Why the US is superior in 21st century capitalism

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George Castro

International Analyst

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In terms of domestic purchasing power (PPP) – what individuals can buy in their own country – The Chinese economy has outperformed the United States since 2016, due to the fact that the GDP of the People’s Republic (PPP) represents 19% of the world product, while that of the United States reaches only 16% of the total. It should be added that the Chinese product was 4% of the world total in 1990.

However, if measured in constant dollars, which are the ones that determine the relative power of each country in the world, the US economy is by far the first in the world system.

The North American product today amounts to 25.5 trillion dollars, which represents 25% of world GDP, and is the same percentage as in the last 30 years, while that of China – placed on that scale – is 19% of the total; and this difference of 6 percentage points has been maintained over the last decade.

The most significant thing regarding the United States, and above all revealing of its extraordinary economic vigor, is its growing dominance in the advanced world.

Thus, the United States accounted for 40% of G-7 GDP in 1990, and now accounts for 58% of the total; and its GDP per capita was 24% (PPP) higher than Europe’s 30 years ago and has now increased to 30%.

The reason for this growing disparity between the US and the rest of the G-7 is directly related to the highest level of American productivitywhich increased by 67% between 1990 and 2022, while it increased by 55% in Europe and 51% in Japan.

At the time, it was believed that Germany and Japan would succeed the United States in the capitalist leadership, a consequence of an inexorable American “decline”.

The following appears to be happening: American history is a textbook of capitalist dynamism.and as such a systematic exercise of rejection of “Malthusian visions”.

This is revealed in a central question: in the midst of all the difficulties of a political and economic order The American workforce continues to grow.and instead of decreasing due to aging or deaths, as is the case in Germany, and capitally in Japan, it is increasing more and more.

Thus, the US labor force aged 25-64 totaled 127 million workers in 1990, and increased to 175 million in 2022, an increase of 38% over that period, while in Europe, with its epicenter in Federal Republic, increased only 9% and 7% in Japan.

In short, the United States it is an “exceptional” country.. The arrogance that North Americans often display has structural roots to be so.

THE ethical work, which according to Max Weber is the first cause of capitalist expansion, is essentially in force in North American society; and this causes American operators to work 200 hours more a year than Europeans, even Germans. But, adds “The Economist” with a certain British irony, even so American workers work 500 fewer hours a year than in Chinawhich is the emerging superpower whose workforce totals 900 million workers and who have a special devotion to work stemming from their 5,000-year history.

This is a crucial fact in the strategic sense of global competition The USA is an invincible magnet in attracting the most qualified professionals and technicians from all over the world.; and its universities are its great factor of attraction, whose participation in the world ranking unequivocally determines all its relevance: of the 15 main universities of the contemporary world, 11 are North American, and 78 Nobel Prize winners teach there, of which only a third are Native Americans.

As far as foreign students in North American universities and research centers are concerned, one fact to be aware of is this the largest community is made up of more than 350,000 students from the People’s Republicwho usually rank in the top third of top performers.

The constant search for the new, always linked to the desire for a higher profit, is at the heart of the North American “ethos”; And one manifestation of this vital feature is that 5 million new businesses were created in 2021, a historic record despite the pandemic, implying a 53% boom from 2019.

The USA, with all its difficulties, contradictions, errors and horrors, is a seemingly inexhaustible quarry where Steve Jobs (Apple) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) proliferate, which is continually renewed, defying all predictions of impending “decay”.

Alexis de Tocqueville, in “Democracy in America” ​​of 1838, which he defined as a “book-reportage” that emerged after having carefully traveled in diligence a large part of the North American territory of the time, independent only 50 years ago , pinpointed with journalistic precision the following central point: “America is not the future of the world, but it is the country in the world where the future comes first.”

Marx and Tocqueville are – as Raymond Aron believed – the great intellectuals of the 19th century; and to understand the 21st century it is best to take its fundamental insights literally

Source: Clarin

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