February 07, 2008

Towards A Better World

The BBC today has an interesting series of articles looking at globalisation:
Half of all people polled across 34 countries say that the pace of globalisation is too fast, while 35% say globalisation is going too slowly.

But concern about globalisation is strongest among the world's richest countries, where it is closely correlated with a belief that the fruits of economic growth have been unfairly shared.

In many of the world's poorest countries, however, where large majorities say that the benefits and burdens of economic development have not been shared fairly, people are more likely to say that globalisation is proceeding too slowly.
I would assume this disparity is due to the fact that citizens of poorer countries expect globalisation to bring them new opportunities, where as citizens of richer countries (presumably with more free time and better access to information) can see that the current form of the process is not really benefiting anyone but the mega-rich.
The richest 10% of households in the world have as much yearly income as the bottom 90%. Wealth - total assets rather than yearly income – is even more unequal. The rich are concentrated in the US, Europe and Japan, with the richest 1% alone owning 40% of the world's wealth.
Until that last statistic is properly addressed, support for globalisation will remain volatile at best.

Here is something you probably don't know. Major multinational companies are now abandoning the old geographic divisions of the global market (typically: the Americas, Europe/ME/Africa, and AsiaPac) in favour of a new model which emphasises growth opportunities (eg: rapid growth, slow growth, no growth). In this new model, the USA, Europe and Japan are considered "slow growth" or "no growth" and therefore warrant minimal investment.

If you are a US reader, you had better have a good think about what that means for you and your family.

And now a few interesting graphs...

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