Despite Public Opinion, Extreme Poverty Makes ‘Stunning Decline’

New York Times: The Best News You Don’t Know
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“…As world leaders gather for the United Nations General Assembly this week, all the evidence suggests that we are at an inflection point for the ages. The number of people living in extreme poverty ($1.90 per person per day) has tumbled by half in two decades, and the number of small children dying has dropped by a similar proportion — that’s six million lives a year saved by vaccines, breastfeeding promotion, pneumonia medicine, and diarrhea treatments! Historians may conclude that the most important thing going on in the world in the early 21st century was a stunning decline in human suffering. … Yet the public thinks the opposite, that poverty is getting worse. … [L]et’s pause for a nanosecond of silence to acknowledge the greatest gains in human well-being in the history of our species — not to inspire complacency, but rather to spur our efforts to accelerate what may be the most important trend in the world today” (9/22).