By Contributor on December 22, 2011

By Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero

Here’s a trend to watch in the coming year: the rise of new economic powers.

China, India and Brazil are in the ascendancy, as the economies of United States, Europe and Japan continue to stagnate.

China and India are the two most populous countries in the world, together having about 37 percent of the world’s population.

With 780 million workers, China has the world’s largest workforce. India is in second place, with 478 million. Both countries together have about 40 percent of the planet’s workforce.

China has the world’s second-largest economy. The question is not whether it will surpass the USA’s, but when. Its economy has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year for the past thirty years.

India’s economy has also been booming, especially over the last seven years, with annual growth rates above 7 percent.

The rise of China and India may not surprise you so much, but take a look at Brazil. It is one of the world’s top ten economies, and it’s quickly rising up the list. Its gross domestic product grew 7.5 percent in 2010.

After paying off its debt to the International Monetary Fund in 2009, Brazil now lends money to the IMF.

Brazil has the world’s biggest government development bank, called BNDES. Its loan portfolio is larger than that of the World Bank, the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Washington, DC-based Inter-American Development Bank combined.

Brazil is a world leader in four strategic energy sectors: nuclear, hydropower, biofuels and oil. It has five of the world’s 25 largest hydro dams. It is by far the world’s largest producer of sugar cane ethanol.

The rise of China, India and Brazil represents the dawn of a new world.

The United States no longer is the global economic superpower. And we’ll all have to adjust to that.

Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero is a Puerto Rican author, journalist and environmental educator. He is a senior fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, a fellow of the Oakland Institute, and a research associate of the Institute for Social Ecology. He can be reached at pmproj@progressive.org.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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