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Thread: Why China Does Capitalism Better than the U.S.

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    Post Why China Does Capitalism Better than the U.S.

    By Tony Karon

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,...043235,00.html

    One of the great ironies revealed by the global recession that began in 2008 is that Communist Party-ruled China may be doing a better job managing capitalism's crisis than the democratically elected U.S. government. Beijing's stimulus spending was larger, infinitely more effective at overcoming the slowdown, and directed at laying the infrastructural tracks for further economic expansion.

    As Western democracies shuffle wheezily forward, China's economy roars along at a steady clip, having lifted some half a billion people out of poverty over the past three decades and rapidly creating the world's largest middle class to provide an engine for long-term domestic consumer demand. Sure, there's massive social inequality, but there always is in a capitalist system. (Income inequality rates in the U.S. are some of the worst in the industrialized world, and here more people are falling into poverty than are being raised out of it — the 43 million Americans officially designated as living in poverty in 2009 was the highest number in the 51 years that records have been kept.) (See TIME's photoessay "The Rise of Hu Jintao.")

    Beijing is also doing a far more effective job than Washington is of tooling its economy to meet future challenges — at least according to historian Francis Fukuyama, erstwhile neoconservative intellectual heavyweight. "President Hu Jintao's rare state visit to Washington this week comes at a time when many Chinese see their weathering of the financial crisis as a vindication of their own system, and the beginning of an era in which U.S.-style liberal ideas will no longer be dominant," wrote Fukukyama in Tuesday's Financial Times under a headline stating that the U.S. had nothing to teach China. "State-owned enterprises are back in vogue, and were the chosen mechanism through which Beijing administered its massive stimulus."

    Chinese leaders are more inclined today to scold the U.S. — its debtor to the tune of close to a trillion dollars — than to emulate it, and Fukuyama notes that polls show a larger percentage of Chinese people believing their country is headed in the right direction compared to Americans. China's success in navigating the economic crisis, says Fukuyama, was based on the ability of its authoritarian political system to "make large, complex decisions quickly, and ... make them relatively well, at least in economic policy."

    These are startling observations from a writer who, 19 years ago, famously proclaimed that the collapse of the Soviet Union heralded "the end of history as such... That is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." (See "TimeFrames: An Eye on China, Old and New.")

    Fukuyama has had the good grace and intellectual honesty to admit he was wrong. And he's no apologist for Chinese authoritarianism, calling out its abuses and corruption, and making clear that he believes the absence of democracy will eventually hobble China's progress. Still, he notes, while they don't hold elections, China's Communist leaders are nonetheless responsive to public opinion. (Of course they are! A Party brought to power by a peasant rebellion knows full well the destructive potential of the rage of working people.) But the regime claims solid support from the Chinese middle class, and hedges against social explosion by directing resources and investment to more marginal parts of the country.

    China's leaders, of course, never subscribed to Fukuyama's "end of history" maxim; the Marxism on which they were reared would have taught them that there is no contingent relationship between capitalism and democracy, and they only had to look at neighbors such as Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore to see economic success stories under authoritarian rule — although the prosperity thus achieved played a major role in transforming Taiwan and South Korea into the noisy democracies they are today. Nor were Beijing's leaders under any illusions that the free market could take care of such basic needs as education, health care and infrastructure necessary to keep the system as a whole growing.

    But Fukuyama is also making a point about the comparative inability of the U.S. system to respond decisively to a long-term crisis. "China adapts quickly, making difficult decisions and implementing them effectively," Fukuyama writes. "Americans pride themselves on constitutional checks and balances, based on a political culture that distrusts centralised government. This system has ensured individual liberty and a vibrant private sector, but it has now become polarised and ideologically rigid. At present it shows little appetite for dealing with the long-term fiscal challenges the U.S. faces. Democracy in America may have an inherent legitimacy that the Chinese system lacks, but it will not be much of a model to anyone if the government is divided against itself and cannot govern." (See "China's High-Speed Rail.")

    Money has emerged as the electoral trump card in the U.S. political system, and corporations have a Supreme Court-recognized right to use their considerable financial muscle to promote candidates and policies favorable to their business operations and to resist policies and shut out candidates deemed inimical to their business interests. So, whether it's health reform or the stimulus package, the power of special interests in the U.S. system invariably produces either gridlock, or mish-mash legislation crafted to please the narrow interests of a variety of competing interests rather than the aggregated interests of the economy and society as a whole. Efficient and rational decision-making it's not. Nor does it appear capable of tackling long-term problems.

    China is the extreme opposite, of course: It can ride roughshod over the lives of its citizens. For example, building a dam that requires the forced relocation of 1.5 million people who have no channels through which to protest. But China's system is unlikely to give individual corporations the power to veto or shape government decision making to suit their own bottom line at the expense of the needs of the system as a whole in the way that, to choose but one example, U.S. pharmaceutical companies are able to wield political influence to deny the government the right to negotiate drug prices for the public health system. Fukuyama seems to be warning that in Darwinian terms, the Chinese system may currently be more adaptive than the Land of the Free.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 01-20-2011 at 12:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intelligentjetsfan View Post
    ...Fukuyama...
    lol

    Fuk yo mama

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    It goes without saying that most of us would still take our system, flaws and all, over a system that tramples the rights of its own citizens. But the writer of this article does an excellent job of pointing out how the corruption in our system is leading us off the cliff. President Lincoln may have seen this coming:

    "I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war".-Abraham Lincoln, 1864

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    Let me get this straight. The Chinese have real surpluses of money and we are running real deficits of money and people wonder why they are better able to survive a downturn?

    People who have paid down their mortgages and saved for a rainy day are in a better position to survive an economic downturn then those who are in debt up to their eyeballs.

    It's not that complex.

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    Another thread that will predictably devolve into the blame game.

    -It's Evil Corporations Fault!

    -It's Governments Fault!

    -You smell!

    -NO YOU Smell!

    I'll just chuckle, you already know where I stand on the "Corps. vs. Govt." debate, and move along to more fruitful endeavors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warfish View Post
    Another thread that will predictably devolve into the blame game.

    -It's Evil Corporations Fault!

    -It's Governments Fault!

    -You smell!

    -NO YOU Smell!

    I'll just chuckle, you already know where I stand on the "Corps. vs. Govt." debate, and move along to more fruitful endeavors.

    Its just slightly more complex then that, although you are correct that this thread will probably devolve into that.

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    China does capitalism better than the US because they do not care how much cadmium is in your children's toys.

    Long ago we decided that government regulation on the free market saved more people from dying of bad meat and hazardous products than "the invisible hand".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    China does capitalism better than the US because they do not care how much cadmium is in your children's toys.

    Long ago we decided that government regulation on the free market saved more people from dying of bad meat and hazardous products than "the invisible hand".
    That's one way to look at it. I look at the FDA as giving the government stamp of approval to unsafe food and drugs from big companies who grease the hands of Congress and the President to keep safe products from entering the market place.

    Safe products cost more and the only way to keep people from buying them is to give the stamp of approval to unsafe ones. Unsafe products would be weeded out of a marketplace through the marketplace naturally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    Let me get this straight. The Chinese have real surpluses of money and we are running real deficits of money and people wonder why they are better able to survive a downturn?

    People who have paid down their mortgages and saved for a rainy day are in a better position to survive an economic downturn then those who are in debt up to their eyeballs.

    It's not that complex.
    it is complex- because those who saved for a rainy day, pay their mortgages on time and live within their means are looked upon as villians-

    the one's who took on debt they could not possibly afford to pay back and are walking away from contractual obligations, often times being rewarded by this government for doing so, are the victims and hero's of the day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    That's one way to look at it. I look at the FDA as giving the government stamp of approval to unsafe food and drugs from big companies who grease the hands of Congress and the President to keep safe products from entering the market place.
    ^ Hyperbole

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    Quote Originally Posted by intelligentjetsfan View Post
    Its just slightly more complex then that, although you are correct that this thread will probably devolve into that.
    Most issues raised here are "more complex" than debated here.

    Most threads are "less complex" in the positions and intentions being forwarded.

    end of the day, any position I could post is redundant to a thousand other posts. I support small-as-possible limited-authority Government, the freedom and rights of the people, the individual, are paramount to almost everything to me. As such, I cannot find warm words for China, a communist nation with no respect whatsoever for human rights of any kind.

    A debate over which makes the better buck in the better-type-of-corruption way is somewhat irrelevant to me.

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    1920s-1990s libs - Communism > Capitalism

    1990s + libs - Communist version of Capitalism > Capitalism

    plus ça change...

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    China is better because....

    1. they manipulate their currency
    2. protectionism
    3. free prison labor
    4. "freedom from intellectual property rights"

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    ^ Hyperbole
    What's hyperbole is stating the good intentions but ignoring the reality of good intentions.

    Drug companies with the FDA seal of approval kill people every day. Food companies put deadly meat, chicken and vegetables on the shelf every day with the Government seal of approval. Without that seal of approval buyer be ware might very well save lives.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    What's hyperbole is stating the good intentions but ignoring the reality of good intentions.

    Drug companies with the FDA seal of approval kill people every day. Food companies put deadly meat, chicken and vegetables on the shelf every day with the Government seal of approval. Without that seal of approval buyer be ware might very well save lives.
    Because you took an inherently good program that has been an overwhelming success in this country, and characterized it by only its flaws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by quantum View Post
    China is better because....

    1. they manipulate their currency
    2. protectionism
    3. free prison labor
    4. "freedom from intellectual property rights"
    +1
    And if you get too rich, they kill you.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/06/0...murdered.html#
    Last edited by cr726; 01-20-2011 at 03:37 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SafetyBlitz View Post
    Because you took an inherently good program that has been an overwhelming success in this country, and characterized it by only its flaws.
    Have you noticed the adds on TV for FDA approved drugs that advertise side effects that are anything but safe and effective, I have. It makes me wonder WTF my government is doing and should I trust them at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    Have you noticed the adds on TV for FDA approved drugs that advertise side effects that are anything but safe and effective, I have. It makes me wonder WTF my government is doing and should I trust them at all?
    They used to give Heroin to colicky babies.

    Sh*t worked like a charm...kids DID stop crying and mom got some much needed sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winstonbiggs View Post
    Have you noticed the adds on TV for FDA approved drugs that advertise side effects that are anything but safe and effective, I have. It makes me wonder WTF my government is doing and should I trust them at all?
    Side effects? The gov't is making big pharma acknowledge to the people what they know and big pharma fought it all day long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PlumberKhan View Post
    They used to give Heroin to colicky babies.

    Sh*t worked like a charm...kids DID stop crying and mom got some much needed sleep.
    Now the US government locks up herion addicts and throws away the key.

    Today oily discharge tomorrow a jail cell.

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