Communists have the best transit

Subways in Beijing are roughly 55 cents, only about 1/5th the level of NYC. That means that if you priced the 4 billion annual subway trips in Beijing at NYC subway prices, revenue would rise from about $2 billion to $10 billion. That’s why comparisons of US and Chinese GDPs at market exchange rates are utterly meaningless. America is much richer, even in PPP terms, but the market price gap wildly overstates the actual difference. China’s total GDP in terms of actual output is obviously higher than the US. (BTW, Beijing’s subways are also far nicer than in New York.)

–Scott Sumner

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