Monday, August 1, 2011

Comparing Governments: Top Down China vs. Bottoms Up America

It's time to talk about our American Exceptionalism. Let's compare ourselves to China.

We're free to do as we please as individual citizens. They are not free and are ruled by the communist party.

We have freedoms of speech, of assembly, of the press and countless other personal freedoms as well. They don't enjoy such freedoms and are often censored, jailed or worse when they speak out.

As an example, we can use the internet freely to say whatever we have to say to anybody who wants to listen. They can't.

We generally trust each other and those in government to try to do the right thing. We really do.
Chinese don't trust their leaders at all. And they really shouldn't.

But if for some reason we come not to trust our political leaders to do what's right, we replace them by voting them out of office. The Chinese have no such power as they are governed by the ruling party, the communists.

We have the rule of law. They have the ruling party.

Chinese per capita income is similar to that of Jamaicans, or roughly 10% of ours.

A few days ago, I posted about the story of China's Train Wreck and its implications for their society.

Today I encourage you to read a remarkable article about Chinese corruption and such titled Trouble on the China Express. Reading it helped me to remember what a truly unique country and system of government we enjoy as Americans. Yes, the political "sausage" being made in Washington these days is indeed ugly. That said, the political process, ugly as it is, is open for one and all to see. And if we don't like what we see, we can say exactly that, and we can do something about it, too. The Chinese simply don't enjoy those freedoms. Nor do many others among the citizens of the world.

Finally, listen to what one internet user said about the recent train wreck and related issues in China, "When a country is corrupt to the point that a single lightning strike can cause a train crash, the passing of a truck can collapse a bridge, and drinking a few bags of milk powder can cause kidney stones, none of us are exempted. China today is a train traveling through a lightning storm. None of us are spectators; all of us are passengers."

Well, at least we Americans have something in common with the Chinese. "NONE OF US ARE SPECTATORS; ALL OF US ARE PASSENGERS." The fundamental difference, however, is simply this; we Americans decide who will drive our trainload of passengers.

Unlike the Chinese, the American people have the inherent right and power to change what we believe needs to be changed. All we need to do to exercise that power is to muster the political will to take the necessary action. We have the Founding Fathers to thank for that.

Thanks. Bob.

1 comment:

  1. OK, I will take capitalism and democracy over communism every time! I enjoy that freedom. Too bad the Chinese hold more of our debt than any other country. Some irony here?