Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Matt Yglesias: We're No. 2! (Or will be soon.)

I don’t begrudge a president making a formal speech the chance to engage in some meaningless nationalism, but something I thought was really striking about Barack Obama’s speech last night was how utterly unprepared American political culture is for the idea of a world in which we’re not Top Nation. And yet the reality is that while we’re the world’s largest economy today, and will continue to be so tomorrow, we really just won’t be forever. The Economist predicts that China will pass us in 2019. Maybe it’ll be 2018 or maybe it’ll be 2022.

But it will happen. And fairly soon. And it’ll happen whether or not we reform education or invest in high speed rail or whatever. And the country doesn’t seem prepared to deal with it.

1 comment:

emawkc said...

We should be preparing for the time when we're not even in the Top 5. I've come to grips with it and it's really not that bad (just ask the UK).

That said, Mr. Yglesias might want to take a look at what some really smart hedge fund people think about the Chinese economy