Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How the Far Right Threatens America's Economic Future

The world's economy is changing rapidly and nations that I suspect are still looked down upon by many ignorant Americans are on the rise. To remain competitive, America must be educated and create a society where all can excel. Yet the Republican Party and its Christianist/Tea Party base want to drag the nation backwards in time and strive to ignore objective reality as much as possible. The Christianist denial of evolution and science, the GOP's denial of global warming, and the overall opposition to investing in the nation's human capital will be the death knell for America as an economic leader. Blather about American exceptionalism means nothing if not backed up with an highly educated work force, ingenuity and a strong economy. The Guardian has a piece that looks at how Brazil has supplanted the United Kingdom in terms of economic size and might. How much longer can the USA remain on top when the far right and mentally ill Christianist want to take the nation is the wrong direction? Here are some story highlights:

Brazil has overtaken the UK to become the world's sixth-largest economy, according to a team of economists. The banking crash of 2008 and the subsequent recession has relegated the UK to seventh place in 2011, behind South America's largest economy, which has boomed on the back of exports to China and the far east.

Russia and India are expected to benefit from a surge in growth over the next 10 years and push the UK into eighth place. Like most economies, India is struggling with high inflation and slowing growth, but its highly educated workforce and skills in growth areas from IT and services to engineering will push the economy into fifth place. After a decade of selling oil and gas to Europe and other parts of Asia, Russia will be at number four.

CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams said: "Brazil has beaten the European countries at soccer for a long time, but beating them at economics is a new phenomenon. Our world economic league table shows how the economic map is changing, with Asian countries and commodity-producing economies climbing up the league while we in Europe fall back."

China is forecast to grow by 7.6% and India by 6%. But other recent star economies with closer links to the EU or commodity prices are likely to face an economic slowdown with Turkish growth slowing to 2.5% from 7.1% this year, Saudi Arabia at 4% after 6.1% this year, Russia 2.8% after 3.8% this year, and Brazil 2.5% after 2.8% this year.

No comments: