State Capitalism and Democratic Capitalism Duke It Out

For those of you who missed last night's debate on China vs. American capitalism hosted by Intelligence Squared U.S., here is the video. There was one decided winner with 85 percent of the audience's votes, but we won't spoil the surprise.


Check out the video here:

Robert Rosenkranz, CEO of Intelligence Squared U.S., provided the below framework for the discussion.

Why China is Better:

  • China is communist in name only. In most of the ways that matter, China is a model of capitalism.
  • Firms are free to buy the labor, technology and raw materials needed to produce the products they want in open competition with others and to sell them at market price.
  • If you include government firms, goods produced in a market system accounts for a substantially larger share of China's output than they do in America.
  • In the past 30 years, China has saved more than half of its total output and has invested most of those savings in capital assets. American savings rates only recently reached 6 percent of total output.
  • China's economy has grown tenfold, while the U.S. has barely doubled in the last 30 years.
  • Why America is Better:

  • Rule of law is more developed. Property rights are more secure and innovation is protected by intellectual property.
  • This makes America's economy far more innovative, which results in companies like Google, Apple and Facebook. Nothing comparable has come from China.
  • American permits individuals to move freely in search of jobs and opportunities. But for millions of people living in rural China, there is no such freedom.
  • Corruption by government officials is far more prevalent in China.
  • Crony capitalism is rife in China.
  • "In the final analysis, this debate is not just about economics." said Rosenkranz. "But about which system, American democratic capitalism or Chinese state capitalism, will be the model that developing countries around the world admire and seek to emulate."

    We'd like to hear what you think. Which model of capitalism should developing countries copy? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

    LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

    Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

    Getty Images
    Sponsored
    Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

    No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

    Keep reading Show less

    10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

    The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

    Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
    Personal Growth
    • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
    • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
    • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
    Keep reading Show less

    Kosovo land swap could end conflict – or restart war

    Best case: Redrawing borders leads to peace, prosperity and EU membership. But there's also a worst case.

    Image: SRF
    Strange Maps
    • The Yugoslav Wars started in 1991, but never really ended.
    • Kosovo and Serbia are still enemies, and they're getting worse.
    • A proposed land swap could create peace – or reignite the conflict.
    Keep reading Show less

    Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

    Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

    Videos
    • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
    • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
    • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.