One question: is wealth gap in United States becoming increasingly high? The answer is one obvious yes. When you look at some states (see Washington, New York, or Kansas, or any place where someone named ‘Walton’ and ‘Koch’ lives), you realize how increasingly huge that inequality is. But, again, as a consequence of capitalism, such phenomenon is inevitable. What can we learn from this infographic? Firstly, American government is not doing enough to address this social issue (unfortunately they have been faced with way too many self-interested lobbyists). Secondly, some of these billionaires are in manifold much richer than dozens of Third World countries (Bill Gates or Warren Buffett may have bought some fanciful little countries, if they would like to). But, this can be a double-edged sword toward us: America, despite all its inherent problems, remains a huge land of opportunity, where people from all backgrounds can succeed (if they work hard and have enough luck for their lifetime). The other America, though, is when there are not enough efforts made to empower the impoverished with sufficient skills, somehow. We’ll just hope that gap narrows a bit.
Ashraf Ghani (pictured above) believes there is something fundamentally wrong with our world today: he believes the world’s current aid system is not working and highly ineffective, that our world’s education system, in a 7-billion-strong population dominated by young people, is still based on that of 19th century, that capitalism and democracy are malfunctioning in many aspects in most developing countries, and that there is a great absence of a strong, international leadership to solve our world’s ages-old problems.
Afghanistan even suffers worse. It is beset by corruption, terrorism (by-products of Cold War, with thousands of combatants trained by both Russia and United States), and an economy largely domineered by illegal drug trading. Despite gigantic potential revenues from mining sector (the country’s mineral reserves are estimated to be worth nearly 3 trillion US$), all these problems, using current problem-solving approach, will take more than decades to solve. And, we must acquiesce, Ghani, having served as the country’s finance minister from 2002 to 2004, will not be able to solve these problems alone. However, at least, throughout his tenure, the country has seen some major improvements: currency stabilization, budget reforms, and long-term public investment schemes.
He once competed for 2009 presidential election, but didn’t manage to secure enough votes to win. For the second time, for the 2014 election, he will compete once again for the seat. Let’s hope he can bring more positive changes to this new, uneasy, and fledgling nation.
Listen to his TED talk to know more how he helped rebuilding a once broken state.