Showing posts with label prosperity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prosperity. Show all posts

Friday, June 16, 2023

The Great Convergence: Global Equality and Its Discontents

    Friday, June 16, 2023   No comments

An article in the magazine "Foreign Affairs" talks about global income levels, within the next twenty to thirty years, and says that the number of Chinese who earn salaries equal to the salaries of middle-income Americans will be equal, which reduces American hegemony.

The current century has witnessed a significant decline in global income inequality, after falling to levels not seen in more than a century. This is the conclusion reached by Branko Milanovic, one of the world's foremost inequality researchers.

Milanovic said in an article published in the American magazine "Foreign Affairs", that "at a time when the population of the United States is only 4% of the world's population, increasing equality would be beneficial to the planet as a whole, but it heralds the end of American hegemony."

According to the author, inequality is measured using a Gini coefficient (a unit of measurement), which extends on a scale from 0 (perfect equality) to 100 (where one person gets all the income in the world).

On this measure, the inequality index fell from 69 in 2000 to 60 in 2018, and it is certainly lower today. In other words, the world is more equal now than at any time since 1875.

Recently, that number due to inequality within countries has risen slightly, and now stands at about 13, up from 7 in the 1990s. Conversely, the component decreased from a high of 63 in 1988 to only 47 in 2018 due to inequality between countries.

This is a complete reversal of what happened during most of the Cold War, when inequality between countries was increasing, but inequality within a single country was greatly reduced.

Milanovic notes in his article that "in the 1970s, India's share of global GDP was less than 3%, while the share of Germany, a major industrial power, was 7% by 2021, then these proportions reversed."

People who were poor by the standards of the United States, and other rich countries, were rich by global standards.

"People's incomes in Asia have reached unprecedented levels," adds Milanovic.

For every 100 middle-income Americans, 25 Chinese earned an equal amount.

Within the next 20 to 30 years, the number of Chinese earning salaries equal to that of middle-income Americans will be equal, and then rapidly exceed that proportion.

"This, in turn, reflects a broader shift in economic, technological and even cultural power in the world," says Milanovic.

For the global genetic coefficient (the unit of measure) to continue to decline, Africa will need to become significantly richer in the coming decades, "which is not likely to happen yet," according to Foreign Affairs.


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