It is a turbulent time to be alive. It seems with every passing day there is one more thing to be afraid of. With the presidential race in full swing, Americans are trying to consider the best options for their own survival.
One theme that is often explored in the media, but seldom explained, is how China affects our global economic position. Some people and candidates paint China as a huge steamroller set to pave over all that America is, but new information prompts reevaluation. Author and CEO Jeremy Haft recently gave an enlightening lecture at Front Range Community College about his experiences working with China over the past 19 years.
Haft is a unique American in that he has spent a significant amount of time on the ground in China, watching how they manufacture many of the goods we rely on. Haft used examples from his new book, Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China’s Economic Miracle, to explain that many of our conceptions of China are incorrect.
For example, Americans assume that many of our raw materials, manufactured goods and foodstuffs are imported and not exported. According to Haft, this is not true. China is actually importing a significant amount of materials from the United States. Again, contrary to popular belief, China is supporting our job economy by importing substantially higher quality goods from us. Foodstuffs are an example of a good that China often imports from us because their quality is subpar.
Haft’s description of the on-the-ground situation in China is drastically different from the description the media presents the majority. Haft makes a point that essentially pulls the roller out of the Steamroller metaphor. China has minimal experience working in a capitalist system compared to the United States. That lack of experience prevents them from taking the complete upper-hand on the American economically.
It has never been more critical for Americans to make informed decisions. From the products we consume to the leaders we choose, our choices define us as a nation. Jeremy Haft’s dialogue around China is something that many Americans need to hear because it can help us understand many of the things we fear.
America is not dying. China is not going to trample over us. In fact, we may be heading into a new era of global prosperity if we can learn to conquer our fear of one another.
Written by Christopher Kemp
Media provided by Front Range Community College