Monday, December 28, 2009

"How the Noughties Were a Hinge of History"

Martin Wolf seems to think so. But it's rather doubtful in my opinion. Humans have a tendency to overestimate the importance of the moment. And every moment is a hinge in one way or another. I grew up hearing about Japanese supremacy and now it's common knowledge their economy is decline. Then there was the fall of the USSR and the 'end of history'. Now high school students hear about the inevitable dominance of China. Though China is a country whose growth has been driven by cheap surplus labor, and those days are either at an end now, or will be in the near future. Remember this was never the case for the United States , in fact the wages of free labor in the United States were always higher than Europe due to scarcity. So we will see how the China story plays out.

Wolf frets about the decline of relative Western economic power. But really, this would be a good thing for the vast majority of the world. Just maybe not for the Bilderberg folks and their like. Most of the world lives in Asia and most people there are very very poor. They need more economic 'power'.

Wolf quotes Benjamin Franklin : “We must all hang together or assuredly we shall hang separately.” Is Wolf addressing the world's elites when he says 'we', much as Franklin was addressing the nascent American ruling class ? Then what about the rest of us ?

1"How the noughties were a hinge of history"- Financial Times; Wolf

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