health, wealth, and history

The economist blog hosts a great video by Hans Rosling on health and wealth by country over time:

The data visualization and interpretation are excellent. However, the conclusion he draws–that “everyone can make it” in the future, that all countries are moving toward the “healthy, wealthy” corner–strikes me as very problematic for two reasons. Reason one is actually statistical: the slope remains pretty substantial as time goes on, it’s just that the intercept is moving upward. So inequalities by health and wealth seem likely to persist. Reason two is more sociological: he doesn’t mention threats to health and equality such as agricultural threats, ecological threats, or global underemployment.

 

Author: andrewperrin

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

1 thought on “health, wealth, and history”

  1. And that is why you’re a sociologist. Economists know better–wave hands, talk about marginal product being paid as if it were more real than a hippogriff, point to when the rising tide lifted all, or even most, boats (good luck finding that one), and voila!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s