Opinion
Get Opinion in your inbox -- sign up for our weekly newsletter
Opinion Top of the Ticket

Government dysfunction, part 3: U.S. pols let China win future

Despite prognostications otherwise, it is not inevitable that the United States will cede its place as the world’s leading nation to China. But if the American political system remains as dysfunctional as it is today, China may rise above us by default.

While China invests in infrastructure, our federal government allows the nation’s highways, bridges and power grid to deteriorate. While China puts a premium on education and research, our national politicians refuse to provide the resources needed to educate a new, diverse generation of young Americans to a level necessary to compete with the world or to keep American laboratories and experimental enterprises functioning at full power.

China is burdened by a stifling one-party political system. Still, decisions get made, action is taken, stuff gets built, things get done.

The United States has a two-party system that is so gummed up by unscrupulous political warfare, unending campaigns and ideological idiocy that it may as well be a no-party system. No party can get anything accomplished because few political leaders have a vision of a common national interest that rises in importance above partisan advantage.

If China wins the future, it will happen because American leaders failed to stay in the game.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Government dysfunction, part 1: The unaddressed 'sequester' mess

    Government dysfunction, part 1: The unaddressed 'sequester' mess

    First, members of Congress set a trap that would bite hard if they failed to break the political gridlock and come up with a grand bargain on the budget. Then, having failed, they let the trap spring shut. And now, they continue to blunder and bluster as the country remains locked in the vise grip...

  • College grads still face a struggle to find that first good job

    College grads still face a struggle to find that first good job

    The American employment picture may finally be brightening a bit, but for the tens of thousands of young people being handed diplomas in the next few weeks at colleges and universities across the land, more gloom is in the forecast.

  • #EmergingUS: Diversity is our destiny, but how do we talk about it?

    #EmergingUS: Diversity is our destiny, but how do we talk about it?

    As we celebrate our country's birthday, let us also acknowledge that the country that declared independence in 1776 does not look like the country we live in today.

  • Gardena, release the police video

    Gardena, release the police video

    As more police agencies put video recorders in their patrol cars and issue body cameras to their officers, policymakers must grapple with how and when to release the recordings to the public. These can be difficult questions, but the legal fight over the recordings of a shooting of two unarmed...

  • The tide finally turns on L.A. County beach access

    The tide finally turns on L.A. County beach access

    In the ongoing battle between the California Coastal Commission and property owners over public access to the beach, one of the lengthiest skirmishes has been the one the state agency waged with Malibu resident Lisette Ackerberg. But after more than a decade of legal wrangling in and out of court,...

  • There's already a law for that

    There's already a law for that

    American criminal codes are a mess, and every year they become more convoluted, more likely to foster injustice. States across the nation are trying to clean up the muddle, but prosecutors often threaten those efforts.

Comments
Loading