Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peter Zeihan

Peter Zeihan is the author of The Accidental Superpower: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder.

From his interview with Fareed Zakaria:
ZAKARIA: So, the big point of your book is America is in an enviable position. And it was historically and it will continue to be. But I want to touch on why geography and demography and these structural factors really inform your analysis. So, you start out by pointing out that America has one of the world's most enviable markets because of the rivers. Explain that.

ZEIHAN: Sure, it really comes down to a balance of transport. How easy is it to move things within your system versus beyond your system? Water transport costs about 1/12 of what it cost to move things by land and that's assuming that you already have the infrastructure in place. Once you add in interstate, the roadways, the ports, and everything, it's about a 50-1 advantage.

ZAKARIA: And that's why you point out throughout history civilizations and cities have always started on rivers or ports.

ZEIHAN: Almost all of the successful ones, whether it's the French, the Chinese, the Japanese, or so on. But in modern times, the United States has over 17,000 miles of these waterways that's more than everybody else put together.

ZAKARIA: That's more than the rest of the world put together.

ZEIHAN: Absolutely.

ZAKARIA: By comparison, what it is China and Germany?

ZEIHAN: China and Germany, about 2,000, the entire of the world, just over 100.

ZAKARIA: And so, you have these great river systems that allow you to get goods out. And then talk about America's port advantage.

ZEIHAN: Ports, it's a whole different scale. Because of the Intracoastal Waterway, in essence, half of American frontage is protected. There's these barrier islands that protect everything. You have all these indentations in Texas, which...[read on]
Visit Peter Zeihan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue