China has passed Japan as the world's number two economy despite having only one-tenth of Japan's per capita GDP. How is that possible, you ask? Answer: China's population is 11 times that of Japan's. It transpires that "population counts as much as productivity in determining economic power." Power in this context means the ability to shape global markets through buying and lending decisions. The US is "safe" for now as our $14.66 trillion GDP swamps both China's $5.88 trillion and Japan's $5.47 trillion combined. But, our population is only one-quarter the size of China's meaning that China can surpass the US in raw economic might by boosting its per capita GDP to one-fourth of US levels. Not to worry though as its current fraction of US levels is only one-eleventh, meaning that at current economic growth rate differentials, the US will remain top dog until 2030. Of course, the US can thwart that descent in the rankings even at comparatively lackluster economic growth rates by merely boosting its population growth rate. Another nugget implicit in these news is that China's one-child policy is inevitably sewing the seeds of its own decline. In case you haven't heard it said lately, people are a source of economic strength, not weakness as Nancy Pelosi famously suggested during the health care debate. Noman agrees with God who commanded us to go forth and multiply, and says it's good for the economy, as well as the soul.
Rising China Bests a Shrinking Japan
Massive Population Lifts Nation's Growth
Noman says things were backwards between 2006 and 2010, when this great social philosopher regularly imparted her vision of the person.