Political Science 50 October 9 , 2013
I. Recap from the class I missed
a. A democracy is a concept that means something different to everyone
b. Freedom House has a chart that correlates a countries freedom level to their real GDP
c. Turkey is a case in which leads the world in locking up journalists, which is a sign of lack
of freedom which is why their freedom score may not be a 1 (1 being high, 7 being low),
but it may be like a 2 or 3. (There’s levels to this shit)
d. Another example would be nations with free elections, but unfair campaigns
a. Correlation v Causation
i. Correlation does not = causation, it is simply an indication
ii. To prove that there is a causation, one must create a controlled studied in which
provides evidence that the argument is correct for causation.
iii. Ex. Wealth and Democracy. There is causation, but not necessarily causation.
b. Why are some countries rich and others poor?
i. The average person in Norway makes about $89,000 per year (AVERAGE
ii. The average person in Congo, however, makes about $375 a year.
iii. Many countries, to note, are impossible to collect such data from, and even if it
is collected- they are hard to believe or convert
iv. The average Norwegian is 237 times richer than the average Congian.
v. Consequences of poverty: malnutrition, hunger, disease, poor infrastructure,
low levels of education, etc
c. Per Capita Income
i. Per Capita = per person
ii. Includes GNP (gross national product) /GDP (gross domestic prodct) /GNI (gross
iii. Ex: China may have a bigger economy than Japan, but they are not richer. They
simply have a larger population. As the population of a country grows, income
and economy have to expand just to keep up, otherwise people will get poorer
on average. Populations have to grow, and the aged people must be replaced
with the young, otherwise there will be a lack of replacements in the work Political Science 50 October 9 , 2013
place. As people live longer and birth rates are reduced, the economy will
1. Dependency Ratio
a. The ratio of people who are working v the people who are
dependents of the working
d. Human Development Index (HDI)
i. Measures Standards of living and quality of life (the UN does this)
1. Life expectancy at birth
2. Education Index
ii. According to the scatterplot he’s posted online, the correlation of HDI and
ppcGNI are not directly associated. Over $20,000, the initial human
development index increases significantly and then levels off. After you are rich
enough, money can’t buy you love…or other factors that are said to make a
e. The Economist “Roads to Riches”
i. Economic growth is historically a recent phenomenon
1. Almost 1,000 years ago, to even 200 years ago, there was not a
significant increase in per capita income
2. The industrial revolution is the point in which countries began to
develop and increase their wealth
ii. Why have some countries become rich, and why have some countries remained
1. There is inequality in the world not because the poor are getting poorer,
but because the rich are getting richer and leaving everyone else behind
a. Absolute poverty is measure at receiving an income of under
$1.25 a day. This was a millennium goal of the UN, to reduce
this number. Since 2000, this number has been reduced by half.
The goal was reached quickly because 60% of those people lived
in China, and the poverty line of $1.25 was arbitrary. Political Science 50 October 9 , 2013
b. Economic growth is what takes people out of poverty, as
opposed to governments giving money to the poor (as it is seen
in this course in relation to absolute poverty). Redistribution of
wealth is important in many cases, though, like the US.
2. Where you are, matters.
a. In 1995, 72 tropical countries earned about $3,300 per person.
The 78 non-tropical countries had a per capita gdp of almost 3x
b. Not one of the advanced countries of the world are in the
c. Tropical countries also tend to grow more slowly than non-
tropics. This s