China not so much rising as regressing to a new mean

In Politics, Real-World Stats, Statistics, The Economist on Tuesday 17th April, 2007 by Guy

Trust that leader of ‘papers, The Economist, to supply graphs that get to the heart of a matter faster than a million pundits’ articles (give or take):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket [source: The Economist, 29/03/07 edition]

All that hogwash about how China will imminently rule us all, presumably just before we all get to live underwater, is just that: a pigbath, a swineshower. Utter nonsense, for those less deft with metaphors amongst you. GDP is not the all-important measure of wealth that many think it is, let alone happiness or power, but even if China did once again reach the world share of it that it had 400 years ago, the consequences would not be as dire for the “West” as they were for China under occupation by that same “West” only a century ago. I smell the rotten whiff of racism emanating from fears of lots of Orientals becoming as wealthy as Europeans, but I can’t find the corpse to prove it.

Chill out.

[I do wonder how the graph-creators decided on what the height of the bars should be, but even with the possibility of substantial errors in estimation, the message seems clear enough].


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