What Can Black America Learn from Communist China?
Build Businesses and Prosper
By Robert N. Taylor
When it comes to China, the numbers are truly astounding. The Asian giant has the fastest growing economy in the world - averaging roughly 10 percent growth per year for the past 25 years. By way of contrast, if we in the United States grow by just three percent, our economists consider that good news.
In fact, China is growing so rapidly that it expects to build a city the size of New York City each year for the next twenty years. According to the World Bank, more than 600 million people have been pulled out of poverty over the past quarter century. For example, 53 percent of Chinese lived in poverty in 1981. By 2001, the poverty rate had dropped to just 8 percent.
Meanwhile, just in case you have been wondering where a nearly bankrupt America gets the money to fight needless wars and bailout banks and the automobile industry; the answer is China. The communist rulers of China are among the world’s biggest buyers of U.S. Treasury bonds and other debt instruments. Before our current economic crisis is over, we will easily owe the Chinese over one trillion dollars.
In sharp contrast to an advancing China is Black America. According to the Census Bureau (2007 figures), African Americans have the lowest median household income in the nation. Even native Alaskans (the people we normally call Eskimos) have a higher median household income than we do. The reason for the income gap is our lack of business ownership.
According to the Small Business Administration, Blacks have the lowest “business density” (number of businesses owned per 1,000 persons) in the nation. This means we can only grow economically if some other racial group engages in profit-making enterprise and then decides to hire us. Simply put, we are slaves to entrepreneurship of others.
China is the global economic power it is today because roughly 30 years ago, a short, chain-smoking, resilient revolutionary named Deng Xiaoping battled his way to leadership of the Communist Party and declared it was time to break with the old ways of doing things. He told a country where wealth was viewed as an evil that “To be rich is good.”
Deng broke with the stifling Stalinist ideology of Communist Party founder Mao Tse-tung and told his people dependence on government had to end and that they had to build profit-making enterprises in order to lift China’s then 800 million (now 1.3 billion) people out of poverty. Freed (or more appropriately “forced”) to think in new, enterprising ways the Chinese responded by building an economic powerhouse that is currently projected to overtake the U.S. by 2050 or sooner.
This is what we must do. Our lower classes are too dependent on welfare and handouts. Our middle classes are too dependent on “good” government jobs and our rich are little more than over paid entertainers and athletes who are intellectually incapable of providing economic leadership and only help the poor when it is to their tax advantage.
We have entered a post-Civil Rights period and must now struggle for Silver Rights. It must be an economic betterment struggle not targeted primarily at more government handouts but instead at building and growing businesses. Enterprise is the way to the future.
If we fail to build and grow businesses, it will make no difference who sits in the White House. We will remain dependent, first fired, disrespected and living barely above poverty.
[Robert Taylor welcomes comments to his commentaries. He is editor of the National Black News Journal. Leave your comments at TaylorMediaPrime@yahoo.com or visit his insightful and life improving website at www.freewebs.com/blacknewsjournal/ .]