In 1980, the U.S. share of global GDP was 20 percent. Today it is 29 percent.It is, as anybody with a passing knowledge of world history could tell you, false. At least in the sense that there is something real called the global economy, the US share has been shrinking ever since the end of World War II. Jon Schwarz:
The problem here isn't that Zakaria made a mistake. It's that he would never make a mistake like this in the other direction—i.e., something that made the U.S. look worse than it is. You don't get to be International Editor of Newsweek and host of your own program on PBS and on the board of Yale without having a tendency toward saying inaccurate, self-congratulatory crap about America.What's clear is this isn't only about foreign policy -- the American pundit class has a nasty allergy to numerical literacy. See, for example, the months-long battle Paul Krugman had with the New York Times over Bush's tax cuts.