The larger picture—the new “Great Game,” if you will—is about the speed of America’s decline from the heights of hegemony to the more earthly altitude that 21st century gravity will impose. This is not a matter of choice: Relative decline has already occurred—it depends on how you measure it. For instance, in terms of “percent of global output,” the U.S. economy has been in relative decline ever since 1946, when it represented more than 50 percent of global GDP. Today, the U.S. is at about 20 percent, and projections suggest China will match that slide in about 2015.
But the more serious measurements—potential growth rates, GDP per capita, GDP itself, only turned south relative to other global competitors recently.
Nate Silver spreading the joy with some numbers:
The numbers do not paint a pretty picture. According the model, a hurricane with windspeeds of about 100 miles per hour — making it a “weak” Category 2 storm — might cause on the order of $35 billion in damage if it were to pass directly over Manhattan. Such a storm would probably flood New York’s subway system as well as acres upon acres of prime real estate in neighborhoods like the East Village, the Financial District, Tribeca, Coney Island, Red Hook, DUMBO, as well as parts of Staten Island and most of the Rockaways.
Read the rest of the article to learn how costly different strength hurricanes would be if they hit directly over NYC.
Isn’t $16T a bit much for even the total destruction of Manhattan? I mean, we could still pick up all the money after the fact and give it back to everyone else.