Is the West in terminal decline?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Grandluxe, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Why the West is losing out to the rest
    By Niall Ferguson
    November 3, 2011 -- Updated 1826 GMT (0226 HKT)

    Ferguson is Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, a senior research fellow of Jesus College, Oxford University, and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

    (CNN) -- It says it all when Europe turns to China for a bailout. That was what happened last week when the man in charge of the European Financial Stability Fund flew to Beijing to see if he could interest Chinese investors in propping up the finances of the eurozone.

    How the mighty are fallen. Thirty-five years ago the average German was roughly 15 times richer than the average Chinese. Today the ratio is less than 3-to-1. Back in 1980 the Chinese economy accounted for just 2.2% of global economic output, one third the size of Germany's share. By 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund, the Chinese share will be 18%, six times larger than Germany's.

    We are living through an extraordinary reversal of economic fortunes after 500 years when the big story was what historians call "the great divergence."

    Beginning in 1500, Europeans and European settlers in North America began to get richer than Asians (and everyone else, too).

    The gap between the "West and the Rest" widened at an accelerating rate until the later 1970s. But then -- on our watch -- that trend went into high-speed reverse.

    Ask yourself: Who's got the work ethic now? The average South Korean works about 39% more hours per week than the average American.

    The consumer society? Did you know that 26 of the 30 biggest shopping malls in the world are now in emerging markets, mostly in Asia? Only three are in the United States.

    The rule of law? For a real eye-opener, take a look at the latest World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey. On no fewer than 15 of 16 different issues relating to property rights and governance, the United States fares worse than Hong Kong.

    What about science? Statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization show that already more patents originate in Japan than in the United States, that South Korea overtook Germany to take third place in 2005, and that China is poised to overtake Germany, too.

    Read more :

    What do you think? Is Niall Ferguson's analysis right?
  2. Yes. Incidentally he is doing a talk in London at the Adam Smith Institute soon.
  3. poyayan


    Just like trading , revert to the mean. It takes effort/energy/barrier to sustain an imbalance. From time to time, a country will shoot herself in the foot, but as time goes, the path of least resistance is to revert to the mean.
  4. The West is not in terminal decline. They've gone through a bit of a slump due to sub-optimal politics, smugness, and some negative demographic changes. Those are all temporary.

    China just finally got their act together. East Asians are smart and hardworking. There's no reason they shouldn't be at the top in this day and age when brains and work ethic matter more than they ever have.

    Once China's economy is double America's, they will begin controlling things on the international stage which will give them a further boost. They'd be able influence international policy to feed their economic engine much as the US has done during the past 70 years. Although it's unlikely they'll ever has as much sway as the US did.
  5. The short answer is yes and it will be assimilated into Sino Globalization project, citizens will be thrown under the rug the lie will come to an end and pain and misery will rule the land.
    The Western model for the last several centuries has been growth by expansion and imperialism. A certain religious entity in Europe is mostly to blame. ie. The world is flat, there is no evolution, etc. The East focuses mostly on growth from an internal sources. Any system that needs to expand to grow will eventually run out of resource, space and habital zones. It is just the way.

    Welcome to Planet Misery,


  6. Turn this one into a poll. It's a good question.
  7. The West is not in terminal decline. They've gone through a bit of a slump due to sub-optimal politics, smugness, and some negative demographic changes. Those are all temporary.

    Really? What the hell do you do for a living, teach?

    The west is in a massive decline period.

    Sub-optimal politics? You must be in academics.

    How about the destruction of Capitalism and Small Business? What about the destruction of the US Constitution? Oh, let me guess, your not one who believes in the CONSTITUTION but more of the "COLLECTIVE GOOD" right?
  8. zdreg


    obama does not believe in growth but in redistributing the assets of those who don't belong to his favored groups the unions and the non working poor. he believes in the allocation of credit by having a few large financial institution in the private sector which will act on the government's behalf.
  9. WRONG! America and Western Europe have "had it".. unless we dramatically cut WAAAYYYYY back on the parasitic tit-suckers.. both "social benefit" recipients and government workers.

    My best hope is that it takes 40 years for the collapse to set in. By then, I'll either be dead or have Alzheimer's and won't know the difference anyway. The early Boomers might get by... but the late Boomers and the generations behind are certainly SCREWED... every which way from Sunday!

    :( :(
  10. I hear the exact same thing from every baby boomer. Kind of a sick attitude.

    And there is no possible way that there is 40 years left in this thing. So, the boomers will have to suffer like everyone else.
    #10     Nov 4, 2011