The developing world is losing its consumption edge, says geopolitical strategist

By Jit Kumar
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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

We’re moving into a world where the rich world is retired, and the developing world does not have the capacity to move up the value chain

The world is undergoing a major population upheaval, which could have nasty economic side-effects, according to geopolitical strategist Peter Zeihan.

In a recent interview with Anthony Pompliano on Pomp Podcast, Zeihan says the traditional population demography—where elders who save for retirements form the minority, and young workers who fuel consumption form the bulk—is now completely inverted in some parts of the world.

He claims the developing world is now ageing far more rapidly than the rich world ever did and thus losing the consumption edge that fuels a country’s economic growth. “So they’re becoming Germany, but without the infrastructure, the institutions, the respect for democracy, the capital structure and the industrial base,” he says.

“Meanwhile, the United States is slipping into a pocket reality where it builds its own stuff, trades with itself and maybe a select group of other countries”

On the other hand, says Zeihan, Germany and other countries like them are ageing into mass retirement.

“So instead of a world where we got propensity for growth and cooperation and trade, we’re moving into a world where the rich world is all retired. They’re not producing or consuming and the developing world is becoming aged and losing that consumption edge but without building the capacity to move up the value-added chain,” he says.

And the global energy, demographics and security analyst calls this change “an economic dislocation”, which is a very nice way of saying global collapse and depression.

However, Zeihan claims some countries like the US are insulated from this post-Cold War-era demographic shift.

“The US has the youngest demography in the rich world… younger than China’s and will be younger than Brazil’s within 20 years. So the United States is slipping into kind of this pocket reality where it builds its own stuff, trades with itself and maybe a select group of other countries,” he says.


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