Os Desafios dos Próximos 10 Anos
Declínio da Alemanha, “normalização” da economia chinesa, aparição de novos “emergentes”, crise da classe média americana, estes são fenómenos maiores dos próximos anos (2015/25) apontados por George Friedman, no seu “forecast” da próxima década.
|February 20, 2015 | 16:48 GMT|
|Stratfor Editor-in-Chief David Judson and Founder George Friedman discuss the highlights of the Decade Forecast, which publishes on Monday, Feb. 23.|
David Judson: Hi I’m David Judson, editor-in-chief at Stratfor. Today with me is George Friedman our founder and chairman and what we want to talk about is something we don’t do very often. This is our decade forecast, which we do every five years. From now to 2025 there’s some head turners in here George. The centrifugal forces in Russia kind of reverse in the sense of what we saw five years ago, leading ultimately to a nuclear weaponry standoff, not necessarily a standoff of nuclear weapons but a crisis over their management. If not the end the decline of the nation-state in the Middle East — the death of Sykes-Picot if you will — while in contrast the return of the nation-state in Europe. What we’ve been calling the PC-16, the diffusion of China’s low-end manufacturing industrial base to a host of other countries. And ultimately what I think is the big head turner in this is Germany and Poland. You forecast here the beginning of an extended decline of Germany and the emergence of Poland. Can you talk about that a bit?
George Friedman: Well, Germany is now exporting 50 percent of its GDP. In 1990 it was less than 24 percent. So as Germany has grown, its exports have surged. That’s unsustainable. It’s unsustainable because the ability of export-to-export depends on the economic health of its customers. And Europe is unhealthy. But even if Europe were healthy, the ability for the fourth largest power to get, fourth economic power to export 50 percent of its GDP is just unsustainable. That, coupled with the fact that the German population is going to start contracting in size, that’s not the critical thing, really means that Germany is at the high point of its power. It’s not going to be able to sustain this.
On the other hand you have next-door Poland, which has had a fairly remarkable economic history, particularly since 2008 it’s done fairly well. It’s maintained its population and on the North European Plain, with Russia in severe decline and Germany facing serious problems, Poland sits there in the middle as not only a country that is in good shape but as developing unique relationship with the United States.
David: Let’s move on quickly to this, what we’ve called the cumbersome term we’ve given of PC-16, but it’s this diffusion of the industrial base if you will of China that you see that accelerating over the next decade.
George: Global capitalism almost always has a low wage high growth economy. In the 1880s and 1890s it was the United States. After the war it was Japan, China replaced Japan. Now China is no longer a high growth economy. It’s declined in its growth. It’s reached a new normal. So the question is where is this going to go. We’ve identified 16 countries where this growth is already beginning to take place. It’s interesting. It kind of centers around the Indian Ocean Basin, but includes countries you wouldn’t expect like Eastern Africa — Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. These are countries that are experiencing some rather startling changes, but also Southeast Asia and some countries in Latin America.
David: This notion of the death of Sykes-Picot, of the nation-state being replaced by factionalism. And we see that on a daily basis but you forecast you see this as kind of a new normal maybe.
George: We’ve seen the disintegration of the Syrian state, the Syrian nation. The state sort of exists over a part of it. Iraq has now disintegrated. The governor of Baghdad has limited power. The factions are in charge. We’re seeing it in Libya as well. We don’t know whether it’s going to spread to the rest of the Arabian Peninsula, to Egypt, to Algeria. It may limit itself, but we’ve certainly seen that the states constructed by the European imperialists after WWI have not just ceased to function but sort of ceased to exist. And what replaced instead are small factions that can’t be destroyed and can’t destroy everyone else.
David: I’ll just close out with, because we don’t talk about the United States a lot at Stratfor. But this forecast does. And it concludes with the coming crisis of the middle class.
George: Well, it’s not a crisis of inequality, as people like to put it. It is a crisis simply of income. Middle class median income of households is now $50,000 a year. After taxes outside of major metropolitan areas, that comes out to about $40,000 a year. On $40,000 a year you can buy a very simple house perhaps a condominium. You can have a car. You can have a minimal lifestyle. The lower middle class can no longer have that at all. So we’ve reached a point in American society where the things that Americans expect to get if they work are being priced out. The middle class, the median income isn’t quite out of that yet. But the way things are moving it will be. So we’re moving into what I consider the 50-year crises that America has, the last one being in the 1970s and culminating in the election of Ronald Reagan. And in the 2020s we’re going to be seeing an intensifying crisis in whether the middle class can live the American dream.
David: A lot of challenges looking toward 2025. We will be publishing this forecast, our quinquennial if we can call it that, on Monday, Feb. 23. Please join us on Monday and we’ll share the details. Thanks so much for making time George.
George: Thank you.