The following comes from an article written by Scott Burns, a syndicated columnist and Chief Investment Strategist at AssetBuilder. (The entire article can be read by following this link, or you can peruse the main thrust of it here...)
George Friedman holds up a recent Fortune magazine, his face a portrait in incredulity. The cover declares that China is buying everything, much as the Japanese were doing nearly two decades ago. The inside story is titled “It’s China’s World. (We just live in it.)”
“If China is so healthy, why is everyone there not investing in China?” he asks.
“The obvious question is: Why are they doing this? Fortune doesn’t remember that we saw this before. It’s called capital flight.”
Mr. Friedman, the founder and prime mover at Stratfor, goes on to point out some basic facts about the size of the U.S. economy relative to China. While we bemoan the loss of industrial capacity in the United States, for instance, we still manufacture more than China and Japan combined. And the United States still produces 25 percent of the world’s output. And our output is larger than the combined gross domestic products of the next three largest economies, Japan, China and Germany.
We simply don’t know our own strength.
“If we grow at 2.5 percent a year, China would have to grow at 8.2 percent just to keep the absolute gap steady. It will take generations for the Chinese to catch up,” he says.
Nor do we understand the deep poverty of China. He points out that China has a population of 1.3 billion people. But of that number, 600 million have an income under $1,000 a year. Another 440 million have incomes of $1,000 to $2,000 a year. Only 60 million people have incomes of $20,000 a year or more.
“In the U.S. we have ignored the numbers. So we say all industry has left the United States. That’s rubbish,” he declares.