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 Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the 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. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ banasy and dazzle

    I'm glad to see you back. It's been a lonely night trying to tell HIM that we have nothing to talk about. But I kind of feel a touch of jealousy from him because my jokes are more accepted than his conspiracy theories. But that's his right to do that, just as it is my right to do what I do. Maybe one day that will be understood.
    But in the meantime, how is your camping trip going ? And dazzle you mentioned that your gato was acting crazy. What was she up to ?

    August 19, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      @bobcat(Iah) I'm glad you came back. It's hopeless, I tried a response but of course I am female therefore dumb. This gato was carrying on because a friend brought over a rotisserie chicken and she expected some. So now the torment begins. I just locked her out of my bedroom for piece and quiet only to stumble into this mess of the blog world.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Hi, bc(iah).
      It's going great!
      Went on some catch and release fishing today; blue gills mostly.
      My daughter caught a fish that looked almost like a tropical fish, it was so pretty.
      The guys are hanging out by the fire; we're in our tent relaxing and winding down.
      Cooling down nicely; we'll sleep good tonight!

      August 19, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ Philip
      You just taken yourself to a new low. dazzle has done nothing to you and yet you choose to lash out at her like you are in elementary school. And you wonder why no one takes you serious or wants to converse with you. Read your comments to everyone and you will find your answer.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      @ banasy

      I glad you are enjoying yourself. As you can see, it's been the SSDD here. Just a little deeper than usual. I guess I've been added to his -hit list. Oh well. I'm going to lose so much sleep over that.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. dazzle ©

    @Philip, now you've insulted me. I don't nose into other peoples personal life. I am very careful in my commentary on these blogs and have no comment on Sibel or any governmental agency. I've enjoyed my discourse with other bloggers but not you.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    What about Connie Chung and Sibel D. Emonds. Forget about me. THEM.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    I am someone's wife.
    I am someone's daughter.
    I am someone's mother.
    I am someone's grandmother.
    Dazzle left no one out.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. dazzle ©

    As I said above, I have no comment on this as it is not wise to speak out against the government. I do have full knowledge of both of these females.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @bob. What about Sibel and Connie. ty

    August 19, 2012 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat (in a hat)©

    That's another conspiracy theory I don't buy into. And it's been done to death.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. dazzle ©

    Good night @banasy and @bobcat, I am out of here. I love you guys.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I am neither a hag, nor an old lady, Philip, and I am tired of your calling me names all the time because I refuse to be indoctrinated by you.
    I have no idea what caused this latest hate-fest, but it would appear that no matter what I say or do, I will be insulted by you...

    So be it.
    People see it for what it is: malicious persecution of a person who does not agree to your every idea and opinion.

    Nice to know that Cnn WILL see your threats of targeting people, and will, perhaps, act accordingly.

    The TOS specifically say not to make disparaging remarks toward an individual, or group of people...and you've violated both tonight.

    Oh yes, lest I forget:
    Chung and Edmunds should have the gag lifted; there's no debate there.

    You have yourself a merry little life, Mr. Douglas.

    I know I shall.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Very well said banasy. I tried earlier in different words to relay that sentiment, but it falls on deaf ears. Like we have always said, we are thick skinned. He is like a child that feels like if he can't have fun, then he'll try to make everyone miserable. Hit me with your best shot. Everybody here knows better.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)©

      Well banasy, I'm going to call it a night. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, Rawr, I am tired from my day and the last hour of total and absolute rubbish that has been posted about us; perhaps it is something to be pitied that a group of friends has to be maligned for whatever base reasons exist with that thought any case, I am tired, and I am going to sleep.
      Nothing good ever comes from engaging this type of a person; but then again, if one doesn't engage, on gets the same insults, so...

      Good night, bobcat.
      Good night, dazzle.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Good night dazzle. Talk to you tomorrow.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    And it was equally nice of you to focus on me, dazzle, bobcat, et al.
    I suppose you do not see the irony in what you just posted, as you are guilty of the very same behavior.

    Good night, Philip.

    August 19, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dynamic

    As usual these statistics are taken out of context – comparing apples to ginger roots – even the laws governing required school attendance vary drastically from the USA to the UK to Asian nations (and among Asian nations). NEVER TRUST THESE "STATISTICS" AND THEREFORE DO NOT TRUST THE GENERALIZATIONS. When it comes to "wealth", which could mean a great many different things (real estate, income, private holdings?), any true statistical analysis would account for the differences in socio-political systems as well as things like corruption levels and penal codes. In the United States, the manager of a toy manufacturer who added lead to the toys' paint might not even be verbally scolded, but in China, it could be: "bye bye manager, hello kidneys!" I doubt very much any statistics that compare education systems, much less that compare the personal wealth of private citizens – because they NEVER take into account ALL the differences that exist between the various nations which directly and indirectly affect the subject of interest. And, by the way, China is currently being sued for their money market manipulation.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Good post, and very good points.

      August 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dazzle ©

    Have a good time @little mister and I hope you can make that find. We are driving to a the beach.

    August 19, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. Misty.

    The US should slap a huge tax on AMERICAN corporations that outsource labor to these other countries.

    August 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Really?

    "Oh yes, lest I forget:
    Chung and Edmunds should have the gag lifted; there's no debate there."
    Further proof that you do not read anything but your own stuff. Buy a diary. Buy a compositi tion book. Write your stuff in there. Don't break the old arm trying to pat yourself on you beack while self-congratulating the little sum of nothingness that you are!

    August 19, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse |
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