“Which one of the following do you think is the leading economic power in the world today?”
China: 40 percent
The United States: 33 percent
Japan: 13 percent
The European Union: 7 percent
India: 2 percent
Russia: 2 percent
This is even worse than the Pew poll result that Barbara Kiviat blogged about here a few days ago. I was shocked by Pew’s finding that 30% of Americans thought China was the world’s leading economic power, but at least they got a larger number (41%) putting America No. 1.
Just to refresh, here’s Barbara’s chart of the actual global economic standings:
Now I don’t want to discount the importance of China’s rise and its wrenching effect on some American industries. But I find it really worrying that most Americans don’t understand that the U.S. remains far and away the richest and most powerful nation on earth. Because if our politicians listen to voters who think the Chinese have it better than we do, they’re going to enact some really crazy trade laws.