The Atlantic has a great article by James Fallows this month called China Makes, the World Takes. Unfortunately it’s behind a subscription wall. But there is a free slideshow narrated by Fallows which pretty much gives you the gist of the article. In a nutshell: China’s manufacturing output is stupefyingly vast, but not only that, the Chinese work hard, they work fast, they’re more modern than you think, and they’re smarter than you are. So quit whining and be gracious when they zoom by… it’ll do you a world of good in the future. Among other observations, Fallows calls out this telling fact about our mutual trade. The Chinese send us almost every manufactured item you care to name. In return, we send those same ships back filled with… scrap metal and scrap paper. Which one is the developed economy?
The narrated slideshow was a nice touch. It’s fun watching newspapers and magazines branch out into other media. You can watch wacky videos at the New York Times and listen to audio dispatches from the Washington Post. Maybe they’ll have some fun as they slide into oblivion.