“The prospects for developing countries are, in fact, probably more favorable now than they have been since World War II. International trade is growing faster than global GDP. The benefits of decades of learning with respect to operating global supply chains are accessible. Information and technology continues to lower transactions costs and to be a powerful integrating force. But perhaps even more important, the key players in all this — the leaders in emerging economies who have the responsibility for building policies that support private sector entrepreneurship and that lead to sustained inclusive growth — have a wealth of experience to rely on. No one is in the dark.”
~Nobel economist Michael Spence, from today’s WSJ
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
Check out this fascinating graphic from the Swedish human development organization Gapminder showing the changes in life expectancy and changes in per capita income around the world from 1975-2004. Watch the rise of China (red) and India (light blue) in terms of both life expectancy and per capita income.
Best comment so far on President Bush’s State of the Union address:
“Once you live in a rich democracy like the U.S., it’s pretty much all gravy. The fights over income inequality, national health insurance, immigration policy, and so forth, all take place within a remarkably narrow range of national well-being, compared to the variance that currently exists around the globe.
A big government health care system may cause your happiness to vary by a percent or so from this mean (which direction depends on your political persuasion), but it will not bring you within a few orders of magnitude of a peasant farmer living on the edge of starvation in Darfur. This brings me a certain equanimity when watching the successive presidents deliver their speeches.”
From The Economist blog Free Exchange.
As Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retail giants prepare to enter India, an unexpected American rival — California’s My Dollarstore Inc. — is already here and attracting the affluent middle-class customers Wal-Mart and others covet.
In the U.S., most of the so-called dollar stores that sell discounted products at a single price are in low-rent strip malls. In India, My Dollarstores target big spenders, setting up in prime ground-floor spaces at the newest malls. Even the prices are higher end. While everything costs $1 at My Dollarstores in the U.S., in India the same products sell for 99 rupees, or about $2, thanks to transportation costs and import tariffs.
Read more in the WSJ.
From today’s WSJ (“Class of ’07 Gets Plenty Of Job Offers”): This year is shaping up as the strongest for college recruiting since the downturn earlier this decade, colleges report. Traditionally heavy recruiters, including management consulting firms, investment banks and accounting firms, are intensifying college recruiting efforts. They’re also facing more competition from other employers in such fields as technology, consumer products, government and even nonprofits.
Employers plan to hire 17% more graduates from the class of 2007 than they got from the class of 2006, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That would make this year the strongest job market since 2000-2001. More than half of the surveyed employers said they planned to increase hiring; only 5% planned a decrease. Salaries were forecast to rise 4.6%, according to another survey by the same group.
“There are no examples of sustained high growth in the postwar period that do not involve integration into the global economy. The systematic reduction of barriers to trade and investment in the last 55 years, and the dramatically falling costs of transportation and information and communications technologies, have combined to raise the level of that integration. It is the combined effect of these trends that has made the global economy an increasingly powerful source of potential growth.”
~Nobel economist Michael Spence, in today’s WSJ