Friday, April 27, 2012

Europe develops a developing world economy

The stark facts from this amazing New York Times analysis:

Spain's official unemployment rate is 24 percent
     --and analysts expect it to vault beyond 30 percent.
Unemployment of 16-24 year-olds is now more than 50 percent.
In more than 1 in ten Spanish households, no one holds a job.
In the past year, the Spanish economy has hemorrhaged 100 billion euros (approx. $132 billion).
Analysts expect the country's economy to continue to shrink.

Check out the contrast:
Nigeria's unemployment rate is approximately the same as Spain's -- 23.9 percent.
And, as another NYT story reported recently, while Nigeria's urban unemployment is at an unconscionable level--nearly 50 percent for people ages 15 to 24--that's actually better than the situation for young people in Spain.
But the Nigerian economy is, at least, growing by almost 8 percent a year, making it the 3rd fasted growing economy in the world.

Conclusion:  in terms of the economic indicators, Spain is now a developing world country.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

We are the 92 percent

92 percent of India's workforce is in the informal sector/System D. That's 460 million people. But, as this op-ed from My Digital Financial Chronicle points out, "from a rights perspective, this simply means that the ‘formal’ sector policeman can evict the ‘informal’ sector vegetable vendor from the street corner near your house on a whim."

India's National Association of Street Vendors is trying to re-engineer the way the government thinks about street vendors and other System D workers and to reverse years of systematic repression and discrimination.

(note: a few weeks back, I blogged about a different article that said 94 percent of India's workforce was informal. 94, 92: the exact number is impossible to gauge. But they're both amazingly huge numbers. System D thoroughly dominates the Indian labor market. It's time to stop criminalizing these efforts.)