November 2014 – In Praise of China
STATE OWNED ENTERPRISES: THEIRS AND OURS
The very existence of the State means that certain groups and individuals will receive favored treatment, while those who are disfavored will be marginalized to varying degrees, or even prohibited from entering the market altogether: From the first historic forms of the State, the State has always formed and will always form alliances with certain individuals and segments of society — to which the government bureaucrats will provide favors and special dispensations, and to the severe disadvantage of those individuals and groups that are not so favored.
FROM: Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
TO: Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.
The First Task of Statesmanship
Keep an eye on Wikileaks. It is the first cyber-insurrection in world history.
It is a war for control of the dominant narrative: who gets to describe and define “what’s going on in the world” as far as the world’s people are concerned.
For the past 5,000 years of human history the dominant narrative has always been created by the dominant power, currently the USA. George Bush’s Iraq war narrative is interesting because he publicly lost control of it shortly after the invasion (no WMDs) even though the Western media continued to repeat his version long after it was disproved.
CAPITALISM IN CHINA: Feel the Stones
If we combine a planned economy with a market economy, we shall be in a better position to liberate the productive forces and speed up economic growth. Deng Xiaoping
Experts struggle to make sense of our own economy, let alone to understand a much larger, older, culture with a Communist government, that speaks Chinese. Every prediction by our experts about the Chinese economy for the last 30 years has been wrong. Completely wrong. So what’s the secret of China’s success? No country has ever grown so fast for so long or lifted so many people out of poverty. China’s government is the most popular on earth, and the most successful. So, how does China Combine a Planned Economy with a Market Economy? You start with very smart planners: professional problem-solvers who know how to interpret data. Like really smart engineers and scientists. Then: 1. Make sure your professional, smart planners are honest. Very honest. No bribes. No “lobbying”. No hanky-panky. 2. Give your professional, smart, honest planners complete independence from undemocratic media (media owned by rich men). 3. Don’t try to make your professional, smart, honest, independent planners “popular”. Engineers and scientists are the most boring people on earth. They’ll never be popular. 4. Connect your professional, smart, honest, independent planners to the electorate so that they can get feedback before–and after–they implement their policies. 5. Don’t rush them. Forget 24-hour news cycles. Try 24 months. 6. Even professional, smart, honest, independent planners make mistakes. Give them the benefit of the doubt so that they can revise their policies and try again. 7. Send your professional, smart, honest, independent planners to the provinces for 5-10 years. If they can manage a province of 100,000,000 people, maybe they can handle national government. 8. Own controlling shares in all the important industries, like banking and communications, to ensure that they act for the national, and not just private, good. 9. Make sure that your least fortunate citizens are gaining the most. If they’re gaining then everybody’s gaining. 10. Turn the market loose. This is what China does. Any country could do the same. Policies and crises come and go but professional, smart, honest, independent planners can solve practically any problem. To understand the history of capitalism in China (which dates to the 16th. century) I strongly recommend
China And Capitalism, by David Faure
Best Price $31.85 _or Buy New $32.18 David Faure is Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Less than 100 pages long, his book is well-written, clear, and made thoroughly enjoyable by the examples which he provides. Here’s one: Unlike Western Europe, where by the eighteenth century business incorporation was increasingly governed by a law with the explicit recognition that gaining a profit was rightful and legal, eighteenth-century Chinese corporations remained ritual entities, established not directly to serve the interests of their members, but ostensibly to provide sacrifice for gods and ancestors. Compared to Europe, the Chinese corporation would have been akin to the medieval monastery, built for religious purposes but maintained as a powerhouse of economic growth, managing land and hostels, providing services–not without charge–for living and dead, and networking with kings and peasants
China’s GINI Ranking vs. USA
Last week Bloomberg noted that the 2011 US Gini Coefficent was 0.463.
An official Chinese report just released states that China’s Gini Coefficient for 2010 was 0.438, as the People’s Daily notes in New Gini figures show instability risks, need for reform.
What’s more significant, the People’s Daily headlined China’s score with these words:
New Gini figures show instability risks, need for reform.
“In some developed countries such as the US, whose Gini index sometimes reaches0.4, contradictions in income distribution are eased step by step through increasingtaxation on the wealthy and improving the welfare system to help the poor,” said DingYuanzhu, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Governance, adding that Chinacould learn from them in some way.
ALL AWE. NO SHOCK China’s Foreign Policy
Some wag suggested that all China has to do to win over the world is “study US foreign policy, then do the opposite”.
Arguably, China has implemented precisely that policy through its doctrine of non-interferencea and is going further. It is reverting to its millennia-old strategy for relating to us barbarians.
China’s Grand Strategy had been in place for a thousand years when, in the 13th. century, Marco Polo was astonished by the country’s advancement:
- Maintain a strong defense but no offense (too expensive)
- Administer the country from a moral, Confucian, point of view
- Create a genuine meritocracy in government promotion
- Eliminate corruption at the top and fight it at lower levels
- Amaze the world with China’s advancement and civilization
- Make foreigners rich then encourage them to leave
- Plan 10, 20, and 50 years ahead, and work the plan
Let’s look at the elements of this approach as they impinge upon us.
Is VOA Inciting Self-Immolations? Say it Isn’t So!
By Ed Flanagan, Producer, NBC News
Published at 12:40 a.m. ET: BEIJING – A controversial new documentary released by Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV, is alleging that the American government’s official broadcaster, Voice of America, is encouraging Tibetans to set themselves on fire. The story comes as China braces itself for the 100th Tibetan self-immolation since 2009. The 25-minute documentary, roughly translated as, “Outside Tibetan Separatist Cliques and the Southern Gansu self-immolations,” ran on the CCTV show, “Focus Today” and showed a Tibetan man in a hospital bed who allegedly attempted to self-immolate. Seemingly prompted to explain why he had attempted to light himself on fire, the man says, “I did it after watching VOA, I saw the photographs of self-immolators being commemorated. They were treated like heroes.” The documentary coincides with a story printed earlier this week in the English language government newspaper, China Daily, which also suggested that the American government broadcaster was influencing Tibetans’ decision to set themselves alight. Citing the example of one 18-year old Tibetan named Sangdegye, who attempted to self-immolate last December, the China Daily noted that he “adored the self-immolators VOA reported on,” citing them as “heroes.” Read more…