Seldom a day goes by where we are not treated to a book or an article or an interview whereby an expert (or well-informed celebrity) offers his or her opinion about China’s growing economic power. Many will then offer a less than flattering prognosis for the future of the United States, viewing this nation as a hopelessly divided, declining superpower that continues to have grand delusions about its hegemonic role in the international system.
This narrative is not new as one could swap out China in the 21st century for the Soviet Union in the 1960s and Japan in the 1980s to the same effect. In each case, much of the American government as well as the chattering elites in the media and the universities declared that the United States would soon cede its crown to the latest 10-foot-tall challenger.
Unfortunately for these influential and self-important prognosticators, the economic threats posed by each of these would-be pretenders to the throne never came to pass.
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