The U.S. will no longer be the dominant economy by 2030

15 years from now, the United States will no longer be as dominant economically as it is now. Such a development is not unique. The larger European countries will slip further behind while some emerging markets will catapult into prominence. That is according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) latest macroeconomic projections leading up the year 2030.

The U.S. will just barely remain the global leader with $24.8 trillion in annual output. China’s GDP will grow to more than twice the size it is today. India will surpass Brazil to take third place. The country will have the largest and among the youngest workforce in the world within the next 15 years.

2030 Economies USDA

There are still a lot of uncertainties especially with long-term outlooks. Which countries do you see dominating the world market in 15 years? Share your thoughts below.

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Of Chicken Slaughter and NSA Wiretaps: Do We Really Want to Know?

The Washington Post reported on October 29, 2013 about the inhumane treatment of poultry on the processing line. Normally, the heads of birds are electrocuted first, and then their necks are cut, followed by scalding water and de-feathering process. However, one percent of the time this goes amiss, and these birds survive until they enter the boiling water Almost a million chicken a year are alive when dunked into scalding water.

Clearly, this article appeals to the emotions of the Post’s readers.  Some believe this inappropriate chicken mortality to be a drastic case of “inhumane” animal killings. But in reality, chicken deaths are not foremost on our minds. After all, chicken are for eating and appear to us mostly in the form of nuggets or other compressed versions. How many of us have seen live chicken apart from those on the chicken retrieval trucks? They have to die somehow, and are, for many of us, not marked by particular attention or friendship.

Take the example of the lobster. If you go to a top of the line seafood restaurant, typically you are given the option to pick out your ’personal’ lobster, live from the tank. Before it makes its way onto your plate, it will be dropped into boiling water, where, after some frantic clawing against the pot with its claws, it will die – or better- be prepared for you. Of course, lobsters can’t neigh or bark, and we’ve always had a certain fear of being attacked by their claws – so there is not too much concern.

Think about the ocean: If tuna fishermen catch some Dolphins on the side and they die, we are most unhappy – we even require ‘dolphin safe’ tuna meals, if they are to come to the United States. We mourn the wounded and grieve the injuries of dolphins, because we’ve all seen ‘Flipper”, what a cute thing. At the same time we fear and resent the great white shark, which is much more endangered than dolphins. But we all remember ‘jaws’ and know what that fish is after.

Back to the chicken:  50 years ago, you could pick out your chicken at the market where it was beheaded in front of you. The bird would run around headless until it eventually died from blood loss. At that time, all you were worried about was dinner on your plate.

The deeper focus of this whole matter is that sometimes too much information is not seen as helpful. Ultimately, we do not want to know nor do we sufficiently care about the process of how our poultry is slaughtered. As long as the bird is sufficiently cleaned and later cooked, we will not make a fuss. It will taste the same in the end and serve the same purpose of filling our stomachs.

This same procedure and ideal can be applied to the recent NSA accusations of the United States spying on foreign nations’ top officials. We simply prefer not to know and we think that foreign dignitaries should not know either, nor should they worry.  Naturally, we all assumed that such spying occurred on some level, given the advances in technology in addition to national security purposes. The time when ‘gentlemen did not read other gentlemen’s mail’ has long passed. We know what is needed and we do what needs to be done. Therefore, the question remains, were we really that surprised?

That’s what chicken have in common with the NSA. As long as they give us a good product at the end, it’s probably best not to discuss the process which leads to the product. After all, we’re all friends.

Michael Czinkota, Kimberly Boeckmann

image source:                       READ THE WP ARTICLE HERE.

News from the USTR: Japan-U.S. Organic Trade

Today, the United States and Japan announced that beginning January 1, 2014, organic products certified in Japan or in the United States may be sold as organic in either country.

This partnership will greatly benefit both countries as the organics sector in the United States and Japan is valued at more than $36 billion combined, and rising every year.

“Today’s agreement will streamline access to the growing Japanese organic market for U.S. farmers and processors and eliminate significant barriers for small and medium organic producers, benefiting America’s thriving organic industry,” said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. “This represents another key step in strengthening our economic relationship with Japan by boosting agriculture trade between Japan and the United States, leading to more jobs and economic benefits   for American farmers and businesses in this important sector.”

“This partnership reflects the strength of the USDA organic standards, allowing American organic farmers, ranchers, and businesses to access Asia’s largest organic market,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “It is a win for the American economy and sets the foundation for additional organic agricultural trade agreements in Asia. This partnership provides economic opportunities for farmers and small businesses, resulting in good jobs for Americans across the organic supply chain.”

Read more here.