Economic growth remains the answer

The solution to eliminating poverty is to increase the size of the pie, not cut it differently. Suhit Anantula makes a timely point in BonoboLand, quoting from a Washington Post article

Blind to progress: There were several reasons for this electoral upset. But prominent Indian intellectuals — Salman Rushdie in The Post, Arundhati Roy in the British Guardian — could not resist declaring that the failure of growth as an anti-poverty strategy explained at least part of the result. The “immense countryside India,” Rushdie wrote confidently, “. . . has not benefited in the slightest from the recent economic boom.” According to Roy, the election represented a decisive defeat for “neo-liberalism’s economic ‘reforms.’ ” And so we have a curious inversion. India used to understand growth’s importance, but not how to achieve it. Now India knows how to achieve it; but some famous Indians, and perhaps millions of ordinary voters, have lost sight of growth’s importance. People don’t seem to have noticed that, whereas India’s poverty rate stuck obstinately above 50 percent during the low-growth 1960s and 1970s, it is now falling precipitously: To 36 percent in the government’s household survey of 1993-94; to 29 percent in the next survey, six years later. The idea that the countryside has not benefited is simply spurious. In the interval between the two most recent surveys, rural poverty fell from 37 percent to 30 percent. [Sebastian Mallaby/Washington Post via BonoboLand]