Socialist Economic Bulletin this week carried an article on how and why some economists have made such poor predictions about China’s performance in the last decade.
My favourite example given is that of Gordon Chang,
who continued to express the thesis expressed in his book with the self-explanatory title The Coming Collapse of China, which in 2002 declared: ‘A half-decade ago the leaders of the People’s Republic had real choices. Today they do not. They have no exit. They have run out of time.’ (pxxiii). This prediction was made as China was about to experience seven years of the most rapid economic growth in the world.
Why did so many highly paid analysts get it so wrong? Their inability to form a correct assessment of China’s economic model must surely be key. Ideologically blinded, unable to grasp the significance of what China proves to the world – that state control of largest levers of the economy can deliver growth and prosperity – many journalists in the West have struggled to represent the developments there accurately.