Below The Line – Josh Groban

Operatic pop singer Josh Groban aims his vocal chords at the world’s poorest this year. The smooth arrangement and measured crooning in this 2013 number probably contradicts the hardscrabble, dirty and chaotic lives of those that somehow subsist on less than $2 per day.

The song title references an event, Live Below The Line. Living below the line is about the extreme poverty measure of $1.50 per day. This was actually $1.25 as set by the World Bank, but perhaps has been increased to reflect inflation over the years. Anyway, concerned citizens along with celebrities attempt to temporarily live on this amount to raise funds and awareness for global poverty efforts.

The leading nongovernmental organization working at extreme poverty reduction is the World Bank. Essentially, it is like a bank that since 1944, collects aid donated by governments to distribute to the poorest countries. As these are often in the form of loans, this has been criticized, since loans must typically be repaid. The World Bank still has other programs such as grants. A stronger World Bank criticism is its focus on economic liberalization/free market reforms that assume and impose methods of economic development that are Western-based and may not work in poor countries with different histories, cultures and goals. Still, the World Bank remains the most influential and well-known international economic development institution.

Groban’s Live Below the Line Page

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