U.S. economists put forth theories that influenced U.S. government policies. The U.S. government implemented those policies. Those policies and their implementation helped drive the U.S. economy into a ditch and haven’t been much good at getting it out. Therefore, U.S. economists are in part responsible for this mess.
Chinese economists put forth theories, etc. The Chinese economy has grown like gangbusters for 30 years. Therefore, Chinese economists are in part responsible for this spectacular growth.
Yet, here’s the scoreboard for Nobel Prize for Economics, established in 1969, out of 69 winners:
- U.S.: 50
- China: 0
Two U.S. economists were recently awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Economics at a time when the U.S. economy was facing difficulties and the “Occupy Wall Street” movement was spreading like wildfire across the country.
The editorial goes on to ask and answer this question:
Is the Nobel committee’s preference for American economists fair? Today’s American-style capitalism has become finance monopoly capitalism, in which financial magnates control the country’s economic and political affairs, and real economy has been disconnected from virtual economy. The real economy has been hollowed out, wealth is highly centralized, and unemployment remains high.
Though some these maladies could also be said of China, China nonetheless has 30 years of GDP growth, averaging more than 9 percent a year. As the editorial makes clear, this growth comes from deliberate theories, policies, and implementation:
Since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party [in 1978], China has
- opened up the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics,
- formed the theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics and
- established socialism with Chinese characteristics through hard exploration by all ethnic groups under leadership of the Party. [bullets added]
We cannot form this unique “Chinese style” and win the Chinese people’s wholehearted support without the direction of these innovative theories. [italics added]
These ‘innovative theories’ aren’t put forth by Chinese policy makers slaveishly following Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology (goodness knows what any of this trio would think of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics, but I can guess). They were not developed by faceless political commissars crossing the economic river, Deng Xiaoping-style, by feeling for the next stone and seeing what happens when you take a step. No, Chinese economists have developed and are developing the evolving ‘innovative theories’ that underpin ‘Chinese-style’ economic success.
Why, then, have none of these Chinese economists been recognized by the Nobel committee (we could posit, cattily, that if they were in prison, they might get the nod)? The editorial opinion:
Given the above facts [of problems with the U.S. economy], it is unconvincing to grant the prize to so many Americans. From the Nobel committee’s bias in assessing winners of the prize in other categories, it is not hard to draw a conclusion that they are partial to U.S. economists because they favor the capitalist system and theories of the United States.
In order to whitewash the flaws in the capitalist system and theories, the Nobel committee mainly made up of Westerners has chosen to ignore the obvious and has deviated from the path of objectivity and fairness.
The reasoning might be harsh (and maybe true), but from the point of view of ‘objectivity and fairness,’ it is difficult to believe that there is not one Chinese economist who merits the prize. For as editorial contends:
Facts speak louder than words. A theory’s potential for practical application should be the final criterion for determining if it is scientific. Let us look at the economic development situation of China since its reform and opening up from this point of view.
Or, as we say in America, ‘You can’t argue with success.’ But, in Sweden, you can ignore it.