Sunday, August 10, 2008


The spectacle of it all was enough to make you forget that China is a Communist dictatorship. The comparison figures are interesting. China according to the CIA World Factbook has a GDP of $7 Trillion dollars but only a per-capita GDP of $5300. That contrasts with the United States which has a GDP of $13.8 Trillion dollars and a per-capita GDP of $45,800.

Money isn't everything of course, nor are the creature comforts we all enjoy. Pat Buchanan pointed out recently citing the Times that "Eighty-six percent of Chinese people surveyed said they were content with the country's direction, up from 48 percent in 2002. ... And 82 percent of Chinese were satisfied with their national economy, up from 52 percent."

In the United States where the people have much more, 864% more as measured by per-capita GDP, only 23% approve of the direction the nation is taking. There seems to be a reality disconnect here. Wealth certainly isn't everything, but the poor in the United States as someone once pointed out are the richest poor in the world. Years ago the film The Grapes of Wrath was pulled from Soviet movie screens because of it's impact on the Soviet people. When they saw it, instead of reacting to the plight of the poor, their reaction was to notice that in America, even the poor have trucks.

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