A deconstruction of the neoliberal placations about global capitalism, exposing the inequalities of global poverty
“We’re making headway on global poverty,” trills Bill Gates. “Decline of Global Extreme Poverty Continues,” reports the World Bank. “How did the global poverty rate halve in 20 years?” inquires The Economist.
Seth Donnelly answers: “It didn’t!” In fact, according to Donnelly, virtually nothing about these glad tidings proclaiming plummeting global poverty rates is true. It’s just that trend-setting neoliberal experts and institutions need us to believe that global capitalism, now unfettered in the wake of the Cold War and bolstered by Information Technology, has ushered in a new phase of international human prosperity.
This short book deconstructs the assumption that global poverty has fallen dramatically, and lays bare the spurious methods of poverty measurement and data on which the dominant prosperity narrative depends. Here is carefully researched documentation that global poverty—and the inequalities and misery that flourish within it—remains massive, afflicting the majority of the world’s population. Donnelly goes further to analyze just how global poverty, rather than being reduced, is actually reproduced by the imperatives of capital accumulation on a global scale. Just as the global, environmental catastrophe cannot be resolved within capitalism, rooted as it is in contemporary mechanisms of exploitation and plunder, neither can human poverty be effectively eliminated by neoliberal “advances.”