There's a growing admiration among the left for China for the way the Chinese government has controlled the country's wealth to invest in infrastructure, but, not only the left, Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan joined Thomas Friedman this morning on Morning Joe glowing over China's rise as a global force.
China gets things done. Friedman said that this is Obama's goal and dream, to nation-build at home. There's a progressive idea which is building credibility through the accomplishments of China, that the government has to create a future Plan to, first of all, strengthen the people through healthcare, employment, safety net protection, the correct education, the proper environmental protection, stength of worker union against dominating, old-style capitalism, so that the foundation is formed for infrastructure across the nation -- light-rail, energy production, whatever needs to be built to help us keep up with the modern advances of China. This would include helping developing Third World nations to modernize according to modern standards.
China is admired because its government can get things done, but we have the dilemma of environmental groups, myriad regulations, which hold us back. The suggestion is that Obama and the progressives are in the process of managing regulations to balance environmentalism with the need for infrastructure and modern energy policy. The key to this is State management of the economy, central planning and social engineering. In the discussions I read and hear, there's no talk about a free market, only government management to put the missing pieces in place.
We're hearing a lot about China's capitalist success, and they are succeeding while still maintaining authoritarian control. We're not hearing about the negatives of authoritarian control, so much, as we're hearing a cautious explanaton how the Chinese governent is managing the plan and moving ahead of America. No one prominent has come straight out and recommended authoritarian control in America, but the implications are that America has to find a way to give government more control over our Plan.
You can see the Plan being implemented by the passage of healthcare, control over failing industries, current attempts to place controls over banks, proposed energy policy giving the government more control over direction of energy production, more control over education, the talk about green jobs created by government, etc. The public is reacting to these plans because they see spending going up, although there has also been some concern over growing government power and control. I'm not sure everyone fully understands the danger in the latter.
Healthcare was pushed through, and the administration believes people will grow to love it. But, the next argument is going to be very seductive. The new vision and Plan for America will promise China-like growth, infrastructure development, educational opportunites, a clean earth, jobs, jobs, jobs, and equal prosperity for all. It will be sold by appealing to nationalism, that America has to compete with China, that our country is falling behind because of greedy, self-interested Wall-Street types, that we now have to think about the common good, what's good for Americans, for our future, and that we need to lead the world once again into the future, using the flag of Democracy, fairness and equality as our guide.
The new Plan won't be fueled by old-style, jingoistic nationalism, but a modern call to join the global economy and work internationally and cooperatively to help influence the future growth and make sure that no nations are left behind. They will tell us that old capitalism has brought us to the brink of destruction, and that now a partnership between private industry and government is vital to pull us from the brink and carry us into the future. The Plan will be sold as a national effort, and everyone is asked to sacrifice and do their part, that freedom is lost if we dont act together - that without this shared sacrifice and cooperative effort, we'll sink into a backward, two-tiered society of the haves and have-nots.
Expect to hear a lot of good things about China, with the caveat that we need to emulate the good aspects and avoid the bad aspects -- the difference being that our government will be good to all our people -- but we must act now -- time is wastng. It will be reminiscent of the Western intellectuals' fawning over Stalin and the USSR in the early 20th century, but don't worry -- China is much different.