Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Poverty, Threats

Extreme poverty isn’t natural, it’s created

Over the past few years, this graph has become a sensation.  Developed by Our World In Data and promoted widely by Bill Gates and Steven Pinker, the graph gives the impression that virtually all of humanity was in “extreme poverty” as of 1820 (i.e., living on less than $1.90 per day, PPP; less than is required for basic food).

OWID has used this figure to claim that extreme poverty was the natural or baseline condition of humanity, extending far back into the past: “in the thousands of years before the beginning of the industrial era, the vast majority of the world population lived in conditions that we would call extreme poverty today.”

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