Monday, June 18, 2007

A cause for celebration.

Here is an excellent 20 minute video. More information below.

I hadn't heard of Hans Rosling until today. He is a professor of global health and a co-founder of the Swedish chapter of Doctors Without Borders. But this is a great presentation.

One of my personal "passions" has been on Third World development. I have long argued that one should not look at situations as static. Focus on the trend. The direction of the trend is more important than the current state of affairs since it tells you what you can expect. All the trends in the Third World have been good, for the most part. Thirteen years ago I argued that the "population explosion" was a dud and that the statistics showed rapidly declining birth rates around the world. The main cause of population growth was even more rapidly declining death rates. But the long term trend was toward a declining world population. I estimate the decline to begin around 2045.

In addition the wave of globalization has meant rapid increases in wealth for those nations that joined the free trade revolution. Those that refused to join had stagnant or declining economies. Nations like India, China and Vietname liberalized their economies and growth rates exploded reducing poverty and hunger. Old farts like scare monger Paul Ehrlich were wrong in the most spectacular ways. Based on trend the old Soviet bloc, or what I now call "free Europe", is good but the core EU nations are limping along, saddled by bad policies and stupid EU regulations.

This 20 minute presentation uses some fantastic animated graphics which illustrate the actual trends in the Third World. It is worth the 20 minutes of your time to watch. It goes a long way in destroying the perpetual gloom. There is a group of people predisposed to predicting disasters because if the public is alarmed they might be able to push through their "urgent" policies before people have a chance to consider the consequences.

This video has also been added to our on-line library of videos.

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