Tuesday, 29 September 2009

"Bridge to China" - a US essay

At least some Americans in middle America are beginning to see the light. If there were more commentators in the US prepared to wake up to the simple realities of the global economy the US would be better prepared for the future. Tom Watkins publishes his essay.

Bridge To China [Dome]

It may be good politics to rhetorically beat up on China to score points with beleaguered Michigan workers, but it does nothing to build jobs-producing relationships with the fastest-growing large economy on the planet.

My current work in China and my more than 20 years of travel there convince me that rather than stirring fear, we need to be devising an aggressive plan to make China’s rise and globalization work for us. China can and must be part of the ingredients necessary to reinvent and revitalize Michigan’s economy.


As recently as August 25, in a fundraising appeal for her lieutenant governor’s bid to succeed her, she wrote: “Michigan stands at a crossroads: what kind of state do we want to be in the 21st century? Do we want to be a place where the unemployed suffer while we watch our jobs shipped off on a slow boat to China, on the Internet to India, or on a fast track to Mexico?” This type of appeal pops back up at the same time the chairman of the state party can’t wait to reopen the Democrats’ 2006 anti-China playbook; he’s already throwing jobs-exporting charges against an entrant in the earliest stages of the Republican primary contest.

This type of rhetoric not only fails to create a single Michigan job, it makes the task that much harder by perpetuating anti-China and anti-Asian sentiment.

It’s high time the governor and the rest of us in Michigan stopped using China for division and subtraction and started developing a plan to assure that China’s rapid rise results in addition and multiplication of jobs in Michigan.

Some of the comments are worth reading - it appears that at least some people are prepared to listen. Their future might depend on listening to commentators such as Tom Watkins.


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