Comments: 'When we were Chinese, we were behind Americans ... I guess I can't win'
A new survey projects Singapore will be home to the wealthiest citizens in 2050.
August 17th, 2012
03:35 PM ET

Comments: 'When we were Chinese, we were behind Americans ... I guess I can't win'

Editor's note: We're listening to you. Every day, we spot thought-provoking comments from readers. What follows is a look at some of the most talked-about stories of the day.

They say money makes the world go 'round, but what happens when money goes around the world? Readers weighed in on a report about Knight Frank and Citi Private Wealth's 2012 Wealth Report. The "rich list" postulates that Asia will host four out of five of the world's wealthiest economies by 2050. Comments indicate that residents of the fifth-ranked country, the United States, are probably not alone in pondering their place in the world.

World's rich list shows emerging Asian century

We heard from a lot of readers who said they were skeptical about making assumptions about the future. The following commenter says the grass is always greener somewhere else.

CWhatsNew: "OK. My husband and I both studied English very hard, got Ph.Ds, struggled out of China 25 years ago, (pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps), and made successful careers and our American Dream. Before we wake up from the sweetness of (taking pride in) ourselves, our kids need to turn the dream around to study Chinese and go establish a Chinese Dream? Ahyaya! So when we were Chinese, we were behind Americans. When we are Americans, we are behind the Chinese. I guess I can't win."

chromebus: "Your sentiments ... are exactly the same as many American Koreans. South Koreans have a negative term for American Koreans who came to the U.S. after the Korean War for a better life because unbeknownst to anyone, South Korea became a powerhouse and land prices rose like crazy, thereby creating incredible equity for many. It's the American Koreans who, er ... came out poorer. But! Life is also about purpose, eh? Don't feel bad!"

Aki Charles Saito: "Don't worry, most of us will be no longer alive by that time when most of West is in bottom and most of East is up."

The original poster returned to respond to the chain.

CWhatsNew: "Thanks everyone. No worries. Given the same opportunity to come to America 25 years ago, and even knowing at that time China would have become what it is now, we'd still have made the same choice of coming here, striving for our life in our own way. By no means would I spend the best 10 years of my life waiting for government housing (or) to get married, or waiting (until) the weekends to get a shower. Now China is so far developed. They enjoy the fruition of their own effort that I haven't been a part of. I'm happy for them. When you really read into the article, the U.S. would still be on top. With the added benefits that this piece of land has to offer, i.e., fresh air, respect at work, feeling safe to bike or hike any trail in the country, and this (freedom to post) without any concern ... I guess I'm totally good staying put. We are even buying a family plot for my parents and us in the future. This article hasn't reported the tremendous increase of wealthy people immigrating into the U.S. There must be something good here ? 🙂 chromebus is right that it's the purpose and pursuit of your life and not the absolute average dollar amount that really matters, unless the situation is too bad, i.e., no house and no shower."

Readers talked about how different countries value education.

chromebus: "I think lots of Americans are taking this CNN story the wrong way (as usual). Let's just congratulate these Asian countries for doing well, find out what they are doing better in, such as education or training or business incentives and then emulate those aspects. There's no need to substantiate any annoyance with cheap potshots of 'you depend on us for' this and that. ... Look at things factually, and that's it. Rogers is a genius, we are not. He learns. We learn, too. Nothing to gripe about."

Dionysus86: "The overwhelming difference between us and Asia is the way we view education. We view it as an expense, a necessary evil that we'll fund just enough to be passable, wherein Asia it is viewed as the most significant investment society can make. Until we view education as an investment and stop trying to cut the wages of teachers and force them out of their unions, good luck keeping up."

jawsua: "We view education much more differently than that. In much of Asia, education equals memorization, while in the West, education equals creation. The Asian system of education puts a cap on one's abilities."

Some discussion focused on the idea of a "benevolent superpower."

runabout: "The question is whether these countries will be as benevolent as the U.S. has been while on top. And before people start flaming, yes, we haven't always been judicious in our application of military force ... but economically, we have been very generous while on the top. Much more generous per capita than a lot of cultures who criticize us. Sadly, the last 30-40 years as a people, we have been losing the will to be great collectively. And now we focus more on ourselves and our whiny infighting and allow the extreme right and left sides (to) dominate politics ... and we play it safe as a culture. And playing it safe almost always gives a zero or negative rate of return on cultural investment."

chromebus: "That's a great point. The U.S. has been generous, although pushy with its brand of democracy. One brand of democracy does not suit all developing nations, eh? Niall Ferguson of Harvard brought up an interesting point. All of these mentioned powerhouses (minus Hong Kong) were one-party states for their formative run-up years. Yup. Even South Korea, which was a military dictatorship until the 1980s. However, the real question is whether China will be a benevolent superpower. I can tell you one thing. Asian economies listed here are comfy being China-centric (the technical term is 'sinification') as long as China is fair with them. Look at the list. Taiwan (all Chinese). Singapore (80% Chinese minus the expats). Hong Kong (obvious). South Korea ... You get my point ..."

Another reader said Asia may be in for a rude awakening.

Octavian81: "Not likely. The key to understanding Asia's future is understanding what happens once China's economy begins to stall and retract as A.) (Its) population continues to gray and (it doesn't) have enough young workers to maintain (its) welfare state, B.) Civil unrest continues to spread (most of China's prosperity is based on (its) coastline and the inner part of the country is still very much Third World), C.) They cope with the destruction of their fresh water supplies, and D.) ... Asia is in for a very bumpy ride in the first half of the 21st century. Furthermore, and as other posters pointed out, the caste systems and inequality in Asian countries are absolutely crippling and shocking - and will also absolutely benefit both America and Europe in the long run. Born as an untouchable in India? Are you a smart Chinese national who knows they'll never get anywhere in life because your family doesn't have the right political connection? A word to the wise for the Asian economies: If smart, innovative and talented people know that they're getting a raw deal, they'll always vote with their feet."

But then again, maybe Americans' views are tainted - or tinted.

Childen: "Not surprised at all. Take off your red, white and blue-tinted glasses and it's easy to see that the USA is maybe not necessarily declining, but definitely not improving at the pace of other countries. We're falling behind in education, infrastructure and technology, and this will only continue with our current state of politics."

Should people in the United States compare themselves with other countries? Your answer may depend on your age and experience.

YourEpiphany: "I don't know how old some posters here are, but I've (been) crawling around this Earth now almost half a century. Ever since I was a kid I have heard how the USA wasn't as good as it used to be, our education sucked. I can't count how many time I have heard we're ignorant, arrogant, and act like the police of the world. Always we have heard China ... and other emerging economies were going to overtake us. Then there are Armageddon religious nuts who expect us to fall any day now and Jesus will appear on the Temple Mount and usher in the new system. My message to all these clowns is quit worrying about what the world is doing ... and just go out (and) do the best you can do (and) try and contribute something useful to the place we all live, Earth."

What do you think about the future of the global economy? Yes, that's a big question. Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: China • Comments • Singapore • U.S. • Wisconsin • World
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Hi, Rawr.
    Hi, dazzle.
    It is glorious here: sunny, low humidity, 75 degrees.
    Perfect weather.
    We're having a good time camping.
    Kickapoo State Park.
    Kickapoo.
    Love that name.

    August 18, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Hi to you @banasy, Hope everyone is being Happy Campers.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Helloooooooooooooo banasy

      I'm glad you are having such a great day. How about all of you turn facing south and wave your arms real hard. Maybe you can push some of that nice weather down this way. Kickapoo. Yeah, that is a cool name. You know I could take that somewhere, but I won't.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Oh, everyone is enjoying themselves.
      See you all later.
      Beanbags are calling, lol.

      August 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Bobcat:
      I know!
      We've been having a good time coming up with silly meanings for the name.
      I am waving frantically southward; hopefully it will reack you soon.
      Best thing is it is too cool at night for skeeters!

      August 18, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    Something got deleted somewhere, and it messed with the post order...don't get paranoid on me, you two! Lol!

    August 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dottie Sandusky

    Hello everyone! 🙂 Glad to hear everyone is enjoying their summer.
    I see one like camping
    One like philosophy
    One has learned of mans desire for knowledge
    And two are discussing China's oil deal

    Lol, My husbands philosophy is, the basement makes a better campground for using china's oil products on little boys.
    Btw, you can find all of his knowledge and more in his new book To occupy his time while in prison, he's been writing his account of the events surrounding his scandal with my help. 😉
    In fact I've been sending him so much correspondence that I got my privileges revoked by prison officials. Tee Hee
    Have a glorious day all

    August 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Yahoo Is Calling

    Oh yes it is.

    August 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • @Yahoo is Calling

      He is out of there also, soon he will be out of here.

      August 18, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Yes.
    A soul of black scribbles, with fangs.

    August 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Stupid can't even get a chinese accent right troll.

    August 18, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Confucious say...

    ...nothing posted on thos blog today has been refuted. 🙂

    August 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yahoo Is Calling

    So Philip can post what he wants! Who cares? Don't read the other stuff! They're free to post...chit chat too!!! It's not your job to critique posts! Jeez, what stupidity that you TRY!

    August 18, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat (in a hat)©

    In what way is Philip being denied his right to voice his opinion ? He does it all the time. It's just that nobody answers him.

    August 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dazzle ©

    @bobcat(iah) looks like I missed the mayhem. You have your claws out I see. It is like talking to a wall. Oh no, my gato is carrying on. I'll be back after some dinner. Let's see if this posts in order or gets blocked.

    August 18, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ dazzle

      I'm glad you made it back. I'm just sorry you had to come into this crap again. It's a damn shame that you can't get on here on the weekends without some jerks starting stuff. If you think it's bad here , you ought to see the one on Afghanistan. They've drawn banasy into a mess again. For no reason that I can see.

      August 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bobcat (in a hat)©

    I really have no desire to debate your conspiracy theories, obese people, pedophile priests, your IFO theories etc. etc. as I don't buy in to all of that. That seems to be where you want to keep the subjects, so good luck to Philip on finding someone who shares your interest. My conversation with you is now finished.

    August 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bobcat (in a hat)©

    You truly must be a sad and lonely person if you continuously feel the need to prove your superior intellectual prowess over others. Take a hint. You are not an interesting person to me and I have no desire wasting my time with you.

    August 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    NEARLY ten freaking years since Connie Chung, second only to Barbara Wawa Walters as the most 'listened to' news anchor- woman of all time, the woman who paved the way for the most-federal judge gagged woman of all-time (FBI whistleblower Sibel D. Edmomds. The bravest woman to have ever walked this earth)...spoke-out concerning bush-kerry ties. Of Bush's real reasons for warring on Iraq. And is today, the second-most gagged woman on planet earth. (Next to Sibel, whom I myself introduced YOU to first)

    August 18, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    It is nice to know that it has been admitted here that the persecution of targeted people shall continue.

    It is spelled plethora.
    Another useful German word is schaedenfruede.

    August 18, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. dazzle ©

    @Philip, you have managed to insult 3 long time bloggers and why would they give you their given name. Your assault on @banasy, is disgusting, know that she is somebody's wife, daughter, mother, and grandmother. Whatever your deal is with her, you have to let it go. As far saywhat and bobcat, they have been nothing but gentlemen and kind to all. I'm sure you wouldn't want to take either of them on in a debate to prove a point. Both of them, like you, have superior intelligence. In their case they use diplomacy and humor to get a point across. Your insinuations
    that the female bloggers are old lady gossips with obesity issues couldn't be further from the truth. Most of us are highly educated women with healthy minds and bodys. I would not be surprised if Jif disappeared because he was tired of the drama. Just end it, stay on topic, chat, or joke as you did yesterday as Eugene. Because I am female, I don't expect a response but don't attempt to drive everyone away. You would be awfully lonely without many of our fellow bloggers.

    August 18, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
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