From Publishers Weekly
Meredith, who covers India and China for Forbes
, upends conventional wisdom in this well-reported book, arguing that the U.S. shouldn't fear these two rising economic powers. The U.S. (buyer to the world) and China (factory to the world) have, respectively, the largest and fourth largest economies, but they will reach parity in 2015. Though American politicians tax Chinese goods, Meredith points out that Americans actually gain from the undervalued yuan: our companies profit from the cheap goods the Chinese manufacture. Meanwhile, India (backoffice to the world) has picked up most of the one million white-collar jobs that moved out of the U.S. by 2003. But Meredith notes that for every dollar that goes overseas, $1.94 of wealth is created—all but 33 cents of which returns to the U.S. Protrade and antiprotectionist, she makes a compelling argument that China is doing better than India because it moved toward a market economy in 1978, while India began to liberalize in 1991. She also looks critically at each country's plans for the future, noting that China's citizens save more, while India's infrastructure and education system are falling behind. She concludes that if inward-facing India and communist China can transform themselves, so can the United States of America. (July)
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Meredith, a foreign correspondent, describes the global power shift occurring in India and in China as computers continue to change the way business is conducted. The U.S. and Europe have lost both low- and high-paying jobs to these countries, and there are other factors at play, such as the unquenchable global thirst for oil and massive environmental issues. This is a complicated story because as jobs are lost, cheap goods are being imported and sold at low prices to American consumers, and some retailers' stock prices are rising, to the benefit of workers' 401K accounts. The author notes, "In this decade, a clear pattern emerged: China became factory to the world, the United States became buyer to the world, and India began to become back office to the world." In this thought-provoking and well-researched book, the author advises that the U.S. must strengthen its education system, promote innovation, forget about protectionism or unfettered free markets, and focus on creating jobs. Whaley, Mary