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US Headed toward 3rd world status
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 07, 2008

I'm absolutely sure that's how this bit of news will be spun by some of our politicians (if John Edwards isn't the first to use it, I'll be completely disappointed):
The average UK person will this year have a greater income than their US counterpart for the first time since the 19th Century, figures suggest.

Analyst Oxford Economics said the UK's GDP per head of population will reach £23,500 - £250 higher than in the US.
The thing to keep in mind is that while the "GDP per head" may be a bit higher the true key is purchasing power. How much of like goods and services can you buy with your income.
However, because goods and services are cheaper in the US, Americans will have stronger purchasing power, it added.
Remember that "however" when you hear or see this.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Where we are is not as important as the trend which isn’t that great it seems.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Let’s imagine a world where China and India are richer than the USA. That would suck, right? Well, only if you judge your entire life by how you stack up to the Joneses.

Keep in mind that wealthy neighbors make good trade partners and sources for technology - do you think China gets angry that America is so rich? Or do they welcome the chance to sell to a developed market while importing things like 787 Dreamliners and advanced pharmaceuticals?

If China and India become richer than the USA that will mean millions of new scientists researching diseases, millions of new products being dreamed up, millions of new consumers spending money.

Economics is not a zero sum game. British people getting richer are not doing so at the expense of Americans.

yeah, this is probably preaching to the choir here at Qando.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Thank God for Wal-Mart.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I wonder how much it has to do with the fact that the population growth rate in the US is double that of the UK.

I also wonder if this is affected by the falling value of the dollar since the currency comparisons must be converted?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
"The average UK person will this year have a greater income than their US counterpart for the first time since the 19th Century, figures suggest."

Sounds definite to me.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
The average UK person will this year have a greater income than their US counterpart for the first time since the 19th Century, figures suggest.
The average UK person names their kid Mohammed, has a state-run camera trained on them from dusk to dawn, and isn’t allowed to defend themselves from criminals, even in their own home.

I’ll take that tradeoff
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Let’s imagine a world where China and India are richer than the USA
That would be nice if the relative change was restricted to China and India only getting richer.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
It’s good they make as much as they do - since the government takes, by accounts, over half.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Let us also not forget that we have low-wage illegal immigrants dragging down our average...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
This is average GDP i.e. GDP divided by population. Median would be more interesting.
 
Written By: Dave Schuler
URL: http://www.theglitteringeye.com
But Dave, now we’re expecting reporters to grasp even the bare-bone basics of statistics...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Not to worry, I’m sure the EU will put a stick through the spokes on this wheel.

 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
That would be nice if the relative change was restricted to China and India only getting richer.
I am not getting you. Other countries than those getting richer would be bad?

Something about China and India that you worry about, i.e. what they will spend their money on? I pretty much assume if China is richer than America in my scenario that the Communists are long gone and democracy makes China less of a security issue.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Remember that "however" when you hear or see this. You’ll need to remember it because you’ll never see it in print or hear it spoken
 
Written By: Bandit
URL: http://
This is simply another sign of the relative decline of America. And 2008 will not be any better, as I so eloquently put it in an earlier thread.

China and Europe are in the ascendence. We Americans need to prepare ourselves for the payback that will inevitably come when we are no longer able to flex our economic muscle to get what we want. Especially after we wise leftists convince the rest of America to stop using military power under any circumstances, and hopefully erode our military capability to irrelevance. Then we will have world peace, and the only price will be that America is shamed and degraded. I can\’t wait.
 
Written By: Ott Scerb
URL: http://cluelessprof.maine.edu
I fully support my insightful colleague’s points made immediately above. However, I would also add that IRAN is in ascendance right now, due to the dreadful blunders committed during Chimpy McShruburtons Ill-Starred Neocon Social Engineering Adventure for Soft-Minded Right Wing Death Beasts, Whose Horror Now Encompasses Us All, Whether or No We’re From Maine (CMcISNSEASMRWDBWHNEUAWNWFMn). Because of CMcISNSEASMRWDBWHNEUAWNWFMn we face a set of unpalatable choices in the Persian Gulf, either quagmire then followed by Doom OR just Doom. I derive no pleasure from this, though because of careful investment I might derive a substantial financial windfall from these doom-laden scenarios -Shout out to all my Peeps at Pasdaran Investments, LLC!-any hoo, we need to confront these issues squarely. I believe the best repudiation possible of the Neo-Con Vulcan/Romulan/Andorian Cabal that has run our fair nation into quagmire and doom, would be to elect the Sainted One Jim-muh to the POTUS. Jim-Muh and the Mighty AlGore as Veep could begin to set to rights the damage done. Their efforts, and the highly touted and remunerated efforts of like-minded academics, preferably from small state land grant universities, whose minds are untrammeled by the conventional Neo-Con wisdom, that wisdom that has given us CMcISNSEASMRWDBWHNEUAWNWFMn I might add, could after several decades of hard-work possibly build a secure future for our much diminished nation, AND secure a bright financial future for aforementioned highly touted like-minded academics, preferably from small state land grant universities, whose minds are untrammeled by the conventional Neo-Con wisdom….any hoo, again. Repent sinners and elect your betters and appoint your new Maine-ish Academic Overlords…All ye shall see my works and tremble!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
There’s a telling line in the article about "free healthcare." Value that properly, and you realize the average Brit is quite a lot poorer than the average Yank.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://www.deanesmay.com
Joe, as always, you are the wind beneath my wings. I can’t wait to roll out my new acronym!
 
Written By: Amy
URL: http://
I am not getting you. Other countries than those getting richer would be bad?

Something about China and India that you worry about, i.e. what they will spend their money on? I pretty much assume if China is richer than America in my scenario that the Communists are long gone and democracy makes China less of a security issue.
Ummm...

The point it that if China and India are in ascent that’s fine. Its not fine if they only appear to be ascent because we’re not developing as fast as we should.

In fact, I’m gravely concerned. Each technological revolution has after a relative few small years of turmoil improved the standard of living for most folks. The same people doing the same job throughout those transitions generally develop more purchasing power.

We just went through one of the biggest technological revolutions with computers and electronics that rivals or excels any of the past technological innovations. We’ve eliminated countless human computers, secretaries, assistants and tones of time delay. Short term it sucked to be them, I’m sure. But we’re past that now. Where’s the payoff? When the Industrial Revolution absorbed our Agricultural Society, BOOM! Night and Day difference in lifestyles.

When I compare what I can buy and do to someone who had a comparable job/skills 30 years ago, I have no more purchasing power than they did. I have a few more electronic toys for entertainment such as DVDs, VCRs, Computers. But I can’t buy more in the way of cars, houses, snowmobiles, or take vacations.

I’m personally better off than 30 years ago. That’s not the point. I’m not better off than an equivalent person, 30 years my senior when he was my age. Or no way near as it should be.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I have a few more electronic toys for entertainment such as DVDs, VCRs, Computers. But I can’t buy more in the way of cars, houses, snowmobiles, or take vacations.
Things you couldn’t buy for any price thirty years ago:

- phones that go everywhere we go, saving countless hours and making types of social action available that would be impossible without them

- Capability to shop for what you want or need all over the world without leaving your home

- A cheap operation to fix eyes so they don’t need glasses or contacts

- over the counter medicines for better pain relief, curing of fungal infections, promotion of healing on cuts and other injuries...

- GPS to help those poor souls who can’t navigate get to strange places in strange cities

- Cars that go years without breaking down, and that need only occasional light maintenance

- A greater variety of more appealing food, yet cheaper in inflation-adjusted terms

- equipment for at home diagnostics for diabetics and people with heart disease

That’s just off the top of my head. If we go back ten more years, I could microwave ovens to that list, but few people had them even in 1977. They were too expensive - I couldn’t afford one in graduate school in 1979. Now they’re so cheap everyone has one, and they are another innovation that saves countless hours.

And I could go on for a while. I don’t understand your grumpiness about this, jpm. We live lives my grandparents would not have believed. Better razors, better coffee, better shoes, longer lives, more comfort...

You said you "can’t buy more in the way of cars, houses...", but I already mentioned how cars are much better, and the average size of a house is up fifty percent since 1977.

You mentioned vacations. How many people could afford to take a vacation that involved airline travel in 1977, before deregulation? Almost any middle class person can afford to do that now.

If you really think you’re no better off than someone comparable to you thirty years ago, I think you’re just not counting your blessings.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
"But I can’t buy more in the way of cars, houses, snowmobiles, or take vacations"

Well, somebody seems to be able to. As just one example, houses with garages for more than one car were pretty exclusive to the rich 30 years ago. I don’t think your memory is very good.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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