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posted on 18 March 2015

The Role of Government

Written by

One of the biggest differences between China and America is the size and role of government. China has a big central government, while America is supposed to have a limited government. Which one is better? More importantly, how should each evolve towards an Ideal Form of Government?

1. America: a brief overview

I have already published several articles about America. Three informative readings:

  1. What is America, Anyway?
  2. Top 10 American Misconceptions about America.
  3. Top 10 American Misconceptions about Democracy.

Bottom line: America is the exception, not the rule! America was built on a piece of commandeered land, on which some Europeans found a second chance to start over with a clean slate. It was a luxury no other contemporary groups had, except for the Europeans who migrated to South America at about the same time a few hundred years ago.

Overall, America did extremely well from its start in 1776 to the end of WWII. For that part of our history, we, Americans, have every reason to be more proud than the rest of the world.

The end of WWII brought under unprecedented prosperity to America. Unfortunately, at the same time, America actually started moving in a wrong direction, and has since morphed itself into a dream-world utopian society, in which even work is optional for many (The Answer Is Work; The Question Is Why) and foreign war is perpetual (America: A Culture of War).

2. China: a brief overview

I have already published several articles about China. Three informative readings:

  1. America: What is China, Anyway?
  2. Top 10 American Misconceptions about China.
  3. America: What is China's Political System, Anyway?

Bottom line: Overall, China's system (i.e. capitalism + autocracy), while far from being ideal, is definitely the best system for China! Domestically, China fundamentally changed itself in 1978 and has been constantly improving since then with increasingly more prosperity. Internationally, China knows how to advance itself via trade.

3. The role of government

In my 1/6/2012 post (Towards An Ideal Form of Government), I defined an ideal government by two key criteria: (1) individual freedom and (2) government responsibility and accountability, as shown below:

Additionally, in that post, I stated:

What, then, should the government do? Do those things that are beyond the individuals and private sectors! ... Undertaking the mega projects (e.g. highways, bridges, and space programs).

In today's global economy, international trade is a norm and mega-infrastructure projects are not limited to a country's boundaries. Therefore, an ideal government should help and even lead its domestic companies in their international endeavors, of which many require governmental initiatives and approvals.

To me, an ideal government has three key roles:

  1. Supporting capitalism, globally. No capitalism, no prosperity!
  2. Promoting social harmony, including a safety net for the poor.
  3. Defense and diplomacy.

4. More on America

Americans must understand these two basic points:

  1. America must constantly improve, like all other countries, or it will fall behind.
  2. America is unique. America's domestic model of development is not applicable anywhere else in the world, except for South America, some 200 years ago, perhaps.

4.1 America, domestically

The folks on the left keep pushing America towards more and more socialism. For more, read: Democratic Socialism.

What about the folks on the right? Some extremists want self-governing, meaning no government at all. This is pure nonsense, as a country must have a government.

Many folks on the right are constitutionalists. They are nostalgic about the past; they do not like the present; and they have no idea about the future. So they simply want to go back to the past by waving the U.S. Constitution, despite the fact that the world has dramatically changed from the past (e.g. China's rise and America's fall). Worse yet, they do not seem to realize that they are opposing the teachings of one of their heroes, Thomas Jefferson, as shown below:

In short, while the U.S. Constitution remains basically sound, it was right for America to have amended it over the past 200 plus years. Unfortunately,

  1. Some amendments were imposed by self-serving politicians. For example, Congress has exploded in pay (Salaries of members of the United States Congress) and size (Congressional offices and staff) over the past 200 years.
  2. Some items in the original Constitution are simply out of date, such as the minimum age for the American Presidency which remains at 35, despite a huge increase in life expectancy with its resultant increase in life experience (American Presidency: Raising The Minimum Age to 55!).
  3. We must have a new amendment: term limits for Congress!

4.2 America, internationally

America has been trying to make the exception into the rule all over the world in the name of spreading democracy, even by force at times (e.g. Iraq)! For more, read: Democratic Imperialism.

5. More on China

China has arrived at its current status for good reasons. Here are three informative readings:

  1. Human History: the West vs. the East.
  2. Human History: China vs. Europe.
  3. Human History: China vs. Japan.

China has many problems, with environment pollution and government corruption being among the top. I believe China will overcome their problems over time, because all of them are relatively minor as compared with what China went through over the past two centuries.

6. Discussion

Once again, to me, an ideal government has three key roles:

  1. Supporting capitalism, globally. No capitalism, no prosperity!
  2. Promoting social harmony, including a safety net for the poor.
  3. Defense and diplomacy.

Overall, China is doing better than America in all these three aspects! Specifically,

  1. China is rising, thanks to the rise of capitalism and the fall of communism over there, while America is falling, thanks to the rise of socialism and the fall of capitalism here.
  2. China is establishing a modest safety net, while America's safety net is outrageously generous, depriving the incentive of work and resulting in new slavery. For more, read: The Democratic Party is the Party of New Slavery!
  3. Internationally, America is the war-monger, while China is peaceful, despite the recent incidents in the seas around China. America's MIC (Military-Industrial Complex) has proven to be even worse than the one President Eisenhower warned us against (Eisenhower warns us of the MIC) some 50 years ago!

Domestic issues aside, here is a stark contrast between America and China internationally:

  1. America is known for wars (e.g. Iraq and Afghanistan) and humanitarian efforts (e.g. U.S. Mobilizes to Send Assistance to Haiti and U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa).
  2. China is known for business, including Iraq (China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom)! Even in Iraq? Yes, most Iraqis like the Chinese but hate Americans!

America and China are very different! China will never become America, and America will never become China! But we can learn a lot from each other, with an open mind, peacefully.

7. Closing

It's the government, stupid!

Overall, while far from being ideal (Towards an Ideal Form of Government), China's government is slightly better than America's. In a two-hiker race, all that a hiker needs to do, when chased by a hungry grizzly, is to run a bit faster than the other hiker!

I believe I have the most accurate diagnosis for America (Diagnosis II for America: Cancer!), as well as the best solution (Solution II for America: Term Limits and More!). For more, read my book: "The GOP Bible for 2016"!

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