The Changing World Economy
Growth of average incomes globally has resulted in a stunning decline in abject poverty. Yet more than a third of the world’s population – some 2.2 billion people – live on less than $2 a day, many without access to clean water, electricity, sanitation, and basic protection of the law. And the gap between rich and poor continues to widen. What can be learned from the successes and failures of the West’s $2.3 trillion aid investment over the past 50 years? What are the most promising solutions? And where do we go from here?
Joseph E. Stiglitz
A Nobel economist and a leading finance expert posit the view that learning is more important to growth and development than the accumulation of capital. The traditional view of an inherently efficient free market, and of government regulation as the major source of economic difficulty, impedes the raising of a society’s standard of living by discouraging the production and dissemination of knowledge.
For most of history, interchange has been governed by social reciprocity, our sense of obligation to be helpful, fair, and just according to tradition. So how did money – originally invented as a mere token of social obligation – get confused with true wealth and become the end in itself?
A leading economist documents the trend of income inequality through history, stressing that the way an economy functions is directly related to a power structure that is determined and maintained by the few who hold the wealth.
Kate Raworth; reviewed by George Kasabov
A “renegade economist” advances a new, more comprehensive and regenerative economic model – one based on a view of humans as socially adaptable beings in a world of limited natural resources. A view that recognizes the factors which are essential to life, but for which no one pays in our society, such as the sun’s energy, voluntary effort, family love and caregiving; also that the getting and spending of money is not the sole aim of human existence.
Annie Lowrey, New York Times
As automation reduces the need for human labor, some Silicon Valley executives think
a universal income will be the answer — and the beta test is happening in Kenya.
An Economy for the 99%, OXFAM International
According to a January 2017 OXFAM report, new and better data on the distribution of global wealth indicates that the poorest half of the world has less wealth than had been previously thought. Just 8 of the world’s wealthiest men now own as much wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population—some 3.6 billion people. Had this new data been available last year, it would have shown that nine billionaires owned the same wealth as the poorest half of the planet, and not 62, as Oxfam calculated at the time. “The very design of our economies and the principles of our economics have taken us to this extreme, unsustainable and unjust point. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people. Accountable and visionary governments, businesses that work in the interests of workers and producers, a valued environment, women’s rights and a strong system of fair taxation, are central to this more human economy.”
David Leonhard, New York Times
Three leading economists provide a dramatic look at the skyrocketing income growth of the 0.01% very rich vs. all other Americans over the past 34 years.
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
Cheer up: Despite the gloom, the world truly is becoming a better place. Indeed, 2017 is likely to be the best year in the history of humanity.