There are many theories for a successful economic system. There are debates whether which type of government is most ideal. But perhaps no one ideology is correct. Countries that have different cultures, histories, and governments can all be economically successful. This can be seen by looking at the United States, Egypt, and China. The differences in these countries are immense- from the number of political parties, to how much control the government has or even how it is set up. However, even with their differing systems they all have one thing in common: ll three have posted positive economic growth over the last few years in, for the most part, stable national political climates.
The United States has had a very stable political system since the nation declared it’s independence in on July 4th, 1776. The nation’s government is a constitution-based federal republic representing a population of over 313 million citizens (CIA). There are a plethora of political parties that represent the wide ranging views of the nation’s citizens.
The most prominent political parties are the Democratic, Green, Libertarian and Republican parties (CIA).
Transfer of power in the United States has always been peaceful, even when transitioning between two opposing parties in a widely disputed election as was the case in the 2000 presidential election. The executive branch of the United States includes the President, who is the head of state, as well as the Vice President. The President and Vice President are both elected together on the same ticket by a college of electors who are directly elected by each state. The President and Vice President serve a term of 4 years and can serve a maximum of 2 terms. The
Legislative branch is a bicameral system consisting of the Senate, housing 100 seats, and the House of Representatives, which houses 435 seats. Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are directly elected via popular vote and serve 6 and 2 year terms, respectively. The United States’ Judicial branch is made up of the Supreme Court, United States Courts of Appeal, United States District Courts, and State and County Courts (CIA). This political system, although slightly modified over the young nation’s lifetime, has proven to be a stable system.
The modern day government of China, although much younger than the United States, has also had a consistent political system. Since establishment of the communist government in 1949, the population of China has more than doubled to over 1. 3 billion citizens which is more than 4 times the population of the United States. Although, there are multiple registered political parties that are part of the political system, the Chinese government is effectively a single party system under control of the Communist Party of China, or the CPC (CIA). Like the United States, transfer of power in China has been a peaceful process, and can be ttributed to the homogenization of political views among Chinese officials. Further, in contrast to the United States, the number of political parties in China is far fewer than that in the United States and the few minor parties that do exist are under CPC direction. China’s executive branch includes the president and vice president and premier. In contrast to the United States, the roles of president and vice president are largely ceremonial and their purposes are to represent the country in official and ceremonial settings. These chiefs of state are elected by the members of he country’s legislative branch, known as the National People’s Congress. The title of “premier” is given to the head of state. The premier is selected by the president for nomination and is confirmed by the legislative branch. The number of legislators in the National People’s Congress is 2,987, much greater than the number of legislators in the United States which total to 535 congressmen. The delegates serve 5 year terms and, unlike the United States, are indirectly elected by the electorate through multiple tiers of a representative electoral system starting form he municipal level and going up to the provincial level (CIA). The Republic of Egypt was created after the overthrow of King Farouk in 1953. The young republic has a population of over 82 million citizens, almost 4 times less than the population of the United States and 16 times less than the population of China (CIA). In contrast to China, there are multiple independent political parties in Egypt. However, unlike the system in the United States, political parties must be approved by the government. Currently in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood seems to have a large influence in politics despite that parties based on eligion are illegal under the country’s constitution (CIA). Egypt’s executive branch is headed by the president who is elected by popular vote, serving a term of 6 years with no limit on number of terms one can serve. Recently in Egypt, former President Mubarak was forced out of office by revolting citizens after staying his post for a consecutive 30 years. Unlike the United States and China, the recent transition of power was not peaceful and elections are yet to be held. The Advisory Council and People’s Assembly make up Egypt’s legislative branch. The Advisory
Council consists of 264 seats, 176 of which are elected by popular vote and 88 selected by the president. The People’s Assembly consists of 518 seats, 508 of which are elected by popular vote and 10 are selected by the president. The recent revolts in Egypt could possibly influence adjustments to political laws in the country, especially those pertaining to number of terms a president can serve for. Political systems are only one part in the machine of how a society functions. The economic system of a nation is another vital determinant of how successful a society functions.
The United States is a capitalist society based on a market-oriented economic system with some government regulation. Private trade in the United States has little interference by the government unless federal laws are being broken. The GDP of the United States in 2010 was estimated to be $14. 72 trillion, which is higher than any other nation. The United States is also amongst the top 10 countries with highest GDP per capita in the world. The United States has been so economically successful that the 20th century is called the “American Century” by experts (Wittkopf).
Since the end of WWII, the United States has sustained an average economic growth rate of over 3% per year (“United States GDP Growth Rate”). Starting in 1949, China’s economic system was a form of pure command style economy. However, starting in the 1970s, China started to move away from a closed government planned economic system and has been opening up to a more market based system and has since become the world’s largest exporter of goods. For the last 30 years, China has experienced an average economic growth rate of 10% per year (CIA). This is in contrast to the United States smaller rowth rate of 3% per year. However, even though China’s growth rate has been much larger than that of the United Sates, its GDP is two-thirds of the United States’ and China’s GDP per capita is only $7,400, or 7 times less than that of the United States’ (CIA). Experts believe that unless the United States does something to quell China’s growth, the communist nation will be a major economic threat to the United States in the Future. Prestowitz, a writer for Foreign Policy magazine, explains “China today is pursuing an export-led growth strategy, suppressing omestic consumption, pushing savings, and guiding investment into strategic industries. It has a multitude of trade barriers, weak labor unions, and an undervalued currency. ” Prestowitz also believes the United States must confront China on its unfair economic policies like the country did when Japan was experiencing huge economic growth in the 1980s. Egypt has been transitioning from a socialist economy, under President Nasser, to a free market based economy. However, in the Journal of Academy of Business and Economics, Samir Youssef writes that Egypt “suffers from underdeveloped institutions, inept bureaucracy, imited and uncertain resources and inadequate organizational capabilities. ” In spite of this, the average economic growth rate of Egypt in recent years was 7% before 2008 (CIA). Even with this impressive rate of growth, the GDP per capita of Egypt is $6,200, which is less than both the United States’ and China’s GDP per capita. Unfortunately the global recession in 2008 lowered Egypt’s growth rate considerably and will be hit again this year due to political instability (CIA). There is always more than one solution to a given problem.
The problem of running society is managed in many different ways around the world. It is not necessary for there to be one best option, but, rather there are multiple successful ways to manage it. The United States, China, and Egypt are similar in many ways and unique in others, however, their political and economic systems have served to increase prosperity amongst their citizens. However, some systems, as I have explained above, are better at it than others. Works Cited “CIA – The World Factbook. ” Welcome to the CIA Web Site — Central Intelligence Agency. CIA. Web. 04 May 2011. . Prestowitz, Clyde V. Lie of the tiger: how the United States really tamed the Japanese economy–and why China’s a much meaner cat. ” Foreign Policy 182 (2010): 34+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 May. 2011. “United States GDP Growth Rate. ” TradingEconomics. com – Free Indicators for 231 Countries. Web. 04 May 2011. . Wittkopf, Eugene R. , Christopher M. Jones, and Charles W. Kegley. American Foreign Policy: Pattern and Process. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008. Print. Youssef, Samir. “Business strategies in a transition economy: the case of Egypt. ” Journal of Academy of Business and Economics 2. 2 (2003): 82+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 May. 2011.
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