While the United States is still the largest economy in the world, it faces challenges from global competitors. China, Japan, India and Germany are all countries that have gained ground on the United States in recent years and continue to do so. China, in particular, has proved to be a looming threat…
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While the United States is still the largest economy in the world, it faces challenges from global competitors. China, Japan, India and Germany are all countries that have gained ground on the United States in recent years and continue to do so. China, in particular, has proved to be a looming threat. It pulled out of the global recession much sooner than did the United States, due to a myriad of factors. Moreover, the people of China still lag behind the rest of the world in terms of wealth, therefore China is reliant upon the world market for its growth. This is the reason why China has carried an enormous trade balance with the United States. Japan, once a large threat, is now much less of one, as China has surpassed it in recent months in terms of the size of the economy, and Japan continues to have troubles due to the recent disasters. India is growing as well, and, like China, has a problem in that its citizenry is not as prosperous as more developed countries. Germany, meanwhile, probably presents the least threat of all the countries examined here, as it has grown in recent months, but this growth has been driven by its domestic sector, not the world market. China While the United States and most of the world remain mired in the worst economic slowdown in decades, China remains relatively unscathed. In fact, it posted a gross domestic product growth rate of 7.1% for the first half of 2009, and its economy expanded by 10% in 2010 (“China Economy Hums Along as U.S. Remains Mired in Recession”). ...
overseas investments (Ford), and the fact that Chinese banks are controlled by the Chinese government, which eases the flow of lending (“China Economy Hums Along as U.S. Remains Mired in Recession”). However, one of the most important factors that sets China apart is its economic stimulus plan (Reyes), that was more successful than the U.S.'s similar stimulus plan, in large part because China did not have the existing debt that the United States did prior to enacting the stimulus plan (Lau). The example set by the Chinese might be able to be emulated by the United States and other countries, however, since China has a unique set of circumstances, it is improbable that other countries can duplicate its success. At any rate, China seems poised to bring the rest of the world out of recession, when, in prior recessions, the United States has led the way (Schwartz). The great untapped potential in Chinese domestic consumption are the rural areas, whose consumption lag behind urban areas by 10 years (Reyes). This, in large part, is because of the great income disparity between the two sectors, and because rural residents are compelled to save because of the current lack of a reliable social security system and the fact that over 99% of rural residents do not have health insurance (Reyes). China's contributions to insurance and pensions should therefore help in increasing the ability of the rural residents to consume. This increase in consumption will, in turn, offset the decrease in exports and presumably make China less dependent on the export market, thereby stabilizing China's economy (Reyes). Indeed, China is currently entering a period where they are poised to increase their consumption levels substantially, purchasing their first automobiles and first commercially
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