Posted On: Saturday - September 30th 2017 4:27PM MST
In Topics:   The Russians  China  Economics  Americans
Posts 2 and 3 of this series have been about the economic exit from hard-core Communism in Russia and China, respectively, while post 1 is an introduction to what Americans, or at least foreign-policy makers ought to be worried, or just knowledgeable about with regard to these major nations. Here, we have a summary on the state of these economies and more speculation on the reason for the differences between that of Russia, China, and America.
Just look at this city - this is Wuhan, China, capital of Hubei (North Lake) province in China. As mentioned in post 1, China is growing tremendously - the changes in civil infrastructure will be a subject for a coming post (the series will also include something on manufacturing infrastructure along with the promised post on free-market Chinese health care). Well, yeah, we all know that. The fact that there are many cities the size (and with the skylines of) New York City) is still something new to most people, and pictures don't do it justice. Why Wuhan is shown above is just that it is NOT Shanghai, Peking, Chongching, Hong Kong/Canton, as they are well known "1st Tier"* cities. Anyhow, it's the capital of Hubei, and the capital cities in China must be the biggest ones - they have always been BIG, BIG into centralization, hence the whole Communism era there (hell even before that, they've loved their bureaucracy for 5,000 years.) The point here is that this is not the NYC of China.
Let's take a medium-sized state like North Carolina and compare it's capital, Raleigh and compare to Wuhan. Raleigh has 1/2 a million people to Wuhan's 10 million. Of course it would have a bigger skyline, lots of lights, and subways (the train ones vs. Raleigh's sandwich ones!) As discussed here and here among other posts with the "China" and "Immigration Stupidity" topic keys. Peak Stupidity understands the low population is a GOOD thing, and life is better when we are spread out. We have also mentioned how the Chinese have a long-term cultural thing of liking to live close together, but we don't. That notwithstanding, the Chinese have the money now to build out these huge cities. (In America, we do not even have the money here to keep our cities from falling apart - more on this... ) It's not that we should be envious, because most Americans do not want to live in those kind of places, but we should just be aware of how powerful the Chinese economy is. It also shows what the Chinese can make of our country if/once they buy up parts of it.
Because they manufacture for the world, the money for industrial and retail. products pours in to China. Now, Russia, in comparison is more just a bunch of resources, the timber, metals, oil/gas, etc. to be extracted, and their population is about 1/8 that of China. Is that necessarily a bad thing? No, as said 2 paragraphs above. I'll say right here that I don't have the 1st-hand knowledge of Russia, as opposed to of China, so there is not as much to say here. However, the Russians have not panned out to be (or never were) good small-businessmen like the Chinese. Both nations are made up of a fairly smart populace, but as the Russian were always the best in math, metallurgy, other high-level engineering research, 2"-thick books about life's struggles, etc, as opposed to applied technical knowledge and the "art of the deal". I would guess the Chinese are more hard-working than the Russians, but is that genetically inherent or just due to a 50% shorter duration under hard-core Communism? 70 years of "we pretend to work; they pretend to pay us" can ruin the work ethic for good, I suppose.
There's nowhere near the population, infrastructure, and towering modern skyline as a 3rd Tier city in China, but still it's not a dump and is probably a great place to live for a city dweller (you'd better like the cold though... brrrr!)
How about Americans in comparison? Before the welfare state, it was America with not necessarily the hardest workers, but the smartest-working people, which is what it takes. The organizational skills (not government bureaucracy, mind you, but independent or small-business thoughtful planning) of Americans may still be the best. The organizational skills I'm writing about came from the British, as almost all of our culture did from the forming of the nation. The British Empire did not come about from a disorganized bunch, and the strong belief in rule-of-law and fairness are a big part of what was passed on to the builders of America. Over the last 50 years with both the introduction of the socialist welfare state that has taking the hard-working traits out of a big chunk of American society AND the government-provided immigration explosion, who knows where we stand on this at the present day?
This brings to mind then, the one area in which both Russian and China have a big advantage over the United State now, and that is unity of the population. It didn't matter under Communism when everyone can be equally miserable, but now it's an important point that the Han Chinese (the regular non-minority) Chinese people are over 90% of the country. Yes, they all look the same, maybe even if you are a Chinaman, but there are differences. Still > 90% is culturally unified, kind of like, I dunno, America used to be 90% white people. In Russia, the Christian (culturally anyway, not necessarily religiously) white Russians are in the mid 80% of the population from my reading. They do have their Moslem contingent, as does China. Interestingly both of these lands have the Moslem people due to their own empire building. Not to get into the whole history, due to lack of knowledge and time, but the USSR had control of Moslem areas, and many of the people migrated to places at the heart of the current Russian. In China, it seems like most of the Moslems are in lands that were their own also, take Xinjiang, (please!), and I don't think they want to move into China proper more than just be left alone. Even so, the demographically unified basic population of these 2 nations is a big factor giving them an advantage in the future over, say, Brazil, or an America turning into, say, Brazil.
That is modern-day Detroit. Sure, I could show a skyline of the small 1 sq-mile of so of the nice downtown, but that's not much of Detroit. This city used to be called the "Paris of the West" and that was NO joke. Who's been running the place for the last 50 years? How is America going to manage to stay a part of the modern world with this diversity? The advantage goes to Russia and China, and this is a big one. Maybe the only way we'll come out ahead is to help convert them back to Communism, but we'd better get on it before we're already converted ourselves!
*The Chinese use this terminology, as they are big on rating things with numbers. We have the 1 to 5 star hotel ratings here too, but who really decides this stuff? In China, they are big on this. A 4-star or even 3-star hotel can be pretty nice, BTW, and then the 5-star ones, besides being seriously pricey, as in the US, also have people who will speak English to you - it doesn't mean they will really understand until you go over it a couple of times, possibly using drawings, though. ;-}