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Yes, China has wonbig from U.S. trade


by Heather Long   @byHeatherLongApril24, 2016: 8:48 AM ET

America's middle class is deeplyconcerned about jobs, pay and their future, and many of them are blaming China.


In the U.S., 43% of voters believe trade with other countries is a badthing, according to the Pew Research Center. It's not that hard to understand why.


China's middle class is booming while America's middle class is stagnating.A typical family in China has experienced the "Asian miracle," anastonishing 70% bump in their income from 1988 to 2008.


But the middle class in the U.S. and across the developed world hasstagnated: incomes rose a mere 4% over that 20-year same period, according toeconomist Branko Milanovic. He studies pay and wealth around the world and justpublished a new book, "GlobalInequality."
The Asian middle class miracle


To be clear, a Chinese middle class family still earns around $8,000 ayear, a lot less than the typical U.S. household income of about $54,000,according to the World Bank. But theChinese aregetting richer at a much faster rate.


Consulting firm McKinsey predicts that by 2022, the majority of China's urbanmiddle class will earn $9,000 to $34,000 a year. They are embracing all thetrappings of a better life: eating out more, vacationing around the world andbuying new cars.


Compare that to the U.S. where even people who have jobs worry they are one step awayfrom financialruin. Expenses are going up,but a typical family earns about the same amount of money now as they did inthe mid-1990s.

相比美国,即使有工作的人,他们也摆脱不了债务(financial ruin)烦恼。各种开销都在上涨,而且一个典型的(美国)家庭自90年代中期以来,他们的收入基本没发生变化。

Milanovic says the Chinese are hardly alone in celebrating better lives.The middle class in India, Thailand, Vietnam and other parts of Asia have alsoseen their bank accounts swell in the past three decades.


"Globalization is a good force, but you're not going to sellglobalization to your domestic population by telling them how good it is forChina," says Milanovic.


He can't prove that trade and globalization caused Asia's middle class tosurge and the middle class in the U.S. to stall, but he says it's a very"plausible story."


  To be clear, a Chinese middleclass family still earns around $8,000 a year, a lot less than the typical U.S.


The appeal of Donald Trump


America's lower middle class is frustrated, and many are gravitating topresidential candidate Donald Trump, who vows to fix "America'sdisastrous trade policies" and bring jobs back from China andMexico.


Over 65% of Trump supporters think free trade is raw deal, according toPew Research.


"The problem with trade is the losers know they're losing and thewinners don't know they're winning," says Veronique de Rugy, an economistand senior fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.

贸易问题,是输家知道他们要输了,而赢家却不知道他们要赢了。经济学家、乔治梅森大学研究中心资深研究员,Veroniquede Rugy说道。

More people are victors from globalization, even in the U.S., de Rugyargues, but that story is harder to tell.

有更多的人在全球化中取得了成功,即使在美国,de Rugy说,但这个故事很难说出口。

Global poverty is down


Global poverty is at its lowest level inhistory. For the first time, less than 10% of the planet is livingin extreme poverty, currently defined as $1.90 a day or less, according to theWorld Bank. It's a huge achievement and has been praised across the politicalspectrum.


"It's little comfort to say to someone who last lost their job,'well, you should be really happy because people who are really poor are nowmuch less poor,'" says Milanovic.

“对那些丢了工作的人来说这算是一丝安慰,好吧,你应当就穷人变得越来越少而因此感到高兴,” 米拉诺维奇说道。

So while the majority of people in developing nations appear to bebenefiting from globalization (the extreme poor, especially in Africa, are theexception), the results in the U.S. vary depending upon how rich or poor youare.


The more affluent (think incomes around $80,000 and above) have seen theirincomespop 30% to 60%, according to Milanovic's research.
Meanwhile, the lower middle class and poor in the U.S. have barely gottenany benefit.


CNNMoney (New York)First published April24, 2016: 8:48 AM ET