Monday, May 11, 2009

Western Imperialism - Thriving But Covert

Some facts:

In 1960, 20% of the world’s people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% — in 1997, 74 times as much.

An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about:

* 3 to 1 in 1820
* 11 to 1 in 1913
* 35 to 1 in 1950
* 44 to 1 in 1973
* 72 to 1 in 1992

For every $1 in aid a developing country receives, over $25 is spent on debt repayment.

The poorer the country, the more likely it is that debt repayments are being extracted directly from people who neither contracted the loans nor received any of the money.

For economic growth and almost all of the other indicators, the last 20 years [of the current form of globalization, from 1980 - 2000] have shown a very clear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades [1960 - 1980]. For each indicator, countries were divided into five roughly equal groups, according to what level the countries had achieved by the start of the period (1960 or 1980). Among the findings:

* Growth: The fall in economic growth rates was most pronounced and across the board for all groups or countries.
* Life Expectancy: Progress in life expectancy was also reduced for 4 out of the 5 groups of countries, with the exception of the highest group (life expectancy 69-76 years).
* Infant and Child Mortality: Progress in reducing infant mortality was also considerably slower during the period of globalization (1980-1998) than over the previous two decades.
* Education and literacy: Progress in education also slowed during the period of globalization.

The total wealth of the top 8.3 million people around the world “rose 8.2 percent to $30.8 trillion in 2004, giving them control of nearly a quarter of the world’s financial assets.” In other words, about 0.13% of the world’s population controlled 25% of the world’s financial assets in 2004.

The world’s low income countries (2.4 billion people) account for just 2.4% of world exports.

World gross domestic product (world population approximately 6.5 billion) in 2006 was $48.2 trillion in 2006.

* The world’s wealthiest countries (approximately 1 billion people) accounted for $36.6 trillion dollars (76%).
* The world’s billionaires — just 497 people (approximately 0.000008% of the world’s population) — were worth $3.5 trillion (over 7% of world GDP).
* Low income countries (2.4 billion people) accounted for just $1.6 trillion of GDP (3.3%)
* Middle income countries (3 billion people) made up the rest of GDP at just over $10 trillion (20.7%).

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.

In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%.

The poorest 10% accounted for just 0.5% and the wealthiest 10% accounted for 59% of all the consumption.

Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty.

Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.

More than 80 percent of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.

Source - Global Issues


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