If anyone had said in 1950 that the world's great economic powerhouses a half century later would be Japan and Germany, ranked second and third, that person would have been ridiculed. If you argued in 1970 that by 2007 China would be the world's fourth-largest economic power, the laughter would have been even more intense. But it would have been no funnier than arguing in 1800 that the United States would be a world power. Things change, and the unexpected should be expected.
- George Friedman