The other face of China

Discussion in 'Economics' started by Misthos, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. Many here decry the power of the tree hugging environmental groups. Certainly, many of their successful efforts have cost industry tremendously, but doesn't a clean environment have a benefit for a nation's people as well?

    Sure, we lose industry to countries that have weaker environmental regulations, but shouldn't there be stronger agreements between nations regarding the environment? If "fair trade" was practiced amongst nations, which included equal worker's rights, and environmental regulations, would US industry be so quick to move abroad?

    And what of the benefits? Sure we get cheaper goods from nations such as China - but at what environmental human cost? I'm not arguing that it's our role to influence China's policies to benefit their people. What I am saying is that mutually agreed upon environmental and worker protections between countries (fair trade) would benefit nations like the EU nations and the US that have more stringent regs.

    And I don't believe that we would lose our sovereignty by proposing suchs regs. What I'm saying is that if LDCs want to trade with us, they need to have similar regulations.

    Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, scroll down to see these pictures in the link below, read the captions, and you will see a different face of China. You will see what China has sacrificed to become an economic powerhouse in such a short time.
  2. There was a PBS show about this. China's official response was something to the effect, "... we're not going to concern ourselves with the environment... as it will cost jobs..."
  3. Their defence is we did the same thing during the industrial revolution where living conditions were just as bad.

    Don't deny us our chance of growth because we aplied your methods a few decades later.

    The same goes for privacy mathers by the way.

    We film our civilians and employees to much and intrude their privacy?

    But Mr West, we only learned it from England where London is the most CCTV crowded city in the world.
  4. Mr Pain

    Mr Pain

    This is what will cause the government in China to fall. Right now they are worried about the citizen’s expectation of an improved life and equate this to economic progress. Once that has been met, the citizens will be looking at their health and the health of their one child. Cancer rates soar and illnesses prevail. Fish, a huge staple of their diets are not safe to eat.

    Yes we went through the same thing here in our industrial revolution but theirs is far bigger. Remember they are a smaller country than the United States and have 12x the population we had during our industrial revolution.

    I think China could end up another Easter Island where they cut down the forests to use the trees to roll the stones heads. Once the forest was gone, so was the ecosystem that they needed to feed all the people and there was mass starvation.

    "Before humans arrived on the isolated island, which is 64 square miles (166 square kilometers) in area, had some 16 million giant palm trees. Twenty or more other tree and woody shrub species formed a forest on the island, as on other local islands.
    Yet when Dutch colonizers arrived on Easter Island in 1722, they found the eerie stone carvings and little else. "
  5. Interesting stuff about Easter Island. Are you familiar with Richard Duncan's Olduvai Gorge theory?

    China, it seems to me, is doing the opposite of what the US is doing. While the US has comparatively strong environmental regs, and prefers to have pollution creating industries abroad, China is doing the opposite. It has the industry domestically, and as for clean water and agricluture - it is looking abroad. Are you aware of the farmland that China is buying up in Africa? Could be described as potentially a new form of colonialsim.
  6. Good. We exported our pollution problem to China. I knew a guy that inspected restaurants in the Los Angeles Area. He said that you had to know one thing: "never eat in a Chinese restaurant. They are always filthy and they always bribe the inspectors"... couldn't happen to nicer people...
  7. There was a leaked memo written by Larry Summers almost twenty years ago that addressed, if not planned for this. By the way, when it comes to world trade, and military conflict, the Democrat/Republican paradigms are irrelvent. There is but one US policy. Sure it gets tweaked, but overall, the two parties act in unison.

    Here's the memo:

    "DATE: December 12, 1991
    "TO: Distribution
    "FR: Lawrence H. Summers
    "Subject: GEP

    "'Dirty' Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

    "1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

    "2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

    "3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

    "The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization."