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Niall Ferguson

On CNN: ‘West less good at being West’

26 Nov, 2012

In an interview with CNN, Ferguson notes that the West has been in decline due to the rise of the Welfare state, while countries such as China are growing by embracing capitalist ideas.

If you think back to 1978 when I was a teenager, the average American was 22 times richer than the average Chinese. And today it’s less than five times. That’s an amazing reduction in the global imbalance and it’s happen in the space really of 30 years.

The West is at a different phase of development — economically, demographically — and it’s also at a different place culturally from these countries that are emerging from various forms of economic control — whether the bureaucratic system of post-Raj India or the communist system that was gradually dismantled economically in China after 1978. This is bringing back one of the most remarkable shifts in the global balance of economic power.