China is “stepping on a boom in the midst of it rather than waiting for the big bust,” Munger said in an interview. “Of course I admire that. In that one respect they are wiser than we are.”
Warren Buffett’s 97-year-old friend and business partner noted the contrasting ideologies of the world’s two largest economies.
“I’m amused that communist China is smarter about booms than capitalist America,” Munger said. “But I know a lot of people who are smarter than me. Shouldn’t we sometimes have a nation that is in some ways smarter than our own?’
‘Their system has worked better’
Asked about allegations of human rights abuses and concerns about China’s authoritarian style of government, Munger said, “Of course I prefer the conditions in the United States.”
“It’s true that I prefer my own system,” he said, “but given the problems China had, I’d say their system has worked better for them than ours has worked for us.”
The billionaire pointed to China’s ability to solve its overpopulation problem through aggressive measures to limit population growth.
“You can’t do that in a real democracy like ours. They had a problem that we didn’t have. They needed tougher methods than our constitution allowed us to use,” Munger said. “They were lucky to have the current system they had at the time they had their population problem.”
Enduring praise for Chinese regulators
“I don’t think we should assume that every other country in the world, whatever the problems, should have our type of government,” Munger said. “I think that’s pompous and self-centered. Ours is good for us, but maybe theirs is right for them too.”
Munger also pointed to rapid growth in China that has lifted millions of people out of poverty.
The Berkshire Hathaway director insists he has no regrets about those comments. “Regret it? I would regret not making them,” Munger told CNN.