By: giveme5 on Mercoledì 16 Maggio 2007 15:55
Ottima la rivista consigliata da Zibordi ^cliccaqui...#http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_2_china.html^
Interessante la parte dove parla del % PIL cinese (anch'esso) taroccato
THE EMPIRE OF LIES
by Guy Sorman
The twenty-first century will not belong to China
.........China’s draconian single-child policy may have slashed China’s population growth (though not by as much as the official statistics say), but the preference for boys has led to widespread female feticide and gender imbalance on an unprecedented scale—120 boys are born for every 100 girls. The disparity will be an inevitable source of teenage violence, as the boys compete for a limited number of available girls. Forcible birth control will also give rise to an increasingly elderly population. What will old parents do with no children to look after them? A poor country like China is totally unprepared to deal with the looming crisis.
Will China’s surging economic growth, described by some in the West as a “miracle,” put an end to the discontent rumbling throughout the country? “Economic development in China is not a miracle but an unmitigated disaster,” says the house-confined economist Mao Yushi, a supporter of free markets. Isn’t he happy with the country’s spectacular 10 percent annual growth rate? Maybe—if he were certain that the figure was accurate. But with the Communist Party providing the statistics, truthfulness is anything but assured.
Doing his own calculations, adjusting for what he believes are fudged numbers, Mao Yushi arrives at a growth rate of about 8 percent per year. That’s a healthy rate, due principally to the shift of the idle or unproductive peasant population to industry, but as I point out to him, it’s no more than Japan and South Korea achieved during their take-off phases. “Correct,” Mao replies. “So it can hardly be called a miracle.” Moreover, the 8 percent doesn’t take into account the vast environmental destruction caused by China’s rapid development.
Mao Yushi acknowledges that no development could take place without a large-scale shift to urban life and damage to the natural environment. But he questions the government’s unchecked savagery. The current growth rate isn’t sustainable, he believes: natural bottlenecks—scarcity of energy, raw materials, water—will get in the way. China can import energy and raw materials, true, but water, which isn’t readily importable, could soon become a massive problem. The Chinese government doesn’t view purification plants as useful investments; already, hundreds of millions of Chinese lack access to drinking water, with many dying as a result.
Many goods that China produces are worthless, Mao Yushi reminds me—especially those made by public companies. About 100,000 such Chinese enterprises continue to run in the old Maoist style, churning out substandard products because they’ve got to hit the targets that the Party sets and provide employment to those the Party cannot dismiss, not because they’re responding to any market demand. Most public-sector firms don’t even have real accounting procedures, so there’s no way of ascertaining profitability. “China is not a market economy,” Mao says bluntly.
The Party gives the banks lists of people to whom loans should go, and the rationale is frequently political or personal, not economic. Indeed, in many cases, banks are not to ask for repayment. That investment decisions obey political considerations and not the law of the market is the Chinese economy’s central flaw, responsible at least in part, Mao Yushi believes, for the large number of empty office buildings and infrequently used new airports and an unemployment rate likely closer to 20 percent than to the officially acknowledged 3.5 percent.
Unemployment doesn’t just affect the impoverished migrants, excluded from the government statistics (which is one reason why the official unemployment rate is so low). Two-thirds of China’s degree-holding engineers can’t find work commensurate with their qualifications even three years after they finish university. Their unemployment reflects the primitive nature of China’s development, based on the massive deployment of unskilled labor, not on encouraging the enrichment of human capital, as in Japan, South Korea, and the other Asian “tigers” during their rise to prosperity. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of China’s engineers leave for the United States and Canada?
Still, hasn’t growth created an independent middle class that will push for, and eventually obtain, greater political freedom? Many in the West think so, looking to the South Korean example, but Mao Yushi isn’t convinced. What exists in China, he argues, is a class of “parvenus,” newcomers whose purchasing power depends on their proximity to the Party rather than their education or entrepreneurial achievements. Except for a handful of genuine businessmen, the parvenus work in the military, public administration, or state enterprises, or for firms ostensibly private but, in fact, owned by the Party. The Party picks up the tab for almost all their imported luxury cars, two-thirds of their mobile phones, and three-quarters of their restaurant bills, as well as their call girls, their “study” trips abroad, and their lavish spending at Las Vegas casinos. And it can withdraw these advantages at any time.
In March, the Chinese government announced, to much fanfare in the Western press, that it would begin to introduce individual property rights. We should understand that this “reform” will benefit only the parvenus, not the peasants, whose tilled land will still belong to the state. But the parvenus will now be able to transmit to their children what they have acquired thanks to their Party connections—one more reason that they will be unlikely to push for the democratization of the regime that secures their status.