Must-Read: Michael Clemens: The South Pacific Secret to Breaking the Poverty Cycle
Must-Read: The South Pacific Secret to Breaking the Poverty Cycle: “The average Tongan household that participated was earning just NZ$1,400 per year…:
…before these jobs. The average worker who participated earned NZ$12,000 for just a few months of work. It multiplied low-income workers’ earnings by a factor of 10. Almost no other antipoverty project you’ve ever heard of can claim that. Imagine what that did to poverty…. This project was ‘among the most effective development policies evaluated to date.’ And it did that not by taking money away from New Zealanders, but by adding value to the New Zealand economy. What’s working against poverty? International labor mobility….
The last time the United Nations set global goals to fight poverty, back in 2000, it completely ignored the power of labor mobility. The Millennium Development Goals, bizarrely, mentioned migration exclusively in negative and harmful terms…. This time… [they] at least mention migration…. But they decline to mention any possibility of actually facilitating migration…. The authors… still think that mobility doesn’t matter much for global poverty. That just does not make sense in a world where remittances to poor countries are several times as large as foreign aid. It does not make sense in a world where barriers to mobility cost the world trillions of dollars every year. What’s working against poverty is international mobility. And it will keep working to help meet the Global Goals for fighting poverty–largely in spite of them.