Hey, America, Stop Fearing China's Economy New Gallup Data Says Americans Falsely Think China Is the World's "Leading Economic Power" Hey, America, Stop Fearing China's Economy New Gallup Data Says Americans Falsely Think China Is the World's "Leading Economic Power"
The GOOD Life

Hey, America, Stop Fearing China's Economy New Gallup Data Says Americans Falsely Think China Is the World's "Leading Economic Power"

by Cord Jefferson

February 16, 2011

According to the latest Gallup polling, Americans are still worried that the Chinese economy is a looming threat, with more than half of respondents saying China is the world's "leading economic power today." Chalk it up to endless reporting about "China's growing economic might," but as of right now, this reverence for the Chinese economy is pretty misplaced.

As the blogger Jamelle Bouie noted in December, "[W]hile China is richer than it has ever been, it is still much poorer than the U.S; at just over $14 trillion, the U.S. economy is larger than China's by nearly $9 trillion. Put another way, rural poverty and subsistence farming is still the rule for the great majority of Chinese and will likely stay true for the foreseeable future."

And as Matthew Yglesias points out, not only is America richer than China, but so are Ecuador, Uruguay, and Belarus. Nevertheless, you never hear anyone reporting from Minsk about how the Belarusians are going to be dominating America soon.

This isn't to say that China isn't seeing some really phenomenal growth patterns, of course. But simple sustained growth does not a "leading economic power" make—not yet, at least.

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Hey, America, Stop Fearing China's Economy New Gallup Data Says Americans Falsely Think China Is the World's "Leading Economic Power"