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The IMF has released new GDP (PPP) estimates based on the latest International Comparison Program, where price levels are compared relative to the base year 2017 (the previous such survey was in 2011).

There were some notable changes (h/t commenter Annatar for many of the observations):

  • China dropped by 18% from $21.0k to $17.2, this is of course not a decline in Chinese living standards but merely a reflection of the fact that prices are going up very fast there (not anywhere near fast enough to cancel out rapid improvement in living standards, though). Note that Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing are now the world’s 3rd, 5th, and 9th most expensive property markets in the world, respectively.
  • German GDP has gone from 73% of Japan’s in 2010 to 79% in 2019, and this latest revision bumps it up to 85%. Quite remarkable, given the population difference (83M vs. 126M).
  • Germany is also the only G7 country to keep its GDP per capita relative to the US constant since 2010, also at 85%. France declined from 77% to 72%, the UK from 74% to 70%, Japan from 73% to 66%.
  • For obvious reasons, many oil exporters have been adjusted sharply downwards, most especially Iraq, which plummeted 47% from $18.8k to $10.0k. This makes sense, Iraq having Mexico-tier prosperity was always quite implausible.
  • Of topical relevance: Azerbaijan fell 24% from $19.2k to $14.5k, while Armenia rose from $11.8k to $13.7k. Looks like it did not take the collapse of oil prices well. And also syncs with my observation that if Azerbaijan wants to get back Karabakh, this period is now as good as any.
  • Iran went down from $17.8k to $12.0k.
  • Russia fell 11% from $30.8k to $27.4k. Not a catastrophic result, though it has been edged ahead of by some countries it’s usually clustered within (Croatia, Romania, Turkey). It also rules out Russia overtaking Greece in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, which had previously looked like a distinct possibility.
  • Ukraine went up from $10.1k to $12.7k. This makes sense, although Ukrainian living standards are certainly much lower than Russia’s, I have always maintained the differential is 2x, not 3x (as per the old datasets).
  • Big improvement for Vietnam from $8.7k (long level pegging with India, then at $9.0k) to $10.8k (way ahead of India at $6.2k). Why they were level pegging in the first place after Vietnam liberalized its economy was a bit of an “HBD puzzle” considering that PISA tests since 2012 have shown it has East Asian-tier human capital, unlike the Thais or even Malays; now there’s an answer of that.
  • Czechia is now richer than Italy.
  • Romania went from being 12% richer than Bulgaria to 21% richer, with Bulgaria at $23.7k now at the level of Chile (which was also revised downwards like much of Latin America). As I commented before, I don’t have a good idea why Romania is doing so well, going from what was once traditionally one of Europe’s most backwards regions through to the 1990s, to almost V4-tier. Its human capital is typically Balkan, not V4. It’s also had massive brain drain – more so than Bulgaria, AFAIK. I don’t know why it’s doing so well. Or for that matter why Bulgaria is doing so badly.

You can compare the biannual World Economic Outlooks at this link. Though the Wikipedia page, as well as the archived Wikipedia page from a few days ago before the update, is perhaps more convenient.

 
• Category: Economics • Tags: GDP 
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  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. whahae says:

    Romania

    1) has a German president

    2) Sibiu, city in Transylvania, has a German mayor from the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania. Germans make up about 1% if the population of Sibiu. The German party also controls the majority of the city council.

    3) Timișoara, third largest city of Romania, just elected a German expat (though not part of the German party) as major. He’s not even a Romanian citizen.

    Und es mag am deutschen Wesen / einmal noch die Welt genesen

    • Replies: @Dacian Julien Soros
  3. DreadIlk says:

    Listening to Vee they have a lot of people who suck the globalization dick. So probably a lot of good will back from EU towards Romania vs someone like Poland or Hungary.

  4. $21,224 to $19,759. FWIW, and anticipating your reaction, I agree that the difference between it and Ukraine is likely lower, though I disagree that Ukraine has surged ahead of Belarus. (E.g., 63,275 new cars sold in Belarus in 2019, vs. 102,542 in Ukraine. Also, consumption is lower as a share of GDP in Belarus than in Ukraine – 53% vs. 76%).

    AK: Was reply to AP comment asking about figures for Belarus, original comment appears to have been deleted.

  5. Some Guy says:

    Here’s an interactive world map for this new data:

    https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/[email protected]/OEMDC/ADVEC/WEOWORLD

    By the way, I believe Vietnam is at European levels in the PISA studies, rather than East Asian levels. And that’s with low participation rates.

    Slovenia and Lithuania is ahead of Spain.

    Poland and Estonia is ahead of Portugal.

    Must be a bit embarrassing for southern Europe to fall behind ex-communist countries.

    Looks like they’ve just given up on covering Venezuela.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  6. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Yevardian
  7. Thanks for the update, Anatoly. The Chinese drop makes sense, given the official Chinese growth rate has always been overstated by a point or two (it still being poorer than Thailand makes sense). Agreed the Vietnamese revision makes a great deal of sense; HBD suggests it should be as rich as Romania. Ukraine, Vietnam, and North Korea are the three most “undervalued” countries by human capital theory.

    I’m still wondering how Taiwan keeps its Germany-level ranking. I’ve also noticed Malaysia (good job on COVID) is now Russia-level and (appropriately) Indonesia has fallen below Ukraine. Serbia rising to above Mexico is somewhat of a surprise.

  8. AP says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, I checked the link myself and deleted my comment. Wages don’t quite match new IMF numbers:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

  9. @E. Harding

    I dont think you understand why the “drop” in China’s PPP GDP occurred, but did not occur for China’s Nominal GDP.

    China dropped by 18% from $21.0k to $17.2, this is of course not a decline in Chinese living standards but merely a reflection of the fact that prices are going up very fast there (not anywhere near fast enough to cancel out rapid improvement in living standards, though). Note that Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing are now the world’s 3rd, 5th, and 9th most expensive property markets in the world, respectively.

  10. Why is China so expensive?

    Compare nominal GDP per capita to PPP adjusted figures

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    Major countries that have a 1:3 ratio are Russia, India, Turkey and Vietnam. China is 1:1.6. It surprises me how high the cost of living is in China relative to these countries.

    Turkey’s numbers have to be made up?

    I have a hard time believing the country maintained its living standards so well through the last decade. Turkey in the 2010s was an economic basket case and it is still unraveling. The Lira was 1.5 to 1 USD in January 2010. The exchange ratio is now approaching 8. And just wait until all those self inflicted geopolitical wounds become infected at the same time. Either there’s something wrong with the data or Turkey is amazingly still hanging on despite so many blunders but on the cusp of a massive fall in its living standards.

  11. Some Guy says:

    I just noticed that this IMF dataset lists Ukraine’s population as 41.5 million. Not sure what parts of the country they’re including for the GDP numbers, but if it’s only the parts de-facto controlled by Ukraine, which has an estimated population of 33 million, then their GDP per capita numbers are underestimated by about 20%.

    • Replies: @AP
  12. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Turkey’s numbers have to be made up?

    Part of the answer but certainly not all is:

    new GDP (PPP) estimates based on the latest International Comparison Program, where price levels are compared relative to the base year 2017

  13. @Some Guy

    I’d bet a nickle that Northern Italy is still better then Czechia and Slovenia, though I suppose it depends on “diversified” some parts of it have become

  14. EMP says:

    “Note that Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Beijing are now the world’s 3rd, 5th, and 9th most expensive property markets in the world, respectively.”

    Incorrect. That study only looked at 35 global cities. I know for a fact that San Francisco and Seattle are more expensive, yet they did not appear on the list.

    • Replies: @Glt
  15. @E. Harding

    given the official Chinese growth rate has always been overstated by a point or two

    If the official growth rate was overstated by 1-2% for 20 years then the Chinese economy in 2019 would have been several trillion dollars smaller than $14 trillion. However that would not mesh with other data showing the robust health of the Chinese consumer economy. Mercedes Benz reports 700,000 passenger cars sold in 2019 in China (out of 2 million cars sold by the company globally in 2019). For comparison, Mercedes sold 15,000 cars in India in 2019 and India had a GDP a little short of $3 trillion in 2019. Based on luxury car data and other information, I suspect India’s growth rate has been overstated for several years under Modi due to bad work in the government statistics department.

    • Agree: showmethereal
    • Replies: @E. Harding
  16. @Blinky Bill

    Good guy, Taiwan is after all a province of China.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  17. @AltanBakshi

    Republic of China, it’s in the name.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  18. PPP = Poor People’s Parity.

    The fact that Chinese PPP is narrowing is not because “prices are going up fast”. It’s because their traded goods are rapidly improving in quality. People forget that in 2010, China was poorer than Kosovo.

    As your nominal GDP improves, your PPP narrows. That has nothing to do with inflation, but asking for basic competence on these matters is asking too much from AK.

    More interesting is this:

    I remember Felix Keverich’s and other Russian nationalists dismissive words about the Chinese. Many Russians still subconsiously cling to a false sense of superiority vis-a-vis China. That era ends now.

    Worryingly for Russia, we’re entering a structural bear market for oil, which is demand-constrained and not supply-constrained. How a country like Russia retools for that world will be harsh and painful. But I think it can be done. The Arab states will suffer far more. But even Russia will have to accept stagnation for years to come even in the best scenarios. Structural change is *hard*. Putin’s failure to build and nurture a robust non-oil economy (unlike Norway) during the boom years will become readily apparent to even his most loyal bootlickers.

    And, for Indians eyes at least, is the fact that Bangladesh (!) will surpass India this year for the first time ever was unthinable even a decade ago. Quite a remarkable feat for a country dismissed so casually as inferior both by both the neighbourhood as well as senior US policymakers (most notably Kissinger).

  19. @Blinky Bill

    Yes Peoples Republic of China. You are correct.

  20. Japan’s collapse is quite remarkable, it used to be almost synonymous with high tech and modernity, but I don’t think anyone thinks that of Japan any more. It’s stagnated for too long and no longer seems to be at the forefront of technology as it was in the past, Japanese tech seems almost quite dated these days.

    I think their handling of the Fukushima disaster was also a big knock to their national reputation, almost third world levels of incompetence and corruption.

  21. @Thulean Friend

    I always confuse which of you is the good Swedish or Scandinavian guy and which one is the evil progressive liberal villain? Or is there three of you? Hyberborean and Swedish family?

    I am also very suprised by the Bangladeshis, and I am genuinely happy for them, its very sad that one of the core areas or heartlands of Buddhism was lost to the Muslims, the land of many Siddhas and Yogis. The heartland of the mighty Palas.

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Hyperborean
  22. @Thulean Friend

    in 2010 China was poorer than Kosovo

    Shows how misleading these stats can be

    • Agree: TheTotallyAnonymous
    • LOL: Thulean Friend
  23. @Europe Europa

    They were set for major publicity stunts for the Olympics this year, until China and plague rat whiteys ruined it

  24. @china-russia-all-the-way

    China is number one in the world for materialist and soulless culture. It is the absolute fave for mild autists and locked in narcissists for this very reason. It therefore means that things like buying flash cars are very much leading indicators and things like living costs will be high. Whatever the culture prizes spending on, will be expensive. Though obviously the ratio to GDP is the important number.

    And yes, there are plenty of tasteless soulless narcissistic types all over the world and myriad expressions of the same thing, but in China it is prized and valued as good without caveat. This is the weird bit.

  25. @Europe Europa

    Japan’s supposed collapse has been greatly exaggerated. What they had was a gigantic bubble in the 1980s which had to pop. Their imperial palace was worth more than California at its peak.

    They still have plenty of cutting-edge tech but since it isn’t consumer-facing for the most part, it means folks get fooled easily.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @joun
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  26. @E. Harding

    I’m still wondering how Taiwan keeps its Germany-level ranking.

    Not even close to an expert on either economies, but manufacturing is certainly part of it. TSMC is the world’s leading logic chip foundry, somewhere around Samsung in the category, but Samsung also manufactures the own chips. Global Foundries has dropped out of the race, and Intel has now twice missed moving to the next generation, not that they ever did much foundry work for others, or are even vaguely price competitive with TSMC and Samsung.

    I also note a lot of higher quality East Asian items are made in Taiwan rather than the PRC, Vietnam which is now a preferred alternative to the latter, but has a lot of capital and human investment to do to meet that demand, etc. Only South Korea and Japan are in the same league, and Japan’s response to its fiscal crisis that started decades ago, plus pervasive high level corruption and plain stupidity are harming their prospects more and more.

    Fukushima is a good example, it showed the whole world what some of us STEM types had already noticed, Japan does not have a safety culture that’s compatible with anything nuclear, and the alternatives for electrical power are all I’m sure a lot more expensive (or were before the COVID-19 slowdown, don’t know what procuring natural gas by ship now costs them).

    • Replies: @showmethereal
  27. AP says:
    @Some Guy

    Good point, but Ukraine’s population is probably in the 35-37 million range so the adjustment should be lower, around 10% upwards. This would place Ukraine slightly above Armenia and Moldova, and would match the wage data:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_European_countries_by_average_wage

    The new IMF figures now place Moldova ahead of Ukraine, but Kosovo behind Ukraine.

  28. @Not Only Wrathful

    And yes, there are plenty of tasteless soulless narcissistic types all over the world and myriad expressions of the same thing, but in China it is prized and valued as good without caveat. This is the weird bit.

    Being Jewish, that should not be weird at all in one iota to you.

    But then again, self-awareness has never been your strong point, has it?

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  29. @Not Only Wrathful

    In the West you have people getting violently possessed over the death of a drug addicted criminal and rioting across the globe in order to make the lives of other drug addicted criminals easier, with the leaders and media cheering them on as they do a repeat of the Chinese Cultural revolution (though I’m not sure if this is as tragedy or as farce), all of this during a massive viral outbreak too lulz

    I seriously do not see the point in acting high and mighty when the rest of the world is at such an abysmal state, and the chance of it returning to some past glory is asymptoting zero

    The modern Chinese culture is shitty, what do you expect of rags to riches peasants who acquired these living standards in the last 30 years, this is a huge societal transformation in such a short period
    China here is admired for the rapid economic growth, massive infrastructure development and scientific output, the hanfu and spicy Shanghai cuisine is just a bonus

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
    , @Dmitry
  30. @AltanBakshi

    China must now immantize to her true role under tiansha: becoming a humanitarian superpower. I’m sure a copy of the Statue of Liberty can fit in Pudong.

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @Ano4
  31. @E. Harding

    I’m still wondering how Taiwan keeps its Germany-level ranking

    First of all, PPP = Poor People’s Parity. Don’t pay attention to it.

    Secondly, Taiwan’s nominal GDPpc is vastly underestimated because they are one of the worst currency manipulators on the planet. Their CA surplus is huge, even larger than Germany’s. It’s more than 10% of GDP. By contrast, South Korea’s CA surplus is just 2-3% of GDP. Respectable, not monstrous.

    Had Taiwan been forced by US pressure to correctly value their currency, their nominal wages would shoot up to Korean levels quickly. But they are still behind Germany, which is a beast playing in another galaxy.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  32. @china-russia-all-the-way

    1:3 for India is also not accurate and certainly not for the major cities.

    Indian consumer prices for everything from fuel to chocolates to hotel rooms are among the highest in Asia.

    Some things are very cheap like telecom services but these are relatively insignificant expenses in any country compared to rent/mortgage,fuel,food, children’s education,healthcare etc.

    For Russia though probably the 3x multiplier for PPP is justified.

    I was shocked at how affordable St Petersberg is last year despite it being Russia’s second most expensive major city and a fully developed I World European city.

    Perhaps this is partly the result of the relative decline of the Rouble from being worth roughly twice as much as the Rupee in 2012 to about equal in 2019.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  33. @Thulean Friend

    GDP is supposed to reflect total production and there’s a large amount of products and services which varies highly in prices between countries/regions that are more or less completely comparable. Electricity for example. Germany produces about 40% less electricity than Russia and even though they produce significantly less they pay in total several times more for it. Does that mean that Germany actually produces more electricity?

    • Replies: @Sever
    , @Hojer
    , @Kratoklastes
  34. @Vishnugupta

    I mostly agree with you, but the rent was quite cheap less than ten years ago outside Delhi and Bombay. Also food is very affordable for a foreigner. But fuel and cigarettes are very expensive, I dont understand how common folk has enough money for that. Although there is always bidi. Oh well I havent smoked for a long time.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  35. Dmitry says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Dear AltanBakshi, welcome to the Karlin forum. I can see you are still new enough that you didn’t learn how to distinguish between “Th” users .

    Thulean is some kind of Swedish ecological nationalist, but perhaps he has Polish ancestry, as he was called Polish perspective in a past life.

    Thorfinsson I think has Swedish roots which is why his username is a nordic god of thunder, but he is a bourgeois from America, and his writing sounds like he is jock villain living in a 1980s highschool film.

    There is also Thom, who presumably Swedish from his name, and wrote sometimes here.

    The confusing thing about of all Karlin’s “Th” netizens, is their knowledge of India, and that people accuse them of being Hindus.

    Perhaps we in the Karlin forum, are projecting onto Sweden users some unconscious connection to India, after mythological Aryans who wrote the Vedic hymns.

    I guess Swedish family, is Swedish office worker, and Hyberborean – some kind of Parisian lost in Asia?

  36. More things I notice

    *Latvia starkly contrasts with Lithuania (#1 Baltic???) and Estonia

    *Denmark now gets an upgrade over Sweden (used to be behind, now ahead)

    *Finland gets an upgrade over Britain/France/Japan

    *Slovakia and Hungary are almost identical

    *Korea gets a clear advantage over Japan (though Japan probably still has the advantage when adjusted for hours worked)

    *Malawi is the only surprise as a country to be colored red (under $1000) on the map

    *Zimbabwe below Ethiopia and Uganda; Ghana and Mauritania (???) above Honduras

    *Haiti around half of Senegal (???) and less than a tenth of the Dominican Republic (???)

    *Cambodia seems too low; Laos too high

    *Bangladesh and Pakistan being almost equivalent sounds about right

    • Replies: @Some Guy
  37. @whahae

    Can you name any economic policy implemented by the “German” president of Romania? His Germanity is merely his excuse for his inability to speak fluently. He speaks German just as slow. Never go full Johannis.

    This is all bull and maybe cash remittances. One of the two major car manufacturers, a Ford factory, had to close one day last eek due to slow sales. Harvest was below average. The largest steel mill, Sidex, will reenter the loss zone, as it has been sold by Mittal after barely making a profit last year. The largest Aluminum exporter was hit last week by US sanctions.

  38. @AltanBakshi

    I always confuse which of you is the good Swedish or Scandinavian guy and which one is the evil progressive liberal villain? Or is there three of you? Hyberborean and Swedish family?

    Out of the three of us Thulean Friend is the “Sweden Yes!” Liberal.

    Though unlike the others I am not Swedish.

  39. Sever says:
    @Shortsword

    GDP reflects greater financial power of the country, as well as greater purchasing power of its citizens on international markets. PPP is more appropriate when a country is an autarky, and whose production is comparable to other countries by sector composition.

  40. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Thorfinsson I think has Swedish roots which is why his username is a nordic god of thunder, but he is a bourgeois from America, and his writing sounds like he is jock villain living in a 1980s highschool film.

    Thorfinsson was a jock from the 1980s American highschool – he could almost be created by the writers of the Karate Kid franchise

    • LOL: Ano4
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Yevardian
  41. @Dmitry

    I guess Swedish family, is Swedish office worker, and Hyberborean – some kind of Parisian lost in Asia?

    I was studying in China until I finished earlier this year.

    Why did you assume I am French?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  42. @Dmitry

    Maybe we are all Indians, we just don’t realize it.

    Time to ask for bob and vagene from the nearest woman below age 40.

    • LOL: Thulean Friend
  43. @china-russia-all-the-way

    then the Chinese economy in 2019 would have been several trillion dollars smaller than $14 trillion.

    The result of the growth rate overstatement is making the past unrealistic, rather than the present. Look at how the Chinese economy (nominal, 1980) shrinks in the World Bank reports as one moves from 1980 to today.

  44. @Thulean Friend

    PPP = Poor People’s Parity

    What are you trying to say with this? We all know what ppp is, what its limitations are, etc. It’s pretty idiotic to say that it doesn’t matter at all, which you seem to be saying. Not that I expect much from some vegan person, but still, I hope I misunderstood it.

  45. Dmitry says:
    @Hyperborean

    Oh I thought you are definitely French – I remember you writing diacritics on French words? (I know certain words in many languages, but rarely ever would be able to remember their diacritics).

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  46. @AltanBakshi

    Mumbai is in a league of its own as far as rents are concerned (If you are somewhat familiar with the city a 650 sq feet appartment in Versova a respectable but hardly very upmarket location is USD 700 / month including utilities) and unlike Delhi which has a very good metro system you would need to stay reasonably close to work to avoid commuting via the horrible local trains or spend 4 hours in traffic every day.

    Though work on 8 lines of the Mumbai metro is underway so things will hopefully get better.

    Delhi rentals have actually fallen due to over construction of appartments in the suburbs of Gurgaon and Noida as well as the Dwarka sub city.

    Unlike Mumbai which is geographically sort of like NYC in the sense that it centered around an island, Delhi is on a flat plain and has unlimited room for expansion.

    Bangalore is also very expensive and has poor infrastructure outside a few gated communities and IT Parks.Though many leading research institutes like the IISc are located there which have large campuses and good on campus accommodation.

    Rents in other cities are significantly less compared to these three but Pune and Hyderabad are the only major cities whose rentals I would describe as affordable.

    The vast majority of tobacco consumed is not in the form of cigarettes which are weepingly expensive and follow all the latest health warning trends from the west.

    I am not a smoker but I would prefer people consume tobacco via cigarettes rather than bidis,chewing tobacco and the like.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  47. Hojer says:
    @Shortsword

    Does that mean that Germany actually produces more electricity?

    The key is to understand how GDP has been measured by statistics. AFAIK the most popular method is based on expenditures calculation, ie GDP=consumpiton+investition+net export+governement spending.
    So if this method is used and Germans consume more electricity, then Russians do, then electricity value in GDP (in PPP expression) would be higher (assuming PPP conversion is plausible).
    Generally it makes some sense as you hypothetically have to produce some value in order to buy another one. And if the country does not produce anything (just value added of consumption of NGO importing Al Quaidians for example) and has to import everything, sooner or later it should be expressed in GDP (net export value would be highly negative).

  48. @Dmitry

    Oh I thought you are definitely French – I remember you writing diacritics on French words? (I know certain words in many languages, but rarely ever would be able to remember their diacritics).

    Yes, sometimes I do that. Maybe I do that to be playful.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  49. @Dmitry

    Watching mainstream Hollywood movies such a boring way to waste ones free time. Still probably better way than by playing games.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  50. Arilando says:

    Where do you go to see the GDP per capita numbers? Is it only available in the excel dataset, which is a complete mess?

  51. @Vishnugupta

    Never been Mumbai, and probably I never will be, but I have been many times in Hyderabad, Bengaluuru and Delhi, but for me there is nothing interesting in the big cities of India. Still 700 usd for apartment is very cheap compared to the metropolises of Europe.

  52. Some Guy says:
    @E. Harding

    *Haiti around half of Senegal (???) and less than a tenth of the Dominican Republic (???)

    Dominican Republic:

    70.4% Mixed (58% Mestizo/indio, 12.4% Mulatto)[a]
    15.8% Afro-Dominicans
    13.5% European-Dominicans
    0.3% Other

    Haiti:

    95% Afro-Haitians
    5% mixed and European Haitians[4]

  53. What’s the deal with India doing so poorly?

  54. @Hyperborean

    While attempting to autistically analyze the denizens of Karlin Unz, Dmi underestimated the vast power of Scandic memory abilities applied to the cause of pure silliness.

  55. @Shortsword

    India has less liberalised economy than China, really! They started opening of their markets in 1991 unlike China which started in 1978.

  56. @Daniel Chieh

    As far as I am aware, Judaism is not very materialistic at all. You seem to be confusing pragmatism with a total lack of spirituality.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AltanBakshi
  57. @Korenchkin

    I do admire their qualities, I just offered a clear explanation of a phenomenon that had been noticed. Narcissists lack a true spiritual dimension and narcissists can’t deal with even minor criticism of something they identify with. The reaction was predictable.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  58. @Not Only Wrathful

    Thanks for filling out the checkboxes for hypocrisy and chupatz too.

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  59. @Not Only Wrathful

    It does define its adherents by a material basis.

  60. @Shortsword

    GDP is supposed to reflect total production and there’s a large amount of products and services which varies highly in prices between countries/regions that are more or less completely comparable.

    Price differentials are one source of cross-sectional ‘wedge’, but by far the biggest wedge is differences in government access to global capital markets. This enables Western governments to ‘goose’ their own size and spending, and makes GDP figures a nonsense.

    GDP includes government spending, and the governments of major Western economies can run persistent deficits at (relatively) low cost – in fact they would rather add to debt, than increase taxation.

    The two main drivers for easier access are
     • favourable demand conditions on global markets (i.e., higher sovereign debt ratings, and lower risk premia across the yield curve); and
     • no penalty to risk premia when their central banks ‘sterilise’ the debt by intervening monetarily (i.e., cutting interest rates).

    Some of the rating advantage is deserved (better legal frameworks for capital; better capital stock; lower levels of government corruption), but a good deal of it is undeserved, and stems from laziness (and incompetence) at Moody’s, S&P and Fitch (still the major ratings agencies despite 3 decades of generating flawed, conflict-ridden decisions).

    Anyhow… it’s useful to back out ‘G’ from GDP and re-do the exercise – or to do the comparison on consumption per capita at PPP (and, to see if the path is sustainable, industrial output per worker-hour and/or changes in non-defence capex ex aircraft).

    GDP at PPP is a fool’s signal, because the moment governments get access to global capital markets they open the floodgates on spending.

    Government spending affects national per capita living standards in the same way that white table sugar affects the human metabolism. Once it gets above a very small proportion of output, it drives itself – and diverts resources from welfare-enhancing ends, to politically-contrived ends. The bureaucracy winds up obese (relative to the size of the labour market) – GDP becomes a largely-pointless metric because the ability to borrow cuts the cord between G and T (aggregate taxation).

    Examine the path of total government debt for any major Western economy – and be sure to include an accrual term for unfunded promises (pensions and so forth). It’s like looking at the debt load of a ‘Flash Harry’, and it requires every person in a position of fiduciary responsibility to deliberately ignore the facts, hoping for something to come along and get things back to a stable manifold.

    The ‘something’ they’re hoping for isn’t coming. Demography is bad (there will be less than 2 workers per retiree in the West by mid-century); tech change has slowed (measures of labour-augmenting technical change are now negative); increases in capital-intensivity isn’t helping (mostly because financial leverage is counted as ‘capital’, but extra leverage no longer improves efficiency).

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  61. Dmitry says:
    @Korenchkin

    rags to riches

    So far, it is a rags to lower-middle income story. I.e. like Turkey or Mexico.
    China’s GDP per capita is the same as Mexico.

    The question now is whether China will be able to progress through the middle income trap. (Or will their feet start to stick, as is common for countries in the middle income).

    China here is admired for the rapid economic growth, massive infrastructure development and scientific output,

    I’m not a racist, and I am quite a strong pro-Chinese optimist, and looking forward to visiting there in the next years.

    However, if you would admire China for “scientific or intellectual achievements”, has selected the wrong country. For example, only 2 Chinese citizens (excluding Chinese-born American citizens) have won a Nobel prize in science. 1,4 billion people and: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country#China,_(People’s_Republic_of_China)

    We can hope that China is changing now, 21st century will be better than the 20th from them, and they will lead to a kind of Soviet success in the future. But that’s something to hope for in the future.

  62. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    From my limited knowledge (well let’s be honest, mostly the street walking videos on YouTube) – I have an impression of the extent of “modernization” in certain Indian cities : throwing a few automobiles and scooters into the 18th century.

    • Replies: @Sher Singh
  63. Beckow says:

    …Czechia is now richer than Italy.

    Czechia has always been richer than Italy.

    And before that Czechoslovakia. That was the case in 1900, between WWI and WWII, and also when Czechoslovakia was run by communists. The ‘numbers‘ showing otherwise were simply using wrong currency conversion rates. Western institutions play with numbers and make them up based on political needs.

    Czechia has also been richer than Spain, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, even richer than large parts of UK and France. The real living standards have always been higher.

    I had the pleasure of showing an Irishman around Prague recently. He had never been in Prague and was furious that he was raised to believe that his dog-poop infested Dublin was – of course – richer than anything in Eastern Europe. Westerners can be such fools, the only people I know who fanatically believe their own propaganda and myths.

    • LOL: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Hojer
    , @Andy
  64. @Daniel Chieh

    You use words like you don’t know what they mean.

  65. Voltarde says:

    An interesting article that includes a discussion about Japan’s handling of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident:

    Low-dose radiation from A-bombs elongated lifespan and reduced cancer mortality relative to un-irradiated individuals
    https://genesenvironment.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41021-018-0114-3

    Abstract

    The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) presented the linear no-threshold hypothesis (LNT) in 1956, which indicates that the lowest doses of ionizing radiation are hazardous in proportion to the dose. This spurious hypothesis was not based on solid data. NAS put forward the BEIR VII report in 2006 as evidence supporting LNT. The study described in the report used data of the Life Span Study (LSS) of A-bomb survivors. Estimation of exposure doses was based on initial radiation (5%) and neglected residual radiation (10%), leading to underestimation of the doses. Residual radiation mainly consisted of fallout that poured down onto the ground along with black rain. The black-rain-affected areas were wide. Not only A-bomb survivors but also not-in-the-city control subjects (NIC) must have been exposed to residual radiation to a greater or lesser degree. Use of NIC as negative controls constitutes a major failure in analyses of LSS. Another failure of LSS is its neglect of radiation adaptive responses which include low-dose stimulation of DNA damage repair, removal of aberrant cells via stimulated apoptosis, and elimination of cancer cells via stimulated anticancer immunity. LSS never incorporates consideration of this possibility. When LSS data of longevity are examined, a clear J-shaped dose-response, a hallmark of radiation hormesis, is apparent. Both A-bomb survivors and NIC showed longer than average lifespans. Average solid cancer death ratios of both A-bomb survivors and NIC were lower than the average for Japanese people, which is consistent with the occurrence of radiation adaptive responses (the bases for radiation hormesis), essentially invalidating the LNT model. Nevertheless, LNT has served as the basis of radiation regulation policy. If it were not for LNT, tremendous human, social, and economic losses would not have occurred in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. For many reasons, LNT must be revised or abolished, with changes based not on policy but on science.

  66. @Dmitry

    This was in the bottom of your video.
    Tbh village is where Jatts at, Sikhi is most rural religion।।

  67. Thomm says:
    @Dmitry

    Thulean is some kind of Swedish ecological nationalist, but perhaps he has Polish ancestry, as he was called Polish perspective in a past life.

    Thorfinsson I think has Swedish roots which is why his username is a nordic god of thunder, but he is a bourgeois from America, and his writing sounds like he is jock villain living in a 1980s highschool film.

    There is also Thomm, who presumably Swedish from his name, and wrote sometimes here.

    Yes, Thulean Friend, Thorfinsson, Canspeecy, Twinkie (LOL!), and myself have all been accused of being South Asians, even though none of us are. It seems to be an obsession with some of the people here, since among White Nationalists, the only book they have ever read is Camp of the Saints, so this gremlin lives inside their heads at all times.

    In my case, about 1% of my comments, all of them over two years ago, said a few things mildly favorable about the success of some immigrant groups. I have praised Jews and mainstream white Americans (my group) vastly more often than I have praised South Asians.

    I also corrected Ron Unz’s ignorance about the history of discrimination against Irish and Italians in America, and also pointed out how even Finns were considered ‘non-white Mongols’ in a few instances, and that there were court cases about that. That got Ron Unz* to go apeshit to a comical and cartoonish degree, and proceed to accuse me of being a South Asian, which he sporadically admits is not what he believes since he wanted to distract his primary target (White Nationalists) from his quiet work of converting them via this website into controlled opposition for Jewish benefit.

    I would be more impressed if he were at least creative enough to call me a Romulan, Klingon, Sith Lord, Nazgul, Olog-Hai, DeathStalker, Ogre Mage, Frost Giant, DemiLich, or Flying Purple People Eater. The best he could do is ‘South Asian’.

    No one can actually find comments of mine that might be typical of what a South Asian says. Ron Unz, in typical RUnzbara fashion, only links to things HE wrote, never to anything I wrote. He knows the people who believe anything he says will not actually click through to see what was written, and hence he gets away with just posting a link to HIS stated opinion (which, again, he has variously admitted that he knew otherwise).

    My humor is very American, as is my vast knowledge of pop culture, and the number of songs and poems I have written and posted here. Only an American could have produced those. There is also my oft-stated preference for steaks, burgers, and my trusty Desert Eagle. I also haven’t commented on any South Asia-specific threads in over two years.

    *Btw, if you ever want to make Ron Unz extremely angry, tell him that WNs don’t consider Jews to be ‘white’. Try it and see his reaction.

    • Disagree: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  68. 128 says:

    Doesn’t Korea have a larger working age population relative to its total population compared to Japan, so GDP per working age capita should be about even. And Japan still has better food.

  69. joun says:
    @Thulean Friend

    The Japanese economy is described via Wall Street’s perspective. When they say Japan collapsed, they really mean that it is extremely difficult to make easy money there (ie returns collapsed). A dated, but useful article on this topic is here: http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue23/Locke23.htm

    • Agree: Thulean Friend
  70. Southern Europeans are entering the full Faustian extinction state, retarded nationalist European countries and isolationist Japan are trending in that direction, while diverse and progressive Germany zooms ahead to world dominance. It was the logical conclusion given the abject stupidity of everything that has emanated from the dissident right and populism. The neoliberals who created the modern world actually knew what they were talking about, and the hermit dream has failed. All their snotty anonymous criticism has been proven a bullshit lie, and they are now caught with their pants down as their leaders all get arrested and hauled off to the penetentiary, as their countries melt down before their eyes.

    I will convert this data in to a musical format and inject it directly in to the nervous systems of nationalists using an ultrasound directional microphone, delivered with such intensity that they start rhythmically levitating a few inches above ground for several seconds, uncontrollably defecating while their eyeballs pop out and their tongues explode.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  71. Bulgaria can largely be credited to gypsies. They are a much larger percentile of the population and many have managed to achieve places of power whereas Romania seems to successfully keep them in the dirt and as little more than a nuisance to villagers.

  72. Dmitry says:
    @Thomm

    To an extent, you can enjoy it as amusements of posting on a forum for years: to see how wildly you can make users misfire certain guesses about you. Of course, you shouldn’t have denied your Indian heritage.

    I don’t have the posting skills to be called an Indian yet. The most I can achieve, is to predictably make a couple of users who seem to be insecure about being autistic, call my posts “autistic” , when the posts contained an argument which was too sophisticated for them, or contained ideas they disagree with. Although it’s not really a good thing, as it is a way for them to avoid thinking about ideas which are different to their own ones, and which you had put some minutes into writing in good faith.

    On that topic, I’ll compliment AP as one of the better commentators, as he usually argues against what people write, rather than various imaginary phantoms about the people he writes to.

    (White Nationalists)

    If any white nationalists could actually post here, – then it can be appreciated a certain sense of humour on both sides: that they would be willing to post on a website owned, named after and moderated by (although apparently not profiting from) a Middle Eastern looking man, and that the Middle Eastern looking website owner is in some sense acquiring such white nationalists’ “intellectual content”, if there will be any content that can be described that way.

  73. Dmitry says:
    @Beckow

    It’s not secret that excess money in Republic of Ireland is more in the businesses located there, rather than its unimpressive streets and buildings, or necessarily local people.

    Still, there is a good selection of jobs in ROI, including hiring of not seeming always competitive local young people – I’m not sure everyone will think that convenient availability of attractive jobs, is worse than having the beautiful architecture and streets of Czech Republic.

    • Replies: @128
  74. 128 says:
    @Dmitry

    It depends, even adjusted to foreign inflows its per capita GNI is still at the level of Austria or the Netherlands.

  75. @Dmitry

    Thulean is some kind of Swedish ecological nationalist

    I’d prefer to be known as Greta’s number 1 fanboy. And ecological feminism – really, matriarchy – is closer to my heart.

  76. @Vishnugupta

    India’s real estate cannot fall for reasons that Vivek Kaul has has explained lucidly. These are indigenous factors for the most part, such as the corrupt politician-real estate oligarch nexus, but I would add the malevolent influence of NRIs. India’s diaspora is not large as a percentage of its total population but as a share of its elite, it is among the highest. And numerically, it means it can overwhelm any major India city. So many NRIs have 2nd homes or help their families back in India getting real estate they couldn’t afford otherwise.

    This is also why I think the attacks on Dharavi and other slums is misguided. These slums are one of the only ways that cities like Mumbai can get new citizens from non-rich sectors of society. The Indian top 1%, which annoyingly keeps referring to itself as the “middle-class”, is woefully unaware of how poor most Indians are:

    The high barrier of entry into Indian tier 1 cities is one of many urban problems India has. The other being its blind aping of US car culture, rather than focusing on superior European planning which accomodates cyclists and pedestrians far better.

  77. @Shortsword

    Lower human capital. Unlike the racist myth that Indians are inherently inferior, as I’ve conclusively disproved elsewhere, the basic problem for India has been gargantuan underinvestment in its people.

    The ultimate roots lay in the casteist social structure, wherein Indian elites chose to emphasie elite insitutions (because this would help their progeny) over the well-being of the masses. This lack of investment was driven by their indifference to the fates of the poorer (and often “lower caste”) sections of society.

    India still only spends about 1% of GDP on public health, another indicator of a lackadaisical attitude on the part of its elites, compared to 3-4X more by East Asian countries when they were at a comparable income position.

    Razib Khan has done lots of great genetic work on India and China. He basically finds the Chinese are mixed-up, which indicates a free-flow of genes ultimately resulting from a certain social liberalism. Indians’ genetics, by contrast, are highly stratified and the main culprit is caste.

    That is why it is harder to organise Indians – and why Hinduism is now chosen as the unifying banner. Contrary to myth, Hindutva is explicitly anti-caste, as Savarkar’s writings clearly show. To sort out 2000+ years of segmentation takes time. It’s remarkable that India has not collapsed in the postwar period, or turned into a non-democracy. Many pessimists predicted both from the very beginning of its modern republic.

    Those predictions were not stupid. If you look at the international data, India is a massive outlier. I am short-term pessimistic on India but mid-to long-term cautiously optimistic.

  78. Hojer says:
    @Beckow

    “…. has always been richer than Italy. And before that Czechoslovakia. That was the case in 1900, between WWI and WWII, and also when Czechoslovakia was run by communists….Westerners can be such fools, the only people I know who fanatically believe their own propaganda and myths.”

    I am afraid you somewhat underestimate the damage to economy caused by communist led economy for 40 years, although you are right from preWW2 point on view. It is also indirect – after 1990 most of CEE countries believed these Western myths too, worshiped market and western sincerity, fairness, superioty of etc.. not mentioning that bolshevism has moved to West meanwhile, not speaking about cooperatives working effectively in the West while being ruined by disbelieve in excomunist countries, and so on.
    For many people it took 10-30 years to consider these myths as myths and luckilly something like human capital (very slowly) works too. I guess it is similar for Russia and other countries as well.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  79. Hojer says:
    @Thulean Friend

    I’d prefer to be known as Greta’s number 1 fanboy. And ecological feminism – really, matriarchy – is closer to my heart.

    Great and brave coming out! Cheered me in this discussion.

  80. @Dmitry

    So far, China is a rags to lower-middle income story, like Turkey or Mexico.

    Difference is that China is far more scientificially innovative, even adjusting for its population share. China will continue to outperform both over time.

    Already, out of the five most innovative metropolitican clusters in the world, China already has two. Turkey and Mexico far underperform their population share in the Nature Index.

    However, if you would admire China for “scientific or intellectual achievements”, you selected the wrong country. For example, only 2 Chinese citizens (excluding Chinese-born American citizens) have won a Nobel prize in science

    Nobels are a backward-looking prize, and China was in the throngs of Maoism and/or civil war for most of the 20th century. Furthermore, the Nobels are getting more politicised (“woke”) too. There are now demands for gender quotas, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we get racial or religious quotas too.

    Just as we’re seeing more affirmative action targeting Asian-Americans in the US, we should see more reluctance to nominate Asian men in the future when you could just nominate a woman from an “under-represented minority” group.

    Therefore, the accuracy of the Nobels going forward will become a steadily weaker signal of true innovation than in the recent past.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill, AltanBakshi, mal
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  81. Annatar says:

    A few regional things to note.

    Firstly, the relative decline of Latin America continues, in terms of the big 4, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina, all saw their GDP per capita’s decline vs America in 2010-2020,

    Chile: 40% > 37%
    Argentina: 38% > 32%
    Mexico: 33% > 30%
    Brazil: 30% > 23%

    Latin America has been getting poorer relative to the developed world for decades, that trend continued in the 2010’s and even other regions of the world like Asia and the Middle East are starting to overtake Latin American countries, Vietnam will soon overtake Brazilian GDP per capita, was 1/3 just a decade ago, Turkey’s GDP per capita was just 5% higher than Mexico’s in 2010, now it is 50% higher.

    In Europe, of the large developed nations, Germany performed the best, its GDP per capita is now around 20% above both French and British levels compared to a 10-15% difference in 2010, relative to Spain and Italy, it is now 33-41% higher vs 20-27% in 2010.

    Of the developed countries excluding Eastern Europe which are still catching up after communism, the only one which saw its GDP per capita rise relative to America was Israel, going from 60% to 62%, Israeli GDP per capita is now higher than Spain, and nearly 90% of UK levels, not inconceivable this decade Israel might overtake countries like Japan and the UK.

    For all the talk about the growing haredim share and levels of corruption in Israel, it outperformed every single major developed country in GDP per capita growth, even more in total GDP growth since its total population is growing so fast.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  82. Beckow says:
    @Hojer

    after 1990 most of CEE countries believed these Western myths too

    Countries, as such, don’t believe in anything. But you are right that a substantial portion of CEE population enthusiastically embraced Western myths a generation ago. That hasn’t been the case for about a decade or more.

    The 1945-90 period both damaged parts of the economy, but also built up other parts, e.g. infrastructure and educational system. Communists liked steel and engineering but were unable to understand consumer products – they were obsessively functional. Most Westerners underestimate the societal infrastructure that was built between 1945-90. For the first time in their history almost everyone had housing, food, medical care, free education, vacations, trains and metro in the cities, etc…Compared to Italy or Spain that had some very poor regions, life in the better run CEE countries was good.

    I don’t have a strong opinion about what is better: good societal infrastructure or great consumer products. Different people at different stages of their lives prefer different things. But it is silly to dismiss the good infrastructure part completely and focus only on better cars or more varieties of shampoo.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi, mal
    • Replies: @Hojer
  83. 128 says:

    How about the Chinese corporate debt relative to GDP is rising, which indicates less efficient use of capital and falling productivity, and consumer debt is also rising, which indicates that personal incomes are no longer rising fast enough to keep up with consumption, so the Chinese are taking on increasing debt to compensate, like Americans. Plus post-Coronavirus, only consumption by rich Chinese has recovered, the middle and lower class not so much, plus its Gini coefficient is almost as bad as the US and the level of personal ethics and morality among its population is dubious at best (so basically a 1.4 billion mass of people in a low trust society), hence why the Chinese government need the social credit system to maintain an acceptable level of morality and ethics among the Chinese population.

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @128
  84. Hojer says:
    @Beckow

    Countries, as such, don’t believe in anything. But you are right that a substantial portion of CEE population enthusiastically embraced Western myths a generation ago. That hasn’t been the case for about a decade or more.

    You are of course right, your expression is more correct.
    For the rest of your comment I also agree with it, just have to add on negative side to communists inability to understand consumer products – they even did not catch in productivity/efficiency in the end, central planning should have been limited much sooner, etc., in my opinion (Chinese did successfully in recent decades). Also centrally organised and employed even small businesses like hair dressers, pubs and plumbers worked but usually not enthusiastically, flexibly…

    • Replies: @Beckow
  85. Yevardian says:
    @Dmitry

    His regular shitposting is sorely missed.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  86. @Thulean Friend

    See the work of Eamonn Fingleton – he was the FT main guy in Japan for 20 years.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/05/krugman-fingleton-and-japan/257716/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2011/02/the-myth-of-japans-lost-decades/71741/

    People shouldn’t confuse the financialised economy, performance denoted by markets pumped with printed money, with the real economy, performance denoted by balance of payments and crucially living standards.

    “At the heart of my analysis is a story of extraordinary progress by Japanese manufacturing. The reason you don’t hear much about Japanese manufacturers these days is that the best of them have moved from making consumer goods to concentrate on so-called producers’ goods — items that though invisible to the consumer happen to be critical to the world economy. Such goods include the highly miniaturized components, advanced materials, and super-precise machines that less sophisticated nations such as China need to make final consumer goods. The label on everything from cell phones to laptop computers may say “Made in China” but actually, via producers’ goods, highly capital-intensive and knowhow-intensive manufacturers in Japan have quietly done much of the most technologically demanding work.

    In the early years after World War II the United States utterly dominated the higher reaches of the producers’ goods business. Under pressure from foreign competition, however, American players one by one have closed down or outsourced in the last quarter of a century. The competition has come principally from Japan, which now enjoys broadly as dominant and geopolitically important a position as the United States did in the 1960s. Even if you don’t hear much about this from the Tokyo talking heads, it is hard to miss it in global trade figures. (Fact: America’s current account deficit multiplied five-fold in the 20 years to 2010 and the reason in large measure is because American corporations have exited the producers’ goods business.)”

  87. Just a thought – how many Roma have left for Western Europe? Is the number large enough to affect Romanian per capita GDP?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  88. Daemon says:
    @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    I’m more surprised by how Australia and NZ managed to sneak their way into Asia

  89. 128 says:
    @128

    Anything more than a lol you cipher?

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  90. @Daemon

    “Australia Province of China” coming soon!

  91. Glt says:
    @EMP

    Seconding this. It warrants correction.

  92. Levtraro says:
    @Annatar

    You just repeated info we get from the IMF report or map. So what was your point?

  93. Levtraro says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I’ve plotted and analyzed IMF data of future growth versus government debt to GDP ratio of G8 countries and have observed that future growth always decreases as government debt increases. I could not find a positive threshold of debt/GDP ratio after which future growth declines; the decline in future growth just starts right after debt to GDP starts to be positive. Does that agree with your opinions here about the impact of government access to capital markets on GDP?

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  94. Passer by says:

    I would advise people not to fall for the 2020 gdp numbers that are significantly distorted by a one time black swan event (the Coronavirus pandemic) and to look at the long term trend instead. And the long term trend does not show what Karlin says.

    AK: I used 2019 figures.

    There are wide GDP growth diffrerences in 2020 between countries that are otherwise not present in past trends or future trends. They overestimate countries that performed well during the corona crisis and underestimate countries that performed worse.

    For example Latam gdp per capita is 17 % of the US one in 2020 but then it jumps to 23 % in 2025, thus catching up.

    In the same way, spanish, british and french GDP drops big relative to german GDP in 2020 but then it either stay roughly the same as the german one (UK) or it catches up – in the case of France and Spain.

    Even Italy is estimated to remain at nearly the same relative level to Germany, after 2020.

    Point is, there is nothing remarkable about german (or US) GDP growth after 2020.

    Germany, meanwhile, is estimated to start catching up to US gdp per capita after 2020, even as Spain and France also continue to catch up to Germany, while Italy follows Germany at roughly the same relative level.

    So i would advise you not to take Karlin’s take seriously as he fell for a one time distortion (the 2020 Pandemic effect on GDP), and to look at the long term trend instead – the IMF estimates about 2020 – 2025.

    On the issue of Japan – again Karlin fell for a distortion caused by the declining labor force in Japan.

    But when one looks at GDP growth per working age population, Japan actually has performed better than the US and the Eurozone.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-10/global-economy-nearing-%E2%80%9Cstructural-recession%E2%80%9D

    That is, you are dealing with issue of poor demographics, and not an issue of poor economy. You can rest assured that South Korean and Taiwanese GDP growth would drop very close to Japanese levels if they had the same median age and labor force drop.

    So i would suggest to Karlin to make a new article based on 2025 IMF estimates, as well as taking into account the working age population in Japan. Of course, it will take some work to do that.

    But it will give you more realistic picture of the trends.

  95. @128


    [MORE]

    • Replies: @128
  96. @Dmitry

    Thank you Dmitry for your kind words and introduction of the possibly Scandinavian fellows of this site.

    Your writings regarsing Israel and Jews have been most interesting.

    I hope that I have not been too confrontational in the past with my arguing and nitpicking!

  97. In regards to Bulgarian vs Romanian brain drain, Bulgaria’s population peaked at 9 million in 1984 and has since declined to 6.95m. It has lost 2.05m people, or about 23% of its peak population. Romania peaked at 23.2 million in 1990 and declined to 19.3m, a loss of 3.9m or about 17% of its peak population. Both countries started natural decline about the same time and have broadly a broadly similar fertility history over the last 30 years. It’s also worth noting that about 10% or so of Bulgaria’s population are Turks and Gypsies. I think it’s safe to conclude Bulgarian brain drain is considerably worse.

    It strikes me that Romania is at least relevant enough to mock for being poor, but no one cares about Bulgaria.

  98. Ano4 says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Two aircraft carrier groups are not enough to be a Humanitarian Superpower and Indispensable Nation. Besides, these trademarks are already taken and seem a bit out of favor with the global populace these days.

    😄

  99. @JohnPlywood

    Did you start smoking crack too?

    • LOL: AP
  100. @Dmitry

    I use exactly zero Turkish or Mexican electronics in my daily life

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  101. @Not Only Wrathful

    You’re massacring those strawmen

  102. @AltanBakshi

    Watching mainstream Hollywood movies such a boring way to waste ones free time.

    Fortunately, with people posting 2-minute highlight videos, we don’t have to.

  103. EldnahYm says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Lower human capital. Unlike the racist myth that Indians are inherently inferior, as I’ve conclusively disproved elsewhere, the basic problem for India has been gargantuan underinvestment in its people.

    You haven’t disproven anything. You just assumed income measures among Indians and Chinese in Singapore are 100% correlated with IQ and then assumed Indians in Singapore are representative of people in India. The first assumption is implausible and the second is unknown, but experience tends to show groups who leave their home countries tend not to be representative of those who stayed behind.

    If you look at performance at Singapore Math Olympiads, you will find very few Indian standouts while Chinese names, and also a bunch of other East Asians dominate. I didn’t count, but I may have seen more Vietnamese names than Indians. Surely performance on math competitions is a better indication of cognitive ability than income. No one has ever doubted Indian ability to scam people and discriminate against outsiders.

    https://sms.math.nus.edu.sg/index.php/category/smo-results/

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  104. @Levtraro

    Makes sense. Debt is simply borrowing against future earning, so the more borrowing, the less future earning.

    Obviously, intelligent and prudent people can, in certain circumstances, borrow against future earning to create even greater future earning, but “intelligent and prudent” doesn’t describe any G8 government.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  105. @Thulean Friend

    The ultimate roots lay in the casteist social structure, wherein Indian elites chose to emphasie elite insitutions (because this would help their progeny) over the well-being of the masses. This lack of investment was driven by their indifference to the fates of the poorer (and often “lower caste”) sections of society.

    One of the most chilling statistics about India is the calories the people are consuming, they are going down. Indifference at best.

  106. 128 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    What does that have to do this the fact that the majority of Chinese investments are nonproductive, plus you can have investments that are going to white elephant infrastructure projects without sufficient returns, of all the HSR projects only the Beijing to Shanghai on is earning a sufficient rate of return so far.

  107. @Anatoly Karlin

    Wait, we can delete our comments? Or is Anatoly just such a rapid responder that he hit up AP’s comment inside the 5-minute edit window?

    • Replies: @AP
  108. Levtraro says:
    @128

    Did you count the wider economic impacts of HSR projects in your rate of return calculations? Looking at their benefits from the single company point of view would be shortsighted, I reckon.

    • Replies: @128
  109. Levtraro says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I would expect that low debt, say from 0 to 20% of GDP, would increase future GDP because at low debt only the “intelligent and prudent” projects would get loans, while increasing debt (say higher than 20% of GDP) would imply that “stupid and reckless” projects are getting loans too. However, the fall in future growth starts immediately after debt gets rolling, from 1% of GDP on. That is intriguing about these data.

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    , @mal
  110. @128

    the majority of Chinese investments are nonproductive…of all the HSR projects only the Beijing to Shanghai on is earning a sufficient rate of return so far

    This is doubtful. A HSR line doesn’t have to make money it just needs to be highly used to enhance economic productivity. From the NYT in 2013.

    For example, Chinese workers are now more productive. A paper for the World Bank by three consultants this year found that Chinese cities connected to the high-speed rail network, as more than 100 are already, are likely to experience broad growth in worker productivity. The productivity gains occur when companies find themselves within a couple of hours’ train ride of tens of millions of potential customers, employees and rivals.

    Since then HSR patronage has kept on climbing fast. Ridership last year exceeded 2 billion.

    2014 893 +32.89%
    2015 1,161 +30.01%
    2016 1,440 +24.03%
    2017 1,713 +18.96%
    2018 2,001 +16.81%
    2019 2,290 +14.44%

    Aside from the horrendously wasteful, Lanzhou to Urumqi HSR line (1-2 daily service over the entire route depending on direction), HSR has been a boon for productivity throughout China.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  111. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Lanzhou to Urumqi

    That one seems more political then economic

    • Replies: @128
    , @Blinky Bill
  112. 128 says:
    @Levtraro

    Can’t the same be achieved with aircraft and airports, expressways, or a slower, cheaper train, say 120 mph instead of 200 mph?

  113. 128 says:
    @Korenchkin

    The Harbin to Beijing line also does not have a great ROI.

    • Disagree: Korenchkin
  114. @Korenchkin

    They calculated the ROI of losing one sixth of their country and deemed it worthwhile to build it. 😉

  115. @Kratoklastes

    Many western countries are having an increase in debt by about 20% of GDP this year and will likely continue having large deficits for years. It makes you wonder, what would happen if they didn’t have access to this cheap debt? Most of these countries used to do fine in this regard before 2008 but has since had deficits almost every year (or every year for some countries). What changed?

  116. @Levtraro

    Householders and business owners borrow in the short term to improve their long term, but obviously, if you over-handicap your short term, you won’t have a long term.

    Politicians borrow so they can give more stuff to their cronies. Their only concern for the long term is how to get their hands on its revenue to bring it into the short term so they can give it to their cronies. Borrowing is the answer.

    By the way, is your plot and analysis of IMF data of future growth versus government debt to GDP ratio of G8 countries available anywhere I could read it? Sounds interesting.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  117. Rahan says:

    Or for that matter why Bulgaria is doing so badly.

    Bulgaria is today the ceiling of the “Slavic-Orthodox” sub-civilization. When you take once of those, and you put it into the EU, this adds an automatic 20% of everything, which raises it by a sliver above the cousins who are still outside the EU.

    If during the next decade Bulgaria manages to take off–this means any Slavic-Orthodox nation can take off. If even with everything handed to it on a platter it continues to vegetate on the level of “a Serbia/Ukraine but propped up by an external framework” than that’s it. This will mean that within the context of the current world, the ceiling of this type of society is this and no more.

    Of course, who knows what the post-COVID world will really look like and how it’ll function, but by pre-COVID measures that’s the situation.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  118. Art Deco says:
    @Kratoklastes

    GDP includes government spending, and the governments of major Western economies can run persistent deficits at (relatively) low cost – in fact they would rather add to debt, than increase taxation.

    Public sector deficits account for a low-single-digit share of domestic product in most occidental countries. The ratio of public spending to gdp also tends to vary little. The ‘goosing’ is in your imagination.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  119. AP says:
    @Almost Missouri

    He got me before the 5 minute window expired.

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  120. Andy says:

    Interestingly, the Czechs are now richer than Italy. It’s the first time I think since the end of the Cold War that Italy has been surpassed in GDP per capita by a former member of the Eastern Bloc

  121. Andy says:
    @Beckow

    the 89,383$ figure for Ireland is outstanding. Is Ireland really that rich today? Is the average Irish really 40% richer than the average American today? 30% richer than the average Swiss?

  122. @Andy

    It is something to do with its status as a tax haven, hence GDP per capita is vastly inflated.

  123. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    Well that’s because people who look at the debt vs growth charts typically tend to put the cart before the horse.

    Basically, it boils down to credit (or debt) growth rate being the key factor dictating the GDP growth rate. When private sector fails to grow credit for whatever reason (banks being run by brain dead hamsters being a major one), governments are forced to step in and support consumption aka GDP. This results in growing government debt to GDP ratios.

    Most people look at those charts and think that government debt growth is what causes GDP growth slowdown. That is wrong. Rather, it is private sector failure that causes governments to step in and to start creating money. However, governments are politically constrained, and any time they try to spend above GDP maintenance threshold, people start screaming “Socialism!”, and that’s the end of it. The only exceptions are wars and national emergencies. Then people are just fine with “socialism”.

    Because of that, it is also foolish to expect sustained government led robust GDP growth. Thankfully, our overlords finally understand this, and pandemic lessons have not been lost on them. Hence you hear Federal Reserve officials openly discussing Basic Income accounts for every American that will be automatically funded in the event of a recession, acting as a countercyclical stabilizer. This will bypass the quagmire of the swamp politics in DC as well as feral stupidity of the commercial banking system. This will lower both national government’s debt to GDP ratio as well as support robust economic growth in the future.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  124. Dmitry says:
    @Korenchkin

    I have Chinese designed electronics, although components I’ve used that I noticed, are local versions of mature technologies (in the sense that these were standard components and designs by the 1990s). In Chinese designs, there are now using all the modern working nowadays imported from the West, but this is “modern” in the sense that it was standard of the last three decades.

    Of course, at the university level, there are also plenty of Chinese researchers in electronic engineering

    Turkish or Mexican electronics in my daily life

    Turkey’s industrialization is very similar to the China’s current one, and growth in Turkey has slowed, as they were caught in the middle income trap. So Turkey is an indication of potential for slowdown that China’s economy will have as it enters the next stage of development.

    China’s position in industries like electronic is at already the stage where they can design and produce products based on mature technologies. It’s competitive for them not only to produce, but also to design, as they have lower labour costs in designing, as well the fact they are saving costs by importing mature technologies (i.e. they don’t bear a proportion of the original development cost, which had occurred years ago).

    This current situation, seems very comparable, with some of Turkey’s industries – i.e. like buying an Isuzu autobus from Turkey. The comparative advantage of the Isuzu bus is clearly its cost – which can be competitive due to implementation of modern technology and manufacturing in Turkey, combined with lower labour costs. But precisely by progressing through the middle income trap in the future, Turkey will possibly undermine the comparative advantage of its autobus industry.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  125. Corvinus says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    “Is the number large enough to affect Romanian per capita GDP?”

    No. Next question.

  126. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    It seems that the time delay varies with different winners.

    For example, this year, Andrea Ghez won Nobel prize in physics for discoveries which began in 1995, Reinhard Genzel from 1996, but Roger Penrose won for a paper he wrote in 1965 (55 years ago!).

    Prize in Medicine 2020 – for discoveries of the 1980s.

    Prize in Chemistry 2020 – for work of the early 2010s.

    So if China is contributing really significant “breakthroughs” this decade, then this should start to show in Nobel prizes awarded to Chinese from 2030s onwards. Although on a per capita basis, it is difficult to imagine they could reach parity with Western Europe or America. If China somehow will achieve a parity with the Western Europe/America/Japan on a per capita basis (considering their vast population), then scientific progress should be very grateful for an acceleration, and most of our lives would be better for it.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  127. Levtraro says:
    @Almost Missouri

    I also analyzed the impact of private debt (personal + corporate non-financial) on future GDP growth in G8 countries and I got a similar result although probably the fall in future GDP growth is less pronounced, though still strong.

    I haven’t yet published my work with these data, but I am working on it. I have posted a figure (I haven’t yet figured out how to embed figures in this conversational code) in connection with government debt and GDP growth here:

    https://postimg.cc/nj7nWDZ4

    The picture is quite complex as causality goes 2-ways, from current debt/GDP to future GDP growth (what we have been considering so far) and from past GDP growth to current debt/GDP.

    For the relation between current government debt/GDP to future GDP growth the best mathematical model is of power decay, which is even stronger than exponential decay.

    For the relation between current GDP growth to future government debt/GDP the best model is Gompertz (as in cancer growth) in short time horizons and exponential in longer time horizons.

    I haven’t yet conducted the statistical modelling of private debt (personal + corporate non-financial) and that is my next step.

    The database covers from just after World War II to 2011.

    • Replies: @128
  128. 128 says:

    The figure for Taiwan seems to be very wrong, based on the relative difference between market exchange rate and PPP per capita GDP for Japan and South Korea. And if you look at Taiwanese cities like Taichung and Tainan they seem to be really run down for a place with a GDP per capita equivalent to Germany or the Netherlands.

  129. 128 says:
    @Levtraro

    My argument is that sharply increase corporate debt to GDP like China since 2008 is a sign of falling efficiency of capital allocations.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  130. Thomm says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Heh. I wrote a similar thing just once or twice, over two years ago, and got branded as a South Asian ever since. Some have accused you of the same :

    https://www.unz.com/runz/the-bankruptcy-of-american-white-nationalism/?showcomments#comment-4061151

    But it hasn’t stuck in your case (because RUnzie Baby hasn’t sponsored the myth as he isn’t angry with you as he is with me, for correcting him in areas where he is ignorant).

    Your comment answers many questions that I have wondered about. For example, there is the question as to why immigrants from that country in the US are so successful. Many here claim that they are all from the top 1% of the country, but that is obviously not true. They might be from the top 20%, but certainly not hyperselected from the top 1%. If that were the case, why would that not be even more true of Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as of Pakistan, Bangladesh, VietNam, Cambodia, Burma, etc?

    The second biggest element of ignorance I see here is the extreme conflation of caste, IQ, and ‘Caucasian-ness’. That is obviously also untrue, since the immigrants we see here in the US are obviously not tall or light-skinned relative to the general public in their country of origin. Their economic success is equated with them being ‘high case’ = ‘high IQ’ = ‘more Caucasian’.

    Your comment means that the diaspora communities in the US, Canada, Singapore, Australia, etc. won’t swiftly revert down into ‘Mumbai slum’ poverty within a generation or two, as is often claimed over here. If anything, in the US their margin of outperformance seems to be rising. This may not be a good thing for domestic white and black Americans, but it is a notable development all the same. I don’t think any Asian-American group can be a ‘hostile elite’ since by the second generation they all intermarry with whites at a heavy rate (about one-third by the second generation).

    Your comments are very informative. I may have to read a good portion of your archives.

    • Thanks: Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @EldnahYm
  131. Levtraro says:
    @mal

    How does the fact that private debt (personal + corporate non financial) growth in relation to GDP also depresses future GDP growth fit in your explanation? Both government and private debt have been increasing together in G7 countries (I wrote G8 earlier, it is G7 in my data). How that fits in your hypothesis of government incurring in more debt to cover for less credit given by private financial institutions?

    • Replies: @mal
  132. 128 says:

    And if you look at even Tier 2 or 3 cities and their level of infrastructure and number of new skyscrapers China seems to give the impression of being a lot richer per capita than Taiwan or South Korea.

  133. @EldnahYm

    Surely performance on math competitions is a better indication of cognitive ability than income.

    What makes you think that? If you look at the 2020 results of the IOM, then you have countries like Brazil, Georgia, Romania, Iran and Turkey ahead of The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

    There is probably a low amount of correlation between IOM results to the human capital of a country, but these competitions are very low-stakes and countries which place a bigger emphasis on them than others will vastly overshoot their underlying capabilities.

    but experience tends to show groups who leave their home countries tend not to be representative of those who stayed behind.

    The origin-story of Indian-Singaporeans is well-known. It was mostly – though not wholly – men out of lower caste and middling groups. Indian immigration to Singapore has become more cognitively selective since the 90s, so the story changes after that date. But my argument was about 1990, the effects of which had been built up over the prior decades.

    No one has ever doubted Indian ability to scam people and discriminate against outsiders.

    I appreciate your blatant racial stereotyping. Regardless of your dubious claims, even if I were to accept them at face value, to be able to scam an intelligent population like the Chinese successfully – repeatedly – would require high intelligence in of itself. More importantly, if Indians really were as prone to these things as you claim, the ethnic Chinese super-majority in Singapore would have curtailed their immigration a long time ago.

  134. Levtraro says:
    @128

    The China corporate debt data must be treated as a special case as many of those corporations actually are SOEs, so that debt is not truly private sector debt.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  135. @Dmitry

    Your repeated insistence of grouping Turkey together with China is bizarre. Turkey is already significantly poorer than China, whether you look at GDPpc or the more revealing wage statistics. Turkish wages are essentially on par with Ukraine.

    I’ve already dealt with the innovation/science question in an earlier comment.

    Your example of the Isuzu bus from Turkey is also curious. China’s answer is BYD, which has been an EV pioneer. They are the biggest manufacturer of EV busses and they are leading by innovation, not cutting costs.

    I’ll end by a more general observation. 10 years ago you heard a lot of chatter about whether China would ever graduate from being the world’s factory. Essentially: could they ever be able to invent things of their own? Most commentary was skeptical. Barely a decade has passed and now *nobody* thinks like that. We’re instead bombarded with scare stories about Chinese advancement in AI and 5G. Turkey has none of these pioneer industries. Turkey’s fastest-growing export is textiles, which is a low-skill production reserved for poor countries. You are supposed to graduate out of that. Yet Turkey is going backwards. Its currency is collapsing, so textle exports are now booming.

    China and Turkey have very little in common.

  136. @Dmitry

    Yes, there’s a paper on this, delay has widened from 10 years to 20-30 years IIRC. Another reason why Nature Index far better.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  137. @Levtraro

    That doesn’t detract from his argument, though. Even in an economy like China’s where SOEs play a much larger role, their function is still essentially the same as that of private firms wrt investments. If their corporate debt is rising very quickly, then productivity growth is lower and/or investment rates are too high. I’d argue both are true in China’s case. Prof. Michael Pettis at Peking University has written at great length on this issue.

    A big confounding factor is that its total debt to GDP, at least prior to the pandemic, was essentially the same as in many other advanced countries despite 4-5X lower GDP per capita.

    I don’t buy Gordon Chang’s collapse narratives, but I am personally skeptical China will reach more than ~1/3rd of American income per head. Given the huge population differential, China’s total economic heft will still likely reach parity or slightly eclipse that of the US. But I doubt it will go much further than that. Internal debt will still slow/sap an economy, even if it doesn’t threaten insolvency.

    A bigger headache for Beijing is that China has no real answer to America’s vast network of alliances. These contests isn’t just about individual countries, but the combined force you can bring to bear. Folks often forget that. That’s another debate, though.

  138. @Thulean Friend

    As your nominal GDP improves, your PPP narrows. That has nothing to do with inflation, but asking for basic competence on these matters is asking too much from AK.

    No, I have pointed that out myself numerous times. E.g., the third sentence here, a post on which you commented.

    ***

    Leaving aside your obsession with Poor People’s Parity –

    It has been a long time since I looked into this. But, price basket in 2017 ended up 22% more expensive than that same basket in 2011 (in international dollars), this means yuan should have strengthened more than it did, or prices rose more they did on paper, the yuan has in fact remained broadly stable vs. the USD (as might be expected), so the difference would indeed seem to have sprung from inflation. Or how else was it supposed to have occured?

    Your dig at me by implication is just weird, I am one of the bigger “Sinotriumphalists” here (without going into Godfree Roberts territory), and have repeatedly noted that Russian nationalists are stupid on this topic. But your customary dissimulation is noted.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
    , @Not Raul
  139. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    Few things to say about that.

    1. Corporate non-financial debt is neither here nor there. It has muted impact on consumption aka GDP because a large portion of it is used for financial engineering (stock buybacks, M&A deals etc) which is simply a mechanism to funnel more free money to the rich. While true, the rich are responsible for a lion’s share of consumption, they are also mostly tapped out (they can buy anything they want already, that’s what makes them rich), so expecting them to substantially increase consumption aka GDP by giving them more free $trillions is a fool’s errand.

    2. I don’t know about G7, but in US, consumer has been on a major deleveraging spree.
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/households-debt-to-gdp

    Household debt to GDP declined from ~100% in 2007 to 75% today. This is very bad for GDP growth. Thankfully, US government stepped in with $trillions of dollars in deficits. US government budget deficit has been the ONLY source of GDP growth for the past 13 years or so.

    3. Our commercial banking system does a piss poor job of distributing credit and filtering down interest rate declines. In a consumption based economy, it is not just stupidity, it is treasonously irresponsible. Lower end consumer does not gain the benefit of refinancing at ever lower rates as higher end consumers do. Thus their debt service payments do not decline over time and more of their resources are funneled into the financial system rather than being deployed in the real economy via consumption. This needs to change if we are to have sustainable GDP growth again.

    • Thanks: Yahya K.
    • Replies: @Levtraro
  140. @Anatoly Karlin

    this is of course not a decline in Chinese living standards but merely a reflection of the fact that prices are going up very fast there

    No.

    Your dig at me by implication is just weird, I am one of the bigger “Sinotriumphalists” here (without going into Godfree Roberts territory), and have repeatedly noted that Russian nationalists are stupid on this topic.

    You’re just oversensitive as usual. I was making a dig at Russian nationalists in general. Last time I checked, there are more of them than n = 1. Pretty cute of you to think it was all about you. Says a lot 🙂

  141. Levtraro says:
    @mal

    Corporate non-financial debt is neither here nor there. It has muted impact on consumption aka GDP because a large portion of it is used for financial engineering (stock buybacks, M&A deals etc) which is simply a mechanism to funnel more free money to the rich.

    Can you show any data? The data I have seen (from the BIS) show decreasing future growth with increasing personal + corporate debt.

    I don’t know about G7, but in US, consumer has been on a major deleveraging spree.
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/households-debt-to-gdp
    Household debt to GDP declined from ~100% in 2007 to 75% today. This is very bad for GDP growth. Thankfully, US government stepped in with $trillions of dollars in deficits. US government budget deficit has been the ONLY source of GDP growth for the past 13 years or so.

    Actually, consumer deleveraging sounds like it is good for future GDP growth as consumers have more income released from debt service to spend on other things.

    Lower end consumer does not gain the benefit of refinancing at ever lower rates as higher end consumers do. Thus their debt service payments do not decline over time and more of their resources are funneled into the financial system rather than being deployed in the real economy via consumption. This needs to change if we are to have sustainable GDP growth again

    Yes, that is what the BIS data show, private debt depresses future GDP growth (but it apparently does so less rapidly than government debt).

    • Replies: @mal
  142. Kouroi says:

    An enigma and a miracle of history: The Romanian people….

    • LOL: Ano4
  143. @128

    Looks like a good project to me. The distance of Beijing to Harbin by HSR is a bit over 1,200 km (the threshold for competitiveness of HSR v. flights) so there are only six daily trains going the entire route. However, there are plenty of stops along the way and the HSR line has expanded the size of several regional markets.

    It is a good idea to build HSR lines now rather than wait. It’s easy to build big projects while the country is still in a middle income stage and NIMBYs haven’t solidified. Take for example, the Beijing to Shenyang HSR line. The whole line will finally open in December. No HSR project has seen years of delays like this one because the last uncompleted segment from Beijing to Chengde which passes through a centrally located Beijing district saw middle class resistance to development. That’s going to happen more and some projects won’t get done because of it.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  144. Beckow says:
    @Hojer

    …did not catch in productivity/efficiency

    Maybe because that’s not why they were in power. Increases in productivity and efficiency simply mean that you work harder for less rewards than before – that’s how you get more output for less cost. Yes, you get more consumer goods etc, some people care a lot about it, others not so much. What am I to do with all the trinkets?

    The popular impetus behind socialism-communism in the first half of the 20th century was about having better lives, not about working harder. Not everyone thought that working more efficiently year after year is a better life. It had some negative consequences by limiting what was available to be consumed.

    Today most of what people consume has been largely shifted into housing, medical care, education, government services – areas where it is questionable whether there is a direct link between how hard you work and what you get as a benefit. So the ‘productivity’ talk is very ethereal and means little in most people’s lives. How does it help anyone when a multi-cultural ‘teacher’ or ‘consultant’ talks more and gets more reward from our taxes? Or an obsessive finance manipulator sitting in his sad office at midnight working to suck more money out of the passive funds (pensions mostly)? That’s not work and putting it in GNP is stupid.

    I always use an example of a tribe thousands years ago: can you imagine a tribal leader assembling his compatriots and demanding that ‘next year you need to hunt more, run around more’. They would simply kill him as an idiot who is making their lives worse. It is only modern people who obediently buy this crap.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Hyperborean
  145. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Good point. Also might help revitalize the declining North-East.

  146. @Blinky Bill

    It cost over $20 billion to build the Lanzhou to Urumqi HSR line during the 2010s. Massive waste is detrimental to any goal including solidifying control over Xinjiang. The budget would have been better spent on other projects to achieve the same goal.

    There is an even more wasteful project in the works. Weeks ago the imminent start to construction of the middle section of the Chengdu to Lhasa conventional line was announced. It might cost $30 billion and does not make sense from any perspective. The railway doesn’t contribute to economic development in Tibet considering the cost. If a fraction of the budget was allocated to agriculture in Tibet, I think the spending the would have yielded better results in fostering goodwill among Tibetans. I also doubt there is a military purpose for constructing the railway. There are expressways and already a railway connecting Lhasa that serve as communication links to the frontlines. The worst thing about this kind of extravagant waste in the name of ethnic unity is that the damage to efficiency of capital allocation will chip away at the momentum of the Chinese economic miracle and the miracle will end sooner than it would have otherwise. Xinjiang and Tibet are not the priority and spending on the far west should be curtailed. The goal should be to develop China into a first world superpower by 2040. Everything else will fall into place after that happens.

    • Disagree: Blinky Bill
  147. @Beckow

    Maybe because that’s not why they were in power. Increases in productivity and efficiency simply mean that you work harder for less rewards than before – that’s how you get more output for less cost. Yes, you get more consumer goods etc, some people care a lot about it, others not so much. What am I to do with all the trinkets?

    The popular impetus behind socialism-communism in the first half of the 20th century was about having better lives, not about working harder. Not everyone thought that working more efficiently year after year is a better life. It had some negative consequences by limiting what was available to be consumed.

    […]

    I always use an example of a tribe thousands years ago: can you imagine a tribal leader assembling his compatriots and demanding that ‘next year you need to hunt more, run around more’. They would simply kill him as an idiot who is making their lives worse. It is only modern people who obediently buy this crap.

    Yeah, what a bunch of morons…

    • LOL: Korenchkin
    • Replies: @Beckow
  148. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    Can you show any data? The data I have seen (from the BIS) show decreasing future growth with increasing personal + corporate debt.

    The 465 companies in the S&P 500 Index in January 2019 that were publicly listed between 2009 and 2018 spent, over that decade, $4.3 trillion on buybacks, equal to 52% of net income, and another $3.3 trillion on dividends, an additional 39% of net income.

    https://hbr.org/2020/01/why-stock-buybacks-are-dangerous-for-the-economy

    For reference, total corporate debt is something like $10.5 trillion. And $7.6 trillion were returned to the shareholders over the past decade. Which is fine but it does little to stimulate consumption because big shareholders are already wealthy and poorer people, whatever they have, most of it is locked in pension funds (401k etc) so they can’t really use it.

    Actually, consumer deleveraging sounds like it is good for future GDP growth as consumers have more income released from debt service to spend on other things.

    Only because it’s bad for GDP growth today. If you exclude US government deficit, US GDP growth rate is horribly bad. If US consumer maintained 100% debt ratio since 2007, US GDP would be much higher today due to increased consumer spending. I agree about the debt service, but that’s where the interest rate declines come in. There is a better, more efficient way of doing this, which involves increasing velocity of money (instead of increasing the amount of dollars in circulation, increase the rate at which they are spent), but we are so used to relying on population growth for our money velocity needs that we are psychologically unprepared to try the alternatives. With bad demographics in the West, money velocity will remain subdued, and that means somebody has to buck up and drive the debt through the roof to ensure that consumption is sustained.

    Yes, that is what the BIS data show, private debt depresses future GDP growth (but it apparently does so less rapidly than government debt).

    Well, somebody needs to borrow. If nobody borrows, deleveraging occurs, debt gets repaid, money is destroyed and Great Depression results, and we all go live in tent cities with mass unemployment etc. After you destroyed 50%+ of GDP, it is cold comfort to be happy about 5% GDP growth rate.

    The only question is, who is best entity for borrowing? Whoever has the lowest interest rate. Governments have the lowest interest rates today, so you see them borrowing.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  149. @Thulean Friend

    Ankara signed a deal with China’s State Nuclear Power Technology Corp to build Turkey’s third nuclear power plant.

    Turkey’s Bora ballistic missile—modeled on the Chinese B-611 missile was introduced in 2017.

    Huawei and ZTE have emerged as telecommunications heavyweights in Turkey in recent years.

    Turkey Chose, and Then Rejected, a Chinese Air-Defense Missile under US pressure. Ankara’s $3.4 billion program to construct the country’s first long-range air and anti-missile defense system veered into controversy when it chose a Chinese state-owned company the China Precision Machinery Import-Export Corporation as the preferred bidder for its long-range air and missile defense system contract. China offered favorable technology transfer conditions, and early delivery on the first batch of batteries.

    China has a complex relationship with Turkey, just like Russia but the tech transfer is one way only.

  150. @Beckow

    Maybe because that’s not why they were in power. Increases in productivity and efficiency simply mean that you work harder for less rewards than before – that’s how you get more output for less cost. Yes, you get more consumer goods etc, some people care a lot about it, others not so much. What am I to do with all the trinkets?

    That’s not how efficiency is measured. As a general measurement efficiency is measured by production/result divided by effort/resources expended.

    In economic terms:

    Team A has 10 workers who work 50 hours and produce 60 Units of Economic Production (UEP).

    Team B has 10 workers who work 30 hours and produce 45 UEP.

    (If Team B for whatever reason decided to work as long as A they could produce 75 UEP.)

    In this situation, despite having a lower total production quantity, Team B is more efficient.

    Alternatively, A works 48 hours and produces 60 UEP and B works 40 hours and produces 50 UEP = Equal amount of productivity

    • Replies: @Beckow
  151. Beckow says:
    @Hyperborean

    Yes, morons. That is not why people wanted them in power (clearly enough people wanted it, we don’t need to quibble).

    I have to admit that I am not familiar with the Soviet version, whatever they did was theirs, different times in a different country. In the country that started this discussion – Czechoslovakia – there was a laid-back, consciously lazy interpretation of work and socialism by most people. The attempts to make people care and work harder were ridiculed and largely ignored.

    I suspect that the frustration with the unmovable masses of people who simply didn’t care about ‘higher productivity‘ had a lot to do with the late 80’s coup by the frustrated commie efficiency morons – today they can make people work harder (because most are the same people or their children).

    Good, we get more trinkets, but nobody is really that happy. Working harder is clearly not what most people are craving. This is a video from today’s demo:

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @Hojer
    , @utu
  152. Passer by says:

    AK: I used 2019 figures.

    Even if you used 2019 figures, IMF estimates for the next 5 year does not show anything “remarkable” about Germany’s gdp growth – that is, UK will be growing at similar rate, Italy (!) at almost similar rate, and France and Spain at higher rate than Germany.

    Moreover, there is nothing “remarkable” in the fact that some western countries have experienced higher gdp growth than Japan, considering Japan’s median age and large labor force drop.

    What is “remarkable”, is that Japan has outperformed western countries in GDP growth per working age population.

    https://twitter.com/Birdyword/status/981876597820153856/photo/1

    • Replies: @mal
  153. @Beckow

    I suspect that the frustration with the unmovable masses of people who simply didn’t care about ‘higher productivity‘ had a lot to do with the late 80’s coup by the frustrated commie efficiency morons – today they can make people work harder (because most are the same people or their children).

    Good, we get more trinkets, but nobody is really that happy. Working harder is clearly not what most people are craving.

    Efficiency is not simply about “working harder”, it is about “working smarter”, this can come by ex. increasing mechanisation in industries.

    Efficiency is aimed at improving the ratio of inputs:outputs:throughputs.

    With proper planning, coordination and implementation the government can even raise efficiency by raising the minimum wage and limiting work hours.

    • Agree: AaronB, Thulean Friend
    • Replies: @Beckow
  154. EldnahYm says:
    @Thulean Friend

    What makes you think that? If you look at the 2020 results of the IOM, then you have countries like Brazil, Georgia, Romania, Iran and Turkey ahead of The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

    There is probably a low amount of correlation between IOM results to the human capital of a country, but these competitions are very low-stakes and countries which place a bigger emphasis on them than others will vastly overshoot their underlying capabilities.

    Your last sentence is an argument against between country comparisons. I made no between country comparisons. I compared students only within Singapore. Since the competitions are open to all high school students in Singapore, and since, as you claim Chinese and Indians have the same income, both groups have the same incentives to participate. Yet Indians are rarely in top 10 results for any of the years, and Chinese dominate. Even people with Vietnamese names do better. I of course don’t claim there are zero flaws with using math competition results. I only suggest they are a better measure than income, since they do cover mathematical ability, and because income tells only little about cognitive ability. One has to assume from the outset that income and cognitive ability matches. Ironically, your description of the behavior of higher income people in India holding others down is an example of why one should be suspicious of Indians in Singapore. Not that Indians in India are the only example, Indians in the United States and the U.K. behave the same way.

    The origin-story of Indian-Singaporeans is well-known. It was mostly – though not wholly – men out of lower caste and middling groups. Indian immigration to Singapore has become more cognitively selective since the 90s, so the story changes after that date. But my argument was about 1990, the effects of which had been built up over the prior decades.

    That people came mostly from lower status groups does not mean they are a representative sample of those low status groups. Furthermore, as I understand it, the largest group of Singaporean Indians are Tamils. Even if we assume your other inferences are true, you should be claiming the cognitive ability of Tamils in India/Sri Lanka should be higher. Instead you make an inference about all of India, which is even more dubious.

    I appreciate your blatant racial stereotyping. Regardless of your dubious claims, even if I were to accept them at face value, to be able to scam an intelligent population like the Chinese successfully – repeatedly – would require high intelligence in of itself.

    You are mistaken. Having a high IQ doesn’t mean one is skilled socially or politically. The overseas Chinese do not have much political influence in any southeast Asian country, despite being smarter than the domestic populaces. Being able to scam and bullshit does not require high IQ, it requires only mild verbal skills and an absence of shame. In many cases, like not giving accurate change to a customer, or hiring people from your own group for example, it does not even require verbal skills. Used car salesmen aren’t selected to be geniuses. Yet their techniques work.

    Besides, when it’s only 9% of the population that we’re talking about, most people will not even notice the difference.

    More importantly, if Indians really were as prone to these things as you claim, the ethnic Chinese super-majority in Singapore would have curtailed their immigration a long time ago.

    We have plenty of experience in western countries where minorities do all sorts of bad things and it does not change immigration policy. The only guess I have as to why you would make this claim is that you think Chinese are different. If that is the case, then you are like almost every one else here. I see all the time the idea that the Chinese are either more efficient, ruthless, politically adept, less affected by political correctness, etc. None of this seems to be based on much. As far as I can tell, educated Chinese might be worse than westerners in most of these things. In 2017 Singapore decided in its “election” that only a Malay could be a candidate. So much for the super majority Chinese.

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  155. Beckow says:
    @Hyperborean

    Let’s stick with the term ‘productivity’, I threw in efficiency as a bonus, we don’t need your silly stories from Econ-101.

    Increase in productivity is producing more at lower cost. Translation: work harder or get paid less, often both. Any society that preaches this nonsense as its raison-d’etre has to hide it, it is naturally not popular. I used an example from a hunting tribe, think about. How stupid do you have to be to aspire to work harder to get less? Maybe the bone the leader throws you is slightly juicier, but trust me, he is not pushing higher productivity for your benefit. If you don’t even see that, you fail a minimal evolution test.

    • Replies: @Hyperborean
  156. EldnahYm says:
    @Thomm

    I don’t think any Asian-American group can be a ‘hostile elite’ since by the second generation they all intermarry with whites at a heavy rate (about one-third by the second generation).

    You are using the generic “Asian” category which lumps all south Asians and East Asians together. We don’t know how much intermarriage Indians will engage in by the second generation.

    (not that intermarriage with swarthy Indians is anything but a bad thing)

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  157. Beckow says:
    @Hyperborean

    …government can even raise efficiency by raising the minimum wage and limiting work hours.

    Sure, they could. I somehow fail to see that ever discussed in the government circles. That train has left the station as we moved societies into a liberal nirvana of business-uber-alles, fake meritocracy, and openly bought politicians. So that idea is going nowhere in today’s setup.

    The relatively healthy, common-sense understanding of one’s self-interest that our great-grandparents had has been supplanted with silly theories, few trinkets, identity obsessions (womyn!!! or whatever), fear and escapism. That’s how a functioning civilization goes down. Relying on the oligarchs’ self-restraint is the stupidest thing that I have ever heard, and I mean all oligarchs not just the ones NY Times deems worthy of the name. My conclusion is that most people today are simply very stupid, beyond anything seen in hundreds of years – they don’t even understand their own basic self-interest and survival. So we have a society that suits and exploits these stupid people.

  158. Andy says:
    @Thulean Friend

    For success in things like Mathematical Olympiads, you have to take into account the total population. To give an example, the average Finn is perhaps 15 points smarter than the average Indian on the IQ scale. However, since India has more than a hundred times the population of Finland, it has a larger pool of brighter students, and it’s likelier to do much better in scientific contests like the Math Olympiads.

  159. @china-russia-all-the-way

    Short sighted view. The geostrategic value of Xinjiang and Xizang to China is literally immeasurable, 20 and 30 billion dollars are peanuts in comparison.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golmud–Korla_railway

    And there’s more on the way!

    Ask AK how much the loss of Southern Siberia and Belarus cost the Russian Nation and People.

    Centrifugal forces must be counteracted with centripetal ones. These transportation links are not the only, or cheapest method for achieving this end goal but they are 100% necessary. Even their symbolism has immense worth that can’t be measured in Yuan terms.

    P.S. You’re a good commenter and I appreciate your input, but we’ll strongly disagree on this point.

  160. @Beckow

    I used an example from a hunting tribe, think about. How stupid do you have to be to aspire to work harder to get less? Maybe the bone the leader throws you is slightly juicier, but trust me, he is not pushing higher productivity for your benefit. If you don’t even see that, you fail a minimal evolution test.

    Considering agricultural/settled societies’ long-term victory over hunter-gatherer/nomad societies, I don’t think this is a good analogy.

  161. Hojer says:
    @Beckow

    Beckow – again I agree with most of your comment, just to get back to communist led economy and productivity issue, Hyperborean good examples can be expanded – group A may set better motivation for finer sources allocation mechanism, then group B, i.e. let slower send weaker woodpeckers to sharpen the axes instead of insisting on cutting the trees and leting woodpeckers to pay them for well prepared axes, while more rigid group B leader would just insist that everybody cuts at least some number of trees and sharpen his own axe…

    See IMO good example of cow milking yields and dairy cow numbers in Czechia since 1990:
    With less animals some workers find more usefull work – this is the best case. In worse case they go to work for NGO schooling children of importance of importing more 3rd worlders…

    I do not say that increasing productivity at all costs is always good and I even agree with you that current regime is not what most ex-communist (majority of population) countries wanted in 1990. Perhaps the good economy is rather about work making sense and I am quite sure most people felt that communist led economy was ceasing to make sense. The trouble with current plutocracy is it does not care about things making sense too…

    • Replies: @Beckow
  162. mal says:
    @Passer by

    While it’s true that there’s nothing wrong with Japanese GDP/capita growth rate as such, you have to keep in mind that their government debt to GDP ratio is over 200%.

    This is equivalent to over $11 trillion in free money that their government had injected into the economy. From that perspective, beating Germany by a few percentage points in a per capita count is… disappointing. Typical Asians – good with technology, bad with money and driving :).

    Policy wise, Japanese macroeconomics has been terrible (So called Abenomics – lets hand out useless money to corporates and then raise consumption taxes, in the face of consumers dying out by 100,000’s annually due to depopulation, and then wondering why they are in recession again). Just dumb.

    Anyway, those free $11 trillion would have been better spent ensuring that Japan doesn’t turn into a giant cemetery. In that, far more important sense, Japan failed. To be fair, so did a lot of other countries, including Russia, but nobody ever gave Russia free $11 trillion. Most countries never got such chance, but Japan did, and they squandered it. Which is why it is a sad place.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  163. Yevardian says:
    @Blinky Bill

    I don’t care about Taiwan, but what a disgusting weaselly response.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @utu
  164. Passer by says:
    @mal

    On that i agree, although their debt is domestically owned. One could speculate that Germany got a head wind by the EU and the cheaper euro, as well as the opening of former communist markets after the fall of the USSR, and profited the most from it. Japan does not have an EU to profit from.

    • Agree: mal
  165. J. Dart says:

    Though the Wikipedia page, as well as the archived Wikipedia page from a few days ago before the update, is perhaps more convenient.

    The diff of the edit which updated the 2019 rankings to the 2020 forecast is probably the easiest way to compare: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita&type=revision&diff=983465936&oldid=982705335

    Anyway, after some edit warring, the Wikipedia page is back to using the 2019 rankings again.

  166. Beckow says:
    @Hojer

    …the good economy is rather about work making sense and I am quite sure most people felt that communist led economy was ceasing to make sense. The trouble with current plutocracy is it does not care about things making sense too…

    That’s a good summary, I agree. I don’t want to get into an autistic argument over productivity of milking cows. My point is that a society is simply the people who live there – preferably a nation that has a sense of its own unique identity, it works better that way. The people should have a right to choose how they want to live, how much to work, what are the priorities in their lives. They won’t agree on everything, but a reasonably good process can be set-up to make those decisions and also to revisit them as needed. That’s simply no longer the case in the West, or in CEE generally. The way you can tell is that almost no majority priorities are ever done. There are no results and a rather shaky process that constantly screams about how ‘democratic‘ it is.

    Increasing productivity comes at a cost to quality of life and family formation. It mostly, as it is currently set up, benefits the few oligarchs we all have in our countries. Why the f..k should I care about more productivity? If oligarchs want to ‘work‘ harder, they are welcome – most of the stuff they do cannot be described as work in any normal sense.

    Communist systems build up an economy that by late 70’s and 80’s made little forward sense. It was backward looking. Run by old men who grew up poor and forever measured well-being in tons of steel, price of bread, and school openings. They were actually quite good at some things, at least in Czechoslovakia – Prague metro is among the best in the world, the population grew naturally, people had a lot of free time. But you are right that the overall system ceased to make sense, people wanted to actually own assets, have better customer service, more travel, more trinkets. They were right.

    But nobody wanted to ‘increase productivity’ – in other words work harder so a few at the top could send their kids easier to a private Florida tennis school. This is not in dispute – pretty much 90% of population in today’s Czechia agrees with it. They feel cheated and deceived – that will have consequences. The western liberal plutocracy seems on its last legs, it can crawl around with increased oppression and violence for a while, but it is not going anywhere – the globalist liberal utopia is as over as was the communist ‘abolish money‘ utopia. Yet during their heyday they both actually worked relatively well and accomplished a lot.

  167. @Yevardian

    It’s not the first time his experienced that line of questioning. They want him to acknowledge an Independent Taiwan, either directly or indirectly through his answers. And he won’t play ball, he has good reason not to. He’s not expressing his personal opinion, just to be nasty to her and she knows exactly what she’s doing. It’s a gotcha ya interview.

    • Replies: @Supply and Demand
  168. utu says:
    @Beckow

    “Protest proti vládě” – That group of people in Bratislava protest because they want to work more not less. They are against covid countermeasures and lockdowns. I am pretty sure they do not share your sovok nostalgia for the old communist Czechoslovakia.

    https://www.iwm.at/publications/5-junior-visiting-fellows-conferences/vol-xvii/muriel-blaive/
    Let us now go back to our starting paradox: why are the Czechs, who were the most “communist” of all the nations that submitted to the Soviet diktat, apparently the most anti-communist since 1989?

    The same goes for the question why the Czechs who had collaborated and enthusiastically worked for German occupier the most contributing to German military successes being rewarded with the mildest form of occupation by the Nazis in the whole Europe unleashed the most brutal vengeance on Germans and German speaking citizens of Czechoslovakia after the war?

    “The Savage Peace” video (BBC) that Czechs keep removing from the internet is still available to watch at some places:


    What is the answer to the both questions?

    • Replies: @Hojer
    , @AltanBakshi
    , @Beckow
  169. @Hyperborean

    The colour of the uniform is unimportant.

    [MORE]

  170. utu says:
    @Yevardian

    “I don’t care about Taiwan…” – I do care about Taiwan very much. Partly for personal reasons but mostly on the principle about the right to self-determination by small countries against the 800-pound gorilla powers. I believe that we will be caring about Taiwan more in the near future. Taiwan will be our Alamo against China expansionism.

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  171. @utu

    Taiwan will be our Alamo against China expansionism

    You couldn’t find a better analogy?

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Not Raul
  172. @Thulean Friend

    Romania invented the IOM, literally. The first two occurrences happened in Romania with as few as 6 teams competing.

    This means there is a great problem-writing capability in a few Bucharest high schools. (Related, see Taleb posting every other week a problem from the Romanian Mathematics Journal, “Gazeta Matematica”.)

    Now, you don’t get as much useful practice when your teacher is a small-town gov-paid wanker, or a Belgian pedo masquerading as teacher. I don’t know about Netherlands, but I definitely sucked dick when I was in high school, because all the teacher in my small town didn’t know even what problems I should practice on, let alone solve them, and lots of Romanians sucked it too.

    I am not entirely sure if this is the same today. My general feeling is that, since the nineties, lots of smart children don’t waste their time with school, knowing there are no god jobs. There is a complete exemption from income tax for IT workers, but so many people would go straight from high school into web design that the government had to extend it to IT workers without IT degrees.

    At the other extreme, I have seen a few rich people trying to buy the appearance of intelligence for their children. There’s a growing number of national and international clones of IMO, IPhO, IAO etc, where these rich children are “competing”. When I look at the Romanian IMO team, I always wonder how many just bought their ticket.

    All in all, I am pretty sure Romania could do even better at IMO. IMO was not and is not a perfect metric. It has the same issue as IQ test, that is, variable amount of engagement from the tested.

  173. d dan says:
    @utu

    I do care about Taiwan very much. Partly for personal reasons

    If you are neither citizen of PRC or Taiwan, your personal reasons don’t count.

    “… right to self-determination by small countries against the 800-pound gorilla powers.”

    Correction: Taiwan is a province of China – it is written in the Constitutions of both PRC and ROC – the ultimate laws in both Beijing and Taipei. The rights of any locals to secede from a country should be left with the people of the whole country (i.e. the 1.4 billions in PRC), e.g. if California wants to secede, the other 49 states also have a say (by US Constitutions), and should also have a say (for moral reasons).

  174. d dan says:

    Visual view of PPP GDP by countries from 1981 – 2023 (historical plus projection) – play the video with double speed for fun:

    or nominal GDP:

  175. @EldnahYm

    Since the competitions are open to all high school students in Singapore, and since, as you claim Chinese and Indians have the same income, both groups have the same incentives to participate.

    That’s a bold assumption (heh).There’s no reason to assume that both groups have the same incentive since there is no evidence that participating in math competitions have any meaningful impact on earnings for highly skilled people. We would need to know the application rates first before we make any judgement.

    It’s entirely plausible that Indians place a higher premium on higher incomes, which would lead them to focus on matters that have more direct bearing rather than low-stakes competitions. But in the absence of any hard data, neither you nor I can make any definitive conclusion. Which is precisely my point.

    and because income tells only little about cognitive ability

    Heiner Rindermann says hello.

    Being able to scam and bullshit does not require high IQ, it requires only mild verbal skills and an absence of shame

    Is this a credible assertion? There is research on Swedish auditors showing that intelligence is correlated with how skilled they are at finding out financial shenanigans. The most intelligent ones get the highest-paying jobs at the biggest firms. There’s that link between intelligence and income again 🙂

    Surely the inverse should also be true. The smarter you are, the more adept you are at avoiding being caught.

    Of course, anyone who has ever dealt with auditors at a high level knows that the higher up you go, the more these auditors do “consulting” which is essentially aimed at tax-avoidance. You could say that is a form of (quasi-legal) scamming that is cognitively demanding. Once again, it has implications for maximising incomes. How many of them crammed for low-stakes math competitions instead of spending their time reading up on their profession when they were young? How you prioritise your most precious resource – time – is also an indication of how smart you are.

    • Replies: @Znzn
  176. @Rahan

    But Bulgarians are genetically more nonSlavic than Slavic, aren’t they?

    http://slavicchronicles.com/genetics/genetics-of-bulgaria/

  177. Not Raul says:

    Germany is also the only G7 country to keep its GDP per capita relative to the US constant since 2010, also at 85%. France declined from 77% to 72%, the UK from 74% to 70%, Japan from 73% to 66%.

    Europe had an austerity-induced recession (following the recession of 2008-2009), which the USA avoided.

  178. Not Raul says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Couldn’t he have picked a battle we won?

  179. Not Raul says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    How worried are you that cooperating too much with China will eventually lead to Russia becoming China’s Canada?

    • Replies: @mal
  180. Znzn says:
    @Thulean Friend

    My impression is that lawyers are more intelligent than accountants, and that the smartest lawyers are smarter than the smartest accountants.

  181. Not Raul says:
    @Thulean Friend

    And, for Indians eyes at least, is the fact that Bangladesh (!) will surpass India this year for the first time ever was unthinable even a decade ago. Quite a remarkable feat for a country dismissed so casually as inferior both by both the neighbourhood as well as senior US policymakers (most notably Kissinger).

    Bangladesh deserves a round of applause.

    Kissinger deserves to have his Nobel Prize shoved where the sun don’t shine.

  182. Hojer says:
    @utu

    …why are the Czechs, who were the most “communist” of all the nations that submitted to the Soviet diktat, apparently the most anti-communist since 1989?…the most brutal vengeance on Germans and German speaking citizens of Czechoslovakia after the war? … What is the answer to the both questions?

    As for afterWW2 vengeance – this propaganda usually keeps forgeting the preceding affairs – Czech Germans being the most loyal to NSDAP, displacing their Czech neighbours after Munich agreement since 1938 (similar pictures of people deprived of their homes you posted can be found from prewar times, cruelty of German occupiers (your mildest form of occupation included more then gasing children from burnt Lidice village in Magirus gas vans. Also hundreds years history of Czech Germans willing to secede the teritorry the inhabited and prevent Czechs to be on par in Austrian empire has to be counted in this causality. And working for German military industry most – no enthusiasm, just one of the most developed industries from occupied countries and choice betwean working and death camp… Anyway I prefere to keep the nightmares of the history burried and perhaps face the common threats evolving nowadays (not just covid).
    For being most communist – yes, after Munich betrayal a lot of people in CS had no believe to the West and Soviets were the real liberators, so Soviet propaganda worked, which credit Soviets and communists lost after 1968 occupation. Quite simple.
    And to answer your questions in general – yes we also tend to switch from going from one extremity to another one here. See covid measures this year – full masks wearing obligation and harshest travel bans in spring changed to lifting of almost all measures in summer, now switching from best covid fighters to highest grows of covid detections in Europe…

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @utu
    , @utu
  183. @utu

    Sorry to nitpick, but in my opinion Denmark got the mildest occupation in whole Europe by the Germans.

    • Agree: utu
  184. Beckow says:
    @utu

    …people in Bratislava protest because they want to work more not less. They are against covid countermeasures and lockdowns.

    They want their normal lives back. I assure you that most of them don’t work all that hard. Their anger is aimed at the weirdo who became a Prime Minister in March, a petty sociopath with an unstable personality who wants to ‘test everyone‘ by the end of the month. Mind you, Slovakia has had 40 covid victims so far and the evil virus is constantly talked about but never seen.

    The psycho PM’s grandpa was one of the dozen Slovak airmen fighting with the Germans when they invaded Soviet Union, so he had a hard time under the commies. But you would probably like him, he looks vaguely like a mountain goat and I recall your fondness for them.

    Regarding the Sudeten Germans, I think Hojer responded better than I could. I would add that I enjoy watching ‘The Savage Peace” video, great work by my compatriots after WWII. The justice was done and we are all better off as a result. Murder, expulsions after Munich, occupation, burning villages (Lidice) – why wouldn’t there be consequences?

    • Replies: @utu
  185. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “Far better” in what sense? Nature index would be useful to see what countries are investing money in scientific research institutions (where researchers/research institutions are located), while Nobel prize is useful to see what are subsequently regarded as important scientific breakthroughs.

  186. Beckow says:
    @Hojer

    …now switching from best covid fighters to highest grows of covid detections in Europe…

    I have a friend who works for one of the testing companies. He says that a lot of the new detected ‘cases’ are based on re-calibrating the tests to level 70 and that a large % of positive tests is for dead corona virus that stays in the body for 60 days, but is no longer communicable. It looks like a lot of people were exposed during the summer and had no symptoms, but now they test positive. There are so few actual victims that the liberal maniacs might have to start killing people not to look too stupid.

    I am generally agnostic on the measures, as they say ‘to chce klid’. But the budding hysteria and panic are all too similar to some awkward events in our history (utu mentions a few of them). Conformism and a certain smallness of character have often been an issue for us. But then we are small countries surrounded by the most conformist people in human history, the esteemed German nation…

    • Agree: Hojer
  187. Some here have mentioned the large Turkish minority in Bulgaria, but they have Turks included, much bigger Muslim minority, if I remember correctly PEW estimated it to be about 15% of the population. Many Bulgarian Muslims are not only Turks, but Slavic Pomaks and Gypsies.

    • Replies: @Rahan
  188. utu says:
    @Hojer

    See covid measures this year – full masks wearing obligation and harshest travel bans in spring changed to lifting of almost all measures in summer, now switching from best covid fighters to highest grows of covid detections in Europe…

    You did the right thing in the Spring. The reason the fist wave was so mild comparing UK, Italy and Spain was because you acted sooner when the number of infections was much lower than in the UK… But then you made the mistake of relaxing too much and too fast. Probably the sin of pride was involved which always goeth before a fall. But do not despair. You have gained time. (1) Improvement in treatments alone should reduce IFR by factor of three. (2) If you can reduce the infection rate among the most vulnerable old people you may get another factor of two or three. (3) Universal masking lead to lower viral load that lead to lower course of disease. (1), (2) and (3) are the reasons why the IFR of the second wave in UK and Spain are so much lower than in the Spring.

    (1) More covid-19 patients are surviving ventilators in the ICU (July 2020)
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/more-covid-19-patients-are-surviving-ventilators-in-the-icu/2020/07/03/2e3c3534-bbca-11ea-8cf5-9c1b8d7f84c6_story.html

    In a May 26 study in the journal Critical Care Medicine, Martin and a group of colleagues found that 35.7 percent of covid-19 patients who required ventilators died — a significant percentage but much lower than early reports that put the figure in the upper 80 percent range.

    Coronavirus breakthrough: dexamethasone is first drug shown to save lives (June 2020)
    In a large trial, a cheap and widely available steroid cut deaths by one-third among patients critically ill with COVID-19.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01824-5

    (2) Data from England show that until recently cases have been fairly evenly distributed across all ages from 20 years upwards, but by the last 2 weeks of August cases in people aged 20–39 were about ten times the number in those aged 70 or more.

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30706-4/fulltext

    (3) Slight reduction in SARS-CoV-2 exposure viral load due to masking results in a significant reduction in transmission with widespread implementation https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.09.13.20193508v2.full.pdf

    Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer (Jul 2020)
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393808/

    Facial Masking for Covid-19 — Potential for “Variolation” as We Await a Vaccine, The New England Journal of Medicine
    https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMp2026913?articleTools=true

    • Agree: Hojer
  189. mal says:
    @Not Raul

    Well, Russian vision of the world is multipolar, and that requires poles to be strong enough to stand on their own. If poles are too weak to stand on their own and they just lay there, they are more like logs and nobody cares for a multi-log world.

    As far as China goes, and Russia being Chinese Canada, Russia has strategic superiority in key technologies (nuclear and space) over Canada, and Russians are meaner in a fight. So in the worst case scenario, Russia will be Canada with sharp teeth which is actually not a bad place to be for a country with Russian demographics.

    Far more importantly though, sooner or later US will take on China. It won’t start as open warfare, but US will sanction and blocade Chinese ports and embargo trade similar to what US did to Japan in the early 1940’s. Chinese Navy won’t be able to do much about it (open conflict with US Navy will end same as Japan), so sanctions will cause serious strain on the Chinese economy. As such, China will need all the friends and supplies it can get. Being Chinese Canada with teeth will allow Russia to profitably trade supplies to China without entangling Russia in a formal alliance with serious commitments. Its a pretty good place to be, geopolitically speaking.

  190. Dmitry says:
    @Thulean Friend

    Turkey is already significantly poorer than China

    China has 17 times more people, so the GDP figure is enormous. However, if we look at the per capita basis, then Turkey is around 50% higher GDP (PPP) than China. (The nominal GDP in Turkey is suffering from the continuing devaluation crisis in their currency, and might be a little distorting).

    We can look at other standards of “development”. For example, in 2019 Turkey has “Human development index” of 0.806 (it is measured between Uruguay and Bahamas), while China has HDI of 0.758 (it is measured between Ecuador and Peru)

    BYD, which has been an EV pioneer. They are the biggest manufacturer of EV busses and they are leading by innovation

    While wonderful that there is massive production of EV autobuses in China (which won’t flood streets with NOx). But it’s not an unusually “innovative” or local technology. The special thing about BYD is that it is vertically-integrated and has the largest economies of scale for batteries. EVs are more simple and less complicated to manufacture, than the internal combustion engine products.

    That’s why the rise of EV autobuses, is creating local companies all over the world. Obviously, Turkey is now proposing EV buses https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrTtKj3ee6w.

    bombarded with scare stories about Chinese advancement in AI and 5G. Tu

    America is hyping up a lot about a threat about China, when the audience is bored of conspiracies about Russia, and they need to increase things like defense funding. And obviously, as China is vast country, with a 17 times larger population than Turkey (and 4,2 larger than USA) – so even when it’s economic level was low in the 1970s, it was considered threatening for America in many different areas.

    Turkey has none of these pioneer

    Turkey is advanced in some certain things that their leadership prioritizes, like military technology.

    This year (in Syria and Transcaucasia), we saw Turkey’s Bayraktar drones have killed hundreds of Syrian and Armenian soldiers, in videos on YouTube. And Turkey manufacturers various kinds of military equipment. https://www.defensenews.com/native/turkish-defence-aerospace/2020/07/21/how-turkey-became-one-of-the-worlds-leading-manufacturers-of-weapons-systems/

    In terms of the lagging indicator of “Nobel” recognized scientific breakthroughs (which is measuring mostly only mostly only with delay up to something like 20-30 years ago) – with only 1 Nobel prize in science from 2015, Turkey has 4,3 more Nobel prizes in science per capita than China. So with this delayed indicator, there is still a catch up for now.

    chatter about whether China would ever graduate from being the world’s factory. Essentially: could they ever be able to invent things of their own?

    It’s not a question of whether they can, but of how the economy will respond to undermining of one of the main causes which make their exports competitive (and in an international situation, where they don’t have their own isolated trading protectorate that USSR had).

    Turkey’s being delayed for a decade in “middle income trap” is an example of this process that can be further along the road. You can be more optimistic about China, and expect that they won’t be delayed in middle income trap for the same amount of time, compared to Turkey. But Turkey is a potential warning for China.

  191. Levtraro says:
    @mal

    You failed to produce relevant data. The assertion you quoted is about corporate net income, not about private personal + corporate non financial debt. As I informed you, BIS data

    https://www.bis.org/publ/qtrpdf/r_qt1509g.htm

    show that private debt also depresses future GDP growth although apparently less rapidly than government debt.

    Your idea that without debt we live in tents is crazy. Wealth is created by people doing useful work.

    • Replies: @mal
  192. utu says:
    @Beckow

    “I would add that I enjoy watching ‘The Savage Peace” video, great work by my compatriots after WWII. ” – May God have mercy upon your soul.

  193. Znzn says:

    he issue is investment in modes of transport, and the relative costs of them, for example, adding a new terminal is less expensive than building a new HSR line, or types of investment within modes, for example investment in upgrading the speed of ordinary trains might make better sense in terms of ROI than HSR, and improving rural roads (a lot of rural roads in China are still dirt roads as you can see on Google Earth) makes more sense than building toll roads with debt. I mean the same type of people here defending China for building HSRs will the same type of people saying that upgrading the Sapsan in Russia is too expensive and not worth the money, or that there is no need to

    [MORE]
    build a HSR line or have a faster train between Irkutsk and Vladivostok, since people can ride an airplane anyway, or these are the same type of people carping about how building and HSR line between Moscow and Sochi or Moscow and Omsk is not worth the money, and that the existing normal trains will do.

  194. @Znzn

    Population densities.

    Distances.

    Cost of construction.

    Geostrategic factors.

    • Replies: @128
  195. @Thulean Friend

    Contrary to myth, Hindutva is explicitly anti-caste

    If Hinduism is explicitly anti-caste, how did Hinduism and caste coexist interdependently for thousands of years?

    Or is the argument that Hinduism may be pro-caste, but Hindutva is anti-caste? In which case, the question becomes, inasmuch as Hinduism and Indian castes have existed together a long time and still exist, whereas Hindutva is a recent and synthetic innovation, does Hindutva really matter much? Or, to say it another way, what are the chances of Hindutva succeeding in de-casteing India when their chosen vehicle, their “chosen unifying banner” is explicitly caste-ist?

  196. 128 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    Population density map of Manchuria is about the same as European Russia, basically aside from a few large cities like Harbin, Mukden, and Changchun, Manchuria is basically empty countryside.

    https://www.inkstonenews.com/business/most-high-speed-railway-lines-china-are-losing-millions-every-year/article/3036425

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  197. 128 says:

    Tibet was basically a Chinese suzerain during the Qing dynasty

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  198. @128

    You’ve no idea of the population of Manchuria

    You’ve no idea of the population of European Russia.

    You’ve no idea of the geographic size of European Russia.

    You’ve no idea of the geographic size of Manchuria.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  199. utu says:
    @Hojer

    “What is the answer to the both questions?” – Surprisingly Beckow got close to the answer: “Conformism and a certain smallness of character…” Suppression and selective distortion of memory. Exaggerations of suffering and victimhood and confabulations of heroism. Brutality towards former ‘oppressors’ compensates the inadequacy brought by conformism and cowardliness. The “smallness of character” makes seeing the truth unlikely. This is perfectly exemplified by your statement “Anyway I prefer to keep the nightmares of the history buried…” which contains one big lie because you not do have nightmares. The only thing you may subconsciously fear is the confrontation with the truth about yourself and the fiction created to hide it.

    • Replies: @Hojer
    , @Beckow
  200. @128

    They should make you America’s High Speed Rail Czar. You’d be perfect for the job!

    And I love this quote.

    aside from a few large cities like Harbin, Mukden, and Changchun, Manchuria is basically empty countryside.

    I must give credit where credit is due. You should have mentioned Port Arthur too!

  201. @128

    Tibet was basically a Manchu suzerain during the Qing dynasty.

  202. @EldnahYm

    (not that intermarriage with swarthy Indians is anything but a bad thing)

    I’m not necessarily a fan of race mixing, but among all possible race mixtures, Indian×[other race] crosses seem to have pretty good results. I’ve known several children of such crosses who were healthy, attractive and intelligent. (Also, in the case Indian×Euro crosses, they identified with their Euro ancestry rather than their subcon ancestry—very unusual nowadays.) My theory is that potential virtues locked up by millennia of endogenous breeding in India can be suddenly liberated in a single generation by outbreeding.

    You may note that while such crosses may be good for the excessively endogenous Indian lineages, it doesn’t follow that it is good for whichever lineage they cross with, and I may agree. In any given case, it just depends on what the other prospects are.

  203. @Anatoly Karlin

    I have always maintained the differential as 2x not 3x

    Lol,typical duplicitous, “tag-team” garbage from Karlin. Shameful.
    Ukraine is going to have a recession this year twice as high as Russia’s ( not even accounting for latest coronavirus increase). This should be impossible because of ukrop still recovering from catastrophic 20% gdp loss caused by evromaidan in an economy that was still recovering from 2009 World economic crash….. in an economy still a long distance from ever recovering from 1991 collapse and oil price implications for Russia.
    Instead of focusing on that or ukrops even more abysmal than usual economic performance in the 2 quarters before coronavirus crisis….. Karlin cretinously claims to believe ukrops gdp ppp has increased by 20%+ in the year. LOL!

    PPP numbers are not analysed by world institutions or Russia…. but are just reliant on the BS that Kiev gives out as “information” you dummy.
    There is absolutely no construction going on in the country, mortgages are non-existent, roads are abysmal, natural gas consumption is about 50% of 2012 levels,new cars bought was 800000+ in 2013 and even the 103k number you give is BS because no month in ukraine has exceeded 8000 car sales ( Russia sells in 1 month what Ukraine sells in nearly 2 years), climate for Medium/small business is as bad as ever, government benefit or subsidy is not on same planet as Russia’s level, food consumption is massively down (net IMPORTER of potatoes and chicken…. from Russia)…. and absolutely ZERO people in Ukraine are claiming to feel that they can buy 20% more of western products or domestic ones.
    Of course if you are Karlin then the next nonsense is to claim “Gdp loss is explained because Ukraine is a” modern” and “services dominated” economy “…… hahaha haha!!!

    The differential is at least x4 to x5 in Russia’s favour you dimwit. Ingushettia is richer than ukrop average… so how the f*ck can you claim differential as” closer to x2 than x3? Or where Belarus is much richer to it compared to how FRG was to GDR. Insane

    Except the BS here, the only thing that could have happened here is denominator (ukrop population) updated accurately but numerator a work of fiction.

    BTW Karlin, because of the “insults” directed to me by Ano4, which were copying of my own, factually correct insults at him and another freak, but not censored by yourself…… I am declaring for myself immunity from moderation. It is fair response…. I don’t deserve moderation.

    If unfairly banned (again), I will give you advanced notice my new name will not be Gerard-whatever, but will be named after a real muzhik, a true Patriot.

    My new name will be Glossy2 or Glossyphilliac the wise/ Glossyphilliac the great

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  204. Rahan says:
    @AltanBakshi

    We’ve yet to see how (North) Macedonia fares concerning its Albanian minority. They’ve been putting off a census for a generation, because everyone was afraid of the results, but now the govt has promised that 2021 is definitely a census year.

    So we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it’s already like Bosnia 50/50. But more likely something like a third of the population will turn out to be Albanians.

    As for Bulgaria, the Turks there have been present for 500-600 years, and I’m told are possibly the most integrated Muslim minority in the world. Some of them look whiter than half of Italy or Iberia. Work harder, too.

    Russia too is “Slavic” in ways close to those of Macedonia and Bulgaria. Only in Russia the minorities are an enormous patchwork of Ugro-Finns, Balts, Turkic peoples, North Caucasians, and Mongoloids. I believe Russia has even 3-4 Buddhist federal republics, one of which–Kalmykia–is the only Buddhist state geographically on the continent of Europe. Plus, Russia has a constant presence of a few million Central Asian work immigrants, and a certain percentage of them do find ways to settle inside Russia as opposed to going back to where they came from.

    Thus, part of the “Orthodox Slavic world” is relatively “pure” (Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus), while others are in reality very multiculti (Russia, Macedonia, Bulgaria).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  205. 128 says:

    Why is the Beijing to Harbin line losing money if it is such a great business idea?

  206. @china-russia-all-the-way

    If you’re thinking, “Why build a trade artery with Tibetans, who don’t produce much?”, you’re technically correct, but this misses the bigger picture. Most of South Asia’s, Southeast Asia, and East Asia’s continental waterways originate in the Tibetan Plateau, fed by the glaciers of the Himalaya. That’s nearly half the world’s population.

    And yes, China is on a dam building spree, even in Tibet.

    So for the Chinese, Tibet is a three-fer: they take control of the source of their own key rivers, they get water to develop the western China highlands, and they control the water sources to a couple of billion neighbors, including in geopolitial rival India.

    Having a HSR that allows you to get your people there rapidly in the event of any kind of … emergency … is a major factor in having that emergency work out in your favor.

    Dry Xinjiang is more geostrategic than hydrostrategic. In this case, trade really does matter, but not trade with the (relatively unproductive) Uighurs, but trade with the natural resource-rich lands beyond: Pakistan and the other ‘Stans, Iran, Russia, Pakistan’s ports on the Indian Ocean, the Caspian Basin, the Persian Gulf and ultimately, the Mediterranean and Europe.

    If you’re China, heavily dependent on raw material imports, and your main rival is the seagoing power of the US and its NATO/SEATO allies, then in the event of open conflict, your supply chains over the world ocean are all going to be cut. You need to have immediate and defensible supply lines available. The Central Asian route is beyond the reach of Western seapower and not even in easy reach of Western airpower.

    Even without a major conflict, by creating high-capacity arteries in the interior of the Eurasian continent, China can remake global trade in ways more favorable to itself. The “Belt and Road Initiative” or whatever name China currently calls it, is the friendly, outward face of this calculatedly self-interested global strategy.

    tl;dr: If I were running China, I’d not only be building HSR in the west, I’d be building arterial highways, pipelines and air defenses. They only look like “roads to nowhere” if you are constrained by maps of (temporary) current reality or spreadsheets of this quarter’s earnings, which most Westerners currently are.

  207. AaronB says:

    That’s a bold assumption (heh).There’s no reason to assume that both groups have the same incentive since there is no evidence that participating in math competitions have any meaningful impact on earnings for highly skilled people. We would need to know the application rates first before we make any judgement.

    It’s entirely plausible that Indians place a higher premium on higher incomes, which would lead them to focus on matters that have more direct bearing rather than low-stakes competitions.

    Applies to IQ tests, Math Olympiad, etc.

    On a higher level, it even applies to all performance. Ability is hard to truly measure in any area because motivation is always a huge factor. How much differences in performance are caused by differences in motivation is difficult to assess, yet we act as if our intelligence assessments are accurate down to a few points, that a few IQ point difference between countries really reflects differences in ability, and that things like the Math Olympiad tell us more than which group at a given time care about shiny prizes (I think there has been a total collapse in Jews earning these prizes. Whites now earn them more than Jews. Yet there is no corresponding dip in Jewish performance in real world).

    Going up another level, entire civilizations can be motivated to excel in certain areas, while others care less. The dysfunction of India can be just a traditional religious disinterest in developing the physical world (to me, it seems like ordinary Indians I have met in India- shop owners, stall owners, hotel workers, drivers, are as bright, alert, and intelligent as Whites or Asians. ), and the supposed East Asian aptitude for math and science might reflect only a strong motivation to master the disciplines needed to prevent the West from colonizing Asia, and not a natural predilection (the literary character of traditional Asian culture, with its anti mechanistic bent, as well as the high suicide rates in Asian countries, suggest this). And Western creativity may only be the result if restless dissatisfaction.

    This doesn’t mean there are no aptitude differences among groups or individuals – there most certainly are. But they are extremely difficult to measure, since priorities, incentives, and motivations muddy the waters so much, and we should acknowledge this and not act as if our assessments are precise down to a few points.

    Small differences between groups almost certainly reflect priorities and motivations, while larger fiffernces capture a real, although unknown, difference in aptitude.

  208. 128 says:
    @Almost Missouri

    If you want to increase travel between Sichuan and Lhasa can not you do the same by expanding Lhasa’s airport capacity, should be a lot cheaper to add flights or build a new wing instead of having to build a whole railway.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @showmethereal
  209. @Rahan

    Like Karlin once mentioned, Russia is ~95%,”white” by American standards and the rest are Asian minorities like Buryats, Yakuts. Kazakhs, Tuvans, Altays etc. And by my own estimation at least ~80% Slavic, thus population is culturally homogeneous or at least compatible enough for a peaceful co existence. Officially probably 85% Slavic, but there are many Jews, mixes, Russified members of minorities who put Russian in the Census, and un registered Central Asians Hadzis etc.

    You are somewhat wrong on on Serbia, they are surprisingly multiethnic. In the region of Novy Bazar there are many Muslim Slavs, Serbias regions bordering Kosovo have many Albanians. Vojvodina has many minorities, largest of them is Hungarians. I think there are also many other smaller minorities.

    Ukraine on the other hand is totally fragmented politically and confessionally. Ethnic unity doesnt help, if there is no strong unitary narrative and identity.

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  210. @utu

    Taiwan will be our Alamo

    A fitting comparison

  211. 128 says:

    I think the better explanation is that Russia basically just underinvested in rail and road transportation, and figured out that its network of airports from the USSR is a good enough solution in terms of responding to transport needs, and they have a very good point here.

  212. @AltanBakshi

    The Serbs that were ethnically cleansed by our Slavic cousins in the 90s were settled in Vojvodina, the minorities there also preferred moving to their more prosperous EU member home countries

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  213. Hojer says:
    @utu

    Speaking about nightmares – you dig it up. In your opinion it is OK if one side being about 10 times more numerous expulses the other one, enslaves it, tortures it and gases its children for education reasons, then you dare complain on being expulsed in vengeance.
    You consider this issue just like if the history started in the point when Germans lost the war and Czechs have been obliged to behave to them again as to best neighbours, probably just because of herrenfolk has the right to decide when it is time for its cruelty and untermenschen (Slavs) has no such rights. This arrogance has been always the trouble I described earlier. IMO even the reason for losing two world wars, btw.
    You mentioned “Surprisingly Beckow got close to the answer: “Conformism and a certain smallness of character…” – reading your comment my conclusion is that this conformism and smallnes of character is expressed mainly in the fact, that the vengeance was too light and that even I suggested to rather face common threats together in the future. Thanks for the lesson.

  214. @Blinky Bill

    You are adamant about this but I’m not clear about the case you are making. Can you structure your arguments?

    Chengdu to Lhasa conventional line

    1. What are specific benefits of building the railway line?
    2. If one of the benefits is symbolism, how much symbolic credit is derived from a second railway line on top of the first line built in the 2000s?
    3. Are there much better and cheaper ways to promote ethnic unity like in agriculture? Have you considered whether the immense cost of the railway project could strain budgets and actually hinder the implementation of better projects in Tibet?
    4. Are you concerned with the damage of wasteful projects to the overall picture? That is if tens of billions of dollars gets wasted so recklessly then it chips away at the miracle momentum fueling the race to the finish line of becoming a rich country by 2040.

    Urumqi to Lanzhou HSR

    Same points as above but in this case if symbolism was necessary, then I think only part of the line should have been built. A regional HSR line from Urumqi to Turpan would bring HSR to Xinjiang and could be used in the propaganda b-roll.

    • Replies: @128
    , @showmethereal
  215. @Almost Missouri

    But I’m still not clear, in light of your points, why a second railway line is necessary?

  216. 128 says:
    @china-russia-all-the-way

    Well it seems that China can issue debt without consequence (according to the august posters here), so there is that.

  217. @Korenchkin

    Census of 2011 says 83.3% of population is Serbs. So almost same as Russias 81% of Russians.

  218. @reiner Tor

    I prefer to look at nominal GDP even in comparing GDP per capita as PPP is another estimate on top of the estimated size of an economy. I suspect the PPP estimate is really off in some cases (Turkey’s GDP per capita goes through the roof after PPP adjustment), which lowers my confidence in the reliability of the data.

  219. @Gerard.Gerard

    Never give up in the face of the unprecedented and prejudiced persecution directed against you. They are trying to silence the truth.

    • Thanks: Gerard-Mandela
  220. @d dan

    Real cool how Russia jumped from nowhere to fourth place in 1992, must have been one amazing growth year!

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @mal
  221. @Znzn

    …how building and HSR line between Moscow and Sochi or Moscow and Omsk is not worth the money, and that the existing normal trains will do.

    Russia already has modern and profitable “normal trains”. Moreover, this segment is actually growing.

    Throwing away something that works and succeeded in the market for some HSR boondoggle that nobody asked for would be madness.

    (Not saying keeping “normal trains” would necessarily be the good choice – sometimes madness is what you need to innovate and succeed – but the current calls for HSR is nothing but cargo-cult.)

  222. @Blinky Bill

    Taiwan isn’t a country, so why should he reply?

  223. @d dan

    What’s up with this fanfare around China now becoming the largest economy in the world (when measured in PPP) when in reality this happened years ago?

    Also, isn’t PPP only really useful when looking at per capita GDP?

  224. Beckow says:
    @utu

    It would more honest to finish my quote ‘...most conformist people in human history, the esteemed German nation…“. Why didn’t you?

    In the past Germans to their credit used to think big. Today, with Merkel and Co. they seem like a cowed and not fully sane nation that does as they are told. And the uber-conformism is still there.

    The official WWII history has some lies, some quite big. Even more so the pre-WWII German history in the 30’s, the attitudes of people, the economic revival, social and family policies. But none of that applies to the German treatment of Czechs during occupation. Czechs were not too courageous and simply tried to survive, as did the French, Danes, Dutch etc… The nihilistic brutality of Germans towards the Czechs in WWII was real and a large part of it was done by the local Sudeten Germans. There was no way in 1945 to wipe the slate clean and let it go – and that meant the expulsion of the Sudeten Germans. It was a consequence. There were many who thought that expelling the murderers and their families (and a few others, life is never neat) was too mild.

    The repeated attempts by Germans, French and behind-the-scene Anglos to conquer and demographically change Eastern Europe are not something you should be proud of. The alliances with murderous Turks, endless stirring up of the local fights, invasions. Now as we observe a slow internal collapse in the West, there is a certain reckoning. Your societies are walking dead, demographically changed and internally divided. The East still has a chance.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  225. songbird says:
    @128

    China closes a lot of its airspace to civilian flights. What is open is just narrow corridors. Not all cities are directly connected. One of the side effects of this is that its civilian airspace is very crowded. If there is a weather event in one city, there are severe, system-wide repercussions. When you add in security measures, this makes high speed rail more attractive, than it would be otherwise, at least in some instances.

    China manages its airspace rather poorly. Probably a side effect of communism. Used to be difficult and expensive to fly to a place like South Korea because Soviet airspace was closed off to Western flights. Eventually, they figured they could charge significant transit fees, due to the high cost of alternatives. So far as I know, Russia continues this system.

    It is not true that China always builds to satisfy demand. They spent about $20 billion on the HK-Zuhai-Macau bridge. It is practically deserted because they don’t make using it easy. You need a permit, as well as separate licenses, and it is not cheap to use. It is a controlled system of traffic – very little is allowed.

  226. @Not Only Wrathful

    I don’t get these ethical & cultural preferences/stereotypes. It’s all about whether these figures are correct & what they mean.

    And that’s all.

    By the way- I cannot stereotype my neighbors Slovenes, all 2 million of them. How then could anyone so easily dismiss a country of 1.3 billion people (or more) is beyond my comprehension.

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  227. Be as it may:

    1. I am glad that Czechs & Slovaks are doing well. I have expected that, given their history, work ethic etc.

    2. I am pleasantly surprised- not envious- by Romanian success, but it is inexplicable to me.

    3. also, I don’t understand why Bulgaria is still “down”.

    4. I find it hard to believe in Turkey’s success story continuing.

    5. here in Croatia, I still don’t get why this miserable economic performance continues. We should be somewhere over 30 k, and we’re still virtually the same as Russia, which is a serious country-empire, encumbered with so many difficulties that go hand in hand with such a vast & diverse land.

    Croatian laziness? Stupidity? Primitivism? Envy? Corruption?….

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  228. @Art Deco

    You’re misunderstanding pubic-sector accounting.

    Public-sector accounting makes Enron accounting look pristine by comparison. It makes Madoff accounting look honest.

    A decent chunk of government spending does not even make it to annual ‘budget’ statements, because it’s selectively defined as ‘off-budget’ – “supplementary appropriations”.

    The canonical example of “supplemental appropriatons”: almost all of the costs associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions were ‘off-budget’ prior to 2009.

    And of course government exempts itself from any obligation to account for accruals of future obligations for people newly-qualified for aged care and pensions.

    These are small in a given year, but they accumulate to a very large number, and become particularly bad once social security systems pass the point where the aged dependency ratio gets above 0.2 (meaning 5 working age people per retiree).

    The dependency ratio is important because social security systems in most Anglophone economies are pure Ponzi schemes: current retiree benefits are funded from contributions from current workers, not from each retirees’ historical contributions.

    .

    It is erroneous to think that government debt accumulation is driven primarily by reported budget deficits. It’s also erroneous to think that deficits (or debt accumulation) should properly be compared to GDP – as if the government has the whole of GDP to use to make repayments.

    The following (2 pages equivalent: 3 minute read) will show the reader why this is the case.

    Start with the fact that over the last half-century, government debt often (almost always) increases during years where there is a reported government budget surplus.

    There have been 4 years of US Federal budget surpluses since 1970: all between 1998 and 2001.

    In that period – with budget surpluses totalling 559.4 billion – total US government debt rose by about 394 billion.

    On a base of 5.4 trillion (the 1997 total debt), it ‘only’ rose at 1.8% a year. (That would be like your household debt increasing by 2% of the base value of your mortgage, say – year in, year out).

    Examine the ‘wedge’ between the budget deficit, and the net addition to government debt: governments persistently issue more debt each year, than their budgets indicate. Often, new debt issuance is twice the size of the reported deficit – and as 1998-2001 shows, debt rises even when there is a reported surplus.

    This would not be all that surprising in a business context: balance sheet and income statement decisions have different motivations, and different consequences. Growth-stage businesses will accumulate debt to enable them to expand more quickly than is possible without leverage. Governments aren’t supposed to behave like growth-stage businesses: they are not supposed to target their own growth, and they don’t need to increase leverage to, e.g., acquire other governments.

    There the ramifications of compounding are also relevant.

    Small proportions that accumulate in the same direction over time, result in large quantities.

    Consider if your household outlays exceeded your income by ~3% each year for an extended period. (Let’s retain the silly notion that the ‘deficit’ is properly measured, and that GDP is the correct denominator: the average deficit-to-GDP ratio since 1970: 2.96%)

    How long would it take – at consistent 3% shortfall – before debt-servicing became a significant expenditure item? How fragile would your system become to external shocks (e.g., a novel virus pandemic, or the normalisation of interest rates)?

    If this situation persisted for more than about a decade, the balance sheet damage would be irreversible – even from a starting position of zero debt (which is not the starting position for any government, and was not the starting position for the US in 1970).

    Now let’s do some ‘sensitivity analysis’…

    SA1: What if the ‘3%’ was actually much higher?

    Consider that when the US budget deficit was 3.2% of GDP in 2016, the actual addition to debt was more than twice as large (7.83% of GDP):
     • budget deficit for 2016: 584.65 billion;
     • new debt for 2016: 1,423.00 billion.

    This was not a flash-in-the-pan: the compound rate of growth of US debt since 1970 is 8.74% (almost triple the average deficit-to-GDP ratio of 2.96 – a key clue that GDP is the wrong denominator).

    Anyhow… now you’re going backwards, not at 3% a year, but at 8.7% a year.

    The balance sheet damage is significantly worse – year in, year out – than the ‘headline’ deficit number.

    More after the ‘MORE’ – because the actual lay of the land is much, much worse.

    [MORE]

    SA2: What if the relevant denominator is actually much lower?

    Debt is a stock measure; GDP is a flow measure – so ratios of the two make no sense. It would be like comparing your household budget to the value of your house – that’s the stock-flow problem.

    Deficit-to-GDP at least compares flows, but deficits are artificial and are systematically lower than actual debt accumulation, as shown above.

    That’s not the only problem though. Fix the numerator, by all means – but fix the denominator while you’re at it.

    GDP is the wrong denominator.

    Using GDP as the denominator is like comparing your household budget to the aggregate household income of your neighbourhood. The denominator includes resources that are not, and will never be, available to you.

    Government does not have access to the whole of GDP. Any government that tried to get taxes to even 50% of GDP, would face a revolution – because it would have to take 70% of non-government output to have taxes equal to 50% of GDP.

    A more sensible denominator, is a flow quantity that is actually available to government. An ‘income’ type measure.

    That way, new debt accumulation can be compared to a more meaningful flow.

    Government income is not GDP (~16 trillion), it’s total tax receipts (~3.4 trillion).

    Tax receipts are always close to the ceiling of what government can extract without political repercussions; ask yourself when was the last time that either political party explicitly called for an increase in the total taxes as a proportion of the economy (increases in total tax receipts are usually achieved by stealth: by bracket creep, or by indirect tax hikes).

    Anyhow… now let’s compare 2016’s ‘new debt’ (1.423 trillion, remember) to the total government receipts for 2016 (forecast to be a bit over 3.5 trillion; it was actually under 3.3 trillion).

        1.423/3.265 = 43%.

    The US government spent 143% of what it took in.

    All of a sudden the ‘household’ budget situation starts to look highly problematic. If you had an income of $100k and routinely had $143K in outgoings, you would be massively underwater in less than a decade – even if you started out debt-free.

    It’s a mildly tedious project to collect the data to calculate total new debt as a proportion of government receipts for every year since WWII – but for historical purposes it only has to be done once.

    Anyone who hasn’t looked at that data for their country should not participate in discussions about public finances.

    SA3: What if your starting balance sheet was already carrying debt equal to 100% of your sustainable capacity to repay?

    When doing the ‘government as household’ heuristic, people naturally think in terms of a starting balance of zero debt – or at least, a manageable debt relative to some (incorrect, large) number.

    If your starting debt balance is already large – not relative to GDP but relative to income available to service the debt – accumulation of new debt makes the position much more fragile.

    The balance sheet becomes much more exposed to interest rate risk, particularly if you’re adding short-term debt. There comes a point where other budget items must be sacrificed in order to retain the confidence of lenders – otherwise they will down-rate you (if you’re the hegemon, and ratings are done by hegemon-resident firms, lenders will slow their rate of purchase of your debt without a formal downgrade).

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  229. @Bardon Kaldian

    Hey, they don’t tend to be short either. Look at Yao Ming!

    Imbecile

  230. @Thulean Friend

    Ecological financial feminism is the ideology of my evil twin. She’s great, but still…

  231. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    You failed to produce relevant data. The assertion you quoted is about corporate net income, not about private personal + corporate non financial debt. As I informed you, BIS data

    Lol, ok, here’s another article on the subject of corporate debt financing the buybacks.

    The era of cheap borrowing is fostering corporate America’s favorite investor-pleasing activity: Share buybacks.

    Indeed, more than half of all buybacks are now funded by debt. And while there’s an argument that repurchases benefit share prices and investors, at least in the short run, it’s questionable whether highly indebted companies should be doing this.

    https://fortune.com/2019/08/20/stock-buybacks-debt-financed/

    My main point about consumer deleveraging in the US still stands. As a %GDP, consumer debt declined from 100% to 75%. This is bad for GDP growth, so US government had to step in with deficits.

    Your idea that without debt we live in tents is crazy. Wealth is created by people doing useful work.

    Look up Hooverville during Great Depression. What is “wealth”? It’s an income generating asset. What is income? It is a consumer purchasing a good, or service, or asset itself, on credit (money, in a fiat system, is debt, or credit, two sides of the same coin or accounting balance sheet).

    Wealth is created, or valued, at the point of consumption, not production. You can have a dealership full of Ferraris, but if the dealership has no customers, or consumers to consume and value the Ferrari, the value of Ferrari is zero, and the wealth of Ferrari dealership is zero. It absolutely doesn’t matter how clever or “useful” work to make the Ferrari has been. No end consumer means no such thing as “useful” work.

    Consumer is the only thing that matters in market economy, and only two things make consumers – demographics and credit. “Useful” work, “productivity” and other garbage are utterly irrelevant in the modern political economy.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  232. mal says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    My parents bought me ZX Spectrum 48k minicomputer that year, that was the reason Russian GDP skyrocketed in 1992. Just so you know.

    • LOL: showmethereal
  233. @Europe Europa

    No – it was the signing of the Plaza Accord at the behest of the US that shook Japan’s confidence and it’s economic functionality.

    • Agree: mal, AltanBakshi
  234. @That Would Be Telling

    Most of “Taiwan” companies have their largest manufacturing in the PRC. And a lot of Vietnam companies are basically shadows of PRC companies. It’s all a big web.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  235. @Dmitry

    Nobel Prizes are politically motivated awards…

  236. songbird says:

    I’m not sure GDP isn’t some archaic measure. Has any First World country ever benefited from trying to estimate GDP? Today, GDP is causing people like Yglesias to say that the US should import hundreds of millions of people from the Third World. Seems like it is only used for subversion.

    We’d be better off comparing human capital, or trying to measure poz.

    • Replies: @mal
  237. mal says:
    @songbird

    GDP was created as a unified accounting system for an industrial economy, a system for counting the number of widgets (or “tradeable goods” as Thulean Friend puts it) produced in an interval of time. It is indeed a great system for an industrial economy.

    Too bad modern advanced economies today are NOT industrial economies. Modern advanced economy is based on consumption of services, and production of “tradeable goods” (such as agriculture and industry output) is simply not relevant to the modern advanced economy. Oh sure food and widgets are in there somewhere, but they are not important as a fraction of economic activity. Kinda like air, air is nice to have, but what is the %GDP (or economic activity in general) that is dedicated to the production of air? It’s near 0%. Same with food and widgets (aka “tradeable goods”).

    As such, GDP is kinda meaningless today, but for psychological and historical reasons, a lot important vectors depend on it such as business investment and pension fund return calculations. Those are not grounded in reality, but we can’t really insult old people and tell them their worldview is obsolete, so GDP charade needs to keep going. So we must inflate GDP by whatever means necessary, or old people will get upset, and there are a lot of them. This is the fundamental reality of modern macroeconomics, nothing else really matters.

    • Agree: songbird, showmethereal
  238. @Kratoklastes

    Very sensible comment. The focus of debt/GDP is arguably misguided because debt is a stock but GDP is a flow. It would make more sense to compare debt to assets.

    Your point about debt sustainability being equal to repayment capacity is also important. Jason Furman did a good presentation (c. 37.4 min) over at PIIE on these topics.

  239. @Bardon Kaldian

    I am pleasantly surprised by Romanian success, but it is inexplicable to me.

    Romania is living beyond its means. They have a huge current account deficit despite the economic crisis. Typically in crises, non-oil countries radically improve their CA balance. That did not happen in Romania.

    Countries can fund large CADs for a long time, as Turkey proved throughout the 2010s, but sooner or later it stops. And then the adjustment becomes very sudden. As Turkey also experienced.

    3. also, I don’t understand why Bulgaria is still “down”.

    The inverse of Romania. They are running an extremely tight ship. I would argue that their income per head is understated due to excessive savings and extremely low debt. They are trying to get into the euro, so this is their attempt. They could easily allow the currency to rise without much harm but this is political.

    4. I find it hard to believe in Turkey’s success story continuing.

    Turkey’s currency has collapsed 80% against the euro over the past decade. This is not reflected in PPP. Another reason why Poor People’s Parity should ignored in these discussions. PPP only really works for poverty measurement.

  240. @Beckow

    Czechs had a worst geographical position among the occupied nations, right in the midst of core lands of German Reich! Think how huge is the psychological pressure in such situation. Thus it was not as simple to be a partisan in Czechia as it was in the forests of Belarus or even in France. If that would be all, but no, even outside Sudetenland there was a quite big and loyal Volksdeutsche minority living amidst Czechs, so situation was psychologically very different again from France, Belgium etc. But still Czech partisans could assasinate Heydrich one of the members of the elite of the Nazi Germany, even when Germany was still in its zenith. In my opinion that shows huge courage and determination. The psychological shock among Nazi party members must have been considerable.

    • Replies: @utu
  241. Levtraro says:
    @mal

    I understand your point of view, it is relatively common in leftist circles and its an extreme reaction to the supply-side point of view . Things are more complicated than just the consumer in a market economy. But think about this if you will: your point of view is extremely biased top-down, it assumes wealth is created by government and by banks issuing credit, not by individual workers and entrepreneurs, whom only react to the amount of credit given by their masters.

    • Replies: @mal
  242. utu says:
    @AltanBakshi

    “But still Czech partisans could assasinate Heydrich one of the members of the elite of the Nazi Germany, even when Germany was still in its zenith. In my opinion that shows huge courage and determination. “

    The determination was British who wanted to wage the war by civilians of other countries. The chief objective was to antagonize Czechs against Germans by provoking German retaliations (Libice…). Citizens of Prague were very helpful in catching the perpetrators of Heydrich assassination. The British did not succeed. After the retaliations there was no pick up in anti-German activities and Czechs remained loyal to the III Reich enjoying relatively comfortable life which in some respects improved comparing to the pre war Czechoslovakia. Stalin was more successful in provoking German retaliation against Russian and Belarusian civilians by setting up his partisan units on territories where the civilian population was getting too cozy with German rule preferring it to Stalin’s rule. Partisan activities did not shorten the war by one day but greatly contributed to blood of innocent people being spilled unnecessarily. Czechs were much smarter and played the cards they have been dealt the best they could and in the end they minimized population and property losses by being submissive and law abiding citizens throughout the whole occupation. Czech strategy was a winning strategy and thus it was justified unlike the strategy of Poles or Yugoslavians. However their slaughter of German civilians after the war was the most cowardly and inexcusable act they ever did. As I suggested it came from a need to compensate for psychological inadequacy due to their passivity during the occupation which was cynically used by Czech politicians to accelerate the cleansing process of German minority.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AP
    , @AltanBakshi
  243. AP says:
    @utu

    However their slaughter of German civilians after the war was the most cowardly and inexcusable act they ever did. As I suggested it came from a need to compensate for psychological inadequacy due to their passivity during the occupation which was cynically used by Czech politicians to accelerate the cleansing process of German minority.

    It seems to be a more extreme version of French people (who themselves put up fairly lukewarm resistance and whose country was a quasi-ally) bravely shaving the heads and humiliating women among them that had had personal relationships with Germans during the “occupation.”

    • Agree: utu
  244. mal says:
    @Levtraro

    Well, I wouldn’t exactly call myself a leftist – I support business deregulation, view progressive tax system as rather futile and pointless (look up Hauser law), and dislike things like minimum wage . I’m rather sympathetic towards corporations and rich people, what I have a problem with is them setting credit availability for the general public.

    Just like in capitalist game of Monopoly, I have no problem with it, it is a fine game, but to get it going, players must be able to collect $200 when they pass “Go”.

    Commercial banking system that we currently rely on has completely discredited itself over the past 20 years. It is a total and complete failure and an embarrassment to any human with even a little shred of decency. Credit must be made into a public utility (which is where we are going anyway, just painfully slowly, and it ruins people’s lives unnecessarily).

    Once that’s done, I’m pretty right wing. Let Monopoly Corporations compete on the game board as they see fit. We must have deregulation so that entrepreneurs, corporations, and workers can choose how to best spend their resources and talents.

    The consumer is sacred though. And corporations agree with me – at the first sign of trouble in the credit markets they fire the producers and get rid of workers but they increase advertising budgets and try to promote sales in desperation. They know that workers are superfluous but the consumer is everything. And this is fine except we use workers today to make consumers so corporate actions result in a destructive feedback loop. This must end and to do that we must decouple consumption from capricious whims of labor sinks such as corporations and planning agencies such as commercial banks. Only then we will be able to have a sane, stable political economy.

  245. @utu

    However their slaughter of German civilians after the war was the most cowardly and inexcusable act they ever did.

    I dont like such maximalist take regarding history. Most nations in ww2 did cowardly and inexcusable acts. Also are you sure that Czechs never did most heinous, or inexcusable blah blah acts in the 30 Years war or during the Hussite wars?

    I understand that you are fan of the Grossdeutches Reich or at least apologist for the NSDAP, but surely you can understand the huge stress and worry that affected Czechs during the occupation, the hopeless feeling when you know that you will be devoured by a larger and mightier nation? Those who laugh Czech non resistance, should remember the borders of of Europe in 1939-1945 and ask if they could as a members of a small nation, totally encircled muster any resistance?

    • Replies: @utu
  246. utu says:
    @AltanBakshi

    “…huge stress and worry that affected Czechs during the occupation, the hopeless feeling…” – You do not know what you are talking about.

    “..fan of the Grossdeutches Reich or…” – Again you do not know what you are talking about.

  247. @Almost Missouri

    And you pretty much described exactly what they are doing… Without that water – GDP growth takes a beating… Aside from that – they subsidize the poorer western regions

  248. @128

    It’s also about transporting freight. Using rail is more beneficial. And no – it is not easy having airports at that high of an altitude. Everything (including planes) has to be made to compensate for the thing air and the potentially frigid conditions. Rail or air are difficult in the highest altitude place in the world.

  249. @china-russia-all-the-way

    1) freight travel is more the reason for the rail than passengers.
    2) connection to a different region
    3) yeah the costs are immense… but they are still a “socialist” country so the richer east has been subsidizing the west for a long time..

    urumqi to lanzhou – see 3) above… they also built a highway that you can drive to Beijing from Xinjiang… It goes through a whole lot of desert.

  250. Smith says:

    Even with the rising prosperity of Vietnam and a sense of optimism for vietnamese in the standing of the world, why do I still feel a sense of dread and disappointment?

    In the West, we have a superpower that is ruled by insane SJWs that use arbitrary rules to ban/bomb people, in the East, we have a rising superpower that advertises its own model of nanny state that love censorship, social credit score, surveillance and data mining.

    And these are the two most powerful superpowers in the world as of 2020. Is this the Earth we want to live in?

    No! We vietnamese must do everything to avoid being consumed by these two hegemonies, we must maintain our independence, freedom and happiness.

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