Billionaire Charlie Munger praises China for being smarter than America at dealing with economic boom – Community News
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Billionaire Charlie Munger praises China for being smarter than America at dealing with economic boom

The Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) vice chairman told CNN he is impressed that Beijing recognizes the problems caused by letting economic booms spiral out of control.

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’

While China has seen decades of rapid economic growth, the country has also faced outrage over its human rights record. In March, the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and the European Union announced sanctions against Chinese officials for “serious human rights violations” against Uyghur Muslims.

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.”

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“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

After decades of strict family planning policies, including the one-child policy, which began in 1980 and lasted 35 years, China is now trying to avert a demographic crisis characterized by a shortage of working-age citizens. The country recently announced that it will allow couples to have three children.

“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.

“It’s one of the most remarkable achievements in human history, what the Chinese have accomplished in the past 30 years,” Munger said, echoing comments he made at Berkshire’s annual shareholders’ meeting in early May.
Munger faced criticism over the summer after praising the Chinese government for being silent Alibaba’s (BABA) Jack Ma and said he wished US financial regulators would be more like those in China. “Communists did the right thing,” Munger told CNBC in a special that aired in June.

The Berkshire Hathaway director insists he has no regrets about those comments. “Regret it? I would regret not making them,” Munger told CNN.

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