And on it went: The Japanese Power Game,The Coming War with Japan, Zaibatsu America: How Japanese Firms are Colonizing Vital US Industries, The Silent War, Trade Wars.
But there was no vicious plot. We failed to notice that Japan had invested heavily in its own education and infrastructure – which enabled it to make high-quality products that American consumers wanted to buy. We didn’t see that our own financial system resembled a casino and demanded immediate profits. We overlooked that our educational system left almost 80% of our young people unable to comprehend a news magazine and many others unprepared for work. And our infrastructure of unsafe bridges and potholed roads were draining our productivity.
In the present case of China, the geopolitical rivalry is palpable. Yet at the same time, American corporations and investors are quietly making bundles by running low-wage factories there and selling technology to their Chinese “partners”. And American banks and venture capitalists are busily underwriting deals in China.
I don’t mean to downplay the challenge China represents to the United States. But throughout America’s postwar history it has been easier to blame others than to blame ourselves.
The greatest danger we face today is not coming from China. It is our drift toward proto-fascism.