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"This is just the beginning."
August 16, 2010 9:26 AM   Subscribe

China is now the world's second-largest economy.
posted by knave (70 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
America isn't the biggest? Man, do I feel like an idiot.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:27 AM on August 16, 2010


America isn't the biggest? Man, do I feel like an idiot.
After three decades of spectacular growth, China passed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, according to government figures released early Monday.
posted by bewilderbeast at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2010


suck it, Japan!
posted by leotrotsky at 9:30 AM on August 16, 2010


Yeah, but Japan has something that China will never have.



Maru.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:31 AM on August 16, 2010 [26 favorites]


Breaking the back of Labor in the first world is a lucrative business, who knew?
posted by mullingitover at 9:32 AM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


YEAH, WELL, BIGGER AIN'T BETTER!

Ask my wife.

Actually, don't.

posted by MuffinMan at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I already thought they were first. I'm living 10 years in the future! (5?)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2010


(20, according to TFA)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2010


What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 9:36 AM on August 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm sure that US political leaders will point to this event as proof that communism is a superior economic system.
posted by goethean at 9:40 AM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm sure that US political leaders will point to this event as proof that communism is a superior economic system.

And Mao is turning in his grave.
posted by knapah at 9:44 AM on August 16, 2010


It's amazing what ignoring the rights of the individual as a human being can do for your economy. I've never seen Eloi/Morlock syndrome on that sort of a scale. Meanwhile, what the hell is going to happen when they want to establish a proportionate-to-Western-economies middle class who want to consume on the level of said Western economies.

In Japan, the mood was one of resignation.

NB: "Resignation" is NYT code for two thousand senior-level executives ritually disemboweling themselves before framed pictures of company founders.
posted by griphus at 9:45 AM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


If you consider how many dollars China holds, the only thing keeping them from flexing some muscle and becoming #1 is their gradually diminishing need to appear to be quiet, passive, and self-involved. If China's empire-building were even a tenth as obvious on the broad stage of public opinion as the US's overt, military bullying, there would be a vast oh shit followed by a dramatic realignment of consumer purchasing preferences. Soon, maybe five years, maybe ten, even that oh shit wouldn't be enough and China will no longer need to be subtle.

How are their fossil fuel reserves? And where, as the giant global game of Dead Dinosaur Risk gets underway, will they make their first overt military move?
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:51 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


as proof that communism is a superior economic system

Newt Gingrich was actually talking about following China's economic example (mainly on not having a capitol gains tax), but it was pretty weird.
posted by drezdn at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2010


Meanwhile, what the hell is going to happen when they want to establish a proportionate-to-Western-economies middle class who want to consume on the level of said Western economies.

Hell is what's going to happen.
posted by Iridic at 10:00 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, what the hell is going to happen when they want to establish a proportionate-to-Western-economies middle class who want to consume on the level of said Western economies.

Some added domûs, another lumber camp and two furniture factories, another vineyard and two more wine factories, an ore mine and two untensil factories, and a new warehouse set to receive only luxury goods, as well as the market to sell them. This is all to the good, as the patricians won't stick around without enough equites to provide skilled labour.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:00 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or what Iridic said.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:01 AM on August 16, 2010


After three decades of spectacular growth, China passed Japan in the second quarter to become the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, according to government figures released early Monday.

The Chinese government? What a refreshingly unbiased source. Also, this is like the third time I've heard this since June. How does this keep happening?
posted by reductiondesign at 10:07 AM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


In Japan, the mood was one of resignation.

Compared to Japan and the US, Chinese per capital GDP is laughable.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:09 AM on August 16, 2010


If you consider how many dollars China holds, the only thing keeping them from flexing some muscle and becoming #1 is their gradually diminishing need to appear to be quiet, passive, and self-involved.

Holding dollars give China as much leverage over the America as it gives America leverage over China. The coming Sinicization of the world is greatly exaggerated. China isn't being "subtle" because of how clever they are, they're doing because it's the only thing they can. They have almost no force projection, few true allies and even in this time of backlash against American Imperial moment, they are less trusted and have less desirable cultural exports. The United States is having a relative decline, yes, but it must be kept in mind that this is at most, a transition from hyperpower back to superpower. And the United States has nothing like the centrifugal forces that threaten to weaken and even tear apart China in the post-Communist era.
posted by spaltavian at 10:11 AM on August 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


Alright, help me out here: If China has a gazillion more citizens than the US does, why does it matter if the country as a whole one day possesses more wealth than the US does?
posted by lizzicide at 10:11 AM on August 16, 2010


If China has a gazillion more citizens than the US does, why does it matter if the country as a whole one day possesses more wealth than the US does?

GDP is a measure of economic output, and is only tangentially related to "possessing wealth".
posted by mr_roboto at 10:14 AM on August 16, 2010


Newt Gingrich was actually talking about following China's economic example (mainly on not having a capitol gains tax), but it was pretty weird.

I'm sure ol' Newt was whistfully thinking mostly about that whole ban on trade unions and $10/day wage thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:14 AM on August 16, 2010


If you consider how many dollars China holds, the only thing keeping them from flexing some muscle and becoming #1 is their gradually diminishing need to appear to be quiet, passive, and self-involved.

Dollars which are going down in value all the time, which is a major reason why they are quietly moving into other forms of wealth. Commodities, for example.

Mind you, I say bubble. Their housing prices went up, what? 36% last quarter? The country has some issues to work out.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:15 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, what the hell is going to happen when they want to establish a proportionate-to-Western-economies middle class who want to consume on the level of said Western economies.

May I present our latest concept: "Made in Tanzania"
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 10:18 AM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dean Baker just remarked on this: China Has Long Been the World's Second Largest Economy: NYT Kills Electrons for Nothing.
posted by gimonca at 10:21 AM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


GDP is a secondary stat that's good for nationalistic dick measuring, but that's about it. I'm much more concerned about the GINI, which measures economic inequality.

China's got nothin' on US there!
posted by clarknova at 10:24 AM on August 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


So it takes beating out Japan to become #2 is only "the most striking evidence yet that China’s ascendance is for real and that the rest of the world will have to reckon with a new economic superpower." Germany, France and Great Britain were impressive, but meh, not that special. And China still ain't nothin' to the great U-S-of-A!

Really? Somehow China's position in the world was previously in doubt, and other nations are not yet figuring out what will happen when China starts pushing and pulling more on global markets? China clamped down on rare earth exports earlier this year, and China was talking with Russia as letting go of the US Dollar for international settlements, just to name two big steps that were in the news in 2010.

The Guardian noted Japan's decreased output, and pointed out that Japan was the second largest economy since 1968, when it overtook West Germany.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:33 AM on August 16, 2010


China is so big it's hard to fathom. Speaking of it as a "country", like France or Mexico, is inadequate. China has more people than the entire European Union and all of South America combined.
posted by stbalbach at 10:38 AM on August 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Rejoice, workers!
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on August 16, 2010


China's got nothin' on US there!

Not so much.

Another source, which talks about improvements, but notes China's GINI is still very bad and worse than the US.

Not that the US should be proud of its shitty GINI rating, but let's put things in perspective.
posted by kmz at 10:43 AM on August 16, 2010


May I present our latest concept: "Made in Tanzania"

That's probably the most exciting and hopeful possibility here - the rise of China will help increase investment into Africa, and, as a result, economic development.

I think we'll see a strong IT service economy in Ghana within ten years.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:44 AM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm much more concerned about the GINI, which measures economic inequality.

Wow. Go Canada.
posted by fatbird at 10:47 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


China is so big it's hard to fathom. Speaking of it as a "country", like France or Mexico, is inadequate. China has more people than the entire European Union and all of South America combined.

Sure, but India has almost as many, and is growing much, much faster. And it has a level of cultural and religious diversity that far eclipses China. In a much smaller area than China, to boot, and with a similarly widespread and influential diaspora.

The future is going to be... interesting.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:50 AM on August 16, 2010


the GINI

Pedant: it's just the Gini coefficient or Gini index. Named for Gini. It's not an acronym, so not GINI.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:58 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Chinese government? What a refreshingly unbiased source. Also, this is like the third time I've heard this since June. How does this keep happening?

It's not a conspiracy. The Chinese are exploring the middle ground of private incentive and publicly funded infrastructure, which has shown very good results in many other economies. You may be remembering the stories about China becoming the leading global exporter, overtaking Germany earlier this year. The US is still the world's third largest exporter, but on an exports per GDP basis we are are far behind the world average of 30% at 8% - tied with Greece and Ethiopia.

When Adam Smith was discussing the whole business about the invisible hand, I don't think he foresaw a day when business men would knowingly destroy their native industries and put fellow citizens out of work in order to stick more money in their pockets. It's not that people are good, but that trying to maintain a supply of goods over such great distances seemed improbable. He couldn't even envision direct competition with anyone in producing perishable goods, since they were just too far away. Automated manufacturing, refrigeration, and containerized transportation have simply changed all of those rules. It's one thing to have some crooks from the East India Tea Company exploiting workforces abroad for spices, teas, and metals, but entirely another when a nation's laws begin to fail at the simple task of keeping wealth inside of the country. If there's a single reason China will beat the United States over the next 50 years, it will be because the Chinese have a national pride and common sense that survives the lure of auctioning off national assets to foreigners for profit. Though America is vastly ahead in terms of freedoms today, our national wills are headed in opposite directions in terms of demanding that government act responsibly in the interest of it's own population.
The difference between the genius of the British constitution which protects and governs North America, and that of the mercantile company which oppresses and domineers in the East Indies, cannot perhaps be better illustrated than by the different state of those countries. The liberal reward of labour, therefore, as it is the necessary effect, so it is the natural symptom of increasing national wealth. The scanty maintenance of the labouring poor, on the other hand, is the natural symptom that things are at a stand, and their starving condition that they are going fast backwards.

-Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations
posted by atypicalguy at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


Before anyone gets too smug, let's all remember Norway. They kick all our arses in terms of high GDP per capita, universal healthcare, subsidised higher ed, the Government Pension Fund, general development and the fact they are all Vikings during sleep *and* when awake.

(5 weeks vacation + 13 public holidays, 37.5 hour working week, overtime is 140% pay for any hours over 40 in a week since you asked and now wished you hadn't.)
posted by i_cola at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


An amusing aside: in my fairly small town, along the main drag that runs through many cities in the state, there are 3 Japanese restaurants. Two of them are owned by people from China.
posted by Postroad at 11:10 AM on August 16, 2010


Before anyone gets too smug, let's all remember Norway......

But at least they have really horrible supermarkets and incredibly high prices (even with Norwegian wages).

My (Norwegian) girlfriend tells me that every time that UN Human Development Index comes out and says Norway is the best place in the world to live, Norwegians tend to roll their eyes and complain about all of their problems.
posted by knapah at 11:21 AM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Holding dollars give China as much leverage over the America as it gives America leverage over China."

Yup. Like Donald Trump said "If you owe the bank $1 million and can’t pay, you’re in trouble, but if you owe the bank $1 billion and can’t pay, the bank’s in trouble." China has a very large vested interest in keeping the US economy healthy.

And yeah, India is growing by leaps and bounds as well. All of this will come crashing into the problem of resources, especially oil, quite soon.

I have the sinking feeling we're going to be looking at an ugly resource war soonish. For values of "soonish" meaning "before 20 years have passed".
posted by sotonohito at 11:34 AM on August 16, 2010


Before anyone gets too smug, let's all remember Norway.

Yes, let's remember a country of (nearly) 5 million ethnically, culturally, linguistically and religiously homogeneous people that sits comfortably next to one of the world's richest economic zones, far from any serious threats to its sovereignty and national security and what's that? they have shitloads of oil as well???

You know, it would actually be somewhat embarrassing if they didn't do so well for themselves.
posted by Throw away your common sense and get an afro! at 11:38 AM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you consider how many dollars China holds, the only thing keeping them from flexing some muscle and becoming #1 is their gradually diminishing need to appear to be quiet, passive, and self-involved.

Well, they have a population that - thanks to the one child policy - is ageing a great deal. America on the other hand is demographically a little bit better placed.
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 11:44 AM on August 16, 2010


Before anyone gets too smug, let's all remember Norway......

But at least they have really horrible supermarkets and incredibly high prices (even with Norwegian wages).


Exactly. Which is why the true smugbuster is the country the Norwegians travel to on the weekends to buy cheap(er) booze: Denmark.

Lower GDP per capita than Norway and the US (though higher than the UK and just barely lower than Canada). No. 1 in happiness on the World Values Survey; No. 1 in the world in non-hydro renewable energy per capita; a capital routinely in the top spot on Most Livable Cities indices; among the best national, regional and local transit networks I've ever encountered, including fast, efficient, frequent commuter train services between towns of just a couple thousand inhabitants far from any metropole; a culture of urban sustainability that is a model of vibrant efficiency copied the world over; free universal health care and education, including "folk high schools" for continuing ed and vocational retraining; sexy, stylish people on bicycles; and Legoland, the only theme park I've ever been to where the merchandising was subtle and the food not just recognizably made from actual produce but actually tasty.

Yup, I could go on and on about the Danes. (In fact, I have. Also here.) Were it not for the lingering shadow of offhand racism (I mean, good gravy, I've encountered offhand anti-Italian prejudice in smalltown Denmark), I could recommend it unequivocally. And as it stands, I still think the world has a lot to learn from the Danes.
posted by gompa at 11:48 AM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


For all the doomsdayers out there, let the excellent Michael Pettis put things into perspective for you.

Basically, you can fast forward 20 years and China will be going through what Japan's going through now.
posted by eas98 at 12:03 PM on August 16, 2010


it will be because the Chinese have a national pride and common sense that survives the lure of auctioning off national assets to foreigners for profit

While I don't exactly disagree with this point, I do think the Boxer Rebellion is a poor choice of an example. You have to understand that the rebellion happened at a time when the Qing were at the height of stagnation, opium was destroying productivity, religious movements and peasant rebellions were threatening to throw the country back into rule by multiple warlords and decades of corruption had made the previous emperors all but ineffective and had silenced the very few progressive voices the country had in light of the Confucian love for antiquity.

The Boxer Rebellion was a last-ditch attempt by the failing Qing to oust the colonialists that had shoved opium down their throats with a simultaneous attempt to curry back the favor of the populace, who had always had a problem with Manchu rule. If anything, the Rebellion was a natural evolution of the previous rebellions, the only change being that it was now directed at the colonialists instead of the state itself.

Now, in all honesty, Chinese nationalism is still pretty damn strong but you can thank the civil war and years of careful social manipulation and the discarding of the old guard for that one.

as someone who has always had an interest in Chinese history, I find it amusing, disturbing and a little frustrating that Obama pops up as often as he does when I Google for 'mao' images. I just don't know if I should be more offended for Obama or for Mao
posted by dubusadus at 12:24 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Exactly. Which is why the true smugbuster is the country the Norwegians travel to on the weekends to buy cheap(er) booze: Denmark.

Danish people are given a special drug called Dangrumf to keep them stoically terse and grumpy in the face of all this.

That is how we used to explain our friend Hans, anyhow.
posted by Artw at 12:28 PM on August 16, 2010


I heard an Economist once say that 8% GDP growth is what you get when you give a guy who is carrying bricks on his head a wheel barrel. As some of the articles out there suggest - it gets harder to maintain that growth rate when you get to replacing the wheel barrels with tractors. But good for China.

People are less likely to fight when they have more to loose and I think China prosperity should be viewed as a plus for peace rather than reason to worry.
posted by astrobiophysican at 12:29 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are they still Communists? As in, are they using capitalism as a means to an end like the Leninists used authoritarianism? Because if the central planners have pure Marxist ideological aims for worldwide socialism, the way to do it would be to get enough assets to provide some seven or eight billion people with ChinaCare insurance cards and other 'entitlements' across national borders.

Frankly, no matter what their aims, I as an American welcome the day when I'm not associated with the fattest bully on the international playground.
posted by maus at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2010


If you consider how many dollars China holds, the only thing keeping them from flexing some muscle and becoming #1 is their gradually diminishing need to appear to be quiet, passive, and self-involved. If China's empire-building were even a tenth as obvious on the broad stage of public opinion as the US's overt

None of that has anything to do with the size of their economy. The fact that China has the #2 economy is a fact that they have so many people. If you counted the EU as a country they would have a larger economy then China. Maybe even the U.S. but I'm not sure.

Anyway, per-capita China is behind Argentina, and Malaysia. Let alone Korea, and Taiwan. It isn't anywhere near a being a first world country on par with Japan or the UK. And it will take decades of continued growth rates for it to eclipse the U.S. Assuming they never have a Japan-style bubble collapse. Which is quite likely, and actually a property value crash is something that the government is trying to prepare for.

here's a list of countries by GDP. China is right around Turkmenistan, Namibia, El Salvador, Belize and Ukraine.

Interestingly one Asian country actually has eclipsed the U.S in terms of per-capita GDP. Singapore.
posted by delmoi at 12:37 PM on August 16, 2010


For reference, this is what Japan will be going through, according to SpikeJapan
posted by codacorolla at 12:50 PM on August 16, 2010


I'd love to join in this very interesting discussion (excellent topic and FPP knave ) but I'm very rushed for time this evening; however I can contribute a couple of points.

First of all, misconception about China. Massive GDP, but they aren't an export engine like Germany. China's GDP is mostly inward directed, with (by some account) 99% devoted to internal growth. That unbalance brings its own set of problems.

I gave this presentation last May where we discussed the Chinese trade deficit [ .pdf ] . Yes, the Chinese trade deficit, who suspected? Its actually happened twice to date.

Interesting topic, a developed country problem in a developing nation, another paradox about China I guess.

Another curiosity, and the subject of this weeks presentations - how come China has about 70M flats - NEW FLATS mind you - that aren't hooked up to the electric mains? [ .pdf ]

'Cause nobody lives in them, that's why. They only exist due to speculation, hot money, the value of unoccupied, speculatively built flats in China is approaching 20% of GDP.

Another fascinating topic. I update the presentations while I give them during the week. This week I'm up four times, and change slides as I talk the points through with the audience.

Thanks again for a great FPP.
posted by Mutant at 1:01 PM on August 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


the value of unoccupied, speculatively built flats in China is approaching 20% of GDP.

!?!

Damn, Mutant, that's staggering. Any idea how to go about shorting a bubble that distended?
posted by gompa at 1:13 PM on August 16, 2010


Any idea how to go about shorting a bubble that distended?

Only semi-joking, buy any of the following:

Lockheed-Martin
General Dynamics
Colt Defense
FN Herstal
etc
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:35 PM on August 16, 2010


Sure, but India has almost as many, and is growing much, much faster.

India is growing faster than China?!

What's India's GDP growth? Currently Chinas GDP is 4 time as big, and China 30 years ago at the end of the Cultural Revolution was a basket case compared to India. India has 1.2 billion or whatever, and about 5% to 10% of those are doing well, which makes for some big GDP numbers, but India as a whole is not like China.
posted by stbalbach at 1:36 PM on August 16, 2010


Sure, but India has almost as many, and is growing much, much faster.

India is growing faster than China?!


In terms of population (which is what the quote portion was referring to), yes. That's why India is going to overtake China in population this century.
posted by spaltavian at 1:38 PM on August 16, 2010


India is growing faster than China?!

In terms of population (which is what the quote portion was referring to), yes.


Yeah, India isn't facing the same demographic time bomb that China is facing. The one-child policy has put China in a very unusual position: a developing country with an aging population.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:45 PM on August 16, 2010


My (Norwegian) girlfriend tells me that every time that UN Human Development Index comes out and says Norway is the best place in the world to live, Norwegians tend to roll their eyes and complain about all of their problems.

身在福中不知福
posted by klue at 1:54 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


身在福中不知福

You have no idea how much I hope that translates as "Mo Money Mo Problems".
posted by mr_roboto at 1:56 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


身在福中不知福
Shēn zài fú zhōng bù zhī fú.
[shen(1) zai(4) fu(2) zhong(1) bu(4) zhi(1) fu(2)]

Growing up in happiness, one often fails to appreciate what happiness really means.
To not to appreciate the happy life one enjoys.

It's used when a person who most would consider fortunate complains.
posted by stringbean at 2:26 PM on August 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are less likely to fight when they have more to loose and I think China prosperity should be viewed as a plus for peace rather than reason to worry.

Prosperity certainly hasn't dampened Americans appetite for fighting.
posted by JackFlash at 3:06 PM on August 16, 2010


Prosperity certainly hasn't dampened Americans appetite for fighting.

How do you know? Maybe when we're poor, we get really nasty. Didja think of that?
posted by mr_roboto at 3:19 PM on August 16, 2010


身在福中不知福

Nice phrase, thanks to stringbean for the translation.

In defence of Norwegians, they seem to have a pretty clear awareness of the great hand dealt to them in life, and the complaint is more along the lines of "We have an amazing quality of life in global terms, but to say we're above other European countries (for example) with better quality food, winters that don't try to kill you, and a vastly lower cost of living is debatable." Or it's a complaint about the methodology of the UN's HDI...
posted by knapah at 3:55 PM on August 16, 2010


If China is the number two economy in the world, wouldn't it be the second largest donor to the United Nations - or maybe third because its economy just recently passed Japan's in size.
I found on wikipedia an entry about the United Nations. A table of the largest donors to the UN is provided in the entry. This table lists China not as the number 2, 3, or 4 largest donor, but in ninth position, below Spain.
Wikipedia states in the funding section of the entry (where the table is located): "The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The regular two-year budgets of the UN and its specialized agencies are funded by assessments. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by their Gross National Income (GNI), with adjustments for external debt and low per capita income."
Even if the per capita income of China is low, it is a huge creditor nation. I would think that the lack of debt would kind of cancel out the consideration of the low per capita income. In other words, why doesn't China pay more to the United Nations?
posted by millardsarpy at 6:07 PM on August 16, 2010


Hasn't Japan been struggling for about 20 years?

Someone big had to overtake them eventually.
posted by codswallop at 7:37 PM on August 16, 2010


In other words, why doesn't China pay more to the United Nations?

How would it benefit them in concrete terms?
posted by codswallop at 7:38 PM on August 16, 2010


kmz: "Not so much.
Not that the US should be proud of its shitty GINI rating, but let's put things in perspective.
"

I bet the US plans to continue to aggressively kill off its middle class and both country's levels will meet somewhere in between. China probably learned from the US that it's best to simply skip that troublesome "productive middle class" step.

My question is, why does India look so equal compared to China?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 8:12 PM on August 16, 2010


Interestingly one Asian country actually has eclipsed the U.S in terms of per-capita GDP. Singapore.

*raises tiny Singapore flag, shouts Huzzah*
Seriously though, if that's the case, why is our Gini so high? (48.1, according to CIA factbook)

posted by Alnedra at 8:14 PM on August 16, 2010


[India is] [i]n a much smaller area than China, to boot, and with a similarly widespread and influential diaspora.

My current depressing piece of news for Independence Day: 45% of India earns below INR 20 per day. Let me tell you how staggering that number is: 45% of a billion people earn what I paid for parking yesterday night at a swank restaurant here in India. The sad reality is that we have ways to go.

And yeah, India is growing by leaps and bounds as well. All of this will come crashing into the problem of resources, especially oil, quite soon.

Water.

There are already fights within India over river-waters, well within the country; Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fighting over Kaveri as one example, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra fighting over Godavari river for another, and the Telangana and coastal districts fighting over Godavari as quite another. Extrapolate these existing fights internationally, and you have the following possible trouble-spots:

Indus ={India, Pakistan}
Brahmaputra ={China, India, Bangladesh}

Seriously though, if that's the case, why is [Singapore's] Gini so high? (48.1, according to CIA factbook)

Basically, it tells you that in a small population, there's an even more smaller population that out-earns everyone so much that it tends to mask the underlying income disparities.

Also, Singapore is a great example for distinguishing between income and wealth; one of the bigger criticisms of the Singapore system is that a lot of wealth is locked up in local real-estate, driven as a combination of CPF and high housing rates.
posted by the cydonian at 1:05 AM on August 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yup, I could go on and on about the Danes.

Oh what-the-fuck-ever, man. Know what else the Danes have in spades? Little fucking flags. Little fucking flags everywhere. You know it's funny… liberal Americans like to poke fun at our soft, gooey Republican center and their middle-class love affair with tiny flags, only to be positively dumbfounded when they go to Europe and meet some Canadians. Well, the Canadians ain't got shit on the Danes. They hand those fucking flags out to children exiting the fucking birth canal (it's true! and it's all subsidized!)

Also, salt-encrusted black licorice is not candy.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:11 AM on August 17, 2010


Contest of the century: As China and India rise in tandem, their relationship will shape world politics. Shame they do not get on better
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on August 23, 2010


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