Monday, December 3, 2012
Some morning news, all via the Sinocism newsletter
Two articles from the Sinocism newsletter that were so important that, if you're not reading the blog already, I'd strongly suggest you read these right now:
Apple Insider - some new iMacs marked as being "assembled in USA". What was I just saying? About the end of Chinese manufacturing and the resurgence of US manufacturing, sometime later this decade? (PS apparently, Mexican manufacturing is going great guns already.)
The Atlantic - Mr. China comes to America. A very long article, but also very useful for anyone who wants to understand how exactly manufacturing can quit China and go back to the USA. Though the end of the article is a bit weak - the resurgence of US manufacturing isn't going to center around making fucking novelty cases for iPads.
And here's two more via Sinocism, that reflect more on the rampant corruption throughout all of Chinese society:
Bloomie - For Chinese students, bring-your-own-desk-to-school day. Basic takeaway is that minor school board officials are stealing money meant for school funding, so the schools don't even have enough desks for the students.
NBC News - School lunch scandal sparks outrage in China. Again, minor functionaries are stealing money meant for school lunch programs.
Now, I can understand stealing $500M from a large capital works project like highway construction. There's good money there, reward outweighs risk, and really it's darn easy to do (even here in Canada). But stealing 10 cents a day from kids' school lunches? Really? Is the entire Chinese nation a pack of base thieves? Do they really need a Cultural Revolution every 30 years to whip the people back in line?
Of course the fact that the Chinese people are expressing outrage is good; it means there is some sort of understanding among the masses that this is entirely immoral. And the fact that the omnipotent State lets them express outrage in social media is also positive; it maybe means that the top authorities are against this corruption, and/or that they understand the wisdom and efficiency of allowing the masses the power to root out and expose corruption.
But nevertheless, if corruption is this epidemic in China, then you can see why people living there don't want to put money in the stock market. The systematic distrust encouraged by this sort of bullshit would translate into shunning of participation in every asymmetric power structure - and that would include participation in the stock market. After all, who wants to buy stocks in a country that is chock-full of thieves? We've already been there with Russia.
So some questions arise from this:
1) Why would you want to open a business in a country that steals food from children?
2) Why would you expect to be able to make money investing in that country?
3) As Sinocism regularly points out, how does the Communist Party fix this problem (assuming they really want to) without it resulting in full-scale destabilization? I mean, the more stories that come out, the less the people will have any trust in the power structure.