The market economy model invented and practised by the West is no longer working. The East is growing with such speed that it threatens to obliterate the West. Such warnings as these are often delivered in discussions of capitalism in crisis and the rise of the East. But in pursuing prosperity, we are all following the western model. Here there is no East v West divide. In fact we are all West.
So what has caused such anxiety in the West? One factor is that there has been a shift in the terms of trade between the West and East in the past few decades. Once, a computer made in a western country could be exchanged for 10,000 pairs of socks made in
Neither has politics served the West well during the past decade. In the face of domestic and international challenges, politicians chose asset or debt bubbles to assuage citizens' pain instead of making the tough adjustments needed to reposition their economies. When the bubbles burst and adjustments became imperative, most parts of the West were experiencing a prolonged period of weak political leadership. Hence the malaise we see today.
Watching the rapid and sustained growth in the East, some in the West argue that
A strong government suits
The West cannot adopt
The "all-West" world augurs well for everyone. All the West has to do is to cut some welfare spending, save and invest more, and better educate its young people. There is evidence that these changes are already beginning to happen.
The West's superiority in technologies, design and luxury goods, clean environment, higher education, and healthcare is still formidable.
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