Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Bit About China's Economy

Caption: A Chengdu J-10 fighter airplane, designed and produced in China. This fighter, which looks like a cross between an American F-16 and a Swedish Gripen, is considered to be as advanced as Western and Russian designs.

Image credit: mxiong/Wikimedia

At his blog Beat The Press, economist Dean Baker made a point about China's economy that is especially interesting in light of my article on world military spending:

On a purchasing power parity basis, which assigns the same set of prices to goods and services produced in both countries, China is already almost 80 percent of the size of the U.S. economy. There is also some serious research suggesting that because of mis-measurement of prices in rural areas, China's economy is already larger than the U.S. economy.

Ruchir Sharma's Entry in the "Most Things Wrong in a Short Column" Contest
[inks from original]

It's possible that their GDP is already as big as ours. If it's not, it will be soon. Given that their economy has grown by actually manufacturing things, as opposed to passing increasingly complicated-sounding "financial instruments" back and forth to make a few people very rich, I think there's reason to think they will very quickly overtake us in the ability to produce military hardware, if they have not already.

Yet another reason why an arms race would be very bad. As if we don't have plenty already.


Jono said...

Our economy will really hurt if we can't sell the toys of war to everyone. Oh, what shall we do?

Cujo359 said...

I don't know. So far, that "intellectual property" thing hasn't worked out like all the geniuses who thought we could export our manufacturing and still reap the benefits thought it would. It turns out "intellectual property" doesn't weigh very much, and it's easy to steal.

I think we might have to go back to making things that people can use.