Japan, for example was once a relatively "unadvanced" country and during the Meiji period of time the entire country was focused together on becoming westernized, to catch up with the rest of the world. This only occurred with a unified nation. East Berlin, for example was quickly rebuilt into a modern nation, more advanced than it's western counterpart in fact. After being so behind from Russian occupation they had a completely empty slate because of all the unrepaired, destroyed buildings left over from WWII, which were easily torn down and made into better, modern buildings. The only problem with some 3rd World countries catching up in modern times, is they are many times divided by war/ religion that doesn't allow the population to come together and push toward modernization. Another great example is the Arabian countries, very insignificant poor as dirt countries, but still with stability, came together from the newly found oil, and BOOM we have cities like Dubai with more advanced cities than anywhere else in the world. So if you unite together as a group, it doesn't take much to catch up. In fact since they get a completely clean slate, they might become even more advanced with time.
For too long there has been a huge export in the services that the west can actually do. There is virtually no manafacturing happening, and the population is becoming more apathetic and lazy by the day. With this attitude and lack of production, it is very easy to see the wealth of the west coming to an end.
Yes, Western wealth is coming to an end, because we have had poor fiscal policies. There are not enough people paying taxes anymore, and they have voted themselves largess from the public treasury. This is not sustainable. The inflation that we are seeing is going to cripple us and make us poor.
Pieces of crap like that are draining not just the West but most good countries outside the West, like Japan and China. It's utter garbage that we're forced to deal with. That amongst other things like Obama. And other garbage in the world. It's just idiocy to tell you the truth.
Western wealth is not coming to and end, but wealth for the majority of the country is. I would say that the rich are just getting rich here in America and in other countries where the middle class is eroding and being told that they are not working hard enough.
Western countries are still far and away the wealthiest nations on earth, with the United States so far ahead of the pack, even China, who has 4 times the population, doesn't even have half of the GDP of the states. Europe, even with its problems, is still very rich as a whole.