Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Global Wealth Inequality - What you never knew you never knew

This looks accurate to me. It suggests that things have gotten less fair and therefore worse over time. That is clearly true if you focus on the distribution of wealth, but somewhat less true if you focus on the distribution of income.

If you look at health, people are living longer now. Indeed, there is considerable difference in life expectancy in countries at relatively similar levels of GDP per capita. The United States may have more wealth than most other countries, but there are many where citizens live longer on average.

Some countries have thought to measure total happiness. The UNDP looks at a Human Development Index. Is a guy with $10 billion really 1000 times happier than a guy with $10 million? I doubt it. On the other hand, a guy with $10,000 in the bank probably is happier than someone with a total of $10 to his name, who is trying to figure out how to feed his kids tomorrow.

The presentation does suggest that foreign aid is not really going to redress the disparity of wealth and income between rich and poor countries. However, foreign aid can save the lives of millions of children and help them get an education -- good things to do!

No comments: