Guest Post: Presenting The Decline Of The West In Two Easy Infographics

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,

Two interesting infographics were published recently that make it so easy to see the decline of the West, even a caveman can do it.

The first is from the Brookings Institute, which has released an interactive map showing economic growth data for the largest 300 metropolitan areas in the world– from New York and London to Okayama, Japan and Wulumuqi, China.

The Brookings map ranks each of these cities based on economic performance over three distinct periods, measuring both GDP growth and employment trends.

The first time period is the last full year of data, 2011-2012. The second time period is that particular city’s economic low point since the global recession began in 2007. And the third period of time is a long-term view between 1993-2007.

The map then color codes each city by quintile. Dark blue represents the strongest economic growth over the three periods, orange and red represents the weakest.

screen capture Presenting the decline of the West in two easy infographics

Guess where most of the orange and red is? You got it. Europe, Japan, and North America.

Guess where most of the dark blue is? You got it. Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe… and right here in good ole’ Santiago, Chile.

If it weren’t already obvious at this point, I’d like to show you a second infographic, this one by Toshl Finance.

Toshl develops software to help people track and manage their finances, so the company has direct access to their customers’ earning and spending habits.

According to Toshl’s data, users in Western Europe earn an average of $2,062 per month, but spend $2,396. This is an average monthly deficit of $334 per person, or roughly 16% of income.

Toshl users in the United States are in even worse shape, earning on average $1,871 per month. But they spend $2,290 per month, an average monthly deficit of $419, or 22% of income.

So who in the world is living within their means? Australian, Brazilian, Russian, Canadian, Filipino, and Indian users all show positive surpluses each month. Chinese and Singaporeans are essentially at breakeven levels.

Both of these infographics point to the same conclusion: the west is living far beyond its means and is struggling with pitifully anemic growth. This is a long-term trend, and one that is only going to accelerate.

The shift of wealth and power from West to East is going to be one of the biggest stories of our lifetimes, just as the decline of Rome was the biggest story of the day over a thousand years ago. Future historians will look back on our time and say “duh, the warning signs were there…” just as we do today when we study Rome, the Ottoman Empire, the Bourbon monarchy, etc.

Yet as obvious as the indicators may be, few people will actually do anything about it. A lifetime of propaganda will plant many heads in the sand, ignoring the dangers and opportunities all around. Only a handful will see the writing on the wall and take sensible, rational steps to set up their lives and families for generations of success and freedom.

Which will you choose to be?

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Almost Solvent's picture

Excellent Question, Mr. Black

I will choose to be a ninja

Azannoth's picture

Instead of being a NINJA in The West why not be somebody with a future in the Far East or Chile?

cifo's picture

This must be an "Infommercial" paid by toshl.

francis_sawyer's picture

So Simon ~ Does this mean [according to the graph] that if you live on a life raft in the middle of the Indian Ocean, [you kno ~ that place where they ceremoniously wrapped Bin Laden's body in fine linen, anointed it with frankensence & myhrr according to Sharia custom, & carefully slid it into the water]... You're pullin down a cool $1324 joobux a month?



TruthInSunshine's picture

Don't snark on Simon Black. Who are you to criticize him? He's living the good life as only a circa-375 AD Visigoth could.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Indeed Simon's first chart has several of the major economic 'hot spots' in Mr bin Laden's original homeland on the Saudi Arabian peninsula ... where you can live life under a mediaeval torture monarchy, be flogged and jailed or put to death for activities normal in the Western world, and Saudi police have an nearly 100% success rate in extracting 'confessions' by making the 'suspect' scream in pain.

But the chart does seem to give the hottest spots as Mexico City, Moscow, and metropolitan Korea ... not too bad.

Freddie's picture

Our dear mullah was installed by those lovely Saudi people and their other ME pals who are not arabs or persians.

dubbleoj's picture

seoul is on the downslope of the curve. try going to a costco on the weekends and you'll be stampeded by  fat suburban bitches in fake velour track suits with a credit card in one hand and a free sample in the other as they wait in line like cattle to pay for their bulk sized cheezeballs and drive home. the only thing more disturbing than being physically followed by by these cows so that they can see what you put in your cart is watching them eat in the cafeteria. costco serves no kimchi, so they load up on free onions by the plateful and smother them with ketchup and mustard and relish to go along with their pizza and chicken rolls. 

quadcap's picture

This is fascinating and disturbing, and vaguely erotic, in a necrophilic sort of way, all at the same time.   I'm ROTFL.  Nice post.

RafterManFMJ's picture

.. where you can live life under a mediaeval torture monarchy, be flogged and jailed or put to death for activities normal in the Western world, and Saudi police have an nearly 100% success rate in extracting 'confessions' by making the 'suspect' scream in pain.


If you can't take the heat, get out of the Hijab.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Yee Haaa from the middle of that big blue ball in SE Texas.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

With the exception of NoCal and the pacific NW, notice that all the socialist states in NA and Europe are getting clobbered.

Keep your hands on your wallets, boys, and your AR-15 handy.

Taint Boil's picture



Dang it - from big orange ball near Detroit.

Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

This is so enormously stupid analysis.  The userbase for Toshl crap in the US or Europe should be much higher, thus closer to reality, than the userbase in China or Brazil.  Do you think someone earning $300/month in China uses this crap?  (And what percentage of Chinese earn more than that?  10%?  15%?  To compare the 15% in China with 45% in the US or Europe is just an embarassing, gross misunderstanding of statistics.

Tango in the Blight's picture

Same as using Alexa to measure web traffic. In Europe hardly anyone uses the Alexa Toolbar and in the US it is used much more so US sites are way more popular on Alexa compared to European sites than they really may be.

Sudden Debt's picture

I still want to remain a european or maybe become Australian compaired to average income :)

sad to see I pay more in monthly taxes than what the average monthly income is...

Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

Well I'm looking at  this Rio penthouse:

you know, mostly as a sex hedge

Sudden Debt's picture

you know, that kind of fish eye photgraphy can even make my dick look like 25 inches instead if the real 21 inches :)

it's like a shoebox big

quadcap's picture

On a long enough timeline, the size of everybody's dick drops to zero....

Snakeeyes's picture

Living beyond our means. Yes. The US binged and now are sickended.

Look at today's new home sales. New home sales are BACK TO 1975 LEVELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SmittyinLA's picture

yes, but home prices aren't back to 75 levels, incomes heading there too.

whatsinaname's picture

Surprising to see the Chinese do not have surpluses while I am sure the Indians are cycling their surpluses into Gold or bubbly real estate.

Zer0head's picture

but I thought canuks were drowning in debt

NEOSERF's picture

Yes but each one owns an oil derrick so the net is positive

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Map does show Canada population centres in debt

Canada is huge physically but much of it barely inhabitable, so the population is clustered very close to the US border, especially in the lower Ontario - Québec provinces (Toronto and Montreal)

And those areas by the North American Great Lakes and Niagara are quite orange-ish

Canadian guys there are indoors at bars having beers with their winter stocking caps on, wondering how they are going to pay all those bills

AgAu_man's picture

Yes "bank guy from Brussels", but...

Canada and its better educated and skilled population has contributed a helluva lot more to the world than Belgium.  Unless, of course, you count Belgium's contribution in terms of its Brussels seat for NATO and the EU.  Nice desk jobs using OPM, if can get it.  Wow, the world no doubt is building an altar to Belgium for that. 

Belgium, stick to what you're good at:  Making chocolates, beer and supplying the world with small arms.  Oh, and cheap to buy residency, per Simon Black. And easy to forge/procure passports, per any intelligence agent.  Cheers.

Dr. Engali's picture

I see Simon is back from his world travels looking for safe places to deposit all his gold and posting from his ranch in Chile.

IamtheREALmario's picture

If the North Pole is moving toward Russia, then the South Pole is moving toward Chile.

Diogenes's picture

The south pole is already chilly ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

kito's picture

Isn't it going to suck when the world collapses and airline travel ends and Simon has no access to his gold that is stored in 37 different countries???????

Dr. Engali's picture

LOL..I guess he could always retrieve it by llama.

akak's picture

Well, it looks like the Mayans were wrong about that.


Correction:  It looks like the uneducated, near-illiterate, gullible, New-Age doommongers who badly misinterpreted the Mayan calendar cycle were wrong about that.

thisandthat's picture

What happened to those, btw?

kito's picture

Isn't it going to suck when the world collapses and airline travel ends and Simon has no access to his gold that is stored in 37 different countries???????

kito's picture

Sorry, stuttering problem.....too much egg nog....

TheSilverJournal's picture

Debt/fiat ponzi is coming down.

I choose silver.

GMadScientist's picture

Averages are a blunt and unintelligent tool, appropriate for ex-patriates and cavemen alike.



tickhound's picture

You could be on to something there...

"just as we do today when we study Rome, the Ottoman Empire, the Bourbon monarchy, etc."  Future historians will look back on our time and say...

"Human civilization was still in its infancy."

thisandthat's picture

nonsense - if you wear size shoes 8 and your wife wears size 6, you can buy size 7 for both and save on bundle discount.

Mercury's picture

I'd be more interested in seeing net new users (by region) of Toshi products or all such products.

In any case, the US government hasn't been living within it's means for quite some time now and they get bigger and more powerful every day.

So the real story might be rather: the shift of wealth and power from individual to state.

Canadian Dirtlump's picture

re: many canadians are drowning in debt..


many I know certainly are. Despite protests from my wife, we sold our house, and are renting for the year. I"ve got some silver stacked.


perversely I'm looking at my watch waiting for the wheels to fall the fuck off so I can look over at her and smile. I understand the market can remain irrational for longer than forecast, but at least I'm in a position to wait.

AgAu_man's picture

Then, as a Canuck, you will appreciate that Kitco will now let you store your PMs in their vault, under their 'Canadian Allocated Storage' program.  If need be, or you can no longer globe-trot to access/repatriate your PMs in Simon's exotic but far away places, you can always hop in the car/van, drive to Montreal and pick up your "Precious" in person.  If you buy it on the spot, you can pay in fiat cash.  And have a great time while there: tons of great restaurants, pubs, bars, and shops on Crescent St, St. Catherine St. or St. Denis St.  Most of downtown Mtl is connected via tunnels and the Subway, for when the snow hits the fan, i.e. "the other 6 months". 

Else, use Plan B:  Canada is a big country.  A natural for Preppers and for "low-cost offsite" PM storage, right?  Just make sure you don't tip the canoe and loose the Precious, eh.


ZerOhead's picture

Never ever ever store your PM's in someone else's vault.

Remember the Golden Rules... whoever holds the gold makes the rules and possession is 9/10ths of the law. (Or 10/10ths if you are talking marijuana or cocaine...)

Freddie's picture

This is my thought as well.  Good online video about a certain family that was in the gold storage business.  They rehypothicated aka stole all the gold.

AgAu_man's picture

Core Zine or Red Shield family?

WTFUD's picture

. . . or 11/10 if your paying for your ganga&blow with gold&silver