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2014-10-10    来源:en84    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


Boosting Shared Prosperity
–Speech at Howard University
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim
世界银行行长 金墉
Washington, D.C., United States
美利坚合众国 华盛顿特区
October 1, 2014


Dean Harvey, thank you for that warm welcome and, President Frederick, thank you for the kind introduction. And thank you to the students, staff and faculty for being excellent hosts. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that a president of the World Bank Group has addressed the Howard community. I am grateful to everyone here who made this opportunity possible.
In preparing for this speech, we did some research on Howard’s history. I was impressed with what we found. I am honored to be at an institution once led by James Nabrit, one of the leading constitutional and civil rights lawyers of his generation; and I am humbled to be at a place that helped shape the thinking of Pauli Murray, a courageous feminist trailblazer and thinker. Over varied and highly accomplished careers, both Nabrit and Murray worked to make the world a more just place. At the Bank, we are driven by the same aspiration.
Over the last two years, I have led an effort at the World Bank Group to reorganize the institution to accomplish our twin goals: end extreme poverty by 2030; and boost shared prosperity among the poorest 40 percent in developing countries.
The first goal is ambitious, and it reflects the tremendous progress we’ve made over the last quarter century in the fight against poverty. In 1990, 36 percent of the world’s population, or 1.9 billion people, earned less than $1.25 a day. By next year, our economists estimate that that rate will have declined to 12 percent – a two-thirds reduction in 25 years. This means that, by next year, one billion fewer people will be living in extreme poverty than in 1990. That’s major progress. However, helping the next billion escape poverty will be far more difficult. We have much work to do, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 450 million people wake up in poverty each day.
The second goal – boosting shared prosperity – is what I want to talk with you about today. We are working to ensure that the growth of the global economy will improve the lives of all members of society, not only a fortunate few. To accomplish this, the World Bank Group aims to achieve specific income-related and social goals: We want to raise the income of the lowest 40 percent of earners in developing countries, and improve their access to life’s essentials, including food, shelter, health care, education and jobs.
Let me put this in perspective: For the first time in the history of the World Bank Group, we have set a goal that aims to reduce global inequality. As the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa shows, the importance of this objective could not be more clear. The battle against the virus is a fight on many fronts – human lives and health foremost among them. But it is also a fight against inequality. The knowledge and infrastructure to treat the sick and contain the virus exists in high and middle income counties. However, over many years, we have failed to make these things accessible to low-income people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. So now, thousands of people in these countries are dying because, in the lottery of birth, they were born in the wrong place. If we do not stop Ebola now, the infection will continue to spread to other countries and even continents – just yesterday the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States. This pandemic shows the deadly cost of unequal access to basic services and the consequences of our failure to fix this problem.
As I will discuss later in my remarks, the World Bank Group and others have begun to take steps to get resources into the right place. Our actions have arisen directly from our decision to make boosting shared prosperity part of the Bank’s primary mission.
When a visitor enters our Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters, one of the first things she sees is an inscription on the wall that reads as follows: “Our dream is a world free of poverty.” While achieving this goal through development is a complex undertaking, two things are essential. First, we must help low-income countries grow their economies. In the last four years alone, high rates of growth in China and India have meant that 232 million people no longer live in poverty. Second, low-income people who live in low-income countries must share in the gains from that growth. Shared prosperity is part of the Bank’s headline goals simply because it is required to end poverty.
Boosting shared prosperity is also important in the pursuit of justice. Oxfam International, the poverty fighting organization, recently reported that the world’s richest 85 people have as much combined wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion. Think about that: A group far smaller than the number of people in this room possesses more wealth than half the world’s population. With so many people in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Asia, and Latin America, living in extreme poverty, this state of affairs is a stain on our collective conscience. Protecting an individual’s ability to reap financial reward for hard work and success is extremely important. It creates motivation; it drives innovation; and it permits people to help others. At the same time, what does it mean that so much of the world’s enormous wealth has accrued to so few?
As an economic system, global market capitalism has produced affluence and innovation. These are very good things. However, an economic system’s legitimacy is also tied to its ability to make two things accessible to all: the riches it generates and the social benefits that arise from that wealth. Unfortunately, national income gains from growth tend not to be shared among a population in anything close to equal measure. In his 2014 best seller Capital in the Twenty-First Century, French economist Thomas Piketty showed that, in developed economies, these gains generally flow at substantially higher rates to owners than to workers. Ultimately, we want to ensure the global economic system’s gains are distributed in a fashion that creates opportunity and respects human dignity.
So what does it look like to boost shared prosperity? As I explained earlier, one important metric is the relative income level of the poorest 40 percent of a national population. During the 2000s, these earners enjoyed more rapid income growth rates than the general population in 52 out of 78 low-income countries. But our mixed progress in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals shows that the general well-being of households in the bottom 40 percent remains much lower than in higher-income households. In other words, even though their incomes grew faster, low-income households did not reap the same social benefits as the more affluent, including access to food, clean water and sanitation.
Fundamentally, increasing individual incomes, while important, is only part of the equation for boosting shared prosperity. We also need economic growth to deliver benefits that create more just societies. So, in addition to changes in income, boosting shared prosperity focuses on improving gender equity and low income people’s access to food, shelter, clean water, sanitation health care, education and jobs.

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