Wikinvest Wire

Why China won't pop its bubbles

Saturday, August 15, 2009

This report just in from the Associated Press provides another good example of how it's much harder for the Chinese government to manage things when the economy slows.

China steel workers trap official in 4-day protest
Hundreds of steel workers in central China trapped a government official in their factory's office compound for four days, angry at the official's role in the state-run plant's privatization, the local government said Saturday.

A local official denied a report in state-run media that armed police were dispatched to clear out the workers, saying they left voluntarily after the government persuaded them to go.
...
Protests are common in China, especially as state-run companies are sold off and privatized, leading to layoffs. The government is also shutting down old, polluting steel mills to make way for more efficient plants.

A similar protest last month in northeastern China led to the general manager of a state-owned steel plant being beaten to death. That plant's merger was called off.
...
State media said the workers object to the restructuring and want higher compensation.
Can you imagine the thoughts that were going through the head of the trapped government official, knowing that protesters had killed a steel plant manager just weeks before?

This is somewhat reminiscent of the U.S. in the early 1900s where protests at Pennsylvania steel towns oftentimes turned violent, however, the important distinction between the two is that the latest protests in China are related to layoffs rather than working conditions.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The American middle class and Unions have rolled over for many years, but hard times have a way of motivating people. Still, I am very surprised how easily the lobbyists are killing public health care.

Anonymous said...

You're making the presumption that public health care is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

"You're making the presumption that public health care is a good thing."

Based on the empirical evidence of how the countries with public healthcare are doing compared to us, in terms of both cost and outcomes, this presumption is a no-brainer.

On the other hand, if one is driven by ideology, then public healthcare is communism and Nazism rolled into one. Kind of like that IBD editorial that Stephen Hawking would have no chance to survive if he was born in the UK:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/12/hawking_british_and_alive/

John S said...

"Based on the empirical evidence of how the countries with public healthcare are doing compared to us, in terms of both cost and outcomes, this presumption is a no-brainer..."

And I see how every year millions of Americans fly to Canada, Cuba and the U.K. to get treatments that are unavailable here.

Stephen Hawking receives private healthcare. It's still available the upper class in Britain.

And if you really believe it's the lobbyists that are killing socialized medicine, you will be surprised by the results of the mid-term elections.

Anonymous said...

John,

1. Cuba does not belong on the same list as Canada, the UK, US, France, Germany, or Japan. It is a much, much poorer country. You can compare Cuban healthcare to that of, say, Peru, if you want.

2. Actually I do know a person who went to Italy for a procedure not yet approved here, but that's not the point. Anecdotes are good for illustration, but they don't prove anything. And looking at health statistics, we are spending much more than other rich countries and overall, getting worse medical outcomes.

3. Regarding Hawking -- maybe are right, but care to provide any evidence?

4. Regarding midterm elections -- again, you may well be right. People are easily manipulated and often don't vote for their interests. (how elitist of me to say this :))

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