much more foolishness from the Bush Administration can we expect
before next year's elections?
Treasury Secretary John Snow's visit on the heels of the DPRK talks
was a failure. He met with a few toadies and was sent on his way
amidst a hail of protest from Chinese and foreign
who see a call for the appreciation of the yuan as a politically
motivated blunder ensuring mutual destruction.
by analyst Jack Crooks puts it into good perspective, as does
one in the American Prospect.
companies all over the world have realized and what the Bush Administration
either doesn't know or is choosing to ignore, China is engulfed
in raw capitalism. The rawest form, the like of which the US hasn't
seen since the early 1900s.
government cannot force even the most basic economic function: taxes.
96 of the 100 richest men in the PRC have never paid taxes and there
are dozens of businessmen on the lam, dodging the tax authorities.
conditions, though, provides the real picture of capitalism in China.
The NYT has run
complete with multimedia on the plight of factory workers and migratory
peasants and the Washington Post has covered
as well. The mainstream media has caught on, why not the politicians?
migrants are reason why American workers are out of jobs. I have
written often of pipe puffin peasants chiseling stone of cliffs
and chipping them down into blocks, or carting truckloads of garbage
on an old bike, or hawking miscellaneous trinkets and toothbrushes
on the streets. They call out in a nasal voice and whip out rhymes.
Most live on the construction sites in temporary shacks. Many of
the "soft-ear" (relating to the power of a man's wife)
bike taxis sleep on the bikes or in the parks.
they all have in common are paltry wages and a tendency to save.
Construction workers building a new class room building with administration
offices and such in Sichuan University get paid 40rmb per day –
the foreman might get as much as 1000rmb a month. Rickshaw drivers,
bike taxi fellas and garbage-haulers get a few hundred a month.
Barmaids maybe 600rmb; more often than not the boss rents out a
small room for several employees and pays a low salary while demanding
12-14 hours shifts in return. (exchange rate is roughly 8.25rmb
enlightened Chinese economist offered the Bush Administration an
alternative to whining for a stronger yuan: Support
the Little Man.
US call for free trade all over the world is being answered. Economics
even a baffled layman such as myself can understand call for economies
to focus on comparative advantages. China's advantage lies in its
population. Mao's ideas on this matter have been exonerated, for
the time being.
will not increase anytime soon. Every big supermarket in China,
from Trustmart to Carrefour to the "People's Gigantic Super
Mall" has an army of identically clad women standing around
looking bored or chatting amongst themselves. Occasionally someone
needs to be helped, then its back to money for nothing. There is
no shortage of young people from the countryside or the "suburbs"
with little education and nothing else to do with themselves.
old peasants in Mao-era blue or fatigues line up to carry heavy
bags of concrete or dig up the foundation of a building he helped
build last year.
with the sweat and blood of the migrants, Foreign corporations are
happy to choose amongst the thousands of computer programmers, engineers,
MBA graduates and other desirables pouring out of China's universities
students don't have the luxury of studying Cultural Studies and
Comparative Literature for four years. The majority of Chinese students
are very pragmatic and focused, if not necessarily ecstatic, about
their future careers. They study the latest design software as diligently
as they study English – because the goal is security and stability
and, if luck prevails, fortune.
students have been rebelling en masse against market place-influenced
educations since the 1960s. So much so that the companies have chosen
go to the universities instead of picking amongst the best applicants.
In Asia and India, foreign companies have rediscovered this luxury.
why my new "hometown" can land
contract with Intel
and many more in the future.
is also why the Bush Administration will have to find another red
herring to wiggle in front of an increasingly disgusted public.