Over the past two centuries, standards of living have risen strongly and poverty has been reduced, especially in the more developed world. Cities are much of the difference, as they have attracted rural residents to the jobs made possible by technological advancements.
$1.25 a day. How would your life look if you had to live on that? You'd save your meager cash to buy food, just to keep yourself and your family alive. It would all add up to a miserable existence, wouldn't it?
Here's the problem: whether we are billionaires or just ordinary people, we tend to think that saving the lives of the world's most vulnerable children is somebody else's job -- not ours. And until that changes, children will continue to die.
Unless we protect the world's poorest people and empower them to adapt to change and build robust, adaptable and more prosperous livelihoods, we face a future where every shock becomes an opportunity for hunger and poverty to thrive.
We believe that if the next generation can see people living in poverty as a part of the solution --rather than as objects of a solution -- we can make significant progress. For truly ending the cycle of poverty requires engagement on the part of the affected populations themselves.
Global poverty has, in fact, declined dramatically over the past 50 years, proof that this is not an intractable problem. Income inequalities may always exist, but extreme poverty need not always be with us.
Everyone who engages in the business of growing, storing, packaging and selling food is being called on to creatively adapt to the tremendous food security challenges that are staring us in the face. That means we must all hunker down, collaborate and innovate to win the real world hunger games.
"I'm not concerned about the very poor," is sure to dog Romney throughout the campaign. But as he continues to explain what he meant, I hope he takes the opportunity to think about the "very poor." And I hope he is concerned. We all should be.