China Stuck

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What I’m listening to.

Handel: Alcina (Live from the Vienna State Opera)

Typical ‘the Chinese will figure it out’ article when moving from middle to high income; it takes more than wishful thinking. (Thanks to Charley of Toronto.)

Project Syndicate -- China’s High-Income Future

Many are now wondering whether China’s current growth rate will be as good as it gets for a long time to come.

It’s the politics stupid.

South China Morning Post -- How politics will decide whether China becomes a high-income economy

Cary Huang says its Communist leaders must embrace the free market and democratic institutions if the country is to escape the middle-income trap.

Can China make another Leap Forward?

Time --Can China Escape the Middle-Income Trap?

It's easier to jump from a very poor country to a middle-income nation than it is to advance from that middle-income status to the ranks of the truly developed. China must make the leap.


The Diplomat -- Can China Become a High-Income Economy?

The IMF thinks so, but some challenging reforms will be needed if China is to avoid the middle-income trap.

(ed’s note -- the combination of over investment and a population that has got old before it became rich while the state remains in firm control will make this transition very, very difficult, probably impossible.)

Old not young, and short 30 million females.

Economist -- Demography: China’s Achilles heel

A comparison with America reveals a deep flaw in China’s model of growth.

(ed’s note -- Demography probably isn’t destiny but its narrows the choices.)


List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita: China is about 80th.


Financial Times -- China income inequality among world’s worst

Poorest quarter of households own just 1 per cent of country’s total wealth.


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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.