Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Earths Rising Middle Class

Good piece in the LA Times by Moises Naim about the expanding middle class and how the global effects go well beyond environmental impacts. A snippet:

Homi Kharas, a researcher at the Brookings Institution, estimates that by 2020, the world's middle class will grow to include a staggering 52% of the total population, up from 30% now. The middle class will almost double in the poor countries where sustained economic growth is fast lifting people above the poverty line.

While this is, of course, good news, it also means humanity will have to adjust to unprecedented pressures. The rise of a new global middle class is already having repercussions. In January, 10,000 people took to the streets in Jakarta to protest skyrocketing soybean prices. And Indonesians were not the only people angry about the rising cost of food. In 2007, pasta prices sparked street protests in Milan. Mexicans marched against the price of tortillas. Senegalese protested about the price of rice, and Indians took up banners against the price of onions. Argentina, China, Egypt, Venezuela and Russia are among the nations that have imposed controls on food prices in an attempt to contain a public backlash.


Dan tdaxp said...

What really interests me is that, for the first time in history, the bourgeois lifestyle will be the species-typical environment with respect to evolution by natural, sexual, and artificial selection.

Jay@Soob said...

And with more people able to expend energy on something other than sheer survival, perhaps the potential resource shortage will meet with an influx ingenuity that transcends it.

Purpleslog said...

Reading the is "middle class" defined? I have been looking for an accepted definition - something quantitative - for many months now.