It’s a thoroughly unpleasant fact.
If we compare the welfare spending in today’s China with that in today’s America, as Joe Hoft does, we are forced to conclude that China is more capitalistic, America more socialistic.
You are perhaps thinking that China has accomplished what it has accomplished without liberal democracy and with an apparent disrespect for human rights. Such would be true.
And yet, it is also worthwhile to point out that democracy and human rights are not Chinese cultural values. As history has shown, China prefers social harmony and social order.
If American democracy means a burgeoning welfare state and the dissipation of wealth, China does not want any part of it.
Author of Falling Eagle-Rising Tigers, Hoft outlines the problem. And rest assured, for America it is a major problem:
When Deng Xiaoping took over China in the late 1970’s, China was a very poor country. One of the first things that Deng did was to allow individuals to acquire and maintain property. This capitalistic approach started one of the greatest economic transformations in world history. More people in China have been lifted from poverty in a shorter span of time than ever before in human history.
China still has its problems, but while the US is moving more and more towards a welfare state, China is moving more and more towards prosperity. Deng (Xiaoping) rejected any possibility of importing the welfare state into China. He insisted that the enhancement of welfare should be coordinated with the development of production. Other Chinese leaders have reiterated Deng’s approach. Today China’s welfare spending is low but it is increasing.
China may be leading the world in economic growth and wealth creation, but America vastly outdistances its competitor in spending on social programs:
According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of the People’s Republic of China, the total amount of outflows for China’s social programs in 2011 was $287 billion USD. On the other side of the Pacific, the US spent somewhere between $1.7 and $2.1 trillion USD in 2011 on health, welfare and pension (old age) benefits.
When comparing the US numbers to China’s the results are very clear. The US spent nearly seven times as much on social programs in 2011 than China. According to the World Atlas as of 2010, China had a population of 1.3 billion people and the US had a population of 310 million. Based on these numbers, China had more than four times the number of people living within its borders than did the US in 2010. The result of this comparison is to point out that the US conservatively paid 30 times more per capita to its citizens in the form of social benefits than did the socialist country China in 2011.
Keep in mind, today’s great liberal thinkers believe that all of our problems can be solved by more social programs. If they see a problem—like injustice—that fails to fulfill their ideals, they insist that the government must immediately solve the problem with yet another program.
As America marches backward toward a socialism that has consistently failed, China has become the laboratory for capitalist wealth creation.
When we think of an example of a socialist country we probably think of China based upon its recent history with communism and when we think of a capitalist country the US is probably the first country that comes to mind. However, if the definition of a socialist country is primarily based upon the amount of dollars spent on social programs, then the US is clearly the socialist country and China is the capitalist country. Even if you do not agree with this, it is hard not to see that the line between what is a socialist country and what is a capitalistic country has become blurred.
Today communist China is becoming more capitalistic and the US is becoming more socialist. As a result, socialist China is becoming more prosperous and the US is approaching a fiscal cliff. Poverty is being reduced in China and poverty is on the rise in the US under Barack Obama.