing but the fancy, gourmet cat food. It's got real meat like spleens and lymph nodes in it. No bone meal like the cheap stuff. I still take a bone-meal supplement though. A person needs their roughage."

    May 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  13. Dan

    The world's poorest countries should be getting a little better as birth rates are dropping in most countries. The drop in birth rates in Mexico is helping to slow illegal immigration compared to when birth rates were much higher in Mexico. Globally, the fertility rates needs to be at 2 children per woman or slightly below to have a long term gradual decline in the population, since the world is living on finite resources, including fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and fresh water.

    May 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  14. Peter

    The figures has proven my hypothesis that China's Socialism trend is favoured among the poor nations for its affordability of the cost of living, and friendly relations. Where China trades with other nations expect benefits for the workers among consumers and not restricted to the corporate private sector.

    China's Socialism intersects with the West's linear Capitalism initiates the development of chance integration in transition, but against Western internal conflicts – anti China sentiments. But given its natural passage to develop, the Socialism / Pure Capitalism integration has potentials for human development more humane than the linear material of Pure Capitalism alone.

    May 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  15. Farzin

    Just one thing I wanted to mention, he says poverty rates are falling because less ppl are living on 1.25$ now than in 1980. However a dollar in 1980 a dollar was worth more than it is now, he doesnt count inflation in his study, poverty has massively increased and will continue to do so.

    May 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
    • Song Sing Sing

      One would think that they have adjusted for inflation.

      May 3, 2013 at 2:06 am | Reply
  16. Mike500

    China is an exception because of their one-child policy. Look at the other 'poor' countries. People have children they can not afford, or even feed. Most of these countries are getting stripped bare by hordes of hungry people. Stop having so many kids and the standard of living would go up, and environmental damage down. You can't breed like rabbits and then complain you are out of carrots.

    May 2, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Birth rates are falling even in most of the world's poorest regions, often by very significant rates. All sorts of theories as to why, but the global electronic communication explosion (i.e. – smart phones and internet), which leads to the more efficient spread of knowledge and sharing of ideas, which in turn leads to the greater empowerment of women, seems like the most likely cause.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  17. Marco Hsiao

    This is a good article; Mr. Zakaria has a right viewpoint; below is other suggestions:

    (1) Compensation for history justice.
    25 million African black slaves were made by immoral European; 8 million were tortured to die. The Europe also invaded Africa brutally to steal resources. Europe's fortune is from evilest invasion. Every suffering African or Asian country should get apology and compensation (US$ 30-155 trillion) from the barbarous European countries.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Reply
    • trueguy4ever

      So tell me how did the Europeans get all those slaves in the first place? It's my understanding that they got them from the dominate tribes in Africa who already had them as slaves.

      May 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Reply
    • TiredOfPaying

      If 'compensation' is valid, then there should be a deduction for bringing Civilization, Democracy and Technology to Africa. All of the West's foreign aid to Africa should be deducted. And I'm sure you'll find plenty of support for returning the descendants of slaves to Africa – but not from the descendants themselves. We'll also send you a bill for the fight against Islam that we are forced to wage.

      There will never be compensation paid. Quit dreaming and work to make your country and community better instead.

      May 3, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  18. Marco Hsiao

    (2) Compensation for unnecessary wars

    Now evidence is 100% clear, chemical Nixon used evilest chemical weapon, Agent Orange, to poison 2 million innocent Vietnamese and 20 million innocent plants, so lots of children become disabilities. Some children only have one eye or one hand, because their mothers ate a fruit which were polluted by US chemical weapons. It is evilest weapon in history, but the immoral US government still escapes the responsibility. Vietnam should get apology and compensation (US$ 3 trillion) from immoral US.

    The corrupt US government also murders 100,000 innocent Iraqis and 4500 US soldiers to steal Iraqi oil and the US treasury. Lots of cities and fortunes are destroyed by the US violence to promote US military budget. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan should get compensation (US$ 10, 4, 3, 2, 2 trillion) from corrupt US government.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • TiredOfPaying

      Vietnam was a test of resolve: Would the West allow Communism to spread unfettered or will it spend treasure to stop it? Russia/China got the message loud and clear, delivered by B-52's and the Air Cav. The alternatives to Agent Orange included dropping Nukes to clear the jungle. Would you have preferred that instead? Your 'compensation' will be reduced by our costs in keeping SE Asia from being Communist. Vietnam is now our ally, btw.

      Pakistan can discuss any compensation when every single Muslim Terrorist is dead. Until then, the US will continue to kill any threats in that area in order to prevent them from comming to America. We'll send you the bill for the Twin Towers as well.

      May 3, 2013 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  19. Marco Hsiao

    (3) India's population policy is wrong.

    India's population should not be more than the US considering with natural resources. India's oil and gas is below 1/20 of the US. 300-500 million is suitable for India, now 1200 million is too many; too many people with too little resource bring poverty. Her economic growth is eaten by the growing population. India, Bangladesh and Pakistan all should reduce population. One child policy must be emphasized in Indian peninsula.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Reply
    • nick

      one problem with this point. India is a free democracy, not an authoritarian government which takes away its peoples rights and then sends the military to put down protests like in 1989. The one-child policy can not be enforced in India because it goes against not only Hindu values but also peoples privacy and right to choose. If you tell an indian he can only have 1 child, they will laugh and make sure you lose the election. India doesnt have one party like china does, so when one party says one child policy, the other will say no, and the other will win.

      May 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  20. Marco Hsiao

    (4) Now the world is progressing.

    Currently Mainland China, Southeast Asia, big part of Latin America and many African countries are improving. Many people and officials are diligent and responsible, so the situation is progressing. (The corrupt US media just emphasize foreign disaster and scandal, it distorts the real picture.) In the spectacular research, in 2025 the US will lose top one position on GDP forever, and in 2039 a great thousand years dominant justice power will begin to emerge and will assist the world for peace and prosperity.

    May 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Reply
    • Nihao

      China itself was colonised by the Brits, and we know what colonisation is all about.

      May 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Reply
      • Song Sing Sing

        Just a point of history Nihao. China was definitely NOT colonized by the Brits. A less than 1% of its territory was at some point lost to the Western powers (excluding Siberia and Russia.) What the Brits did was bankrupting China for a hundred years.

        May 3, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Its a good thing that other countries are raising the standard of living and progressing. However, there are not enough resources on this little ball of dirt to raise all 7 billion of us up to the standard of living enjoyed in America. Since richer countries are not willingly going to reduce their standard of living so that poorer countries can rise up, and since Western militaries prevent places like China from taking those resources away forcefully, I suggest everyone work much harder on exploiting the asteroids, planets and eventually other stars in our Universe.

      Its either that or wait for the Nukes to fall on you when you try to take away our McDonalds double-bacon-cheeseburgers. Your choice.

      May 3, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  21. ElmerGantry

    Fareed, referencing the Koch brothers backed Cato Inst.itute?

    Hmmm, looks like FOX NEWS refugee executive hired by CNN, Margaret Hoover, is having an effect on CNN. After all she is the one who stated that CNN needs to move to the right politically.

    May 3, 2013 at 7:39 am | Reply
  22. EVN

    Without serious population control this world is never going to solve extreme poverty. Resources are finite, and breeding like cochroaches only accelerates scarcity.

    May 3, 2013 at 8:19 am | Reply
    • cj

      That's the dirty truth no one wants to address...or the fact that if we did somehow manage to end all wars the population explosions would lead to as many or more deaths than the wars are.

      it's not a fun reality.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:19 am | Reply
  23. cj

    Try living on $1.25 a's an ridiculous measurement for poverty.

    May 3, 2013 at 9:17 am | Reply
  24. John Janus

    Fareed Zakaria's wife swallows.

    May 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  25. JGo2

    I don't think anyone could have written this article without using the word "globalization," but I guess I am wrong.

    May 3, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  26. RinosRwinos

    Over population? The more we help many of these third world contries the more they keep breeding and producing more poor people. Attach government aid to population control and self sufficiency,

    May 3, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  27. NOTA

    My neighbors are considered poor. That's why they get food stamps and free medical and other forms of assistance . Yet they have everything I have. 150k plus house, pool in back yard, two vehicles (one a nice Chevy pickup), cell phones, satellite/cable tv etc. They make a yearly trip to Florida (eight weeks this year) and go to the beach often during the summer. And are they up at four in the morning for a twelve hour day shift or coming home at six after a twelve hour night shift? Do they work holidays and weekends and overtime to get what they have? Do they budget and save and deny themselves what they can't truly afford so that they can procure the essentials on their own? I haven't been on a real vacation in over ten years and I make a pretty good wage. And I spent part of my childhood in a welfare household after my dad left my mom with five kids and no job or vehicle while living in the boonies. I know some people truly need help. But we had nothing but a roof over our heads (rented old farm house), clothes on our backs (hand me downs) and food in our bellys (we supplemented food stamps with a garden and deer meat). We also cut our own fire wood for heat (no fuel assistance and certainly no air conditioning assistance). The system provided the minimum, which is all it was supposed to do. But now one can live well on welfare. I call it income equalization. It's now believed that everyone deserves a certain lifestyle whether they earn it or not.

    May 4, 2013 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • msr42day

      NOTA – you are right about "income equalization" in the USA and it goes further to "lifestyle equalization" so that the Jones have what the Smiths do. There is no financial reward in saving or investing anymore – those who do lose significant percentages to taxation (and I'm not talking for those like Romney who had millions in investments, I'm talking those with less than 1 million in investments). The Taxing and Spending (T&S) system is run by those who get elected – elections are won by "pleasing people" thus "winning their votes". The T&S system is skewed by the political machinery of the USA. Until that is truly mediated by The Governed, people who don't take the government's gifts can feel responsible and hard-working, while the others are working less and enjoying life more. We get what we sow, we get what we teach/support/nurture

      May 4, 2013 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • petroskies

      please explain yours neighbors are manitos?

      May 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  28. petroskies

    hey moron zaka you believe that?

    May 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  29. markmark1

    What is this? A CNN article that espouses the very real positive impact of capitalism? I'm astonished. People love to bash capitalism for short down turns and cyclical recessions. Kinda like how people say that there "isn't global warming" because its "colder than usual this year". Its a long term trend. Sure, unchecked capitalism has/will result in unsafe products and working conditions and therefore consumer/worker protections are necessary. But taken as a whole, capitalism has done wonders.

    May 4, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  30. Jorge

    Insufficient natural resources, adverse climate, lack of knowledge and Skill, lack of needed technology, catastrophes, exploitation and oppression, personal laziness, wasteful self-indulgence, world-view or religion.
    Sin (Original and personal)

    May 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Reply
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