Wealth v democracy; population growth; British wellbeing; what does a trillion dollars look like?; Latin inequality; the God Species and The Boy Effect: Links I liked

Can you get rich if you’re not a democracy? Asks Dani Rodrik. Answer (with scatter plots) – not usually, but there’s always Singapore. Which, as usual, means that the big questions involve China…… This month’s Guardian development podcast is on population growth, with ODI’s Claire Melamed and Roger Martin of the Optimum Population Trust (who I previously criticized here) being far too polite to each other, when you get the impression that they would really much rather take the gloves off and get stuck in……. The UK Office of National Statistics has published ‘Measuring What Matters’, its ‘reflections on the national debate on measuring well-being’. Topline results from a big public consultation is that ‘what matters’ are health; good connections with friends and family; present and future conditions of the environment and education and training. Not much of that reflected in our leaders’ fixation on GDP……. Wanna know what a trillion dollars looks like? Check out this visualization [h/t Richard King] Why is inequality falling in Latin America? Andy Sumner reviews the evidence Summer reading? Rave review of Mark Lynas’ new book ‘The God Species’ from Alex Evans   ‘The Boy Effect’. Enjoyable spoof of Nike’s crass-but-effective The Girl Effect  [h/t Ines Smyth] ]]>

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Comments

2 Responses to “Wealth v democracy; population growth; British wellbeing; what does a trillion dollars look like?; Latin inequality; the God Species and The Boy Effect: Links I liked”
  1. Nicholas Colloff

    I read Mark Lynas (though unlike Alex Evans not in one sitting). Nor can I confess to a similar level of enthusiasm. The guiding assumption is that we ‘can be in control’ and our current disordered impact on the environment can be replaced with the clear, conscious decisions to apply various technologies whose consequences we can understand. Some of these technologies might be useful, but equally many will have unintended consequences because as the distinguished biologist, David Ehrenfeld, long since pointed out (in a splendid book The Arrogance of Humanism): nobody is at the wheel, the world is not controlled by us (or indeed by God) though we persisit in imagining it is.
    I expect as the world’s deteriorates we will get more thoughtful fantasies of this kind that strike me akin to signatures of desperation rather than solutions.

  2. […] Oxfam’s Duncan Green makes no mention of the riots on his blog but does suggest a distance between government priorities and those of the public with his comments on the UK Office of National Statistics’ recently published report “Measuring What Matters”: “Topline results from a big public consultation is that ‘what matters’ are health; good connections with friends and family; present and future conditions of the environment and education and training. Not much of that reflected in our leaders’ fixation on GDP.” […]

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