THE OTHER SIDE OF CHINA'S ASCENT
Business Interpreter, February 6, 2012
The answer is: we both are, but only by our own definitions of decline. I define decline as a narrowing of the wealth gap between the US and China. Thirlwell defines decline in terms of economic growth rates. Thirlwell and I come to opposing conclusions because the US is growing at a slower rate than China while simultaneously becoming wealthier.
How can this be? Normally, growth rates dovetail with changes in wealth gaps. But these measures often diverge when comparing a rich country like the US to a poor one like China.
Since 1991, China's per capita income rose 11 per cent annually while America's rose 3.5 per cent annually. But 11 per cent of $US900 (China's per capita income in 1991) is less than 3.5 per cent of $US24,000, the US per capita income for that year. As a result, the average Chinese citizen is $US17,000 poorer compared with the average American today than he was in 1991.
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