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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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Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:49 | 3099303 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Excellent Question, Mr. Black

I will choose to be a ninja

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:04 | 3099334 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:05 | 3099367 cifo
cifo's picture

This must be an "Infommercial" paid by toshl.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:08 | 3099379 francis_sawyer
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?



Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:01 | 3099519 TruthInSunshine
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:30 | 3099889 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:45 | 3099627 bank guy in Brussels
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 16:38 | 3099762 Freddie
Freddie's picture

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

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 02:34 | 3101025 dubbleoj
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. 

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 07:24 | 3101144 quadcap
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.

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 13:05 | 3101922 RafterManFMJ
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:06 | 3099371 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:23 | 3099428 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

Beat me to it.




Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:10 | 3099542 Buckaroo Banzai
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:13 | 3099844 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



Dang it - from big orange ball near Detroit.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:21 | 3099424 Half_A_Billion_...
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:33 | 3099447 Tango in the Blight
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:02 | 3099357 Sudden Debt
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...

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:35 | 3099455 Half_A_Billion_...
Half_A_Billion_Hollow_Points's picture

Well I'm looking at  this Rio penthouse:

you know, mostly as a sex hedge

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:16 | 3099851 Sudden Debt
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

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 07:27 | 3101147 quadcap
quadcap's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:29 | 3099438 Snakeeyes
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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:00 | 3099514 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:58 | 3099509 whatsinaname
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:50 | 3099310 Zer0head
Zer0head's picture

but I thought canuks were drowning in debt

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:58 | 3099341 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:43 | 3099477 ZerOhead
Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:32 | 3099600 bank guy in Brussels
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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:15 | 3099847 AgAu_man
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:52 | 3099320 Dr. Engali
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:58 | 3099344 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 20:37 | 3100319 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:04 | 3099364 kito
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???????

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:15 | 3099401 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:39 | 3099615 akak
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 21:07 | 3100382 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

What happened to those, btw?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:04 | 3099365 kito
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???????

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:58 | 3099510 mkhs
mkhs's picture

Deja vu?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:58 | 3099511 kito
kito's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:54 | 3099327 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

Debt/fiat ponzi is coming down.

I choose silver.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:56 | 3099331 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

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



Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:46 | 3099486 tickhound
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."

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 21:10 | 3100389 thisandthat
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:06 | 3099333 Mercury
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:59 | 3099340 Canadian Dirtlump
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:10 | 3099504 AgAu_man
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.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:34 | 3099598 ZerOhead
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...)

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 16:42 | 3099773 Freddie
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.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:18 | 3099857 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Core Zine or Red Shield family?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 22:41 | 3100620 WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

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

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:58 | 3099343 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Pretty sad when the only thing that matters to the US these days are what equity traders on Wall Street think.

The US has become a nation of can't doers and sheep, waiting for the next handout and social program.

"How can I get free food, an Obama phone, free rent (section 8) and welfare".


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:34 | 3099893 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture




Food stamps: about $133.00

Obama Phone: Urban myth – not true

Section 8: 85% of FMV, $1200 tops

Welfare: about $300


Go for it!


One Patriot Missile: $2,000,000 – $3,000,000

One missile could feed about 18,000 people for a month.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:03 | 3100093 forwardho
forwardho's picture

Better yet, 18.000 people could go to work.

Stop taking food stamps.

When you have a job, you pay your own damm rent.

Stop taking the free $$ from welfare.

Then we still go into debt for the patriot missle.

What part of "We are totally broke" do you not understand? Or are you just unwilling to see the truth?

Wake up, your logic puts a Sponge Bob bandaid on a fucking amputation.




Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:30 | 3100161 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



What part of "We are totally broke" do you not understand?


I understand it 100%. I would get rid of ALL the above. I was just making the point of why the fuck would anybody quit their job to go on welfare. I’ve worked my whole life and NEVER collected unemployment, welfare or food stamps and I have had a job every single day of my life since I was 16.


And the missile was thrown in to put it into perspective – go back to your Fox News.


Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:59 | 3099345 hankwil74
hankwil74's picture

So wait... you mean to tell me that already developed metro areas have/had less potential for growth than areas with little previous development?!

In other news, percentage growth in boys handball participation has far outperformed participation in football over the last 15 years.  They went from 14 participants to 100 participants... look at all that growth!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 13:59 | 3099347 salvadordaly
salvadordaly's picture

Great article I read this morning on this topic.

2012 Calm Before Stock Market Storm 2013

?What have we learned in 2,604 years?

?"The budget shall be balanced, The Treasury shall be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of offiacildom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foriegn lands should be curtaled lest Rome shall become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."

?Cicero - 55BC

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:12 | 3099392 adamas
adamas's picture

invented quote by Cicero, what he actually said was “The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.”

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:20 | 3099418 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

If it's on the internet, it must be true!

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:39 | 3099463 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

You can't prove he didn't say it! :P

Besides, are all biographies fictionalized?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:01 | 3099352 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

They're making a decent income in Russia.  Evidently, their export of Vodka (and other vices) has been a big success.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:14 | 3099397 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

the $ the russians make from producing 7.62x39 ammo alone(3 shifts a day) must dwarf all of russia's other imports save for oil and nat gas. also-love how most of the rot in the US is centered in heavily unionized states like CA,IL,OH,and NY

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:59 | 3100237 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Except that Ohio has unemployment rates lower than its neighbors that took the Faustian deal from ALEC.  The only things that Ohio suffers from are theft (of businesses by other state governments) and the rubber-stamp, no-debate ALEC government that does not represent Ohioans.  If you want to talk about rot, look at the South and the corruption it has within it to favor businesses over regular people.

As for the other states, not too sure about them.  IL is quite well-defended from what felled their neighbors to the north and east, NY just simply has too much ability to politically outmuscle ALEC, and too many people have left CA that would have changed the Golden State.


Fri, 12/28/2012 - 20:21 | 3103711 bilejones
bilejones's picture

"The only things that Ohio suffers from are theft (of businesses by other state governments)"


Wow, who knew that the States own all the private businesses ?


Do Socialism much?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:04 | 3099361 cluelessminion
cluelessminion's picture



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?





Obviously I want to be in the "handful" group.  And I've seen the handwriting (I think).  But how can a person prepare for something like this?  I don't think anyone is going to be unscathed.





Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:45 | 3099482 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Then there's the handful (like Simon? or is he "a club member in good standing"), who think they've taken rational steps, only to realize later they've actually stepped further into the trap.

Simon's advice only works for corrupt club members. Any outsiders will be targeted for their loot, as they will have no organic support system to rely upon.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:09 | 3099384 Super Broccoli
Super Broccoli's picture

god i'll chose to move out of europe if only i could ! even when i'm offered a job in the pacific area those damn stupid "local preferences" administrative rules prevent me from getting it and have both the hiring company and me disapointed !

NO, you can't escape from it !

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:18 | 3099409 BraveSirRobin
BraveSirRobin's picture

I fear we will need to crash and reset before we can make things better. I think, however, this crash and reset is ways off in the future. The US has quite a lot of reserve wealth and power we can live off for quite some time. It took the communists in Russia70 years to deplete the wealth of Tsarist Russia. We are a few decases into our course of self-destruction, but it will take a will longer to get there.

Or it could all collapse in the morning. Probably when the full congress is back in DC.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:47 | 3099490 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Or it all could collapse in a few millisecond, given the insanely leveraged "financial system" where it is stored.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:50 | 3099410 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

there is nothing special about emerging markets. each person can be his own emerging market or his own fucked up western mobocracy.

you choose....

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:26 | 3099431 Jason T
Jason T's picture

Just go Galt.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:37 | 3100178 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Won't work when there are people to replace you and whatever jurisdiction that you're in ends up being no safe harbor.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 14:53 | 3099502 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

Wonderful,... absolutely wonderful read!!!

thankyou Simon :-))

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 15:01 | 3099517 larz
larz's picture

cant the government do something about this?! has anybody told CONgress or Osamma bin Bamma?

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 16:55 | 3099801 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Apart from the fiscal cliff here is a touch of drama from Europe, worth its weight in Brussels sprouts! :

David Cameron's moves could make EU fall apart, says Herman Van Rompuy | World news | The Guardian

Von Rompuy really looks like the deer in the headlights! 

Just look at his eloquent.

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 00:29 | 3100885 newengland
newengland's picture

Rumpy Pumpy knows that Cameron is a good lil central bankster boy, and their feud is for public amusement only. They agree on all major issues of self-preservation for the EUSSR.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:23 | 3099860 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Oswald Spengler references (The Decline of the West) are pretty rare these days. Thanks for working one in.

A bit more on the notions of "socialism", in the German National sense of it, that Spengler contributed to ginning up:

(Courtesy of Aurel Kolnai's "The War Against the West", which persists today in myriad forms)

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 17:52 | 3099952 viahj
viahj's picture

"I used to care but take a pill for that now"

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 19:43 | 3100184 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

Somehow those graphs forget about the despotism of the Far East - where the trains all run on time and critics end up disappearing.

Factor that in and the US comes out on top.

Thu, 12/27/2012 - 20:11 | 3100269 The Miser
The Miser's picture

When you look at the last election in the US, the Obama win was from the orange circles on the map with each circle representing a citiy.  The Democrats have a logistical advantage in elections as their supporters are in those cities.  It is easier to organize and get folks to the polls than it is for the Republicans to organize the subburbs and the rural areas.  It is more difficult and costly to organize in the suburbs and the rural areas.  When one looks at a red/blue map by counties from the last election, this notion becomes apparent.

This is a major reason for the Obama win.  The Republicans are clueless on how to overcome this logistics problem.  The future in politics is with the Democrats for years to come, until the Republicans or another party can appeal to the sheeple.   

IMHO just an observation.  



Fri, 12/28/2012 - 05:23 | 3101104 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

The election has not lost because of organizational efforts, the republicans lost because they put up a candidate who's record as not that different from his opponent. Not to mention the demographics are changing in this country, away from the white European, to Hispanic and {insert your third world country of choice}. Also there are now more leaches than producers. The leaches will vote for the producers money; you know, "spread the wealth around". The republicans have no one else to blame but themselves. They lost my vote years ago. Goldwater was the last decent candidate they have put up, and that was before many here were even born. We're screwed!

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 00:26 | 3100870 newengland
newengland's picture

Presenting the ruin of the East in one word: slaves.

As Oscar Wilde said: a cynic knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing. The East will be undone by its love of money and slavery.

Fri, 12/28/2012 - 05:14 | 3101094 TheObsoleteMan
TheObsoleteMan's picture

The two easiest measures to gauge are these: Age demographics in correlation to the  degree of their welfare state, and to what degree a country's government is involved in the economy. That about sums it all up. The older the average age is for a country coupled with the higher it's social welfare entitlements, the more it is screwed. The more the government meddles in it's internal economy's commerce and production through taxes, regulations, quotas and controls, the more it's economy will stagnate. These explain to a large extent why western type economies are sinking. They don't protect their markets either. It is almost as if someone planned the destruction of the west {wink, wink}.

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