That is essentially what happened in the last few decades as China moved from isolation to deeply integrated into the global economy. When the country joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, its population was 1.28 billion, larger than that of the 34 advanced countries that make up the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (1.16 billion).
However, this was a one-time adjustment, and wages are rising rapidly in China as it goes beyond cheap manufacturing to more sophisticated goods. India, the only other country with a comparable population, is already well integrated into the world economy. As globalization continues, it should be a gradual process.
9. There is only one Mexico
For years after the North American Free Trade Agreement came into force in 1994, American workers competed with lower-income Mexicans. As in China, the new momentum improved the long-term economic outlook for the United States, but in the short term it was bad for many American factory workers.
But it was also a one-time adjustment. Even before President Trump, most of the trade agreements being negotiated were no longer focused on facilitating imports from low-wage countries. The main goal was to improve trade rules for American companies doing business in other rich countries.
10. The offshoring revolution takes place most of the time
Once upon a time when you were an American company that needed to run a customer service call center or perform some labor-intensive IT work, you had no choice but to hire a group of Americans to do it. The advent of low cost, instant global telecommunications has changed that, allowing you to work where the cost has been lowest.
In the first decade of the 2000s, American companies did just that on a large scale, moving to places like India and the Philippines. It’s a slightly different take on the earlier farm analogy; A Kansas customer service operator was suddenly competing with millions of lower-income Indians for a job.
But it’s not that the internet can be invented a second time.
Feel a topic here? In the early years of the 21st century, a combination of globalization and technological advancement put American workers in competition with billions of workers around the world.