” Sorry, America. China just overtook the US to become the world’s largest economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Chris Giles at the Financial Times flagged up the change. He also alerted us in April that it was all about to happen.
Basically, the method used by the IMF adjusts for purchasing power parity, explained here.
The simple logic is that prices aren’t the same in each country: A shirt will cost you less in Shanghai than in San Francisco, so it’s not entirely reasonable to compare countries without taking this into account. Though a typical person in China earns a lot less than the typical person in the US, simply converting a Chinese salary into dollars underestimates how much purchasing power that individual, and therefore that country, might have. The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a great example of these disparities. “
Heck of a job , Barack … read more
” Mistakes and missteps in the handling of the first Ebola case in the United States trouble lawmakers, international organizations and some public health experts who say the government needs to step up its strategy to contain the virus.
“ Where is the 1-800-Ebola hotline?” asked Gavin MacGregor-Skinner, an assistant professor of public health at Penn State University who helped set up an Ebola treatment clinic in Nigeria a few weeks ago. “This is a Category 5 hurricane. It just happens to be viral.”
Doctors have diagnosed only one person with Ebola in the United States, but as many as 50 people might have been exposed to the virus in Dallas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Doctors at Howard University Hospital in Washington are monitoring a patient with Ebola-like symptoms who frequently traveled to Nigeria.
The raging epidemic has overwhelmed weak health systems in the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Although hospitals in the United States are better prepared to handle Ebola, travel restrictions or stricter screening of people coming to the United States from Ebola-affected countries might be necessary to curb the crisis, some health monitors said.
“ Unless the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention take extreme measures to prevent the universal spread of the disease, we could possibly end up with a pandemic,” said Phenelle Segal, president of Montgomery County-based Infection Control Consulting Services and a former infection prevention analyst for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.”
Further reading on the state of US preparedness …
Nurses union survey finds US hospitals widely unprepared for Ebola
Ebola in the U.S.: Are hospitals and health care workers prepared?
US hospitals ‘unprepared’ to safely handle infectious
INSIGHT-US hospitals unprepared to handle Ebola waste
” With more than 40 million immigrants, the United States is the top destination in the world for those moving from one country to another. Mexico, which shares a nearly 2,000-mile border with the U.S., is the source of the largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States.
But today’s volume of immigrants, in some ways, is a return to America’s past. A century ago, the U.S. experienced another large wave of immigrants. Although smaller at 18.2 million, they hailed largely from Europe. Many Americans can trace their roots to that wave of migrants from 1890-1919, when Germany dominated as the country sending the most immigrants to many of the U.S. states, although the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy were also strongly represented.”
” In 1910, Germany was the top country of birth among U.S. immigrants, accounting for 18% of all immigrants (or 2.5 million) in the United States. Germans made up the biggest immigrant group in 17 states and the District of Columbia, while Mexico accounted for the most immigrants in just three states (Arizona, New Mexico and Texas). Behind Germany, the second-most number of immigrants in the U.S. were from Russia and the countries that would become the USSR (11%, or 1.6 million).”
Lots more detail at Pew Research
Image Via AFP/Getty
” The US is on the brink of losing its status as the world’s largest economy, and is likely to slip behind China this year, sooner than widely anticipated, according to the world’s leading statistical agencies.
The US has been the global leader since overtaking the UK in 1872. Most economists previously thought China would pull ahead in 2019.
The figures, compiled by the International Comparison Program hosted by the World Bank, are the most authoritative estimates of what money can buy in different countries and are used by most public and private sector organisations, such as the International Monetary Fund. This is the first time they have been updated since 2005.
After extensive research on the prices of goods and services, the ICP concluded that money goes further in poorer countries than it previously thought, prompting it to increase the relative size of emerging market economies.
The estimates of the real cost of living, known as purchasing power parity or PPPs, are recognised as the best way to compare the size of economies rather than using volatile exchange rates, which rarely reflect the true cost of goods and services: on this measure the IMF put US GDP in 2012 at $16.2tn, and China’s at $8.2tn.”
Read the whole disgraceful news item at Financial Times. Can’t say he didn’t warn us .
Image Credit: Reporters Without Borders
” While press freedom seems to be in a troubling downward trajectory in the U.S., Internet freedom is not looking much better either.
Reporters Without Borders recently announced its annual “Enemies of the Internet” list, and it is a real doozy this year. There are some of the usual suspects — China, Sudan, Iran, North Korea and Cuba — but there are also a few surprising additions to the list — especially the U.S. and the U.K.
Take a look at the map … “
We in the west should be so proud . Look at the details of the map and hang your heads in shame .
” “How will so-called democratic countries be able to press for the protection of journalists if they adopt the very practices they are criticizing authoritarian regimes for?” asked the report.
Check out this interactive version of the map for a more detailed look at Internet censorship around the world.”
The leaders of the US and UK should be absolutely ashamed of themselves to find the homes of the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence / Constitution / Bill Of Rights in company with the above mentioned dictatorships , oligarchies and theocracies . One can practically feel the earth tremble as the Founding Fathers turn over in their graves .
Read the rest
” U.S. and Mexico authorities are on the cusp of striking a deal that would relax border controls for perceived “trusted” business travelers .
The U.K. Guardian reported that leaders for the United States and Mexico — Presidents Obama and Enrique Pena Nieto — will get together with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Toluca on Wednesday to hone talks about freer economic opportunities. The talks come on the 20th anniversary of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Officials in advance of this meeting say the focal point will likely be the new agreement that will speed up border crossings for executives, business people and other “trusted” frequent travelers, via a continent-wide, pre-screening system, The Guardian reported.”
Never fear , this measure is only designed to apply to those that follow the rules and cross the borders legally . Those that choose covert entry into the US will continue unimpeded . Read more at Washington Times
” Almost as long as there have been trains, there have been train robberies. These dramatic stickups have become the stuff of legend thanks to dime novels and Hollywood westerns, but they also account some of the most fascinating—and lucrative—true crimes ever committed. From high profile capers by the likes of Jesse James and Butch Cassidy to a raid by a gang of Indian political dissidents, find out more about six of history’s most audacious rail heists.”
5. The Rondout Train Robbery
” The biggest rail heist in American history was the work of the “Newton Boys,” a band of four Texas brothers who robbed at least 60 banks and six trains during their lucrative criminal careers. The caper came on the night of June 12, 1924. Working on a tip from a crooked postal inspector, two of the Newton brothers boarded a mail train on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. After pulling guns on the engineer, the men forced the train to stop near Rondout, Illinois, where the rest of the gang waited with a small fleet of cars.
The thieves then threw bottles of noxious formaldehyde into the windows of the passenger cars, leaving the train’s 17 armed mail clerks gasping for air. When the guards surrendered, the bandits made off with several mail sacks containing a staggering $3 million in cash and bonds. The gang escaped in their cars, but in the confusion of the robbery an accomplice accidentally shot one of the Newton brothers several times. The thieves were later arrested after they tried to get medical assistance in Chicago.”
Read about the others at History.com