As governing systems, both China's autocracy and America's democracy are facing crisis. In many ways, their crises are the mirror image of each other -- and so are the solutions. To fix itself, China needs more re-politicization -- robust popular feedback and accountability to aerate its hidebound mandarinate. American democracy needs more de-politicization --stronger meritocratic, non-partisan and deliberative practices and institutions -- to escape its capture by the populist, short-term horizon of voters, organized special interests and the paralyzing gridlock of its adversarial political parties. Our two political cultures are as distinct as our economies are intertwined. Yet both have much to learn from each other's strengths as well as weaknesses. In short, China needs to lighten up; America needs to tighten up.
Currently, India's labor laws only apply the 20 to 25 million workers in what is called the "organized sector," which includes registered corporations and businesses. New higher minimum wages must also be made to apply to the other 175 million workers who work in the unorganized or unincorporated sector, as farm hands, pushcart vendors, construction workers, private security guards, household help, drivers, shoe shiners, waiters, shop help etc. Currently, this is not happening.
Over the years, many people have counted out the United States -- and been wrong. Given our newfound energy wealth, the return of manufacturing, our tradition of creativity and our vaults filled with investable capital, I can't help but believe the people counting us out now will be proved wrong again.