Wednesday, December 13, 2006

world is getting richer... about at what cost..?

New Report from World Bank predicts rising economy and push millions into middle class. Incomes will rise in developing countries in the next wave of globalization to enable many of their formerly poor citizens to buy cars and take vacations abroad.

While that may be true to certain extent, I think atleast 2major risks are overlooked:
* Growing income inequality
* Severe environmental/global warming issues

Although fast growth is today the near-universal mantra among Asian governments, the link with social equity has steadily weakened. we could already notice inequality in growth. while some getting into 'middle-class' status but poor are getting much poorer. Increasingly cities are getting much expenses even in developing countries. Trend reflects hefty gains reaped by those at the upper end of the income scale as well as meager gains at the middle and bottom, has disturbed many economists who believe that it may ultimately harm the social and economic health. One is that great disparity seems likely to make it harder for people to practice the value of solidarity. Growing income inequality is particularly worrisome because of its immediate implications for social conflict and tension. an survey finds income inequality in eight east Asian countries increased by 45 per cent overall between 1990 and 2002. And the pattern is heavily skewed by a steep deterioration in China and ofcourse, Thailand always had some of Asia's biggest disparities.

I guess public policy (not just in India but globally) has affects the distribution of income most obviously through tax and transfer policies. Income and corporate taxes are moderately progressive, while transfer policies are very progressive.

Ok. just to clarify - poverty and inequality are two different concepts. Poverty refers to the fraction of the population, or the number of people, whose income falls below a designated amount intended to reflect some minimally acceptable standard of living.

very interesting article here How to Judge Globalism by Amartya Sen

look out for view about 'Severe environmental/global warming issues'

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