Mr. Friedman, you must be joking!
When writing about the recent olympics Friedman states that "No, it was the culmination of seven years of national investment, planning, concentrated state power, national mobilization and hard work."
He goes on to compare our two countries in this way:
"China has been preparing for the Olympics; we’ve been preparing for Al Qaeda. They’ve been building better stadiums, subways, airports, roads and parks. And we’ve been building better metal detectors, armored Humvees and pilotless drones."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!? WE ARE NOW BEING LECTURED AS TO HOW GREAT CHINA IS COMPARED TO BAD BAD AMERICA THE BULLIES WHO SPEND STUPID AMOUNTS OF MONEY ON DEFENSE AGAINST A MOVEMENT THAT WANTS TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD AND THE CHINESE ARE THE GOOD GUYS! I MUST HAVE DROPPED ACID AND STEPPED INTO ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
And to add insult to injury states this:"Then ask yourself: Who is living in the third world country?"
Friedman admits that if you drive an hour outside of Bejing you'll see the dirt poorest of the poor but in the major cities of China, he believes they are more spectacular than our cities and more innovative.
Yes Mr. Friedman a society that jails its citizens when they sign up for a permit to protest the taking away of their property in order to build all these spectacular things you mention, can quite easily muster every dollar possible to make their biggest cities the tallest and cleanest etc etc...I'd rather have a little less spectacular and the freedom to live, work and speak as I please without fear of never returning.