Jack Ma, one of the most powerful entrepreneurs on the planet did a nice interview on why he is confident in China’s growth and ultimate success. I have to say I think he is correct. The numbers are hard to argue with and his clear statement of China’s advantage over the US is also hard to counter. These are exactly the realities that will incite outrage in the US. China is a different system and it is testing new ways being the largest and richest on the planet.
The numbers are powerful and have changed drastically in the last thirty years. Ma identifies that thirty years ago China was wide but shallow as a market and an economy. Today China has around 300 million middle class as the economies foundation. That is about the entire population of the US and the US middle class is shrinking as the oligarchy sucks money away from the base of our economy. In ten years China will have half a billion middle class, Ma says. That is a economic foundation of broad wealth that is so far beyond where the US, if it survives, will be.
The center points of Ma’s presentation are with China as a nation. China is stable with very clear political direction. To manage prosperity for a significant portion of the planet’s population you must have stability dedicated to the well being of that population. China has that with a unified government. Is one party rule bad if the result is prosperity and well being? He thinks not. Looking at the US and it’s struggles with massive political corruption, foreign manipulation of elections, and incompetence from that electoral failure Ma thinks the world can see the difference and the points go to China. But it’s not democratic people will say. The US is not democratic either and in that case the most stable and efficient administration will be preferred. It’s a good argument.
A major point that Ma makes is the security and safety of life in China. With 1.3 billion people, he notes, that there are less than 200 million firearms in private hands. China is safe unlike the US that is now on a level with struggling third world countries for public safety. Guns are completely out of control in the US and clearly driven by corruption in the Republican party.
The critical factor for confidence in China is the education of the population. He estimates over a 150 million people with higher education. The irony is that we educate many of the best in this country but we are unwilling to commit to the education of our own people. China does that culturally and successfully. As the middle class expands in China and shrinks in the US the power of a highly educated population will make the new economic reality the property of the most educated, creative, and able to create. Success on this planet will require creative and highly scientific skills while robots and automation will replace the uneducated and willfully ignorant. Those people will need to be supported but they will not have the opportunities.
Ma ends by saying, “And lastly, I am confident in this country [China], that this country is still talking about globalization, is still talking about open door policy and encouraging entrepreneurship.” None of those things are true for the US.
We need to think about this very carefully because it is already late. The international leadership that US has held for over seventy years was already fading but has been destroyed in the last year. China will lead no matter what as long as they maintain the security and well being of their population. They are working around the world and, particularly in Africa. They are not fighting endless wars for oil and exploitation. They are supported the environmentally careful growth of all on this planet. Yes, they have minority rights problems and a brutal record on indigenous populations. We are no better. Do we slip into aged incompetence as we are doing now or do we wake up and make a place for ourselves in the new emerging global society?
While it was encouraging that the people of Alabama, although it was not the doing of the white population, managed to defeat a child molestor and crackpot from going to the US senate, it was very close. The people already in Congress are bad enough to destroy us all. We need to change or we will become a footnote of Chinese history.