Sunday, April 03, 2005
Ah, Capitalism & China
Capitalism, like its Social counterpart, Freedom, can be a very ugly thing sometimes. But then, things naturally come around.
It has, and will always remain, the position of this writer and Blog that, in the end, Capitalism and Free Markets will prevail. Millions will lose their jobs and struggle to feed their families, and that does make me truly sad (which is why I'm a Democrat: at least these people should have health care and the protection of bankruptcy laws).
As for the main point of this post, it seems that China is about to slow down. The NYTimes reports that there's a growing labor shortage in China:
The world's most populous nation, which has powered its stunning economic rise with a cheap and supposedly bottomless pool of migrant labor, is experiencing shortages of about two million workers in Guangdong and Fujian, the two provinces at the heart of China's export-driven economy.This means great things for everybody! (Except the Chinese businessleaders--but, hey, who's counting?) You see, labor shortages with a growing economy will lead to higher pay of Chinese workers. This will make China less competitive and the U.S. (slightly) more able to compete. It with further lead to the industrial rise of India and bring that poor nation of of its economic shape (India is a nation where it is considered "average" for a middle-class family of 4 to have 4-6 servants...which using a mean average is arithmetically impossible).
The upside for you environmentalists out there will be that China will soon fall under the nasty little parameters of Kyoto. If China and India uphold Kyoto, the U.S. will easily (and willingly, I might add) follow. My main hope was that all of this might just happen during my lifetime, and it appears that it shall indeed.
Ultimately--assuming we survive this whole global warming thing (big if)--the only two factors that determine a nation's economic strength per capita will be its education system and its economic growth-related regulations. I have a long rant on these two factors, but that's another rant for another time.
UPDATE: Thomas Friedman has a great article in NYTimes Magazine. Haven't read the entire thing yet because I have some work to do, but he does a good job of addressing the whole globalism issue. My favorite quote so far is "the playing field is being leveled", which is not such a good thing for someone who needs to find a job right now, but is great, conceptually at least, for the world. Again, read the paragraph above this one for a summary of how the U.S. can weather this storm which is no where close to being over.