the Chinese Way

Posted: April 15, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason

the Chinese Way

I notice that China’s latest growth figures have been released; down to “only” 8.1%.  The fastest growing economy in the world.  To put that into perspective the UK is growing at about 0.6%, although some would argue that we are in negative growth i.e. the economy is shrinking rather than growing.  The rise of China over the last ten or so years is like taking people who live in stone age villages and presenting them with the latest technological marvels almost overnight.  It is the equivalent of the UKs industrial revolution but in about a tenth of the time period.  Many argue that our early industrial success was built on the exploitation not only of natural resources but also the working man (and woman and indeed child) of the time.  The (somewhat) mythical dark satanic mills chock full of the desperate and frightened, pumping out goods for the Master in the Mansion House.  No employee rights, no minimum wage, no health and safety law, just the benevolence of the resource owning class who deigned to let them work 14 hour days from the age of seven or eight. China, having been a communist dictatorship, started from a slightly different position but the exploitation of labour simply must be part of its march towards development.  We, in the West, berate China for this and the environmental damage they cause with little appreciation that we did exactly the same thing.  There was no Global Police Force in 1770.  I wonder where we will be buying our consumer goods from in twenty years time when Chinese Labour has mobilized and fought for its rights?  What goes around, comes around; Africa will be exploited once again for its cheap labour I suspect.

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Comments
  1. Free Thinker Journal says:

    The pattern is always the same from agricultural to industrial to financial to service and perhaps to the more intangible industry. There are still plenty Asian countries will replace Chinese current strenght in cheap labors, in fact its gov.realised that the more people go to labor market the more they will demand for higher standard living; it won’t be forever stay in this unique selling preposition. This is why they started to move to Africa and South America, stocking up the natural resources and to Europe, piling up technology savvy centers.

    Nice blog. I am just a business college graduate, shall read your material more. Do you have recommended economics schools in UK for graduate study?

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