American Lament

Illustration for TIME by Edel Rodriguez

Being an American in Asia has never been more humbling. I recently appeared on a panel at a conference in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou with investment guru Jim Rogers and Kirby Daley, an outspoken Hong Kong – based financial strategist. Though both Americans, the two appeared to be engaged in a contest to decide who could bash their home country the hardest. Rogers called China "the next great country of the world," while comparing a debt-burdened America to the failed British Empire. Daley lambasted American economic policy as ill conceived and out of touch. Rogers warned his...

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