So which is going to be the top economy and when?
Here is a puzzle that preoccupies futurologists, business strategists, economists and the world’s foreign offices. Who is going to do best or worst economically over the next 15 years out of the world’s current top 10 economies? In 2013, the US is comfortably number one, twice the size of China and two-and-half times the size of the number three, Japan. After Germany at fourth comes a cluster of countries with less than a trillion dollars of GDP separating them. France just pips Britain at sixth. Then follow Brazil, Russia, Italy and Canada with India, hurt by the collapse of the rupee, just outside the top 10 at 11.
The conventional wisdom, informed by conventional economics, is clear, represented faithfully by the conservative-leaning Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) in its annual world economic league table released last week. The European economies, especially France and Italy, will sink down the league table, burdened by taxation, welfare and ageing populations. China is inexorably rising to take over the top spot, but in 2028, later than the CEBR thought last year. India will climb to number three. Russia will do well, as will Mexico and eventually Brazil. The UK, if it continues to shrink the state, keeps taxes low, deregulates its labour markets, continues to be open to immigration and disengages with Europe, may only fall one place in the 2028 ranking to seventh. But even though the UK and US will fare better than mainland Europe, the relative decline of the west will continue.
Fucking facepalm or what?
At no point at all does he even hint at the idea that these are gross GDP figures, not GDP per capita figures. Of course China’s going to be one of the top economies: there’s 1.3 billion people there for fuck’s sake. To think that they’re not going to pass the US at some point is to insist that they’re always going to have, per head, less than one quarter of the income of the 300 million in the US.
Germany, Italy (and to a lesser extent France) are simply going to have fewer people in the future in their workforces. The UK is predicted to have more. Same goes for India, Brazil etc.
This isn’t about economic policies (as long as people manage to avoid the usual communist and socialist idiocies) but demographics.
Man’s an idiot.