The ever-insightful Mark Perry has a fascinating chart on his Carpe Diem blog:
"EU-15" refers to Europe. Accounts of America falling behind are not accurate, though the last few years have been difficult. We have not increased our share of the world economy as Asia has, but we've held our own, and done far better thatn Europe. (Underlying data are here.)
I've never been a big fan of economic rankings. Ross Perot wanted us to be Number One, and that sounds nice, but absolute income is far more important than relative income. I'd rather be an average person among rich neighbors than the highest earning person in a poor neighborhood.
Think about it another way: In terms of per capita income, America is just barely ahead of Canada, though far ahead of Mexico. Would you and I here in America be better off if Canada became as poor as Mexico? Our relative position would be far better, but our absolute position would suffer as we lost great trade opportunities to the north.
Mark has some other observations, so his post is worth reading in its entirety.
Business planning implication of the pattern of world growth:
We all know that China and India are growing rapidly, as the Asian Tigers had a few years back. However, it's easy to think of them as small potatoes compared to the established economies in Europe. Asia is not so small anymore. Go west to the East, young man and woman.