stars aligned in a unique way

ali-yue

Senior Member
chinese
The tremendous economic growth across Asia and in a handful of countries in other regions, such as Brazil and South Africa, was partly driven by favorable demographics and policies that took advantage of them, namely,high proportions of working- age people. Demographics aren’t enough by themselves, and we could have reason to believe the stars aligned in a unique way that’s highly unlikely for countries looking to develop today. Labor- intensive manufacturing, in particular, has a shaky future.​

--From 8 Billion and Counting

Question: Actually, I don't quite understand the structure and meaning of the underlined part. Does it mean those countries were very fortunate and enjoyed tremendous development, but for countries today, it is impossible?
 
  • The tremendous economic growth across Asia and in a handful of countries in other regions, such as Brazil and South Africa, was partly driven by favorable demographics and policies that took advantage of them, namely,high proportions of working- age people. Demographics aren’t enough by themselves, and we could have reason to believe the stars aligned in a unique way that’s highly unlikely for countries looking to develop today. Labor- intensive manufacturing, in particular, has a shaky future.​

    --From 8 Billion and Counting

    Question: Actually, I don't quite understand the structure and meaning of the underlined part. Does it mean those countries were very fortunate and enjoyed tremendous development, but for countries today, it is impossible?

    Yes, I think you have the right idea. The old 'star' (planet) patterns are alleged NOT to be repeating in present times, and those old patterns are alleged to be behind the older countries (e.g. UK's) development. Given that some patterns do not repeat for hundreds, even thousands of year, this hypothesis has a certain surface plausibility.
     

    User With No Name

    Senior Member
    English - U.S. (Texas)
    I think "the stars aligned" normally means that several different situations occurred at the same time, and that it was the combination of those situations rather than any one of them in isolation that allowed the economic growth of those countries to happen. (For example, the demographic boom and the need for increase in labor-intensive manufacturing happened at the same time.)

    The writer seems to be suggesting that it is unlikely for all of those circumstances to happen again at the same time.
     

    ali-yue

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Yes, I think you have the right idea. The old 'star' (planet) patterns are alleged NOT to be repeating in present times, and those old patterns are alleged to be behind the older countries (e.g. UK's) development. Given that some patterns do not repeat for hundreds, even thousands of year, this hypothesis has a certain surface plausibility.
    Thank you, bennymix. :thank you:
     

    ali-yue

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I think "the stars aligned" normally means that several different situations occurred at the same time, and that it was the combination of those situations rather than any one of them in isolation that allowed the economic growth of those countries to happen. (For example, the demographic boom and the need for increase in labor-intensive manufacturing happened at the same time.)

    The writer seems to be suggesting that it is unlikely for all of those circumstances to happen again at the same time.
    Many thanks. :thank you:
     
    Top