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The West’s Killer Apps

September 19, 2011

This Niall Ferguson Ted Talk is worth watching. He contends that the West became the West because of:

(1) Competition,

(2) The Scientific Revolution,

(3) Property rights,

(4) Modern medicine,

(5) The consumer society and,

(6) The work ethic.

The US:China per capita income was about equal in the 1500s. The UK:India per capital income was about equal in 1500. In the 1970s UK:India ratio was about 10 and the US:China ratio about twenty.

His conclusion: the Great Divergence is over, but the West is not necessarily on an imminent path to becoming a has-been.

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