J’accuse! (though mostly jokingly)

So I was looking through the current issue of Foreign Policy, and came across some words that sounded surprisingly familiar.

Here’s Gideon Rachman, chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times, in the cover story of FP, on America’s decline:

The Japanese population is less than half that of the United States, which means that the average Japanese person would have to be more than twice as rich as the average American before Japan’s economy surpassed America’s. That was never going to happen.

And now here’s me, on this blog, some seven months earlier:

Japan’s population is less than half of that of the US; in order for Japan’s economy to overtake that of the US, it would therefore need to be twice as rich on a per capita basis.  This was never going to happen.

Hmmm…  I’m guessing it’s probably just a coincidence, but still, I’ve heard of plagiarism accusations that are a lot flimsier.  Moreover, not only are the words almost identical, but they’re being used in the same context: we’re both making the point that comparing China’s challenge to the US with that of Japan a few decades ago isn’t particularly useful, given the demographic differences between the two countries.

And how cool would it be if a) of the three readers of this blog, one of them was Gideon Rachman, and b) he found it so insightful/well-written that he felt the need to copy it nearly word-for-word…

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