For the past several years, China has been building stuff at a mind-blowing pace. Just how mind-blowing? Here, let's let Bill Gates put it in perspective:
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) June 13, 2014
Think about this for a second. Between 1901 and 2000, the U.S. built an entire interstate highway system, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hoover Dam and just about all of its skyscrapers -- to name just a few concrete-intensive things. China did all that, and almost half again, in just three years.
On his blog, Gates suggested that all of this concrete had helped pull Chinese out of poverty. But all of this building has also left China with a huge and dangerous property bubble, massive ghost cities and empty housing.