Some 2.5 billion human beings live in severe poverty, deprived of
such essentials as adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, basic
sanitation, adequate shelter, literacy, and basic health care. One
third of all human deaths are from poverty-related causes: 18
million annually, including over 10 million children under five.
However huge in human terms, the world poverty problem is tiny
economically. Just 1 percent of the national incomes of the
high-income countries would suffice to end severe poverty
worldwide. Yet, these countries, unwilling to bear an opportunity
cost of this magnitude, continue to impose a grievously unjust
global institutional order that foreseeably and avoidably
perpetuates the catastrophe. Most citizens of affluent countries
believe that we are doing nothing wrong.
Thomas Pogge seeks to explain how this belief is sustained. He
analyses how our moral and economic theorizing and our global
economic order have adapted to make us appear disconnected from
massive poverty abroad. Dispelling the illusion, he also offers a
modest, widely sharable standard of global economic justice and
makes detailed, realistic proposals toward fulfilling it.
Thoroughly updated, the second edition of this classic book
incorporates responses to critics and a new chapter introducing
Pogge's current work on pharmaceutical patent reform.