Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The mark of an advanced economy

I'm getting my exercise, walking down a rural back road the other day. Along the way a bright yellow backhoe is putting in a new septic system for a small ski lodge. Despite the fresh yellow paint on the backhoe, it isn't a Caterpillar, it's a Hyundai, come all the way from South Korea. That's a long way from northern New Hampshire. Obviously the Hyundai people have created a machine good enough to compete successfully with the best (Caterpillar) .
I tried to think how many other countries are good enough to export manufactured goods to the North American market. Japan, South Korea, China, Germany, England, Sweden and probably a few others that don't come readily to mind. But compared to the 192 nations that are UN members, it's a short list. Maybe we should rank nations as first world, second world, third world and so on by looking at who can export manufactured goods to who. First world would be limited to those nations that can export the the US. Third world would be the countries that don't manufature or don't export. Second world might be all the in-betweens.

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