Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do Echo Boomers Fear China?

A blog post discussed a recent Brooking's study about Echo Boomers and their views on countries as allies or problems. When it comes to China, Echo Boomers differ from former U.S. generations as more Echo Boomers tend to see China as a potential problem. Of course, this study failed to clarify how Echo Boomers saw China.

As an example of this, Echo Boomers grew up in a world where jobs were being exported to China to capitalize on cheap labor. The U.S. lost manufacturing jobs, which have historically paid well, while China made major gains. In the past thirty years, China's trade surplus has grown while the U.S.'s trade surplus has increased. Echo Boomers may see China as a threat only in the sense of economics, not in terms of military.

As an additional note, many Echo Boomers think that China will be the most powerful country by 2025. If you spend any time at all reading online news, you will know that this view is prevalent throughout U.S. media. While I don't doubt that China will become the dominant power, it should be of note that for a generation that reads a lot of online news, this view is not surprising.

I think that Echo Boomers' views on China as a potential problem (mostly from an economic standpoint) will encourage them to vote and fight for policies which favor domestic production over foreign production. We may be seeing the end of the view that globalism is a good thing, as Echo Boomers - who are experiencing high rates of unemployment - see China as an economic threat.