Indeed they do. But unless there are a hell of a lot of CEO's, somebody else is
buying all those cars and condos. Even the four-buck-a-day factory worker is
living better than their wildest dreams.
Twenty years ago, essentially everyone in the country was a slave. They lived
where they told, did the work they were told, and were paid essentially nothing.
China's government has some world class problems (broken banking system, totally
inadequate infrastructure, pollution, among others), but the people are hugely
better off than they were.
Let's hope they are farsighted enough to give credit where credit is
ultimately due ... to the capitalistic societies of the West.
But probably not ... to the ultimate detriment of both.
When the Brits returned Hong Kong to China in the 90's, China swore they were
not going change it, that they wanted a capitalist example. My thought was
"Yeah, right.". But they didn't change it. Capitalism spread across the border
into Guangdong province and up the coast from there.
The young folks (teens and 20's) in China love American pop culture -- fast
food, Hollywood, TV, and music. Actually, it is kind of embarrassing. I think
America exports some of the worst of our culture.
The ultimate luxury car is a Buick. Forget that German or Japanese iron.
English is a required subject in the schools. It is hard to walk down the
street without a kid running up to say "Hello" or "What time is it?" just to try
out their English.
How much mileage this will get us in the long term is another question.
Certainly worked very well with the Former Soviet Union (emphasis on
former). The infiltration of western culture (some of it more appropriately
hypothetical "culture") helped further the fall of the totalitarian state.
At their heart, almost all people have the need for freedom; governments
like the Soviet State and the Chinese Communists can only hold the lid on
so long before things blow up. China, like the Soviet Union before it, is
now experimenting with "controlled capitalism" and "limited freedom" in an
attempt to maintain strong central control by the ruling class. I'm sure
their ruling class is trying to apply "lesssons learned" from watching the
fall of the FSU, thinking that by applying a little more force here or
there they can maintain the high degree of control they now enjoy. A little
freedom is like being a little pregnant and no freedom, such as they had
before while seeing what others have is not cannot be maintained
indefinitely. North Korea is a prime example of the latter case; they are
either going to kill all of their people or are going to have to undergo a
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Meanwhile, back in the USA, we have people who think capitalism is dead
or dying, and trying to push us into a socialist state. Go figure.
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The US schools do a poor job on language. You may get a year of Spanish
or French but it is a far cry from every day conversational use when all is
done. My own language skills are lacking, but I do learn at least a few
words of a country that I'm visiting, but hear a lot of English spoken,
especially in tourist areas.
We get a lot of truck drivers from Quebec. Most speak little or no English
or just refuse to. OTOH, I've never had a problem when visiting there.
Having been raised in Brownsville, TX, I am quite used to people
speaking more than one language. I took 3 years of spanish in
high school which basically gave me the basic structure of the
language but I could not converse unless someone wanted to know
where the library was.
After going to work, I learned in a hurry. I and one other guy
were the only people on the jobsite where english was their first
language. Immersion is the way to go.
I still find it strange that people only speak one language. I
am not absolutely fluent, but I can carry on a lengthy conversation.
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