Dispatches from The Middle Kingdom: On taking one's turn... or not

Posted On: Tuesday - August 29th 2023 5:43AM MST
In Topics: 

Peak Stupidity is just getting started with the observations from China. I'll get to plenty of different topics: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles*, living in China, economics, etc.

On the latter, Commenter E.H. Hail had some large-scale economic discussion that doesn't put China in such a great light under the previous post. I doubt I'll be able to address all that from a big finance viewpoint (I'll leave it to ZeroHadge), as I am no finance guy, and that's not what we were up to in China. However, I can give some details on how things work at the low level and what I think is likely sustainable economically and what is subsidized.

For this post, I want to get this one thing off my chest, and I'm doing it now because it follows from the last couple of posts in this series.

I'll put it clearly and plainly: Chinese people don't get the concept of standing in line and waiting one's turn! They can't do it. In this sense, they are extremely pushy, in a way that would shock even a New Yorker**. This view of mine is not coming from just the one incident and one day as described here. I've noticed this since I first visited China over 15 years ago. In our post Chinese free market healthcare - pt. 2, Modern China Experience***, we gave one anecdote:
This being China, as we talked to the Doc, IN HER OFFICE, a Chinese Mom with her kid went right up in front of our chairs saying something in Chinese like "Hey, my kid has this, take a look over here ..." Haha, they are a pushy bunch; that's all there is to it. This was right in the office in the middle of our consultation, but the lady Doc took this in stride as she and 2 others told the Mom in Chinese something like "Hey, wait your turn; ever heard of waiting in line?!" No, it couldn't have been that, as they HAVE NEVER heard of waiting in line, I don't think!
I'm telling you, if you give an inch, where there's room for someone to squeeze up next to you while you are doing business (an example was our buying of train tickets), she will (yes, mostly "she", its seems). If she can make eye contact with the counter person, then, they just get started, and YOU now have to wait.

That's one thing. OK, they don't see a reason for having to line up when you call all just push forward and clamor for attention. Far be it for me to criticize Middle Kingdom folkways. Yeah, but, sometime there IS a line, as constrained by barriers to preclude episodes of mass clamoring. Chinese people can't deal with that sanely. That was the case at the Peking Zoo.

First, why did we go to the zoo, when we were in the huge capital city of a 3,500 y/o culture, with lots of history? We have zoos at home. It's like this: In Part 2 of our long-ago (it seems) description of our visit to the now-leveled (!!) Georgia Guidestones, there was discussion in the comments about good barbeque. We had eaten at KFC, alas! Same story here - longer story, but it was not all up to me.

What they do have in the big Peking Zoo who we don't have at home is some Giant Pandas. Those are the first animals everyone wanted to see. We did the TSA-style rat maze thing, only with about 8 ft wide spacing, jammed full of Chinese tourists.

These 2 images really don't do it justice. People were stacked in both dimensions. Whaddya' gonna do? Pandas are cute. My problem with these people's behavior is that even though there's no excess room, they keep pushing. They keep trying to squeeze past everyone else! On a couple of occasions in China, I've just stopped, put my arms out and said "Hey, we're all going the same way. Just give me some room." Of course they don't understand the language, but they don't understand the concept either.

We were all going toward the same gate to see the Pandas. I pushed back once, and then it turned out I was up against a baby a lady had strapped to her. I felt bad about that, but then why'd she keep pressing. I guess it's because everyone else is, and she'd feel left out, and yes, get left behind.

As I tried to follow my party, having to keep holding my ground, I'd finally had enough. I squeezed through sideways through the masses, vaulted one barrier, squeezed through sideways some more, vaulted another barrier (one of these new scissors-style expandable metal things), and walked away from it all toward some relative peace and relative quite on a bench. That's when I wrote a comment to you Peak Stupidity readers with my phone.

Yes. Sick of too many damn people? You and me both, buddy.

Strangely, in one of the many Peking subway stations (amazing job, but that's another post) we saw an actual organized line! The problem was, we weren't in it. People were 2 abreast for well over 100 ft. I figured we were doing something wrong. Actually, it wasn't that they knew something we didn't, but they were lazier. It turns out that they were all stacked up to go up the escalator, but there was a wide set of stairs too. (No, I didn't seen anyone with luggage even, requiring the escalator.) Two of us ran up the stairs and had to wait for the rest of our party. We did a lot of running up and down stairs all over the city. Then, there was that Great Wall. Moar stares! (No typo.)

PS: Again, for those who think Peak Stupidity is here to badmouth the Chinese people and their country, that's not our point. There has been and will be plenty of praise for the people and place. This bit I discussed here is true, so any Chinese readers might want to see themselves as others do, something that may just not be a Chinese thing either.

* We already had one quick one on The TrumpChi.

** The city, that is.

*** BTW, we didn't have a reason to experience Chinese healthcare on this visit, but I have learned long after that post that the system is subsidized by Government. Still, it WORKS, because it seems to be run without much involvement by bureaucrats. We could have paid double or triple the money, and it still would have been cheaper and simpler than the convoluted American "system".

Sam J.
Thursday - August 31st 2023 6:06PM MST

People keep saying debt will bury the Chinese but...there's a difference between them and us. The Chinese government owns their own central bank. The US and All the west do not. We are on the hook to a private banking system that creates money from nothing, gives it to their buddies for low rates and charges us interest. This is how they have taken over all production or most all of it with leveraged buy outs and junk bonds. Now they're buying up all the land, so we will not even have a place to rest our heads. They control ALL money creation. And when I say ALL I mean all. If we pay off the debt, an impossibility, then we will have NO money. I know this sounds absurd, but it’s 100% true. Don't take my word for this, look it up it's true.

The Chinese and the Japanese, a much smarter bunch, or less corrupt. Their central bank can create money from nothing, but they channel it into productive enterprise (on the whole). Yes they have plenty of corruption but nowhere on the scale of us and when they catch them they put a bullet in their heads in China. Here it's legal.

So even if every single loan in China goes bad, then they can zero this out at the central bank and make all the debt disappear with a pen stroke. They created it from nothing, they can close it out from nothing. I'm not saying their debt has no meaning, but it has no where the level of destruction that it does in the west and everywhere else the Jews own the central bank, which is most of the world.

Let's see how that works. In China, there's a scandal about empty high rise apartments. Now many of these companies have gone bankrupt but what is the result of this? Well the companies go bankrupt but the loans are just zeroed out. Maybe the companies no longer function but the over all economy has not really been decimated because of this. Why? Well all the Money created to build these has already been spent. So any inflation, it's done. It's over. There's not really much in the way of deflation because the money is in the system. The banks have the loans they created zeroed out, so in fact nothing much has changed. I’m not saying there's no difference, only that with the government zeroing out the loans, there is no systemic collapse. Everything just goes on along and the central bank can create more loans to make up for any slow down in the economy. And if those don't work out, they can zero them out too.

For decades, financiers have said that Japan was a basket case because they had 200% debt to GNP ratio. What they don't tell you is that every so often the Japanese central bank just, quietly, zeros a portion of this out when it gets too high. The high level is for publicity so that the west will not put limits on their mercantilist economy where they WILL NOT allow us access to their markets like we do to ours.

The east is doing old-fashioned Keynesian government spending but they don't have to account for the debt to private individuals. As long as they keep a close watch on the levels of inflation and deflation, they can spend what they like. No wonder they constantly kick our ass and take more and more of our productive enterprise. They channel money into their corporations to take over technological branches of production from us. They will take less profit, it’s not their goal, ownership of THE PRODUCTION, is their goal, so our weak ass corporate losers constantly lose ground to them. Japans economy has been shrinking but it’s not the real story. Their population has been shrinking rapidly BUT their production and profits ARE NOT shrinking proportionally. They are not, per population, going broke and they won't.

Here's a really short, succinct paper done by a very long term Japanese economy and business correspondent.


The people who say the Japanese and Chinese will go broke are not looking at the macroeconomic facts. The Chinese are going whole hog 100% for nuclear power. They are converting all transportation to electric. Both countries have a huge public transportation network, so people will be able to get around. They can create as much money as they want to channel into whatever they want. Even if we stopped all trade they would still survive but, us, we could be ruined. We have blackmailed compromised people running most everything and everything is owned by financial interest who appear to be dead set on impoverishing us and even killing us off with various level of poisoned food and vaxes.
Wednesday - August 30th 2023 6:58AM MST
PS: I thought about the difference between the city and country people regarding this behavior, SafeNow. I probably should have paid more attention to this in Peking, the biggest of cites. However, in another big city, I saw this same thing at that train ticket line.

Were all those zoo visitors from the sticks? I wish I knew.

Here is another contradiction, along with what we discussed before. Would city people be less rude, in this sense? You'd think not, as per our experience with, again, NYC vs. a small town, suburb, etc.
Wednesday - August 30th 2023 12:23AM MST
During the cultural revolution, good manners were considered bourgeois and were purged. Farmers, a rude and uncouth lot, were revered. 5,000 years of cultivating politeness down the drain in a heartbeat. This Mao ethos has not reversed, because of the recent massive transplanting of countryside people to the cities. But I am guessing that politeness toward family, friends, people do you know is still very much in effect. My Chinese-born doc is extremely polite with me, but then again, he knows me very well; perhaps when he is at the Chinese market (purchasing culinary perversions?) here is behaving abrasively, cutting the line.
Tuesday - August 29th 2023 6:42PM MST
PS: More Steely Dan, Tarheel. Now, I've got no so much the lyrics in my head, but that great guitar solo from the title song of Aja.

Peak Stupidity featured that song in our early days, over 6 years ago:

Adam Smith
Tuesday - August 29th 2023 3:27PM MST
PS: Thanks, Achmed!

I'm lucky to live here.
(Panoramic sweep from west to northwest.)

Tuesday - August 29th 2023 3:21PM MST
PS: Asia-- When all my dime dancin' is through...
Tuesday - August 29th 2023 12:57PM MST
PS: Beautiful. You are in a great spot there, Adam!
Adam Smith
Tuesday - August 29th 2023 12:32PM MST
PS: Good afternoon, Mr. Moderator,

I don't much care for crowds anymore. (Never did.) I really don't think I'd care to visit the big Peking Zoo, though I do imagine the Giant Pandas are pretty cool. I guess this country mouse is different than the city mice.

So, we had a nice rain the other evening which produced some fog in the holler. I went into the back yard and snapped a few photos. Here's a small sample...


Well, I'm off to take the trash to the dump and run a few errands.

Cheers! ☮
WHAT SAY YOU? : (PLEASE NOTE: You must type capital PS as the 1st TWO characters in your comment body - for spam avoidance - or the comment will be lost!)