|Gun toting Socialist, David Weigel|
Like Weigel, Riggs expresses not one hint of knowing that government police power is perfectly acceptable to protect private property:
New York Judge Upholds Eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park by Mike Riggs
|The new Dave Weigel Socialist at reason: Mike Riggs|
|Bradley Gardner: Reason's Thomas Friedman|
New at Reason: Bradley Gardner on China’s Black Market City
Chen Mingyuan has lived here all his life, but he still gets lost every time he drives into Wenzhou. “All the roads in this town were built by businessmen, so none of them make any sense,” Chen says as we back out of what we just discovered is a one-way street. For the last 30 years, private citizens in this southeastern China metropolis have largely taken over one of the least questioned prerogatives of governments the world over: infrastructure.The article fawns over the people of Wenzhou for building the infrastructure that the government did not build, and the Communist Chinese government for "looking the other way" so that these brave entrepreneurs can engage in commerce. Perhaps a video of what the Chinese government does build around Wenzhou should dampen any praise for Communist engineering, or any respect for private property to build disasters waiting to happen:
|Not a matter of if, but when.|
The government’s indifference didn’t last forever. But when the authorities got around to paying attention, they decided not to mess with a good thing. In 1985 Liberation Daily, a paper sponsored by the Shanghai Communist Party, referred to Wenzhou as a “model” for other parts of China to study. In the next year 15,000 government officials visited the city to learn, not crack down. Although bureaucrats still occasionally try to impose state controls on the city, the futility of the effort quickly becomes apparent. By now the local Chamber of Commerce has taken to negotiating trade deals both domestically and internationally because, as in most other things, the private sector is more effective here.
Gray-market lenders are often established, though technically illegal, financial institutions that lend primarily working-capital loans at rates as high as 10 percent a month. Contacts often modify interest rates based on how well you know them. Forms of repayment enforcement differ. Weng points out that in a community so dependent on guanxi—relationships—defaulting on a contact’s loan could blackball you from future business opportunities. Weng doesn’t clarify how defaulters are treated by underground debt collectors, but he does say they “aren’t the type of people I’d want to get involved with.”
This is an incredibly naive view of how authoritarian governments operate. Even here in the United States, where nobody could argue with a straight face is anything approaching the authoritarianism demonstrated in China, when people make property valuable the government swoops in to take it over or get their unconscionable cut.
Reason, it has been nice knowing you as a sometime voice of reason (drink!) in a world teaming with Socialists. Now you have joined their ranks as a sideshow act, destined to be a punchline in the monologues of David Corn and Katrina Vanden Heuvel on cable news appearances.