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Life in China Is Getting Harder With High Prices (bloomberg.com)
104 points by wei_jok 22 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 123 comments



The increase in pork prices is due to a swine fever epidemic that started in Liaoning province.[1] SCMP has a reasonably good article.

China's huge boom is starting to level off. Down from 10%/yr to 7% a year. The US is under 3%/yr. That happened to all the "Asian tigers", as they caught up to the developed world. Its a long way from a recession.

[1] https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3020488/c...


The problem in China is that they're likely to get old before they get rich. China's GDP per capita is still only a quarter (or less) of Japan, Singapore or South Korea:

https://countryeconomy.com/countries/compare/china/japan


This is a really serious risk, but it is also important to consider that China isn't reallly one country. - Even internal migration is restricted.

If you look at cities like Shanghai, Nanjing or Beijing, there's a subtantial minority already basically living with western living standards. That number is still growing quickly.

Furthermore, China has little problem letting old people work longer - or potentially even implement pretty brutal policies regarding the elderly.

So while China is growing old very quickly, and this will slow down progress, I do not believe it will lead to a halting of progress.


China still has a mandatory retirement age of 55 for women and 60 for men. This doesn’t mean much in the private sector, but is sort of strictly applied in the public sector. Obviously it isn’t sustainable at any rate.


They've said that every decade since ww2. I think China will have to pay off the US for their misdeeds, but they have built a valuable step in their progress in the world. They can go explore a new social role with their influence in the south china sea and with the BRI.

I would be concerned about China in the 2030s and 2040s.


A lot of those predictions were correct. The experts said the Great Leap Forward would be an utter disaster, and it was. They said the more conventional industrialization that followed would be more successful, and it was. They said the Cultural Revolution would be a disaster, and it was. When Deng switched to the free market path, the experts said it would work, and it did. And now they are saying that Xi's new semi-Maoism is going to turn out bad, and sure enough, it seems it is.

But I bet you already knew all that.


I doubt an aging population is going to free up the spratley islands and chinese military presence in the south china sea. They can now strategically threaten the oil imports for a whole bunch of SEA countries and are still growing as a military power.

If the experts are correct, can they hurry up and be correct faster because I can't wait for a prediction that has no timeframe requirements.


You didn't adjust for purchasing power parity. It's closer to 40% of Japanese GDP (PPP adjusted).


China’s population is 4x that of the USA. It makes complete sense that their per capita gdp is therefore less. It should remain that way.


I was comparing to Japan, and per capita means divided by population.


I’m well aware what per capita means. China has 10x the people as Japan. Resources are finite and the earth is already burdened trying to sustain 8 billion people. China wants to improve their per capita gdp? They should reduce their population. It’s not reasonable to assume 1.4 billion people should have the same standard of living as a country which kept their population reasonable.


Considering China's GDP is based on manufacturing and export, reducing the population will also result in productivity decreases, which would mean a negligible change in GDP per capita, since GDP would also fall.


Reduce their population how?


How is the size of population related to per-capita gdp?


Why should a country which can’t control its population growth receive more resources than one that can?


At least part of the problem is their whole economy is predicated on those crazy growth rates. Dropping to 3% would be catastrophic for them.


I expect China to clamp down harder and harder on its population as well as deflect attention from it as the economy slides to try keep the party in power. Look for the social credit system to expand even more and also more rhetoric about it all being the fault of evil foreigners.


Hate to say it but it's already happening and getting more clear day by day. I start to suspect all of this is intentional, including all of those trade war "failures".

You have a threat (The trade war with USA, well and maybe South China sea etc) and a slowing economy. Now many Chinese companies are in need of help from the CCP government, and the help is not for free.

In Zhejiang, their government want to send "Government representatives" to private firms[0] to "help" them on site. I will not be in total surprise if one day all of those companies turn themselves to "State controlled".

[0] https://www.voachinese.com/a/China-To-Send-Officials-To-100-... (Chinese, but the URL already told the story)


The idea that "free enterprise" wasn't state controlled to begin with in China is a western illusion that a lot of people seem desperate to believe.


It is scary. Man's psychology is vulnerable and governments taking advantage of it can only end bad as history has taught us.


To better understand China, you will have to understand that the CCP was nothing but peasant rebels not too long ago, the notion of "the country was built by us" so that anything is our rewards and have to be governed by our progeny, is deep-rooted. And think of the core governning clique as a criminal gang.


Nowadays that last sentence alone does not give away whether your post is about China, the US or Russia.


Agreed most upper echelons of governments can be seen as gangs.


If huge country enters recession and crisis then, with some exceptions, it usually goes to war with its neighbors. See Russia waging war for last 20 years constantly, see Iran expanding to nearby countries to shut internal crisis. China does the same - nine dash occupation of south china sea, cold war with Taiwan, conflicts with Japan and nearly all other neighbors. If big crisis will happen in China it will cause a big war in the region. All dictators do this without a fault.


US (and UK) have been in more and longer wars than China and Russia in the past 70 years, recession or no recession. And their wars cause damage on a global rather than regional scale.


Convenient window of time to pick.


PRC has only been around for 70 years.


I am sorry, but you mentioned countries and not government regimes so it wasn't clear at first.


Just another article of predicting that China is going to collapse -- these kind of articles have been popping up since 1991.

China is just another big country with a lot of problems. So is US.

Even if China is really going to collapse, what is in it for average people in the US or other countries? To prove that the democracy you believe is correct -- even if that means nearly all the people in the world will suffer from economic slowdown?


Why 1991? Surely such articles predate 1991.

I'm not sure why you think writers at Bloomberg, a Wall Street-oriented outlet, represent average people in the US.

I'm also not sure why you think anyone would want China to collapse in order to "prove democracy correct", as if to win a bet. Democracy is a means to an end. "Average people" think that in China, though many people are doing great under the current system, there are also people not doing great, average people just like them, who are being oppressed, harassed for reading banned books, punished for criticizing party officials, put into re-education labor camps, even having their organs harvested, and they want that to stop. If China stopped all that tomorrow without collapsing, most people would be ecstatic about that. But they won't, and average people believe the best way to permanently stop that kind of thing is for everyone to get a voice and a vote in their government—indeed, for a hundred flowers to bloom, or 百花齐放, if you will.


> who are being oppressed, harassed for reading banned books, punished for criticizing party officials, put into re-education labor camps, even having their organs harvested

Apparently I do not believe this is happening in China and you do. Maybe I am brainwashed by Chinese government or you are affected by all those western media. Anyway, Chinese government cares not so much about what western media says -- they have been saying that China is going to collapse for so many years. Instead, Chinese government on the one hand tries to solve some of the problems faced by China, on the other hand uses propaganda involving patriotism and ethnic identity to unify people within. Whether this way can work in the end is still unknown -- maybe yes, then guess fewer and fewer people will still talk about democracy is the only way to govern the world; or maybe not, then China is definitely be not better than Russia: before USSR's collapse, people are poor; after its collapse, people are still poor and only a few people benefited from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_therapy_(economics)


I actually was careful not to say that I believe that is happening, I said that's what "average people" think.

You asked "if China is really going to collapse, what is in it for average people in the US or other countries?", and I hoped that you were genuinely interested in understanding why there are people in the West who dislike the Chinese government. Does my explanation make sense, and convince you that it's not because they want to "prove democracy correct"?

I am also interested in what you believe is and isn't happening in China and why. The organ harvesting reports are extreme and salacious, and I can see believing the Vocational Training Centers are voluntary, but the others seem obvious and undeniable? Is it not well-known in China that the government bans certain books? Or that social media posts can be taken down on the basis of being too critical of the party?

I'm not entirely sure why you bring up shock therapy. It's true that many countries failed to or suffered when they liberalized their society alongside their economies. It's also true that many countries have done it quite successfully.


China made it personal ( for me) messing with democracy and the EU through the sham "16+1".

Which is not meant to break the EU's democracy and getting more votes. Nothing else.

I wish Hong Kong and Taiwan the very best, even this far away China is overreaching it's influence. They shouldn't be surprised that they have lost all sympathy from a lot of westerners.

Before I forget, if you try to loan halve of the world money ( there are no real investments from China), you are not a developing country and shouldn't abuse our help.

There is also no way that Alibaba would have gotten that big without being a developed country and the Postal Union financial assistance. We basically financed it.


So China is bad because they invested in eastern EU countries?


It's not investing :D

Everyone can see that, it's loans and you get a cheaper loan when you use Chinese workers.

It's also shell companies, that do nothing ( from a research of the Netherlands)

It's a scam


Chinese apologist.


China collapsed at the end of the Qing dynasty. There followed civil war and conquest by Japan. And then the Communists overthrew the Nationalists. And then you had the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution, and then switch away from Mao to a mixed economy, and finally Xi's new Maoism. The history of China for the last century has been quite unstable, and so it seems quite reasonable to assume that one of these days there is going to be some more revolution.


Given China's population, a lack of economic growth could pose a real, pressing problem to them. China has more to lose in the trade war.


Whether you're browsing HN or farming wild jackabees off the grid; there is no escaping the political news machine.


It's true...


One of the things I learned when I took Intnl econ in college was that keeping a currency's value artificially low can boost exports, but will also put downward pressure on real wages domestically.

Maybe that's playing a role here.


As a French the amount of (bad) news regarding China on American websites I browse (hn, reddit, newspapers websites...) is really disturbing compared to home. I try to think rationally but the coincidence with the trade war is hard to ignore. As an outsider it looks like nothing has changed (China is a communist country, fresh news!) but suddenly the media is all over it.

The media pattern now is so obvious every time there are geopolitical tensions to justify a conflict that it's hard to ignore (please remember Irak).

I'm not a geopolitical expert, I really like Americans (obviously, otherwise I would not be on this site), but I don't understand how nobody notice this pattern, especially here.


In Asia we mostly hear bad news as well. The economy of China really is slowing down and there is a massive housing bubble which is evidenced by huge numbers of unoccupied newbuilds which are already crumbling down. And it's a fact that growth is slowing down and there are lots of political issues which are further damaging the outlook.


And any time there's an article about China, people who knows nothing about China, besides that it's ruled by the communist party, comes out of the woodwork to take a dump on China.

People look down on Trump and ridicule him endlessly when he spews bullshit about things he knows nothing about. But if you spew bullshit about China, you get lots of upvotes.


If things are going to be like in Iraq, then the world is basically doomed for human race. China is definitely no match for US in terms of military power. But if US is trying to ruin China like how it ruined Iraq, then I guess mostly China will choose to die together instead of just accepting the defeat.

Just think of the old war in Korea -- they will go to war with US even at that time they were not even comparable at all


If the political system in China collapses everyone should worry. That would likely result in a global economic crash the likes of which the world has never seen.


If the alternative is China going unchecked and eating the world. I'll take the economic crash.

I grew up in poverty and I'd rather go back to poverty than live under a dystopian surveillance dictatorship.


I want to imagine the world with China as a democracy only to assure the world that xenophobia is the first thing that comes to mind when people take an anti-China stance and as a reminder that Chinese culture, their arts, the land and the people are wonderful. I am against this dystopian overwhelmingly powerful and suppressive government.

I imagine if 1989 was a turning moment for Democracy in China.


The wonderful culture and arts you're thinking about is historical. It doesn't really exist in China now. It was mostly wiped out during The Great Leap Forward, along with 30 million people give or take.

Fun fact: advanced Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners travel from China to Japan to learn. Japan preserved records of the TCM knowledge that China destroyed during the great leap.


Fun fact: Traditional Chinese Medicine is mostly a bunch of useless horseshit.

Too bad the great leap didn't totally destroy it.


Information should never be destroyed. There is a treasure trove of obsolete but preserved cultural knowledge out there, and China is a bit of a dark spot because of the great leap.

Preserving historical knowledge is not the same as perpetuating it or believing it's effective. Keeping a record of what societies did what is extremely important, regardless of whether it worked. If nothing else, so that a particular failed avenue of research isn't pursued again.


Not they preserve Chinese artifacts. China has been invaded so many times, the collapse of governments had led foreigners to scoop artifacts from China at no cost. Look at British Museum, Lourve. It happened to all countries have suffered from war. Japanese took most books, paintings, because those are not seen as valuable for westerners. British took most vase, china.


GLF was terrible, but the west shares a shame in throwing away our intellectual and cultural pursuits. There's an argument that a very long time ago, the islamic intellectual tradition preserved enlightenment values whilst we were off doing other things. I don't know the gritty details of the argument, so I'd be the first to say I'm wrong.


I think you mean they preserved Greek and Roman knowledge, which was the basis of the Renaissance. The Enlightenment was a few hundred years later, and consisted of new ideas.


They didn’t just preserve Greek and Roman knowledge. Averroes, Avicenna, the Mutazilites, al-Razi, Maimonides, al-Farabi and others made enormous and original contributions to philosophy, medicine, chemistry and other fields. The Renaissance and the Enlightenment would have been unrecognizably different without the contributions of the thinkers of the Islamic world.


Can you suggest some reading materials to those who want to know more about this?


My knowledge of this period is very shallow and mostly comes from the History of Phiosophy Without Any Gaps podcast. Lost Enlightenment is probably the best place to start.

https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00F8MIJMQ/geneexpre...


The Enlightenment was something new under the sun. The Islamic Golden Age was intellectually impressive but nothing in it presages the ideas of individualism and freedom that are at the heart of the Enlightenment project.


The heart of the Enlightenment project is the realization that educated, non-poor citizens are more effective at waging war with other countries.


That’s not an accurate description of the military revolution that began with Revolutionary France and the levée en masse or of the Prussian General Staff system, the two major military organizational innovations of the Enlightenment era. Prussia and France both had mass armies but neither was terribly well educated, officers aside, and calling Prussian subjects citizens is misleading in the extreme. It suggests participation in political life that was restricted to a tiny segment of the population.


As well as many of their people...


>I'd rather go back to poverty than live under a dystopian surveillance dictatorship.

Unfortunately there are too many people on earth who have been trapped in poverty for far too long, they will gladly to be like China.


I'm not arguing in favor of the current Chinese regime, just that change should come somewhat more slowly than a collapse.


It sounds to me like you're saying that you'd rather go back to poverty than live in 1984.

The more salient question, though, is whether you'd rather go back to poverty than live in Singapore?


Enjoy your dystopian surveillance democracy.

Iv 21 days ago [flagged]

If the political system in Chine does not collapse everyone should worry too. Because they are very quickly becoming the #1 economic power in the world and I really do not want to see them spreading their views on authoritarianism and citizens control.

I am of a boring old school of thought that thinks democracy is a pretty cool system and that it should be preserved.

I really hope the Chinese political system collapses at one point. However we should not underestimate the reputation that has a system that tripled the average wage in the last 10 years.

Also I would not trust Bloomberg much outside their field of expertise.


...I really do not want to see them spreading their views on authoritarianism and citizens control.

Western nations have plenty of authoritarianism already. It's just more insidious and under the surface. For example, here in the UK there are CCTV cameras everywhere[1]. They're all linked up so the police can remotely follow citizens around towns, along roads, down motorways, etc. Every bus and train has CCTV on it. Every shop has cameras. People are encouraged to have them in their houses. Whenever there are police documentaries on television they always have CCTV footage of crimes.

We pretend that we're a free liberal democracy, but we're not really. I suspect the same is true for most first world countries.

[1] I live in a small city in the North East of the UK - here's a portion of our traffic cameras https://api.newcastle.urbanobservatory.ac.uk/camera/


> Western nations have plenty of authoritarianism already. It's just more insidious and under the surface. For example, here in the UK there are CCTV cameras everywhere[1].

True

> They're all linked up so the police can remotely follow citizens around towns, along roads, down motorways, etc.

Not true. The police need to ask individually every time they want CCTV footage from private businesses or get a warrant. They do not have convenient access to all CCTV.

> Every bus and train has CCTV on it. Every shop has cameras. People are encouraged to have them in their houses. Whenever there are police documentaries on television they always have CCTV footage of crimes.

And police documentaries don’t show the ones where they don’t have footage or where the criminals got away. If the UK was truly a panopticon there’s be far less crime. I’m not sure what their clearance rate is but people get away with murder in London so I doubt the average mugger has too much to fear from CCTV.


> I doubt the average mugger has too much to fear from CCTV.

Not sure if you are claiming this, but this does not mean that surveillance is not rampant. You need more than CCTVs for criminals to fear them. Sometimes you do not even need CCTVs for criminals to fear the state.


Two things can be bad without being close to equal or even comparable.

The UK's pervasive mass surveillance is definitely bad, but you can, for example, campaign and vote against them, right? Do you feel like pervasive CCTV limits who you can vote for or what books you can read? That's not a strawman, that's literally what it's like in China right now.


> The UK's pervasive mass surveillance is definitely bad, but you can, for example, campaign and vote against them, right?

I wonder, can you really do that, and with ANY effect (leaning towards your goals)?


I knew some would whatabout.

Yes, of course there is plenty of other sources of authoritarianism. What does it have to do with the fact that China is promoting a pretty horrible system of it?

At least in UK and USA is it legal to be against those.


It's a very long way from China in terms of control, though. But more than the CCTV you should be worried about the combination of unusual constitutional maneuvering plus state-of-emergency planning associated with Brexit.


Hogwash. CCTVs mean nothing unless the police will kick down your door and drag you away for something you said or did.

The Bobbies in downtown London won't haul you off for having a sign that shows the Queen as a Whinny the Poo character.

China doesn't even have free migration within their own country and is actively running concentration camps against their own citizens (Uyghurs).


> I am of a boring old school

Like authatorian dictatorships are now super hip? :D


That does seem to be the trend.


The majority of recorded human history China was the #1 economic power though.


And?


>> Because they are very quickly becoming the #1 economic power in the world and I really do not want to see them spreading their views on authoritarianism and citizens control.

For one, China has been the #1 economic power in the world longer than any other country.

Second, they do not spread their views unlike the Western world. How many interventions the US committed in the last 70 years with the approval of the UN? This is exactly the difference between China vs the Western world. They do not force their views on you. This is why they are much more successful in Africa than any Western country ever will be. It is spelled out in the documentary "The Chinese are coming".


> they do not spread their views unlike the Western world.

I'm not sure if with "unlike" you imply that they [China] doesn't do it at all, or not as much as others [US].

In the first case, the argument is wrong. China is using economical leverage to impose its political agenda. See, for example: https://sentinel.tw/norway-one-china-policy.


"The Norwegian government reiterates its commitment to the One China Policy, fully respects China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, attaches high importance to China’s core interests and major concerns, will not support actions that undermine them, and will do its best to avoid any future damage to the bilateral relations."

I guess this is what you are referring to. It is called diplomacy. You apply diplomatic pressure on the other party until you reach a resolution. In this case Norway ok with One China.

On the other end there is the rule of petro dollar and the US military in case you do not understand that you cannot question it. List of countries severely impacted[1]: Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Russia

This is what I meant by the differences between the Western world vs China. Maybe I was too vague.

Here is the complete list of countries where the US committed some sort of intervention[2]. This includes shooting down airliner, invading countries without declaring war, financially supporting terrorist, supporting terrorists with arms, and so on.

This is what I see the fundamental difference between China and the Western world (more specifically USA), Chinese are not trying to overthrow any government or support any terrorists, they want to do business. As somebody put it nicely: "China's business is business, USA's business is war"

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petrodollar_warfare

2. https://www.globalpolicy.org/us-westward-expansion/26024-us-...


If you ware bringing China’s long history into this, China historically has fought many many wars with its neighbors (there is a reason Vietnam is so paranoid of china’s “70 years” of non intervention).

China is hardly that successful in Africa yet, it just publicized the success it has had greatly and ignores all the riots and failed funding situations completely.


>That would likely result in a global economic crash the likes of which the world has never seen.

Forgive me for doubting this.

It will lead to an internal crash in China, but this won't cause the whole world to crash. There will be a slowdown at worst. Taiwan and Vietnam will likely take up a lot of the slack.


Having not studied economics/politics during my time in college, wow does one qualify "collapse" here? What are the properties?


Dramatic political reforms, similar to what happened in 1991 when the Soviet Union "collapsed". Corruption would skyrocket, Oligarchs would emerge from the state owned enterprises, HK would declare independence, inner Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, probably Yunnan would follow. Flows of money, including taxes, would be interrupted, people wont get paid. State owned enterprises would not be able to pay their people, the banking system would collapse (as all major banks are state owned - and dont forget, 5 of the 10 largest banks on this planet are Chinese). Shanghai Composite (their stock market index) would plummet. As there are many micro investors, this would radiate into the housing market. hundreds of Millions would lose their homes.

Such a collapse would bring China back to the 1980s, increase poverty by hundreds of millions of people, disrupt global supply Chains (50% of the global electronics are shipped from the Pearl River Delta, 50% of all ACs and fridges are made there, Daimler, BMW and GM source 20-30% of their parts from China).

Western factories would reduce production as parts are missing. Western companies that export to China would have to reduce output (Volkswagen, GM would have to cut production by 30-40%, Airbus and Boeing by 20-30%). Western stock markets plummet, housing crises emerge, poverty surges, unemployment increases dramatically.

All in all, this would not be a great thing and a lose-lose situation. The Soviet Union was not integrated into the global value chains. China is. A collapse would make the 2008 crisis look like a cute little girl on a pink bicycle and bring the global economies back into the 1990s.


I would rather see the US economy knocked back 15-20 years, if it meant we would stop being so dependent on China. Even if it meant my 401k dropped 80% overnight, if we were going back to domestic production I would support it.

Recovery wouldn't happen immediately but there are a lot of towns and cities with shuttered factories, particularly in the Rust Belt and the Northeast which I could see revitalized. Increased manufacturing would vastly increase the economic diversity of the country, instead of a situation where most jobs that pay a living wage are concentrated in few cities and few industries. A diverse economy would vastly improve the housing situation, since there is abundant land and housing in the middle of the country. It would also do wonders for halting Climate Change, since the US has much cleaner power, transportation, and emissions regulations.


So, you want war, or you want war? Nice choice we have.


I doubt that. People all around the globe want prosperity. Prosperity derives from an expanding economy. An economy can only grow if there is stability that allows to plan and forecast to allow efficient resource allocation and utilisation.

War is chaos. War destroys supply chains. War is standing in direct contrast to planability.

Nobody wants war.

Just look at Russia and its behaviour after the collapse of the Soviet Union. 1991-2000 was pure shit: chaos, corruption, high suicide rates, absolute poverty where poor old Grandmas and Grandpas suffered and committed suicide as there was absolutely nothing. In the early 2000s reforms were made that brought certain stability back to the country. Unfortunately, the economy was depending on resource exploitation - and the government knew that ofc. They tried to open up and integrate themselves into the global economy, e.g. by suggestion to join the NATO (for more stability and less spending on the military) and to join the EU (for better integration into the European markets). The Western nations said no to both suggestions. This is where the wars began: Georgia, North Kaukasus, Ukraine and now Syria.

My two cents: it was a huge bullshit made by the USA to 1) fuck the ex Soviet republics after the collapse in 91 - and yes, they had the option for a Marshall plan 2, and 2) to not integrate Russia into the Western military and economy. Shit for Russia, shit for the EU, shit for the US, shit for the global economy. Thanks again, USA.


[flagged]


It won’t be good. China doesn’t have a good record on feeding its population during extreme situations.


Sure. If you're middle/upper class living in a wealthy country.

But for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society they will experience hardships not seen since the Great Recession. And the inequality gap will rapidly widen which affects everyone.


I rather live in a world where the CCP failed and a bunch of poor people suffered than a world run by the CCP where 1/2 the world is at their mercy. America can be a tyrant but I believe the CCP would be much much worse.


> a bunch of poor people

By that, you mean you are championing the potential mass starvation and violent deaths of hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people.... cool


> mass starvation and violent deaths of hundreds of thousands

America in its reign is responsible for that itself, it's also saved hundreds of thousands if not millions. So it's nothing new. Mao killed millions, was no big thing, and the modern CCP thinks that he's the reason for China's eventual success. CCP around for a hundred or more years something similar is bound to happen, just see what they are doing the Uigurs. So yeah that sort of rhetoric really doesn't fly in the face of political reality where empires kill and starve millions without batting an eye. WWII killed 55 million, and I don't regret that it happened. I wish it didn't have to happen this way, but I don't see any other way to curtail CCP's growth or power... if this does not happen then the most likely outcome is CCP will be triumphant and control the significant portion of the world for many years during which it will exercise its power and cost many people their lives and freedom.


maybe in China (where they would arguably be at fault themselves...) but everywhere else? how is housing and food becoming less available suddenly without a war?


Gross.


If he's not careful, REAL communists might overthrow the government.

Just kidding. Only people in countries that have been spared its horrors still believe in communism.


Actually, true believers are a legitimate problem for the CCP https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/world/asia/china-maoists-...


You joke, but CCP is Communist in the name only.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are still some die hard communists around that’d love to seize the power.


People that have survived communism just accept high levels of corruption because it's better than the alternative. That's why Putin is popular.


Do dictators have to eradicate every slight manifestation of dissent and turn elections into rigged cargo cult shows because they are so popular?


It's subtle, but no, Putin isn't popular in the way freely elected leaders are. He's only preferable to the alternative.


Who is the alternative?


Was popular, a lot of protests happening this year.


Putin is popular, because he's better than what was before (i'm speaking mostly of the old drunk). And also because he does stuff that a lot of russians actually like.

A lot of people (mostly westeners) don't understand, that if someone gets back "historic russian territory" from a "neighbor" you don't really like, and noone can do anything about that, that's a good thing for Russia. It's bad for the neighbors, it's bad for NATO, it's bad for everyone else who wants to influece Russia, but for Russia, it's a good thing.

It's the same thing with Trump... he does this, he does that, outrage everywhere, and in the end, EU is even more fuc*ed, Chinese send threats but can't do anything, and USA gets richer, old industries come back, people get jobs, get paid more, etc. And some wonder why he won.


Citation for that last paragraph?

All I've seen is a shrinking coal industry leaving workers unpaid for their last month on the job[1], 25% tariffs slapped on our hardware imports [2] (causing a 30% drop in our sales) and kids being killed by Customs and Border Protection [3].

None of this is good for the USA or my fellow American

1 - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/19/us/kentucky-coal-miners.h...

2 - https://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2019/08/07/the-long-term-im...

3 - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/20/migrant-chil...


Wish you'd asked for a citation for the whole dang comment. It's the exact kind of "sweet tasting" vitriol that has been sending people with a certain kind of persona into a feeding frenzy in countries all over the fucking planet. This phenomenon is a testament to how susceptible our collective amygdalae are to narrative manipulation. Doesn't matter how many historical precedents are exemplified, our species falls for it every time.


I did not care to dig into his first two sentences, but next time you see a comment like that, please ask them for citations and dissect what they said with your own citations.

We need to deal in fact, which requires a fair bit of effort to cite and write. Call out those poisoning the comments with vitrol and insanity, a harsh light reveals their lack of grounding in fact.


Unchecked IP and currency abuse by China, and unfettered illegal immigration are also "not good for the USA or my fellow American."

> kids being killed by Customs and Border Protection

Are you actually trying to claim that CBP is deliberately killing children?


> Unchecked IP and currency abuse by China, and unfettered illegal immigration are also "not good for the USA or my fellow American."

Please cite how the USA has been negatively affected by IP abuse or China's monetary policy. It seems quite similar to our prior tangoes with Japanese cars & Taiwan's electronics imports to the USA.

At this juncture we have pushed China into economic stagnation, while slowing our own economic growth.

> unfettered illegal immigration are also "not good for the USA or my fellow American."

We're a country of immigrants, our current "legal" immigration system is only a few decades old. Prior to that it was a free for all with nearly open borders (and no passports/visas), which bolstered the US economy mightily during World War 1 & World War 2.

Open Borders is key to being open for business, our current policy is locking out millions of people that could turbocharge our economy.

> Are you actually trying to claim that CBP is deliberately killing children?

Yes, when you choose to act in a way that you know kills some children needlessly, you are killing children. God doesn't look the other way!


Economic growth for 8 straight years of the last 7 years of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration were good for the USA and our fellow Americans.

Is killing children okay if it's not deliberate?


"but for Russia, it's a good thing."

Are you sure? Haven't the resulting sanctions damaged Russia's economic growth and increased prices for consumers?

I can see the geo-strategic value of Crimea, but for the ordinary Russian citizen, where is the positive effect?


You have to understand that democracy, even the idea of it, is not native at all to Russians. I was there earlier in June. What struck me the most was how much reverence the Russians still have for all their erstwhile Soviet era dictators (Lenin and Stalin in particular). The former Tsars are particularly venerated.

The Russian people called Tsar Nicholas "little father". The assassination was an anomaly; the revolutionaries had to work very hard to hide the bodies because they feared the people would start worshipping the dead Tsars (which is exactly what's happening today).

Even with religion, 70 years of Soviet oppression and Russia is now as religious as ever.

So when you criticize Putin for crushing dissent, you have to understand that what might be oppression to us is perfectly normal for Russian people.

At this point, I have to ask: why do we assume that we know what's better for Russians (or any other nationality) than the Russians themselves?


We have real Communists everywhere, they are called corporations, most people work for such government where once inside they are a number and a cog in a machine that tells them to cooperate and not compete. It was a stupid idea to take this corporate model and try to implement it on the scale of national governance and there is no fitness function to terminate it if it's not working as expected, i.e. everyone is not being a good Communist. You want real Communism simply install unions into any existing corporation and make all employees into shareholders, instant Communism.


I don't understand what you mean. Corporations as a legal structure are built to compete & live or die, governments are not. The point of having political power is to control it for the sake of prosperity. Having a 'death clause' in your government worker's performance would mean you've failed as a political actor to get enough control to guarantee prosperity. That's a bigger threat to the gov than having useless employees. Controlled incompetence, plausible deniability, ect are all useful political tools. Not always needed, but they are still useful tools.

If you want a 'communist corporation', just give every employee shares. You don't need unions or whatever else. You could start a company right now that does that. Some big UK firms do a performance sharing scheme with everybody in the company, even cashiers. Granted it's not much money in real terms, but it's proof how flexible the corporate legal structure can be.


> If you want a 'communist corporation', just give every employee shares

Co-operatives in this form aren’t communist. They compete for members, vendors and customers. They don’t have a monopoly on violence. They can be held accountable by the rule of law.

None of the above apply to communist governments. They have a monopoly on violence and the factors of production. That precludes an independent check on state power which, in turn, precludes the rule of law.


Yeah true. I was hoping the only thing of value people would see in communism is the egalitarian attitude towards the distribution of wealth. Communism is a political ideology, applying it to a corporation or business is going to lose it's political edge.


I'm Chinese and live well in China. Of course, I only represent myself. If you want to know more about China, see some Chinese travel YouTuber or come to China yourself. Instead of believing in a media publish "The Big Hack" without evidence.

I'm curious that HN is full of articles and comments that uglify China. Many Chinese developer read HN to learn and integrate into the world. Now I think Chinese understand the world more than the world understand China.

By the way, isn't this off-topic according to HN guidelines?


Paywall workaround : http://archive.is/ErJXw


Or, Inspect and add new CSS rule:

p { display: block !important }


China's success proves that democracy is not the only way. These guys just cannot accept this simple fact. LOL


Democracy imposed on countries where the demand for it never arose organically usually ends in failure.

The west has a biased perspective on this issue, but the idea of democracy is not innate to vast majority of the world


this kind of article will just pop up again and again until the day your comment is not down voted so many times


China proved the Washington Consensus to be utter garbage.




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