Innumerable as the Starrs of Night,
Or Starrs of Morning,
Dew-drops, which the Sun
on every leaf and every flouer
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
— that is all
Ye know on earth, and all
ye need to know.
E = M
Energy is eternal delight.
Impearls: Economies & Areas II - 15 of the 50 largest economies of the World are U.S. States
Item page — this may be a chapter or subsection of a larger work. Click on link to access entire piece.
15 of the 50 largest Economies of the World are
Wouldn't you know it, but no sooner had Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy linked to Impearls' table of the “largest economies of the world,” (which might be titled as above, by the way) — and just after a couple of interesting comments arrived — our Internet connection/phone line went down for two days!
Russia is another of those countries whose CIA Factbook-stated GDP differs substantially (by a factor of four in this case) from that generally used by economists. As we now know (see below), this is due to the “Purchasing Power Parity” [PPP] index that the CIA uses rather than exchange rates for its GDP estimations. According to the CIA Factbook PPP-derived figure, Russia's GDP ($1.2 trillion US$) actually lies up near that of California (taken as a whole) or countries like Brazil and Italy. Taking LAEDC's (Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation) more conventional (exchange rate) GDP figure for Russia, on the other hand ($310 billion US$), Russia's economic output hovers near that of nations on the scale of Taiwan and the Netherlands — nations small in geographical extent, and relatively small in population as well.
The latter GDP figure for Russia, in fact, lies on a par with U.S. states Massachusetts and New Jersey. It's worthy of note, I think, that these two American states are just about the same size (around 20,000 km2) as what has been called “that sh--ty little country” (sorry! I disavow it!), Israel. Massachusetts, in particular, is a virtual twin of Israel in area and population. (Israel itself doesn't show up in the top economies table as its GDP — by the Factbook, $119 billion US$ in 2001 — places it below the table's $200 billion cut-off.)
My point, which just reinforces what Eugene was saying above, is that a country need not be large in area, nor very large in population, to have a vibrant, influential economy; and even without a productive economy, a small country can potentially (especially in these days of weapons of mass destruction) have an effective and dangerous military. Thus, with an (exchange rate) economy no larger than that of the Netherlands or the state of New Jersey, Russia still fields thousands of nuclear weapons. Iraq, with a much smaller economy, still constricted by UN sanctions ($59 billion US$ in 2001, according to the CIA Factbook), is attempting to do less, but still enough to potentially kill millions of human beings. Note that North Korea manages an effective WMD program with an economy ($21.8 billion US$ in 2001) less than half the size of Iraq's present one.
Some of the impetus behind thoughtless and bigoted comments like the “sh--ty little” one results, I think, from a well known phenomenon in mental affairs, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Countries the size of Israel are almost lost (say) on your average desktop globe; the tiny scale constricts visibility, and people tend to evict unseeable things from their minds as too trivial to be of concern. This is a severe conceptualizing error. “Small” nations (or states) need not be small in their consequences for the present or future. (As an example, see Alexis de Tocqueville on the origins of American democracy in the little state of Connecticut and its neighbors, here.)
Interesting comments have come in from readers following the link from the Volokh Conspiracy. I'd suspected the Conspiracy's high-powered readership would give my problem short shrift once it chanced being brought to their attention!
A writer from the U.S. Census Bureau (who also cc'ed Eugene in his reply) clears up the mystery:
Another reader commented along similar lines, but is worth quoting too for his slightly different information/slant on things:
I find this encouraging. Since noticing the discrepancy between the CIA's and economists' GDPs, I'd carried something of a cloud in my mind about the reliability/usability of the CIA's GDP figures. Now that we understand where it's coming from, they do seem to be relatively solid and usable data. (The World Bank table cited by the first reader above is also very much worth locating; I'd been looking for a table like that!)
Ultimately, I agree with Eugene — this sort of table does provide a very interesting vehicle for comparison between the states and nations of the world. Who says economics is the “dismal science”?
2002-11-03 2002-11-10 2002-11-17 2002-11-24 2002-12-01 2002-12-08 2002-12-15 2002-12-22 2002-12-29 2003-01-05 2003-01-12 2003-01-19 2003-01-26 2003-02-02 2003-02-16 2003-04-20 2003-04-27 2003-05-04 2003-05-11 2003-06-01 2003-06-15 2003-06-22 2003-06-29 2003-07-13 2003-07-20 2003-08-03 2003-08-10 2003-08-24 2003-08-31 2003-09-07 2003-09-28 2003-10-05 2003-10-26 2003-11-02 2003-11-16 2003-11-23 2003-11-30 2003-12-07 2003-12-14 2003-12-21 2003-12-28 2004-01-04 2004-01-11 2004-01-25 2004-02-01 2004-02-08 2004-02-29 2004-03-07 2004-03-14 2004-03-21 2004-03-28 2004-04-04 2004-04-11 2004-04-18 2004-04-25 2004-05-02 2004-05-16 2004-05-23 2004-05-30 2004-06-06 2004-06-13 2004-06-20 2004-07-11 2004-07-18 2004-07-25 2004-08-22 2004-09-05 2004-10-10 2005-06-12 2005-06-19 2005-06-26 2005-07-03 2005-07-10 2005-07-24 2005-08-07 2005-08-21 2005-08-28 2005-09-04 2005-09-11 2005-09-18 2005-10-02 2005-10-09 2005-10-16 2005-10-30 2005-11-06 2005-11-27 2006-04-02 2006-04-09 2006-07-02 2006-07-23 2006-07-30 2007-01-21 2007-02-04 2007-04-22 2007-05-13 2007-06-17 2007-09-09 2007-09-16 2007-09-23 2007-10-07 2007-10-21 2007-11-04 2009-06-28 2009-07-19 2009-08-23 2009-09-06 2009-09-20 2009-12-13 2011-03-27 2012-01-01 2012-02-05 2012-02-12