China may not overtake America this century after all

Doubts are growing about whether China can pass the US to become the world's biggest economy this century amid warnings that the country’s 30-year miracle is nearing exhaustion.

The world's tallest tower should have been built by now. Officials said last year that the great edifice with 220 floors would be erected in three months flat in China's inland city of Changsha by March, snatching the crown from Dubai's Burj Khalifa.

Stacy Garvey: When I was a kid the media, academics, and many of the right thinking elites told my generation that the US was in decline.  Our democracy and capitalist system could never compete with the wonders of the Soviets (cough, cough).  When I got my first job in New York, I learned the land of the rising sun would soon overtake and dominate us (cough, cough).  Soon after, I was told by sophisticated thinkers from Europe that their "model" of cradle to grave social welfare was the ideal and that America was retro-grade and inhuman (cough, cough). And, now?  I welcome our new Chinese overlords (cough, cough).  My son just completed his degree in Chemical Engineering and is off to work in the shale oil fields in North Dakota.  I'm not particularly concerned for his future.

simondav: The US is one of the most unequal societies on earth with nearly all the wealth concentrated with the top 10%. It has millions on food stamps, and the most expensive health care system in the world, caused by an unholy alliance of drug companies, insurers and doctors. I am not saying the US is all bad, and it is still excellent at innovation where it puts Europe to shame. However the average American has not got any wealthier for 30 years, when so much flows up to a remote elite.

goldenboy: What is your point?

Stacy Garvey: simondav - Bravo! Your satire of the cognitive dissonance of a quasi-socialist propaganda tool is priceless.  As if google were unavailable and your "facts" weren't provable false in a 5 minute google search.

hawkerhurricane:    Heh, your satire of a blinkered American mind grown weak on the propaganda of talk radio, and Fox News is fantastic and nothing short of brilliant.  I commend you Lets google the facts indeed.  US one of the most unequal society on earth.  Well, ok, it's beaten by parts of Africa and South America.  But pretty much *every* developed nation is more equal than the US.  That's going by the CIA statistics  .  So mostly true.   "It has millions on food stamps"  15% of Americans are on food stamps. Thats  47,692,896 on food stamps, so completely true.  Google it.  "most expensive health care system in the world" By percentage spend of GDP on health care, the US spends 17.9% ( ).  There are two countries with a higher spend, Libera, and Sierra Leone.  So not true, I grant you.   However of the developed nations, it's by *far* the most expensive healthcare system, yet is ranked comparatively poorly for overall healthcare compared to continental Europe.  You might want to look at 'socialist' continental Europe like France, or Germany to look at how to effectively use the private sector to provide medical care to a population. "average American has not got any wealthier for 30 years, when so much flows up to a remote elite".  Mostly true as in 2011 the average income of the bottom 90 percent was just $59 more than in 1966 in real terms. Where as the average income of the top 0.01% has increased by $18,362,740.  ( ) Please step outside your comforting self confirming thought bubble that you clearly live within, and start engaging with reality.

thursdaythe12th: Interesting that the statistics are for the bottom 90%. What would the picture look like it you measured the middle rather than the bottom 90%. And the bottom 90% are compared to the top 0.01% - why not the top 10%? Don't forget that people move through different income brackets throughout their lives! As for healthcare, its the most expensive because its the best quality, providing you can get it. Don't worry though, Obamacare will soon solve that. As for wealth inequality - where the hell does it say that incomes must be equal? You don't get to look into the wallet of the guy standing in front of you in the supermarket queue. Who cares what the gap is? I'll wager that the bottom 10% STILL live far better than most people in the world.

palmvos: the issue is that the US has a consumer driven economy. without widespread consumption… we grid to a halt. (sound familiar?) its been shown over and over that past a certain level consumption as a % of income goes down. so if we are in a low demand cycle… the answer is not to raise the income of the wealthy… its to raise everyone elses income.  also the level of disparity is indicative of a market distortion- i.e. not an open market. something is pulling the money or are you seriously going to alledge that the 1% best in a profession is worth a 200%+ jump in pay from the 2% best? in a more open market the distribution should be closet to linear not exponetial. 

hawkerhurricane: @thursdaythe12th The 'middle' are in that 'bottom 90%'. I compared the bottom 90% to the top 0.01% because the comment to be validated was that wages for the majority compared to a 'distant elite' has stagnated. Which is demonstrably true. The wages for the top 10% have increased by, on average, $116,071. Still a massive difference to $59 of the bottom 90%, and the $18,362,740 of the top 0.01%. Considering that the top 0.01% is a part of the top 10% then wages for the bottom 99.9% haven't increased that much. You don't think this breaks the 'work hard and you'll prosper' key point to the American Dream? American healthcare is ranked overall 38th best in the world ( So incredibly expensive and not really fit for purpose. Sorry but that's the objective facts. Various propagandists may tell you differently, but that's propaganda for you. Any system (Romneycare or Obamacare) that moves US healthcare to more like how private healthcare/health insurance is managed in France or Italy is going to be an improvement. No, I never said that wealth/wages have to be equal (and there's a strong argument to be made that would be a very bad thing) but such ever growing inequalities in the US creates, as we are seeing, a Marie Antonettesque monarchy/aristocracy, and also something that will break consumer capitalism. Something that would have the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves so fast you could power the White House (even including Obama's teleprompter!) with the energy generated. Regarding the bottom 10% I think you'd be surprised.

Jpoint: The problem with this isn't your data, it's your assumptions. Other developed nations healthcare isn't cheaper per se, it's simply that healthcare in most of those countries is managed by their governments, which decide not to pay for certain things. (Like expensive treatments for old people) Also, they pay  for healthcare in non-monetary terms, like waiting periods and shortages of medical equipment. However, government rationing of spending is not "cheaper" any more than not buying a television is cheaper than buying one. The real goal should be providing the same or better care at a lower price. This is the kind of thing that only market competition and new innovations can provide. (Which unfortunately no developed nation, including the US, does particularly well) Also, there are hidden costs that are shifted in healthcare spending, such as for pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies research new drugs with the profits they receive, which comes mostly from the US since most other nations have artificial government price controls. (And many only permit usage of drugs once they have gone generic) Yet those nations take advantage of those new drugs that were only made possible by US profits. So essentially  part of those nations' health care is subsidized by the US. Their models would not be sustainable without the US because it would mean no money for pharmaceutical companies to research new products. Of course none of this shows in the stats you cite, which is the danger in relying on some high level statistics to make broad conclusions about very complex topics. 

magicmoonbeam2: North Korea is an incredibility equal society. Even down to what they wear has been legislated for with an eye to equality. Sounds fantastic doesn't it.

hawkerhurricane: Yes, because that's the only choice available to mankind when it comes to how to run things… North Korea or America.   *facepalm* Keep on drinking up that propaganda! You clearly love it.  My first sentence is ironic. Just in case you've not grasped that. Oh and North Korea is incredibly unequal, compare what North Korean workers or peasants have to what the ruling family, or the high up members of the party have.

Greenbacker84: Most of America problems (debt explosion, housing collapse, inequality, rising poverty and budget cuts) can be firmly rooted in four words. Federal Reserve Banking System. All they have to do is abolish the Fed and take back the power to issue the currency themselves interest free. I'm a fan of the US, its constitution and the promise of liberty, but they have been hijacked by money changer parasites running the Fed/Wall Street. australia4mpe

andre_t: the US relies heavily on immigration for growth, innovation and to keep engineering and sciences competitive. Japan and other closed nations cannot or do not and are in a terminal decline. Great that it is this the place to go, and allows the world to settle and be productive

blueprint: "it is still excellent at innovation where it puts Europe to shame" Rubbish of course.  British and German science can easily compete with the best that America has to offer, and in engineering and other technology sectors Germany surpasses the US by an order of magnitude despite having an ageing population which is only slightly more than a quarter of the total US population.

Anon: "and in engineering and other technology sectors Germany surpasses the US by an order of magnitude" You're completely wrong. I really want to know what the source of your insanely wrong comment comes from. Are you making it up out of thin air, or are you actually taught those lies to help you cope with your inferiority? Look at a ranking of world universities by academic performance in Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences: The US absolutely dominates.

foxenburg:   I wonder who'll put a man on Mars first. UK? Germany? lol.

andre_t:  well essentially Germans put the people on to the moon

Jpoint: @blueprint I think you're confusing innovation with science. The US excels at building innovative startup companies, and does so better than the rest of the world. (Think Google, Apple, Facebook - companies that start in people's garages and become Fortune 500 companies) This is not the same statement as saying the the US does scientific research better than the rest of the world.

ajr1: and yet the average american is wealthier than the average from any other regime type.

andre_t:  natural resources,  large fertile landmass, coal, oil etc easy picking just like shale gas now and of course industrious

Demittry: You forgot the lawyers and politicians.

magicmoonbeam2: CALIFORNIA TUMBLES INTO THE SEA. California tumbles into the sea” But when Steely Dan sang this back in the seventies they had an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault in mind, not the kind of slow destruction that now stalks the Golden State, which is, how can I put this, fucked. My first visit there was in 1978 and it lived up to all my preconceptions. Golden beaches, golden girls, fabulous wealth, glamour, cleanliness, and friendly helpful people (like the rest of the US). It lead the world in so many arenas, not just technology and movies. From what I can remember it was 100% white. Of course it wasn't, but I can't remember being aware of any non-whites. FROM GIDGET TO BLADE RUNNER. Roll forward thirty years and what you get is straight out of Blade Runner. A dystopian nightmare of violent gangs taking over whole areas of some cities – LA being a good and huge example – while Fresno has degenerated into a meths sinkhole and San Diego’s become an extension of Mexico. In fact whole regions of Southern California now look and sound like Mexico. Latinos everywhere, Spanish the prevailing language, while garbage litters the streets. Squads of seemingly feral children swarm all over the place, the cars are rattle-traps, while begging and panhandling are rife. One writer described it thus: “My neighbourhood has turned into a barrio, with bars on doors and windows, abandoned shopping carts, old sofas and junky cars strewn everywhere, graffiti, rude, surly people, chickens in yards, Mexican music blasting all night, ridiculously long waits in emergency rooms full of illegals, overcrowded, dangerous and ineffective schools, auto accidents caused by unlicensed, uninsured illegals, and on and on.” A recent BBC production on the gangs of LA underlined a common thread. Vicious gangs murder and pillage whole neighbourhoods; gang members are virtually 100% black or Hispanic, while the emergency services (medical, ambulance, fire) are almost all white. This is how mixed societies operate, as we’ve seen time and again. WHITES ARE VOTING WITH THEIR FEET. But the whites are getting fed up of it all, and are leaving the state in droves. Not just fed up with violence and general degradation, but also picking up the tab for the perpetrators. The mass Latino influx is largely low-skilled, low IQ – and strong in the reproduction stakes. This means that a rapidly declining white proportion of the population is being taxed out of existence to pay for these high-dependency Latinos and blacks. They’re rightly fed up with it, and those remaining have used the referendum structure to limit what the state legislature can extract in taxes – funds which the ‘legislators’ then channel back to their own supporters. (The Democrats control the legislature and the Mexicans control the Dems – that's how/why it happens like this). All this of course makes the state virtually ungovernable. The ‘legislators’ need vast funds for their welfare programs, and the providers of these funds (the whites), already paying the highest taxes in the US, are refusing to divvy up any more. Net result, the state is a short step away from bankruptcy and is already, like some African tinpot dictatorship, paying its debts with IOUs. The state’s credit rating is already shaky, and any further downgrades from rating agencies could send interest rates on its bonds soaring, forcing deeper service cuts and/or widening the deficit further. California’s magnificent State Parks are being closed (48 at the latest count), thousands of prisoners are being let loose on the citizenry, while schools are closing gyms and labs. But the State continues to allocate increasing funds every year for English learners. Even last year, as the budget went into a tailspin, the State proposed an additional $5 billion for additional training for non-English speakers.

magicmoonbeam2:  PART 2. CALIFORNIA INVITES AND BECOMES THE THIRD WORLD. The state’s population also continues to skyrocket at an unsustainable rate. In 1950 it was 10.6 million. If state growth had mirrored the national rate, that is, doubling from 1950 to 2000 (i.e. from 150 million to 300 million), then California at the end of the 20th century would have numbered a little over 21 million. Instead it has almost 40 million now. This has a disastrous impact on all infrastructure and facilities (e.g. schools and hospitals) but more alarmingly, threatens the states ongoing supply of water. And that was back in 2003! Working on figures from a National Research Council report, Edward Rubenstein calculated that nearly one-quarter (24.5%) of California’s current $38 billion state budget deficit stems directly from immigration. This figure was largely substantiated in another study. And the Silicon Valley ‘miracle’ is now a mirage. Or at least it is for American workers. Indians and Chinese have shown a strong inclination to employ their own, this preference probably driven by natural clannishness (you know, that crime not permissible for whites?), acceptance of lower pay and their being easier to control. In any event over half of the high-tech startups there are run by foreigners. These developments have been driven by reality- challenged ‘progressive’ academics and politicians, and probably even more so by an executive class looking for cheap labour. How ironic is it therefore that Chief Executive magazine has ranked California “the very worst state to do business in for each of the past four years", while Business Week called California a "basket case." That flapping noise in the background is the sound of chickens coming home to roost. Except of course that won't bother the wealthy in their gated communities (with Mexican gardeners) or the tenured academics secure in their ivory towers. 

magicmoonbeam2: PART 3 NEXT UP…THE  US OF A . Now the demise of the Golden State is in itself a major tragedy. But the main point of this post is that this demise foretells what’s going to happen to the rest of the country in due course. California is at the front line and as such is the first to fall. All of the pathologies that afflict California, driven by mass Third World immigration, are spreading to the rest of the USA. Once California goes under and can no longer afford its welfare programmes, the immigrants will move on to greener pastures. It’s already happening as far north as Washington State (i.e. the Canadian border) Already we know that whites will be a minority throughout the country by the middle of this century. If the majority is black/Hispanic, is there any reason whatsoever why the USA shouldn’t be a country similar to what, say, Brazil is today? I'd love to hear some evidence that I'm wrong. But I'm not holding my breath.