Social media has been ablaze with this question recently. We know we face a crisis of mass poverty: the global economy is organized in such a way that nearly 60% of humanity is left unable to meet basic needs. But the question at stake this time is different.
Author Archive | Jason Hickel
Robert Pollin and Noam Chomsky have a new book out, Climate Crisis and the Green New Deal. It’s an important contribution to the emerging GND literature, from two thinkers I respect.
A number of people have asked me to respond to a piece that Andrew McAfee wrote for Wired, promoting his book, which claims that rich countries – and specifically the United States – have accomplished the miracle of “green growth” and “dematerialization”, absolutely decoupling GDP from resource use.
In my research I have argued that rising global inequality is driven in large part by power imbalances in the global economy, in that rich countries have disproportionate influence when it comes to setting the rules of international trade and finance.
During the debate about the global poverty numbers that unfolded earlier this year, the Bloomberg opinion columnist Noah Smith wrote a piece discussing some of my claims. In the months since a number of people have asked me to respond.
Degrowth seeks to invert the Lauderdale Paradox. By calling for a fairer distribution of existing resources and the expansion of public goods, degrowth demands not scarcity but ratherabundance (see Sahlins, 1976; Galbraith, 1998; Latouche, 2014; D’Alisa et al., 2014).
How should we measure inequality?
When we look at inequality from the perspective of the poor – using the theory of increasing egregiousness – it becomes clear that the relative metric is inappropriate as a tool for assessing distribution. Certainly if our objective is to end poverty, this is the conclusion we must draw, as an additional dollar going needlessly […]
Last month Branko Milanovic published a blog post about the Yellow Vest movement against the fuel tax in France. He was worried–like many analysts–that the uprising proves it will be virtually impossible to roll out the policies necessary to reduce carbon emissions. He’s convinced that people simply won’t accept it.
The economist William Nordhaus will receive his profession’s highest honor for research on global warming that’s been hugely influential—and entirely misguided.
“Disaster” doesn’t begin to describe the troubled oil scene in Nigeria. Last June, in the immediate wake of the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times ran an article exposing a crisis in Nigeria that should have been capable of piquing the conscience of even the most hardened oil barons. It […]
Jeffrey Sachs has become something of a force in international development circles over the past decade. As special advisor to the UN’s Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, former director of the UN’s Millennium Development Project, and a decorated economist at Columbia University, Sachs certainly has much to brag about. The publication of his runaway bestseller, The […]
“Development,” I’ve discovered, operates as a flagrantly racist discourse in some guises. Scrambling to explain the reasons for Africa’s perpetual poverty and apparently incurable misery, laypersons in the West point to Africans’ “savagery” and alleged incapacity for civilization. This is not just a fringe opinion; even among putatively educated individuals such nonsense recurs with disturbing […]
“But we can’t eat rights, hawu!” Those five words of protest from the lips of South Africa’s underclass sting like a slap in the face. Good liberals will always take offense. We find ourselves scrambling desperately to battle the mad claim that “things were better under apartheid.” “But of what worth is a job,” we […]
Since its release last December Invictus has caused quite a stir among American movie-goers, garnering relatively high reviews from critics, bagging third place among box-office openers, taking home a series of award nominations, and — perhaps most importantly — winning airtime on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. But while director Clint Eastwood’s successes with this […]