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VERY COOL: Hans Rosling's 200 Countries 200 Years

Start watching at the 30-second mark.  

A living, breathing chart of humanity's wealth and health.


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Reader Comments (3)

Pretty neat, the stats, the presentation and the representation of the general increase in the human condition. He parceled out a bit of the data on China, and there is much more that could be said about that. Similar splits could be made in the U.S., with its increased class of billionaires making the nation appear more prosperous than a look at the working class would show. Also, take the $40,000 salary in a prosperous country and move it to a poor country, and you could live very well. The reverse is also true: take a $400 salary and try to live on that in America. Point being that prosperity is relative, and investors are arbitraging those differences in a way that will be pulling that prosperity back down, so I disagree with his presumption that the trend continues for all onward and upward off the charts. It seems more likely to me there is a trickle down of the middle class of formerly prosperous countries becoming poorer as they are forced to learn to live on "competitive" wages. As the chart continues, it may show a circulation pattern rather than ever-rising prosperity for all.
Dec 10, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterG Street
Professor Rosling's visual presentation of 200 years of data shows that the world's population is, on average, living longer and earning more...and that the trend is accelerating. G Street ignores this basic happy fact. He or she sets up the strawman of transportabiilty of a 'propserous' country's higher bracket earners to a less 'prosperous' country. He or she introduces 'class' differences of rich and poor. He or she CLAIMS that "investors are arbitraging those differences in a way that will be pulling that prosperity back down". In fact, the opposite has been true. China, South Korea, India, Bolivia and scores of nations have profited by their initially competitive advantage of lower wages. Their low-cost labor drew substantial investment from other high cost areas in the America's and in Europe. The influx of jobs stimulated a phenomenal rise in education levels, improved health, increasing wages and improved standards of living. Contrary to G Street's assertion, there is no circulation pattern. As the competitive advantage fades, other country's will fill the gap and will themselves see improvements in their economies and in the health and welfare of their populations. The basic fact is that there will always be someone, some group, some association and some country at the 'bottom' and someone at the 'top'. G Street sees this as bad. G Street cites relativity among populations today. Roslings presentation describes relativity over time., a major difference in perspective. As long as those on the 'bottom' can aspire to the top, this can only be seen as good. Professor Rosling's data clearly demonstrates that the half-empty glass is not only half-full, but that it is filling up rapidly.
Dec 10, 2010 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterLDD
The trend of global population to live longer and wealthier was made possible courtesy of two centuries of cheap to produced abundant sources of energy. As we commence our downward trek on the other side of peak oil it's going to be increasingly harder to sustain this mirage mistaken for human progress .
Jan 2, 2011 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterpoishere

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