Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

“Incensed About Inequality” Blog Posting #1

March 7th, 2011 · 4 Comments
Mar 8/Economic Globalization

Although I have spent the last four years of my college career studying Ancient Roman history, reading about the global economy is almost equivalent to learning a new language. Martin Wolf discusses the economic growth in countries that are most often considered the poorest. I can imagine Marin Wolf as a young economist just starting out in the rough streets of India declaring how poverty stricken this beautiful country is. Despite it’s filthy streets and how much of the population is poor, what I believe is more important is the beautiful culture that fills the countless numbers of cities that make up the country. Before shifting gears into culture and tradition, I suppose I can spend some time on the ever increasing income on households not only in India but other countries as well. Between 1980- 2000, two of the worlds biggest populations would witness an increase in GDP per head and would slowly fall out of one of the biggest issues we face in the world: poverty.

Martin Wolf describes a number of statistics that seem endless. One point he makes that I would like to discuss is the idea that although China and India have been considered the poorest countries with the biggest populations, there are still countries with a much smaller population that seems to be suffering from poverty. Perhaps China and India have proved economists wrong due to the increase in GDP. The point I believe he is trying to make is that is has become more apparent that smaller countries are suffering far worse then bigger ones.Perhaps this is because these countries that are suffering go unnoticed, as long as the countries with the larger population are doing better in the economic world, smaller countries like Sierra Leone is now one of the poorest countries.

It is apparent that the rise in equality has been overthrown by economic growth of countries throughout Asia, and Europe.¬† Regardless of how well a country might be doing on an economic stand point, what truly matters is the welfare of the people. Wolf discusses an increase in life expectancy amongst a number of countries. According to Wolf, ” improvements¬† in life expectancy have meant a decline in global inequality”, might be something to debate about. Although it is great that people are living longer, inequalities will never go away.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1    sharonak // Mar 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

    thats amazing that you are studying ancient history. I agree with Martin Wolf about China and India being the poorest country but have a big population and that there are still countries with a smaller population that are also suffering from poverty. I also agree with the writer of the blog that smaller countries are suffering more than bigger countries

  • 2    Prof. Hala // Mar 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I like how you questioned the reliance on strict economic stats, like GDP, to measure societal well-being. As you note, cultural vibrancy and public health stats such as life expectancy are significant indicators of well-being as well.

    As for the differences between small and large countries in the developing world, I think Wolf would argue that large countries matter more because he insists that what’s most important is the welfare of individuals in the world. Since they have more people, countries like China and India get a lot of his attention, and that’s why his country measures are “weighted” by population (or “population-weighted”).

  • 3    dianab // May 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Maybe one theory we can use to explain their economic progress is that the Indian and Chinese cultures view the economic world differently, based on their own values. I read an article called “Education, Social Change and Pluralism” by MK Bacchus. One of the points Bacchus made in the study was that East Indians are extremely conservative in how they spend their incomes.

    GDP measures all output being produced in a country in a given year, and that includes individual as well as business income. So if the people of a nation make wise monetary decisions, then the GDP will be strong.

  • 4    Prof. Hala // May 16, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Thoughtful comments, Diana, but please try to focus on recent blog posts — post-midterm, or at least posts from this semester (I noticed you went back to the fall posts, whose authors are no longer participating in the blog).

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