The Changing World Order by Ray Dalio

The Big Idea: Empires rise and fall. The US is in the declining stages of its empire. China appears to be rising.

No empire in human history has lasted forever.

Empires have life cycles, much like organisms have life cycles.

A successful empire lasts 250 years, give or take 150 years.

The cycle swings between 1) peaceful and prosperous periods of great creativity and productivity that raise living standards a lot and 2) depression, revolution, and war periods when there is a lot of fighting over wealth and power and a lot of destruction of wealth, life, and other things we cherish.

After war/depression/revolution, a new world order emerges, with new ascending powers hoping to become empires.

Today, the United States is in the late stages of its empire. Its decline is inevitable, but what remains is how fast and painful the decline is going to be.

The United States displays all the classic characteristics of an empire in decline: high inflation, corrupt politicians, entitled citizens, overwhelming public debt, an overextended military, high income inequalities, internal civil conflict, declining economy, etc.

At the same time, China appears to be an ascending power, with a rapidly growing economy, a rapidly developing military, a highly motivated population, and citizens who prioritize savings (and national pride) over consumption.

What to expect? Continued US decline (thought we must fight against this), continued US inflation, continued rise of Chinese economic and military power.

Comments are closed.