Chrystia Freeland – China’s economic model isn’t the answer for the U.S.

But we need to be careful not to draw the wrong lessons from China’s resurrection. The most dangerous one is that authoritarianism works.

Centrally planned economies tend to be good at wrenching societies out of agricultural poverty into the industrial age

One reason state capitalism may falter as China gets richer is that it may be hard to allow people to become consumers without letting them become real citizens, too

A second constraint on state capitalism will be innovation. America has one great virtue that no other country has yet to replicate: When it comes to innovation and its translation into things people want, America is unbeatable.

In fact, China is an object lesson in the threat that centralized, authoritarian states pose to revolutionary technological development.

As economic historian Joel Mokyr has written, “the absence of political competition did not mean that technological progress could not take place, but it did mean that one decision maker could deal it a mortal blow.”

America can respect China without imitating it. Dictators are easy to admire, especially at a distance. Free markets and free societies always look messy and inefficient, especially up close. But when it comes to inventing the modern world, and living at its edge, so far the best model the world has come up with is democratic capitalism.

Excellent insights from a top journalist who has seen it all: Chinese model works for poverty but will not work for middle income trap. Actually it may financially get China up to high income but the model is flawed from very beginning and not duplicable by others. 

via Chrystia Freeland – China’s economic model isn’t the answer for the U.S..

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