Whither China

105 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture
Whither China

Upon hearing Richard Fadden describe some Canadian politicians as being influenced by foreign governments, leaning towards China, I want to discuss on a larger scale how Canada should be conducting our relationship with China. Under former PM Chretien, Canada seemed to be moving towards closer relations with China, namely along the lines of nuclear trade. Since PM Harper has come to power, it seems that the more hard-line reform elements within the party whom have long wanted Canada to be tougher on China because of human rights abuses, our relationship with China has deteriorated. China is and will be for the foreseeable future, a super power. The more China industrializes and its middle class grows, the bigger the threat it becomes to US economic hegemony. Given that Canada depends on the US for the bulk of its international trade, how should Canada move forward in it's relationships with China while maintaining a moral high ground on human rights?

 

Issues Pages: 
No Yards No Yards's picture

China, for better or worst is 1/4 of humanity wanting to "develop" to the resource wasting, planet polluting level of the richer 1/4 of humanity.

Canada is not going to stop China from developing, so to save the planet we need to offer China all the help we can to make their development one of a sustainable, "small footprint", low impact type.

The more we help, the more China trusts us, the more influence we have in addressing China's democratic deficiencies.

I don't think we should fool ourselves into thinking that "development" and "democracy" are the answers to China's human rights problems (Democratic capitalist systems have plenty of their own human rights problems, they just do a better job at making them look intentioned) ... that's not to say that we should stop pressuring China on human rights, but we have to be realistic and accept that China will come to better human rights on its' own terms and in its' own time.

Fidel

Meanwhile our largest trade benefactors have basically threatened to sanction both China and China's largest oil supplier, Iran, and citing various off the wall reasons. These are acts of war. And our stooges grounded in morality would continue trading merrily with war criminals while they perpetrated another shock and awe.

Liang Jiajie

To improve and maintain an efficient and fair relationship with China:

The Canada should continue the dialogue begun with Harper's trip to China and now continuing with Hu Jintao's state visit to Canada.

DFAIT should recruit and send personnel to China who are fluent in Mandarin and who have sufficient political, cultural, and historical knowledge of China to improve Canada's various ties to the country and understand its inner-workings  

Along with other states, Canada should continue to pressure Beijing to re-evaluate the Yuan according to international market conditions; push for the rule of law in China; enourage China to improve its public diplomacy

Continue permitting Chinese-Canadian dissidents and their supporters to criticize China's human rights violations.

Canada should exploit the cultural influence its historic, unofficial ambassadors such as Norman Bethune and Da Shan have in China.

Edited at 12:07 PM

6079_Smith_W

@ Ryan 1812

 

It should be "whither" China, preferably with a question mark at the end.

Otherwise it reads like you want China to dry up and blow away.

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

Only a moderator can make that correction now.

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

Ironically, I meant for there to be the initial 'h' but I guess I missed it. Oops.

Fidel

Liang Jiajie wrote:
Along with other states, Canada should continue to pressure Beijing to re-evaluate the Yuan according to international market conditions; push for the rule of law in China; enourage China to improve its public diplomacy

China seems to be shifting toward using a basket of reference currencies. This is more or less what Keynes wanted as a step toward financial disarmament. The CCP isn't buying so much US debt anymore, and this is causing concern for the imperialist financial regime here in the west.

They keep harping on about China's unprecedented trade surplus as a percentage of GDP, but it's mostly hype. Japan and the US were the previous record holders, but those economies(1920's USA and 1980s Japan) were much larger as percentages of global GDP. The CPC will continue using visible hand intervention in managing the currency. I don't think they can be convinced that free market voodoo is what they should be doing in terms of the float.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The H hath been returned to its rightful place among us.

Unionist

Were the H whas it?

Sean in Ottawa

Fidel, that is an extremely important point you make. We are looking at the global method of evaluating currencies and concluding that they are wrong and dangerous feeding a for-profit market based on speculation.

While I think that pegging to one wrongly evaluated currency can amplify the distortion, there has to be an alternative to the current system.

The Chinese are presently seeing their own workers attempt to improve their positions at the bargaining table-- this is of course directly related to evaluation. I suspect over time this will resolve.

I like Liang Jiajie's approach here in that it is not defining respect for China to be one where we would need to deny expression here or refuse to express concerns. Respect is more subtle, it means avoiding the more clumsy approaches we have made on delicate issues but not assuming that we have to agree and force the agreement of all aspects of our society with a single vision. I also agree that Canada should exploit the assets we have. I think there are a lot more than Da Shan and Bethune to consider (Interestingly Da Shan was hired as the host for Canada's Shanghai Expo contribution).

These assets must also include the fairly large Chinese community we have. To that end, encouraging more of them to be involved in public life and public process has purpose. Further, China is very interested in joint ventures in business, these opportunities as they come up are worthy of consideration for public investment. I do think that we can do better in a couple ways-- one is to clean up the visa and immigration rules to make the system more predictable. It does not help to see people apply for family immigration based on a roughly 2-year process only to see, after they have paid their fees, the process grow arbitrarily to a 5-10 year process (this through cutbacks rather than just demand)-- that system is loaded with problems and can be repaired without swamping Canada with new immigrants. As well, Canada could do more to promote the Sino-Canada relationship from inside and that does not need to be political.

 

Clearpath

*Eliminate dual citizenships

*Prohibit politicians from accepting travel or other gifts from foreign governments, like Vancouver civic politicians did in 2007

*No foreign ownership of real estate or mines and minerals

*No foreign-owned financial institutions including REITs

*No foreign-funded scholarships

*No reciprocity for Chinese educational institutions: when the University of Calgary gave the Dalai Lama an honorary degree, the PRC stopped recognizing the University's degrees; so why should we recognize PRC-issued degrees here?

*Duties on goods from China and other low-wage/cheap currency countries

*Prohibit Canadian companies from outsourcing production to low-wage countries like China

*Blacklist imports from China and other countries that are made with slave labour

*No food or drug imports from China until they clean up their regulatory systems (lead, melamine, pesticide residues)

*Raise the issues of human rights re. Uighurs, Tibetans, Mongols, dissidents, religious groups and Falun Gong LOUDLY, for the PRC's maximum embarassment

*Extirpate Triads and other crime groups (jail, deport, don't allow in)

*Carefully screen immigrants and visitors for ties to the CPC and organized crime; make immigrants renounce their Chinese citizenships

*End the Investor/Entrepreneur immigration program (this has brought much of the organized crime and PRC/CPC-conected business problem here)

*Charge Canadian nationals with treason for things like industrial espionage and accepting bribes; deport foreign nationals charged with the same

There is no "engaging" a dictatorship like China, or Burma, Cuba, North Korea, Iran, any more than we had to "engage" South Africa during the Apartheid years, or Pinochet-era Chile. The PRC is the worst of both worlds, with Maoist chauvanism and brutality, and free-market greed and sleaze. There is nothing to "respect" here.

6079_Smith_W

@ Clearpath

End imports from and outsourcing to China?

Some of your points make sense, there are others, these in particular, that will simply never happen. There is no getting around dealing with China.

I am thinking about a U.S.-made car with components from China as a simple example.

Clearpath

There are some very good products made in the PRC, with well-paid/treated labour. If you win the lottery, you could look into one of these, for example.

http://www.seahorseyachts.com/

But Canada can, and should, ban FOOD imports, at least until the PRC cleans up its corrupt and inept food safety and inspection system. China did this to Canada, during the BSE scare, with beef, but our government is too crooked and timid to do the same. And goods made with slave labour should be banned, PERIOD. Also, there should be import duties on Chinese goods, otherwise we are going to lose what's left of our manufacturing jobs. Governments in Canada, the U.S. and Europe are simply allowing this to happen when they can do something about it.

Sean in Ottawa

Clearpath is resorting to personal attack in another thread.

There is no point engaging.

Fidel

Wasn't pre-Mao Tibet basically a theocratic feudal setup with the majority of peasants treated little better than slaves?

Liang Jiajie

for Sean in Ottawa and Fidel

Whatever alternate currency system the future holds, it won't be one in which China can have an unfair advantage.  Ditto for its business environment -- if it wants to continue acquiring foreign assets it will have to permit the same access to other states within its borders; Chinese businesses enjoy legal protections in foreign countries, so China will have to provide the same to foreigners.  Working within the international system means accepting that sometimes states must accomodate the wishes of other states, something that China has had great difficulty doing.  For instance, it recently announced that the G20 wasn't the place to discuss the currency issue.  Where else does the world discuss these international issues?  China wants a lot of things from the world, but it is much too often unwilling to reciprocate beyond words and half-measures.

So whither China?  Well, it recently agreed to sanctions on Iran and to allow for some flexibility on the yuan, but there's of course been controversy about whether the yuan reform is real or more window dressing.  One major test for China will be the role it decides to take on the North Korea question.  China is the only country that can take the leadership in the six-party talks and persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions and cease threatening South Korea with war. 

Fidel

[url=http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/108/china-offers-alternative-develo... Beijing Consensus[/url] China is turning neoliberal capitalism(Washington consensus) on its head

Liang Jiajie

The idea of economic self-determination is difficult to achieve because almost all national economies affect other national economies, and I think Beijing is beginning to realize this as other states bear down on some of its policies.

I find it strange that innovation was added to the list of strategies. China's educational institutions are plagued by plagiarism, bribery, hierarchy, and rote learning. Despite 30 years of development and government intervention in the economy, there's no sign of a Chinese success story like Toyota or Samsung or Honda or Seiko or Hyundai on the horizon. In fact, there's a widespread and deeply entrenched culture of copying in China.

The article also left out a significant fact: China has privatized its healthcare system, a neoliberal's dream.

China's development model isn't at all unique. Japan used a very similar model beginning in the 1950s, but it collapsed in the 1990s. Actually, China is showing the same sympton Japan had in the 80s, namely a very hot housing bubble.

This development model was useful for Korea and Japan when they began to emerge on the global scene, but the model has its limits because of the demands of globalization.

Fidel

Liang Jiajie wrote:
In fact, there's a widespread and deeply entrenched culture of copying in China. The article also left out a significant fact: China has privatized its healthcare system, a neoliberal's dream.

Yes they are shameless copiers who have no respect for exclusive private property laws whatsoever. And I think China will achieve [url=http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/aug2009/gb20090821_005732.... health care[/url] before the USA ever does.

Businessweek'09 wrote:
In March, China's State Council announced an allocation of $123 billion toward health-care reform. Under the plan, by next year 90% of China's citizens will be covered by a universal health-care system and health-care facilities will be upgraded, including construction of 30,000 hospitals, clinics, and care centers across the country.

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

 

My knowledge of Japan is very limited as far as their housing bubble. What I can say of China is this, they have clamped down on their hot housing market. How this will result is still up for debate but consider the following: they have now limited second mortgages and made much more difficult to purchase primary mortgages in the upper income brackets. The down payment that you need now for a second mortgage is 50% and I'm hearing rumblings of it moving higher to help limit speculation. This is a smart move and somewhere that state regulation has helped cool the housing market. We've already seen the effects on housing stocks here locally (remember I live in China) so at least in the interim period, I think China's heavy handed movements have worked and I would applaud them. I think what needs to be done next is to build more low income housing. So many developers are building apartments in my city that are geared towards the upper class, not surprisingly I think. There is some social housing, but as expected, it's insufficient. I think in the next year, as we have seen China move to reform health insurance, which is already broadly applied, housing will be addressed in a more complete way. For now, as development is hot, China's move to slow down speculation and second mortgage acquisitions is well intentioned.

 

Kislev25 Kislev25's picture

Canada should sever its relations with China, for many, many reasons: human rights, slave labor, anti-union policies, arms trade, among others. China is a criminal totalitarian state, every penny one spends buying Chinese products goes to supporting this unholy mess, the PDRC. They will never come to terms with the rest of the World when it comes down to all of the above. Things will only get worse as they grow stronger and "richer" (well, only some of the Chinese, the well-connected ones). We have a choice, to avoid anything Chinese made, as much as possible. There will never be a "green" China, or a free one for that matter.

Fidel

If our weak and ineffective stooges in Ottawa refuse to stop dealing with a U.S.-backed right wing death squad government in Bogota that murders more unionists and human rights activists than any other country in the world, then how can we expect them to cut off our [url=http://money.canoe.ca/money/business/canada/archives/2010/04/20100406-11... largest export market[/url], China? Capitalists will deal with the devil and cock hind legs up in any old port in a storm. The problem is that market economies are not driven my ethics and morals. In fact, it's the opposite. Capitalism today is driven by appalling greed and corruption.

6079_Smith_W

I will say this for China... They are the only nation that has managed to get the biggest company in the world -  WalMart -  to accept a union.

How real a union it is I don't know, but it is nice to see them sacrifice their so-called principles in order to make a buck

(especially since they walked from Germany rather than do so).

 

Joey Ramone

The "union" representing Walmart workers in China is one of the Party controlled official "unions" not an independent workers' union.  http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/is-union-reform-possible-in-china/ The officially sanctioned "unions" in China are more like company unions, who see their main mandate as "maintaining order and discipline", not defending workers against the employer. I suspect that Walmart would welcome the same kind of "unions" here if they could arrange it.

6079_Smith_W

Joey Ramone wrote:

The "union" representing Walmart workers in China is one of the Party controlled official "unions" not an independent workers' union.  http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2008/09/27/is-union-reform-possible-in-china/ The officially sanctioned "unions" in China are more like company unions, who see their main mandate as "maintaining order and discipline", not defending workers against the employer. I suspect that Walmart would welcome the same kind of "unions" here if they could arrange it.

Yes, I figured as much (sounds like out progressive new Bill 80 here in Saskatchewan). It is still interesting  to see them talking out of both sides of their mouth, considering the principled stand they take everywhere else.

Fidel

[url=http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/27/china-strikers-bypass-un... strikers bypass union, organize with social media[/url] Demand more cash from Japanese and Taiwanese companies, workplace democracy

And just for a quick comparison to one of Canada's other trade partners in our own hemisphere: 

[url=http://www.ww4report.com/node/8714]Colombia: army attacks striking workers at BP facility[/url]

6079_Smith_W

@ Fidel

Well it looks great to have the workers standing up to foreign capitalists, not so great to have the People's Republic seen beating their own people over the head (especially when they have in recent history not wanted the outside world to know when they are dealing with an epidemic). Not trying to demonize China, but it is hardly a workers' paradise.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Fidel

Agreed, absolutely. They should speak up in both cases.

Fidel

[url=http://www.ituc-csi.org/colombia-another-trade-union.html?lang=en]Colombia: Another Trade Union Leader Assassinated[/url]

Neither is Colombia a worker's paradise. But that doesn't stop our phony minority stoogeocracy in Ottawa from trading freely with a death squad government though. And in this very hemisphere, too.

The point is that if our stoogeocracy turns a blind eye to Colombia and what is the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists and social activists, then what chances are there that the stoogeocracy will do anything more than puff up their chests and condemn China once in a while for the sake of paying lip service to human rights issues? I think the odds are slim next to nil that they will actually do something to confront the CCP running a country of over a billion people on the other side of the world. Nada next to nil. Members of the CCP slide into Ottawa and meet with our stooges behind closed doors all the time and under the public's radar. Same with Colombia's colonial administrators, the Hondurans, Salvadoran's etc, all countries where US-backed right wing death squads have murdered thousands of their citizens in recent years. Our stooges just don't care. They are colonial administrators and hirelings of multinational corporations in Ottawa and nothing more.

Fidel

Our stooges can afford idle talk as it's quite cheap actually. Their words are much larger than their actions 99 percent of the time.

Liang Jiajie

for Ryan1812

The Japanese and Chinese real estate bubbles have a similar cause: too much cheap money circulating in the economy.  When too many real estate speculators have access to low interest, no-consequence loans from state-directed banks, they can use the money to play in the real estate markets (and in the stock markets).  They then use their real estate assets as collateral for other loans for whatever purpose, so subsequent loans are often based on the value of real estate.

When the real estate bubble burst in Japan in 1990, real estate collateral wasn't enough to write off those non-performance loans, so many banks went into insolvency.  You can be sure that Beijing is aware of this lesson and wants to avoid a similar fate.  

Like Japan did in the past, Chinese banks enjoy unusually high savings rates that can finance national economic stimulus packages, like the one we saw in China recently -- the central government can quite easily direct banks to provide no-consequence loans at below-market interest rates. But Beijing estimates that 25% of the stimulus money went into speculation.

This access to cheap money was good for the Japanese economy when its export sector was in development mode and its industrial sector was sprouting, but it eventually led to dependency, waste and inefficiency, like Tokyo-style real estate speculation.  I thnk the lesson here is that, unless China wants to be detached from the international economy, it will have to move towards a free market economy.   

Edited at 1:14 PM

Fidel

I think what happened in Japan is that between 1945 and '85, their's was a model state-capitalist banking system financing prosperous post-war era growth. But then with the Plaza Accord, the US begged Japan to commit suicide and allow the Yen to rise in value against the dollar and making Japanese exports more expensive. The US was disappointed with Japan's rising star economy status. Japanese domestic markets were then flooded with credit at low interest rates and enabling the US to do the same in order to inflate the US economy coming out of an ideologically driven recession of short-lived tight money policies a la Friedman-neoliberalism. By 1990, cheap credit bubble burst in Japan, and they've been paying for it ever since. This led economists to joke that the Bank of Japan was acting as the Thirteenth Federal Reserve District and the Japanese government as the Republican Re-election Committee.([url=http://michael-hudson.com/2008/10/financial-warfare-against-labor-and-in... economist Michael Hudson[/url])

I don't think China will make the same mistake that the Japanese did in 1985. "Chimerica" is now looking at divorce proceedings wrt China diversifying away from the US dollar. They don't want to recycle US dollars by buying more US debt. And neither do India or Russia. They don't want to be financing US Military buildup around them with their country's savings. The SCO-Asian countries have asked the US in 2005 for a time line to pullout US military from Central Asia. They now see the US as an aggressor and lawless nation living beyond its means. This time it doesn't look as if the US will have its way with dollar imperialism.

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

I wanted to chime in with agreement that Fidel is definatly correct that China is getting out of the US dollar market. China has now given up a lot of it's debt, ironically to Japan, in such an order that Japan now holds the the majority of American debt. I'm sure though that China still has a high percentage and that the US will still come a calling when the US attempts to invade Iran in a few years time.

Caissa

China and Taiwan have signed a historic trade pact, seen as the most significant agreement since civil war split the two governments 60 years ago.

The Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA) removes tariffs on hundreds of products.

It could boost bilateral trade that already totals $110bn (£73bn) a year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10442557.stm

Liang Jiajie

The Plaza Accord only aggravated Japan's loose fiscal and monetary policies of which the real estate bubble was a sympton.  Japan had been easily lending money and providing industry with resources at below-market prices for decades before the 80s bubble.  Hudson is right to emphasize that Japan's economic success was dependent on its export sector, but that's how the Japanese development model works, and China, South Korea, and Signapore worked it to their advantage.  Unfortunately for the long-term, what ultimately makes this model work is the toleration of foreign markets to accept inexpensive goods that undercut their domestic producers.  The U.S. tolerated this in return for wide influence in the formulation of Japan's foreign policy.  It was only a matter of time until the U.S. and Europe asked Japan to open its domestic markets to foreign competition.  It should be noted that the U.S. also used the same strategy to kick-start the European economy after the Second World War.

I also disagree with Hudson's characterization of Japan's developmental model as warfare against Japanese workers.  One of the mode's tenets is to sustain employment despite profitibility which is why the Ministry of Finance continued to provide funds to companies that would have otherwise went bankrupt.  So it's not at all clear that Japan abandoned its workers.

And I wouldn't describe Japan's banks as "model."  By the time of the Plaza Accord, Japanese banks were barely profitable and were loaning money to a select few clients, effectively turning the relationshp between borrower and creditor into a symbiotic one to the point where conglomerates acquired banks. This says nothing of the collusion between Ministry of Finance officials and the banks they regulated, or the substitution of personal relationships for critical screening when evaluating potential borrowers.  

Japan's export sector had become dependent on import restrictions, government subsidies, and on lenient foreign governments.  This is what China has to avoid now. 

George Victor

LJ:

"This access to cheap money was good for the Japanese economy when its export sector was in development mode and its industrial sector was sprouting, but it eventually led to dependency, waste and inefficiency, like Tokyo-style real estate speculation.  I thnk the lesson here is that, unless China wants to be detached from the international economy, it will have to move towards a free market economy."

 

Is that like the economy in which  finance capital was bailed out to the tune of several $trillion? Perhaps we should give THAT economy another name...say, the "bailout market"...or "state reliant market"... something signifying that there is nothing "free" about it?   

Liang Jiajie

I'd say China needs to move towards a more rational market economy.  There's no absolutely free market economy because market economies are either regulated or manipulated by national governments, or they're a combination of both.  In the case of the American market, there obviously wasn't enough regulation or it was the wrong kind of regulation.  In China, prices and lending rates are kept artificially low by Beijing's policies.  Like the U.S. learned and then the rest of the world learned not long ago, prices can't be kept irrationally low for too long, as it breeds reckless behaviour and poorly underwritten credit.

 

Fidel

Rational market economy is a myth. Globalization, which is neoliberalism has been a lesson in deregulation and privatization. What it  really stands for is financial fraud and rigging markets in favour of a handful of supranational corporations, financial capitalists, and military industrialists. The market is supposed to, in theory, be an efficient means of providing goods and services to people. This market provision has been replaced by a profit-driven "killing machine" in support of America's global war on terror.([url=http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19025]Chossudovsky and Marshall[/url]).

George Victor

Liang Jiajie wrote:

I'd say China needs to move towards a more rational market economy.  There's no absolutely free market economy because market economies are either regulated or manipulated by national governments, or they're a combination of both.  In the case of the American market, there obviously wasn't enough regulation or it was the wrong kind of regulation.  In China, prices and lending rates are kept artificially low by Beijing's policies.  Like the U.S. learned and then the rest of the world learned not long ago, prices can't be kept irrationally low for too long, as it breeds reckless behaviour and poorly underwritten credit.

 

 

Shedding the appellation "free" is a good start, Jiajie.  I believe we will never be able to use it again while globalization reigns.  But, hopefully, in some future, really "rational" period, when it comes home to Homo sapiens just what's been created by "Voltaire's Bastards" (with apologies to John Ralston Saul), and sovereignty is restored in the name of "rationality", we may be able to again use it to describe human decision-making.   Hopefully that will happen in time for Earth to recover.  :)

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

I think that China's command economy right now it's what's best for China. It's not really limiting what's coming into the country, as I've seen for myself first hand. Yes, there are some things that are more expensive, but the Chinese people themselves don't midn very much. I talk openly with my Chinese coworkers about how they live in China and they are quite candid with me about how they feel. They are happy!! I talked to one about the command economy as oppose to a free market economy and she said that she prefers the command economy becuase she feels that the government knows better what the Chinese people should have and shouldn't have and are better able to protect Chinese people from harmful products. She agreed that i the west we have more access to many many things, but also said that it allows for too many products and too much competition. Again, I think this is interesting and we need to listen more to how the Chinese feel in many circumstances instead of just placing our western "preferences" onto them. Of course, I accept that not all Chinese feel this way, but we don't even know if the opinions are shared or not. I will say though, the majority of the people I work with all feel the same way with many things economic and political.

Fidel

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5182114/Jackie-Chan... Chan says Chinese people need to be 'controlled'[/url] 2009

In a free society if people can do what they want, then what about corporations? Should corporations and rich and powerful people do what they want, like working toward legalizing financial fraud and corrupting governments?

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/5182114/Jackie-Chan... Chan says Chinese people need to be 'controlled'[/url] 2009

In a free society if people can do what they want, then what about corporations? Should corporations and rich and powerful people do what they want, like working toward legalizing financial fraud and corrupting governments?

Can I tell you somethign interesting...Jackie isn't the only person who thinks this...Chinese people do as well. It's funny, but they really do think very differently from us and it's quite enlightening. I'd like to say as wellt hat I hope people don't think that rich and powerful people and corporations should do what they want.  However, what do you do when the corporations have spread their reach across borders and we have no power to stop them from pushing their agenda.

George Victor

Push back and see if your theory is corrrect?

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

The brevity of your response belies the clarity of your reasoning. Am I to assume counter-globalization would be your vaccine for the corporatist virus we are so plauged by and what China is subject to?

Fidel

What if free market theory is baloney, and instead what's happened since WW II has essentially been globalizing economic warfare? What if certain countries today are only feigning integration with western economies as a way of maneuvering from a position of vulnerability to one of equal footing with the enemy?  What if certain people trained in economic theory sometimes become [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man]economic hit men[/url] in preparing countries to be invaded by marauding capital? If countries open their borders to capital, does it make them as vulnerable to plunder and pillage by foreign invaders as what Poland and Czechoslovakia were in the late 1930's-40's?

Ryan1812 Ryan1812's picture

Fidel wrote:

What if free market theory is baloney, and instead what's happened since WW II has essentially been globalizing economic warfare? What if certain countries today are only feigning integration with western economies as a way of maneuvering from a position of vulnerability to one of equal footing with the enemy?  What if certain people trained in economic theory sometimes become [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confessions_of_an_Economic_Hit_Man]economic hit men[/url] in preparing countries to be invaded by marauding capital? If countries open their borders to capital, does it make them as vulnerable to plunder and pillage by foreign invaders as what Poland and Czechoslovakia were in the late 1930's-40's?

Your comparison between Nazi Germany and global capital is probably much more accurate then some might realize. Germany was appeased over and over again and only in this was was Hitler able to build his army, grow his influence and become manifestly molevolent. The Free Market is the same, if only different in that is does not operate on the state level, but operates to bring states into the global order. It's as useless now to try and subvert the free market as it was to try and change course against Hitler in the summer of 1939. The difference, also, being that at the end of WWII, Europe was destroyed and the US came out victorious. With the free market, nobody will win and everyone will lose.

George Victor

Ryan1812 wrote:

The brevity of your response belies the clarity of your reasoning. Am I to assume counter-globalization would be your vaccine for the corporatist virus we are so plauged by and what China is subject to?

 

You can google up a nice piece on globalization's faltering future by our nationalist consort to the former GG (Saul) in Harper's mag...about two years ago.  The bastards are about to fail of their own accord.(and jeez, it was March 2004...where does the time go, eh?

And for chrissake, there's nothing "free" about the bloody market.  It's been bought and paid for by us, whenever the state intervened and saved "free" market asses. It's actually expensive as hell. We just have to start wielding that fact and demanding compensation along national lines and maybe even reclaiming our sovereignty in the process. And demanding a place for Canadian public investments in Canadian infrastructural growth...before the private funds snap up all the opportunities.   There is a place for the state to act, you know, even though that would be last on the mind of Jimmy the budgeter Flaherty.  But it will require "the left" to actually talk about government involvement in the "paid for" market.

Liang Jiajie

China strike wave continues

Workers at a Japanese-owned electronics factory in north China have been on strike for three days, the most recent dispute in a wave of labor unrest [...] Some analysts are also concerned that demands for higher wages could erode China's competitiveness as the world's low cost factory [...] Other economists believe wages in China have been too low for too long and higher wages will actually boost long-term growth, by fostering domestic demand rather than forcing China to rely on foreign exports.

As the latter analysts point out, an economy that can absorb what it produces is much less vulnerable to the machinations of a foreign country; geopolitically, this would be good news for the Party.  The export sector, whose growth relies mostly on low wages and weak enforcement of environmental laws, comprises 36% of China's economy, a figure that's much too high if China wishes to advocate more forcefully on the world stage.

"There is no way to see the future with the wage we are making. Living and working like this, my life has no direction," Zhang, a 22-year-old welder who works at a factory making exhaust systems for Honda said.  "I dream of one day buying a car or an apartment, but with the salary I'm making now, I will never succeed."

It's clear that some Chinese don't have as much patience as the Party.  The Party faces a dilemma here.  It could quash this "labour unrest" in the name of its ever important policy of social stability, or let workers continue demanding higher wages and achieve some measure of financial betterment, a long-term goal that the Party can't achieve on its own.  The paradox, of course, is that the Party seeks economic prosperity to provide social stability and legitimize its position, but it has been in the past all too willing to supress workers seeking better working conditions and higher wages.

In the short-term, the Party will have to permit China's people to demand better from their employers, otherwise it risks losing more legitimacy.

George Victor

As a "communist party" its legitimacy was lost some time ago.  Hopefully it will be able to re-institute some social welfare programs to keep the beggars fed and houses, even if there is no chance for medical treatment.

Liang Jiajie

As a communist party, yes.  But the Party refashioned itself in the early 1990s as a nationalist party and as the provider of individual economic prosperity.

Pages

Topic locked