Recently, in the West, individual voices have begun to sound, criticizing the policy of "economic growth." Criticism basically comes down to the following:
behind the formal statistical indicators demonstrating the “achievements” of economic growth, there is a growing social and property differentiation of society. The threats posed by such economic growth are obvious;
economic growth is carried out due to the involvement in the turnover of increasing volumes of natural resources and environmental pollution. This threatens the planet’s ecological collapse;
economic growth increases unemployment, and those who continue to work are transformed into robots. Economic growth turns into Moloch, devouring a person as a creative person.
Critics of the concepts and policies of economic growth most often offer the so-called “sustainable development” model as an alternative. True, this kind of model remains only good wishes. Few people dare to touch the deep reasons for the dominance of the ideology of economic growth in the modern world. And the reasons are rooted in the usury nature of the modern economy. Usury is based on charging interest. Modern usury is also based on credit money. Their release creates a debt, which in addition to the principal amount also includes interest. There is a shortage of money supply, which is just equal to the amount of interest charged.
Usurious capitalism generates money hunger, which generates aggression of economic entities seeking to get money at any cost.
Firstly, due to the economic expansion, which was called “economic growth”. Secondly, due to debt refinancing, i.e. getting new loans. From here emergence of infinitely growing debt pyramids. The terms “economic growth” and “usury” are one-root. This is the key to the domination of the ideology of "economic growth" imposed by modern money lenders and which has become the universal religion of the modern world.
Now we turn to a more specific question: Can we trust the indicators of gross domestic product (GDP) and other similar indicators that measure economic growth? - Definitely not. Firstly, the practice of statistical additions and falsifications has become widespread. Especially in this succeeded US statistical services. This is a special issue requiring separate distribution. Secondly, the methodology for calculating GDP is changing, as any “questionable” services are included as a “product”. As a result, in the structure of the US GDP, today the real sector of the economy (industry, agriculture, construction) accounts for slightly more than 1 / 5; the rest is services. There are, of course, vital services. For example, transport and communication. But at least half of all US GDP, according to our estimates, is “air”.
Due to the “air” and various additions, the statistical services of the United States and other countries of the “golden billion” can “draw” the “positive dynamics” of their economies.
But even taking into account these tricks and statistical "innovations", the growth of GDP in Western countries in the current century was no more than 2-3 percent per year. What looked extremely pale against the background of high rates of growth in China's GDP.
But all that has been said above is “flowers” against the background of the main falsification associated with the assessment of the economic growth of the countries of the “golden billion”. Anyone, even a novice economist, knows well that a company, a firm, a corporation, another business entity has assets and liabilities. Assets - various property and claims (for example, claims on loans granted, goods delivered, etc.). Liabilities - above all, various obligations (for example, obligations for the maintenance and repayment of loans, payment of received goods, etc.). Even people who are far from economics and accounting are well aware that if liabilities (in other words, debts) begin to outweigh the assets, then a company goes bankrupt.
Surprisingly, with regard to countries such a simple and understandable approach to assessing their economic situation is rarely used. Especially to the so-called "economically developed" countries. And they, meanwhile, are either already bankrupt or are confidently moving toward bankruptcy. But few people notice it. The essence of the problem is extremely simple: the increase in debts of “economically developed” countries has for many years been exceeding the increase in their GDP. In other words, the increase in debts of an economic entity called “economically developed country” far exceeds the increase in its assets. The phrase "economic growth" in relation to these countries looks more than strange. This is “economic growth” with a minus sign.
Now specific data. I borrow them from the famous Finnish economist, entrepreneur and politician Jon Hellevig. He is one of the few foreign economists who exposes the falsifications of Western economics and statistics and shows that the US, EU countries and other states of the “golden billion” are completely bankrupt. The most generalized picture of the Western economy in 2013 year inclusive Hellevig gives in his work "Awara Group Study on the Growth Net Net-of-Debt". It contains calculations of real GDP indicators adjusted for changes in debt. " The adjustment is very simple: from the official indicator of the annual real (ie, adjusted for inflationary price changes) GDP growth, the increase in the country's debt for the same year is subtracted. This will be the “most real” GDP growth. True, it will most likely be “the most real”, or the real fall in GDP. Here is a picture for the period 2009-2013. In the eurozone countries, the decline in GDP over a specified period, according to official statistics, was 0,2%. During the same time, the real decline in GDP, taking into account the increase in debt in the eurozone, was estimated by the Finnish economist to be 27,2%. For countries such as France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, the real decline in GDP, taking into account debt, ranged from 30 to 40%. Relatively "safely" on their background looked Germany. She has an official decline in GDP over the period 2009-2013. amounted to 0,7%, and taking into account the debt, GDP fell by 16,6%. Among the countries considered, the record for the fall in GDP, taking into account debt, was Spain - by 56,3%. In other words, over the five-year period, Spain’s GDP has more than halved, given the increase in the country's national debt.
But what is most surprising. Against the background of the catastrophic economic collapse of Western countries described by Hellevig, the position of the Russian economy looks quite different.
The increase in the GDP of the Russian Federation over the period 2009-2013, according to Rosstat, was 5,7%, while the real change in Russia's GDP, including debt, was a plus sign. Adjusted GDP in Russia increased by 28,5%. This was due to the fact that during the five-year period Russia managed to significantly reduce its national debt.
Even more contrasting is the comparison of Russia with the countries of the “golden billion” over the period 2005-2013. (9 years). Adjusted US GDP fell by 59%, eurozone countries by 30%, while Russia's adjusted GDP increased by 147%.
In all Western countries, annual increases in national debt are many times higher than annual increases in GDP. Hellevig cites such figures for the period 2004-2013. The increase in US national debt over the decade amounted to 9,8 trillion. dollars, and GDP growth is about 2 trillion dollars. Thus, the excess of the increase in debt over the growth of US GDP was fivefold. Record among the countries studied this excess was in the UK - nine times. The Finnish economist notes that, probably, Japan, which is still considered by some as a model of the economic growth model, would have this excess even higher. But Japan did not get into the study due to a lack of statistical data.
But in Russia during the indicated period everything was the opposite: GDP growth was 14 times higher than the increase in national debt.
The most complete statistics for calculating real (including debt) economic growth is available in the USA. An interesting picture is the dynamics of the state (national) debt of the United States and gross domestic product based on data from the US Treasury and the US Department of Commerce.
According to the US Department of Commerce (Bureau of Economic Analysis), US GDP in 2001 was 2010 billion in prices of 12.837, and in 2014, it was (in the same prices) 16.282 billion. Thus, real growth of US GDP for the period 2001-2014. equal to 26,8 percent. At the same time, the increase in US national debt from the end of 2001 to the end of 2014 was 3,14 times. The increase in national debt over the period 2001-2014. exceeded real GDP growth in the United States by almost 8 times. This proportion can be expressed differently: in the period 2001-2014. on 1 dollar national debt growth, real US GDP growth averaged only 12,5 cents. Simple calculations on the United States, made by us, fully coincide with the estimates contained in the article of the Finnish economist.
In the final part of his article Hellevig notes that in his calculations he took into account only that part of the debt, which belongs to the public debt (it is also called national). But for completeness, it would be necessary to take into account the other components of the country's debt - the private sector and the household sector. Unfortunately, statistics on these types of debt is incomplete and inaccurate. There are only data for individual countries. For example, the debt of the private sector of the economy of Denmark for the period 1996-2012. increased from 140% of GDP to almost 240%. Increase in debt by almost 100 percentage points! In the same Denmark for the period 2002-2010. household sector debt increased from 240% of GDP to 310%.
Judging by the figures given in the work of Hellevig, such countries as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain and a number of other countries have already been effectively bankrupt. And such countries as the USA, France, Italy are already close to this.
Its bankruptcy and parasitic existence due to the continued construction of the country's golden pyramid of the "golden billion" cover the fig leaves of official GDP statistics.
In his last article, published in January 2016, J. Hellevig warns Russia against borrowing the Western model of the so-called “economic growth”: ““ Liberal ”critics of the Russian economy want us to believe that the West works perfectly thanks to some supposedly better economic model advertised as an innovative economy. The real picture throughout the West, USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, the EU is sad with falling industrial production, reducing exports, huge budget deficits, frightening trends of impoverishment and huge chronic unemployment, which the government is trying to hide behind official statistics, eliminating unemployed people from it. The only real innovation in the West over the past decade is the innovation of perpetual debt revelry, but, alas, it will not last forever. ”
The economic degradation of the leading countries of the West, which says J. Hellevig. This degradation is particularly clearly highlighted when comparing the countries of the “golden billion” with such countries of the periphery of world capitalism, which are called “emerging economies”, i.e. countries with the most dynamic economies.
The “core” of the western world is the “Big Seven” (Group of Seven, G7), which includes the following countries: USA, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy. According to some estimates, after the end of the Second World War, only one United States created about half of the global gross domestic product. Later, the share of the United States gradually declined, but in general quite a long time in the last century, the G7 accounted for at least half of the world's GDP.
Jon Hellevig in his publications drew attention to the changes in the ratio of the levels of economic development of the G7 and the countries of emerging economies over the past quarter century. For clarity, it also includes seven countries in the second group, the “small seven”: China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea.
The “Small Seven” today is already noticeably superior to the “Big Seven” in aggregate gross domestic product. The Small Seven went around the G7 after the financial crisis of 2007-2009. Jon Hellevig considers this a very significant event that has remained little seen by the world media, but which, in his opinion, will have far-reaching global economic and political consequences.
Today, there are already more recent GDP statistics (data from the International Monetary Fund). According to our calculations, in 2014, the share of the G7 in global GDP was 31,95%, and the share of the G7 was 35,83%. The ratio of the GDP of the “small seven” to the GDP of the “big seven” in 2014 was already 112,1%. That is, the gap between the “small seven” and the “big seven” continued to widen in favor of the emerging economies.
Jon Hellevig writes: “The problem is that changing this scenario is no longer possible, because the Western powers have lost their competitive advantages. Ultimately, their economies will shrink until they match their resource base and population size. ” For reference: the share of the "big seven" in the population of the planet is approximately 11,5%. Approximately this could be, according to Hellevig, the share of the G7 in global GDP. In other words, the G-7 will have to go down for a very long time from the current share of 32% to 11,5%.
There are few hopes for the economic recovery of the West. Even less than Western capitalism’s chances of overcoming the economic depression in the 30s of the last century (then it was managed to be overcome by completely non-economic methods - only due to the outbreak of World War II).
It is difficult to challenge the trends identified by Hellevig. One can only doubt the correct selection of the countries of the “small seven”. Mexico and South Korea are politically politically exposed to the West, under its strong influence. One can hardly imagine in real life the alliance of those seven states that the Finnish economist used in his calculations. But another alliance of seven states is quite real. These are the five countries that make up the BRICS. Plus Indonesia and Iran. Based on the IMF data for 2014, the share of countries in such an “alternative seven” will be as follows (% of world GDP): China - 16,63; India - 6,81; Russian Federation - 3,29; Brazil - 3,01; South Africa - 0,65; Indonesia - 2,47; Iran - 1,35. In total, the “alternative seven” in 2014 was 34,11% of world GDP. And on the “big seven” of western countries - 31,95%. And in this case, we see that the G-7 lags behind the seven emerging economies.
In 2014, a significant event was recorded: China in terms of GDP, calculated at par of the purchasing power of the yuan, came in first place in the world, overtaking the United States. The United States occupied this place for over a century. Namely, from the end of the XIX century, when the United States consistently bypassed Great Britain and Germany, becoming the economic power No. XXUMX. Then their share in global GDP reached 1%.
The third place in the world in terms of GDP for several years now has been occupied by India, confidently surpassing Germany first, and then Japan. In 2014, in the first seven of the countries in terms of GDP, there were only three countries from the G7 (USA, Japan and Germany) and four out of five countries that make up the BRICS (all except South Africa). In terms of its “weight” (cumulative GDP), the BRICS group was almost equal to the G7 (30,94% versus 31,95%).
In reality, the BRICS countries not only caught up, but significantly exceeded the G7 in terms of economic development.
The fact is that the two groups of countries should be compared using GDP indicators cleared of the so-called “foam”. Under the "foam" refers to the questionable (actually fictitious) services included in the total amount of the gross product - financial, trading and intermediary, associated with the real estate business, etc. It would be fair to compare only the “solid remnants” of GDP, representing the products of the branches of the real sector of the economy. Financial and various kinds of other intermediary operations of the social product do not create, but merely redistribute it. It was on this methodology that macroeconomic statistics was built in the twentieth century. At present, for the sake of the financial oligarchy and all sorts of speculators, the statistics of the public (gross) product have been “improved” and turned into a “curved mirror” of the economy.
Today, unfortunately, “foam” is present in the GDP of almost all countries of the world, but in the structure of the GDP of Western countries, its share is much larger. For example, in the US GDP for the products of the real sector of the economy (industry, agriculture, construction, transport and some other industries) accounts for only about ¼. It is noteworthy that in the US economy, the financial services and real estate brokering sector in 1,35 times exceeded the real sector. In the language of liberal economists and sociologists of the West, such an economy is called a “post-industrial society”. And in a less correct language, this is the economy of a thriving parasitism and casino. Even in Germany, whose economy is considered the most “industrial” in the G7 group, the real sector exceeded the financial one only by 23%. In the GDP structure of the BRICS countries, the sectors of the real sector of the economy occupy a significantly higher proportion - at least half, or even more. The real sector in India was more than 5 times the financial services and real estate sector, in the Russian Federation - 3,3 times.
The illusion of "well-being" and "high level" of economic development in the countries of the "golden billion" is supported not only by sly statistics. The main means is large-scale and constantly growing borrowings from the countries of the rest of the world.
To carry out such borrowing Western countries succeed due to the fact that they have "printing presses", creating astronomical amounts of money. The money coming from such “printing presses” is used not only and even not so much for servicing operations within the respective countries of the “golden billion”, as for buying goods, services and assets all over the world. Ultimately, this money accumulates in the international reserves of the countries of the periphery of world capitalism. These are indefinite and almost interest-free promissory notes of the West, which he is not going to repay. The system of parasitic existence of the “golden billion” is based on these so-called “reserve currencies”, which leads to the complete disintegration of the economy of the West. The total international reserves of the BRICS countries last year exceeded 15 billion dollars. At the same time, the international reserves of the G-7 amounted to only 2 trillion dollars. At the same time, the lion's share of this amount fell on only one country - Japan; the remaining six G7 countries only had 0,8 trillions of dollars. Also, it should not be forgotten that if the international reserves of the BRICS countries were formed mainly from reserve currencies (US dollar, euro, yen), then the G7 international reserves ( with the exception of Japan) gold prevails, not reserve currencies.
In his January article, J. Hellevig writes with alarm that "... Western economies suffered a complete fiasco and are able to maintain some kind of decency only thanks to huge loans ...". The G-7 countries, the Finnish economist concludes, “could have done this over the past ten years, using a strong monopoly of Western currencies, which made it possible to keep virtually zero interest rates and currency stability, despite the devastating and destructive nature of loans at all levels of economic activity: state, corporate and at the level of households. "
In conclusion, some statistics can be cited that reveal the secrets of the “economic prosperity” of the “golden billion” countries.
The US Central Intelligence Agency regularly keeps records of the external debt of almost all countries of the world (counted around 200 countries).
According to the latest data from the CIA, for 2012 a year, global external debt was equal to 70,60 trillion dollars (roughly comparable to the value of world GDP).
Here are the countries that occupy the first lines of the CIA table: US - 18,85 trillion dollars; European Union - 17,95; Japan - 3,02; Switzerland - 1,54; Australia - 1,48; Canada - 1,33. The total external debt of these countries of the “golden billion” amounted to 44,17. That is 62,6% of world debt. And here are the figures for the BRICS countries (trillion dollars): China - 0,78; RF - 0,52; Brazil - 0,48; India - 0,41; South Africa - 0,14. Total for the BRICS countries is 2,22 trillion dollars, or 3,1% of world debt.
The following picture emerges: the higher the level of foreign debt in a country, the lower its foreign exchange reserves. And vice versa: the more foreign exchange reserves, the lower the level of external debt. All this vividly reflects the parasitic nature of the countries that we are used to classify as “economically developed states”.