marcus made the following comment about BRICs nations, and I just happened to stumble across an interesting overview of them. I recommend watch the interview with Jim O'Neill, Head of Global Economic Research, Goldman Sachs http://www2.goldmansachs.com/ideas/brics/index.html Looking at the 2050 potential may seem a bit far out, but the BRIC economies are now 15% of the world GDP, which is about half that of the US. China may soon surpass Germany and become the third largest economy in the world. China could become the biggest economy in 20 or so years - if it only grew at 5%/yr. Current growth rate is about 10%/yr. India could challenge the US becoming the second largest economy by 2040 if it sustains a growth rate of 6%. Current growth rate is between 8 and 9%. The growth of China and India mean the US has to compete more for the same resources.