Okay, Okay, I Praise China Too Much

Thomas Friedman: But it's because I'm worried about us
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2010 12:38 PM CDT
Okay, Okay, I Praise China Too Much
Visitors gathers at Tiananmen Gate under a portrait of the late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong in Beijing, Friday, Aug. 15, 2008.   (AP Photo/Oliver Multhaup)

China is mocking us. At this year’s World Economic Forum, they aired a cartoon in which a runner representing America fell over panting, while others teased, “He ate too many hamburgers.” And given China’s incredible growth, they have room to tease, says Thomas Friedman in today’s New York Times. But just when you think he’s about to go into one of his patented—and oft-criticized—diatribes on Chinese superiority, Friedman swerves. “I know, I know,” he writes. “With enough cheap currency, labor and capital—and authoritarianism—you can build anything.”

Friedman admits to "overidealizing China too much." But he adds, “I am not praising China because I want to emulate their system. I am praising it because I am worried about my system.” America is surely capable of keeping pace with China, of pulling together and accomplishing great things. “But we’re not doing it now because too many of our poll-driven, toxically partisan, cable-TV-addicted, money-corrupted political class are more interested in what keeps them in power than what would again make America powerful.” (More Thomas Friedman stories.)

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