Walter Block is one of my favorite people in the liberty movement. He’s clear, uncomprimising, and good natured. He’s also a brilliant economic mind.
China is a land of wonders. The joys of state capitalism abound in the ultimate crony capitalist state. Witness this gem of planning, a lovely condo placed smack dab in the middle of a massive highway. Very nice.
Well I can’t believe it. You mean the economic data from the world’s Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is intentionally incorrect? You mean China’s entire economy might be overstated by 10-12%? (Doesn’t that put Japan back into the number 2 slot?) You mean those ghost city stories are for real? That the red dragon, though not toothless is lacking much of the fire we thought it had? I am shocked.
This is what happens when the government runs the economy without the feedback mechanism of lawsuits and a free press. People and businesses just up and leave.
The ultimate crony capitalist state is looking at a sharp rise in prices.
An American woman unwrapping Halloween decorations bought from K-Mart earlier this year found a note which appears to have been written by someone working in a Chinese forced labor camp. It desperately asks the world to pay attention.
How can America compete with China’s subsidized industries in the 21st Century? Surely we will be left behind and the Red Dragon will come back to swallow us into its state-capitalism fed belly.
In his most recent column entitled Don’t Like State Capitalism? Blame the West Mr. Mishra again tries to defend an economic system within which the state is the primary driver of the economy. He again offers us examples such as Singapore, Japan, Korea, and of course China as how state centered capitalism can work. I answered this argument in a prior piece HERE
Mishra makes the same argument again, but this time he explains that the reason the East is so inclined toward the neo-mercantilist model is because the West did it first. How did the West dominate the world? State capitalism. On this point I generally agree with him.
What Mr. Mishra may have forgotten is that we too, the USA, once had a colonial master. We too felt the heavy hand of state capitalism. The revolt which started in Boston harbor and metastasized into a revolution was to a large degree a revolt against a form of state capitalism.
Did the USA over time forget its anti-merchantilist roots and engage in mercantilism itself? You better believe it.
But this doesn’t make it right.
I suppose that one should expect this sort of thing from a publication founded by the current mayor of New York, who appears himself to be anything but a free marketeer.
As I read the attached essay by Pankaj Mishra I was struck by the utter delusion of the author. He holds up Japan as a good example of how a country should do business. Yes, that is correct, the country which for 2 decades has been mired in near recession.
To be fair Japan did succeed for a long time and still produces wonderful cars and electronics. But this occurred in spite of the state not because of it. In fact one could argue that the real driver of post-World War II Japan was the discipline that runs through the Japanese culture which goes back centuries, and the deep fear of being dominated by much larger neighbors which the Japanese had not treated very well in the very recent past. Fear of subjugation by what many Japanese consider “lesser peoples,” not the state, drove much of what Japan became. It can be argued that a similar fear drove American “capitalism” in the post-war years at a fundamental level.
However Mr. Mishra argues that the current long lasting recession we find ourselves mired in is an example of how “neo-liberal” economics has failed.