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Klara Johansson: Paulsen put words in the mouth of Rosling

Roland Paulsen wants to question the economic order, and choose to do it by criticizing Hans rosling's message about decreasing extremfattigdom and child morta

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Klara Johansson: Paulsen put words in the mouth of Rosling

Roland Paulsen wants to question the economic order, and choose to do it by criticizing Hans rosling's message about decreasing extremfattigdom and child mortality. There will be a detour through logical fallacies, sloppy claims about mental illness, and misinterpretation of what Hans Rosling said and not said.

It is sad, for it had been a good discussion.

the Discussion could begin: ”How does the world look like?” and then, more complicated: ”What it depends on, and how can we interpret it to find their way to the economic and political system which best reinforces the positive trends and counteract the negative?”

rather than argue by putting words in the mouth of Hans Rosling.

Paulsen, accusing His for to pick the raisins out of the cake when it comes to the global health development. But His priority is always the extremfattiga and those who die young, often the first day of his life. Then the reduction of poverty and child mortality, hardly a few ”raisins in the cake”.

Paulsen seems to imply that if you're talking about the world's increasing health and decreasing poverty, they say automatically that this is capitalism's virtue. But it is other people's interpretation of the positive trends, not Hans rosling's interpretation. It is a hypothesis that can be discussed in detail, but that in no way is proven. That things happen at about the same time doesn't mean one causes the other.

It is true that His often-mentioned growth as an important factor (growth, however, is not synonymous with capitalism), but he also hailed publicly financed health care, schools and vaccination campaigns, and have often pointed to economic inequality is a major stumbling block to good health.

globally? Here is my brutalförenkling, tell me please if I am wrong: infectious diseases decreasing; complications during childbirth is decreasing, but slowly; people are living longer and will therefore get cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other, which thereby burdens the health system more but decreases in mortality per cases; some middle-income countries has been the increasing incidence of diabetes and road injuries but decreasing mortality rates per case.

But mental health then, which Paulsen claims would be worse the richer a country is? It is not true, and plays on an old colonial myth of the lucky poor. In memory I hear His say: a person on the svältgränsen who get depression will starve to death. Then you can see it is not in the depressionsstatistiken.

Higher individual income know it is linked to better mental health. At country level it is more complex, and there is no clear-cut pattern. Globally, the trend is neither up or down.

in good faith, based on the visualized database he was referencing the first shows the measure based on the number of “sjukår” and do not adjust for population's age composition. In rich countries, live people are on average more years with their illness, because of the overall good survival. The measurement can show the burden on the health service, but not the effect of the country's economy.

His was far from perfect. Yes, he had poor awareness on environmental issues, but that he often and gladly lifted the climate change issue, I think, made a difference.

People like to make Hans Rosling to a guru with answers to everything, when he was just a stubborn public health professor with a big heart, the experience of working with the extreme poor, an ability to see and explain the statistical context, and a crass, perverse pragmatism.

It is okay to question him, but the answer (in this case, what he actually said, and use the relevant statistics.

Read more: Hans rosling's positive worldview is not true

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