Mind the Gap

Thu, Dec 11, 2008


In addition to infrastructure and environmental issues, globalization ‘star’ countries like China and India have other things to worry about.

One of those things is ever-widening income gaps among their citizens. There’s a story today about the vast gap among the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ in China that may have some worried about that country’s historical reactions to these kind of inequities. Read all about it here .

And in India, a country that has of course always been more ‘Westernized’ than China, another kind of income gap issue is causing concern – the growing gulf between what the ‘common workers’ earn and what the top executives pull down. The story is receiving more and more attention, but nothing is really being done about it (yet).

For those of us in America, all this sounds very, very familiar. In fact, we’ve pretty much perfected this whole ‘income gap’ thing – every decade it seems to get more extreme. But this ugly byproduct of rough-and-tumble capitalism has, for better or probably worse, been accepted by most Americans throughout our history (an exception being the Labor Movement of the 20’s and 30’s).

But what will happen in China and India if this income imbalance continues, and perhaps grows even larger? Will these societies continue to embrace the race to the top of the globalization ladder?

Or will opposing viewpoints within those countries in the near future convince the masses that the income gap trade-off is just too great, the burden too much to bear for this rise to the top of the global heap?

I don’t think so – but it’s not like it couldn’t happen.


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