China USA Human Rights

China, USA and Human Rights

human rightsUN Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was voted into existence on December 10, 1948 so that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

We must judge a country’s human rights record by what it does and not what it aspires to do or says it’s doing because fictitious and distorted ‘human rights’ stories abound. In the list of Articles below I assign one point to the country with the better performance in that category and I have taken pains to be unfair. I judge the USA harshly because it convened the United Nations, wrote its human rights charter, signed it, became fabulously rich and powerful and has been lecturing the world on human rights for 70 years. China, on the other hand, comes from a different ethical tradition (collective punishment was vital) and is vast, diverse, poor and under constant threat and attack by wealthy, powerful countries.

Article 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. [Blacks. Indians.]. CHINA +1 

Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. [Muslims in USA]. CHINA +1

Article 3. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. [Invasions are US state policy]. CHINA +1

Purportedly to compel Saddam Hussein’s government to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, which lasted until the 2003 invasion. The sanctions regime was enforced by the US and Britain which took the toughest line on compliance. “No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions by the United Nations than Iraq,” notes Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in his 2006 book A Different Kind of War. Communicable diseases in the 1980s not considered public health hazards, such as measles, polio, cholera, typhoid, marasmus and kwashiorkor, reappeared on epidemic scales.” In 1999 the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died because of a lack of medication, food or safe water supplies. More..

Article 4. No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. [Florida fruit pickers. Louisiana prison workers]. CHINA +1

Some of America’s most vulnerable workers are victims of modern-day slavery, and the government knows it. What’s worse: These workers are protecting U.S. military and economic interests – but the U.S. isn’t protecting them. In its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, released Friday, the State Department acknowledged that trafficking and forced labor still exist in America. The report includes several examples: abuse of third-country nationals trafficked to work on military bases, migrant domestic workers subjected to forced labor by diplomats and international organization personnel, and temporary guest workers in a variety of industries forced to work under horrifying conditions with nowhere to turn. More..

Article 5. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. [Torture is US state policy] CHINA +1

Article 6. Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law. [Guantanamo] CHINA +1

Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. [Bank CEOs. Blacks.] CHINA +1

Article 8. Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law. [Mortgage foreclosures; poor, incarcerated & massacred Blacks] CHINA +1

Article 9. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. [US authorities regularly practice all three].CHINA +1

Article 10. Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him. [Bradley Manning] CHINA +1

Article 11. (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense. [Unless he’s Black or we want to assassinate him by drone]. (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.

Article 12. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. [US has 24×7 surveillance of all citizens] CHINA +1

Article 13. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. [Secret, no-fly list]. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. [Edward Snowdon]. CHINA +1

Article 14. (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. [except Edward Snowdon]. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. [Julian Assange]. CHINA +1

Article 15. (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.Article 16. (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property [illegal foreclosures]. CHINA +1

Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. [Unless you’re Muslim]. CHINA +1

Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. [Unless you’re a whistle-blower].

Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. [Hahahaha]. (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

Article 21. (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. [If you have $800 million]. (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country. (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. [Only people funded by oligarchs may enter our elections]. CHINA +1

Article 22. Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality. [US cops shoot 1,000 unarmed people each year]. CHINA +1

Article 23. (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. [Unless you’re poor or black]. (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection. [If you can live with dignity on $7.25/hour]. (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests. [Our trade unions have been deliberately destroyed]. CHINA +1

Article 24. Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay. [Chinese get 3 weeks paid, mandatory vacation. We get none]. CHINA +1

Article 25. (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. [Just kidding]. (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. [Ask poor, working mothers about this]. CHINA +1

Article 26. (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.[Chinese kids better educated than ours]. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children. CHINA +1

Article 27. (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author. [Patents] CHINA +1

Article 28. Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized. [Unless we want to bomb, invade or assassinate you]. CHINA +1

Article 29. (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible. (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.  (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

Article 30. Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein. [Except the USA invading other countries and destroying them]. CHINA +1

What do YOU think?

Posted in China, China Governance, China Human Rights, tibet china, Uncategorized, USA vs China | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

European Human Rights & China

Von Rompuy Human Rights Inspector in China

Von Rompuy Human Rights Inspector in China

Strangely, this post is mostly about European Human Rights & China. China’s human rights record is slightly better than the USA’s – though neither is a paragon of virtue– and that China has drawn ahead of the US since the death of Mao. Most of the accusations against China are either total fabrications like the so-called Tiananmen “massacre” or gross distortions. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and a committed, right wing Capitalist. Here’s his take on this week’s “Human Rights Reports” from the US Government (Here’s China’s):

The US government is the second worst human rights abuser on the planet and the sole enabler of the worst–Israel. But this doesn’t hamper Washington from pointing the finger elsewhere.

The US State Department’s “human rights report” focuses its ire on Iran and Syria, two countries whose real sin is their independence from Washington, and on the bogyman- in-the-making–China, the country selected for the role of Washington’s new Cold War enemy.

Hillary Clinton, another in a long line of unqualified Secretaries of State, informed “governments around the world: we are watching, and we are holding you accountable,” only we are not holding ourselves accountable or Washington’s allies like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the NATO puppets.

Hillary also made it “clear to citizens and activists everywhere: You are not alone. We are standing with you,” only not with protesters at the Chicago NATO summit or with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, or anywhere else in the US where there are protests. (ref)

The State Department stands with the protesters funded by the US in the countries whose governments the US wishes to overthrow. Protesters in the US stand alone as do the occupied Palestinians who apparently have no human rights to their homes, lands, olive groves, or lives. Read more…

 

Glenn Greenwald writes: Drone filmmaker denied visa. Muhammad Danish Qasim is a Pakistani student at Iqra University’s Media Science and is also a filmmaker. This year, Qasim released a short film entitled The Other Side, a 20-minute narrative that “revolves around the idea of assessing social, psychological and economical effects of drones on the people in tribal areas of Pakistan.” A two-minute video trailer of the film is embedded below. The Express Tribune provided this summary of the film, including an interview with Qasim:

The Other Side revolves around a school-going child in Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan. The child’s neighborhood gets bombed after the people of the region are suspected for some notorious activities. He ends up losing all of his loved ones during the bombing and later becomes part of an established terrorists group who exploit his loss and innocence for their own interests.
On the reasons for picking such a sensitive topic, the film-maker said, “Most of the films being made right now are based on social issues, so we picked up an issue of international importance which is the abrogation of our national space by foreign countries.”
When asked how this film on terrorism will be different from all the others that have been released since 9/11, he said, “The film takes the audience very close to the damage caused by drone attacks. I have tried my best to connect all the dots that lead to a drone attack and have shot the prevailing aftermath of such attacks in a very realistic and raw manner.”

In particular, “the film identifies the problems faced by families who have become victims of drone missiles, and it unearths the line of action which terrorist groups adopt to use victimised families for their vested interests.” In other words, it depicts the tragedy of civilian deaths, and documents how those deaths are then successfully exploited by actual Terrorists for recruitment purposes. [Continue reading…]

The next time you see or hear an accusation about “human rights” in China, ask yourself this:  In China’s 3,000 year history, when has its people’s human rights been better?

You’ve probably guessed the answer: never.  China’s human rights have reached their highest level in 3,000 years and are steadily improving.  New laws are being debated and passed.  Police are being trained, judges schooled, prosecutors curbed, officials warned and jailed.

Specifically, China’s minorities (usually the worst-treated group in any country) are enjoying unprecedented freedom, prosperity, and privileges that Han Chinese can only dream about, like unlimited family size and access to higher education.  Unlike Australia’s Aborigines, America’s Native Americans, Europe’s Romany, Japan’s Ainu, India’s Naxalites…the list goes on.  Meanwhile, Americans’ human rights have been heading in the opposite direction.  In the past ten years the United States has made it “legal” for its government to

  1. Spy on its own people secretly.
  2. If you see the government spying you may not warn the subject.
  3. Arrest its own people secretly.  If you see the arrest you may not tell anyone.
  4. Imprison its own people indefinitely, without trial (Bradley Manning)
  5. Torture its own people (and anyyone else) secretly
  6. Kill its own people secretly, without trial (Anwar al-Awlaki)
  7. Attack any country, regardless of threat, and kill uncounted civilians. Iraq, Pakistan.)

In contrast, here’s a report on China’s human rights you may have missed, from the EU Observer:

EU officials more Nuanced on Human Rights After Trips to China. ANDREW RETTMAN

BRUSSELS – Recent trips to China by Catherine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy have helped them to see human rights from a Chinese point of view, China’s EU ambassador has said.  The ambassador, Song Zhe, told journalists in Brussels on Friday (8 July) that some EU diplomats tend to “lecture” China on values.

“It has been 400 years since world power shifted from east to west and during this time people in Europe have developed a habit of viewing things from above and lecturing others,” he said.  He blamed the problem on lack of knowledge, saying Chinese society has come along in leaps and bounds in terms of people’s rights to economic development and rights to education even if it falls short in other areas.

Asked if EU foreign relations chief Ashton and EU Council President Van Rompuy take a hard line on values, Song answered that extensive visits by the top officials, in 2010 and in May this year, have seen them take a more nuanced approach.  “Ashton and other political figures from the EU, even ordinary people who have been to China and have seen the situation on the ground, the progress we’ve made, hold a more positive view of what China has achieved,” he said.  The ambassador zoomed in on two anecdotes.

“Ashton visited a small village, a very normal elementary school. Despite poverty in the region, the school was well equipped – this illustrates that despite economic difficulties the local authorities attach great importance to education, that the Chinese government is working to ensure that everybody gains access to education.”

When Van Rompuy visited a former disaster zone in the Sichuan province “what surprised him was the nice line-up of buildings in the area, with no sign of the [2008] earthquake.”
For its part, Human Rights Watch reports that China is currently undergoing the worst wave of repression in its modern history, with systematic censorship of free media, brutal crackdowns on ethnic minorities and hundreds of dissidents disappearing into so-called “black jails.” [Human Rights Watch ignores the USA’s much more serious offences.–Ed.]

Song noted that China is “far from perfect. There is huge room for improvement and a long way to go.” He repeated the often-heard line that his country should not be measured by Western standards because it is going through unique economic and social changes which are “unprecedented in world history” in terms of their speed. “We don’t speak of a Chinese model because we are still in an experimental phase. We’re still learning. Our model is constantly taking in new ingredients from the EU and US models.”

In an insight into how Beijing sees international relations, Song defended China’s opposition to an EU-sponsored draft UN Security Council resolution condemning mass killings in Syria. “The principle we uphold is to respect the will of the country to choose its own path of development,” he said.

CIA medical staff gave specifications on how to torture post-9/11 detainees

CIA medical personnel acknowledged that placing detainees in small boxes barely large enough to fit their bodies inside was not “particularly effective”, but they still provided guidance permitting interrogators to continue using the so-called “confinement boxes” for hours on end. Sensitive agency documents, declassified on Tuesday, provide a new level of detail on the intimate involvement of its medical staff during its post-9/11 torture program. Officials assigned to the Office of Medical Staff (OMS) provided precise specifications for enforcing sleep deprivation, limiting the caloric intake of detainees’ food, and the proper positions for waterboarding, as outlined in a 2004 document providing “guidelines on medical and psychological support” for torture. More…

China’s Human Rights? Who can judge?

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Is China’s Debt Exaggerated?


Is China’s Debt Exaggerated?

World Public Debt BIS

World Public Debt BIS

China’s Debt is vastly over-exaggerated. China’s net debt to GDP is considerably lower than that of Japan, the U.K., France, USA, Korea and Australia, as this chart from former US Treasury official and World Bank country director for China and Russia, Yukon Huang, makes clear.

I referenced World Bank figures because the Bank is consistent in what it counts as ‘debt’ when comparing countries. The World Bank is forced – by virtue of its charter and its staffing – to be relatively neutral and it has direct, collegial access to every member country’s books and has used the same formulae for decades to calculate national debt.

The US also has an unprofitable sector, as does every country. Since the percentage of unprofitable enterprises is proportional to an economy’s growth, and China has the highest rate of growth, it has the lowest proportion of unprofitable enterprises.

Ultimately all growth is investment dependent. China’s investments are extremely profitable at present. The St Louis Federal Reserve estimates that the multiplier on Chinese government spending is two. In other words, the economy is creating surplus capital to replace that which is destroyed.

According to Forbes Global 2000 rankings, the four biggest, most profitable public companies on earth are Chinese. They’re not even manufacturers – they’re service businesses. They’re all banks.  And they’re State-owned because the Chinese Government to ensure that they perform their function: lending money cheaply and safely to businesses so that 7% growth can continue smoothly. Last year one of them had $166 billion in sales, $44 billion in profit, $3.32 trillion in assets, and $278 billion in market value. No private company anywhere comes close. And it’s just one of hundreds of immensely valuable SOEs.

China has NONE of the conditions that led to Japan’s debt buildup. China has $4 trillion in foreign reserves; $3 trillion in personal savings; close to zero net corporate debt and an economy growing 400% faster than ours. Their investment-dependent infrastructure is an asset that’s paying off handsomely and more than covering its costs. The Chinese economic model cleverly captures some of that payoff to retire the debt. Here’s how they do it: Colonial First State – Global Asset Management Report by James White.

China’s debt fragilities are overstated. They don’t threaten the model that James White describes. The proof is in the numbers. Not just headline growth, but stable and low inflation, strong wage growth (7% annually for 40 years) and rising tax revenue – to be augmented from this year by a universal land tax.

Now, let’s hear an opinion from a private-sector corporation whose current investments are dependent on China’s future: once a year Boeing updates its Current Market Outlook (CMO), which forecasts the development of the global aviation industry and global aircraft demand 20 years into the future. In its latest CMO for the years from 2015 through 2034, Boeing remains optimistic about the long-term development of the Chinese economy in general and China’s domestic aircraft demand in particular. For China, Boeing expects annual GDP growth of 5.6 percent and growth rates for passenger traffic and airfreight of 6.6 percent and 7 percent respectively, making China the world’s largest domestic air travel market. Boeing forecasts this growth to result in almost tripling China’s domestic commercial aircraft fleet, from 2,570 aircraft in 2014 to 7,210 aircraft in 2034. Including replacements for retired aircraft, this growth is forecasted to generate a net demand of 6,330 aircraft with a market value of $950 billion. China’s domestic widebody fleet is projected to grow from 460 aircraft in 2014 to 1,680 aircraft in 2034 or from about 18 percent to 23 percent of China’s total domestic aircraft fleet.

Put no faith in Western mass media if you want to learn about China’s economy. They’re utterly clueless about our own economy  – whose collapse they completely failed to predict or subsequently explain. Faith-based economics is dead. Results are king. The Chinese government has been truthful about its results for 40 years. Put your faith in the Chinese government if you want to know what’s going on in China. The Chinese people, who are probably 5 points smarter than us, trust it. 85% of them say their media gives a pretty decent picture of reality.

The St. Louis Fed Report

This paper quantifies the macroeconomic effects of government spending in China. We show that

(i) government spending in China Granger-causes output and investment booms as well as inflation, and

(ii) it has a multiplier close to (or larger than) 3.

(iii) The large multiplier effects are found not only in aggregate time series data but also in panel data at the provincial level.

(iv) We provide a theoretical model with market failures and Monte Carlo analysis to rationalize our empirical findings”.

I have been carrying on this conversation for almost 40 years. During that time China’s GDP has gone from nothing to being the biggest in the world, its people’s wages have risen 400% and its infrastructure has gone from dirt roads to the largest, fastest, most profitable rail network on earth – among other things.

Every one of those 2,000 weeks a different ‘expert’ found a reason why this couldn’t happen, wouldn’t happen, isn’t going to happen, or cannot continue. Several prestigious publications, like Foreign Policy, The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and FT have published literally thousands of these predictions. Thousands, as in ,000.

Each of those 2,000 of the experts’ ‘reasons’ was dead wrong. Yet they’re still finding more ‘reasons’ and getting angry when I question their validity. I’m beginning to question these critics’ sanity. It’s as though they’re involved in a Holy War, not a discussion of economic models. None of them will read a 12-page analysis of how China’s economy actually works, yet they invest immense effort to prove that it does’t or can’t or won’t work.

Our own economic model has always been faith-based. It’s little more than a string of assertions that our model produces the best of all possible worlds. This nonsense is promoted by the oligarchs who run the USA. Our model is being out-performed by a new model and there is an approaching crisis of faith as that slowly dawns on ordinary folk.

The Chinese model is not faith-based. It’s worth studying because it’s non-theoretical and non-dogmatic. It’s pragmatic and its working at delivering the kinds of things we all want. Like the best public schools in the world (which are now in China, by the way) and the best transportation system and cheapest defense…

What’s so magical about private investment? Did you see how much $$ those private investors lost on the Shanghai Exchange last week? They’re not as good at investing as the government.

 

Our media are notoriously untrustworthy sources of information (WMD was just one of hundreds of fabrications). That’s why only 40% to us trust them. You’ll have to do your own digging to get at the truth. The World Bank, The IMF and the OECD all believe China’s published growth figures and they get to peek under the hood. But you can perform your own reality check if you don’t trust these institutions, all of which are run by Western governments, incidentally. You can look at the end results. You can look, for example, at China’s export growth as reported by the WTO:

1981-85 +8.6%
1986-90 +17.8%
1991-95 +19.1%
1996–00 +10.9%
2000-05 +25.0%
2006 +19.9%
2007 +20.8%
2008 +17.4%

You can examine Chinese wages 1980-2014 and see that, net of inflation, they increased by 7% annually. In other words, they doubled ever ten years. Our wages have been falling for 40 years, net of inflation. Another reason to look for a different economic model.

Or do a real reality check: buy a ticket to Beijing. Study the terminal as you deplane; it’s the largest and most beautiful in the world. It wasn’t there 8 years ago. Nor were most other things you’re about to see. Take the new subway (downstairs) into town, buy a 1980 photograph of Beijing and compare it to what you’re seeing. Repeat this performance in as many Chinese towns and cities as you wish. You’ll feel that 7% growth rate is too low to account for the transformation.

Our understanding of ‘debt’ needs refreshing. Debt is the liability side of the balance sheet. For every debt there’s a corresponding asset. The money was loaned with full security (liens on assets, etc.) According to the St. Louis Fed (above) the assets that China create with the debt (bond) money return 300% over the course of their 20-30 year term. So there’s no need to cut back on debt now. It’s still paying the fat dividends your grandfather got from his Erie Canal bonds.

Debt is currently a win-win because the rich guy’s money finances the poor guy’s shiny, fast, air-conditioned subway that takes him within a block of his office safely, in all weathers, for 60¢. The rich guy is happy to get a safe 3% and the working guy is happy to be home with the kids by 5:30 instead of 7. It’s a win-win. Those are precisely the investments China is making right now all over the country: they’ve literally got rich people lining up to lend them money cheaply and poor people lining up to thank them for the new subways – and for the fact that their son can get home for Chinese New Year from the other side of the country in for hours instead of two days. There are still plenty of win-win deals available and there probably will be for at least 10 more years.

China’s in Debtors’ Paradise right now. It’s a sweet spot in world financial history. There’s tons of money looking for a safe, low-interest home so China can borrow for next to zero interest. Our own beloved Fed might even let them have some at that price: after all, they’ve lent trillions to private banks that are much shakier than the Chinese Government, at 0%.

China’s Government turns that super-cheap money into sleek subways and affordable housing and switching from carbon-based power to cleaner sources. Most importantly, they’ve figured out how to monetize enough of the benefits of this new infrastructure so that the bonds get paid off without stress. No nation on earth has nailed this as well as China. It is one of the greatest contributions to public sector financing ever devised. The bad news is, it requires every element of the economy and every Chinese to cooperate. The good news is that the Chinese are better than any people on earth at big-scale cooperation.

Right now, China’s infrastructure shopping list is endless. The average Chinese worker earns less than his counterpart in Kazakhstan, Colombia, or Ukraine. They’ve got a long, long way to go.

What do YOU think?

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