So I was reading in the New York Times about how China has now surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy in the world. Following the US, of course. The tone of the discussions I've had about it have suggested that "we better learn Mandarin Chinese".
Remember way back in the 80's when the trade deficit to Japan was a huge deal, and we better "all learn Japanese"? Maybe you don't remember. It was a huge thing. They were "taking over" and all that. There was even a movie called Gung-ho ,about an American car company going under and being bought out by the Japanese (not a bad movie, but it doesn't hold up all that well).
I think that once the media in general gets its head wrapped around the fact that we still have TEN TIMES the size of an economy than our next largest competitor (US Gross Domestic Product is 14 Trillion, China is 1.33 Trillion), you'll start to see some hysteria die down a little bit. In the mean-time, we get to enjoy the beginning of all the talking heads foaming at the mouth. It should be entertaining at least.
But, it might not happen. The 24hour news cycle can be a fickle thing, and this might actually be a non-story in the coming weeks. It's always hard to tell. It's like internet memes... some catch fire (all your base belong to us, and lolcats) others wither and die on the vine.
Do I think that china is going to pass our GDP? Personally, I'm not sure. With the way most big businesses are outsourcing production and manufacturing to china, it seems possible. Again, that's what we all thought of Japan too way back when.
China is still very rural and undeveloped. It's just now becoming developed, but most of china is still farmland and almost Third-World depressed. I think if our corporate overlords... erm, politicians rather ever get our economy going again it won't be an issue. American industry still produces a TON of stuff.
For now, I think I'll continue to watch Ni Hao, Kai-lan with my daughter, and maybe pick up a little Mandarin. You know, just in case.