Kathleen Brush
Kathleen Brush

Global Management and Strategy Consultant

The World Made Easy

The World Made Easy

The second edition of this book will be available in 2013. It promises to make the world even easier to understand.  If you would like to be advised when the second edition is available send an email to kathleenbrush@gmail.com. 

Everyday the news is filled with global events. Of late it’s been social unrest in Northern Africa, a currency crisis in Europe, rigged elections in Russia, rising inflation in Latin America, and political showdowns in the Middle East. News on global events is taking on an endless feel, and it won’t be stopping.

There couldn’t be a better time to find an easy way to grasp the world.

Simplifying the world should be particularly valuable for Americans. This is because America is no longer controlling her destiny and much of the world; the tables are turned and the world is in control.??If only the world was easy to understand. Good news. It can be. The world may be big and complex, but the essentials of how it works are not. The trick is examining it by comparing political, economic, social/cultural and historical factors (PESH).

For example, when it comes to political systems if it’s known that a country is an autocracy rather than a democracy, it can be instantly known that their people fear the government, being outspoken is a ticket to the pokey and repression rules. If it’s known that a country is economically advanced, like the US, instant inferences can be made that their legal, educational and health care systems are mature and of high quality. If it’s known that a country’s history includes communism, it will be known that their standard of living will be lower than if there had been a history of democracy and free markets.

The World Made Easy is laid out in three sections.

Section one covers global patterns and trends. This includes population, demographic, internet and global trading trends.

Section two examines political, economic and social cultural systems and practices by region.

Section three examines regional PESH specifics. Geography is used in conjunction with aspects of PESH to create ten regions.

Region one is the United States and Canada. This region has high-income, developed country democracies with Christian majorities that predominantly speak English.

Region two is Latin America and the Caribbean (Latam+C). This includes: Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. All countries in this region except Cuba host democratic elections. They are mostly middle or low-income countries, and they are predominantly Spanish speaking and Roman Catholic.

Region three is Europe. Europe is divided into three sub-regions: Western, Central and Eastern. There is a mix of developed and developing countries and consequently income levels. The high-income developed countries are in Western Europe. Central Europe is mostly middle-income developing countries and Eastern Europe is mostly low-income developing countries. The different income levels are aligned with the periods of commitments to democracy and free markets. Across the three European sub-regions there are mostly Christian majority nations.

Region four is Oceania. It includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and a number of small surrounding islands. Only Australia and New Zealand are high- income developed nations. This region was a British Empire stronghold, which helps to explain why this is a region that is predominantly English-speaking and Christian. With just 36 million people, this is the smallest region by population.

Region five is Africa. Africa is divided into North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. In North Africa the countries are Muslim-majority and Arab-speaking. In Sub-Saharan Africa there is more religious and language diversity. Africa is filled with new low- and very-low-income nations and there is a mix of autocracies and democracies.

The four plus billion people in Asia are divided into five regional groups:

Region six is China and other countries in Eastern Asia, population 1.6 billion. It includes the developing countries of China, Mongolia and North Korea, and developed Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The developing countries share a common heritage as former or current communist states and low- or very-low incomes. The developed countries are high-income democracies. This region has the highest numbers of non-religious.

Region seven is India and other countries in South Asia. Its 1.6 billion people include three of the most populous nations in the world: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. South Asia, like Africa, is filled with new nations that are in the low- and very-low- income category. All countries in this region host democratic elections and they were all part of or closely aligned with the British Empire. This region has the highest numbers of Muslims and Hindus.

Region eight is Southeast Asia. Within this region of eleven countries and 600 million people is one developed nation. This is Singapore, population 5 million. The other ten are developing nations that span all income categories. There are democracies and autocracies and Christian, Muslim and Buddhist majorities. Rather than PESH factors, it is geography that defines what these countries share in common.

Region nine is Central Asia. This is the region of the “Stan” countries, for example, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan, and also the countries of the South Caucasus. All countries in this region are developing and most are low-or very-low-income nations. All countries host democratic elections but autocrats are still common. With the exception of Afghanistan, all countries in this region were part of the Soviet Union. With the exceptions of Armenia and Georgia in the South Caucasus, they are all Muslim-majority nations. With just over 117 million people this is the second smallest region.

Region ten is MENAT — the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. These are the countries of western Asia and North Africa. The population in this region is 500 million. With the exception of Israel they are developing and Muslim-majority or plurality nations. This is a predominantly Arab-speaking region. The prevalence of autocrats makes this the most repressed region in the world. Countries in this region span all income levels and there are a number of countries where income levels are high relative to their stage of economic development. Oil is the reason.