China Is Still Just a Jumbo Version of Albania

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I don’t want to pretend to some kind of faux naivete here, but can someone tell me why there’s suddenly a big frenzy about whether China is now the biggest economy in the world? China has 1.3 billion people. Of course they’re eventually going to eventually be bigger than the US. If not this year, then next year or the year after. Everyone knows this. Everyone has always known this. It’s no surprise, and it’s no big deal. They’ve still got about the per capita GDP of Albania, and it will be decades before they become even a middle-income country.

So who cares if they’re fudging the official numbers or the PPP calculations are being done wrong or whatever? Why does anyone even remotely care about this supposed milestone?

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