Comments on Some More Challenges

Poverty (income, world trade, etc)

Poverty has been significantly reduced, ie

"...In 1800 almost all people lived in......poverty...... 1980, 42% of humanity still lived in 2013, this was down to 11%..."

Martin Wolf 2019

"...In 1970......about one in every four people was hungry - undernourished...... today the proportion has fallen to roughly 1/10. In those 4+ decades, the global average lifespan has......risen by more than 11 years; most of the increase occurred in poor places. hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Latin America, Africa have lifted themselves from destitution into something like middle-class. This enrichment has not occurred evenly or equitably...... nothing like this surge of well-being has ever happened before..."

Charles C Mann 2018

Will this trend continue with a current world population of around 8 billion people expected to grow to around 10 billion in 2050?

Income, trade etc

"...Overall, world income per capita has grown by a factor of four since 1950 as the population has trebled..."

Nicholas Stern & Amar Battacharya has quoted by Martin Wolf 2019

"...between 1950 and trade increased 39 times. The share of the world population living on less than 2 dollars a day (at 2001 purchasing power parity levels) declined from about the 10% in 1952 to 5% in 2015. Global inequalities have also fallen significantly during the past few decades, largely because of the rapid rise of the large Asian emerging economies, especially China and India..."

Martin Wolf 2019

"...These advances did not occur because everything went smoothly. The regime of fixed, but adjustable, exchange rates collapsed in 1971, when the Nixon administration broke that dollar's link to gold. Inflation then exploded upwards in the 1970s to be tamed, at substantial cost, in the 1980s. Financial liberation delivered waves of banking and debt shocks which accumulated in the global and Eurozone crisis is of 2007 - 13..."

Martin Wolf 2019

More recently the Covid 19 pandemic (2020) has caused heavy damage in the financial world

"...bouts of protectionism erupted, not least in the 1980s in the US, in response to a strong dollar success of Japan. A trading system founded on the principle of non-discrimination also morphed into one with a host of preferential (that is, discriminatory) trade agreements..."

Martin Wolf 2019


There is growing pressure on the environment, especially climate change. The world has moved from the Halocene to the Anthropocene
"...planet largely shaped, both for good and ill, by human activity..."

Martin Wolf 2019

Technological challenges

"...these are undermining the comparative advantage of developing countries in labour-intensive manufacturing. They are threatening a large-scale disruption to patterns of employment. They are creating new cross-border flows, notably of data. They are transforming payment systems and are likely to have an even bigger effect on the monetary system..."

Martin Wolf 2019

Ongoing and/or new areas of challenges for cooperation

- pandemics

- corruption

- conflict-affected or fragile states (more than 40% of the extremely poor now live in conflict-affected or fragile states)

- migration

- technology

- reliance on US dollar in the global monetary system

- financial stability

- future of trading systems including global liberalisation

- sustainable development (including climate change)

- urbanisation


" do we create enough order and cooperation to sustain our complex, interdependent and environmentally stressed world?..."

Kryu Jim as quoted by Martin Wolf 2019

Birthrates, life expectancy and poverty

We are living longer and better lives; the family is being smaller because we are having fewer children and more are surviving

"...In the early 1970s, the average woman produced just under five, the global fertility rate is down to 2.4. In China, it is well below replacement level..."

Martin Wolf 2018

Statistics show more children are surviving

"... In the 1960s, 246 out of every 1000 Indian children died before the age of five. By 2016, this was 43..."

Martin Wolf 2018

There are similar stories of other countries, both rich and poor.

Global life expectancy has improved:

"...from 53 years in 1960 to 72 in 2016..."

Martin Wolf 2018

 Some of the reasons for this include

- spread and rising levels of female education

- improved access to clean water

- huge rise of access and availability of vaccinations

- humanitarian generosity to human welfare, eg improved humanitarian aid levels, etc

NB science and technology have been the basis for this success


Search For Answers

designed by: bluetinweb

We use cookies to provide you with a better service.
By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our policy. I understand