7 August 2014   3 comments

Income and wealth inequality is emerging as the most significant economic problem of our time.  However, we have a very difficult time actually measuring income and wealth inequality because there are many ways to disguise income and wealth from official statistics. Research conducted by European Central Bank economist Philip Vermeulen and London School of Economics’ Gabriel Zucman demonstrates that the actual wealth of the very rich is significantly undercounted by official statistics.  The chart below shows the extent of the errors.  The significance of the data is that this money is not taxed in a way that treats all citizens fairly.

Underestimated wealth of the Rich


The US-Africa Summit ended yesterday, as the US tries to play catch-up to Chinese inroads to African economies.  A serious point of contention was the issue of climate change and its effects on the continent as a whole.  Africa currently contributes a negligible amount of greenhouse gases, yet it is likely to be hard-hit by climate change.  Right now, there are few genuine energy alternatives to carbon fuels that could fuel economic growth in Africa.  Hydropower is a real option because Africa has a large number of rivers that could be harnessed.  Yet the deleterious effects of building dams on the environment and indigenous peoples are well known.   Should Africans sacrifice their economic growth prospects (which are considerable) in order to avert climate change?  Or should the growth be deferred until non-carbon energy sources are available?  Who should make such a decision?

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise in Europe since the economic effects of the Great Recession in 2008-09 began to take hold.  But the conflict in Gaza has unleashed the worst episodes of anti-Semitism since the days of Nazi power.  Synagogues have been attacked and burned and Jewish establishments have been assaulted as well.   Political leaders in Germany and France have condemned the hatred, but their efforts do not seem to be affecting the outbreaks so far.  The world needs to be united, adamant, and unrelenting in its rejection of this development.  No matter where one stands on the issue of Israel and the Occupied Territories, one should remember that the issue is one of power, not religion.


Posted August 7, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

3 responses to “7 August 2014

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  1. The impact of climate change will be great on Africa, but I agree with the African leaders who say African countries must develop their electricity with the sources they have available. If it’s coal, that’s unfortunate.They should be paying more attention to natural gas which is less harmful and present in several countries. World Bank can help develop pipelines to alleviate need for coal.


  2. It’s more likely that the states will turn to coal. Kenya, for example, has tremendous reserves of coal. Natural gas is plentiful in Africa, but it is expensive to transport. Only the African states can decide what they should do, but the rest of the world has a tremendous obligation to them to make whatever technological options are possible available. It is beyond the time for the world to acknowledge that Africa’s energy problem is actually a global and collective problem.


  3. Pingback: Links that Connect | Catherine Onyemelukwe

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