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比尔·盖茨:在“美元街”上你将了解7件意想不到的事

比尔盖茨 2018-12-05 15:01:10

几十年来,人们(包括我)一直在说,互联网正在让世界变小。最近,我花了很多时间浏览一个网站,它比我看到的任何事物都更好地印证了这句话。

 

这个网站叫“美元街”(Dollar Street),它的创建基于一个简单的想法,即你的地址就是你家庭的月收入(以美元计,已根据所在地区的物价做了调整,经济学家称之为“购买力平价”)。你可以看到50个国家不同收入水平的人拥有的所有生活用品,从厨具到牙刷。通过对“美元街”上邻居的比较,你能直观地了解到世界各地人们的真实生活到底是怎样的。

 

“美元街”由已故全球健康教育家汉斯•罗斯林(Hans Rosling)的儿媳安娜•罗斯林(Anna Rosling)创建。我花了很多时间浏览这个网站,如果你对理解这个世界有一点点兴趣的话,希望你也能这样做。正如安娜所说:“看到我们的生活如此相似让我震惊。看到大多数人每天大部分时间都在为生活琐事而奔忙,世界就显得没那么恐怖,人与人的差异也没那么巨大和可怕。”

 

以下是你可以在“美元街”了解到的7件意想不到的事:

 

1. 收入水平比地理位置或种族更能解释差异

 

谈到日常生活,你的收入水平比你的家庭住址更能说明问题。同样收入水平的亚洲人和欧洲人生活状况很相近,甚至他们的宠物看起来也差不多。富有的非洲人、墨西哥人与欧洲、美国的富人生活也很相似。阿卡尔一家(住在伊斯坦布尔一套公寓里的土耳其家庭,每月收入505美元)和哈德利一家(住在丹佛的美国人,每月收入604美元)都梦想着有天能买套房子。



2. 日常生活用品会透露很多关于人们生活方式的信息


在“美元街”,你可以看到人们用来满足基本需求的东西。你能看到沙发、餐具、鞋子等来自50个国家264个家庭共计135种生活用品。



 

3. 每个人都想要一张柔软的床和美味的食物

 

当你沿着“美元街”往上游移动时,你购买的生活必需品会转变为功能性用品,直至奢侈品。例如,“美元街”上最穷的那些家庭吃的食物,往往缺乏儿童发育所必需的维生素和热量。随着收入的增加,食物变得更有营养、更加多样化。当你接近富有家庭这一端时,食物会更加注重口味和营养。同样地,床也遵循相似的变化模式。



 

4. 养猫的女人和养狗的人到处都有


所有收入水平的人都会养宠物。在“美元街”收入2000美元的家庭中,狗和猫可能有更好的项圈,它们能住在室内。但即使在收入200美元的家庭中,你也能看到宠物。



 

5. 人们最珍贵的财产其实很难预测


收入水平并不能很好地反应出人们最珍视什么。这个图展示了不同收入水平的人最珍贵的财产。这其中的差异其实并不那么明显。在“美元街”的不同位置,人们最珍视的东西看起来都很相似:一本相册、一张来自爱人的便条、一部电话。


 

6. 所有人都会刷牙,但并不是所有人都有牙刷


在“美元街”的住址不同,个人牙齿卫生状况也大不相同。在收入最低的地方,人们可能会用木棍,甚至直接用手指刷牙。在从低到高的家庭收入水平线上,塑料牙刷算是出现得比较早的生活用品,甚至早于牙膏——它便宜、小巧、使用时间长。但是在收入较高的那些家庭里,每个成员都有自己的牙刷,而且更换的频率要高得多。



印度巴哈尔省的两个小女孩用手指和泥巴刷牙


一个生活在泰国曼谷的女人在厨房里刷牙


一个生活在印度德里的小女孩在刷牙


7. 几乎每个人都有手机


即使月收入不到90美元的最贫穷的人,通常也有一部手机。手机曾经被认为是奢侈品,现在却连穷人也能负担得起,他们不仅使用手机与爱人朋友沟通,而且还用它来做生意。事实上,拥有手机的家庭比拥有厕所的家庭还要多!用手机提供金融服务,将在很大程度上帮助数百万人获得贷款和建立储蓄账户,这也是消除极端贫困的关键步骤。

 


(请点击“阅读原文”,探索“美元街”)


7 surprising things you’ll learn on Dollar Street

 

People (including me) have been saying for decades that the Internet was making the world smaller. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on a website that delivers on that promise better than just about anything else I’ve seen.

 

It’s called Dollar Street, and it’s based on the simple idea that your address is your household’s monthly income.* You can see everything from cooking utensils to toothbrushes owned by people at various income levels in 50 countries. By comparing neighbors on Dollar Street, you get phenomenal insight into what life is truly like around the world.

 

Dollar Street was created by Anna Rosling, daughter-in-law of the late global-health educator Hans Rosling. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring the site and encourage you to do the same if you’re at all interested in understanding the world. As Anna says, “It's striking to see how similar our lives are. It makes the world less scary to see that most people struggle with everyday business most of the time and they're not so exotic and it's not so scary.”

 

Here are seven surprising things you may learn on Dollar Street:

 

* In U.S. dollars, adjusted for the cost of goods and services where you live (what economists call purchasing power parity).


1. Income explains more differences than geography or ethnicity

 

When it comes to daily life, where you live matters less than your income. Asians and Europeans at the same income level have similar living situations. Even their pets look similar. Rich Africans and Mexicans live like their counterparts in Europe and the U.S. The Acar family (Turks living in an Istanbul apartment at $505 per month) and the Hadley family (Americans in a Denver apartment at $604 per month) both dream of buying a house one day.

 

2. Everyday objects tell you a lot about how people live

 

At Dollar Street you can see the things people use to meet their basic human needs. You can see sofas, eating utensils, shoes, and more—up to 135 objects in 264 homes across 50 countries.

 

3. Everyone wants a soft bed and delicious food

 

As you move up Dollar Street, you go from buying bare essentials to functional items to luxuries. For example, meals at the lowest end of Dollar Street are often deficient in vitamins and calories that children need to develop properly. As incomes rise, meals become more nutritious and there is greater variety to the food. And as you approach the top, meals become prized for their flavor as well as how nutritious they are. Beds follow a similar pattern.

 

4. Cat ladies and dog people are everywhere

 

Across all income levels, people keep pets. The dogs and cats at 2000 Dollar Street might have nicer collars and live indoors, but even at 200 Dollar Street you'll see lots of families with pets.

 

5. People’s most prized possessions are pretty unpredictable

 

Income is not a good indicator of what people prize most. Here’s a quick overview to show the income levels with the corresponding most prized possession. It is not as obvious as it sounds. The prized possessions of people at different ends of Dollar Street look pretty similar: a photo album, a note from a loved one, a phone.

 

6. All people brush their teeth—but not all people have toothbrushes

 

Dental hygiene varies wildly depending on their address on Dollar Street. At the lowest-income addresses, people may use sticks, or even just their fingers. Plastic toothbrushes appear early on the street, even before toothpaste—they’re cheap, small, and long-lasting. But at the higher addresses, each family member has a separate toothbrush and it’s replaced much more often.


7. Almost everyone has a cell phone

 

Even the poorest people, who live on less than $90 a month, often have cell phones. Cell phones, once considered a luxury, are now an affordable way for people living in poverty to communicate with their loved ones and do business. In fact, more households have cell phones than have toilets! Using phones to deliver financial services is going to be a big factor in helping millions more people get loans and savings accounts, which is another step in the fight against extreme poverty.



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