It is this longer-term erosion that speaks to France’s economic failure. Germany offers a useful counterpoint. Whereas ten years ago the French economy rivaled Germany’s, today France produces only half the value added. French exports, having fallen more than 20 percent since 2005, are lower today than anytime during the last twenty years.
In a little over a decade, Sana’a, Yemen, might become the world’s first capital to run out of water, turning its millions of citizens into water refugees. A major cause: the cultivation of qat, a mild narcotic plant that takes unusually large amounts of water to farm and to which much of Yemen’s population is addicted.
(China and the United States) have a deeper intractable challenge that will, in the longer-term, get worse. What’s interesting is that they’re the inverse of each other: in the U.S., wealth and private sector interests capture the political system. In China, politicians capture the private sector and the wealth that comes with it.