TurIndiMexiBrazIa for short.
March 15, 2012 2:22 PM   Subscribe

Arithmetic is one of the many things Foreign Policy does not do well. Replace China (population 1300m) with Turkey (74m) and Indonesia (238m) and Mexico (112m) and you come up 876m people short.
posted by three blind mice at 2:40 PM on March 15, 2012 [1 favorite]

CHINAwatch seems to have a very odd way of making linked citations. Click here
posted by koeselitz at 2:45 PM on March 15, 2012

I'm sorry, I'm laughing so hard I may make a few typos. Someone just called Mexico's economy "dynamic and democratic." This is a country where Pemex and Telmex and Bancomer exist as sorta-kinda, la-la-la-can't-hear-you, let's-all-just-look-the-other-way monopolies.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on March 15, 2012

Tarot is available in many forms, all are equally accurate.
posted by Mblue at 4:10 PM on March 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

Tim Hortons
posted by Sys Rq at 4:21 PM on March 15, 2012 [9 favorites]

Just to knock the Chinawatch article down a bit:

Moreover, according to the CIA World Fact Book, China’s literacy rate of 92.2% is one of the highest in the world, ahead of any of the TIMBIs

A fanciful number based on the Chinese government's inflated stats. The real literacy rate is estimated to be much lower by many readily available sources. The CIA is not very good at estimating these things. Look at how inflated stats were on the Societ Union during the cold war.

According to the McKinsey Quarterly (2006 Special Edition), 79.2% of households will be in the lower and upper middle classes income range of RMB 40,001 to 100,000 ) by 2015

Why cite a 6 year old study for a projection 3 years out. Here is an income study from December 2010. The McKinsey quarterly seems to have significantly overestimated household income. Right now income is less than half this projection and that is before adjusting for inflation.
posted by humanfont at 4:38 PM on March 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

I look at the collection of projected rising curves towards mid-century, and I just have to shake my head...

Among the various forms of statistical myopia from which articles like both of these suffer is the omission of another rising (or falling, depending on how you look at it, rising being the demand curve) graph or two: massive basic resource depletion (oil, potable water, topsoil, etc.; not the usual things like metals, rare earths, etc., which economists love to cite in order to make absurdly optimistic projections of future abundance), and many more extreme weather events (and need I mention, also, rising sea levels displacing hundreds of millions, including many in some of the countries mentioned here, regardless of their economic status?), which will affect all nations' basic viability, not to mention their economies. Even without any major wars, it won't be pretty, and wars are more likely, not less, as countries will fight over the remaining scraps.

To discuss who in the world is likely to game the global economy best, without looking at the biosphere essentials which underpin any economy, is just stupid. We've already entered the era of blowback from the couple of centuries (barely) in which economies around the world got (unequally) what amounted to massive steroid injections from cheap fossil fuels, irreplaceable in their energy density. (If you can come up with a better metaphor, be my guest.) We put a large fraction of millions of years of accumulated solar energy into the atmosphere, essentially, in a matter of decades, and now that energy will be working against us, out of our control, much more than for us.

Just another form of Titanic deckchair shuffleboard.
posted by Philofacts at 7:05 PM on March 15, 2012 [4 favorites]

three bind mice: Arithmetic is one of the many things Foreign Policy does not do well.

Read the article again. It was referring to GDP, not population.

According to the IMF (via wikipedia), here are the GDP amounts for the countries in question:

For 2010 (in billions $):
  • China: 5878.257
  • Brazil: 2090.314
  • India: 1631.97
  • Mexico: 1034.308
  • Turkey: 735.487
  • Indonesia: 706.752
For 2011 (estimate, in billions $):
  • China: 6988.47
  • Brazil: 2517.927
  • India: 1185.215
  • Mexico: 1034.308
  • Turkey: 763.096
  • Indonesia: 834.335
The math on the GDP values works out as the article states.
posted by hambone at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2012

Millions Sbillions, these are political stats, so they're politically tainted, read not really accurate, just indicative.

Fact: what do all these country have in common? Large population, relatively very low GPD/capita, relatively young population. Which means endless supply of exploitable workforce to replace aging population, hopping capitals from bric to brack to another friggin acronym.

A little problem: if every country/nation grews and grews and grews, who will export to who?

Another little problem: energy, freshwater, food, all these "details"...
posted by elpapacito at 1:31 AM on March 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

>economies around the world got (unequally) what amounted to massive steroid injections from cheap fossil fuels, irreplaceable in their energy density.

I really like this metaphor. It's also cool to think about the meme ecosystem processing communication information to distribute that energy into work.

I hope that a richer mexico makes relations easier with the united states, but the drug war there is still fairly serious. I think it makes better sense to consider NAFTA as an economic unit in other nation-acronym comparisons.
posted by MisplaceDisgrace at 1:57 PM on March 16, 2012

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