What the U.S. Can Learn from China: An Open-Minded Guide to Treating Our Greatest Competitor as Our Greatest Teacher
While America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis, a high unemployment rate, and a surge in government debt, China’s economy is the second largest in the world, and many predict it will surpass the United States’ by 2020. President Obama called China’s rise “a Sputnik moment”—will America seize this moment or continue to treat China as its scapegoat?
Mainstream media and the U.S. government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China’s power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks, What can America learn from its competition?
Why did China recover so quickly after the global economic meltdown? What accounts for China’s extraordinary growth, despite one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world? How does the Chinese political system avoid partisan rancor but achieve genuine public accountability? From education to governance to foreign aid, Lee details the policies and practices that have made China a global power and then isolates the ways the United States can use China’s enduring principles to foster much-needed change at home.
This is no whitewash. Lee is fully aware of China’s shortcomings, particularly in the area of human rights. She has relatives who suffered during the Cultural Revolution. But by overemphasizing our differences with China, the United States stands to miss a vital opportunity. Filled with sharp insights and thorough research, What the U.S. Can Learn from China is Lee’s rallying cry for a new approach at a time when learning from one another is the key to surviving and thriving.
Winner of the Gold IPPY award in the category of current events.
(2) high-level bureaucrats were given compensation comparable to the private sector, and (3) rigorous internal audits ensured compliance.7 Today, thanks to Lee’s vision, Singapore’s population enjoys the high standard of living that Westerners enjoy. Though it does not MERITOCR ACY 57 confer the same level of freedoms as many Western countries and can be criticized for erecting barriers to political opposition, Singapore may not have been able to develop into its present modern state as
from going bankrupt by ensuring the ﬁrm received help from the Federal Reserve.27 • Former Medicare and Medicaid Services chief Thomas Scully received an ethics waiver so he could negotiate jobs with private companies while working on the 2003 Medicare Prescription Drug Bill, which forced the government to pay full price to drug companies for all prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. Upon leaving ofﬁce, he joined a ﬁnancial services ﬁrm that proﬁts from health care and the law ﬁrm Alston
potential subversives to national stability. When computer hackers shut down email accounts of Chinese dissidents, Google called it a suppression of freedom, but the Chinese government believes that these dissidents are no different from terrorists trying to cause social unrest. Americans may ﬁnd it hard to relate to fears of widespread revolt since we have not experienced such massive carnage on our soil since the Civil War, while the national chaos that accompanied the Cultural Revolution in
healthcare, public relations, and disaster prevention • at least 3 million social workers to handle mental health, trauma victims, senior citizens, and the impoverished • at least 3.8 million research and development professionals • at least 100 CEOs on the Fortune 500 list The methods for achieving these lofty goals will come in vari- ous forms. More of the government budget will be allocated toward national research and development and national education. The CCP will also actively
think that an open marketplace would allow for more than one solution to address problems. The sad lesson we learn from the story about Elastol is that when new technologies are developed for markets that are already occupied by strong, entrenched powers, these innovations face strikingly low odds of succeeding due to powerful political resistance. Just as we know that working out once a month doesn’t take off excess weight, we should acknowledge that following existing economic prescriptions,