These days we all talk about the rise of Asia and the challenge to America, but it may well turn out that the most consequential trend of the next decade will be the economic decline of Europe.
It's often noted that the European Union has a combined gross domestic product that is approximately the same as that of the United States. But the E.U. has 170 million more people. Its per capita GDP is 25 percent lower than that of the United States, and, most important, that gap has been widening for 15 years. If present trends continue, the chief economist at the OECD argues, in 20 years the average U.S. citizen will be twice as rich as the average Frenchman or German.
Sounds horrible, right? But, Zakaria conveniently omits a serious bit of information. Look below the fold.
Added in 1995: Austria, Finland, Sweden
Added in 2004: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia.
That's actually one more new member than the membership before that point.
As I e-mailed Fareed:
You nowhere mentioned that the EU of 15 years ago is NOT the EU of today. Many of the post-1990 countries of the EU are, of course, from the former Soviet bloc and came into the EU with lower standards of living.
I'm guessing that your omission was deliberate.
It's obvious he's comparing apples and oranges to anybody with a fifth-grade education. We'll see if he responds.
Here's the place to give him some e-mail.