“It’s the Economy, stupid!”
What was true in 1992 for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign and his unlikely victory still holds true today.
What had happened?
Clinton had unseated then President George Bush Senior who had in the eyes of the public just proven a very successful commander-in-chief, invading Iraq, but domestically had not found a way out of the economic recession.
Whether voters are pro-life or pro-choice, in favor of gun control or staunch NRA supporters, country folks from Kentucky or Brooklyn hipsters, basic economic rationales oftentimes trump everything else.
Why is that?
Remember psychologist Abraham Maslow's famous pyramid of needs?
Physiological (i.e. food, water, warmth, rest) and physical safety needs form the base of the pyramid. Then, in the center part come psychological needs (relationships, friends as well as prestige, feeling of accomplishments.). On top, as icing on the cake, you find self-actualisation (achieving one's full potential).
Economic rationales relate mostly to the pyramid's base and, therefore, to the most pressing human needs.
How does this relate to this week's highlights?
This week's articles are all about these most pressing human needs related to basic economics.
1. Global economic growth: today and over the next 10 years
Two articles look at the fastest-growing economies – one in 2018, the other – a projection by Harvard University – over the coming decade (2017-2026).
The highest global growth rates in 2018 and up to 2026 occur without exception on the African and Asian continents.
Africa features 6 out of the top 10 emerging markets in 2018.
By 2026, India will not only be the most populated country in the world (with around 1,45 billion people overtaking neighboring China), but also lead the global growth tableau.
What will this mean for poverty on the Indian subcontinent?
That remains to be seen. What is for sure, is that the projected 7-8% annual growth in India are not the two-digit growth rates that allowed more than 300-400 million Chinese to lift themselves out of extreme poverty over the past three decades.
2. The transformation of city economies under the "Amazon-effect"
Cities are world-wide drivers of economic growth, with 600 cities world-wide generating more than 60% of the world's GDP by 2025, according to McKinsey's Global Institute.
It may come as no surprise that "when Amazon opened the bidding for its second headquarters, more than 200 [...] cities in North America jumped at the opportunity to host the online giant and its 50,000 jobs."
How hosting a giant new industry like this affects the structure of a city and even a regional economy at large, bringing about long-lasting economic transformation, is being discussed in this article by Harvard University's Center for International Development.
3. The next trillion-dollar market? – Muslim Women!
In a silent, both cultural and economic revolution, an unprecedented number of Muslim women transitioned from their home into the workforce over the past 15 years. 50 million have joined the workforce, many of them "for the first time, in a movement where economics trumps culture."
The number of working women in these markets has increased from 100 million at the beginning of the millennium to 155 million today – a more than 50% increase. With every 10th person on the planet being a Muslim woman, this underreported revolution may not be over yet.
Unless they want to risk looking like George H. W. Bush in 1992, employers, economists and policymakers better keep an eye on this new market, worth a trillion dollar.