High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve Them

By J. F. Rischard | Go to book overview

3
Doing Everything Differently:
The New World Economy
and the Two Revolutions
Behind It

The other big force bringing spectacular changes to this planet over the next twenty years is the "new world economy," a broader and more interesting concept than the Internet-centered "new economy" we hear so much about. The difference will become clear as you read on.

This new world economy has two engines behind it (see Figure 1.1). The first is a kind of technological revolution, the second a kind of economic revolution. Let's start with the second one.


Economic Revolution

The economic revolution is easy to summarize: in the past twenty years, we went from 1.5 billion people living in market economies to nearly 6 billion. There are virtually no countries that haven't adopted market-oriented policies by now. Most have lowered their trade barriers, privatized public enterprises when it makes sense, made the state less a business operator and more a regulator and challenger, and opened public utilities to competition. More generally, they have given markets an increasing say and limited the role of civil servants. 1 Even the

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