“Booming” Economy Leaves Millions Behind: Part Four

The last three economic updates (see end of article) focused primarily on the U.S., whereas this update focuses more on global conditions.

The data coming in every day, month after month, is revealing a clear picture of the dire straits confronting millions globally. Problems appear at every level and on every continent. There is no letup in deteriorating economic and social conditions at home and abroad. Things are dreadful and getting worse in most parts of the world, and the decline began long before top-down covid lockdowns started more than two years ago.

Unfortunately, mainstream economic news is largely irrational, contradictory, and incoherent; it does not help people figure out what is going on, who is responsible, why phenomena are unfolding the way they are, how to connect the dots intelligibly, and how to move forward in a way that favors the people. No serious theory, analysis, or perspective is offered to assist people in affirming their interests.


“Poorer nations in Asia, Africa, Middle East face food crisis: UN.”

“In 2021, an Oxfam review of IMF COVID-19 loans showed that 33 African countries were encouraged to pursue austerity policies. This despite the IMF’s own research showing austerity worsens poverty and inequality.”

“In 2020, half of all Zimbabweans – eight million people – were estimated to be in extreme poverty. That toll is almost certainly greater after a stringent COVID-19 lockdown that hit the informal sector – on which 90 percent of economically active citizens depend on for their survival – especially hard.”

“Surging inflation set to derail Ghana’s 2022 growth target.”

“Turkish inflation of 70% Sets G-20 high.”

Severe economic crisis, high living cost affect Lebanese diet.”

Sri Lanka “is in shambles after defaulting on payments on its mountain of foreign loans — estimated to be worth $50 billion — for the first time since the country gained independence from the British in 1948.”

“The Bank of England forecast inflation exceeding 10% and predicted negligible growth for the next two years, toppling into months of recession, accompanied by the savage squeeze on living standards.”

“Italy unveiled a hefty package of measures ($14 billion euros) on Monday (May 2, 2022) aimed at shielding firms and families from surging energy costs as the war in Ukraine casts a shadow over the growth prospects of the euro zone’s third largest economy.”

“The Spanish economy was the hardest hit in the euro area by the pandemic, shrinking 11% in 2020 amid tough lockdowns. Two years later, it has still not returned to its pre-virus level.”

“Dutch consumers have never been so pessimistic about the economy.”

“France’s economy unexpectedly grinds to a halt in first quarter.”

“Business environment trends still mostly negative in Latvia.”

“‘We see a big recession in the making’: Top CEOs are fearing the worst in Europe.”

Europe’s Economy is ‘De Facto Stagnating,’ ECB’s Panetta Says.” ECB stands for European Central Bank. Fabio Panetta is an Executive Board member of the ECB.

“S. Korean economy facing growing downside risks.” South Korea is Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

“Depreciating yen threatens Japan’s economy.”

New Zealand: “Recession fears as survey shows record 20 percent of Kiwis plan to cut spending.”

“Australia’s prices surge at fastest pace in two decades.”

“Average Australian worker went backwards by $800 in 2021, says ACTU chief Michele O’Neil.”

“The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) places Costa Rica with the highest unemployment rate in people between 15 and 24 years old (40%), even when comparing us with other countries such as Colombia, Chile and Mexico, which are also part of this organization.”

“Inflation is eroding Latin Americans’ purchasing power.”

“[U.S.] Stock market’s plunge continues on new concerns about global economy.”

“The S&P 500 has dropped 18% so far this year, losing $7 trillion in value.”

“New wave of inflation – and disruptions – hits U.S. factory floors.”

“[In the U.S.] the average price of all grades of gasoline at the pump spiked to a record $4.33 per gallon on Monday, May 9, the third week in a row of increases, and was up 46% from a year ago, edging past the prior record of Monday, March 14 ($4.32), according to the US Energy Department’s EIA late Monday, based on its surveys of gas stations conducted during the day.”

“[In the U.S.] foreclosures surge 181% to highest levels since March 2020.”

Capital-centered economies cannot provide for the needs of all and are instead spiraling out of control with each passing month. Such economies perpetuate insecurity, instability, and anarchy for everyone, no matter which party of the rich is in power. Life is proving that none of the existing institutions and arrangements are capable of sorting out the grave problems confronting millions. “Representative democracy” is not giving rise to conditions that guarantee security, peace, and prosperity for all.

A completely new outlook, vision, thinking, politics, and direction is needed. New arrangements that favor the people are long overdue. The old way of doing things just prolongs misery and insecurity.

Part one of this series appeared on April 10, 2022, part two appeared on April 25, 2022, and part three appeared on May 10, 2022.


Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card. He can be reached at stell5@naz.edu.. Read other articles by Shawgi.