Skip to comments.The Decline Of The West
Posted on 12/29/2012 11:47:35 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Two interesting infographics were published recently that make it so easy to see the decline of the West, even a caveman can do it.
The first is from the Brookings Institute, which has released an interactive map showing economic growth data for the largest 300 metropolitan areas in the world– from New York and London to Okayama, Japan and Wulumuqi, China.
The Brookings map ranks each of these cities based on economic performance over three distinct periods, measuring both GDP growth and employment trends.
The first time period is the last full year of data, 2011-2012. The second time period is that particular city’s economic low point since the global recession began in 2007. And the third period of time is a long-term view between 1993-2007.
The map then color codes each city by quintile. Dark blue represents the strongest economic growth over the three periods, orange and red represents the weakest.
Guess where most of the orange and red is? You got it. Europe, Japan, and North America.
Guess where most of the dark blue is? You got it. Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe… and right here in good ole’ Santiago, Chile.
If it weren’t already obvious at this point, I’d like to show you a second infographic, this one by Toshl Finance.
Toshl develops software to help people track and manage their finances, so the company has direct access to their customers’ earning and spending habits.
According to Toshl’s data, users in Western Europe earn an average of $2,062 per month, but spend $2,396. This is an average monthly deficit of $334 per person, or roughly 16% of income.
Toshl users in the United States are in even worse shape, earning on average $1,871 per month. But they spend $2,290 per month, an average monthly deficit of $419, or 22% of income.
So who in the world is living within their means? Australian, Brazilian, Russian, Canadian, Filipino, and Indian users all show positive surpluses each month. Chinese and Singaporeans are essentially at breakeven levels.
Both of these infographics point to the same conclusion: the west is living far beyond its means and is struggling with pitifully anemic growth. This is a long-term trend, and one that is only going to accelerate.
The shift of wealth and power from West to East is going to be one of the biggest stories of our lifetimes, just as the decline of Rome was the biggest story of the day over a thousand years ago. Future historians will look back on our time and say “duh, the warning signs were there…” just as we do today when we study Rome, the Ottoman Empire, the Bourbon monarchy, etc.
Yet as obvious as the indicators may be, few people will actually do anything about it. A lifetime of propaganda will plant many heads in the sand, ignoring the dangers and opportunities all around. Only a handful will see the writing on the wall and take sensible, rational steps to set up their lives and families for generations of success and freedom.
Which will you choose to be?
The only surprise in this map is the middle east getting better. Perhaps that is because their man in DC is doing everything to increase the price of oil. Other than that you can tell at at glance who is moving towards free markets and who is moving away.
As a great historian stated" Those who think only in economic terms are ever victims of those who don't."
Perspective of a Rabbi
Please take a moment to digest this provocative article by a Jewish
Rabbi from Teaneck, N.J. It is far and away the most succinct and
thoughtful explanation of how our nation is changing. The article
appeared in The Israel National News, and is directed to Jewish
readership. 70% of American Jews vote as Democrats. The Rabbi
has some interesting comments in that regard.
Rabbi Steven Pruzansky is the spiritual leader of Congregation
Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, New Jersey.
The most charitable way of explaining the election results of 2012 is
that Americans voted for the status quo â for the incumbent President
and for a divided Congress. They must enjoy gridlock, partisanship,
incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.
And fewer people voted.
But as we awake from the nightmare, it is important to eschew the
facile explanations for the Romney defeat that will prevail among the
chattering classes. Romney did not lose because of the effects of
Hurricane Sandy that devastated this area, nor did he lose because
he ran a poor campaign, nor did he lose because the Republicans
could have chosen better candidates, nor did he lose because Obama
benefited from a slight uptick in the economy due to the business cycle.
Romney lost because he didn’t get enough votes to win.
That might seem obvious, but not for the obvious reasons. Romney lost
because the conservative virtues the traditional American virtues of
liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and
aspirations to moral greatness â no longer inspire or animate a
majority of the electorate.
The simplest reason why Romney lost was because it is impossible
to compete against free stuff.
Every businessman knows this; that is why the loss leader or the
giveaway is such a powerful marketing tool. Obama’s America is one
in which free stuff is given away: the adults among the 47,000,000 on
food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they
did, by the tens of millions; those who courtesy of Obama receive two
full years of unemployment benefits (which, of course, both disincentivizes
looking for work and also motivates people to work off the books while
collecting their windfall) surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free
stuff is irresistible.
The defining moment of the whole campaign was the revelation of the
secretly-recorded video in which Romney acknowledged the difficulty of
winning an election in which 47% of the people start off against him because
they pay no taxes and just receive money free stuff from the government.
Almost half of the population has no skin in the game they don’t care about
high taxes, promoting business, or creating jobs, nor do they care that the money
for their free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.
They just want the free stuff that comes their way at someone else’s expense.
In the end, that 47% leaves very little margin for error for any Republican, and
does not bode well for the future.
It is impossible to imagine a conservative candidate winning against
such overwhelming odds. People do vote their pocketbooks. In essence, the
people vote for a Congress who will not raise their taxes, and for a President
who will give them free stuff, never mind who has to pay for it.
That engenders the second reason why Romney lost: the inescapable
conclusion that the electorate is ignorant and uninformed. Indeed, it does
not pay to be an informed voter, because most other voters the clear
majority are unintelligent and easily swayed by emotion and raw populism.
That is the indelicate way of saying that too many people vote with their hearts
and not their heads. That is why Obama did not have to produce a second term
agenda, or even defend his first-term record. He needed only to portray Mitt
Romney as a rapacious capitalist who throws elderly women over a cliff, when
he is not just snatching away their cancer medication, while starving the poor
and cutting taxes for the rich.
During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai
Stevenson: Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!
Stevenson called back: That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!
Truer words were never spoken.
Obama could get away with saying that Romney wants the rich to
play by a different set of rules without ever defining what those
different rules were; with saying that the rich should pay their fair
share without ever defining what a fair share is; with saying
that Romney wants the poor, elderly and sick to Åfend for themselves
without even acknowledging that all these government programs are
going bankrupt, their current insolvency only papered over by deficit spending.
Similarly, Obama (or his surrogates) could hint to blacks that a
Romney victory would lead them back into chains and proclaim to women
that their abortions and birth control would be taken away. He could appeal
to Hispanics that Romney would have them all arrested and shipped to
Mexico and unabashedly state that he will not enforce the current immigration laws.
He could espouse the furtherance of incestuous relationship between
governments and unions in which
politicians ply the unions with public money, in exchange for which
the unions provide the politicians with votes, in exchange for which
the politicians provide more money and the unions provide more votes, etc.,
even though the money is gone.
Obama also knows that the electorate has changed that whites will
soon be a minority in America (they’re already a minority in
California) and that the new immigrants to the US are primarily from
the Third World and do not share the traditional American values that
attracted immigrants in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is a different
world, and a different America. Obama is part of that different
America, knows it, and knows how to tap into it. That is why he won.
Obama also proved again that negative advertising works, invective
sells, and harsh personal attacks succeed. That Romney never engaged
in such diatribes points to his essential goodness as a person; his negative
ads were simple facts, never personal abuse facts about high unemployment,
lower take-home pay, a loss of American power and prestige abroad, a lack
of leadership, etc. As a politician, though, Romney failed because he did not
embrace the devil’s bargain of making unsustainable promises.
It turned out that it was not possible for Romney and Ryan people of
substance, depth and ideas to compete with the shallow populism and
platitudes of their opponents. Obama mastered the politics of envy of
class warfare never reaching out to Americans as such but to individual
groups, and cobbling together a winning majority from these minority groups.
If an Obama could not be defeated with his record and his vision of America,
in which free stuff seduces voters it is hard to envision any change in the future.
The road to Hillary Clinton in 2016 and to a European-socialist economy those
very economies that are collapsing today in Europe is paved.
For Jews, mostly assimilated anyway and staunch Democrats, the results
demonstrate again that liberalism is their Torah. Almost 70% voted for a
president widely perceived by Israelis and most committed Jews as hostile
to Israel. They voted to secure Obama’s future at America’s expense and at
Israels expense in effect, preferring Obama to Netanyahu by a wide margin.
A dangerous time is ahead. Under present circumstances, it is inconceivable
that the US will take any aggressive action against Iran and will more likely thwart
any Israeli initiative. The US will preach the importance of negotiations up until
the production of the first Iranian nuclear weapon and then state that the world
must learn to live with this new reality.
But this election should be a wake-up call to Jews. There is no permanent empire,
nor is there is an enduring haven for Jews anywhere in the exile. The American
empire began to decline in 2007, and the deterioration has been exacerbated in the
last five years. This election only hastens that decline. Society is permeated with sloth,
greed, envy and materialistic excess. It has lost its moorings and its moral foundations.
The takers outnumber the givers, and that will only increase in years to come.
The Occupy riots across this country in the last two years were mere dress rehearsals
for what lies ahead years of unrest sparked by the increasing discontent of the
unsuccessful who want to seize the fruits and the bounty of the successful, and do not
appreciate the slow pace of redistribution.
If this election proves one thing, it is that the Old America is gone.
And, sad for the world, it is not coming back.
The goal of that illegal alien Moslem in the White House is to destroy America while advancing his beloved Islam. By disrupting development of internal oil, coal, and nuclear energy he does both.
Obama is laughing his butt off over the fact that he and his treasonous administration are forcing us to fund our mortal enemies.
The resurgence of Germany in the thirties was fuelled and given credibility by economic recovery first. Hitler could work his geopolitical wizardry because he had a strong economy behind him.
The post-war hegemony of the United States is a profound case in point. Reagan vanquished the USSR through economic pressure, not political ideology.
The Saudis have had inordinate political influence because they have vital economic leverage. Without oil they'd be a political nonentity. The world's "crisis" situation today is driven by economics, not politics. Economic strength is not the only thing but it matters a great deal. Now maybe more than ever.
I guess it depends how you define the terms 'economic' and 'political'. Plowing the land of someone you hate with salt strikes me as thinking economically as much as it is does thinking politically.
During the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans (at the prompting of Alcibiades) built a fort outside of Athens that succeeded in cutting off the Athenians from their silver mines. The thinking behind the building of the fort was that the silver mines were the principal source of wealth the Athenians relied on to pay the rowers for their ships. In carrying out this successful strategy, which didn't even involve a direct attack on Athens, were the Spartans thinking economically or politically? I would say both. The Spartans recognized that if you attacked the Athenians economically, you would defeat them politically - which they eventually did.
It is easier for an area to have a growth rate that is high if that area starts off with a baseline that is low compared to more advanced areas which start off with a high baseline.
Yep. That was my point in posting the electoral map.
We're past the tipping point.
Romney didn’t lose because of “free stuff”, Obama had millions of his past voters stay home in 2012.
Romney lost the election because he was a vacuous candidate without a political identity, who couldn’t get people who were already anti-Obama, to vote.
thanks for posting this
i think australia is interesting, Perth (commodities) is one of the strongest cities on earth while Adelaide (manufacturing) is in recession
A vacuous candidate promoted heavily by a vacuous political party.
The story in European newspapers is that Romney only made a half-hearted effort in gaining the presidency because he really was not too interested in the position.
If that is true, the GOP sold us out.
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