Thomas Friedman thinks China is 'smarter' than the US. Is he right?
Do China's best and the brightest work for their powerful state or in the private sector? The New York Times's Tom Friedman hints that the Chinese government is filled with 200 IQ people. He argues that China is pursuing a wiser long term energy policy than the United States. Why? Unlike our government, China's government anticipates the coming scarcity of resources and thus are making investments now so that they will be ready to corner even more export markets when "natural resource collapse" is just about to take place.Skip to next paragraph
Mathew is an economics professor at UCLA and has written three books: Green Cities (Brookings Institution Press); Heroes and Cowards (Princeton University Press, jointly with Dora L. Costa); and in fall 2010, Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter World (Basic Books).
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
If Mr. Friedman would return my phone calls, I would like to ask him why the Chinese leaders are smarter than our leaders? Does Tom believe that interest group politics in the US blocks smart policy? So, is he a fan of dictatorship? Is he envious of an "enlightened" despot's ability to get things done? Has he soured on democracy? Should the U.S adopt China's 1 party system? Or should we offer free passports to the Chinese government so that they can teach us how to have a well functioning government? Would Tom Friedman restrict voting rights and only allow people to vote who have been to college or have passed an "issues literacy" test?
Here is a quote from his NY Times column today, I agree with his first paragraph but find the 2nd paragraph to be strange.
4) Even if climate change proves less catastrophic than some fear, in a world that is forecast to grow from 6.7 billion to 9.2 billion people between now and 2050, more and more of whom will live like Americans, demand for renewable energy and clean water is going to soar. It is obviously going to be the next great global industry.
China, of course, understands that, which is why it is investing heavily in clean-tech, efficiency and high-speed rail. It sees the future trends and is betting on them. Indeed, I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now. And Iran, Russia, Venezuela and the whole OPEC gang are high-fiving each other. Nothing better serves their interests than to see Americans becoming confused about climate change, and, therefore, less inclined to move toward clean-tech and, therefore, more certain to remain addicted to oil. Yes, sir, it is morning in Saudi Arabia."
So Dr. Friedman, what is broken in the United States? Why did it break? Are you willing to adopt China's methods to solve our problem?
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Their postings appear here on the Monitor's Money site as well as on their own individual blog sites. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the blogger's own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.