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China’s GDP may exceed USA for the first time this year. Do you think that this will be permanent?

China’s GDP per capita is about 1/3rd that of the US. It is much easier for countries with low GDP/capita to grow their economies, because there is more “low hanging fruit” - income producing investments that can be made. China has been pursuing these for 20 years - building roads, and railways, and Universities, and stock exchanges etc. The US has far fewer opportunities for growth, because it built this infrastructure 50 years ago; it is lucky to achieve 2% growth where China can manage 7%. The reason that China’s GDP is so high is not because it is a rich country, it is because it has a very large population. Absolute GDP is not a particularly useful measure of wealth; Norway has a tiny GDP (because it has a very small population) but is a very rich country. China is unlikely to achieve the same GDP/capita as the US in the long term, because it has a far higher population density which means less natural resources (agricultural land, minerals etc). In the next few decades, it might reach 2/3rds of the US, which would give it a GDP about double that of the US. But I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over absolute GDP numbers; they are as much a function of population size as relative economic activity, and population size is largely an accident of geography.

GDP is such a vague metric especially when comparing across different countries. China will surpass the US some time in the next 5 years, that is certain. It is likely to be permanent as long as we have the kind of government we have not. The political party extremes, the plutocratic control by the oligarchy 1%ers and the power of money (lobbies, PACs, SuperPACs, bribes) - these things that are not common to American politics will hold us back from becoming great again. It is ironic that Trump chose that MAGA slogan and then proceeded to implement political actions that directly oppose any change of MAGA.

China’s GDP has already exceeded the US GDP for some time now, and I am sure it will remain permanent. But that does not worry me. What worries me is if the Communist Party of China permanent? The size of the Chinese economy does not bother me, but the power and the intentions of the CCP does. But we have allies such as Japan, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and perhaps India in the not too distant future also worried about China’s intentions with its newfound economic power. But China was much more powerful 550 years ago but then turned inward. It all depends on what China will do with its power. China has 4 1/2 times the US population. If both countries' GDPs are equal, that implies China’s capita GDP is only 1/4.5 that of the US. The gross GDP comparison does not address the issue of the quality of life or productivity because 4.5 times is a huge difference. China is still a developing nation by any standard. It’s the greatest achievement so far is being able to feed its enormous population. It does not seem likely that China can exceed the US in terms of per capita GDP ever.

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