Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Go East, Young Man, Go East

I don't know how you'd go about finding data to support my assertion that the world's best-and-brightest are starting to drift toward Beijing instead of New York. But here's one example. If you think my rhetoric about China's ascendance is overblown, don't take my word for it - try Warren Buffett.


Aaron said...

I don't think anyone would say that China is overblown. Some of the drawbacks are the amount of freedom allowed to the populace, but to be honest, I don't know that the US has been doing such a great job in that regards. Tolerance is (mostly) European, Security is Asian, and the US is somewhere in the middle. I think China's big lure is that it's still very exotic. What mystery does the US really hold for a girl from Germany? I'm sure her mental images weren't of a smog laden Beijing, or of the surviving family members of earthquake victims receiving blood money in order not to protest. China's made some big advances since Mao's day, though there's still a lot further to go. Foreign capital at least allows it to be corrupted from within, if slowly.

Squid said...

I know that China's your favorite whipping boy, Tom, but what exactly is it that you want?

I'm all for efforts to reform the Chinese government, and to allow the Chinese people to enjoy some real freedom to go along with the wealth that they're finally starting to acquire. My concern is that you seem to desire a permanently impoverished and powerless China, and that seems a mite uncharitable.

I realize it's cavalier of me to say as much, but I'm willing to live with a decade or two of Chinese aggression, if it results in an actual Chinese middle class that decides it would like to enjoy some liberty and forces the nation to reform. I understand that they're culturally predisposed toward authoritarianism, but I still find it hard to believe that people will choose slavery over freedom, once they're in a position to choose.

As for me, well, I'm planning to follow Mr. Buffett's advice. If the West is insistent on taxing itself into bankruptcy, I figure it only makes sense for me to try to make a few bucks where I can.