Hans Rosling's Chart is SERIOUSLY MISLEADING
I guess I am the last person with an internet connection to see this video.
Yes he's an entertaining and enthusiastic guy. Yes, the rise of China and India is amazing and fantastic. Yes there is a large "middle class" of countries.
But people, have you looked at the horizontal axis of his chart? The distance between $400 and $4000 is the same as the distance between $4000 and $40000.
That is incredibly misleading.
Properly plotted on a linear scale, it would be clear that there was way way way LESS income inequality in 1810 or that magic year of 1948 than there is in 2010.
We are NOT living in an "age of convergence" with respect to per-capita incomes.
It is NOT only Sub-Saharan African countries stuck at the bottom.
Latin America is NOT catching up to the USA.
The whole thing is pretty much horse hockey.
Then the press grabs ahold and starts to exaggerate the exaggerations. Here's David Brooks:
"Then, over the last few decades, the social structure of the world changes. The Asian and Latin American countries begin to catch up. With the exception of the African nations, living standards start to converge. Now most countries are clumped toward the top end of the chart..."
Just keep repeating this to yourself people: "The left half of the chart covers a range of $3,600, but the right half of the chart covers a range of $36,000.