On a Global Thought

I bookmarked this interesting video several months ago knowing I would use it in the future. (I believe I get the video from Emma.)

Meanwhile, as the bookmark idly sat in my favorites, columnist David Brooks swooped in to steal any thunder. Not that I intended to reach the eloquence or insight of one of my favorite columnists, but the mere fact that I was a bit ahead of him is nibble of self gratification.

I hope you watch the 5-minute video and then share your thoughts. I will precede the video with one question: What does this mean to you? For those desiring additional questions, I included a few below the video.

Questions to Ponder

  • What does this mean for America’s future?
  • What does this mean for the world and its global economy?
  • Does this have any impact on America’s middle class?

Interesting read: Pew Research Center, The Globe’s Emerging Middle Class (it connects to an excellent summary that has a link to the full report at the end.)

23 thoughts on “On a Global Thought

  1. Fascinating stuff. I believe the idea of wealth will continue to be redefined (first land, then cash, and next who knows)? I can’t believe humanity will ever be at a point where everyone is truly “equal”…so if everyone ends up at the same life expectancy and at roughly the same wealth, something else will distinguish so-called haves from the have nots…height, weight, or eye color…who knows!


    • Cheers Nachos Grande & Happy New Year!

      Great points, and as you well know, dealing with averages has its positive and negatives … and I’m sure you can provide a better math perspective than I. Nonetheless, tons to mull over. Thanks for visiting.


  2. 1. You had me at BBC.

    2. Life expectancy was only 40…that just boggles my mind.

    3. When he was talking about 1948 and said, “And I was born this year”? I cracked up laughing. I don’t know why.

    4. Isn’t it interesting how the industrial age, etc. has changed humankind?


    • Mckenzie,
      Ah …. You youngins’ … and you will gain age too. Oh how time flies.

      The effects of the industrial age is huge. In my view, it’s till going on, just in other parts of the world with the same general effects: increased wealth, increased consumption, and increased environmental issues.

      There’s simply so much here to ponder!!! Thanks for sharing!


  3. That was the best graphic ever. I want one. 😀

    The stats definitely mean global growing pains. I would have liked to see data breakdowns with rural versus urban versus suburban, too.


    • Melissa,
      I admit, the graphic is awesome, hence one of the reasons I posted it. But it simple promotes so much thinking, thus I imagine someone will look at it more than once, and then it will pop into their mind later in the week, and so on. And as you said, wondering about breaking down the stats other ways that would help display more of the story. Thanks for commenting!


  4. Very interesting. It would be helpful to see urban vs. rural stats, as well as age and gender. All this data has the potential to allow richer nations/persons to understand the world better and to focus their efforts (hopefully) in a more useful way.


    • Nancy,
      “Understanding the world better and to focus efforts in a more useful way.” Powerful stuff … and especially when one looks at it in a theological sense. After all, isn’t that one of our callings? Thanks for sharing and expanding my view of this video.


  5. Interesting Frank and thanks! Merci beaucoup!

    Now Rosling doesn’t really “say” anything about well… anything – he’s just presenting the data with his unique “weatherman” or sports commentator’s style to reveal the past and the present of 200 countries over 200 years. Quite amazing using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes.

    Like a good teacher he only puts enough out for the student to ponder over the rest… as I see it health and wealth are very strongly related in the progress of the world.

    Knowledge of what is actually going on in the world is much more limited than we think it is.

    Thanks again Frank for a smile…have a great one!


    • Meesh,
      You said, “Like a good teacher he only puts enough out for the student to ponder over the rest.”

      Brilliant summary! He shared a lot in 4 minutes, and wants to wonder and dissect in order to dive deeper … and various comments in this post reflect that!

      Knowledge continues to amazing me as I believe the more one knows, the more we realize how much more there is to know – thus how little we know. Then to add new knowledge available … YIKES! … and access to knowledge electronically amplifies it even more. So it’s hard to keep up with what is going on.

      Thanks for sharing your insight!


  6. Frank,

    Kind of a neat teacher Rosling is, so natural – check this YouTube out!

    Quoting one of the comments:

    1) A doctor for 20 years in Africa, willing to sacrifice his life to battle a foreign disease.

    2) A Professor teaching the best things in the world to his students

    3) A lecturer inspiring the world to change.

    4) A compassion and love for humanity, that it should emanate in all his actions.

    What more can we ask of such a man, except that he leads as an example for us all.


    • Meesh,
      Interesting video … well, more so if I knew Swedish … but I jumped around and able to catch some parts in English. I noticed Rosling using the same graph with different X/Y parameters … interesting. Plus (as you probably noticed), numerous videos exist with/about him.

      Thanks for sharing … good stuff!


      • Frank,

        There’s a “CC” option on You Tube videos that has text translated in English =====> to the right press CC English subtitles will come up.

        Hahaha ya mean you don’t know Swedish?! Ha!Neither do I, but YouTube is so so smart and came to the rescue.


        • See … learning never stops … I didn’t know about the CC on YouTube! Thanks … and I’m sure someone else will learn too:)

          PS: The seems “bullshit” is “bullshit” also in Swedish. … thank you YouTube.


  7. What I find interesting, is that “self-made” countries, ones like the US and UK who consumed their own goods and resources (mostly), followed the graph at the 45-degree (give or take) angle. The recent, export-driven countries, whether manufacturers like China or the African nations exporting raw materials, saw a sharp upswing in life expectancy (thus reaping the same benefits to health of the so-called West), but have remained quite poor. Despite those who rail about free trade helping to boost everyone’s standard of living, it looks like Doctors Without Borders has done a lot better (or has done more good) for the world, while the Dow Joneses haven’t been quite as generous. It’ll be interesting to watch any future impact that Bill & Melinda Gates have with their push for the wealthy to donate half their worth. Seeing the SE Asian and African countries moving across that income scale would be a heartening thing to see!


    • John,
      Great observation and worth another look. Charting the rate changes by country and region would be an interesting point to consider … plus finding the corresponding event of the times that either triggered or hampered the slope. I appreciate Meesh’s point about how this is an example of good teaching. This 4-minute video could expand into a whole course or more!

      Thanks for sharing your insight!


      • I’d really like to see a detailed timeline of 1914-1920, to include the first rebuilding of Europe post-WW1 (and the Spanish flu epidemic he briefly mentions), as well as from 1936 in Asia and 1938 in Europe through about 1948, to get a feel for during WW2 and the second rebuild of Europe (the Marshall plan) as well as our rebuild of Japan. I’ve studied military history, mostly the technology, for the last 40+ years – it’s only in the past 15 years or so I’ve started taking a more holistic approach – economic factors, emotional and psychological factors, and so forth. (Especially the psychology – freezing your butt off in a WW2 uniform sleeping in an open foxhole really helps you get inside a soldier’s head!) I suppose we could launch a petition assault on the Beeb – I get BBC America, which shows British-oriented morning news, and they have some website addresses and street addresses we could bombard for a sequel!


        • John,
          Just another example of how a course is built around this data. Heck, any specific time line around an event(s) would be interesting. I saw a YouTube click where he focused on the US and Vietnam starting in the 1960s. Interesting. Thanks for commenting.


      • That Vietnam-era version sounds intriguing – that was current events when I was in school, so we learned very little in general, and nothing (obviously) of a summary nature. And I would have loved a time-period-specific set of Economics courses in college! Unfortunately, I got 3 years of fundamentals (most of which I had already learned in high school), which basically consisted of a droning teacher rattling off the various components of US economic policies, like enumerating each and every point of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. That’s where teachers like this gent really shine – making what could be painfully dry material interesting through presentation. With any luck, the Internet will help spread learning aids like this video.


        • John,
          I found it … starting at 7:45 mins in … BUT … different variable on the graph, but the same graphing technique. Watch about 4 minutes … Interesting stuff.

          By the way, YouTube will translate the Swedish into English subtitles … If you don’t know, click CC below the video.

          Thanks for the comment on this day of info overload stimulating many thoughts.


  8. Hey, you’ve been doing a fantastic job keeping track of all of us! You’ve gotten more hits on this one topic than most of the blogs I haunt do in an entire day (or a week, in some cases). I envy you both your keeping track skills and your sanity. I’d love to steal a bit of your organisational skills! (I gave up on sanity years ago. It makes life easier. 😀 ) Take care!


    • John,
      Many thanks for the kind words. 1) I enjoy it. 2) Fortunately I currently have the time. 3) I may not always have the time.
      Nonetheless, this is a fascinating topic.


    • If you ever need the help, I may lack the organisational skills (and the sanity), but time, that I have in an over-abundance. Just drop me a line, I’ll do what I can to help. Catch ya later!


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