Monday, August 22, 2005

Calling Howard Dean: Class Warfare Hits China

If any circumstance ever called for a good Dean Scream(Mandarin version), this would have to be it. A very strange Associated Press story today from Shanghai explains how growing income "inequality" will "likely undermine social stability" in China very soon.

What? In Communist China? You mean just as their experiment with capitalism is starting to work, they start getting all DNC-squishy on us? This story is actually a perfect example of why people on the left and right don't see eye to eye. We just keep score differently. Conservatives don't generally view equalization of outcomes as the role of government and liberals see unequal outcomes as their clarion call.

A priceless nugget: "reforms have also largely ended cradle-to-grave social support, forcing Chinese to pay far more for health care, education and other basic services. Millions have also slipped into poverty after being laid off from moribund state enterprises and rural incomes have largely stagnated as wealth fails to trickle down into the countryside."

Sounds like circumstances would improve in China if they gave up on their economic reforms and went back to "cradle-to-grave social support." Nice touch throwing in the "trickle down" part there at the end. What is the world coming to when peaceful agrarian reformers go for Reaganomics?

One might think that the next thing we would hear from the AP is how the explosive economic growth in China is causing homelessness. It probably won't happen, but it does raise an interesting question: if a man goes homeless in Shanghai but no Republicans are there to blame, does the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities still get to write a weepy research report?

I found the original article from China Daily.

And from straight-faced Chinese economic planners, some good quotes that Sen. John Kerry would never see the humor in:

"The government's top priority is to make those farmers still in poverty earn more," the team concludes in a report. "

(And if that doesn't work, Beijing will just shoot them.)

"He said incomes of laid-off workers are decreasing while the wallets of private business owners have been fattening at incredible rates."

(Imagine getting less money for not working. Expanded Unemployment Benefits, anyone? Let's send a delegation and teach them how!)