Friday, December 2, 2011

Shall We Adopt China’s Ways?

Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union (SIEU) wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal on 12/1/11 after he had returned from a trip to Chongqing, a city of 32 million people in western China. In the editorial, he extoled the praises of the Chinese economy. He reported that the bustling Chinese city is building new floor space at a rate of 1.5 million square feet daily, which will include 700,000 units of public housing annually. He reports that China’s 12th five year plan aims at a 7%/year growth plan for the general economy. Western China is programmed for a cloud computing program and automotive/aerospace production. The area is predicted to produce an annual growth rate of 12.5% with a 49% growth in tax revenue each year. Wages there are predicted to advance at a rate of 10%/year.

By way of contrast, Mr. Stern says that in the USA, we have seen a decade of high joblessness, 30 years of flat median wages, a trade deficit, a shrinking of the middle class, and phenomenal gains in wealth by the top 1% of our country’s taxpayers.

His conclusion is that “America needs to embrace a plan for growth and innovation, with streamlined government as a partner with the private sector.” In other words, we need to become more like China.

I am under the impression that China is booming economically precisely because it has adopted western ways of entrepreneurship and combined that change with an extremely low wage scale for laborers—bordering on slave-labor-type wages.

I suppose we, Americans, could do the same as China—as Mr. Stern implies we should. It might require that we give up our penchant for civil rights, personal control of our lives separate from government, and the basic desires we have for human dignity.

But, what more might we expect from a labor leader like Mr. Stern. America’s tradition of profit-seeking entrepreneurship has served us well in the past; and I would guess that China’s use of our system is the main driving force behind that country’s economic success now. If we were to adopt China’s ways, we would obviously have to knuckle under to more government control over business—which effect is proving the death knell to American business under our present administration.

I believe in American private business ownership and the stimulus of true profit making.

Any of you who would like to read more about this subject can link to Mr. Stern’s editorial at (Adopt China's ways?)

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