Monday, November 20, 2006


The French may likely have more of it than we do (and of course many Americans wouldn't ever consider it a positive value). In recent years we've been moving away from (economic) equality with great rapidity: CEO's earnings- $50 million just about any time, obscene incomes earned by sports figures. Although it isn't entirely a zero sum game, these fantastic riches are accompanied by a steadily shrinking middle class and diminishing incomes at the bottom of the heap.

We're becoming much like Latin America was when I traveled there 50 years ago (and still are to a large extent); no middle class to speak of.

Here's some good news:

50 years ago in Calcutta about half the population lived and died on the street (maybe a slight exaggeration). We visited a rich man's home (patriotically on display for allied military); he had tremendously expensive European art objects there, and every evening fed 50 beggars.

India today is far different. They bid fair to become one of the richest countries in the world. Ashutosh Sheshabalaya claims India is creating one of the world's most equal societies" (p. 260). Can it be true? If it's only half true, it's still an amazing miracle. (I'm so glad.)

Wage Levels:
U.S. dropping
India rising
How you feel about this does not depend upon your patriotism(?), but upon your human values.
It means less affluence in American.
It means less starvation in India.

Middle Class:
diminishing in U.S.
rising in India
Would you believe that India has a larger middle class than the entire population of N. America. Out of a total of 1 or 2 billion of course.

India's average income in U.S. dollars is still miniscule, but thousands of Europeans and Americans are working for Indians in India. They make a fifth of what they might make here, but they may live better than they could here. If I were a young technocrat, I might be tempted.

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