The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence
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While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, there is a hidden crisis silently undermining our best efforts to help the poor. It is a plague of everyday violence.
Beneath the surface of the world's poorest communities, common violence--like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality--has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in their path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development.
How has this plague of violence grown so ferocious? The answer is terrifying, and startlingly simple: There's nothing shielding the poor from violent people. In one of the most remarkable--and unremarked upon--social disasters of the last half century, basic public justice systems in the developing world have descended into a state of utter collapse.
Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros offer a searing account of how we got here--and what it will take to end the plague. Filled with vivid real-life stories and startling new data, 'The Locust Effect' is a gripping journey into the streets and slums where fear is a daily reality for billions of the world's poorest, where safety is secured only for those with money, and where much of our well-intended aid is lost in the daily chaos of violence.
While their call to action is urgent, Haugen and Boutros provide hope, a real solution and an ambitious way forward. The Locust Effect is a wake-up call: Its massive implications will forever change the way we understand global poverty, and will help secure a safe path to prosperity for the global poor in the 21st century.
"The Locust Effect provides a much-needed argument for reducing violence against the poor and a demonstration -- through first hand stories that are both shocking and true -- of why that goal is so vital. By reminding us that basic legal protections are not a privilege, but a universal right, Gary Haugen has issued a moral call to arms that informs the brain and touches the heart." --Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
"You may 'know' that the world's poor suffer common everyday violence -- robbery, extortion, rape, murder, torture-a stream of humiliating assaults on their dignity. You may 'know' that this implies lost productivity and ultimately lost growth for low-income economies. Haugen asks why, if we know all that, we do so little? ...Read this book and you will be convinced the issue deserves more of your attention." --Nancy Birdsall, Founding President, Center for Global Development
"Throughout my life I've seen firsthand that while talent, ambition, and hard work are distributed equally among all people around the world, many face challenges each day simply surviving. The Locust Effect is a compelling reminder that if we are to create a 21st century of shared prosperity, we cannot turn a blind eye to the violence that threatens our common humanity." --President Bill Clinton