A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 22, 2011
Great Divergence

The economist Paul Krugman wrote in the first post of his New York (NY) Times blog, The Conscience of a Liberal, on September 18, 2007:

“The great divergence: Since the late 1970s the America I knew has unraveled. We’re no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.”

Timothy Noah used Krugman’s term in his Slate Magazine article of September 3, 2010, titled “The United States of Inequality: Introducing the Great Divergence.” The term “Great Divergence” describes the income inequality between the poor and the rich—a gap that Krugman says grew larger between 1979 and 2005.

“Great Divergence” had been used earlier, but in a different sense. The Kenneth Pomeranz book, The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000), describes how Europe became industrialized faster than Asian countries such as China, India and Japan.


Wikipedia: Great Divergence
The Great Divergence, a term coined by Samuel Huntington (also known as the European miracle, a term coined by Eric Jones in 1981), refers to the process by which the Western world (i.e. Western Europe and the parts of the New World where its people became the dominant populations) overcame pre-modern growth constraints and emerged irrefutably during the 19th century as the most powerful and wealthy world civilization of the time, eclipsing Qing China, Mughal India, and Tokugawa Japan.

The process was accompanied and reinforced by the Age of Discovery and the subsequent rise of the colonial empires, the Age of Enlightenment, the Commercial Revolution, the Scientific Revolution and finally the Industrial Revolution. Scholars have proposed a wide variety of theories to explain why the Great Divergence happened, including government intervention, geography, and customary traditions.
(...)
Terminology and definition
The term “Great Divergence” was coined by Samuel Huntington in 1996 and used by Kenneth Pomeranz in his book The Great Divergence: China, Europe, and the Making of the Modern World Economy (2000). The same phenomenon was discussed by Eric Jones, whose 1981 book The European Miracle: Environments, Economies and Geopolitics in the History of Europe and Asia popularized the alternate term “European Miracle”. Broadly, both terms signify a socioeconomic shift in which Western countries advanced ahead of Eastern countries during the Modern period.

The timing of the Great Divergence is in dispute among historians. The traditional dating is as early as the 16th century, with scholars arguing that Europe had been on a trajectory of higher growth since that date. Pomeranz and others argue that the period of most rapid divergence was during the 19th century. Citing nutrition data and chronic Western trade deficits as evidence, these scholars claim that before that date the East, especially China, was wealthier and more advanced. Others, while accepting parity of incomes between the most prosperous parts of China and Europe around 1800, trace the first significant changes in European economies back to the 17th century.

OCLC WorldCat record
The great divergence : wages and prices in Europe from the Middle Ages to the First World War
Author: Robert C Allen
Publisher: Vancouver, 1998.
Series: Discussion paper // Department of Economics, University of British Columbia, 98,12. 
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The great divergence : China, Europe, and the making of the modern world economy
Author: Kenneth Pomeranz
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©2000.
Series: Princeton economic history of the Western world. 
Edition/Format:  Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary: This text offers insight into one of the classic questions of history: why did sustained industrial growth begin in Northwest Europe, despite surprising similarities between advanced areas of Europe and East Asia?

OCLC WorldCat record
The early modern great divergence : wages, prices and economic development in Europe and Asia, 1500-1800
Author: S N Broadberry; Bishnupriya Gupta; Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain)
Publisher: London : Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2005.
Series: Discussion paper (Centre for Economic Policy Research (Great Britain)), no. 4947. 
Edition/Format:  Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The great divergence : hegemony, uneven development, and global inequality
Author: Jomo K. S.
Publisher: New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 2006.
Series: The long twentieth century
Edition/Format:  Book : English

NYTimes.com: The Conscience of a Liberal
September 18, 2007, 11:45 pm
Introducing This Blog
(...)
The great divergence: Since the late 1970s the America I knew has unraveled. We’re no longer a middle-class society, in which the benefits of economic growth are widely shared: between 1979 and 2005 the real income of the median household rose only 13 percent, but the income of the richest 0.1% of Americans rose 296 percent.

Slate Magazine
The United States of Inequality
Introducing the Great Divergence

By Timothy Noah
Posted Friday, Sept. 3, 2010, at 3:06 PM ET
(...)
The Great Compression ended in the 1970s. Wages stagnated, inflation raged, and by the decade’s end, income inequality had started to rise. Income inequality grew through the 1980s, slackened briefly at the end of the 1990s, and then resumed with a vengeance in the aughts. In his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, the Nobel laureate, Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman labeled the post-1979 epoch the “Great Divergence.”

It’s generally understood that we live in a time of growing income inequality, but “the ordinary person is not really aware of how big it is,” Krugman told me. During the late 1980s and the late 1990s, the United States experienced two unprecedentedly long periods of sustained economic growth—the “seven fat years” and the “ long boom.” Yet from 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans’ income went to the top 1 percent. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (1) Comments • Thursday, September 22, 2011 • Permalink


Is there a specific reference for Huntington’s coinage—Great Diversion—as used by Pomerance in his volume “the great diversion...”.........

Thank you......

Posted by Dr. H A Platt  on  06/22  at  01:58 PM

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