Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The G-20 In Four Maps

These maps show the relative sizes of the economies of the G-20 countries, in order from smallest to largest.


Above we have:

  • Argentina in red,
  • South Africa in blue,
  • Saudi Arabia in green,
  • Indonesia in orange,
  • Turkey in brown, and
  • Australia in yellow


Above we have:

  • South Korea in blue,
  • Mexico in brown,
  • India in green,
  • Russia in orange,
  • Brazil in red, and
  • Canada in yellow.


Above we have:

  • Italy in blue,
  • France in green,
  • The United Kingdom in red, and
  • China in orange.


Lastly, we have

  • Germany in red, and
  • Japan in blue.

They’re currently having a summing about macroeconomics, in a forum in which equal representation (and equal photo-ops – except for the Michelle and Carla factor).

But, these maps should make it clear that macroeconomically, the countries are anything but equal. And the moose in the room is that the other 19 countries are economically small relative to the U.S. Collectively, they are about twice the size of the U.S. economy, though.

It’s worthwhile to mention why the U.S. Congress was put together with two houses: because proportional representation in the House would allow domination by the populous states, while equal representation in the Senate would give outsized power to the smaller states.

By that mark, what we get with international meeting like this is too much emphasis on the interests of small economies.

Note that in no way am I advocating a U.S. dominated international meeting, but I do take the position that our views are not likely to carry the weight that they should in a forum like this.

Also notable, are the large economies that weren’t invited because of ethnic, religious and regional diversity considerations – with roughly equivalent states:

  • Spain = New York
  • The Netherlands = Florida
  • Sweden = Ohio
  • Belgium = New Jersey
  • Switzerland = North Carolina
  • Poland = Georgia
  • Norway = Virginia
  • Taiwan = Massachusetts
  • Austria = Washington
  • Greece = Maryland
  • Denmark = Minnesota
  • Iran = Arizona

Can you imagine if the U.S. Congress met without the members from those states?


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