Why doesn’t the USA look like the largest economy in the world when I travel there? China’s top cities look even more advanced than American
Peter Moor ： You are comparing an old civilization with a new one. A new civilization often values their recent achievements and gets all excited about new things and the latest developments. Older civilizations recognize that they have come from somewhere and have things that are valuable and should be maintained and venerated. The USA is almost 250 years old, while the PRC only started 70 years ago, less than a third the time of the USA. If you consider the cultural revolution, you could even set the clock of the PRC to the 1970s. It’s cute how so many of the advancements and problems the PRC faces reflect those of America and Britain and Germany from hundreds of years ago.
Bob Schulte ： Because they dump all their money into the military instead of infrastructure now. If you spend all your money on aircraft carriers, there ain’t a lot left over for road maintenance and the like. Skyscrapers and condos are private ventures of course, but they are indicative of confidence in the future of an economy. China is strutting its stuff and is full of confidence that those new skyscrapers and condo towers will be filled by people with good jobs and businesses providing those good jobs. Hence the splendour.
Dean Hough : There is a strange mixture of culture, government and preference that causes everything to be the way it is. It’s inaccurate to measure one aspect of any country against another because it misses the mark and you can draw inaccurate conclusions. But there is validity to your observation about American having a variety of things that aren’t as good as other countries and compared side by side.
Rod Pallister : Yes, it’s true that modern China showcases its development in cities such as Shanghai, but that is part of an new emerging Asian culture. Do modern eastern cities represent the ‘real’ China? I would argue that if you travel across to the other side of China, to cities like Chongqing (30+ million), there is a notable lack of skyscrapers but it’s still a thriving, multicultural city.
Albert Cornelius Doyle : Much of China’s modern urban infrastructure is brand new. There are cities near Hong Kong and Macau that didn’t even exist before 1997. So, like Dubai, they can look all fresh and shiny. Whereas New York and Boston and Philadelphia were built in the 17th century. Downtown Chicago has been revitalized under Dailey the Younger, and has lots of glimmering new skyscrapers. Miami also has many modern business towers.
中国的许多现代城市基础设施都是全新的。和澳门附近的城市在1997年之前甚至不存在。所以，像迪拜一样，它们看起来都很新鲜有光泽。而纽约，波士顿和费城则建于17世纪。芝加哥市中心在Dailey the Younger的带领下焕发活力，拥有许多闪闪发光的新摩天大楼。迈阿密还有许多现代商业大厦。
Martin Andrews ： But American doesn’t have word “maintenance” in their dictionary. Those US cities still can look wonderful, advanced and as modern as newly build Chinese cities if US government keep maintaining it.
Boris Rose : America’s wealth is hidden in the credit and investment systems, not so much in flashy buildings or cities. Tens of millions of millionaire next door types leads to a phenomenal GDP and national net worth. If China develops an individual investment and credit system like ours that emphasizes individual returns then they will overtake us faster.