Saturday, October 01, 2011

Scrutinizing China

When I was young, the world’s most successful economy was that of the Soviet Union, NOT! But that is what we were told. Then the light of truth shown through the cracks in the wall, and the USSR revealed a GDP less than that of South Korea and the whole rotten mess crumbled into pitiable bits.

“But actually, he thought as he readjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connection with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connection that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at a hundred and forty-five million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been over fulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than a hundred and forty-five millions. Very likely no boot had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot.” (George Orwell, 1984, Pgs. 125, 126)


1. China’s wealth is a lie. There is no point is referencing statistics on Chinese wealth, their economy, or productivity, all the numbers are as phony as those pumped out by the Orwellian Ministry of Truth.

2. The “competitive low prices” of slave labor produced products from China are only made possible by cheating through currency manipulation.

3. The supposedly “rich” Chinese live, as did the people of the USSR and those of “Oceania” in squalor and poverty.

4. To keep from starving to death, they must murder millions of their own children, especially girls, through forced abortion and infanticide.

5. Chinese produced products are junk, barely good enough for Wal-Mart.

6. And most tellingly – China has no food, as with the USSR and now Russia, China can not produce enough food for its own people. In spite of the systematic genocide of Tibet, the Chinese can neither acquire the land or the motivation to produce enough food to feed themselves. Contrast this with India, a nation of nearly the same population, no forced abortion, and a growing, young and vibrant population. India has even less land than China, but, without murdering its neighbors or its own people, it is a net exporter of food. Also consider that the United States, the world’s third most populous country, not only feeds itself, but the world, including China, Russia, and Africa. By the way, we feed Africa for free. The U. S. produces this gigantic surplus of food despite the fact that our taxpayers actually pay our farmers not to raise all the food they can. Also realize that in this country we are now forced to face two rather unique health problems, obesity and longevity; fat people who live too long. Go figure!

So much for the inscrutable Chinese.


Dan-o said...

While I do not dispute that most of your points regarding China are likely true, may I ask where are you getting your information from? Assuming most of it is from American media sources, isn't it a little naive to believe that that everything you read is a true representation of current conditions any more than their reporting of numbers and statistics is all a lie? Seems a little one-sided to me. On the other hand, if you've been there recently, I retract my argument. :-)

To point 5, I can think of numerous examples where it makes complete sense to buy the cheap Chinese knockoff product over the expensive domestic version. If I want higher quality, I'll pay for higher quality. If it doesn't matter, I'm glad China is supplying us Wal-Mart shoppers (think Harbor Freight here) with an affordable alternative that meets our needs and price point. It only takes a time or two of a product failing before we can figure out the difference and evaluate where we fall on the cost/value continuum for our particular purchases. I'm not going to buy Chinese carabiners, but a Chinese cold chisel probably will do the job just fine. Why would you want to limit the range of products available? Isn't that the beauty of the free market?

Thanks for posting. I enjoy reading your thoughts on life and viewing the pictures.

Lysis said...

Thank you for reading and posting “at the agora”. It is nice to know someone is paying attention.

You ask where I get my information. First, it is not from media sources. To listen to American media sources one would think that China was on top of the world. As we judged the USSR by what we did not see, we can judge China by want is not to be seen. A favorite book of mine, To Kill a Mocking Bird, has one of the adults explaining to Scout that they know Boo is not dead because they have not seen his body carried out. We wonder whether or not China is the world’s greatest economy because the media has stirred up these speculations, (so many little kids whispering spook stories to keep us afraid) but where are the wealthy Chinese? We hear of the miserable annual wage of Chinese workers reported by the Chinese government and from their refusal to allow any outside verification are forced to assume that even these reports are lies. They must have something to hide.

I have not myself been to China, but I know those who have, more importantly, I know Chinese here in America who are desperate to gain whatever they can of our wealth and prosperity to take home with them when they are at last forced to go back. They are cowed into silence by fear of what might happen to their loved ones back home, desperate to stay if they could, but dammed to return to that benighted country or see their loved ones parish. Why would a country that is anywhere near as successful as the China our media tries to foist on us have to so intimidate and manipulate its people?

As for point #5 – I have nothing against buying cheap Chinese junk. I shop almost exclusively at Wal Mart. Not only do I benefit from the low prices but take some comfort in knowing that, although the wages paid the Chinese workers are criminally low, slave labor level, and exploitive, they are better that anything those workers would get if I and my fellow Americans were not willing to buy these products.


Hello Mr. Conner. I am Tanner McMinn From your 7th period class.
This article is very well written and I do agree in your 5 points. Thank you for this article.

Dan said...

I would only slightly disagree, and point to two things.

First, the Soviet Union didn't export manufactured goods. That should have been a big tip off that they didn't manufacture much of anything. China does. Second, China's oil consumption is going up exponentially, that points to a growing group of people who can afford cars.

The major difference, as I see it, is that China, for all its totalitarianism, let slip in some form of capitalism. Coke, has nearly brought down that communist regime.

Lysis said...


What you say is true. However, being better off than the Soviet Union isn’t much of an accomplishment; as I pointed out above, South Korea did that decades ago. By the way, who makes all those new cars being bought in China, where is all that oil coming from?

We should consider at what cost China is producing products. The virtual enslavement of a billion workers to produce “cheep” consumer goods for the convenience of the consumers of the United States seems a rather odd claim to greatness. What will happen to China’s production when the workers demand a fair days pay for a fair days work. What will become of this “dream” economy when the people of China are no longer satisfied with a Coke but want three squares a day, a car in every garrage, and a pension plan?

What will happen when they want the freedom to choose to keep their children, and to speak their minds?

These questions are worth considering. I think my core arguments stand. The Chinese live in an Orwellian fantasy, the vast majority of the population in poverty, kept in ignorance and exploited by a totalitarian oligarchy who cling to their own pleasure and power with a “gun”.

I agree with you that China has benefited from a whiff of capitalism. The Chinese also need freedom and a chance to know the truth.

The danger is that those now in power are not going to go quietly into the night; they will go down brandishing the military might they have bought with the blood and sweat of their people, at the cost of any real prosperity and their liberty. These “Big Brothers” will threaten the whole world in their determination to cling to their fantasy.

Dan said...

My reference to Coke is, I think, the exact agreement we have. I have said before that Coke is the great slayer of Totalitarianism. It is of course symbolic of all things from outside that when people get a taste or glimpse of they want more of it. (on a side note I hate coke, so maybe I should say chicken nuggets).

My point, I believe, is almost the same as yours. Merely pointing out the difference that while the Soviet Unions lie was built on nothing but fabrication, and thus it fell all at once with a resounding crash that caused, and continues to cause great economic misery in the area, I believe that China will go quietly into the night as the old rulers die, and the country gradually becomes more free and more competitive. This does not dismiss the problems or fantasies now perpetrated, I think however that there are major differences between the Soviet Union and China.

Dan said...

Its that very reason that I believe the embargo on Cuba should have been ended decades ago. If we want Cuba to become a free country, lets let America go there, via tourism and exported goods. The people of Cuba will see the two choices, and choose accordingly. Just as the people of China are.

Lysis said...


I agree with you on Cuba, and I have the same hopes regarding China. However, I remember Tiananmen Square. In the late
80’s, even before the possibility of the Soviet Empire's collapse was contemplated, the world watched with joy the promise of freedom bloom in China, it died under the treads of tanks. I hope you are right, I believe that Capitalism and the desire to have one’s own property, is a powerful force. But one must remember that this Chinese government has murdered tens of millions of Chinese to maintain its power, and as I point out above, is arming itself with even more terrible weapons to maintain its grip.

Perhaps our hope lies in the failure of the Chinese economy. Perhaps the Chinese government will no longer be able to buy and lie the support of the people, but “quietly into the night”; I wish I could believe that.

Danny said...

If the Chinese have no wealth, how is it that most of our purchased good are from them? How does that not affect there economic growth?

Danny Contreras
Class Period 7B

Dan said...

To really grow an economy, that money would have to trickle down to the people. If it is held by only a few government/corporations, and the people continue to be paid next to nothing, there is never a middle class. Without a middle class, you can never have a vibrant economy.

kookaburra said...

Lysis lays down the truth again.

Taylor said...

I'm sorry I didn't notice this post sooner, Lysis. I've spent 3 summers working in China and I can attest to the truthfulness of a lot of what you've written here.

Anonymous said...

Lysis...the factor of the collapse of the Chinese economy in achieving the freedom of the Chinese people should not be understated. Chinese growth is the pure result of the Chinese spending money they don't have, the very cause of our finanicial woes. Their economy, in fact the world's economy rests on very fragile financial bubbles that will pop shortly. China is probably the best example of this. For example reports that do manage to escape the beaurocracy's hands show a real estate bubble that's many times larger than the one that devestated us in 2008. When all these burst China will be reduced to a third world country.