Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Claims China Will Not Be Next Superpower

Joel Kotkin's, a presidential fellow at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. and an adjunct fellow with the Legatum Institute in London, new book, which is due out in February, claims that China will not overtake the United States as the world's next superpower. One of the major reasons that Kotkin believes in the United States' continued reign is due in part to the aging populations of currently powerful nations. According to Kotkin, over the next 40 years the United States will not suffer as much as its competitors from the burden of having to take care of an aging population.

In terms of the United States, Kotkin tells that the country's fertility rates remain the highest of advanced nations and that continued immigration will allow for a 100 million population increase by 2050. According to those calculations only 1/5th of the population will be over 65 by then so it will not be too hard of a problem to offset the burden of the aging population.

Approximately 1/3 of China's population, on the other hand, will be over 60 by 2050. Kotkin claims that China's lack of democracy, cultural homogeneity, historic insularity and the rapid aging of its population that will start in the 2020s will combat any global preeminence.

This could all be good news; however, although success of nations in terms of an aging population may mean that the United States will maintain global dominance I find this overall theory hard to believe. There may always be technological advances but I don't think that a 100 million person population increase will be highly beneficial to the United States as it will put a huge strain on natural resources, making disease and competition for resources more prevalent. But who is to say who is right and wrong just yet?

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