China “takes a step in the middle of a boom instead of waiting for the big crash,” Munger said in an interview. “Of course, I admire him. In that respect, they are wiser than us.”
Warren Buffett’s old friend and business partner, 97, pointed out the contrasting ideologies of the world’s two largest economies.
“It amuses me that communist China is being smarter in handling booms than capitalist America,” Munger said. “But I know a lot of people who are smarter than me. Shouldn’t we sometimes have a nation that’s smarter than ours in some ways?”
‘Your system has worked better’
When asked about allegations of human rights violations and concerns about China’s authoritarian style of government, Munger said: “Of course I prefer the conditions in the United States.”
“It is true that I prefer my own system,” he said, “but considering the problems that China had, I would say that their system has worked better than ours for us.”
The billionaire pointed to China’s ability to overcome its overpopulation problem through aggressive measures aimed at limiting population growth.
“You can’t do that in a real democracy like ours. They had a problem that we didn’t have. They needed harsher methods than we could use under our Constitution,” Munger said. “They were lucky to have the current system that they had at the time they had their population problem.”
Keeping praise for China’s regulators
“I don’t think we should assume that every other nation in the world, no matter what the problems are, should have our kind of government,” Munger said. “I think that’s pompous and self-centered. Ours is right for us, but maybe theirs is right for them.”
Munger also pointed to the rapid growth in China that has lifted millions of people out of poverty.
The Berkshire Hathaway executive insists he doesn’t regret those comments. “Do you regret it? I would regret not having done them,” Munger told CNN.