A new report from the Center for Economics and Business Research says that China will displace the United States as the dominant economy on the planet by 2028.
The London-based group also claims that, alone among the major powers, China has shrugged off the coronavirus and will expand its economy by 2 percent in 2020.
Don’t believe either claim.
In 2011 nearly everyone was predicting that the Chinese economy would eclipse America’s by 2020. Yet today the US economy, at $21 trillion, remains half again as large as China’s $14 trillion.
The economists got it wrong then because they took Beijing’s exaggerated claims of a 6.5 percent annual growth rate at face value.
They are making the same mistake today in believing — simply because its leaders say so — that China is the sole exception to the global economic slowdown.
Someone needs to tell these naïve bean counters that virtually all of China’s data is fabricated — even down to the number of children in school — for one simple purpose: to make Communist leaders look good.
That China lies should shock no one, given that it has misled the world from the very inception of the pandemic about the origin and spread of the coronavirus. Explain to me why anyone would not question each and every claim made by such a rogue regime?
The London analysts are also lowballing America’s growth, convinced that a Biden administration will dampen economic growth down to levels not seen since the sluggish Obama economy.
But this is by no means certain. Would a President Biden really levy onerous new taxes, raise energy costs, impose stifling new regulations, and undo the sanctions and tariffs on China? That is to say, will he undo all of the measures that President Trump took to jump-start the US economy and set China back on its heels?
If we do revert to the Obama-Biden low-growth model and at the same give China a pass, the United States will be right back where it was in 2016.
But even then China’s ascendancy is by no means assured.
The Communist giant will still suffer from crippling limitations — 92 million Party members who produce little but consume much, an intrusive and overbearing state bureaucracy that stifles innovation, and a failed ideology that respects neither individual rights or the rule of law.
Right now, China’s most successful entrepreneur, Jack Ma, is under assault by the Party. Why? Because Ma had the temerity to challenge the authorities over excessive financial regulation. He has been warned not to leave China and his technology company Alibaba is in danger of being dismantled.
If this can happen to the wealthiest man in China — Ma is worth an estimated $50 billion — it can happen to anyone who crosses the authorities. It is no wonder that so many Chinese are so eager to leave China for places where their property and their person are protected.
Some of the predictions of China’s rise come from Leftist economists who are eager to take Beijing’s economic growth numbers at face value because it ratifies their deep-seated beliefs about the superiority of socialism. They have long been certain that, somewhere, somehow, central planning by technocrats will be superior to the ordered chaos of the free market.
For decades, the focus of their wish-fulfillment fantasy was the Soviet Union. Paul Samuelson was one of those who never tired of predicting, back in the ’60s and ’70s, that the Soviet economy would soon overtake America’s. Now that the Soviet Union no longer exists, many have pinned their hopes on China.
But America is not destined to play second fiddle to China.
Free minds and free markets can always outcompete sclerotic bureaucracies and central planning.
And self-governed men and women can always outcompete tyrannical slave masters, however numerous their unwilling slaves.
Steven W. Mosher is the President of the Population Research Institute and the author of “Bully of Asia: Why China’s ‘Dream’ is the New Threat to World Order.”