Monday, April 25, 2016

Globalisation costs the developed world's middle classes big time

Forget the positive video up at the top of the CNN article, courtesy of Getty Media. The fact of the matter is, globilisation and mechanization/automation/computerization have been the sources of that giant sucking sound of jobs going south.

Yet in the developing world, which we used to call the third or even turd world, middle classes are enlarging and their median income have been growing by leaps and bounds. That's why you have days-long traffic jams on Chinese expressways these days.

Take a look at this:

Source: Economist Branko Milanovic via CNN.
Of course, the Chinese middle class grew from hardly anything to 500 million in 2013 and more although the article does not mention that.

From the CNN article:

America's middle class is deeply concerned about jobs, pay and their future, and many of them are blaming China.
In the U.S., 43% of voters believe trade with other countries is a bad thing, according to the Pew Research Center. It's not that hard to understand why.
China's middle class is booming while America's middle class is stagnating. A typical family in China has experienced the "Asian miracle," an astonishing 70% bump in their income from 1988 to 2008.

But the middle class in the U.S. and across the developed world has stagnated: incomes rose a mere 4% over that 20-year same period, according to economist Branko Milanovic. He studies pay and wealth around the world and just published a new book, "Global Inequality."

To be clear, a Chinese middle class family still earns around $8,000 a year, a lot less than the typical U.S. household income of about $54,000, according to the World Bank. But the Chinese are getting richer at a much faster rate.

Consulting firm McKinsey predicts that by 2022, the majority of China's urban middle class will earn $9,000 to $34,000 a year. They are embracing all the trappings of a better life: eating out more, vacationing around the world and buying new cars.

Compare that to the U.S. where even people who have jobs worry they are one step away from financial ruin. Expenses are going up, but a typical family earns about the same amount of money now as they did in the mid-1990s.
Assuming, of course, the global economy doesn't completely sputter and break down. China is actually having problems right now, which can be followed at The Automatic Earth.

More at the CNN Article, here.

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