Thursday, May 6, 2021
Home OP-ED Editorial Economic growth should be ethical

Economic growth should be ethical

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) upgraded its global economic growth forecast for the second time for 2021 on Tuesday. According to the report, advanced economies will expand 5.1 percent this year, compared with the previous 4.3 percent. The US’ growth is raised to 6.4 percent, up from 5.1 percent in January. Among developing countries, only China’s economic growth is viewed optimistically with forecast of 8.4 per cent. Experts from IMF said that the divergent recovery paths are likely to create significantly wider gaps in living standards between developing countries and others, compared to pre-pandemic expectations. There are two main reasons for the upward revision of growth forecasts in advanced economies, particularly the US. One is the rapid pace of vaccination and the other is the massive fiscal stimulus. Both are beyond the reach of most developing countries. The severe imbalance in global growth is a stark portrait of the world’s inequality in 2021. The US has made 150 million COVID-19 vaccine shot, the most in the world, while it has piled up the stock of vaccines. This country that clamors for human rights and often sanctions other countries with human rights as an excuse has refused to timely share the vaccines with developing countries to help the people in most urgent need. The “America First” in vaccination is chanted. The so-called human rights Washington claims have severely deviated from the real, urgent needs of people, and become a de facto weapon for the US to safeguard its hegemony. The US is also the country most capable of implementing fiscal stimulus programs. Based on dollar hegemony, the US Federal Reserve adopted the policy of unlimited quantitative easing to serve short-term political interests. Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief package as soon as he took office. Now his administration has introduced a $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan. Together with the Trump administration’s large US financial stimulus package, trillions of dollars have flown into the market. However, the prosperity they will bring is destined to be distorted, as it will increase the polarization between countries, markets and classes. The gap between developed and developing countries will widen further after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the developed countries, there is also a vaguely emerging gap between the US and Europe. In both the US and European societies, the scope of people’s sufferings has clearly widened, while capital markets have benefited from accelerating expansion thanks to fiscal stimulus packages. What has worsened is not only the pandemic, but also the contrast between different groups of people. We are glad that the world economy is rebounding and growing, but we hope this growth to be more ethical and clean. This kind of growth has at least two implications.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times News Exchange Item

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