In these pages you have a wealth of information about the coming end of the Age of America. Now,courtesy of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), you can also have a date.
The party’s over in 2016.
This isn’t to say that the world as we know it is coming to an end in a “It’s time to head for the hills” sense when 2016 rolls around. It’s just that in 2016, China’s economy will officially surpass that of the United States’. The Chinese are going to overtake us in ways that no amount of quantitative easing, political howling, or defense demonstrations are going to fix. In fact, any one of those things will just make the situation worse.
America is poised to lose its place at the top of the economic dog-pile in what economists refer to as “real terms”. In plain English, that means America is losing out on actual, tangible metrics based on the stuff that normal people actually buy. In econo-speak “real terms” means no seasonal adjustments, no excluding food and energy, and no birth/death model trickery. Basically, there’s no more fudging that our economy has overextended itself for the last time.
PPP – Measuring Real Spending Power
The evidence that America’s economic dominance is coming to an end isn’t found in the GDP numbers. GDP numbers are artificial barometers that measure spending, but spending alone doesn’t mean a healthy economy. Spending doesn’t mean more jobs, a growing economic base, or a reduction in trade deficits – spending is just that, spending.
Instead, you have to look at PPP – Purchasing Power Parity. Think of it as what you can get for a dollar. What the U.S. can get for its dollars will total up to $18.8 trillion of value by 2016. What China can get will total up to $19 trillion in value, according to the IMF.
That’s pretty impressive for an economy that makes its money in outsourcing. Yet the U.S. has deliberately undercut its own economic potential for years. While the Chinese have been busy building factories, expanding resource ownership, and creating a middle class, Americans have been pursuing profit margins at the expense of actual factories and jobs.
Watching The Chinese Moves
With Chinese dominance coming up faster than most people want to believe, it’s time to keep a sharp eye on the next moves from the Chinese government. After all, they are hardly democratic inspirations. Complain loudly and often about American politicians, and you’ll be labeled annoying. Complain loudly and often about Chinese officials? They have jails for that … and worse.
Yet it’s not just the human rights side that has to be watched. The Chinese have been aggressively acquiring natural resources around the world, and they are known to be predatory in their economic practices. Their neighbors are already nervous … and smart Americans should be, too. With a deep pocket of resources and large positions as owners of U.S. debt obligations, a dominant Chinese government could really put the squeeze on the U.S. government.
What Can You Do?
With the reality of a Chinese-dominated economic landscape close at hand, what can you do to ensure that you get through it in one piece?
A key point to consider is taking a page out of the Chinese playbook. Chinese government officials have long been pursuing critical survival resources. They’ve bought up water rights, arable land, and mineral rights worldwide. You can do the same in your own corner of the woods. Safeguard your access to fresh water, a garden to feed yourself and your family, and the materials to make key goods for trade.
You can also take a second look at gold. The yellow metal is a historical store of wealth for Chinese peoples, and the government is an aggressive buyer of physical gold whenever the price dips. They currently control $48 billion worth of gold, but it’s just 1.7% of their total reserves. The government wants to have 10% of its reserves in gold, according to analyst Richard Russell, which means they could buy up to six years worth of mining production in the near future. Even an individual investor can ride that kind of wave to the top.
America’s economic power is on the wane, no matter how much our politicians want to deny it. There’s no reason to go down with the ship when you can see the iceberg coming. As China moves to the head of the world’s economic food chain, take the right steps to be safe.