Much has been written about the possibility that America’s economy will be eclipsed by the growing economy of China. Two optimistic voices on that issue recently caught our attention.
Writing in a recent edition of The Wall Street Journal, Nathan Myhrvold and Edward Jung, who are executives with an invention and investment company in Washington state, said Chinese economic competition can be good for the United States.
Myhrvold and Jung urged readers to “dispense with nearsighted fears about losing ground to inventive Asian tigers. Yes, they’re gaining on us. But even if Western nations wind up with a smaller share of the pie in the decades ahead, the pie will be much bigger.”
Myhrvold and Jung also wrote that for the West, “There’s no point in whining about this trend. We need to get used to it, and start adapting.”
Among their suggestions is patent reform so the United States can bring its inventions to market more competitively. We’d also add that while trade competition is good for free markets, trade should be conducted on an even playing field.
That means the Chinese should make their markets more available to Americans.
In an op-ed article for The New York Times, Vice President Joe Biden, who recently visited China, sounded equally upbeat about Chinese competition.
“The Chinese leaders I met with know their country must shift from an economy driven by exports, investment and heavy industry to one driven more by consumption and services,” Biden wrote.
“This includes continued steps to revalue their currency and to provide fair access to their markets. As Americans save more and Chinese buy more, this transition will accelerate, opening opportunities for us.”
We’re glad Biden used his trip to China to argue for greater liberty there, noting economic innovation is best sustained when societies value the free exchange of ideas.
“Fundamental rights are universal, and China’s people aspire to them,” Biden wrote. “Liberty unlocks a people’s full potential, while its absence breeds unrest. Open and free societies are best at promoting long-term growth, stability, prosperity and innovation.”
We agree America should meet Chinese competition with confidence. Biden’s caution about the perils of oppression is certainly worth heeding, too.