May 1, 2015
Some people get this wrong – the US is by far the world’s largest economy. So what we do here affects our prosperity much more than what happens outside our borders. The first step for the US should always be to see to our own house.
After that, the most important country for our economy is China. China matters in trade, bond purchases and other investment in the US, and global competition. Since China is far from an ideal partner, this makes for some tough calls.
1. Has China caught up to us economically?
No, and it’s not close. The average American had over $41,000 in disposable income last year while the average Chinese had less than $3,500. Prices are cheaper in most of China than most of the US but the gap has shrunk a lot. And the prices don’t make up for earning 12 times as much. At the national level, net private American wealth exceeds $80 trillion. The figure for China is unclear but it’s probably less than $25 trillion. Not only is the US much richer, it’s still much bigger.
Read the full article at the American Enterprise Institute: 5 questions every presidential candidate should answer: US and Chinese economy edition