It seems Senator Biden is quite strongly committed to combatting global poverty and disease. This is very encouraging, since these issues are so intertwined with the great challenges that we face in this new century.
Extreme poverty usually means a lack of access to education and health care. As I've blogged about before, these factors combine in a cruel positive feedback loop to frustrate any attempts at economic progress. Lack of primary education, especially among girls, means larger family size and higher population growth, which in turn contributes to all manner of environmental problems and stresses on natural resources. And lack of access to health care has obvious economic impacts. An unhealthy workforce is an unproductive one. Quite apart from the millions dying of the disease, sub-Saharan Africa is rife with AIDs orphans. What chance do they have?
If we're to have any hope of reversing these dangerous trends, our political leaders need to get serious about making a difference. No more empty platitudes and symbolic foreign aid budgets. If Biden really is passionate about this, choosing him as VP was a step in the right direction.