You could spend hours on all of the ways the United States has suffered under the rule of Barack Obama, but none would make a stronger case than a new report from the International Monetary Fund. For the first time since the late 1800s, America can no longer claim to be the world’s economic leaders.
According to the IMF numbers, China will produce $17.6 trillion in goods and services this year as compared to the U.S.’s $17.4 trillion. It’s a close race, but it bears remembering that our economic output was three times that of China’s as recently as the year 2000. China has already surpassed us when it comes to global trade, and now they are surpassing us when it comes to domestic output as well.
Our slip to number two won’t have immediate ramifications, but it does serve as a glimpse into the future. When there is an economic shakeup of this magnitude, it produces significant global aftershocks. The history of the world’s greatest empires is written in terms of both monetary and military power. For a long time, America was the undisputed champion in both areas. But dominance can’t last forever, especially when the country in question is governed by a leader who wants to make us pay for our past transgressions.
But Not So Fast…
Is it time to panic? Not yet. The IMF relies on a calculation called “purchasing power parity” to come up with their conclusions, and those calculations aren’t the end-all, be-all. The U.S. GDP this year should come in at around $16.3 trillion compared with China’s $8 trillion, putting us far ahead. And GDP per capita numbers are even more dramatic. Break it down to each individual, and each American produces an output of more than $50,000 compared with China’s $6,000.
Still, there is call for pause. Many experts agree that China is on its way to becoming the world’s dominant economic and political force within the next century. And with high taxes, a move towards socialized medicine, and enormous expenditures aimed at preventing “global warming,” Obama is doing his damnedest to hurry the process along. Why wouldn’t he? He made it his business from the get-go to see America become more “European” in its translation of democracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s mulled the legal ramifications of signing on to the EU.
Speaking to the Business Roundtable in Washington this week, Obama noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping had consolidated power in a fast and comprehensive fashion. He expressed concern that he was using that power to suppress his dissenters and degrade human rights, and he warned of Jinping’s fierce nationalism.
But what the president fails to understand, apparently, is that we make China stronger by becoming weaker. And virtually all of Obama’s policies – amnesty, federal trade regulations, environmental regulations, military cuts, etc. – have served to make America less than it was when he took office. If China ever decides to flex its hostile muscles on an international stage, we’d better hope there’s enough of the old America left to stand up for Western democracy.