World News and Trends
Is a middle class utopia practically affordable?
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Mankind has periodically sought to bring about a prosperous, plentiful and peaceful paradise well before God is ready to produce it. In the past Britain's Labour Party manifesto has read like a blueprint for the Kingdom of God.
Now we read that "the middle class in poor countries is the fastest-growing segment of the world's population. While the total population will increase by about 1 billion in the next 12 years, the ranks of the middle class will swell by 1.8 billion . . . The middle class will almost double in poor countries where sustained economic growth is lifting people above the poverty line fast. For example, by 2025, China will have the world's largest middle class, while India's will be 10 times larger than it is today" (Foreign Policy [FP], March/April 2008).
That is, of course, if we don't suffer a major world famine first. Serious repercussions are already manifesting themselves. For instance, third-world riots over rising food costs have already occurred. And Foreign Policy editor-in-chief Moises Naim said, "Prices are soaring not because there is less food, but because more people can afford to eat more."
The impact of the emergence of a large middle class in Asia will also inevitably drive upward the costs of world resources other than food. The insatiable demand for electricity in China and India boggles the mind. The FP article continued: "The adjustment to a middle class greater than what the world has ever known is just beginning. As the Indonesian and Mexican protestors [to higher food prices] can attest, it won't be cheap. And it won't be quiet." (Source: Foreign Policy.)