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Conventional wisdom has long been that the poor will always be with us. Based on simple statistics, there will always be some portion of the population that has experienced bad luck or bad decisions. Until recently, eliminating poverty also had the hurdle of being too expensive. Thanks to the long fight against poverty, it has now become theoretically feasible to raise everyone above the international poverty line. It would take about 0.1% of the world’s GDP. Easier access to everyone, better understanding of the conditions, and improved methods for delivering basic services have now put the eradication of poverty within reach. There are inevitable inefficiences. Chaos and randomness will continue to undermine some people’s best efforts. But at least theoretically, we can get much closer to a poverty-free world.

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