Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Decline/Triumph Of The West.

Something I heard yesterday, in relation to Rio De Janeiro winning the 2016 Olympics, is that the World Bank predicts that by 2016 Brazil will be the 5th largest economy in the world, presumably over taking France, the UK and Italy.

It surprised me that it is being predicted to happen so soon but even if the prediction is delayed by a few years it will happen at some point. India will also overtake us at some point and maybe Mexico and Indonesia too by the end of the century.

In one sense this could be seen as the relative decline of the West but it is also the triumph of Western values that the emerging countries in the world are largely those which have embraced democracy and pluralism. Of the world's 30 largest economies only China, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia are not democratic and 3 of those are dependent on natural resources rather than human capital for their wealth. By way of comparison in a list of the countries with the largest populations 13 out of 30 are not stable democracies (some of them hold elections though).

The West is not going to be supplanted by banana republics and alliances between tinpot tyrants.


Matthew said...

Almost certainly not true in PPP terms as it'll be US, China, Japan, India and Germany, so we're talking about overtaking Germany, and currently it's about 28% off, catching up about 2% a year, which means something like 2025. The UK looks like being overtaken in 2016, which is perhaps what they mean. Might be a bit different at market exchange rates.

[don't know if this will work - it's my extrapolation from 2015]

James Higham said...

Russia's not democratic?

It's more democratic than Britain. They voted in booths with no CCTV and the folded slips wnet in the boxes. They could have written anything.

There is no infringement of liberties such as wheelie bin laws, ID cards etc.and they have one precious freedom which Britain does not - a non-litigious society and freedom of speech on most issues.

If you criticize Putin within your circle, they don't come to take you away.

Having recently returned, this is like the UKSSR here.

Ross said...

Matthew- I assumed they meant in nominal terms, though if they are only over taking the UK in PPP terms by 2016 it seems a unlikely.

James- They did clearly rig the last parliamentary elections with Putin's party getting around 99% in Chechnya!

constant gina said...
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