For all Nails #268: The Horror, Whatever

by Noel Maurer

From the California Observer
9 January 1975

Welcome to First

It's official: the CNA is no longer the richest nation on the planet. According to the official figures released by the CNA's own North American Bureau of Statistics, Taiwan's gross national income per head overtook the CNA during the fourth quarter of 1974. Might this just be a side-effect of a high-flying exhange rate? No: at market exchange rates, Taiwan has been richer than North America for the past three years. Taiwan's real economy expanded by 10% in 1973 and by 7% in 1974. Despite the, if you will excuse the term, fallout from the recent Bali blast, the government expects growth of about 6% this year. Overheating, you say? Prices in Taiwan are rising at just 1 1/2 % a year.

Purists and pedants might insist that gross national product is the wrong measure in the first place. To judge the productivity of an economy, it is better to ignore both the income earned by foreign assets and the income paid to foreign creditors. That gives you gross domestic product. In most countries, the pluses and minuses roughly cancel out, so it matters little whether you talk of GDP or GNP. In Taiwan it matters a lot.

For so small an economy, Taiwanese citizens own a lot of foreign investments. This is, obviously, an effect of the fact that Kramer Associates is headquartered on the island. Every year, much of the income from Kramer's overseas investments is booked at corporate headquarters in Taipei. As a result, Taiwan's GDP is about 9% lower than its GNP. Allowing for this, the average Taki-Taki is still less productive than the average Tory -- but unless Bali derails the island's impressive economic growth, only for the next eighteen months.

Forward to FAN #269: Cole.

Forward to 9 January 1975: Movement of Jah People.

Return to For All Nails.

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