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Dambisa Moyo, Zambian-born economist and the author of Dead Aid and How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly--and the Stark Choices Ahead, says Western government's short-sighted policies threaten their economic supremacy.
How good an indication is per capita income anyway? That's based on the mean (total income divided by total population), which can be very distorted by income disparity. What are these countries' median incomes (1/2 the population makes less, 1/2 more) like?
Also, can't the developing world get to the standard of living of the developed world without following the same path of using fossil fuels & further destroying the environment? We had to learn the hard way (if we've even learned yet); they have the chance to learn from our mistakes.
Why should anyone be surprised that 500 years of Western domination has come to an end? Or that China would resume its ancient position as the number one country on earth? After all, Marco Polo wrote about the incredible size and wealth of Cathay many centuries before the Europeans even found and exploited the "New World." As last as 1820, China's output was still number one, and INdia's number 2 in the world. It was the rapid industrial revolution in Europe, copied by America and Japan, that left China, INdia and most of the rest of Asia in the dust. That was two centuries ago, which is nothing in the 5,000 year old histories of China and India. Just blinks of an eye. But I don't see anything paritcularly threatening by it. China's getting richer does not necessarily translate into America getting poorer, unless the US makes the same mistake that China made centuries ago, and closes itself off. That is what caused China to fall behind in the first place.
The US economy was built on slavery. Since the abolishment Americans have fought for workers rights and wages. Your last segment was about unions, China is why we need unions. Unions keep work here, they force foreign countries to adhere to our strict employment and environmental standards.
china's GNP is a tiny fraction of ours, plus its economy has structural problems that will affect its growth and stability.
"putting a dent" in poverty? the chinese people paid a high price for that.
at first blush Dr Moyo is a breathe of fresh air, but a more careful exploration of her ideas show them to be cold, callous and devoid of compassion. Aid has failed, we agree, Prof Paul Collier agrees (oxfam attacked him also) but when he debated Dr Moyo at the Munk debates, he made a good case for a sensible middle ground. Cutting 100% of aid would be disastrous both in the short and long term. I have not read the new book but sounds like an ideological right wing/ Cato institute argument. Dr Moyo, Africa does not need ideologues, we have had a lot of them and this is where we are, we need pragmatists.
I actually thought her book was a defense of the conservative message that the Ponzi schemes of entitlement programs and wealth distribution pushed by the Left will sap the economies of the West and lead to their eventual decline. She shares much with Spengler, Burnham and Huntington who predicted arching trajectories for liberal democracies of growth to prosperity to affluent, lazy, sanctimonious complacency to inevitably becoming victims of their own success when they forget, even despise, the values and necessary principles that first got them there.
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Brian Lehrer leads the conversation about what matters most now in local and national politics, our own communities and our lives.
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