Samstag, 19.06.2021 14:12 Uhr

Quo vadis - Globalization Part II

Verantwortlicher Autor: Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Rühle, Erik Puhahn Berlin, 30.10.2020, 12:16 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dipl.-Ing. Wilfried Rühle Bericht 5859x gelesen

Berlin [ENA] "We are all in the same boat" emphasized the EU Council leader after the video summit on Corona. This affects not only the EU, but also the worldwide community of states. Globalization - accentuated - quo vadis. The question also relevant because globalization has an uneven distribution in the world. The question is how the pandemic in particular could even exacerbate this inequality.

Many indices can measure global inequality. Dicken (2015) for instance, mentions the uneven distribution of patents granted by countries all over the world. According to his publication, roughly 50% of the granted patents belong the USA and Japan. At the same time, countries like China and South Korea show a rapid growth in this area. Another index is the Multidimensional Poverty Index, to measure progress against the Sustainable Development Goal 1 to end poverty in all its forms (Global Multidimensional Poverty Index, 2019). The results in 2019 were that across 101 countries, 1.3 billion people are multidimensionally poor. Poverty inequalities do not only occur between countries, but also within them.

Other indices are, for example, the human development index or the human happiness report, where the first places outrank the last by far. Furthermore, from a regional up to a global scale, there is gender inequality, uneven distribution of access to health care, education, or even freshwater (Oxfam, 2020). Arguably the most prominent number to show the uneven world is that the richest one percent own 44% of the global wealth (Inequality.org, 2019). So, the question is not in which way the world is uneven but in which ways. What matters the most for the living conditions of an individuum is the luck or bad luck of its place of birth (Max Roser, 2019). On top of global inequality comes Covid-19, exacerbating the existing trends.

Many households or individuals had to use Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to cope with current development, to work, study, or communicate (Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA), 2020). Teleworking, home-schooling and internet shopping have increased throughout the pandemic, provided that you have internet access. According to the numbers of the CCSA, almost 87% of households in Europe have internet access at home, with roughly 18% in Africa. So, if a company offers teleworking this luxurious alternative is again mostly available for the global north. But the latest data seems to suggest, that also within Europe not everyone can work from home.

According to Eurofund (2020), 59% of the workers in Finland had the chance to work from home, whereas only 18% of the Romanian workers had the same chance. Other sources have already found out that low income workers are disproportionally affected by the Corona crisis. This roots in the fact, that the lower-income groups have more manual roles, for example, as construction workers without the ability to work remotely (University College London, 2020). Moreover, low income workers are more likely occupied in machine-dependent jobs, with Covid-19 threatening the manufacturing jobs the most, like the University College of London (2020) found out.

A similar pattern can be seen with the capital. Obviously, wealthier countries can provide more money for their citizens, wealthier companies can ensure the survival of their enterprise and wealthier families can use their savings to cover cuts in income. As a result, the consequences of corona are less severe. Poor countries and families seem to suffer the most, because their jobs are more likely to be cancelled and they have weak health systems. In New York for instance, the black community suffered the most on Covid-19 so far. For me, the inequality of the political systems has affected, until now, the consequences of Covid-19 the most.

Flawed democracies like in the US, Russia or Brazil show the highest infection rates with the resulting severe consequences. Further thoughts or reflections please send to erik.puhahn@student.htw-berlin.de. Find Part I: http://health.en-a.eu/special_interest/quo_vadis_globalization-78888/

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