From an economic standpoint, the world is divided into three categories: High Income Countries (HIC), Mid Income Countries (MIC) and Low Income Countries (LIC). In 1987, the HIC, constituted 22.3% of the world population, by 2015 that number decreased to 15%; it is expected to reach 7.8% by 2041. In contrast the MIC and LIC comprise 45% 40% of the world’s population, respectively, and are growing rapidly.
The HIC have an aging population, low birthrates and excess production capacity. The LIC and MIC have high birthrates, a youthful and increasingly educated work force and a large marketplace but low incomes.
The facts are clear; the HIC must find new markets for their excess capacity, and the MIC/LIC represent vast new markets for expansion. We must find the means to build the buying power of the MIC and LIC, sparking new regional trade throughout the world.
This is not the only issue. The MIC and LIC have a large pool of educated, youthful workers whose expectations are not being met. High unemployment and social disruptions lead to frustration, disillusionment and the increased radicalization of young people, which causes further social disorder. The larger MIC and LIC are redefining the boundaries of political and economic influence.
The reality is that the ongoing demographic and economic imbalances between the world’s regions have resulted in more military conflicts. War only benefits the armaments manufacturers and spreads misery and poverty, leading to an exacerbation of the problem. These issues touch each and every one of us, affecting our families, our sons and our daughters.
We are faced with perhaps the toughest challenge of our time: the ricocheting effect of the ongoing economic crisis. We are facing a demographic time bomb that is ticking faster and faster each day, generating multiple problems across the globe as the world economy tilts further and further out of balance.
So why don’t our leaders talk about this? Why doesn’t the media rail against these deep-seated issues? We all must work together to deliver a real, tangible solution.