Making long-term predictions is one of the toughest games in town, if only because the Really Big Events that end up defining eras tend to catch most analysts by surprise; this makes mastering the art of projection all the more valuable. It was therefore with great interest that we at Mediolana came across the estimated 'roadmap' for the global economy to 2060 prepared by no less an entity than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ('OECD'). This document, which was published as recently as the summer of 2014, contains a number of insights that are vital not just to economists, but to every student enrolled in formal education. After some contemplation, we have evaluated the following as indisposable:
Low Growth. Global economic growth will slow to 2.7% per annum. Already, 'engine' countries such as China – which were routinely recording annual expansion figures of >10.0% until only a few years ago – are sliding into relative ordinariness; the Japanese precedent is especially salient in this context. The OECD projection therefore largely mirrors that of our own Fonduenomics model, which was first promulgated back in 2011.
Unequal Distribution. The growth figure of 2.7% is not a great one, but it looks much worse when one realises that the distribution of this growth will be highly uneven: inequality is expected to climb by 30%, and even the most equitable countries will be dragged down. Historically egalitarian states such as Sweden will resemble parts of the United States – and not necessarily the nicer parts.
Technology. The next wave of automation will affect medium-skilled jobs, making the possession of high-level education and skill sets all the more mandatory. Those who do not have the right preparation for the labour market will confront extreme difficulties; those who do will take an increasingly-disproportionate share of total wealth. In this context, financial investment in products and services which augment academic performance – for example, through improving study skills – cannot be seen as anything other than an essential outlay.