Ryan Avent reads through data on global output:

What we see is that countries that are home to about 740 million people, or about 11% of world population, are producing 40% of world output, down from over 50% 30 years ago. It would be bizarre if that state of affairs persisted, and it would be extremely unfortunate, as it would mean that most of the world's population was destined to languish in poverty.

I realise that I make this point about population repeatedly, but I feel it's both important and something that's often neglected in discussions about relative American decline, or relative Western decline.

Culture does matter. So does history.

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