The middle class is the most successful group in world history. Sometime before 2030 the fifth billionth person will join the middle class. What started a little over two hundred years ago as a search for a better life has fueled unprecedented global transformation. In his new book Homi Kharas looks at how this powerful dream captivated generations through history, but its demands have led younger generations to ask if it is all worth it. Can the middle class continue to thrive, or will it falter under the stresses of automation, consumerism, pollution, and political strife?
The Rise of the Global Middle Class traces the history of the middle class from its origins in Victorian England to present day India. Along the way we meet knocker-uppers who have been displaced by alarm clocks. We learn how the Chinese Communist Party drew legitimacy from its ability to enlarge the Chinese middle class.
Kharas proposes a new middle-class manifesto that addresses the pressing issues of inequality, climate change, and technological advances.
Homi Kharas has produced a must-read book bound to become an obligatory reference for any serious discussion about the global middle class.