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Sunday, November 16, 2008

China + India = 36% of the world's population

Wow! China has 1.3 million people (to top out at 1.8 billion in the next 10 years). India has 1.1 billion people. And the United States is third in the population list with a measly 300-plus million. 

Recently, the Wall Street Journal ran a story, "India's ambitious infrastructure plans," with a photo of workers at a road construction site. There wasn't a bulldozer, scraper or machinery of any kind in the picture. Instead, it showed a seemingly endless line of squatting women in traditional Indian garb with small, wooden handled hoes, scraping at rather undefined brown dirt. One weeks' production of the worker's efforts could easily be equaled in no time by a Caterpillar road grader.

This past spring, Kathy and I were in China. There we saw a massive renovation project underway at one of the historical sites we visited. We saw hundreds of men and women working with small hand tools chip, chip, chipping away on the plaza dirt without the aid of anything mechanical. 

Well, I guess if the 1,500-mile-long Great Wall happened, the pyramids built and Stonehenge erected, all before the birth of Christ and Caterpillar tractors, then why not? But the mind-blowing thought is, this isn't 'B.C.', there are Caterpillars, and were do all the people come from? 

These are not third-world countries--you should see their big cities--though you might not know it from some viewpoints. The humanity alone, however, makes them very different than us...  36% of the world population, different customs, different problems, different solutions. 

You think they won't greatly shape how the world goes forward? Wrong! 

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