Development since 1800

Material divergence of countries starting 1800

At the beginning of the industrial revolution about 1800 the material situation in Europe, Asia, Africa and America were similar: about 70% or more of the population worked in agriculture on the fields and their standard of living differed more so by the fertility of the ground than their status (serfdom, etc.).

Then came a rapid divergent development in less than 200 years until a material factor of about 100 (in Germany today only 1% of population are farmers who feed the 100%).

This does not only refer to the material development of mankind in the last 200 years. In all the 9 areas changes occurred, caused by technical progress and simultaneous changes in our thinking – by the Enlightenment, increasing self-determination of people, as well as thoughts of democracy and withdrawal from religion, along with changes in values.

Spread of income and wealth

And simultaneously we find an incredible spread of income and wealth in western countries. If this spread was higher than in former time we don’nt know excactly. In the 19th Century the concentration of income increased first, and sunk because of the two world wars. In the last 20 years we observe partly a new increase. In my opinion this is mostly du to globalization:

Imagine a music band playing in small villages. The members earn 100 € the evening. One band is more active and wents to a town. Now they earn 500 € each. First fan clubs form. Out of the towns one band arrives successful in the big city with better and origin songs. They now earn more than 2.000 € per performance. And there is the state, the nation, the continent…the global  TV. This way a superstar is born out of thousands of bands. We can watch this in the entertaining business, in sport, with management salaries. No state, no wall can protect us against this spread.

Convergence and catchup

Today, because of globalization, we experience a race of the poorest countries to catchup. Within these countries a large part of the population still lives as the whole world did before 1800. We witness an increasing convergence of the countries – at the same time a spread inside of them. Strong individuals catch the income opportunities and this accentuates current social distortions and gaps.

All this world-wide and particularly in Europa with taking social responsibility by the government.