I do think the west, especially the US, is likely headed for a period of slower growth than we're accustomed to, or perhaps worse, stagnation or decline. This is because globalization (which many think is a dirty word, but I think is fantastic) is spreading the wealth over more of the human race.
This may seem to contradict the other current trend of concentration of capital, but historically they've gone hand in hand.
Not just historically, but currently. Inequality within nations is increasing, but inequality between nations is shrinking:
But the majority of the people on the planet live in countries where income disparities are bigger than they were a generation ago.
That does not mean the world as a whole has become more unequal. Global inequalityâ"the income gaps between all people on the planetâ"has begun to fall as poorer countries catch up with richer ones. Two French economists, FranÃois Bourguignon and Christian Morrisson, have calculated a âoeglobal Giniâ that measures the scale of income disparities among everyone in the world. Their index shows that global inequality rose in the 19th and 20th centuries because richer economies, on average, grew faster than poorer ones. Recently that pattern has reversed and global inequality has started to fall even as inequality within many countries has risen. By that measure, the planet as a whole is becoming a fairer place. But in a world of nation states it is inequality within countries that has political salience, and this special report will focus on that.