In “Imagined in America“, Friedman reminded us that 30 years ago, Hong Kong used to be a manufacturing colony. Today its economy consists of 97-percent service, with a booming tourism industry (mostly visited by Mainland Chinese).
The second point was, America too can become a tourist Mecca that lures 300 million cash-hording middle-class Chinese. Already we saw the influx of Chinese students at America’s top Universities, such as Cornell and Columbia.
Why not allowing their parents to visit Casinos after visiting the Campuses (instead of having Wynn move his headquarter to Macau).
I can see an America in the year of 2020: Chinese tourists arriving ten times as many as their Japanese counterparts back in the 80’s, renting Winnebago by the thousands for their long treks across this land. America, their showroom.
They will look and try on garment that were made in their homeland, and nap in IKEA showrooms (rest areas will have lazy-susan tables and vending machines will serve tea).
They will gamble and eat Chinese Food on nation’s highways.
They will be interpreted by their Ivy-League graduated sons and daughters who can’t wait to inter-marry “white” folks.
The “spy next door”, who is now spokesperson for V-8 juice, will soon move in.
Atlantic City will see another revival as hasn’t seen in decades.
Florida will prosper, not because of its retirees base, but because of its casinos of the seas.
These tourists from China will visit the Oakland bridge, touting among themselves that it was one of the first US construction sites China has bid on and delivered (along with MLK memorial site) on time. Propaganda can then spin that the transcontinental railroad couldn’t have happened had it not for the ingenuity and involuntary contribution of their ancestors.
And by 2050, when I am long gone, America will have its first Chinese American presidential hopeful. If we can now have not one, but two Mormons on the same debate, both trying to take down the God Father’s Pizza CEO, my prediction should not be that far-fetched (999, is that the price of a pizza? uttered former US Ambassador to China).
Instead of following the money trail to the East, let them come West.
The grass is greener over here anyway (developers have imported New Port Beach homes in China).
However, the only disappointment will be their final stop in Hollywood, America’s dream factory. There, they will only find illegals selling maps to the Stars’ Homes, and the Hollywood Boulevard Sidewalk with Tom Cruise’s palm imprints in front of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
One of the actor’s famous line was “show me the money”. After a stop in Vegas, and with Hollywood as their last stop before boarding the flight home, our tourists could only laugh at their American experience: homeless people, Made-in-China T-shirts and Taco Bell.
What used to be a dream, hardly turns out as thought. Welcome to California, now go home. Do not “occupy” more space. From the vantage point of those leaving on Pacific-bound flights, Lady Liberty seems to turn her back without saying “come and see us again”. I heard their fellow countrymen didn’t get better treatment in Cafe Paris anyway. Waiters Francais need some getting used to, as does the Japanese economy, world’s number 2 for a while until now.