Thanksgiving in HK

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neverfail
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by neverfail » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:33 am

Milo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:21 pm
Here's a very insightful video from someone who has first hand experience.

Thank's for the video Milo which found to be of great interest. Though the narrator does not mention this I can see that things in the PRC have taken a decided turn for the worse corresponding with the rise of Xi Jinping and his consolidation of absolute power.

His observation also supports Cassowary's earlier allegation about the building of unsaleable blocks of apartments, even entire ghost cities in the Gobi desert, to inflate the country's annual growth rate as deliberate government policy.

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cassowary
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Re: ...like Humpty Dumpty?

Post by cassowary » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am

neverfail wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:40 pm
cassowary wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:27 am

The wiki article you quoted merely described the technology available during the Han dynasty. It did not say anything about the state operated or owned the iron factories. That, I think, was your assumption. I honestly don't know the economics of the Han dynasty. I always thought that they were largely agrarian societies. Even if you are right, that the state owned the factories, there were other commercial areas that were private sector owned. China had farmers, merchants, craftsmen and sailors who did not work for the Emperor.
Well, I admit that I might have overstepped the mark publishing something that I might have read years ago but did not double check. Yet see what this link says about the Eastern Han:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discourse ... t_and_Iron
The Discourses on Salt and Iron (Chinese: 鹽鐵論; pinyin: Yán Tiě Lùn) was a debate held at the imperial court in 81 BCE on state policy during the Han dynasty in China. The previous emperor, Emperor Wu, had reversed the laissez-faire policies of his predecessors and imposed a wide variety of state interventions, such as creating monopolies on China's salt and iron enterprises, price stabilization schemes, and taxes on capital. These actions sparked a fierce debate as to the policies of the Emperor. After his death, during the reign of Emperor Zhao of Han, the regent Huo Guang called on all the scholars of the empire to come to the capital, Chang'an, to debate the government's economic policies.

The debate was characterized by two opposing factions, the reformists and the modernists. The reformists were largely Confucian scholars who opposed the policies of Emperor Wu and demanded the abolition of the monopolies on salt and iron, an end to the state price stabilization schemes, and huge cuts in government expenditures to reduce the burden on the citizenry. The Modernists supported the continuation of Emperor Wu's policies in order to appropriate the profits of private merchants into state coffers to fund the government's military and colonization campaigns in the north and west.

The results of these debates were mixed. Although the Modernists were largely successful and their policies were followed through most of the Western Han after Emperor Wu, the Reformists repealed these policies in Eastern Han, save for the government monopoly on minting coins.
It seems that government policy that way was inconsistent down through the centuries. There were even periods of the privatization of state assets that resemble those that came into fashion in The West from around 1980 onward.

Yes, China was not just predominantly but overwhelmingly an agrarian society throughout as it has been even during the Communist period up until now. But all that is now changing (for the first time in China's long history) even as we write. Yet it was an agrarian society that was rendered efficiently productive with the help of extraneous factors such as the ready availability of cheap cast iron farming tools and government policies such as massive irrigation schemes.

Certainly, China before the CCP took power in 1949, China was a free market economy. You are trying to argue that the means of production was owned by the state even during Imperial times and China today is simply following ancient custom. But how do you explain the period between 1911 and 1949?

Excerpt from link:
Yet the economist Gregory Chow summarizes recent scholarship when he concludes that "in spite of political instability, economic activities carried on and economic development took place between 1911 and 1937," and in short, "modernization was taking place." Up until 1937, he continues, China had a market economy which was "performing well", which explains why China was capable of returning to a market economy after economic reform started in 1978.[2]
It amazes me that you even bother to mention this truly horrible recent period of Chinese history whose dominant themes were instability, insecurity and opportunistic invasions by the Japanese. Within a decade of the founding of the Chinese republic by Dr Sun Yat Sen real power had drifted out of the hands of the central government in Beijing into the hands of regional warlords - so that instead of a unitary state you had a jigsaw puzzle of provincial fiefdoms. As my mentor pointed out to us during a course on the topic I did on the topic years ago contended "by the mid-1920's anyone could move into Beijing and form a government; but such a government was powerless to implement its policies outside the Beijing city limits".

This was the dismembered China that Chiang Kai Check inherited when he states his takeover in Beijing in 1927 (having first of all massacred his former allies and collaborators,the Communists, outside Shanghai along the way :D ). Chiang subsequently had to rely on support and cooperation by these powerful regional warlords right throughout his rule on the mainland right up until 1949. Of course these power brokers demanded a price.

So as I see it it would not have mattered what official policy Beijing prescribed over this period as the power to implement was not in the central government's hands.

Private enterprise likely won by default as this would have suited the real powers in the land, the provincial warlords and triad chieftains that the Republic of China was riddled with. despite this during the course of the (1937 to 1945) war of resistance against the Japanese invaders Chiangs government, with no other way to provide funding inflated the currency to the point where it was worthless and in so doing ensured that a consensus of public opinion favourable to a change of regime - which of course benefited the Communist side during the ensuing civil war.

It took the Communist victory in 1949 to finally abolish the accursed banes of warlordism and landlordism and get the country functioning again as a unitary state.
I am amazed at your wide ranging knowledge over so many topics, Neverfail.

From your link, it appears that the ancient Chinese were like us moderns. Some officials argued for more government control over the economy while others wanted laizzez faire policies. It seems that like today, Chinese imperial policies fluctuated like a pendulum.

I mentioned the 1911 to 1949 period to emphasize that government control over the economy is not part of the Chinese DNA. It only started with Mao. Deng liberalized the economy. But that came to a stop with Xi who is rolling back both economic liberalization and also tightening political control - the concentration camps and social credit system are good examples.
The Imp :D

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cassowary
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by cassowary » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:59 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:33 am
Milo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:21 pm
Here's a very insightful video from someone who has first hand experience.

Thank's for the video Milo which found to be of great interest. Though the narrator does not mention this I can see that things in the PRC have taken a decided turn for the worse corresponding with the rise of Xi Jinping and his consolidation of absolute power.

His observation also supports Cassowary's earlier allegation about the building of unsaleable blocks of apartments, even entire ghost cities in the Gobi desert, to inflate the country's annual growth rate as deliberate government policy.
I believe that beneath the sparkling surface of 6% GDP growth, subterranean cracks are forming. A Chinese earthquake is coming. Will the trade war trigger it?
The Imp :D

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Milo
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by Milo » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am

cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:59 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:33 am
Milo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:21 pm
Here's a very insightful video from someone who has first hand experience.

Thank's for the video Milo which found to be of great interest. Though the narrator does not mention this I can see that things in the PRC have taken a decided turn for the worse corresponding with the rise of Xi Jinping and his consolidation of absolute power.

His observation also supports Cassowary's earlier allegation about the building of unsaleable blocks of apartments, even entire ghost cities in the Gobi desert, to inflate the country's annual growth rate as deliberate government policy.
I believe that beneath the sparkling surface of 6% GDP growth, subterranean cracks are forming. A Chinese earthquake is coming. Will the trade war trigger it?
The guy in this video seems halfway out the door. Being open to entrepreneurs is necessary for sustainable prosperity. The trade war may accelerate things but it looks like Xi can do this all by himself.

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Doc
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by Doc » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:29 pm

Milo wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:21 pm
Here's a very insightful video from someone who has first hand experience.

Watched this guy and the ADVChina Youtube channel for years. He definitely soured on China.
“"I fancied myself as some kind of god....It is a sort of disease when you consider yourself some kind of god, the creator of everything, but I feel comfortable about it now since I began to live it out.” -- George Soros

neverfail
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Re: ...like Humpty Dumpty?

Post by neverfail » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:29 pm

cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am

I am amazed at your wide ranging knowledge over so many topics, Neverfail.
Thanks for the complement Cass. I am as much enamored by these as any man :D . I sometimes amaze myself by what can come out of me - especially when challenged.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am
From your link, it appears that the ancient Chinese were like us moderns. Some officials argued for more government control over the economy while others wanted laizzez faire policies. It seems that like today, Chinese imperial policies fluctuated like a pendulum.
Exactly my impression too. Chinese civilization commands my respect in part because, along with technological innovations such as were not seen in The West for centuries, even millennia after, they were able to debate modern issues like that which at the time would have been incomprehensible on the opposite side of Eurasia.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am
I mentioned the 1911 to 1949 period to emphasize that government control over the economy is not part of the Chinese DNA. It only started with Mao. Deng liberalized the economy. But that came to a stop with Xi who is rolling back both economic liberalization and also tightening political control - the concentration camps and social credit system are good examples.
I did not mean to suggest that Chinese people were devoid of entrepreneurship flair. On average they seem to run rings around us that way. My argument was/is that they are conditioned by centuries of alternating between subjugation to the imposed order of imperial dynasties separated by periods of chaos and disorder to anticipate either one or the other. Of the two the first is usually better than the second.

I consider China's historically recent "century of humiliation" to have been the most recent such disorderly transition that throughout Chinese history has marked the decline and fall of one dynastic imperial state and the rise of the next one to replace its predecessor.

Mao's first (and overriding) priority in 1949-50 after he had driven Chiang's opposing nationalists off the mainland to refuge on Taiwan would have been simply to get China together again and functioning once more. In the early years his regime did several things to their credit. Among them:

1) He rid rural China of the bane of landlordism, especially absentee landlordism - otherwise described as "rent capitalism". A typical Chinese regional warlord of the period was usually a landlord who was rich enough due to extensive land holdings to afford his own private army. During the breakdown of order within the Chinese state over the decade that followed the inauguration of the Republic of China in 1911 many of them would have found it expedient to have such private forces of mercenaries and retainers if only to protect their persons and property.

This phenomenon of wealthy landlords exercising a sort of quasi-sovereignty as the central government lost its grip and the empire degenerated into chaos is not without precedent in the history of China either. it has happened on several occasions before.

2) He abolished the lucrative commercial and territorial concessions that foreigners had enjoyed in the wake of the Opium Wars - and rightly resented by many Chinese as it was through these that the British in particular had drained China of much of its tangible wealth.

If Chiang Kai Check had done both of these soon after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, I speculate that he would have very much enhanced his regime's credentials as one with the Chinese nation's best interests at heart in order to strengthen it for the coming civil war showdown with the Communists.

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Milo
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Re: ...like Humpty Dumpty?

Post by Milo » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:27 pm

neverfail wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:29 pm
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am

I am amazed at your wide ranging knowledge over so many topics, Neverfail.
Thanks for the complement Cass. I am as much enamored by these as any man :D . I sometimes amaze myself by what can come out of me - especially when challenged.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am
From your link, it appears that the ancient Chinese were like us moderns. Some officials argued for more government control over the economy while others wanted laizzez faire policies. It seems that like today, Chinese imperial policies fluctuated like a pendulum.
Exactly my impression too. Chinese civilization commands my respect in part because, along with technological innovations such as were not seen in The West for centuries, even millennia after, they were able to debate modern issues like that which at the time would have been incomprehensible on the opposite side of Eurasia.
cassowary wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:56 am
I mentioned the 1911 to 1949 period to emphasize that government control over the economy is not part of the Chinese DNA. It only started with Mao. Deng liberalized the economy. But that came to a stop with Xi who is rolling back both economic liberalization and also tightening political control - the concentration camps and social credit system are good examples.
I did not mean to suggest that Chinese people were devoid of entrepreneurship flair. On average they seem to run rings around us that way. My argument was/is that they are conditioned by centuries of alternating between subjugation to the imposed order of imperial dynasties separated by periods of chaos and disorder to anticipate either one or the other. Of the two the first is usually better than the second.

I consider China's historically recent "century of humiliation" to have been the most recent such disorderly transition that throughout Chinese history has marked the decline and fall of one dynastic imperial state and the rise of the next one to replace its predecessor.

Mao's first (and overriding) priority in 1949-50 after he had driven Chiang's opposing nationalists off the mainland to refuge on Taiwan would have been simply to get China together again and functioning once more. In the early years his regime did several things to their credit. Among them:

1) He rid rural China of the bane of landlordism, especially absentee landlordism - otherwise described as "rent capitalism". A typical Chinese regional warlord of the period was usually a landlord who was rich enough due to extensive land holdings to afford his own private army. During the breakdown of order within the Chinese state over the decade that followed the inauguration of the Republic of China in 1911 many of them would have found it expedient to have such private forces of mercenaries and retainers if only to protect their persons and property.

This phenomenon of wealthy landlords exercising a sort of quasi-sovereignty as the central government lost its grip and the empire degenerated into chaos is not without precedent in the history of China either. it has happened on several occasions before.

2) He abolished the lucrative commercial and territorial concessions that foreigners had enjoyed in the wake of the Opium Wars - and rightly resented by many Chinese as it was through these that the British in particular had drained China of much of its tangible wealth.

If Chiang Kai Check had done both of these soon after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, I speculate that he would have very much enhanced his regime's credentials as one with the Chinese nation's best interests at heart in order to strengthen it for the coming civil war showdown with the Communists.
The Chinese regime under Chang Kai Shek was mostly concerned with its criminal enterprises, being a government was an afterthought.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/127 ... ng_Dynasty

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Sertorio
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by Sertorio » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:55 am

Interesting discussion. Congratulations to all of you, mostly Neverfail, Cass and Milo. I have learned quite a few things from you.

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cassowary
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by cassowary » Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:20 am

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:55 am
Interesting discussion. Congratulations to all of you, mostly Neverfail, Cass and Milo. I have learned quite a few things from you.
Why, thank you Sertorio.
The Imp :D

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Milo
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Re: Thanksgiving in HK

Post by Milo » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:23 am

cassowary wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 5:20 am
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:55 am
Interesting discussion. Congratulations to all of you, mostly Neverfail, Cass and Milo. I have learned quite a few things from you.
Why, thank you Sertorio.
Thank you.

I learn something new from this forum every time I am on it.

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