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Comparing China and America: Economies Diverge, Police States Converge

Comparing China and America: Economies Diverge, Police States Converge

I have followed China’s development, its stunning advance in forty years from impoverished Third World to a huge economy, its rapid scientific progress. Coming from nowhere it now runs neck and neck with the US in supercomputes, does world-class work in genetic engineering and genomics (the Beijing Genomics Institutes), quantum computing and quantum radar, in scientific publications. It lags in many things, but the speed of advance, the intense focus on progess, is remarkable.

Recently, after twelve years away, I returned for a couple of weeks to Chungdu and Chong Quing, which I found amazing. American patriots of the lightly read but growly sort will bristle at the thought that the Chinese may have political and economic systems superior to ours, but, well, China rises whlle the US flounders. They must be doing something right.

In terms of economic systems, the Chinese are clearly superior. China runs a large economic surplus, allowing it to invest heavily in infrastructure and in resources abroad. America runs a large deficit. China invests in China, America in the military. China’s infrastructure is new, of high quality, and growing. America’s slowly deteriorates. China has an adult government that gets things done. America has an essentially absentee Congress and a kaleidoscopically shifting cast of pathologically aggressive curiosities in the White House.

America cannot compete with a country far more populous of more-intelligent people with competent leadership and the geographic advantage of being in Eurasia. Washington’s choices are either to start a major war while it can, perhaps force the world to submit through sanctions, or resign itself to America’s becoming just another country. Given the goiterous egos inside the Beltway Bubbble, this is not encouraging.

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