How often have you heard that the vast majority of families’ incomes in the United States are rising little or not at all, that the middle class is shrinking, that real wages are stagnating, that the top 20%, or 5%, or 1% are getting the lion’s share of the gains in the U.S. economy, that average CEO pay is getting to be a couple of orders of magnitude larger than average people’s pay, or that mobility across income groups has declined? Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has made a good part of his living credulously repeating most of these claims. Wall Street Journal reporter David Wessel has also often written long articles laying out some of these claims. It seems that not a month has gone by in the last few years that a major respected newspaper hasn’t made such statements as if they were well-established facts.
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In a report out today, The World Bank looks both at current economic growth rates and projections for the next 25 years. The report, Global Economics Prospects 2007 says “developing economies are projected to grow by 7.0 percent in 2006,more than twice as fast as high-income countries (3.1 percent), with all developing regions growing by about 5 percent or more.” While these nations have only 22 percent of global GDP they accounted for 38 percent of the increase in global output. And they are expected to increase their share of global output by about 50 percent by 2030.
The report expects the world economy to grow from last year’s $35 trillion to $72 trillion by 2030. And this “is driven more than ever before by strong performance in the developing countries.” Only two decades ago the poor nations provided only 14 percent of wealthy nations’ manufactured imports. Today they provide 40 percent and by 2030 they are projected to provide over 65 percent.
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