Tuesday, December 6, 2011

China vs. China

Friedmania is in the air.

Hot For Sweaty Asian
Communist Red China is in the news again, mainly because the mainstream media Stalinists love anything Big Communist.  Maybe I should lower-case that to "stalinists" since it refers to the default position of everybody on the Left, and as we all know Stalin defined the Left and the Right in 1928.

This time Reason sent their decidedly anti-Communist Science Correspondent to the latest Red China showcase event: The U.N. Climate Change (sic) Conference in Durban, South Africa.  The self-professed fan-boy of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) was actually amazed that so many pundits buy the claptrap that if we only accede to Red Chinese demands we can save the world.  Those demands being Communist China gets to do whatever they want and all of Red China's industrial competitors get to provide welfare to "developing" (aka backward, aka Third World) countries.  Read his article, he was there and covers it better than I can.  It is a breath of fresh air after a short series by the insufferable Friedmanosis .

Tom Friedman, Red China Fanboy
During the past week the Friedmanista concubines of Red China have been touting the big strides of Red Chinese crony capitalism and warning the US that we need to watch out for them.  They have seen the future and it is Capital Communist!  Never mind that they are channeling Lincoln Steffens and Will Rogers at the same time, they have the guts to say that the US will be 'overtaken' by a country whose economy is smaller than Mexico's.

About this "economic overtaking" business for a moment.  Who cares?  As long as we have freedom and a comfortable standard of living it really does not matter who is "bigger," it matters only that we are free to make our own choices as individuals and that we have a decent comforts.  Do you know who cares?  Andy Stern and others who wish to scare us deeper into Socialism, that's who.

If you do not know who Andy Stern is, Worker's World glowingly describes him like this (links added by me):
Andy Stern, former head of the giant Service Employees union in the United States, recently visited China as part of a delegation organized by the China-United States Exchange Foundation and the Center for American Progress. Stern, knowing very well that U.S. workers are in the midst of a long-term crisis of unemployment that shows no letup, was highly impressed with the goals of China’s 12th five-year plan, which were explained to the visiting group by high-ranking Chinese officials.
Deirdre Griswold expands on the 'virtues' of central planning.  The requisite "commanding heights" phrasing always entertains me, but she sounds serious about it -
China allows capitalism to exist — it has stock markets, private ownership of some of the means of production, a growing bourgeoisie, and many social features of capitalism, like a big income gap between rich and poor. But it also has state ownership of the commanding heights of the economy, especially the major banks, as well as the industries vital to China’s infrastructure.
If you are into Red porn, read the rest.  I did it so you don't have to.

The Stern article in question is one the Wall Street Journal published by Stern on 1 DEC 2011, China's Superior Economic Model The free-market fundamentalist economic model is being thrown onto the trash heap of history.  Skipping to the important parts of Stern's audition as the 21st century Sino-Eisenstein:
While we debate, Team China rolls on. Our delegation witnessed China's people-oriented development in Chongqing, a city of 32 million in Western China, which is led by an aggressive and popular Communist Party leader—Bo Xilai. A skyline of cranes are building roughly 1.5 million square feet of usable floor space daily—including, our delegation was told, 700,000 units of public housing annually.
Of course, the word of the PRC government is good enough  for Stern.  One wonders why scenes like this were not mentioned.  Perhaps they were not on the tour?

Back to the Stern article:
Meanwhile, the Chinese government can boast that it has established in Western China an economic zone for cloud computing and automotive and aerospace production resulting in 12.5% annual growth and 49% growth in annual tax revenue, with wages rising more than 10% a year.

For those of us who love this country and believe America has every asset it needs to remain the No. 1 economic engine of the world, it is troubling that we have no plan—and substitute a demonization of government and worship of the free market at a historical moment that requires a rethinking of both those beliefs.

America needs to embrace a plan for growth and innovation, with a streamlined government as a partner with the private sector. Economic revolutions require institutions to change and maybe make history, because if they stick to the status quo they soon become history. Our great country, which sparked and wants to lead this global revolution, needs a forward looking, long-term economic plan.
Do not confuse the Stern's idea of streamlined government with anything a libertarian would envision.  His version of streamlined government is more like Mao, Mussolini, Hitler or Stalin.  Or perhaps what Obama would be doing if that pesky Congress and those radio talk people were not standing in his way.

These reports resemble the infrequent dispatches about Idi Amin's Ugandan  public works projects from the 1970s, on a much larger scale.  They are also reminiscent of Soviet endeavors to make "the biggest", like airplanes that were 1/4" longer than the American version.

Jonah Goldberg did a fine job of dissecting Stern's WSJ piece:
The Problem with China Envy
What liberals want to copy is the authoritarianism.
Stern sees the Chinese government’s allegedly keen ability to “plan” its way to prosperity as the new model for America. It is an argument of profound asininity. China had five-year plans before it started getting rich. Under the old five-year plans, China killed tens of millions of its own people and remained mired in poverty. What made China rich wasn’t planning, it was the decision to switch to markets (albeit corrupt ones). The planners were merely in charge of distributing the wealth that markets created.

Indeed, rapid economic growth always makes government planners look like geniuses when the reality is that the planners are more like self-proclaimed rainmakers who started dancing only after it started raining. When the rain stops, which it will, they’ll have much to answer for.

Oh, and what about labor? There’s one labor union in China, and it’s run by the government. (The Nazis had pretty much the same system.) Stern doesn’t seem to care.
Goldberg is much more generous than me with the When the rain stops, which it will, they’ll have much to answer for. phrasing.  They will not be answering to anybody, as George Will said to Charlie Rose:

Enough with the Red China envy and support.  Speaking well of anything going on mainland China today is nothing short of propping up a slavery colony.  One only needs to glance at a comparison to Taiwan to see that Communist China is a paper tiger.  The PRC and the ROC began at roughly the same moment. If you want to talk income gaps, China has 115 billionaires and at least 115 million people living on a dollar a day or less. Nearly all of those billionaires got rich gaming a corrupt political system. Remember that when you see whining like this: The most prosperous 20 percent of Taiwanese reported average disposable incomes of NT$1.79 million last year, or 6.34 times the income of the poorest 20 percent, government data showed. (apparently 2010 stats)
Piss on Mao, and Stalin too

We need to abandon the notion that consumer goods will bring Communist regimes to their knees too, as George F. Will mentions in the video with Charlie Rose.  The only thing that brings authoritarian regimes to their senses is force.  Showing the Soviets that they could not possibly compete with us militarily is what toppled them from within.  The lesson China took from that was to keep their society closed, befriend the wandering useful idiots in the west, and offer up slave labor for western commercial enterprises.

Even with their central planning, massive monuments to government, public works projects that are the envy of Tom Friedman, and central planning, Red China is still a third world economy train wreck.
The Train Wreck That Is Red China

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