Animated graph of changing "World GDP by Country" since 1960




    Human "race": pretty incredible, eh? I've been thinking about it for a few days now, and one thing is that I find the music dramatizes and glamorizes, takes it out of the realm of "we are all on a hamster wheel" that we often feel, to this "powerhouse" feeling of really going somewhere. Though the drama is still there if played silently, just by the speed of the chronology.  Fail, get up again and go, maybe win. Like an Olympics. We've gone a long ways from hunter gatherers doing that, driven to be masters of the species. Not seeing that thing about killing the planet.

    P.S. Japan especially incredible what they did for a while, for such a small country.

    As a kid, the joke regarding tiny toys included the words:


    Then it looked like Japan would take out the world.

    And now?

    China looks like it will take over the world.

    Screw Russia.


    The Japan thing is even more astounding in context of that which you mention. They went from making junk to electronics and then up to appliances and cars and then buying up the world in the snap of fingers. Remember getting your first transistor radio after those junk toys? Now I think; that was the thing, a confluence of them ready at exactly the right time, and used to making little junk and toys, to electronics as the field grew. (Remember dad trying to fix the old blown tubes on the non-transistor American tvs?)

    China, the last few days, on the other hand, articles, they are sounding like recession there. You never know.

    We know several things:

    1) like Saudis brutally killing Kashogghi, the imprisonment of 1 million Uighurs is a game-changer - whereas we all questioned the Belt & Road initiative, this one is simply evil, especially for the younger more human-rights/diversity-driven set. Curiously enough, Trump's trade war with China looks to be good timing but for wrong reasons, but could put the Chinese back on their heels for a bit - it's been totally cocky-time with Xi Jinping, who sees himself as another Mao, except without the veneer of socialism - just himself. The Chinese intrusion & building concrete "islands" around the Spratleys has also destroyed trust.

    2) the Japanese fell on the ramparts of pouring concrete - a fetish that ground down the economy and took away their edge. The Chinese are doing a wonderful job of emulating - just keep building infrastructure that couldn't be justified profits-wise, but as a beacon to humiliate the West (yeah, they're still suffering over the Opium Wars and other western effrontery, little brother or slave inferiority complex). Which means Jinping's future-planning is based as much on symbolism as realities - delusions that seldom work out in practice.

    3) Ironically to me, I think we need something like the Chinese global Belt and Road initiative - but not for the easier ports, but for internal growth, the places left behind, whereas absconding with all the ports is simply a way of conquering infrastructure economically, rather than providing a needed boost. Trains & roads? again, more infrastructure of questionable motive.

    4) Hong Kong will not be forgotten. Beijing wants its cake, but not that simple - the Hong Kong experiment lives on.

    5) China's salaries are sky-rocketing comparably, and that puts pressure to slow & reverse offshoring. How will China internalize growth rather than trying to push production & imports higher and higher? The world will have less demand for Chinese goods and services.

    6) Again expect differences between Chinese tech dreams and actual delivery. For years China could build stuff, but not market it. There's also a big difference in the types of plough-ahead innovation China excels at, and that innovation that creates new services, breakthrough delivery, "something new". Note that the latter controls the patents, though for decades China's rigged the ownership scheme, making expats sign draconian co-share deals as price of entry to the market. No one believes China will play fair anymore, and this new skepticism will shape the future market. And with skepticism, the price of transactions increases, and Chinese trade is all about low transaction cost.

    Immediately upon reading your comment, my thoughts went to this article which struck me hard personally, Dec. 7


    Specifically because the art market has been basically totally taken over by the whole China/Asia thing over the last decade, with main players Sotheby's/Christie's (as well as big international dealers) really looking to make all their profit there and all the rest of it is just secondary. Complete and total upset is the result as they have focused on that to cover everything else they are experimenting with. It's "pander to China to pay the bills" and then they experiment with new paradigms in the west. They do also pander to South Korea and Japan while they are in the hood, just not as much and without as many "crazy rich Asians." Of course India is an alternative developing market but they aren't prepared to switch to that.

    On big picture, all the points you make are great and thought-provoking. One of those that has long interested me is the whole thing about their hunger for control of ports, I remember reading about how that affected things way back in the Bush years, with in like, Pakistan.

    P.S. for all: the recent "worsening economic outlook in China" articles I posted are right here, Dec. 14-15

    And here on some of the danger warning signs, Dec. 9-10

    FWIW, just throwing it out there that there's this China vs. Canada thing going on:

    P.S. A cavaet: Chan is quite prejudiced, just despises the government, from really bad personal experiences reporting

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