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Elimination of Extremes of Wealth and Poverty: A Baha’i Perspective
July 12 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Augusto Lopez-Claros, International Economist
Discussing the Elimination of Extremes of Wealth and Poverty: A Baha’i Perspective
Bahá’í House of Worship Welcome Center – Lower Level
A presentation and discussion on the Elimination of Extremes of Wealth and Poverty: A Baha’i Perspective
During his travels in Europe and America in 1912, Abdu’l-Baha referred frequently to the problem of income inequality and on several occasions called for the emergence of a new social and economic order that would address the extremes of wealth and poverty. He also put forward several specific proposals that would help to mitigate what he regarded as a serious social and economic crisis. We will review some of the problems created by widening income disparities, both for policymakers and, more generally, for social cohesion and sustainable economic development. The presentation, building on the ideas of the Master, will also explore several ways in which inequality could be mitigated over the medium term, all of them within the grasp of governments everywhere, particularly in the developing world, where inequality has especially undesirable consequences. None of these possible remedies to the problem of inequality are getting the attention they deserve, all of them would make a great difference.
Augusto Lopez-Claros is on leave from the World Bank as a Senior Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Between 2011 and 2017 he was the director of the Bank’s Global Indicators Group, the department responsible for the Doing Business report and other international benchmarking studies. Previously he was chief economist and director of the Global Competitiveness Program at the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where he was also the editor of the Global Competitiveness Report, the Forum’s flagship publication. Before joining the Forum he worked for several years in the financial sector in London, with a special focus on emerging markets. He was the IMF’s Resident Representative in Russia during the 1990s. Educated in England and the United States, he received a diploma in Mathematical Statistics from Cambridge University and a PhD in Economics from Duke University. Recent publications include “Fiscal Challenges After the Global Financial Crisis: A Survey of Key Issues” (2014), “Removing Impediments to Sustainable Economic Development: The Case of Corruption” (2015), and Equality for Women = Prosperity for All (2018, St. Martin’s Press, with B. Nakhjavani). A list of recent lectures can be found at: http://www.augustolopezclaros.com. In May of 2018 Sweden’s Global Challenges Foundation awarded Lopez-Claros the New Shape Prize for his work (with Arthur Dahl and Maja Groff) “Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century.”
About the Bahá’í Calendar and Holy Days
The Baha’i Faith has its own calendar, called the Badí’ Calendar. It is a solar calendar consisting of 19 months of 19 days each (361 days), plus “Intercalary Days” (four in ordinary years and five in leap years) to adjust the calendar to the solar year. The days and months are named after the attributes of God. The Nineteen Day Feast, the primary community gathering for Baha’is in each town and city, is held on the first day of each Baha’i month. Eleven Holy Days mark significant events in Baha’i history.