American education is vastly superior to India’s or China’s

President Obama claims America is in an “education arms race” with India and China. Rubbish.

Despite all the horror stories about American kids underperforming on standardized tests, things are worse in India and China. India’s literacy rate is 66 percent. China puts its at 93 percent, but between 2000 and 2005, China’s illiterate population grew by 30 million. The same may happen in India, thanks to last year’s Right to Education Act, the regulations of which will cripple India’s private school market. The fundamental problem is that both countries put their resources into educating elite kids — and ignoring the rest.

Unless more Indian and Chinese kids get access to a quality education, their countries won’t be able to actualize their human potential, precisely what America does so well.

America doesn’t have a culture of hype

An important reason U.S. gloom-and-doom is unjustified is that there is so much gloom-and-doom. Indians and Chinese, by contrast, have drunk their own Kool-Aid. Their moribund economies have barely kicked into action and they are entertaining dreams of being the next economic superpowers. That bespeaks a profound megalomania. There is not a culture of hope in these countries, as Giridhardas told Stewart, but a culture of hype.