What the US Can Learn From China

With its stagnant economy, the United States should pick out the best ideas from the Chinese model of economic development and fit them to work for its own system.

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Last week, a panel of experts convened to discuss what the US might be able to learn from China despite the perception that the two countries are natural competitors. The panel, which included NYU professor Ann Lee and foreign policy writer Ian Bremmer, began by debunking the myth that Chinese economic growth is purely a result of cheap labor and currency manipulation. "If it was just cheap labor, why didn't Africa achieve the same dynamism?" asked Lee.  

What's the Big Idea?

The most important lesson the US should take from China is to have a longer view of world affairs. Drafting national five-year plans which establish clear political goals, just a China does, would help restore effectiveness to government and reduce the bitterness and anger in our political system, says Lee. Five-year plans, accompanied by competency tests for government officials, would restore faith in American politicians, which is at an all-time low, and create a set of national goals for people of both parties to rally around.

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