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Why are some countries rich and others poor? An ensuing 21 st -century paradox Jelte Harnmeijer Schishuney / ‘fishing place with a pole’ / Waldron Island.

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Presentation on theme: "Why are some countries rich and others poor? An ensuing 21 st -century paradox Jelte Harnmeijer Schishuney / ‘fishing place with a pole’ / Waldron Island."— Presentation transcript:

1 Why are some countries rich and others poor? An ensuing 21 st -century paradox Jelte Harnmeijer Schishuney / ‘fishing place with a pole’ / Waldron Island 10 July MMX Europe Supported by Africa and America William Blake (1796)

2 “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.” - Matthew XXV:29, King James Edition

3 1.What are Poverty and Inequality ? 2.What patterns exist in the distribution of income ? 3. Why are some countries rich and others poor ? 4. Neocolonial explanations for persistent 21 st –century poverty 5.The link with Sustainability Outline

4 1. What are Poverty and Inequality ?

5 Mohotlong, LesothoGuandong, Chinese-occupied Tibet

6 Maputo, Mozambique

7 New York, USA

8 Kaokoveld, Namibia

9 U.S. of A.

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11 Nepal

12 Money & Happiness

13 What do people think makes them happy? After: Cantril (1965)

14 What do people think makes them happy? After: British Social Science Research Council (1975) In: Douthwaite (1999) What is well-being?

15 Income & happiness

16 Reported life satisfaction increases with income to US$10,000 – 15,000, then levels off at higher levels

17 The case for greater equality

18 Income inequality correlates with... social capital

19 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... infant mortality

20 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... mental illness

21 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... drug abuse

22 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... high-school drop out rates

23 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... incarceration rates

24 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... obesity

25 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... trust in fellow humans

26 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... homicide rates

27 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... teenage pregnancy rates

28 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... child well-being

29 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... national altruism

30 (4) Inequality Income inequality correlates with... recycling

31 2. What patterns exist in the distribution of income ?

32 What patterns exist in the distribution of income?

33 (4) Inequality What patterns exist in the distribution of income? Compiled from 2003 World Bank country dataset

34 Per-capita income for white and black Brazilians. Source: IBGE Census What patterns exist in the distribution of income?

35 Income (US$, PPP) Where are the people? Source: Dikhanov, Y. and Ward, M. (2003) (AFR=Africa; EAP=East Asia; ECE=East- and Central Europe; LAC=Latin America; OECD=Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; SAS=South Asia)

36 Income (US$, PPP) What patterns exist in the distribution of income? Where is the dough? Source: Dikhanov, Y. and Ward, M. (2003) (AFR=Africa; EAP=East Asia; ECE=East- and Central Europe; LAC=Latin America; OECD=Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; SAS=South Asia)

37 3. Why are some countries rich and others poor ?

38 “Why are some countries rich and others poor?” Summary of interviews conducted between February 2002 and June 2006.

39 Categories of responses

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42 (i) Evolutionary explanations “… because some people are clever and others are stupid.” - Anonymous white South African of Boer ancestry, Hazyview, South Africa, July “The idea that some populations are more energetic than others […] perhaps deserves some consideration.” - J.P. Cole (1979), The Development Gap, page 111.

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44 Categories of responses

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46 (ii)Cultural/societal explanations “... the explanations offered for the contrasting records in growth have most often focused on institutions and highlighted the variation across societies in conditions relevant to growth such as the security of property rights, prevalence of corruption, structures of the financial sector, investment in public infrastructure and social capital, and the inclination to work hard or be entrepreneurial.” - Sokoloff & Engerman (2000), page 218.

47 GDP/capita relative to US in selected New World economies, Source: Sokoloff and Engermann (2000)

48 Categories of responses

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51 (iii)Environmental explanations “These areas were settled because the climate was similar to that of Europe.” - Prof. Wolfram Latsch, personal communication, April “I think that tropical diseases are largely to blame.” - Prof. Roger Buick, North Pole, Australia, August 2004.

52 Koppen classification climatic zones

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57 (iv) Historical explanations “European countries have been around for a long time. We are young. We just simply need time to catch up.” - Nxobo Masika, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 2004.

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60 Dates of recent independence of developing countries.

61 Early dates of independence of South American countries

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64 (v) Inept-leadership explanations “African leaders themselves have also failed the resource-rich continent. They continue to unscrupulously harp on historical injustices to cover up for their political and economic mess that are [sic] a sad manifestation of their suppression of democratic governance. Corrupt and inefficient management of economies, greed, power hunger, disrespect for human rights, cronyism, among other vices, have contributed to the underdevelopment of Africa today.” - Charles Mangongera, ‘Should We Continue to Blame Colonialism?’, Financial Gazette (Harare, Zimbabwe), September 19, “A district our size should have a much better soccer field, but the money was pocketed. There is corruption at all levels. It’s a top- down problem.” - Unemployed 27-yr-old Sidhinhyo, Morongulos, Mozambique, April 2004.

65 Evolution of Corruption by Regions of the World, Source: Lederman, D, Loayza, N. and Soares, R.R. (2001)

66 “Who has the most to gain from corruption? (or the most to lose from ending it?)”

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69 (vi) Psychological explanations “There exists among us a strong feeling of inferiority [… which] comes from our awareness of past [white/European] oppression.” - Anonymous fisherman, northern Mozambique, April 2004.

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72 (vii) Neocolonial explanations “We were told, and accepted, that our poverty was caused by our poverty in the now famous theory of the ‘vicious circle of poverty’ and we went round in circles seeking ways and means of breaking that circle. Had we asked the [right] questions we would not have exposed our economies to the ruthless plunder brought about by ‘foreign investments’ which the exponents of the vicious circle theory urged us to do. For, it is clear, foreign investment is the cause, and not a solution, to our economic backwardness.” - Former Tanzanian minister A.M. Babu, In: Walter Rodney (1965), How Europe underdeveloped Africa, page 312.

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77 Economies are like fires...

78 5. The link with Sustainability

79 Earth’s ecologically productive surface ≈ 21.42·10 9 hectares Per-capita surface required to support American lifestyle ≈ 9.57 hectares Acreage required to support worldwide American standards of living ≈ 3 Earths Global population on July 10 th, 2010 ≈ Neocolonial explanations for persistent 21 st -century poverty

80 Present American standards of living for the entire global populace are a physical impossibility. Fact:

81 Cartograms illustrating (a) country-level wood and paper imports (by volume) for the year 2000; (b) country-level net forest loss between 1990 and (a)(b)

82 Flows of raw material and fuel

83 the case for greater global equality: almost everyone stands to gain

84 the tide is on Our side


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