I'll start with the life update. Life is good. Almost too good. No, I have not met my soulmate (yet). No, I have not made millions (yet). I'm working on the later. (The former too, but unfortunately that is out of my hands for the most part.)
Okay time to talk about something intellectual. This may be challenging considering my current post-drinking hump and lack of quality sleep.
I read this article in Fortune last week about how China is going to beat us economically. The article basically said, first we should assume that China is going to surpass us, and that we should fallback on our other qualities as a nation to still feel superior. In a last ditch effort, the author threw in these random "American" qualities ("we have freedom", etc) that he thought would emotionally target his American readers and thus, they would agree with his original premise which is that China will beat us. The whole article pissed me off. In a single page, he declared that the American Century was over but we should just start measuring success by something else than economic output. Let me address his two main points.
Idiotic Point One: China beating us economically. I read this crap all the time. All the self declared economic geniuses in my nerdy magazines point to all these economic indicators suggesting China's gain on the United States within the next decade. Yeah, these are the same geniuses that predicted 2008- oh wait, they didn't. Let's start with the numbers. "China is growing at 10% a year." A number that China's single party system tells the world.
Idiotic Point Two: Our specialness (insert demeaning tone) should be our fallback new measurement. Because let's just declare we are losers and throw the towel in. Isn't this what is wrong with our country? We don't care about maintaining our superiority? Some people don't even want to admit we are superior. That may be "insensitive" to other cultures, or "biased".
Rebuttal in Short: We are superior in every way that matters. We do not have to make up new standards for something to fall back on; we are the standard. This writer is a pathetic excuse for a journalist. Isn't he supposed to be "intellectual"? We built the American Century by not making excuses, but instead reveling in what makes us superior and what makes us inevitably more successful than any other nation in the history of man.
Full Rebuttal: [This part is a tribute to America and Capitalism; the greatest love story. If you are in any way a socialist, or hate America you will call me a lying idiot who is racist upon reading the next portion of this blog.]
To have the most successful economy you need a "laissez-faire" system. Think about it for a second- by definition, a free market system can only work in a free market. The efficient distribution of goods and services can only be accomplished if people are free to develop and purchase things without intervention. The problem with assuming China will gain on us, is that it neglects the single most important factor that allows for an economy to flourish is the government of the country. The reason the American Century exists at all, is because America's founding principles are based on an individual's right to freedom and personal property. The Founding Fathers were not idiots. They wanted to perpetuate a market system that allowed them to continue to increase their wealth without outside influence. (A fact my pinko high school history teacher would constantly point out as a bad thing. I hate the socialist policies of our education system- but that is a whole other blog.)
So I guess my summary point is this. China will not beat us. They cannot. Their government structure will inherently limit their prosperity. China cannot sham its way into the "Chinese Century". It is a single party system that dictates to its citizens where they will live and in what industry they will perform; it has no free flow of information and is run by only the very few. If you desire to participate substantially in the markets, you must be a party member, and you must play by the states' rules. Note, these rules are not standardized nor imposed fairly and publicly. Simply read about happened a few weeks ago after a few disgruntled citizens began protesting following the Egypt riots- the government essentially mowed them over. In no way can China compete with a nation that shocked the world with the efficient and speedy mobilization of the Tea Party.
A system that routinely steals the intellectual property of others who create it has no understanding of the markets it seeks to dominate. They cannot compete with a nation that refined what the world now uses to determines its winners and losers (aka capitalism).
In my book, they have already lost.