In Summary
  • China is spending massive resources in critical infrastructure and productive capacities in countries long bypassed by global financial systems.
  • In China, benefits generated by the system are shared, or, as they say, the economic tide lifts every boat, not a select few.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing put on display a mix of spectacular ceremonial activities and military parades.

Beyond sending a message that China was no longer a military pushover, observers were impressed by the unheralded social and economic successes of the communist republic.

In a few decades, pragmatic government policies and interventions have pulled close to a billion people out of poverty and eradicated extreme poverty.

Africa, the poster child of destitution, should find inspiration in China’s transformation from an overpopulated, poverty-stricken Third World nation to the second-most powerful one.

Western scholars and institutions that have long championed the superiority of democracy and private sector-led growth are at pains understanding this.

WEALTHY FEW

Evidently, democracy is overrated, particularly as a determinant of social and economic prosperity and inclusion.

Throughout the 1980s and ’90s, African nations were forced into adopting Western-style democracy with term limits and competitive elections.

However, this may have been a worthless arm-twisting exercise since the socioeconomic well-being in the compliant countries is not any better than in the “autocratic” regimes.

Regulation of business activity is the uncontested role of the State, yet the target beneficiaries are remarkably different for the capitalist West and the communist China.

Since the Reagan administration that lasted the entire 1980s, the US government has increasingly undertaken reforms and regulations that advance cost-saving, efficiency and inherently benefit corporations more than the American people.

Whereas taxes are steadily raised on the people, corporations and their wealthy owners enjoy massive tax breaks. As a result, public schools and municipalities are starved of critical cash.

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