Friday, October 21, 2011

When doing research on how much an iPhone would cost if it were made in America, I came upon a random comment on the interwebs about China.

One of those random yet incredibly articulate types of comments that you just can't help quoting for truth.

It carries my thoughts about China precisely. Being unethical to flat out plageriaz of course, I simply wish to make sure due credit is due.
michael reynolds January 22, 2011 at 9:42 pm

You guys know there’s always a “China,” right? Just in my lifetime “China” was the USSR, OPEC, Japan and the EU.

There’s always some super-villain out there that’s going to outwit us, buy our crown jewels, outwork us and so on. In retrospect it’s always obvious that it wasn’t going to happen. Obviously the USSR was backward and under the thumb of a genuinely asinine political regime, obviously OPEC would eventually crumble, obviously Japan was a small, culturally isolated country with an aging population, obviously the EU was never going to be as smoothly integrated as they hoped.

Here’s what I think is obvious about China. They are poor. Dirt poor. There’s money in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but most of China might as well be Kazakhstan. They suffer from an imbalance between rural and urban that makes Nebraska and Manhattan look like identical twins. They are poisoning their rivers and air. They offer no freedom of expression or democratic political recourse while at the same time the poor out in the provinces can see Chinese billionaires and free Americans and South Koreans and understand for the first time just how screwed they are. They have one hope for continuing stability: an endless upward growth rate that is never, ever going to happen because as we’ve learned from our own real estate market, nothing goes up forever.

They have potential trouble on every border: Vietnam, North Korea, Russia, the Stans, India. And then there’s history. Show me where and when China was ever a dominant power in the world at large. It’s been a long, long time. And it’s been a long time because China is a barely-governable mess and has been for centuries. It is still a barely-governable mess.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t react, just that we shouldn’t freak out.

~David Morris~

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