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Forum Post: Where can we go to get an accurate picture of where Capitalism will inevitably lead us 20 to 30 years down the road?

Posted 2 years ago on April 23, 2012, 2:36 p.m. EST by GildasSapiens (266)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"Communist China, ironically.

When referring to sheer numbers, China's economy has grown to the point of invincibility. The unemployment rate is incredibly low at 4.1 percent, GDP climbs significantly nearly every quarter, and more and more industries are locating to China to produce their goods. China's population is exploding, meaning more tax dollars and productivity. Many American businesses talk of adapting to the "Chinese Model" of doing business. But how has China become the shining beacon of capitalism the world over?

Foxconn may have taken up the bulk of the news coverage, but they're merely one of many examples of China's business culture. Unions are almost unheard of in China, as is anything resembling a living wage, adequate benefits packages or labor regulations. Companies such as Foxconn can pay their employees as little as they wish, make them work unbelievably long hours, employ them at very young ages, hold them to unrealistically high standards, and sap their employees' physical and mental health until they work themselves to exhaustion or injury, even to the point of threatening mass suicide at the workplace.

Environmental standards for Chinese businesses are similarly deplorable. In some parts of China, air quality is so bad that being outside requires wearing a mask to avoid breathing in dangerous particulates emitted by coal plants, unrestrained by any clean air regulations. Groundwater in rural Chinese communities and big cities alike has been shown to cause cancer through consumption, as 70 percent of lakes and rivers are polluted. Conditions are unlikely to change, because the Chinese government refuses to impose regulations on the companies that employ a bulk of their people. Their excuse is to "help enterprises pass the winter."

The Chinese model has prevailed. American labor unions have lost their last bit of influence and the halls of Congress are completely filled with corporatists eager to undo a century's worth of regulations to enrich their campaign donors' bottom lines. Reversing corporate funding of elections would require an amendment to the United States Constitution that would not only have to pass through both halls of Congress and be signed by the president, but also ratified by three-fourths of the states. Such a plan would take decades to succeed, which is longer than we have to radically change society.

Our current problems are all rooted in greed and inequality -- corporate greed, Wall Street greed, greed of the top .001 percent, who now own more than 970 times more than the bottom 90 percent. Such greed has led to staggering inequality even greater than the inequality that preceded the economic crash of 1929. Nearly all income is flowing to a very tiny minority in a country of more than 310 million people. And even though the size of the U.S. economy has tripled since 1960, middle and lower-class wages have actually gone down. And those at the very top can't make up for the lost economic activity of the bottom 90 percent. This has inhibited the rest of the country's ability to create new wealth, rendering more and more once middle-class people to become dependent on government assistance just to meet daily costs of living."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-gibson/lessons-from-communist-china_b_1438116.html

9 Comments

9 Comments


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[-] 2 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

It could go in that direction....or it might go in the direction of competition between super-states (such as the US empire vs. a Russo-EU or Russo-China pact) over dwindling markets/resources culminating in Nuclear conflict.

To get an accurate picture of that you could checkout the surface of Mars.

[-] 1 points by GildasSapiens (266) 2 years ago

Russo-China, yes: Russo-EU, definitely not - the EU is too closely associated with NATO & "Western values", & too many of the newer EU members in Central & Eastern Europe fear renewed Russian domination.

I don't think competition over resources will lead to nuclear war - renewed Cold War, with multiple proxy wars worldwide, yes.

I think the major threat of nuclear war in the foreseeable future comes from Israel, which is becoming increasingly isolated, paranoid & nationalistic, all the while stockpiling WMDs & other highly destructive weapons as if there's no tomorrow - no doubt because they realise that, for such an unjust, racist, bellicose, arrogant state, there can, ultimately, be no tomorrow.

[-] 2 points by EricBlair (447) 2 years ago

Wouldn't you count Israel as an extension of US hegemony?

I was considering them as a part of the US bloc

Russia has already made their intentions clear regarding the Iranian question:

http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-09/news/31311454_1_russian-defense-ministry-military-action-dmitry-rogozin

[-] 1 points by GildasSapiens (266) 2 years ago

I agree - except that I would question whether Israel is an extension of US hegemony, or whether the US has become, especially in the last dozen years or so, an extension of Zionist hegemony?

Russia, of course, cannot afford to allow the US to do to Iran what it did to Iraq (or, indeed, Libya) - that would effectively throw the Middle East, Central Asia & the Caucasus into chaos, putting all of Russia east of the Urals & south of Volgograd in peril (i.e. all her economic assets).

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

The article I attached below provides me with hope. Labor everywhere is reaching a breaking point. I am familiar with history, however, and wonder if workers demanding rights worldwide will herald declaration of WWIII. Glenn Beck is running some nonsense show tonight about the possibility, though I'm not certain what is causing his alarm. I also see AFRICOM as a potential contributor to global conflict once it becomes clear that the neoliberal dream (nightmare for most) we have been living is completely unsustainable.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/02/china-workers-waking-up-rights?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038

2/March/2012

China's marginalised workers are waking up to their rights by: Lijia Zhang

The first signs of real trade unions and factory strikes may signal the end of China's low cost, low human rights advantage.

Two weeks ago, Foxconn Technology, an electronic giant, announced it would increase its workers' salaries by as much as 25%. The move was probably the result of pressure from the increasingly rights-conscious workers and international concerns about the factory's working conditions. Shortly before that, Apple had sent an independent labour group to investigate its suppliers, including Foxconn.

[-] 1 points by GildasSapiens (266) 2 years ago

Good reply & article, thanks.

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 2 years ago

Crapitalism, on the road built by Powell, Reagan, Bush, Norquist, Koch, ALEC
##########################################################> SOYLENT GREEN

[-] 1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Don't forget the cage "homes." that some residents are now living in.

If I was a ruthless capitalist who lacked any sense of morals or empathy... where do you think would be the best place to start a cage home community in the US? Detroit? New Orleans?

The business model is really simple: I rent out a single-bedroom apartment for ~$1000 per month, fill it up with 12-15 cages, and charge the cage tenants $150 per month to live there. PROFIT!