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Ed Driscoll

After America Moves a Step Close to Reality

May 1st, 2014 - 7:48 pm

“China is now being forecast to eclipse the United States as the world’s largest economy sometime this year,” William Wilson writes at the Heritage Foundation’s blog:

With much faster growth rates between 2011 and 2014, China is now being forecast to eclipse the United States as the world’s largest economy sometime this year. The U.S. has been the world’s largest economy since the 1870s when it overtook Great Britain.

Before the current revisions were released this week, it was widely expected China would not overtake the United States until the end of this decade. The new data also catapulted India to the third largest economy, surpassing Japan.

In the meantime, economic freedom in the U.S.—what should be the real driver of our economy—is languishing. Similar can be said of America’s allies in Japan.

Wilson concludes, “The real lesson here is that the emerging world is catching up not because they are doing everything right (most have not engaged in structural economic reforms for over a decade), but because the developed world has been doing everything wrong in steering their economies.  It would be more constructive to focus on why economic growth has all but disappeared in the developed world.”

Doing everything wrong and destroying America’s economic growth leads us inexorably to Mr. Obama, and the rest of Washington, DC.  Or as Mark Steyn wrote in 2011, in one of the articles that coincided with the release of his 2011 book After America, the 21st century may well be the Post-American Century:

That thoughtful observer of the passing parade, Nancy Pelosi, weighed in on the “debt ceiling” negotiations the other day: “What we’re trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We’re trying to save life on this planet as we know it today.”

* * * * * * * *

We are chugging a highly toxic cocktail: 21st-century spendaholic government with mid-20th-century assumptions about American power. After the Battle of Saratoga, Adam Smith replied to a pal despondent that the revolting colonials were going to be the ruin of Britain: “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation,” said a sanguine Smith.

That’s generally true. Americans of a certain bent looking at post-war France or Germany might reasonably conclude what’s the big deal about genteel decline. The difference, of course, is that Europe’s decline was cushioned by America. Who’s around to cushion America’s decline?

If the IMF is correct (a big if), China will be the planet’s No.1 economy by 2016. That means whoever’s elected in November next year will be the last president of the United States to preside over the world’s dominant economic power. As I point out in my rollicking new book, which will be hitting what’s left of the post-Borders bookstore business any day now, this will mark the end of two centuries of Anglophone dominance — first by London, then its greatest if prodigal son. The world’s economic superpower will not only be a Communist dictatorship with a largely peasant population and legal, political, and cultural traditions as alien to its predecessors as possible, but, even more civilizationally startling, it will be, unlike the U.S., Britain, and the Dutch and Italians before them, a country that doesn’t even use the Roman alphabet.

The American economy has been “stimulated” to a bloody pulp by the racketeers in Washington, mostly to buy off approved interests. Meanwhile, as Nancy defends life on this planet today, the contours of life on this planet tomorrow are beginning to emerge.

And not at all coincidentally, last fall, the International Business Times reported that “China Calls for World to Be ‘De-Americanised.’” Barry, Kerry, Nancy and Harry are all certainly doing their damnedest to make that headline a reality.

Update: “Dead Point.”

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Well, all our brilliant rulers said, "We're tired of being a wealthy, powerful modern nation, so we'll deal all our manufacturing off to China and other low-wage countries." As a result, China has become wealthy, and we are $18,000,000,000,000 in debt.

So we get stuff like this (from the Lexington Herald-Leader, April 3, 2014):

Clothing company Fruit of the Loom announced Thursday that it will permanently close its plant in Jamestown and lay off all 600 employees by the end of the year. The Jamestown plant is the last Fruit of the Loom plant in [the] state...
The company said it is moving the plant's textile operations to Honduras to save money. . . .
At one time, Fruit of the Loom had more than 11,000 manufacturing and
corporate employees at its plants in Jamestown, Frankfort, Campbellsville...

We produce less and less, we consume more and more, and we borrow to cover the difference. We have, in Pravda's words, a "produce in China, sell in the West" policy. And when Pravda knows more about economics than you do, you're in trouble.

20 weeks ago
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"Barry, Kerry, Nancy and Harry are all certainly doing their ..."

Speaking of joyless monomania!
20 weeks ago
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You need a poster of Uncle Sam saying, "Miss me yet?" The background could contain various global horrors.
20 weeks ago
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