A new poll indicates Americans no longer think the US economy is number one. Results indicated Americans see themselves falling into second place, second to China.
The poll showed one in five Americans felt the US economy is the world’s strongest while about half opted for China. These is a bit of a positive tone, as respondents did feel the US could one day regain the number one spot, however only one third thought the US economy would be the world’s strongest 20 years from now.
Americans are optimistic the US can bounce back, and that America has the potential to reign supreme in manufacturing, education and scientific development. But, respondents felt unease over recent decisions by US political leaders and the impact of globalization.
J.P. Freire, an associate editor at the Washington Examiner said China is not better off. He argued is made up of poor people and rich government officials, which is not a strong economic model.
“In this country you are actually able to get a foothold, and you can, if you’re allowed by government regulation, to start a small business or to start some venture where you can create capital, and that’s good,” he said.
It is good Americans are aware of China, but the US should not be worried about it, explained Joseph Weisenthal, the deputy editor of The Business Insider.
China will continue to rise, it will have some impact on US economy, but that should not scare Americans. The impact will not be so great that it threatens Americans, argued Weisenthal.
The American quality of life is strong, Freire said. Globalization and trade agreements have benefited Americans. He explained it impacts manufacturing, but that it can be balanced by creating incentives for Americans go engage in trades by going to trade schools and working in manufacturing sectors.
“It’s not about a zero sum game, necessarily whether China is winning in the manufacturing war or we’re losing, but we should look at areas where we are not competitive,” said Weisenthal.
The US needs to focus on improving think about being more competitive, reducing costs and addressing labor and environmental laws to open up and make lower-end industries more competitive.
The poll also indicated most Americans felt the US lags behind in primary and second education. Freire agreed the US can improve, but said the US does not lag behind China.
“More school choice, more charter schools, things that enable people, if they have an interest in something early on, to be encourage and pursue that,” these are elements the US needs to grow in, argued Freire.
Americans appeared to be leaning towards a yearning for protectionism in their responses to the poll, the want to close the doors on trade and focus lesson n competitiveness.
“There is an obvious appeal of going the easy route, this idea that if we tax foreign companies or reduce imports then naturally the jobs will just spring up in the United States. To me that seems like a short cut and economics strictly says that is not going to work,” Weisenthal said.
America needs to eliminate regulations and bureaucratic red tape, simplify the tax code and make the country more competitive, he argued.
“There are a lot of simple things we can do to improve our economy,” he added.