What did China get right in its economic and social development which the US got wrong?
Kris Lim, Overseas Chinese
In the US, corporate interest shapes things. It shapes the media, it shapes policies, it influences military acquisitions, it lobbies politics. Arguably it is the free market, corporate dynamism and American exceptionalism that makes the US unique and uplifts the nation. This explains the US being the largest economy and the luxury of having the largest military spending, largest navy as well as having the two largest air forces in the world. However it doesn’t quite uplift society as a whole, with more than 10% of the population requiring food stamps.
In China the government decides the policies and path forward. Businessmen and the wealthy throw their weight and investments behind the government. If the government says to concentrate on green energy and AI, both public and private money would go in those directions. This is good as long as China can ensure that capable and altruistic leaders rise up their political ladder. It is harder to ensure corporate altruism in the US. Corporations spend and invest on what they think will generate returns for them.
In the US you can say whatever you want as an individual. Society then debate whether what you said is right or wrong and are left to deal with the repercussions of you saying or doing what you are free to do. In short society polices itself.
In China the government polices the individual for the greater good of society. Some in the US are starting to look at the merits of government control over issues such as fake news and foreign intervention on social media.
The US believes that America is great and will naturally be so as long as the country and society is left to do what it has always done.
China believes that any country can be great but on condition that the right choices are made and wrong steps are avoided. China made the determination that technocrats should be in government and be the ones making the big decisions on behalf of China. They do not think that their way is the universal right way and should be copied by others. That’s behind the obsession with their ‘### with Chinese characteristics’ phrases. Whatever their policies chosen are due to being within their national, social & cultural constraints and circumstances. They don’t try to export what they think is right for them the way the US feels the need to export democracy or the American way.
Last, China doesn’t allow guns.
Joseph Wang, studied at Ph.D Astronomy UT Austin, Physics MIT
The three big things are:
China hasn’t invaded any other countries, and does not believe that it can run other countries better than the locals. The invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq have been expensive disasters.
After the 2008 financial crisis, just took a look and said “good grief, we have tens of millions of workers that are doing nothing and could protest and overthrow us. Let’s just get them to do stuff.” So you had massive infrastructure building.
The Chinese government really don’t beiieve that they have all the answers.
Craig Reynolds, works at Self-Employment
China has taken the best parts of Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, and some Democratic principles. It has very smartly retained key sectors of the economy under government ownership (SOE’s) and not free market capitalism where they do not belong. IE: Energy, Mining, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Shipping, Transportation, Banking, Utilities and it’s military industrial complex.
This has allowed the government to generate revenues outside of just taxation, while also being able to maintain price controls and keep these area of the economy affordable.
China also does NOT allow foreign businesses without a Chinese partner company and the Chinese partner must have majority (51%) control of the joint venture. In this way there is no chance for foreign multinationals to take control of the economy or for any foreign government to control them from the sidelines.
China’s in my opinion also does an excellent effort at cracking down on graft (corruption) and punishing the offenders severely. Usually with life sentences and if the graft is severe enough that it harms people they will even apply the death penalty.
The US on the other hand has allowed the government to devolve into a form of corporatocracy controlled by deep pocketed Oligarchs. Basically the super rich and the corporations they control pull the strings in government. Over regulation makes it extremely difficult for individuals to start small businesses and taxation is excessive. Graft is widespread, but is practically legal in that the offenders are almost never pursued.
The US for decades has allowed manufacturers to move production to other countries where the cost of labor is extremely low and regulations, especially with regard to workers rights and safety are practically non existent. Basically allowing these companies to escape the expensive regulations the US itself imposes. This has damaged the economy by lowering wages and creating massive domestic job losses.
The US government rarely comes to a bipartisan agreement on anything and is often times practically dysfunctional. We spend an absurd amount of money, typically 50% of every annual budget on the military when our infrastructure is in disrepair, our schools lacking supplies and we have people that are hungry and homeless.
Before anyone tries to dispute that 50% military budget you better make sure you know what you are looking at. The government likes to include social security and medicare revenues as well as expenditures in the budget and that is misleading. It makes it look like those programs are the greatest expense when they are not. They are not because they have their own separate taxes that fund them. Once you remove them from the budget you will see that military is indeed 50% or more of all expenditures.