As the head of a philanthropic organization, and as a human being, I am often puzzled by the perception that economic growth is by definition a slum clearance event. It’s the old “rising tides lift all boats” presumption, also called “trickle down” economics.
My bemusement is not partisan or ideological. To be sure, I believe in economic growth. I just wonder how literate people can look at a major growth period like the Industrial Revolution and still think such growth doesn’t create ten slums for every spinning wheel it invents, or that, in an era like ours of massive change in the Developing World, living conditions necessarily improve for the poor. [Read more…]