June 2014 – In Praise of China

Monthly Archives: June 2014

Are China’s Ghost Cities Real?

A Journey To China’s Largest Ghost City


Are China’s ‘ghost cities’ real or imaginary? Wade Shepard has done us all a favor by actually visiting the “ghost cities” that Western media love to scoff at. He’s made a significant discovery: ‘ghost cities’ don’t exist in China. (Perhaps our media was thinking of Detroit?). Here’s Wade…

“We discovered that the most populated country on earth is building houses, districts, and cities with no one in them,” began a report on 60 Minutes which aired on March 3rd. The news program’s timeless correspondent, Lesley Stahl, ventured out to the city of Zhengzhou accompanied by the Hong Kong based financial adviser, Gillem Tulloch, and got the low down on China’s ghost city phenomenon.

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The Economist magazine has just published an update on suicide in China. Well worth reading.

Back from the edge…

IN THE 1990s China had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Young rural women in particular were killing themselves at an alarming rate. In recent years, however, China’s suicides have declined to among the lowest rates in the world.

In 2002 the Lancet, a British medical journal, said there were 23.2 suicides per 100,000 people annually from 1995 to 1999. This year a report by a group of researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that had declined to an average annual rate of 9.8 per 100,000 for the years 2009-11, a 58% drop.

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China, Human Rights, and the USA

 China, Human Rights, and the USA

human rights

The United Nations 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. Let’s read the Articles again and mentally check off how we – and the Chinese – are doing..

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Slavery in America’s Prisons

Prison labor is a fixture for millions of imprisoned Americans, as this article documents:

Modern-Day Slavery in America’s Prisons

Why can’t we embrace the idea that prisoners have labor rights?

By Beth Schwartzapfel

LLLaurie Hazen has bad taste in men. “They’re my downfall,” the 41-year-old jokes in her Massachusetts accent. “I have to really stay single.” An ex-boyfriend first introduced her to prescription drugs, she says, a habit she maintained through the course of another relationship, with another addict, and through two stints in prison, most recently in 2012 for writing fake prescriptions.

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Dalai Lama: Follow the Money

Behind Dalai Lama’s Holy Cloak

Good intentions, questionable outcomes. If you want to know about the Dalai Lama, follow the money…

Melbourne Age. Michael Backman. May 23, 2007. Photo: AFP

Good intentions, questionable outcomes.The Dalai Lama has been an American agent for decades. Michael Blackman investigated his finances for the Melbourne Age newspaper:

Rarely do journalists challenge the Dalai Lama.

Partly it is because he is so charming and engaging. Most published accounts of him breeze on as airily as the subject, for whom a good giggle and a quaint parable are substitutes for hard answers. But this is the man who advocates greater autonomy for millions of people who are currently Chinese citizens, presumably with him as head of their government. So, why not hold him accountable as a political figure?

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China’s Amazing Economy, Part III

China’s Amazing Economy, Part III

china economyHow do you incentivise capital to invest aggressively at low returns on capital?

As I’ve discussed, the Chinese have no problem doing this. Like the rest of the world it enjoys surplus capital. The price tells us that. But China is able to mobilise this cheap capital in a way no-one else does. Partly it’s the extraordinary initial profitability to 2007, partly it’s capital controls and mainly it’s political. Political advantage in China comes from investing and creating higher levels of activity, either as entrepreneurs or cadres.

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