Transcript: Ending Global Poverty | Apr 24, 2018

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Ending global poverty. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says IT MAY SEEM LIKE AN
IMPOSSIBLE DREAM: TO ERADICATE
POVERTY.
BUT THE UNITED NATIONS DID REACH
ITS PREVIOUS GOAL TO CUT EXTREME
GLOBAL POVERTY IN HALF BY 2015.
THEY DID.
SO MAYBE IT'S NOT SUCH AN
UNATTAINABLE IDEAL AFTER ALL.
JOINING US NOW FOR MORE ON THE
FIGHT TO END POVERTY ACROSS THE
GLOBE AND HERE IN CANADA:
IN THE AMERICAN CAPITAL:
JOHN McARTHUR, SENIOR FELLOW IN
THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM AT THE
BROOKINGS INSTITUTION.
HE IS ALSO A SENIOR ADVISER TO
THE U.N. FOUNDATION.

John is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

Steve continues IN OUR NATION'S CAPITAL:
JULIA SANCHEZ, PRESIDENT AND
CEO, OF THE CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION...

Julia is in her forties, with long wavy gray hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray cardigan over a white shirt, and a beaded necklace.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
BRETT HOUSE, VICE-PRESIDENT AND
DEPUTY CHIEF ECONOMIST
SCOTIABANK; FORMER PRINCIPAL
ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO THE U.N.
SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON...

Brett is in his late forties, balding, with a stubble. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and striped blue tie.

Steve continues AND KWAME McKENZIE, CEO OF THE WELLESLEY INSTITUTE; AND
PSYCHIATRIST AT CAMH, THE CENTRE
FOR ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH.
IF I CAN SAY, FRIEND OF THE PROGRAM.

Kwame is in his forties, bald, with a trimmed goatee. He's wearing glasses, a dark gray suit, white shirt and burgundy tie.

Steve continues YOU'RE HERE A LOT, KWAME, AND
WE'RE HAPPY FOR THAT.

Kwame says THANK YOU.

Steve says BRETT, NICE TO HAVE
YOU HERE.
AND OUR FRIENDS OUT OF TOWN,
NICE TO HAVE YOU ON TVO TONIGHT.
LET ME SET THIS UP BY... YOU
GUYS ALL KNOW THIS BUT I'M GOING
TO SHARE THIS WITH OUR AUDIENCE.
THE UNITED NATIONS' SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS NUMBER ONE IS
TO END POVERTY IN ALL ITS FORMS
EVERYWHERE.
AND HERE ARE SOME OF THE
SPECIFICS TO HIT THAT GOAL BY
THE YEAR 2030...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "The 411 on S.D.G number 1."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
ERADICATE EXTREME
POVERTY FOR ALL PEOPLE EVERYWHERE.
THAT'S CURRENTLY MEASURED AS
PEOPLE LIVING ON LESS THAN
1.9 dollars A DAY.
REDUCE BY AT LEAST A HALF THE
PROPORTION OF THOSE LIVING IN
POVERTY IN ALL OF ITS
DEFINITIONS ACCORDING TO
NATIONAL DEFINITIONS.
BUILD THE RESILIENCE OF THE POOR AND
Reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events.
JUST A FEW OF THE HIGHLIGHTS
OF SUSTAINABLE GOAL NUMBER ONE.
JOHN, TO YOU FIRST IN
WASHINGTON, D.C., ENDING POVERTY
IN ITS FORMS EVERYWHERE IS ABOUT
AS LOFTY AN INTERNATIONAL
DEVELOPMENT GOAL AS IT COMES.

The caption changes to "W.G.S.I. Generation SDG."

Steve continues EVERYBODY IS GOING TO BE ASKING
THIS FIRST QUESTION: IS IT
REALLY DOABLE?

The caption changes to "John McArthur. Brookings Institution."
Then, it changes again to "Is it possible?"

John says I THINK THE STARTING POINT IS HOW HAS THE
WORLD BEEN DOING SO FAR?
AND AS YOU'VE SAID, WE'VE SEEN
EXTRAORDINARY PROGRESS IN THE
LAST GENERATION.
IN 2000, ROUGHLY ONE IN FOUR
PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WAS
LIVING IN EXTREME POVERTY.
TODAY IT'S DOWN TO ABOUT ONE IN
12.
IT'S A LITTLE MORE THAN
600 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE, BEST
ESTIMATE, LIVING IN EXTREME
POVERTY.
IS BUSINESS AS USUAL CONTINUES,
WE'LL GET DOWN TO AROUND 5 percent OF
THE WORLD, A LITTLE MORE THAN
400 MILLION PEOPLE IN EXTREME
POVERTY.
SO THAT'S 400 MILLION OUT OF
WHAT'S GOING TO BE A LOT MORE
THAN 8 BILLION PEOPLE.
IT'S A SMALL SHARE, BUT STILL A
SIZABLE NUMBER.
SO THE QUESTION IS NOT WHETHER
IT'S POSSIBLE, THE QUESTION IS
HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO IT, IN MY
VIEW, AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO
THINK ABOUT EACH OF THOSE
400 MILLION-PLUS LIVES IN A WAY
THAT GETS THEM THE BASIC
SERVICES THEY NEED OR, IN THIS
CASE, THE BASIC INCOME THEY NEED
IN ORDER TO GET OVER THAT FINAL
HURDLE.
IT'S PROBABLY AND ARGUABLY THE
MOST EXCITING CIVILIZATIONAL
CHALLENGE WE'RE COMING ACROSS
RIGHT NOW, IN ADDITION ARGUABLY
TO CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT IT'S ALSO
ONE THAT I THINK IS FOR THE
RECORD BOOKS IF WE PULL IT OFF.

Steve says I'M GOING TO ASK OUR
DIRECTOR, SHELDON OSMOND, BEFORE
WE GO FURTHER... THANK YOU.
THAT'S A WIDE SHOT.

A wall screen behind Steve and the guests shows a constantly decreasing number starting at 618,464,250.

The caption changes to "View the world poverty clock online: worldpoverty.io"

Steve continues IN THE BACKGROUND HERE WE HAVE A
VIDEO DISPLAY, AND IT LITERALLY
SHOWS PEOPLE LEAVING POVERTY.
WE HAVE, AS JOHN JUST SUGGESTED,
A LITTLE OVER 600 MILLION PEOPLE
IN THE WORLD TODAY WHO ARE
LIVING IN EXTREME POVERTY, BUT
THROUGH EFFORTS AROUND THE
WORLD, WE SEE A GRAPHIC WHICH
SUGGESTS THAT PEOPLE ARE LEAVING
POVERTY ALL THE TIME AND WE ARE
MAKING PROGRESS.
JULIA, I SHOULD ASK YOU: IS THIS
MORE, THOUGH, OF A STRETCH GOAL?
IS IT MORE OF AN ASPIRATION TO
BE ABLE TO DO THIS BY THE
DEADLINE OF THE YEAR 2030?

The caption changes to " says Julia Sanchez. Canadian Council for International Co-Operation."

Julia says SO I SHARE JOHN'S EXCITEMENT THAT THIS IS
AN AMAZING CHALLENGE THAT WE
HAVE BEFORE US.
IT IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY, AND
IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE.
IT IS A VERY BOLD AND AMBITIOUS
GOAL AND IT'S MEANT TO SPUR US
INTO ACTION.
AGAIN, AS JOHN MENTIONED,
BUSINESS AS USUAL IS NOT ON.
IF WE'RE SERIOUS ABOUT TACKLING
THIS GOAL, WE REALLY NEED TO DO
THINGS VERY DIFFERENTLY, BUT AT
HOME, IN CANADA, WHERE THESE
GOALS ALSO APPLY, AND
INTERNATIONALLY.
AND PART OF THE DIFFICULTY IS
THAT, GIVEN THE SUCCESS WE HAD
WITH THE MDGs OF HAVING
POVERTY NOW WE'RE FACING THE
REALLY HARD TO REACH, THOSE THAT
NOW TO BE PULLED OUT OF POVERTY.
THAT ADDITIONAL HALF, IT'S GOING
TO REQUIRE MUCH MORE INNOVATION,
MUCH MORE RESOURCES, MUCH MORE
DEDICATION, PROFOUND CHANGES.
IT WON'T BE JUST, YOU KNOW, THE
LOW-HANGING FRUIT.
WE'RE GOING FOR THE DIFFICULT
CASES.
THOSE LIVING IN THE MOST FRAGILE
CONTEXT AND CONFLICT STATES, SUB
SAHARAN AFRICA, WOMEN AND GIRLS
LIVING IN PRECARIOUS SITUATIONS.
SO THESE ARE NOT EASY
POPULATIONS TO ACCESS AND TO
SUPPORT.
SO IT IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT BUT IT'S A FABULOUS
CHALLENGE AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S
A STRONG POLITICAL WILL ACROSS
THE WORLD TO DO THIS, AND WE
JUST NEED TO GET TO WORK.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP
WITH YOU, JULIA, SINCE YOU
MENTIONED THE MDGs, THESE ARE
THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
WHICH IS BEFORE THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS WHICH THE
UNITED NATIONS IS ONTO NOW.
THEY DID HAVE A GOAL TO REDUCE
SUPREME POVERTY BY HALF IN 2015
AND SOMEHOW THEY MANAGED TO BEAT
THAT TARGET BY FIVE YEARS.
THAT SOUNDS LIKE A FANTASTIC
ACCOMPLISHMENT.
HOW COME MORE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT?

Julia says YEAH, WELL, I CAN TAKE A
LITTLE BIT OF BLAME ON BEHALF OF
CIVIL SOCIETY ON THAT FRONT.
IT'S HARD TO COMMUNICATE THE
COMPLEXITY OF DEVELOPMENT TO
PEOPLE, IN CANADA AND ACROSS THE
WORLD.
DEVELOPMENT ISSUES OR THINGS
THAT ARE HAPPENING OUT THERE ARE
NOT TOP OF MIND AND IT'S VERY
DIFFICULT TO GET THEM ONTO THE
MEDIA.
IT'S WONDERFUL YOU'RE DOING THIS
PROGRAM BUT I WOULD SAY THIS IS
AN EXCEPTION AND NOT THE NORM TO
FOCUS SO MUCH TIME ON TALKING
ABOUT THESE KINDS OF GLOBAL
CHALLENGES AND HOW WE'RE
TACKLING THEM AND THE SUCCESS
AND THE DIFFICULTIES WE'RE
HAVING.
I THINK ONE OF THE ADVANTAGES
THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW WITH THE
SDGs, THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS THAT WE DIDN'T
HAVE WITH THE MILLENNIUM
DEVELOPMENT GOALS, THAT THESE
APPLIED EVERYWHERE, AS YOU SAID
AT THE BEGINNING.
THEY APPLY TO CANADA.
NOW WE HAVE A GLOBAL AGENDA TO
ADDRESS POVERTY AND OTHER
CHALLENGES THAT ALSO HAS TO BE
APPLIED HERE IN CANADA, AND WE
BELIEVE IN CIVIL SOCIETY THAT
THIS PROVIDES US A FABULOUS TOOL
TO TALK TO CANADIANS ABOUT THESE
ISSUES BECAUSE THEY MATTER BOTH
AT HOME AND ABROAD.
SO HOPEFULLY OUR UNDERSTANDING
AS A BROAD POPULATION AND OUR
ENGAGEMENT WITH THESE ISSUES
WILL INCREASE DRAMATICALLY OVER
THE NEXT 13 YEARS.

Steve says KWAME, I WANT YOU TO
GET IN THERE AS WELL ON THAT
ISSUE.
YOU WOULD THINK SOMETHING AS
MIRACULOUSLY GOOD NEWS AS THAT
IS WOULD BE TRUMPETED ALL OVER
THE PLACE.
HOW COME WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT
THIS?

The caption changes to "Kwame McKenzie. Wellesley Institute."

Kwame says YOU WOULD THINK SO.
IT IS GOOD NEWS.
WE HAVE BEEN FOCUSING, YOU KNOW,
WORLD WIDE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN
FOCUSING ON THIS AND THEY'VE
REACHED A TARGET, THEY'VE
REACHED A GOAL AND THEY'VE
SURPASSED THEIR GOAL.
ONE OF THE REASONS WHY SOMETIMES
PEOPLE HAVE DIFFICULTY IS THAT,
THOUGH THEY HAVE REACHED A
GOAL... AND THAT IS EXCITING AND
WE SHOULD CELEBRATE IT...
THERE'S STILL HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVING IN
POVERTY.
SO THAT'S THE FIRST ISSUE.
THE SECOND ISSUE THAT SOME
PEOPLE WORRY ABOUT IS THAT
ACTUALLY THIS IS NOT A GOAL TO
ERADICATE POVERTY, THIS IS A
GOAL TO ERADICATE EXTREME
POVERTY.
AND SO THERE ARE A LOT OF
PEOPLE, EVEN IF YOU ERADICATE
EXTREME POVERTY, THE JOB, YOU
KNOW, THERE'S STILL MUCH MORE TO
BE DONE.
AND SO I THINK PEOPLE ARE HAPPY,
BUT THEY STILL LOOK AT THE WORLD
AND THEY SAY, YOU KNOW, THERE
ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
HAVING GREAT DIFFICULTIES WHO
ARE LIVING IN POVERTY AND
THERE'S SO MUCH MORE TO BE DONE.

Steve says THEY SAY, BRETT,
WHEN YOU RUN A MARATHON, THE
FIRST HALF IS A LOT EASIER THAN
THE SECOND HALF.
LET'S ASSUME WE'RE HALFWAY
THROUGH THE MARATHON RIGHT NOW.
HOW MUCH TRICKIER IS IT GOING TO
BE TO GET THE SECOND HALF OF
THIS THING DONE?

The caption changes to "Brett House. Scotiabank."

Brett says IT IS A PROBLEM AS JULIA MENTIONED.
IT TAKES WORK AND RESOURCES TO
REACH THE EXTREME POOR BUT
THAT'S IN THE CONTEXT OF HAVING
MADE ALL OF THE PROGRESS THAT
HAS BEEN CITED AROUND THE TABLE
ALREADY.
THAT IS A SEA CHANGE.
FOR DECADES PEOPLE CAME AROUND
THE TABLE AND SET AMBITIOUS
GOALS AND THOSE QUIETLY WERE NOT
ACHIEVED OFTEN BECAUSE THE
RESOURCES AND THE CONCERTED WORK
TO ACHIEVE THEM WAS NOT PUT INTO
PLACE ALONG WITH THE GOALS.
THE MDGs WERE A REAL CHANGE ON
THAT FRONT.
SOME RESOURCES, NOT AS MANY AS
EVERYONE HOPED, BUT SOME
RESOURCES AND POLICY FRAMEWORKS
WERE COORDINATED ALONG WITH THE
GOALS AND THE ACCOUNTABILITY
PROCESS WAS ALSO ADDED IN SO
THAT COUNTRIES WERE HELD TO SOME
KIND OF MEASURE ALONG THE WAY
AND INTERMEDIATE MILESTONES WERE
OBSERVED, MEASURED, AND
CELEBRATED IN SOME CASES OR, YOU
KNOW, LESS GOOD REPORT CARDS
WERE PROVIDED SO OF COURSE
CORRECTIONS COULD HAPPEN.
SO WE'RE IN A CONTEXT WHERE WE
HAVE A MUCH MORE LET'S SAY
INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK FOR
ACHIEVING THESE GOALS, AND SO
THE CHALLENGES ARE BIGGER BUT SO
TOO IS OUR APPROACH MUCH MORE
IMPROVED THAN IT HAD BEEN IN THE PAST.

Steve says JOHN, COME ON IN
HERE AND TELL US WHERE IN THE
WORLD IN YOUR JUDGMENT THE
TOUGHEST COUNTRIES WILL BE TO
LIFT THAT NEXT PERCENTAGE OF
PEOPLE OUT OF EXTREME POVERTY?
WHERE DO YOU THINK?

John says WELL, ONE OF
THE BIG IMPORTANT POINTS TO NOTE
HERE IS THAT THERE'S A SHIFT IN
THE GEOGRAPHY OF THE PROBLEM.
SO A GENERATION AGO, THE LARGEST
NUMBER OF EXTREMELY POOR PEOPLE
WAS IN SOUTH ASIA AND EAST ASIA
AND THE PACIFIC.
NOW, AS OF THE PAST FEW YEARS,
MORE THAN HALF IS IN SUB SAHARAN
AFRICA AND AS OF ROUGHLY THIS
YEAR, AND IT'S IN THAT POVERTY
CLOCK THAT I THINK YOU MIGHT
STILL HAVE THERE, WHICH IS THE
BEST CURRENT ESTIMATE... THESE
ARE JUST ESTIMATES, BUT IT'S THE
BEST ESTIMATE... THE COUNTRY
WITH THE BIGGEST NUMBER TODAY IS
NIGERIA.
AND WE HAVE... THAT'S A COUNTRY
THAT HAS ABOUT 200 MILLION
PEOPLE.
IT'S PROBABLY NEARLY HALF THE
COUNTRY THAT'S LIVING IN EXTREME
POVERTY.
SO IT'S NOT JUST A MARGINALIZED
GROUP THERE, IT'S A PERVASIVE
PROBLEM.
AND WE HAVE OTHERS, LIKE JULIA
SAID, LIKE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
OF CONGO, CENTRAL AFRICAN
REPUBLIC, EVEN MADAGASCAR THAT
HAVE HAD REAL CHALLENGES OF
FRAGILITY, GETTING THE STABILITY
OF THE GOVERNMENT IN PLACE, AND
THIS IS ACTUALLY, IN MY VIEW,
THE TRUE LAST MILE.
AND IT'S THESE PLACES THAT HAVE
POLITICAL FRAGILITY AND
INSTITUTIONAL FRAGILITY WHERE
PEOPLE MIGHT BE FIGHTING OR,
FRANKLY, WHEN THE RAINS MIGHT
FAIL AND THE CROPS THEREFORE
MIGHT FAIL, PEOPLE ARE MORE
LIKELY TO FIGHT.
THESE ARE THE CHALLENGES THAT
WE'RE SEEING IN PLACES LIKE
MALI, WHICH OF COURSE IS COMING
UP IN A PEACEKEEPING CONTEXT.
WE NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT
THESE VERY PRACTICAL THINGS THAT
CAN HELP THESE ECONOMIES BE
STABLE.
THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME THAT'S
ACTUALLY GOING TO BE ABOUT
HELPING FARMERS GROW MORE FOOD,
BUT IT'S NOT EXCLUSIVELY THAT.
IT'S GOING TO BE ALSO ABOUT
GETTING THESE MARGINALIZED
POPULATIONS, INCLUDING IN THE
CITIES, IN FRAGILE CONTEXTS, TO
HAVE ACCESS TO THAT BASIC
INCOME.
THE OTHER THING I WOULD SAY IS
WE SHOULDN'T BE NAIVE ABOUT
THIS.
PROBABLY THE BIGGEST
BREAKTHROUGHS OF THE MILLENNIUM
DEVELOPMENT GOALS WERE AROUND
GLOBAL HEALTH, THINGS LIKE
FIGHTING A.I.D.S., MALARIA,
TUBERCULOSIS, CHILD SURVIVAL,
MATERNAL SURVIVAL.
THERE ARE PRACTICAL
INTERVENTIONS THAT ARE NEEDED TO
PREVENT THOSE.
AT LEAST 20 MILLION EXTRA PEOPLE
LIVED BECAUSE THE WORLD DID
BETTER IN LITERALLY KEEPING
PEOPLE ALIVE.
THE ISSUES OF GENERATING INCOME,
HOW TO GET PEOPLE OUT OF
POVERTY, THOSE CAN BE VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT.
THEY'RE LESS EASY TO PLAN.
THEY'RE MORE ABOUT HOW THE
MARKETS WORK.
BUT THIS IS WHERE TECHNOLOGY IS
ALSO PROVIDING A LOT OF
EXCITEMENT.
WE HAVE THINGS LIKE MOBILE
MONEY.
WE HAVE DIRECT CASH TRANSFERS.
WE HAVE PIONEERING EXAMPLES IN
EAST AFRICA WHERE INDEPENDENT
ASSESSMENTS SHOW THAT LITERALLY
JUST GIVING PEOPLE SMALL AMOUNTS
OF MONEY THROUGH THE ACCESS OF
MOBILE MONEY AND THEIR MOBILE
PHONE CAN HELP LIFT THEM OUT OF
POVERTY AT EXTREMELY LOW COST.
SO AS MUCH AS THERE'S A LOT OF
THESE LAST MILE CHALLENGES THAT
ARE VERY, VERY HARD, THERE'S
ALSO A LOT OF EXCITEMENT AROUND
NEW APPROACHES TO TACKLING THOSE
THAT MIGHT BE EVEN EASIER THAN
WE IMAGINED.

Steve says LET'S, JULIA,
UNDERSTAND WHY... THIS MAY BE A
PEDANTIC QUESTION, BUT PEOPLE
ARE CURIOUS.
EXTREME POVERTY IS MEASURED AT
EARNING LESS THAN 1 dollar 90 A DAY.
WHY 1 dollar 90?
WHAT'S MAGIC ABOUT THAT NUMBER?

The caption changes to "Beyond the data."

Julia says THERE HAVE
BEEN DIFFERENT ATTEMPTS
INTERNATIONALLY TO SET A NUMBER
THAT WOULD BE REPRESENTATIVE OF
GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE.
IT'S A VERY LOW NUMBER.
AND THERE IS A DEBATE, AND JOHN,
I THINK, CAN PROBABLY SPEAK MORE
ELOQUENTLY TO THAT.
WE NEED A NUMBER, AND SO THAT IS
THE NUMBER THAT HAS GARNERED THE
MOST AGREEMENT RIGHT NOW AMONG
PEOPLE WHO STUDY THESE ISSUES.
BUT WE NEED A CUT-OFF LINE.
IT IS DANGEROUS, I WOULD SAY, TO
LOOK AT IT AS A HARD LINE.
YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO GO UP
TO 1 dollar 91 A DAY AND SAY, OKAY,
DONE. WE'VE DONE OUR JOB.
IT'S AN INDICATOR THAT HELPS US
SET TARGETS AND STRATEGY, BUT WE
CAN'T LOOK AT IT AS A HARD LINE
THAT ONCE PEOPLE CROSS THAT LINE
BY ONE OR FIVE CENTS THEN WE'VE
SOLVED THE PROBLEM AND IF YOU
ALLOW ME, STEVE, TO ADD TO WHAT
JOHN WAS SAYING ABOUT HOW WELL-
EQUIPPED WE ARE NOW AND HOW MUCH
NEW KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES,
TECHNOLOGY, ETC., WE HAVE TO
HELP US TACKLE THIS INCREASINGLY
DIFFICULT ISSUE OF THE LAST
MILE.
I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD TO THAT
THE FACT THAT THE SDGs, AND I
THINK DEFINITELY IN CANADA,
THERE IS AN INCREASING EMBRACE
OF WHAT WE CALL A RIGHTS BASED
APPROACH.
SO WE'RE LOOKING AT THESE
PROBLEMS IN A STRUCTURAL WAY.
WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT THEM, AS
TENDED TO BE THE CASE WITH THE
MDGs, IS WE HAVE SOME SYMPTOMS
HERE OF POVERTY THAT WE NEED TO
ADDRESS.
LET'S FEED PEOPLE, LET'S
VACCINATE PEOPLE AND LET'S, YOU
KNOW, DEAL WITH THE SYMPTOMS AND
NOT REALLY TACKLING THE ISSUES.
AND THE MAIN ISSUE THAT
UNDERLIES A LOT OF THIS AND
DEFINITELY WHEN WE TALK ABOUT
EXTREME POVERTY IS INEQUALITY AS
FAR AS ACCESS TO POWER AND
ACCESS TO FULFILLING PEOPLE'S
RIGHTS, RIGHT?
SO WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE A PERFECT
EXAMPLE OF THAT, AND I THINK OUR
CURRENT GOVERNMENT HAS DONE A
WONDERFUL JOB OF FOCUSING
ATTENTION ON THAT AND SAYING, IF
WE DON'T ADDRESS THE DISPARITIES
AND THE DISCRIMINATION THAT
WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE SUBJECT TO,
THERE IS NO TECHNOLOGY AND NO
CELL PHONES AND NO, YOU KNOW,
COOL WAYS OF ADDRESSING THEIR
NEEDS THAT ARE GOING TO BE
SUSTAINABLE AND TO GET THEM OUT
OF POVERTY IN A SUSTAINABLE
FASHION IF WE DON'T RECOGNIZE
THAT THERE'S A POWER IMBALANCE
HERE, THERE'S A DISCRIMINATION
ISSUE, AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THAT AS WELL SO THAT WE GET TO
THE ROOT CAUSES OF WHY WE HAVE
THIS POVERTY LEVEL.

Steve says YOU WANTED TO
FOLLOW, KWAME.

Kwame says I WANTED TO FOLLOW.
TWO THINGS, JUST TO MAKE IT
CLEAR, I THINK, TO EVERYBODY,
THAT WHEN PEOPLE ARE TALKING
ABOUT POVERTY, THERE ARE THREE
GROUPS OF ISSUES: ONE IS
ECONOMIC POVERTY, AND THAT'S
YOUR SORT OF MONEY AND RESOURCE...
THE OTHER IS SOCIAL, AND SO THAT
IS INCLUSION, DISCRIMINATION...
AND THEN THE OTHER IS POLITICAL,
AND THAT IS HAVING VOICE AND
HAVING ACCESS TO POWER AND THEN
SELF-DETERMINATION.
AND WHEN YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT
POVERTY, YOU'RE THINKING ABOUT
ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
SO I THINK IT'S QUITE IMPORTANT
TO REMEMBER... THAT WE REMEMBER
THAT.
WE ALWAYS GET PULLED INTO THE
ECONOMIC SIDE WITHOUT THINKING
ALL OF THE OTHER THINGS AND
THAT'S WHY I TOTALLY AGREE WITH
WHAT JULIA SAID.
THERE'S ONE THING WHICH I
WONDERED WHETHER WAS A SLIP THAT
JULIA MENTIONED.
SHE MENTIONED THE 1 dollar 90 AND
SAID, YOU KNOW, OVER 1 dollar 90 IS,
YOU KNOW, THAT'S A LEVEL FOR
DECENT LEVEL OF LIFE...

Steve says NO, NO, SHE DIDN'T
SAY THAT.
SHE SAID WE SHOULDN'T ASSUME IF
WE GET TO 1 dollar 91, WE SOMEHOW HAVE
SOLVED THE PROBLEM.

Kwame says I THINK EARLIER SHE SAID
THAT.
I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT
WE'RE CLEAR THAT 1 dollar 90 IS THE
LEVEL OF EXTREME POVERTY.
EXTREME POVERTY.

Steve says CAN YOU LEAD A LIFE
WITH DIGNITY IF YOU MAKE 1 dollar 09 A
DAY?

Kwame says NONE.

Steve says IMPOSSIBLE...

Kwame says I DON'T BELIEVE SO.
REMEMBER, IT'S 1 dollar 90 PURCHASING
POWER.
IT DOESN'T MEAN IT'S 1 dollar 90 EVERY
PLACE IN THE WORLD.
IT'S WHAT 1 dollar 90 CAN BUY.
SO WE'D HAVE TO ASK OURSELVES,
SAY IN CANADA, DO WE BELIEVE
THAT SOMEBODY WHO EARNS... LET'S
DO THE MATH... 920 dollars OR SOMETHING
LIKE THAT OR 930 dollars A YEAR IS
GOING TO BE LIVING A LIFE OF
DIGNITY IN CANADA?
I DON'T THINK... WE COULD TRY
IT.
WE COULD TRY LIVING ON...

Steve says GO AHEAD, BRETT, YOU
WANTED TO ADD?

The caption changes to "Brett House, @BrettEHouse."

Brett says I THINK THE
NUMBER NEEDS TO BE PUT IN
SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT CONTEXT FOR
CANADA.
1 dollar 90 IN PURCHASING POWER PARITY
TERMS.
IT'S A CONCEPT WE USE IN
ECONOMICS TO TRY TO EVEN OUT
WHAT AMOUNT OF MONEY WILL BUY IN
DIFFERENT CONTEXTS IN DIFFERENT
COUNTRIES.
1 dollar 90 IS A THRESHOLD FOR EXTREME
POVERTY IS REALLY A MEASURE FOR
VERY LOW INCOME COUNTRIES.
1 dollar 90 CLEARLY ISN'T THE
THRESHOLD HERE BETWEEN EXTREME
POVERTY AND POVERTY.
HERE I THINK THE BROADER
ARTICULATION OF THE GOAL, WHICH
IS AROUND HALVING POVERTY OR
EXTREME POVERTY IS THE MUCH MORE
PERTINENT ISSUE AND THEN THE
ACTUAL ELIMINATION OF EXTREME
POVERTY.
WE HAVE VERY DIFFERENT MEASURES
ON HERE.
OUR POVERTY LINE IN ONTARIO FOR
A SINGLE PERSON IS AROUND
21,000 dollars OF INCOME A YEAR FOR A
FAMILY OF FOUR IT'S AROUND
41,000 dollars A YEAR.
OBVIOUSLY THAT'S MANY MULTIPLES
OF THE 1 dollar 90 THRESHOLD FOR LOW
INCOME COUNTRIES.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: TVO.org. Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Kwame says THE
QUESTION I'D HAVE THOUGH IS
THAT'S THE POVERTY LEVEL.
THERE'S THE POVERTY LEVEL AND
THERE'S THE EXTREME POVERTY
LEVEL.
WHAT WOULD THE EXTREME POVERTY
LEVEL BE IN ONTARIO, FOR
INSTANCE?

Brett says I THINK
ACTUALLY, YOU KNOW, THE AMBITION
AND THE AGENDA HERE IS TOWARD
GETTING PEOPLE ABOVE THAT
POVERTY LEVEL, I THINK, RATHER
THAN THE EXTREME POVERTY LEVEL
IN THE POLICY CONTEXT AND IN THE
TERMS OF THE WEALTH THAT WE HAVE
IN ONTARIO.
I MEAN, I THINK WE NEED TO THINK
ABOUT POVERTY AS A WHOLE RATHER
THAN THAT FOCUS ON EXTREME
POVERTY, WHICH IS MORE OF A
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE THAN ONE THAT
WE'RE LOOKING AT RIGHT HERE.

Steve says JOHN, LET ME GET YOU
TO COMMENT FIRST ON A COMMENT
MADE HERE BY ANTHONY LAKE, HE'S
THE UNICEF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
HE SAID THIS FIVE YEARS AGO...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Papering over moral failures?" The quote reads "Disaggregate the data and we find that our statistical national successes are masking moral and practical failures. People are left behind simply because they live in rural communities or urban slums, in conflict zones, as part of Indigenous groups, with disabilities or because they are girls."
Anthony Lake speech in Gabarone, Botswana. March 4, 2013.

Steve says DO YOU AGREE WITH
THAT NOTION, THAT SOMEHOW, WHEN
WE EXPRESS THESE THINGS IN
NATIONAL AVERAGES, IT, IN
EFFECT, PAPERS OVER OUR MORAL FAILINGS?

The caption changes to "John McArthur, @mcarthur."

John says I WOULD SAY
TWO THINGS, AND IF I MAY JUST
ADD ON THE 1 dollar 90 BIT, JUST SO
WE'RE CLEAR.
THAT IS A VERY SPECIFIC HISTORY
OF BEING THE POVERTY LINE IN THE
15 POOREST... OR 15 OF THE VERY
POOREST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD,
AND THEN AS WAS MENTIONED, IT'S
PURCHASING POWER PARITY, SO IT'S
MEANT TO SAY, WHAT WOULD
1 dollar 90... ACTUALLY IN U.S. DOLLAR
TERMS, BY AN EQUIVALENT TERMS
ALL AROUND THE WORLD?
SO IT REALLY IS... KWAME IS VERY
MUCH RIGHT AND EVERYONE IS IN
THIS CONVERSATION, IT'S AN
EXTREME MEASURE OF NO
CONSUMPTION OR NO INCOME, AND
OFTEN IT'S ACTUALLY EVEN AN
IMPUTED VALUE BECAUSE SO MUCH OF
IT IS FOR FARMERS WHERE IT'S
MEASURING WHAT THEY'RE CONSUMING
WHEN THEY GROW IT ON THEIR OWN
FARM SO THERE'S NOT EVEN ANY
CASH COMPONENT.
IT'S JUST WHAT IT'S WORTH THAT
THEY'RE CONSUMING, WHICH IS
EXTREMELY LIMITED.
EVEN THAT CONCEPT IS OFTEN NOT
QUITE AS RELEVANT, SAY IN A
PLACE LIKE CANADA WHERE YOU HAVE
MORE ACCESS TO PUBLIC SERVICES,
EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE MAYBE VERY,
VERY, VERY LOW INCOME.
AND THIS IS WHY I THINK BRETT'S
POINT IS RIGHT THAT IT'S NOT
THAT IT'S NOT RELEVANT IN
CANADA, BUT THE MORE RELEVANT
CONCEPT IS THIS ONE OF RELATIVE
POVERTY AND EXCLUSION AND WHAT'S
A MINIMUM BASKET MEASURE OF WHAT
CANADIANS DEFINE AS MINIMUM TO
PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY, AND THIS
IS WHERE I THINK TONY LAKE'S
COMMENTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE THE CORE PHRASE, IF YOU
WILL, OF THE SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT GOALS IS NO ONE LEFT
BEHIND.
THIS IS FOR EACH PERSON ANYWHERE
IN THE WORLD TO HAVE THE MEANS
TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY.
THE BASIC MEANS FOR BASIC
PARTICIPATION IN THEIR
COMMUNITY.
I WOULD CAUTION AGAINST
STRIPPING THE DIGNITY OF
600 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE
LIVING IN EXTREME POVERTY.
I'VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO WORK
WITH MANY OF THOSE PEOPLE, AS I
THINK EVERYONE IN THIS
CONVERSATION HAS, AND THEY'RE
MANY EXTREMELY DIGNIFIED PEOPLE
WORKING EXTREMELY HARD TO GET
THEMSELVES OVER THE NEXT
THRESHOLD FOR THEIR FAMILY.
BUT AT THE SAME TIME ONE OF THE
THINGS WE SEE IS ESPECIALLY
WHERE THERE'S LARGE POPULATIONS
OR EVEN VERY NARROW TARGETED
POPULATIONS LEFT BEHIND, THAT'S
NO LONGER OKAY.
THAT'S NO LONGER OKAY FOR
CERTAIN IN THE POOREST PARTS OF
THE WORLD WHERE IT MIGHT BE
LARGE PARTS OF THE POPULATION
LEFT BEHIND, BUT IT'S NOT OKAY
IN CANADA FOR ANY SEGMENT OF THE
POPULATION TO GET LEFT BEHIND,
AND I WOULD ARGUE EQUALLY IN THE
UNITED STATES WHERE YOU HAVE
PARTS OF APPALACHIA AND SO ON
FEELING LEFT BEHIND AND IN
ENGLAND LARGE PARTS OF THE
POPULATION LEFT BEHIND.
THIS ISN'T JUST WHERE YOU ARE
BUT YOUR ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE
IN THE PROGRESS OF THE SOCIETY
AND THESE RELATIVE BENCHMARKS
ARE SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP AT
LEAST A FIXED GOAL POST BUT ALSO
TO UNDERSTAND THAT AS I THINK
KWAME SAID VERY NICELY, WE NEED
TO HAVE A CLEAR GOAL POST ON
OVER TIME MEASURING HOW WE'RE
DOING BUT WE ALSO NEED TO BE
ABLE TO SEE HOW PEOPLE ARE DOING
RELATIVE TO ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE
WE'RE SOCIAL ANIMALS.
WE LIVE IN COMMUNITIES AND OUR
COMMUNITIES NEED TO WORK.

Steve says KWAME, DO YOU WANT
TO COME BACK ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Kwame McKenzie, @Kwame_McKenzie."

Kwame says YES.
I WAS ACTUALLY JUST AGREEING
WITH JOHN BUT ALSO AGREEING WITH BRETT.
THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE
WAS I THINK HARDLY ANYBODY IN
CANADA IS GOING TO BE AT THAT
EXTREME POVERTY LEVEL, BUT I WAS
TRYING TO REFLECT ON THAT, THAT
WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT EXTREME
POVERTY, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT
SOMETHING THAT WE THINK IS GOING
TO BE... IS HAPPENING A LOT HERE
AND WE HAVE TO MOVE INTO
THINKING ABOUT RELATIVE POVERTY.
I THINK YOU CAN GET EXTREME
POVERTY CERTAINLY IN INDIGENOUS
POPULATIONS, BUT IT'S NOT... YOU
KNOW, OUR FOCUS SHOULD BE ON
RELATIVE POVERTY, SO I'M
AGREEING WITH BOTH OF THEM.

Steve says SHELDON, IF YOU
LIKE, GRAB ANOTHER SHOT OF THE
VIDEO BOARD BEHIND US HERE...

The number on the wall screen now is around 618,462,975.

Steve continues AND EVEN IN THE SHORT TIME THAT WE
HAVE BEEN ON THE AIR TONIGHT,
1400 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN... WHAT'S
THE WORD WE SHOULD USE HERE?...
LIBERATED FROM EXTREME
POVERTY IN THE WORLD.

Brett says THEY LIBERATED THEMSELVES.
PEOPLE AREN'T RESCUING THEM.
THEY ARE DOING MOST OF THE HARD
WORK HERE.

Steve says BETTER WAY TO PUT IT.
HERE IS HARVARD UNIVERSITY'S
STEVEN PINKER WHO WAS ON THIS
PROGRAM NOT TOO LONG AGO
EXPRESSING NOT POVERTY BUT
INEQUALITY WHICH IS ALSO A HUGE
PROBLEM IN THE WORLD TODAY.
SHELDON, GO.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "Steven Pinker. April 4, 2018."
In the clip, Pinker talks in the studio. He's in his fifties, clean-shaven, with long curly white hair.

He says WHEN YOU CONSIDER POVERTY, I
DON'T THINK INEQUALITY IS A GOOD
THING BUT IT'S THE WRONG THING
TO TAKE AIM AT.

Steve says BECAUSE...

Pinker says IT'S RELATIVE HOW PEOPLE ARE
BUT NOT HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF
INCOME.
WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT FAIRNESS,
WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT PEOPLE
HAVING ENOUGH, THAT THEY SHOULD
LIVE A PLEASANT, ADEQUATE,
STIMULATING LIVES, BUT THE FACT
THAT THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO
LIVE EVEN MORE PLEASANT LIVES IS
NOT MORALLY RELEVANT.
THE FACT THAT J.K. ROWLING IS A
BILLIONAIRE IS NOT A MORAL
OUTRAGE.
THE FACT THAT SOMEONE IS
UNEMPLOYED, THAT THEIR CHILDREN
AREN'T BEING EDUCATED, THAT THEY
DON'T HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT, THAT
IS A MORAL CONCERN.

The clip ends.

Steve says JULIA, I WANT TO GO
TO YOU FIRST ON THAT ONE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF STEVEN
PINKER'S TAKE ON INEQUALITY?

The caption changes to "Julia Sanchez, @JSanchezCCIC."
Then, it changes again to "Rise of inequality?"

Julia says I COULDN'T
DISAGREE WITH HIM MORE.
I THINK HE'S FOCUSING ON THE
WRONG THING AND I DON'T THINK
PEOPLE ARE FOCUSING ON EQUALITY,
ON HAVING EVERYBODY HAVE THE
SAME INCOME.
THAT IS NOT THE ARGUMENT HERE.
THE POINT IS THAT THERE IS
INEQUALITY.
IN CANADA WE HAVE GROWING
INEQUALITY.
THERE'S INEQUALITY AS A GROWING
DANGER TO SUSTAINABLE SOCIETIES
AROUND THE WORLD, AND WE NEED TO
CHECK THAT TREND TOWARDS
INCREASING, YOU KNOW, GAPS
BETWEEN THE POOREST AND THE
RICHEST.
I DO THINK IT'S MORALLY
OUTRAGEOUS THAT THERE ARE,
AFFORDING TO AN OXFAM STUDY, 8
BILLIONAIRES IN THE WORLD THAT
HAVE MORE MONEY THAN THE BOTTOM
HALF OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION.
THAT MORALLY OUTRAGES ME.
OBVIOUSLY IT DOESN'T OUTRAGE
STEVE.
BUT THAT IS NOT A WORLD THAT WE
SHOULD ASPIRE TO CONTINUE LIVING
IN.
WE NEED TO CHANGE THAT.
SO IT'S NOT ABOUT EVERYBODY
HAVING THE SAME INCOME, IT'S
ABOUT REDUCING THAT GAP,
NARROWING THE GAP BETWEEN THE
WEALTHIEST AND THE POOREST
PEOPLE IN SOCIETY.

Steve says AT THE RISK OF
GETTING OFF THE PATH HERE, LET
ME... SINCE STEVEN PINKER ISN'T
HERE TO DEFEND HIMSELF, ASK YOU
TO CONSIDER THIS FOLLOW-UP.
YOU KNOW, PUTTING IT IN HIS
WORDS.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE IF J.K.
ROWLING IS A BILLIONAIRE?
SHE'S WRITTEN A LOT OF VERY
POPULAR BOOKS THAT PEOPLE SEEM
TO LIKE.
WHY IS THAT MORALLY OUTRAGEOUS
TO YOU?

Julia says IT'S NOT ABOUT HER IN
PARTICULAR, I DON'T KNOW HER
SITUATION, BUT IT'S OFTEN THE
CASE THAT PEOPLE THAT ACCUMULATE
THAT LEVEL OF WEALTH ARE NOT
NECESSARILY PAYING THEIR FAIR
SHARE OF TAXES, FOR EXAMPLE,
CONTRIBUTING BACK TO SOCIETIES
THAT HELPED EDUCATE THEM, THAT
PROVIDED THEM WITH SOCIAL
SERVICES, ETC.
SO THERE IS A PROBLEM.
IT'S NOT A SUSTAINABLE WAY OF
MOVING FORWARD IN OUR SOCIETIES
IF THERE'S AN INCREASING AMOUNT
OF WEALTH AND INCOME ACCUMULATED
BY FEWER AND FEWER NUMBERS.
OXFAM HAS BEEN TRACKING THIS FOR
YEARS NOW AND THEY STARTED OFF
WITH I THINK YOU COULD FIT
EVERYBODY IN A BUS, ALL THE
BILLIONAIRES IN A BUS THAT HAD
MORE WEALTH THAN HALF OF THE
WORLD'S BOTTOM HALF OF THE
POPULATION, AND NOW WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT EIGHT, EIGHT
INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE MORE
WEALTH THAN HALF OF THE WORLD'S
POPULATION.
THAT IS, YOU KNOW, NOT A
SUSTAINABLE MODEL FOR A SOCIETY.
SO THERE IS A REAL ISSUE THAT WE
NEED TO ADDRESS HERE.
AGAIN, I SAY IT'S CLOSING THAT GAP.
IT'S NOT, YOU KNOW, ASPIRING
THAT EVERYBODY HAS THE SAME INCOME.
BUT MAKING SURE THAT THERE
ARE... YOU KNOW, THERE ARE
SYSTEMS IN PLACE SO THAT WEALTH
IS, YOU KNOW, SHARED IN SOCIETY
THROUGH DIFFERENT MECHANISMS AND
THAT PEOPLE... THAT WE DON'T
HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE IN EXTREME
POVERTY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME
YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE, YOU
KNOW, WEALTHIER THAN... TO A
DEGREE THAT THEY CAN'T DO MUCH
WITH THAT WEALTH TO FEED BACK
INTO SOCIETY.

Steve says SURE.
BRETT, IT'S INDISPUTABLE, THE
NUMBERS SHOW THAT CERTAINLY IN
THE DEVELOPED WORLD, INCOME
INEQUALITY HAS BECOME AN
INCREASING PROBLEM OVER THE LAST
TEN, TWENTY YEARS.
I THINK IT PARTIALLY EXPLAINS
THE RISE OF TRUMP IN THE UNITED
STATES.
BUT WHAT IF YOU TAKE THE GLOBAL
PERSPECTIVE?
WHAT IF YOU GO AND INCLUDE THE
DEVELOPING WORLD IN THAT AS WELL?
IS THAT STILL AS BIG A PROBLEM?

Brett says WELL, IF YOU
LOOK GLOBALLY, INEQUALITY HAS
SHRUNK IN PART BECAUSE OF THE
PROGRESS THAT'S BEEN MADE ON
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOAL ONE
AND NOW THE FIRST SDG.
BUT WITHIN DEVELOPED OR
INDUSTRIALIZED ECONOMIES YOU
HAVE SEEN A WIDENING IN
INEQUALITY, PARTICULARLY FOR LOW
WAGE WORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN ON
THE WRONG SIDE OF TECHNOLOGICAL
CHANGE OR PEOPLE IN RURAL OR
ISOLATED REGIONS THAT HAVE SEEN
SHIFTS IN WHICH INDUSTRIES ARE
DOING WELL AND ONE-INDUSTRY
TOWNS POTENTIALLY SHUT DOWN.
THAT'S WHY I THINK PINKER IS
TAKING FAR TOO NARROW A VIEW ON
POVERTY AND INEQUALITY BY
DISMISSING INEQUALITY AS AN
ISSUE HERE FOR A MORAL CONCERN.
AS WE DISCUSSED EARLIER, POVERTY
HAS MULTIPLE DIMENSIONS, AS
KWAME MENTIONED.
IT'S NOT JUST INCOME.
WHAT THAT INCOME ALLOWS YOU TO
DO IN TERMS OF POLITICAL AND
BROADER PARTICIPATION IN
SOCIETY.
AND I WON'T TAKE ON THE MORAL
ISSUE, BUT FROM A PRACTICAL
PERSPECTIVE, AS AN ECONOMIST
SITTING HERE, I THINK WE'VE GOT
SOME PRETTY CLEAR INDICATIONS
THAT SOCIETY, INDUSTRIES, THE
ECONOMY DOESN'T WORK
PARTICULARLY WELL WHEN
INEQUALITY GETS TO EXTREMES.
SO IT'S NOT AN ISSUE OF WHAT THE
BILLIONAIRES ARE DOING, IT'S
WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THAT LOWER
END OF THE TAIL AND ARE THE
PEOPLE AT THE LOWEST INCOME
LEVELS ACTUALLY AT A THRESHOLD
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO PARTICIPATE,
TO LEARN, TO WORK EFFECTIVELY?
WE KNOW THAT MANY OF THE
INDUSTRIES, SERVICE SECTORS THAT
REQUIRE PEOPLE IN LARGE NUMBERS
AT RELATIVELY LOW WAGES AREN'T
GOING TO WORK VERY WELL IF THOSE
PEOPLE AREN'T ADEQUATELY FED,
ADEQUATELY HOUSED, ADEQUATELY EDUCATED.

Steve says DO I HEAR YOU RIGHT
INASMUCH AS ARE YOU A BAY STREET
BANKER ARGUING FOR HIGHER TAXES
ON BAY STREET BANKERS SO WE CAN
HELP THE BOTTOM THIRD OF SOCIETY?

Brett says THAT IS YOUR INFERENCE FROM
THAT BUT THAT ISN'T THE ONLY
POLICY INFERENCE THAT COMES FROM THAT.
THERE ARE A LOT OF WAYS OF
TACKLING INEQUALITY.
SOME OF WHICH IS THROUGH GROWTH,
DO THE THINGS THAT ALLOW AN
ECONOMY TO EXPAND SO THAT PIE IS
GETTING BIGGER.
THEN IN TERMS OF THINKING ABOUT
HOW IT'S DISTRIBUTED, DIFFERENT
TYPES OF GROWTH DISTRIBUTE THAT
PIE IN DIFFERENT WAYS AND
DIFFERENT POLICY MEASURES CAN
ACTUALLY AFFECT HOW THAT PIE
GETS DISTRIBUTED.
SO MINIMUM WAGE, EARNED INCOME
TAX CREDITS, UNIVERSAL BASIC
INCOME, OTHER SOCIAL SUPPORT
PROGRAMS, EDUCATION WE KNOW IS
ONE OF THE MOST EMPOWERING WAYS
OF ENSURING THAT PEOPLE GET
ACCESS TO PARTICIPATION IN
SOCIETY.
YOU KNOW, SAYING THAT IT'S A
CALL FOR RAISING TAXES IS ONE OF
ONLY A LARGE NUMBER OF ARROWS IN
THE QUIVER WE'VE GOT.

Steve says CANADA YOU MEAN?

Kwame says WELL, I
WILL... KWAME?

Kwame says I'LL PAY
MORE TAXES AND WOULD HAPPILY DO
SO IF IT WAS SHARED MORE
EQUALLY.
IT'S A STRANGE PLACE, I THINK,
HARVARD.
IT MUST BE A VERY STRANGE PLACE
TO BELIEVE THAT IF YOU'VE GOT
LIMITED RESOURCES, THE WAY YOU
SHARE THEM IS NOT A MORAL ISSUE.
VERY, VERY ODD WAY OF LOOKING AT
THE WORLD.
VERY DIFFICULT TO COMMENT ON IT
BECAUSE IT SEEMS SUCH AN ODD WAY
OF LOOKING AT THE WORLD.
EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT, YOU KNOW,
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY FOUND
THE GENE FOR FAIRNESS YET, BUT
WE'RE HARD-WIRED TO BELIEVE THAT
THE WORLD SHOULD BE A FAIRER
PLACE, AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE
COMPLETELY EQUAL.
FROM A HEALTH PERSPECTIVE, WHEN
YOU LOOK AT A GINI COEFFICIENT.
AT ZERO WE'RE PERFECTLY EQUAL.
ONE, WE'RE PERFECTLY UNEQUAL.
IT'S WHEN YOU GET OVER ABOUT 0.3
THAT YOU START HAVING THE HEALTH
IMPACTS OF INCOME INEQUALITY,
AND THAT'S WHAT SOME OF THE
MODELLING SEEMS TO SHOW.
IT'S NOT SAYING WE CAN'T HAVE
ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RICH AND
POOR, IT'S SAYING THAT THOSE
EXTREME DIFFERENCES HAVE IMPACTS
SOCIALLY, THEY HAVE IMPACTS ON
HEALTH, AND THERE ARE SOCIAL
CAMPS, THAT THEY PULL US APART.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A WORLD
WHERE DIVIDING PEOPLE HAS
CREATED SUCCESS.
IT NEVER HAPPENS.

Julia says CAN I JUMP
IN ON THAT AGAIN?

Steve says PLEASE, JULIA.

Julia says I THINK IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT
TO CONVEY TO YOUR VIEWERS THAT
THAT VIEW IS UNIQUE IN THAT
THERE IS A GROWING CONSENSUS,
AND THIS IS A HAPPY CONSENSUS IN
OUR POINT OF VIEW, AROUND THE
IMPORTANCE OF INEQUALITY AND
THAT IT IS ONE OF THE MAJOR
OBSTACLES THAT WE FACE FOR, YOU
KNOW, A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE, THAT
AND CLIMATE CHANGE ARE OFTEN
EVOKED JOINTLY.
SO, YOU KNOW, THE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT THERE NOT
WANTING TO RECOGNIZE THAT
INEQUALITY IS A MAJOR ISSUE AND
THAT WE NEED TO TACKLE IT IS
REALLY ALMOST NONEXISTENT.
I MEAN, YEARS AGO, A COUPLE OF
DECADES AGO, IT WAS ONLY KIND OF
PROGRESSIVE CIVIL SOCIETY THAT
WAS POINTING FINGERS AT
INEQUALITY.
NOW, YOU KNOW, THE WORLD BANK,
THE IMF, THE WORLD ECONOMIC
FORUM... YOU KNOW, IT'S A MAJOR
MAIN TOPIC OF DISCUSSION.
EVERYONE IS AGREEING THAT THIS
IS AN ISSUE SO I THOUGHT IT WAS
IMPORTANT TO PUT THAT INTO
PERSPECTIVE.

Steve says GOOD.
JOHN, LET ME GET YOU TO ADDRESS
ONE OF THE SDG'S SUB GOALS, AND
SHELDON I'LL ASK YOU TO BRING
THIS UP HERE.

The goals slate pops up again.

Steve continues
BY 2030 REDUCE AT LEAST BY HALF
THE PROPORTION OF MEN, WOMEN,
AND CHILDREN OF ALL AGES LIVING
IN POVERTY IN ALL ITS DIMENSIONS
ACCORDING TO NATIONAL
DEFINITIONS.
NOW, YOU'VE LOOKED AT THE
NUMBERS AND I'M WONDERING HOW,
IN YOUR VIEW, CANADA IS DOING AT
TACKLING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GOAL NUMBER ONE?

The caption changes to "Poverty in Canada."

John says WELL, ON THE
DOMESTIC POVERTY SIDE, CANADA
DOESN'T ACTUALLY HAVE ITS OWN
POVERTY LINE.
IT HAS A VARIETY OF MEASURES OF
LOW INCOME STATUS.
MY FAVOURITE IS THE SO-CALLED
MARKET BASKET MEASURE WHICH
LOOKS AT HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN
AFFORD A SPECIFIC BASKET OF
GOODS THAT'S PRICED TO THEIR
LOCAL GEOGRAPHY.
THERE'S A FEW OTHERS, SO-CALLED
LOW INCOME CUTOFF AND LOW INCOME
MEASURE THAT LOOK AT RELATIVE
INCOMES, BUT I THINK THAT'S THE
MOST ANALOGOUS TO THE EXTREME
POVERTY MEASURE IS THIS MARKET
BASKET MEASURE.
CANADA HAS BEEN STEADY AT AROUND
10 TO 12 PERCENT OF ITS
POPULATION, SO IT'S MORE THAN
3 and a half MILLION-ODD PEOPLE WHO ARE
LIVING AT THAT LEVEL OF POVERTY,
AND SO THE IMPLICATION IS, WE
WOULD NEED TO CUT THAT BY HALF
BY 2030.
SO BY 2030, THE POPULATION OF
CANADA WILL PROBABLY BE MORE
THAN 40 MILLION PEOPLE.
WE'RE A GROWING COUNTRY.
AND SO THAT WOULD MEAN WE'LL
HAVE TO GET IT DOWN, YOU KNOW,
TO CERTAINLY BELOW 2 MILLION
PEOPLE.
AND SO THIS IS THE TYPE OF
INDICATOR THAT I THINK CAN HELP
NOT JUST OUR NATIONAL
CONVERSATION BUT IT CAN HELP OUR
PROVINCIAL CONVERSATION, EACH
PROVINCE HAS ITS OWN MEASURE OF
THIS SAY MARKET BASKET STANDARD.
EACH CITY AND COMMUNITY CAN HAVE
ITS OWN BENCHMARK.
SO THIS CAN BE A VERY, VERY
LOCAL MEASURE OF PROGRESS IN HOW
WE'RE DOING.
IF I COULD JUST ADD ON THE
INEQUALITY BIT?
I THINK ONE OF THE VERY
IMPORTANT PIECES TO NOTE HERE IS
THAT THIS IS NOT A FIXED PIE.
SO OFTEN THIS IS DESCRIBED AS,
HOW ARE WE SPREADING THE PIE AS
IT IS TODAY?
I THINK THE INEQUALITY DEBATE IS
ABOUT TWO THINGS: IT'S REALLY
ABOUT, IS THIS A RIGGED GAME?
SO I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE ARE
CRITICIZING J.K. ROWLING BECAUSE
SHE IS SEEN I THINK, IF
ANYTHING, AS A VERY PROGRESSIVE
VOICE LOOKING OUT FOR OTHERS.
IT'S MUCH MORE THAT IT'S SEEN AS
PEOPLE WHO ARE PROTECTING
THEMSELVES, PEOPLE WHO ARE
BUYING LEGISLATION, PEOPLE WHO
ARE SETTING THE RULES TO PROTECT
THEIR MONEY OR EVEN HIDE THEIR
MONEY, AND A LOT OF GLOBAL
CONCERN CAME OUT OF THE
FINANCIAL CRISIS IN THAT VEIN.
BUT THE OTHER PIECE I THINK IS
SOCIAL MOBILITY.
SO BASED ON YOUR INCOME LEVEL,
DO YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO DO
BETTER?
DO YOU HAVE A CHANCE FOR YOUR
KIDS TO DO BETTER?
THIS IS VERY BASIC STUFF.
AND EVEN THOUGH GLOBALLY
INEQUALITY HAS BEEN GETTING
BETTER, AND IN MOST COUNTRIES
OUTSIDE OF THE HANDFUL THAT HAVE
BEEN MENTIONED THERE HASN'T BEEN
A HUGE CHANGE, ACTUALLY, NOT AS
MUCH AS PEOPLE THINK IN THE PAST
20 YEARS OR SO, BUT THERE HAS
BEEN A CHANGE IN MANY COUNTRIES
IN TERMS OF WHICH FAMILIES CAN
CLIMB THE LADDER OF SUCCESS, IF
YOU WILL.
AND I THINK THIS IS A HUGE ISSUE
BECAUSE WHAT WE REALLY, REALLY
NEED TO CARE ABOUT ISN'T JUST
TODAY, IT'S THIS QUESTION OF
TOMORROW.
WHO GETS TO DO WELL TOMORROW?
AND IN CANADA WE'VE BEEN TALKING
A LOT ABOUT THE MIDDLE CLASS.
WHAT THIS HELPS US THINK ABOUT
IS WHO IS GETTING LEFT BEHIND?
WHO IS LEFT OUT OF EVEN THE
MIDDLE CLASS?
BUT ALSO IT'S NOT JUST HOW MANY
OF THOSE CAN CLIMB BUT HOW EACH
PERSON AND EACH PART OF SOCIETY
AGAIN HAS A CHANCE TO DO BETTER
TOMORROW.

Steve says TO THAT END, BRETT,
IN THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WE
ARE EXPERIMENTING WITH SOMETHING
CALLED THE BASIC INCOME PILOT
PROGRAM.
IS THERE A WAY TO ERADICATE
POVERTY IN THE PROVINCE OF
ONTARIO IF THIS DOESN'T MOVE
FROM PILOT PROGRAM TO GENERAL
GOVERNMENT POLICY ACROSS ALL
CITIES AND TOWNS?

Brett says WELL, YOU
KNOW, THE PILOT THAT'S IN PLACE
IN ONTARIO IS IN THREE
COMMUNITIES, IN LINDSAY,
BRANTFORD, AND THE THUNDER BAY
AREA.
IT'S EXPERIMENTING WITH
PROVIDING DIRECT INCOME
TRANSFERS TO PEOPLE THAT
SUBSTANTIALLY EXCEED WHAT IS
PROVIDED UNDER ONTARIO'S SOCIAL
ASSISTANCE.
SO FOR A SINGLE PERSON, THEY'RE
GETTING AROUND 16,900 dollars PAIRED
COMPARED WITH AROUND 8,000 dollars IN
THE PAST UNDER SOCIAL ASSISTANCE
AND FOR, YOU KNOW, A FAMILY,
IT'S MOVING TO AROUND 24,000,
25,000 dollars.
THE NOTION THERE IS TO LOOK AT
HOW WE CAN PROVIDE A BASIC
GUARANTEE OF WELL-BEING THROUGH
A SIMPLER, MORE STREAMLINED
SYSTEM BY PROVIDING THOSE DIRECT
CASH TRANSFERS RATHER THAN, YOU
KNOW, SOMETIMES THE ONEROUS
PROCESS OF APPLYING FOR SOCIAL
ASSISTANCE, APPLYING FOR ONTARIO
DISABILITY BENEFITS, AND LOOKING
AT THE IMPACTS THEN ON THE
NUMBER OF SOCIAL INDICATORS OF
WELL-BEING.
DOES THIS REDUCE THE NUMBER OF
TRIPS TO HOSPITAL?
DOES THIS IMPROVE, YOU KNOW,
EDUCATIONAL ATTENDANCE IN
FAMILIES THAT ARE RECEIVING THIS
KIND OF SUPPORT?
AND WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT REALLY
IN THE FUTURE IS THIS TYPE OF
DELIVERY METHOD AS A POTENTIAL
WAY OF ENSURING THE ECONOMIC AND
SOCIAL SECURITY OF INDIVIDUALS
AND FAMILIES...

Steve says SO YOU'RE A FAN OF IT?

Brett says I THINK IT'S SOMETHING WE
REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT AND
THAT'S WHY IT WAS REALLY I THINK
A USEFUL PROJECT TO BRING
FORWARD BECAUSE WE KNOW THE
NATURE OF WORK IS CHANGING.
THERE'S GREATER PRECARITY IN
WORK IN MANY SECTORS.
THERE ARE SOME TYPES OF JOBS
THAT ARE NEVER COMING BACK.
AND THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE WHO
HAVE WORKED IN THOSE SECTORS WHO
WILL FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT TO
RETRAIN.
THIS PROVIDES AT LEAST A FLOOR,
YOU KNOW, ON THEIR INCOME, BUT
IT ALSO PROVIDES ROOM FOR THEM
TO ENGAGE POTENTIALLY IN
ENTREPRENEURSHIP BECAUSE THE
CLAWBACKS THAT HAPPENED ARE MUCH
MORE LIMITED FOR INCOME THAT
THEY EARN OVER AND ABOVE THIS
BASIC INCOME COMPARED WITH THE
DISINCENTIVES TO WORK IN SOME OF
OUR SOCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS,
AND IT IS THE THING THAT GETS
INTEREST FROM ACROSS THE
POLITICAL SYSTEM.
IT'S EMPOWERING, IT'S FOCUSED ON
INDIVIDUAL CHOICE, AND IT'S
PROBABLY REDUCING BUREAUCRACY.
IT TAKES FAR FEWER PEOPLE TO
ADMINISTER.
ON THE PROGRESSIVE OR LEFT OF
THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM, YOU
OUGHT TO LIKE THE FACT THAT IT'S
INCREASING THE NET RESOURCE
TRANSFER TO PEOPLE AND IT'S ALSO
EMPOWERING POOR PEOPLE IN A WAY
THAT SOME OF THE PATERNALISM OF
GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS DOESN'T.
AND IT ALSO IS MUCH EASIER TO
ACCESS.
SO INSTEAD, THOUGH, WE'RE OFTEN
HEARING CRITICISMS FROM BOTH
SIDES OF THE SPECTRUM, YOU KNOW.
ON THE RIGHT THEY SAY THIS IS
JUST A HANDOUT.
AND ON THE LEFT THEY'RE SAYING,
WELL, THIS IS A KIND OF TROJAN
HORSE THAT'S GOING TO LEAD TO A
CUTBACK IN OTHER PROGRAMS.
I DON'T THINK EITHER OF THOSE
THINGS ARE TRUE.
I THINK THERE'S GREAT POTENTIAL
HERE, WHICH IS WHY IT'S BEING
TRIED IN A NUMBER OF OTHER
JURISDICTIONS AROUND THE WORLD
AS WELL.
AND WHAT WE NEED IS TO ACTUALLY
GO THROUGH THE FULL THREE-YEAR
PILOT, GET GOOD DATA OUT OF IT,
AND SEE WHAT THE RESULTS ARE.
AND THEN WE'LL SEE WHERE WE GO
FORWARD.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says I'M AFRAID, FRIENDS,
THAT'S OUR TIME.
WE'VE HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION
HERE ON TVO TONIGHT ABOUT
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL
NUMBER ONE.
THANKS TO JOHN McARTHUR IN OUR
WASHINGTON, D.C. STUDIO. HE'S
WITH THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION.
JULIA SANCHEZ, PRESIDENT AND CEO
OF THE CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION.
BACK HERE IN OUR STUDIO, KWAME
McKENZIE FROM THE WELLESLEY
INSTITUTE AND THE CENTRE FOR
ADDICTION AND MENTAL HEALTH.
AND BRETT HOUSE, DEPUTY CHIEF
ECONOMIST, V.P. AT SCOTIABANK
AND A FORMER PRINCIPAL
ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO THE U.N.
SECRETARY-GENERAL, BAN KI-MOON.
THANKS, EVERYBODY. GREAT TO HAVE
YOU ON TVO TONIGHT.

All the guests thank Steve.

Watch: Ending Global Poverty