inequality

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Half the world is middle class

The middle and wealthy classes now account for more than half the world’s population, rather more than 3.8 billion people, a majority. This is the conclusion of a World Data Lab report covering 97% of the world’s population and published on the Brookings Institution blog. This is a clear [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The best of all possible worlds

‘The best of all possible worlds’ is a simplistic expression stemming from the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s complex 1710 Essays of Theodicy. Voltaire lampooned it, its idea of evil and its alleged optimism in Candide, in which he had his character Pangloss declare that ‘all is for the best [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Big states, big business, troubled societies

Shop window, megaphone and venue for discreet meetings: Davos is all these things. The main participants at the most recent World Economic Forum were the major states –geopolitical problems sometimes stem from others of lesser calibre– and the large technology and IT companies. It has been held at a [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A vertical moment

There are horizontal periods – indeed some people, Thomas Friedman among them, believed some years ago that the world was definitively flat– and periods in which verticality imposes itself again. In many ways, we are once again moving from the horizontal to the vertical with, for example, borders where [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega A social Europe, protective but not protectionist

Between the two rounds of the French presidential election, in which the debate about Europe was a central issue, the European Commission added its own not entirely coincidental contribution with its Reflection Paper on the Social Dimension of Europe. It has resurrected the idea of relaunching the social dimension [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega The western middle classes: decline, stagnation or rise?

The decline of a section of the middle classes in the west could be behind the electoral upheaval and the growth of populism in a large number of societies, but what is the truth of the matter? And if it is the case, what accounts for it? Globalisation? Technology [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Middle classes cut down to size

It may seem contradictory when the middle classes in emerging economies (now going through a slowdown) are growing like never before. But according to some studies, their numbers have been exaggerated. And in a good deal of Europe and the US, the middle classes are in free-fall, something that [...]

Global Spectator, by Andrés Ortega Latin America: time well employed, time wasted

Latin America –many of its countries, states and companies– have taken advantage of the economic growth of recent years to boost the creation of a middle class which, in turn, should be the basis for future development. In this respect, the region has made good use of its time. [...]

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