Article of the week: "Gross Domestic Product a Nation's Health Gauge"
America is number one, but for how long?

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation is a gauge used to judge their economic health and really their world status. The United States has the highest single country GDP, but in recent years the GDP rankings have had some significant changes. The European Union's collective GDP has surpassed the United States' GDP as the world largest. The European Union is not a direct threat to the United States, but they are an economic threat. Their threat comes from competition for resources. Their needs counter our productivity and raise prices. They are not our enemy, but they do cause us many problems collectively and will do so more frequently in the future.

China is steadily climbing the GDP ladder. According to the CIA World Factbook they were number three on the list after the European Union and the United States. The Chinese of course have their sights on number one and it is possible. They too pose a threat to the United States in many ways, but for the near future their threat is resource based too. They want, need, the same resources our economy needs. The demand raises the prices hurting the United States, especially in our fragile economic state.

India is another fast riser. They have surpassed Germany and are close behind Japan. They will overtake Japan in the next few years. Japan's aging population and economic woes will take a gradual toll on their GDP. India will affect the resource supply and demand chain as well. India is just another potential bad news story for the United States.

Another nation that will be a competitor in the GDP race is Russia. Russia will continue to climb the GDP ladder because of the increase in demand for natural resources. They have the potential to benefit from our very woes. Given their current leadership's vision of a renewed Russian empire this is a very worrisome problem for the United States and the world.

Other countries are worth watching as well; especially if the United States does not become energy independent of the Middle East. The increase in GDP of nations like China and India is not an entirely bad thing. They can be great consumers as well as producers and if the United States can find a world niche, say alternative energy, we could be suppliers to those nations.

GDP is not the greatest indicator of world economies, but it is a gauge we need to monitor. Raising awareness of the world's economies and their correlations to our own economy will make Americans more mindful of the world we live in. We need to become a nation more aware of international dynamics. We need to create an economy that can survive in a world that is home to several giants, because we are no longer the only giant.


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