A broad global consensus on drugs

NZ Drug Foundation @nzdrug tweeted:

A brilliant video from @IDPCnet on the ‪#‎ungass2016‬“consensus”. @PeterDunneMP makes a cameo. ‪#‎supportdontpunish‬

A broad consensus? It’s time for change. #SupportDontPunish

Published on Jun 7, 2016

Join the movement at http://supportdontpunish.org/

For over half a century there has been a global consensus that drugs should be eliminated through punishment and repression. But this “consensus” has been ripped apart at the seams. Progressively more countries realise repression and punishment have failed. It’s time for change.

Video by Leo Kiss.
Footage from UNTV and Rights Reporter Foundation.

Rapidly declining poverty

Poverty levels in New Zealand are often talked about, and disputed. What shouldn’t be disputed is a significant decline in the percentage of people living in poverty in the world over the last 200 years.

Rapid population growth meant that the number of people living in poverty increased – until recently, when that began a decline as well, although there still about a billion people living in ‘extreme poverty’.

Our World in Data has details on poverty levels.

Almost all people in pre-modern times lived in poverty. This has changed dramatically over the last few decades; more and more people have left the extreme poverty of the past behind.

In 1820, the vast majority of people lived in extreme poverty and only a tiny elite enjoyed higher standards of living. Economic growth over the last 200 years completely transformed our world, and poverty fell continuously over the last two centuries. This is even more remarkable when we consider that the population increased 7-fold over the same time (which in itself is a consequence of increasing living standards and decreasing mortality – especially of infants and children – around the world).

In a world without economic growth, an increase in the population would result in less and less income for everyone, and a 7-fold increase would have surely resulted in a world in which everyone is extremely poor. Yet, the exact opposite happened. In a time of unprecedented population growth we managed to lift more and more people out of poverty!

PovertyDecliningPercentage

Even in 1981 more than 50% of the world population lived in absolute poverty – this is now down to about 14%. This is still a large number of people, but the change is happening incredibly fast. For our present world, the data tells us that poverty is now falling more quickly than ever before in world history.

The first of the Millenium Development Goals set by the UN was to halve the population living in absolute poverty between 1990 and 2015. Rapid economic growth meant that this goal  – arguably the most important – was achieved (5 years ahead of time) in 2010.

The number of people living in extreme poverty increased until the 1970s but since then has decreased with increasing rapidity. People who oppose neoliberalism say they want to return things to how they were before the 1980s.

PovertyDecliningAbsolute

There is still a large poverty problem – about a billion people still live in extreme poverty. But if the recent trend continues this should reduce significantly and quickly

A primary reason for reduced poverty is economic growth.

In 1820 only a few places in the world achieved economic growth – and only to a rather small extent. The progress of the last 200 years was achieved as economic growth brought higher incomes to more and more people in the world.

A correlation between he relation between average income and the share of the population that lives in absolute poverty suggests that in a society with an average income around 10,000 International Dollar, absolute poverty is abolished.

Source: Max Roser (2016) – ‘World Poverty’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: http://ourworldindata.org/data/growth-and-distribution-of-prosperity/world-poverty/

The current Purchasing Power Parity conversion factor for New Zealand is 1.47 so 10,000 international dollars equates to $NZ14,700 average income (source)

 

Ups and downs of milk

Milk prices continue to fluctuate, with the latest auction down a little (-1.6%) after recent modest gains.

GlobalDairyTrade10yrto050116

At least some of the reduced returns to New Zealand dairy farmers will be offset by lower mortgage and borrowing rates and lower oil/fuel prices.

 

 

 

 

Fourth milk price increase in a row

The latest milk auction prices are up again, the fourth increase in a row following a major slump that began about eighteen months ago. The latest prices increased overall by about 10%. The volume sold is also increasing.

MilkAuction2015-10-06

The price movements over the past ten years:

MilkAuction2015-10-06Trend

There may be some cautious optimism in the dairy industry that a recovery is under way.

Site: GlobalDairyTrade