Las Vegas, NASA photo


The economy, any economy, is a system of mutual provision. One of the best indices of how well an economy is mutually providing is the Gini Index, described in the links below. Basically, the Gini index is a single metric of the overall distribution of income over all levels of a given population. The Scandinavian countries enjoy the lowest (best) Gini indices in the world, which means that their wealth is most equitably distributed.

Haven't we always been taught (and reminded by our economists and politicians) that financial incentive (which is to say financial inequality) is necessary to encourage individual effort and success? And yet, the Nordic countries enjoy the most prosperous, innovative and robust economies in the world, despite all their relative financial equality! And, if income inequality encourages innovation and productivity, then Haiti, Bolivia, Lesotho and Namibia will surely be the most innovative and productive countries in the world!

Gini index map from Wikipedia (click to enlarge) Gini index map from Wikipedia

GDP per capita map from Wikipedia (click to enlarge) GDP map from Wikipedia

Now, how in the world did that happen? Did somebody get it wrong?

Wealth Distribution
Gini index
Measuring inequality
Here's a fun little exercise you can do yourself.
Open the link below, and order the countries by increasing Gini index.
Then compare this with list of countries by decreasing income in the second link.
The similarity is striking. Apart from tax havens (Monaco, Liechenstein) and oil states (Qatar) the richest countries are the most equal!
List of countries by income inequality
List of countries by per capita income

World Economy
Jeffrey Sachs: 'That's not a free market, that's a game'
Big difference for the world!
The Robin Hood tax
The Robin Hood tax
Demise of the hub-and-spokes world economy
Developing world surpasses developed world
IMF routed from Latin America
Who's in charge now?
US Bureau of the Public Debt

Towards a Sustainable Economy
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy
New Economics Foundation
Building an economy for the Earth
Building a green economy
Wake-up call to radically reform our economy
Clean energy investment agenda
Stern Review: the cost of climate change
Climate change costs for Washington state
Climate denial costs $500 billion annually

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"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment."
- Herman Daly