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Jason Hickel — Global Inequality: Do We Really Live In A One-Hump World?

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Jason Hickel — Global Inequality: Do We Really Live In A One-Hump World?The elephant chart is a propaganda chart, misleading you into believing that there’s some convergence of fortunes of people across the planet. As if it’s not enough, there’s a new infographic: transformation from a two-hump world to a one-hump world.Jason Hickel does an alternative analysis, and finds that the “income gap between the average person in the North and the average person in the South has nearly quadrupled in size, going from ,000 in 1960 to ,000 today.”Hickel says:… there has been no “catch up”, no “convergence”. On the contrary, what’s happening is divergence, big time.…Why is this happening? … the global economy has been designed to facilitate the North’s access to cheap labour, raw materials, and

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Jason Hickel — Global Inequality: Do We Really Live In A One-Hump World?

The elephant chart is a propaganda chart, misleading you into believing that there’s some convergence of fortunes of people across the planet. As if it’s not enough, there’s a new infographic: transformation from a two-hump world to a one-hump world.

Jason Hickel does an alternative analysis, and finds that the “income gap between the average person in the North and the average person in the South has nearly quadrupled in size, going from $9,000 in 1960 to $35,000 today.”

Hickel says:

there has been no “catch up”, no “convergence”. On the contrary, what’s happening is divergence, big time.

Why is this happening? … the global economy has been designed to facilitate the North’s access to cheap labour, raw materials, and captive markets in the South – today just as during the colonial period. Sure, some important things have obviously changed. But the countries of the North still control a vastly disproportionate share of voting power in the World Bank and the IMF, the institutions that control the rules of the global economy. They control a disproportionate share of bargaining power in the World Trade Organization. They wield leverage over the economic policy of poorer countries through debt. They control the majority of the world’s secrecy jurisdictions, which enable multinational companies to extract untaxed profits out of the South. They retain the ability to topple foreign governments whose economic policies they don’t like, and occupy countries they consider to be strategic in terms of resources and geography.

These geopolitical power imbalances sustain and reproduce a global class divide that has worsened since the end of colonialism. And yet this injustice is conveniently erased by the one-hump graph, which offers a misleadingly rosy narrative about what has happened over the past half century.

Check his excellent infographic. 📉

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