Ask yourself this: Why are we in this financial crisis?
Any short list of reasons would include a lack of transparency in markets and regulatory rule-making; collusion between business and government; the politicization of lending practices (including the socialization of risk and the privatization of profit through giant governmental entities like Fannie Mae); and, of course, simple greed.
Does anyone honestly think China doesn’t have these problems ten times over? It has no free press, no democratic accountability, and no truly independent regulators.
After every Chinese earthquake, we discover that safety inspectors couldn’t be trusted to oversee the construction of schools and hospitals. And we’re supposed to believe that China’s corrupt model produces toxic baby formula but spic-and-span finances?
Jonah wrote that as part of his skeptical response to the Communist-China-is-the-future conventional wisdom. I'm guessing he'll hear from a lot of furious emailers telling him how wrong he is, but the cadres themselves know that every word of it is true. Yet the moment they acknowledge this, their facade of strength - upon which they rely for much of their global power - vanishes.
That's why they're insisting on picking fights with the Dalai Lama (Agence France Presse via Yahoo, Epoch Times, and ISN) and overseas opponents (Between Heaven and Earth, Epoch Times, and World Tribune) while merely hinting that something has gone horribly awry (BBC and Bloomberg). If the world is not distracted by the regime's bombast (which can include dramatic offers of "aid" - BBC), they may focus too much on the weakness behind, which despite the aforelinked "warnings," is already here (Epoch Times and Guardian, UK).
For in reality, as Goldberg himself notes:
That is the cadres' worst nightmare, but every indication shows it's true. Despite Zhongnanhai's best efforts, it has fallen right into the Brezhnev path to oblivion.
There’s an honest debate about how much blame institutions like Fannie Mae and laws like the Community Reinvestment Act deserve for the financial crisis, but few honest observers dispute that they played some kind of deleterious role. Well, China’s entire economy is one big Fannie Mae, its laws one big Community Reinvestment Act.
I’m willing to bet that the bill for that comes due long, long, long before China catches up with the United States of America.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal