Chinese billionaire Jack Ma says US wasted trillions on warfare instead of infrastructure

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Jack Ma - David A. Grogan | CNBC

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has fired a shot at the United States in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Ma was asked by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin about the U.S. economy in relation to China, since President-elect Donald Trump has been talking about imposing new tariffs on Chinese imports.

Ma says blaming China for any economic issues in the U.S. is misguided. If America is looking to blame anyone, Ma said, it should blame itself.

“It’s not that other countries steal jobs from you guys,” Ma said. “It’s your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a proper way.”

He said the U.S. has wasted over $14 trillion in fighting wars over the past 30 years rather than investing in infrastructure at home.

To be sure, Ma is not the only critic of the costly U.S. policies of waging war against terrorism and other enemies outside the homeland. Still, Ma said this was the reason America’s economic growth had weakened, not China’s supposed theft of jobs.

In fact, Ma called outsourcing a “wonderful” and “perfect” strategy.

“The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalisation,” Ma said. “The past 30 years, IBM (NYSE: IBM), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), they’ve made tens of millions — the profits they’ve made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. … But where did the money go?”

He said the U.S. is not distributing, or investing, its money properly, and that’s why many people in the country feel wracked with economic anxiety. He said too much money flows to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Instead, the country should be helping the Midwest, and Americans “not good in schooling,” too.

You’re supposed to spend money on your own people,” Ma said. “Not everybody can pass Harvard, like me.” In a previous interview, Ma said he had been rejected by Harvard 10 times.

Along those lines, Ma stressed that globalisation is a good thing, but it, too, “should be inclusive,” with the spoils not just going to the wealthy few.

“The world needs new leadership, but the new leadership is about working together,” Ma said. “As a business person, I want the world to share the prosperity together.”


This article was originally found here on CNBC, written by Jay Yarow. CNBC’s Anita Balakrishnan contributed to this report.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Jack Ma may be right, but for the wrong reasons. The reason we spend trillions is that other world powers are feckless. Russia is a thieves’ paradise, barely able to project power on its own doorstep. Europe is toothless and divided, couldn’t handle Serbia or Libya. China had to buy a crappy ski-jump carrier from Ukraine. I’d love it if the US did not have to spend to project power, but who else will fill the void? The UN, that permitted the butchery in Rwanda?

    • No. You spend trillions because your government has been effectively captured by the trillion a year military industrial complex. To your ‘Russia is a thieves’ paradise’ – which I don’t dispute – I would say only ‘Wall Street’; neither Serbia or Libya were improved by costly intervention, in the latter quite the opposite. China didn’t ‘have to’ buy anything, but I guess all that yankee power projection makes them nervous. Looking at history and US appetites for bloody foreign intervention one can hardly blame them. The only ‘void’ that needs filling is the ethical one at the heart of a rapacious neo-liberal world order.

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