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Over the past 20 years or so, most of China's leaders have been engineers. I'm embarrassed to say that I was not aware of this until recently. Suddenly, everything makes sense.

For years I have marveled at the fact that the Chinese government could be so practical. They didn't seem bogged down by the superstitions and sideshow passions that you so often see in other governments. China's leaders make decisions like engineers. For example, every time I hear someone yapping about how China harvests organs from executed criminals, all I'm thinking is That's a practical way to get spare parts.

China's leadership isn't big on religion. And apparently they don't see any upside in war. They handle their money wisely. They put a lot of energy into building infrastructure. And they care more about stability than human rights. In other words, they value efficiency over feelings. It's exactly the way you'd expect a bunch of engineers to run a country. Obviously this approach has served China well.

The bad news for China is that their up-and-coming leaders have backgrounds in law, economics, and history. In time, the lawyers will start passing lots of laws that individually make sense while collectively strangling the business sector in red tape. The economists will all disagree with each other, and the historians will be planning for the past. So China is pretty much doomed. But they had a good run.

 

 
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-2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 7, 2009
Military parades are a show. Stupid governments waste money on military parades, because it is the war equivalent of masturbation. Waste of money like war, but not quite as satisfying as having a partner.
 
 
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 7, 2009
I hope China keeps thinking there is no upside to war.

But they do a great military parade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru-xQac_sWw&feature=PlayList&p=CCA6536F5F849EED&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=4
 
 
Oct 2, 2009
doomed? maybe, but they, like the roam empire, will probably have a few good years to run the known world before the non-engineers ruin it for everyone.
p.s. since this http://inapcache.boston.com/universal/site_graphics/blogs/bigpicture/china60_10_01/c08_20570691.jpg is what half of their army looks like, we'd better start recruiting more gay men!
 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 2, 2009
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_People's_Republic_of_China

Assuming that the Chinese GDP rises about 9% after inflation and the US GDP rises about 3% annually, it will be 2029 or later before the CHinese GDP overtakes that of the US. In turn, assuming population growth rates for the US of 1% and for China 0.5%, it will be 2053 before China's per capita income equals that of citizenry of the US. Once again that's assuming a 9% constant growth rate!

Consider this, also; if China's GDP grows faster than that of the US, and CHina doesn't have the agricultural capacity to provide its citizens a quality, diverse diet without importing a fair amount, eventually, China will be buying more resources from the US than the US buys from China (their demand grows faster than ours). This will diminish the potential difference in GDP growth rates that will be possible. FOrbes names the US the second best country for Business this year, with China not even in the top 10. The only competitive advantage that China has is its large supply of cheap labor, and as China modernizes, this labor will become less and less cheap. China's explosive growth will not last forever, maybe not even for a lot longer.
 
 
Oct 1, 2009
I was talking about China being a superpower and the decline of America. The Iraq war and general corporate greed have caused the US to sink itself in massive debt. It is unfortunate but if Iran wants to build nukes, there ain't jacks-h-i-t that the yanks can do about it. They can't afford it. And given China's connection to Iranian resources, they aren't likely to lend the US any money to start a war. They were happy to lend the US money to slap Iraq around. It served their ends - in terms of getting a foe of Iran's out of the way.

The rest of my point was that the majority of the Chinese population weren't going to be getting all "North American" and thinking about self-entitlement issues. Not yet anyway. Of course, they will likely get the boot off their throat in time, I sure. But by the time the masses get organized and catch up, USA will be secondary power.

I wonder if it is a cycle of all powerful countries.

 
 
+1 Rank Up Rank Down
Oct 1, 2009
"our point is valid re: the workforce in China. They may not be the happiest workers, but what they lack in productivity, they can make up in volume. And they aren't paid a ton so no worries about them getting soft and slowing down like their North American counterparts."

What about the sectors outside of manufacturing? An economy doesn't just need robots. Real growth and development occurs when people are freed from constraints. Not when they're forced to work for long hours for no money.
 
 
Oct 1, 2009
"The point wasn't that China is a better place to live, just that it was emerging as the only true superpower. And that resulted from a combination of bad judgement (supporting/propping up Israel and getting entrenched in the middle east), laziness, and greed of the general American popluation that led to this. You won the "war" in Iraq, but what did you win?"

Wait a minute, who was talking about iraq? I don't think that the endeavor in Iraq was very helpful, but I would hardly call it the thing that will drive us into the depths of hell. We'll shake this off. Other factors are much bigger.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 30, 2009
"The point wasn't that China is a better place to live, just that it was emerging as the only true superpower. And that resulted from a combination of bad judgement (supporting/propping up Israel and getting entrenched in the middle east), laziness, and greed of the general American popluation that led to this. You won the "war" in Iraq, but what did you win?"

How else do you measure the success of a country? By any measure, the US is set to be ahead of China for decades even if China continues to see its economy rise at a double digit rate. Also, because the way China does business is inherently flawed, they will eventually hit a wall, well before they hit a rate of productivity anywhere near ours. The only reason China is growing now is thanks to a few key reforms aimed at opening up its economy combined with cheap labor. This will not power them forever, as more (and better) reforms are needed.

"And if you think debt isn't bad, try thinking on a micro level and reflect on the 100,000's of Americans that are currently sitting with wet mortgages. I bet they think debt is bad. Too much debt is an issue when you don't have the assets or the gdp to support it."

I didn't say that debt wasn't "bad." I was simply stating that worse situations have occurred in our own national history and we've bounced back. Worse things have happened around the world in other countries, who also bounced back.

"our point is valid re: the workforce in China. They may not be the happiest workers, but what they lack in productivity, they can make up in volume. And they aren't paid a ton so no worries about them getting soft and slowing down like their North American counterparts."

That is exactly what makes them less productive. Until their productivity per worker increases dramatically, they won't be able to climb out of their hole. China is simply going through a stage of development that we have already been through before.

As I've previously asked, what happens the first time China's economy hits an economic wall (as the Japanese growth engine did as well as several other nations) once their economy reaches the optimum productivity levels consistent with its level of efficiency and the economy contracts? How will these tens of millions of newly unemployed who have lost their jobs respond to the government that is holding them back? Let me remind you that if ten percent of workers in China were suddenly unemployed after being given a sense of quality of lifestyle after a couple decades of explosive growth, that would be 50 million pissed off people. That's more than any military in the world several times over.


 
 
Sep 30, 2009
The point wasn't that China is a better place to live, just that it was emerging as the only true superpower. And that resulted from a combination of bad judgement (supporting/propping up Israel and getting entrenched in the middle east), laziness, and greed of the general American popluation that led to this. You won the "war" in Iraq, but what did you win?

And if you think debt isn't bad, try thinking on a micro level and reflect on the 100,000's of Americans that are currently sitting with wet mortgages. I bet they think debt is bad. Too much debt is an issue when you don't have the assets or the gdp to support it.

How the Arab nations react to being involved with China is irrelevant. The point is, they are involved. They have hitch their wagon with a strong ally.

Your point is valid re: the workforce in China. They may not be the happiest workers, but what they lack in productivity, they can make up in volume. And they aren't paid a ton so no worries about them getting soft and slowing down like their North American counterparts.

One final point. I don't take joy in your country's demise. Our country is somewhat joined at hip with yours. I suspect as you continue to sink, so will we.


twkwelge weakly responded with..........

So what you have right now is:
1. A very strong China - financially and economically,

Nope. Quality of life for the vast majority of Chinese citizens is in the dirt. The average Chinese worker is much less productive than the average US worker. China's only real competitive advantage right now is their low labor costs. Their government is a corrupt and inefficient top down organization. Even with its massive population, it will take years for the economy of China to be equal to the US economy.


2. A very debt laden, once super power (that's you, yanks)

Our debt levels aren't as high as Japan's yet. The only time debt can really crush a country is in the even that it leads to hyperninflation.

3. An anti-climatic resolution to the power struggle in the middle east. China wins, hands down.

Because the muslims are falling all over themselves to be ruled by the Chinese.

4. To top it off, an apathetic American population. More concerned with Doritos than, well....much anything else.

Okay........ F u, buddy. Stop talking out of that hole in ur butt.
 
 
Sep 30, 2009
I completely agree with Phantom II, and nobody has posted a good argument against him. I really don't like this thumbs up thumbs down system.
 
 
Sep 30, 2009
So what you have right now is:
1. A very strong China - financially and economically,

Nope. Quality of life for the vast majority of Chinese citizens is in the dirt. The average Chinese worker is much less productive than the average US worker. China's only real competitive advantage right now is their low labor costs. Their government is a corrupt and inefficient top down organization. Even with its massive population, it will take years for the economy of China to be equal to the US economy.


2. A very debt laden, once super power (that's you, yanks)

Our debt levels aren't as high as Japan's yet. The only time debt can really crush a country is in the even that it leads to hyperninflation.

3. An anti-climatic resolution to the power struggle in the middle east. China wins, hands down.

Because the muslims are falling all over themselves to be ruled by the Chinese.

4. To top it off, an apathetic American population. More concerned with Doritos than, well....much anything else.

Okay........ F u, buddy. Stop talking out of that hole in ur butt.
 
 
Sep 30, 2009
Scotty, I remain annoyed at you. I lived in China for 7 years, you spent 7 minutes Googling the place, and you continue to sound every bit as intelligent about the place as I could.
 
 
Sep 30, 2009
Actually, it's America that is doomed.

China is massive population (large army), has extended pile of debt to the US of A, is very buddy, buddy with Iran (massive investment in Iranian oil and gas), and isn't itself piled in debt from fighting a silly war in Iraq nor is it mired in debt due to an economic crisis brought on by greed and corruption.

So what you have right now is:
1. A very strong China - financially and economically,
2. A very debt laden, once super power (that's you, yanks)
3. An anti-climatic resolution to the power struggle in the middle east. China wins, hands down.
4. To top it off, an apathetic American population. More concerned with Doritos than, well....much anything else.

Face it, if Iran wants to build nukes, you ain't stopping them - even if China turned it's back on the Iranians. The western world has no money or political pressure to exert to influence the developments. The economic crisis brought on by the self-serving individuals in the great US of A has weakened a once great country.

Rather than "do you want fries with that?", I'd start working on "do you want your rice steamed or fried?"
 
 
Sep 29, 2009
LOL!!!! Scott, no problem though, the new engineers are also entreprenuers and leaders thanks to reading your books.
 
 
Sep 29, 2009
I know you don't really believe what you write, Scott. No one could be that simplistic. You obviously know that a restrictive government is the biggest enemy of progress. You surely recall that one of the things that brought down the Soviet Union was that they wouldn't allow their people access to Xerox machines nor computer printers for fear they'd print anti-Soviet propaganda. If you asked one of the residents of the old Soviet Union what they most wanted, they'd tell you they wanted the freedom to travel, to see if the rest of the world was really as horrible as the Soviets told them it was.

Similarly, the Chinese won't allow their people unfettered access to the web. They also have resisted automation, prefering to pay low wages to a lot of people to do much of their manufacturing. The one thing that has resulted in most of China's recent growth came from the British ceding Hong Kong to China. It was like an anti-poison pill of capitalism dropped into a sea of people waiting to raise their standard of living. It's changing China for their betterment; capitalism trumps socialism wherever it's tried.

I'm glad to see your view of the importance of human rights is subjugated to your desire for spare body parts. I'm sure you are equally enamored of the quaint Chinese custom of forced abortions, not to mention the party-party-party atmosphere of their leaders, as noted during the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 - you've got to love how their engineers took care of THAT little democratic protest.

Why, with that kind of efficiency, just think what those Chinese engineers could do with a few ovens and a little Zyklon B. Or, just perhaps, maybe you might want to get down on your knees and thank God for the freedoms we still have, at least in some small part, in our lives here in America, rather than praising the efficiency of Chinese tyrants. Yeah, I know you don't believe in God, but hey, hope springs eternal.
 
 
+3 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
I'm sorry, but China is hardly the model of engineering. There is actually too much dead weight loss, because of its heavy handed government. That's the reason China is still so far behind. If they were truly the models of efficiency that you're talking about, we would have been replaced by China at least 20 years ago. The truth is, letting workers have more freedom often leads to better ideas and more creative solutions. You used to believe that, Scott.
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
"Human rights" sounds to me like one of those luxury goods -- only handful of people can actually afford the benefits related and vast majority pays for ithem -- I mean where else you can screw up economy big way, get generous pension and then spend your remaining days is wealth writing memoirs about how fighting for human rights helped them get where they are right now.
 
 
Sep 29, 2009
So the China of the future is the US, does that mean the japan of the future is mexico?
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
Wishful thinking?
 
 
-1 Rank Up Rank Down
Sep 29, 2009
I read some years ago that this has happened in Japan. Prosperity has caused young adults to slack off striving to over-achieve and as a result countries such as China and India have taken the lead. They are derisively called by their elders, “The Bean Sprout Generation.”
 
 
 
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