Following the Chinese Model?

I have written previously about the left’s love affair with command and control economies like Nazi Germany’s, the former Soviet Union’s, etc.  The current model being cited, as that article points out,  is China.  For the latest example of such folly, here is an excerpt from John Ransom’s recent column in which he engages in an e-mail discussion with a reader who thinks we should look to China for economic guidance:

UpwithRomney wrote: Here we see another example of conservatives refusing to acknowledge reality. If you look how far China has come economically, you cannot just dismiss what they are doing or how they are doing right.- GE’s Immelt: The Damndest Scoundrel and the Damndest Fool

Dear Comrade Up,

And you just can’t dismiss that still peasants in the rural countryside in China make $3 a day, while metro-dwellers make $30,000 a year.

You guys cry “income inequality” here in the US and openly admire China, but come on?

Who are you trying to fool?

What you really admire is that China has a command economy that is run by a small group of elitists who are responsible to themselves only.

That’s Obama’s and the Democrats’ great dream, come true.

To the extent that China has had some success, it has come by abandoning its traditional command and control approach to economic affairs.  This was pointed out by Thomas Sowell is his article today on

It is one thing when conservative leaders like Ronald Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain declared central planning a failure. But what really puts the nails in the coffin is that, before the end of the 20th century, both socialist and communist governments around the world began abandoning central planning.

India and China are the biggest examples. In both countries, cutbacks on government control of the economy were followed by dramatically increased economic growth rates, lifting millions of people out of poverty in both countries.

The ultimate irony is that the most recent international survey of free markets found the world’s freest market to be in Hong Kong– in a country still ruled by communists! But the Chinese communists have at least learned, the hard way, a lesson that Barack Obama seems oblivious to.

While China has made some moves in the direction of a freer market, and Hong Kong continues to be an economic light for the world, it still has a long way to go.  We, on the other hand, seem to be going in the opposite direction.  Perhaps we could learn a lesson from the Chinese.