We’ve now taken a glance at the four poverty traps listed in Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion. To summarize, Collier writes concerning the people of the bottom billion:
Collier then spends the second half of the book reviewing various options from addressing the poverty the bottom billion. He suggests that challenge is going to be more difficult for the remaining poor nations and that globalization actually increases the barrier. A few decades ago there was a small community of nations with wealth and most of the world was in varying degrees of poverty. Presently there are more wealthy nations and an array of countries that at various places on a continuum moving toward greater wealth. These are the nations that are integrated into the global economy. The remaining poor nations are stuck at the bottom of the continuum as the rest of the majority of the world pulls away. Metaphorically, we could say the low hanging fruit as been collected and even some of the fruit just above it. Now we are compelled to climb up into the tree after the fruit that is the hardest to reach.
So what are the instruments for breaking the bottom billion out of their poverty? Collier offers four and they are not without controversy.
- Military Intervention
- Laws and Charters
- Trade Policy
We’ll turn to these next.