The Zero Hour
“The crisis has made clear how fragile is our economic prosperity”
Many poor countries have, if you Believe the Numbers, although fewer infections than wealthier countries. But: “The poor countries are in a weaker Position than the rich countries,“ says Esther Duflo, which won together with her husband, Banerjee last year, the Nobel prize in Economics for their research on poverty.
The Corona pandemic is a strong setback for the fight against poverty. For the first Time in 20 years, global poverty is on the rise. 150 million people could plunge back into extreme poverty, the world Bank estimates in its latest forecast. “At the Moment it is a disaster. Two things happen simultaneously: The economy is paralyzed. And the economic Thinking is paralyzed in some way. And reinforced each other,” says Nobel prize winner in Economics Abhijit Banerjee in the new episode of the podcast “The Zero hour” (Capital, n-tv, Stern).
Many poor countries have, if you Believe the Numbers, although fewer infections than wealthier countries. But: “The poor countries are in a weaker Position than the rich countries,” says Esther Duflo, which won together with her husband, Banerjee last year, the Nobel prize in Economics for their research on poverty. The countries are not in a “Position to do what they have done in Europe and the United States,” the expenditure of their state massively expanded in order to support their population.
Poverty researchers have therefore proposed at the beginning of the crisis, a “Marshall Plan” for the poorest countries. It was primarily to protect equipment and financial assistance. “Some countries have only two or three ventilators in the entire country,” says Duflo. The Problem is not the money. Duflo referred to the support as financially “easily manageable” for the rich countries. Only: “The rich countries were totally occupied by their own problems,” she says.
The scientists also say that there is no “miracle weapon” in the fight against poverty. You have to know the Problem before you fight it. So was it also in the fight against the pandemic. The people would bar “like a magic swing, and to the year 2019 to return,” says Duflo. They waited, therefore, to a vaccine. Here one should note that there are already many small improvements in the handling and treatment of the disease.
Poverty researchers are able to draw the Corona-crisis, there is also something Positive. “I really hope that makes it clear to the us people, that we lead a life together on a very fragile planet,” says Banerjee. “The human Psyche is suffering from cognitive distortions about the future. As long as things work, you can not not imagine that you work in a day. The crisis has made people aware of that […] a crisis, which is said by scientists predict will occur,” says Duflo, and adds: “I think it could change the attention people pay to the warnings about climate change, really.”
You can hear in the new episode of “The Zero hour”
- What is the meaning of the Corona-crisis for the poorest countries in the world
- Why there are no simple solutions, neither in the fight against poverty or against the Corona-pandemic
- What can be learned from the crisis for the future of learning
All follow directly from Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.