“Lack of free flow of information blocks progress”


the secret of inequality

A philosophical economist, he co-led the Income Distribution and Macroeconomics research group and is a professor and researcher at the Center for Economic Policy Research in the UK and Tel Aviv University. Founder of the theory of integrated development, he is a pioneer in the study of inequalities in human development linked to economic processes, but whose roots go back to the dawn of the human species. “For a long time, it was believed that prosperity was something that increased gradually. Today we know that humans have been stable for most of their existence. It was the industrial revolution that brought us prosperity, but that progress cost countries their lives. contained a large inequality gap within and between countries. He explains this in the journey (fate) of mankind.

You have dedicated your life to one question.

Yes, my great childhood question: What makes one country more prosperous than another?

Curious question for a child.

I grew up in the city of Jerusalem, where you can see how traces of the past shape the present.

I think the reasons are many.

Yes, but the inequality of wealth between nations has its roots in very distant times and is linked to two great mysteries.

Mystery?

The first is growth. Man has remained static for most of our existence.

what do you mean ?

We have developed the ability and equipment to work on more land, and this has resulted in greater population, but not greater prosperity.

more people to feed.

That is to say, we grew but did not prosper, we did not leave this circle. But 200 years ago, an incredible metamorphosis took place, a radical change in human life.

The era of the industrial revolution.

The standard of living is rising rapidly around the world. Per capita income increases by 44% and life expectancy more than doubles.

After 300,000 years of stagnation?

Yes, yes, yes, it’s really surprising because we see that the standard of living does not change for more than 99% of human existence. And the takeoff of the last 200 years has been due to industrialization in different parts of the planet and at different times.

Has there been a change in mentality?

Also. We know that one of the most important ingredients for prosperity is looking up, thinking out of the short term, having a forward-looking mindset.

sowing time and harvest time.

Companies that exercise patience and planning tend to be more successful. In the most favored regions, the soil and climate have created cultural traits conducive to development.

We are growing rapidly.

Yes, the population of almost all industrialized countries has grown rapidly. But between 1870 and 1920, birth rates rose from 30% to 50% in Western Europe and the United States.

Why?

Because the economy was booming with industrialization and having lots of children to work with was less important. We started to be less trained but better trained.

Just very little.

What is interesting is that a reduction in the birth rate (this also happens in India) will reduce pollution; And also add that the emerging generation is aware and prepared for environmental challenges. I’m optimistic.

and social inequalities?

This is the second great mystery that is deeply rooted in evolution. It was during the transition between periods of stagnation and development that a disparity had never before been observed.

Within nations?

and between nations. There are nations that have been left behind for various reasons, from geography to colonialism to inequality. The inequality we see today is due to forces that were at work thousands of years ago.

And what do they show us?

If we understand history, we will be in a better position to design specific policies based on geography and not universal policies.

Give me a concrete example.

There are countries whose biggest problem is still malaria, but thanks to advanced technologies, this problem can be solved, and it keeps piling up.

Can inequalities between peoples and nations be eliminated?

If we understand that each nation and especially each economy has its own pace in the journey of humanity, we will be able to formulate specific policies that reduce this inequality and eliminate the inequality that exists between nations.

We can do it?

Advanced societies have technology, medicine, information, transportation. Power, we can.

Information must be disseminated.

Yes, we must cooperate so that every country receives the education it needs to prosper, this cannot be made universal.

nor prohibited.

This is why I think that totalitarian regimes like China, even if they apply a capitalist economic model, can experience a phase of growth, but this will not last.

Too much social control?

The lack of freedom and free flow of information hampers progress and has huge economic implications.

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