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The Brock Press
Issue date: 3/14/07
Three Billion New Capitalists: The Great Shift of Wealth and Power to the East
By Clyde Prestowitz
A straightforward title, easily understood, but shockingly prophetic. The emergence of Mumbai, Bangalore, Japan, industrialized Pakistan, China and the rest of southeast Asia as global economic superpowers dumbfounds any reader willing to prescribe to Prestowitz's thesis.
"According to Goldman Sachs [a banking and securities firm] India's economy can sustain 7-8 per cent annual GDP [gross domestic product] growth for the indefinite future. In the past two years it has grown faster than China, and some believe that with its legacy of capitalist institutions, rule of law, and democratic process it may well outstrip China over the long term. At those rates of growth India would have a GDP of over $2 trillion at nominal exchange rates by 2025."
Examples like this are littered throughout the book, clearly illustrating the danger and peril the once-dominant West now finds itself.
An easy read, albeit sometimes loaded with short blurbs about the history of economics, talk about the global markets and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Prestowitz succeeds nonetheless.
Any reader at all interested in the progression of the world's economy in the next 20 years as perhaps dictated in the mainstream by a frustrated Lou Dobbs, will acknowledge the vast outsourcing to the East which will continue to occur, crippling the Googles of the West until Washington and the heads of the European Union realize that 2050 is just around the corner.
In the 300 some odd pages, Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute in D.C., convinces the reader that the end of the dollar as a recognizable standard currency and the reliance on the euro may soon become a thing of the past.
The author concludes with a verse from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar:
"There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures."
Let us hope not, or we all may soon be obsolete.