Saturday, September 28, 2002

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GROSS DISTORTION: Arundhati Roy's essay

GROSS DISTORTION: Arundhati Roy's essay in the Friday Guardian nicely illuminates everything I find feckless about the anti-globalization crowd. Andrew Sullivan has already pointed out Roy's most egregious distortion of history. Here's the worst distortion of the present: "In the past 10 years, the world's total income has increased by an average of 2.5% a year. And yet the numbers of the poor in the world has increased by 100 million."

Roy's data sounds about right. Of course, it overlooks one minor fact -- the world's population grew by 1 billion in the past ten years. And the overwhelming majority of this population increase took place in the developing countries. During the past decade of globalization, yes, the absolute number of the world's poor did increase. But the percentage of the world's population that was poor has declined, even though the bulk of the population increase occurred in the poorer parts of the globe.

Roy is purported to be an excellent novelist. As a public intellectual, she's a disgrace.

posted by Dan on 09.28.02 at 08:19 PM


You call Arundhati a disgrace? You are the disgrace! Look at any economic census and you will see that the poverty percentage has increased!! Just look at the countries with the highest population growth rate and then observe the average economic status.

posted by: Perry Gastineau on 09.28.02 at 08:19 PM [permalink]

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