Nothing personal, but I agree with this guy–Jim Rogers–on the relative optimism to be felt regarding China’s economy compared to the US.
Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations made great contributions to our understanding of how a markets can be efficient without control; and, during the cold war, growth in the more authoritarian economies was unable to keep pace with the less authoritarian, but times have changed and perhaps China’s steady and strong growth over the last dozen years gives the world a new model to emulate.
The sermon of free trade has–finally–been accepted by most of the world. As predicted, it brought us a long period of significant growth. Now we find ourselves unable to climb out of a deep recession, largely due to a lack of control over financial markets, and global wealth disparity is probably worse than ever, maybe one reason that bail-out policies are not adding much to optimism.
The first year I taught in China, I worked with a local guy who described the China model as “the Bird-Cage Model.” The market is free within certain limits, but there are barriers within which we have to work. I need to learn more about what the barriers actually are, but one noticeable thing is that all enterprise comes within a master plan that originates with government.