This makes for some interesting reading. Mapping the Global Future - 2020 The rise in economic power of China and India is pretty much a given. One prediction is really striking. They predict the world's economy to grow by 80 percent over 2000 levels. At that rate, the worst that middle class Americans and Europeans would feel would be a kind of stagnancy in their standard of living. There's also a lot that could happen to slow that down - world disease, global terrorism, or just the US and Europe developing protectionist policies (economic protectionism might be politically tempting if the world economy doesn't grow at expected rates and the Western countries actually suffer a decrease in standard of living, but it would be economic suicide over the long term).