Thursday, August 27, 2015

Give China A Break

The US should stop blaming its problems on China.  China has done more for its own people than any country in the world in the last three decades.  The rest of the world should be taking notes, not assigning blame.

China resorted to free markets and, guess what, it worked.  More people have moved from poverty to the middle class in China in thirty years than has ever happened in the history of the world.  They deserve some credit for this incredible achievement.  (Note that the old Soviet Union never took this tack and Soviet citizens lived in slavery and poverty for four generations.  Note the difference between modern China and modern Russia.  Not even close).

While the government in China is autocratic, in some ways the rule of law is more firmly implanted in China than in the US.  It is easier to start a business, build a factory, hire and fire employees and prosper in China than anywhere in the western world.  While it's true that bribery of public officials is endemic, isn't that true in the US as well but the practice is simply cloaked under the name of proffers, environmental offsets, minority setasides, Davis-Bacon rules, etc.  Bribery is rampant in the US, as every American business well knows because the of the role of special interest groups who demand a slice of the pie any time a business tries to expand.

Autocratic and arbitrary regulations, unsanctioned by voters or their representatives have become a way of life for the American government.  Not true in China, or certainly not as true.

China and the western world are headed down different pathways.  China is moving in the direction of free markets and the rule of law and the US and western Europe are headed in the other direction, closing down free markets wherever possible (Obamacare!) and obliterating the rule of law (EPA regulations, etc.).

China is not to blame for the economic problems in the US.   China does not have a bloated entitlement system, ubiquitous in the western world.  China is autocratic, but that is by design.  That autocratic rule has moved mostly in the direction of free markets in the last thirty years and that strategy has worked.  What has the western world done but squander its heritage, taken on huge unsustainable debt levels and undermined the aspirations of its citizens born into the bottom half of the economic strata.

Both Obama and Donald Trump see China as the big enemy.  Results do matter, contrary to what Obama and Trump think.  In that regard, China deserves our admiration, not our scorn.

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