There are other reasons:
  • Poor people tend to live in poor countries.
  • Poor countries can afford to spend less (or have bad governments which don't spend) on education.
  • Uneducated people don't read so many newspapers. Hungry people haven't got time to hold their government to account for being appallingly bad.
  • Countries where people don't hold their governments to account tend to have appallingly bad governments.
  • Poor countries are therefore much more likely to have appallingly bad governments.
  • Appallingly bad governments implement appallingly bad policies.
  • Uneducated people even welcome these policies as "good policies" (hell, this happens to educated people too).
  • Bad policies ruin the economy and make countries poor.

I think we're back to where we started.

Being poor is a vicious circle that's hard to get out of, and being rich a virtuous circle. This is not necessarily down to a global conspiracy to make everyone poor, it's just the way things are.

The subtleties of the vicious circles which afflict developing countries have not been too well understood in the past by well-meaning development economists.

They're certainly not understood by the anti-globalisation brigade, who obsess about multinationals but ignore the much greater sins of the governments of developing countries.

The debt issue is a prime example of this. Nobody asks where all the debt that developing countries have came from in the first place. Answer? Corrupt and incompetent governments who ran huge and unsustainable budget deficits financed by debt, who used almost none of the credit for productive investment, and almost all for stocking their bank accounts or building huge white elephants, like roads in countries where nobody has a car, or new capital cities in the middle of nowhere which nobody needed, or vast cathedrals in countries where only a small part of the population is Christian.