Sheng Li (gmachine1729) wrote,
Sheng Li

Ridiculous exchange rates, and why China should utterly disregard the US liberal world order

Originally published at 狗和留美者不得入内. You can comment here or there.

More reason that I am skeptical of this so called “free market economy.” Some Chinese colleagues tell me that Russia is poor, even made a joke about inviting some Russian girl to KFC for a meal. How there are Russians, Ukrainians working in China and earning much more in China than they can in Russia. In the other direction, vacations to Russia are super cheap for Chinese. Also, a Chinese who works in America saves up a ton because stuff in China is so much cheaper.

Reminds me of how back in the old days in China, cars were in short supply, and very expensive. Chinese cars were there, they were not good but they worked, and not many were produced. I think back in the 80s, even television was quite a new thing, and most families did not even have refrigerators. The stuff from abroad was way more expensive than the stuff manufactured at home. With the brand names like Nike, etc, America can leech a ton of money from idiot status climbing Chinese.

On the other hand, PRC Chinese in the 80s were reasonably well educated and skilled, just quite materially poor at the superficial level. Many people wanted to go abroad because what they made in America in dollars traded to RMB would easily be ten times higher than a good salary at some state owned company. The people who went into business then could make a fortune without much difficulty since that market economy stuff was in its infancy. There are even semi-illiterate people who made a fortune in that era.

This people in third world countries earn a dollar a day bullshit is really misleading because per exchange rate stuff is also often like 10x cheaper. By common sense, you can’t survive on a dollar a day in America.

I am not familiar with prices in Russia, but I am aware of the Russian default in 1998, and I am not surprised that stuff is cheaper in Russia than in China per exchange, which means Russia is in some sense poorer than China. I would expect that actual real not virtual based on some artificial economic numbers standard of living in Russia is about the same or somewhat higher than in China, overall.

That salaries are lower also has to do with more skilled people in Russia and China than in US in many areas. Simple supply and demand. So in some sense, Russia and China are wealthier, because in a scenario of mutual economic embargo, the US with lower productive ability would lose.

I mentioned to that colleague how Russia has Yandex, VK, its own internet ecosystem, and that integrated development environment Intellij was also developed by Russians (the company was started by three Russians in Prague I believe with offices in Moscow, Boston, etc). It’s a really great product that creates ton of value but it won’t really earn much money beyond keeping their company alive due to the nature of the product. Similarly, I have observed that in US companies, Russians tend to create more value than they get in terms of salary and stock options. It has to do with their being more skilled obviously. In contrast, there is quite inconsistency between all the Indians CEOs in America and the dearth of indigenous software industry in India. I saw startups in Silicon Valley hire Russians and Belarussians because they are very good and ridiculously cheap by American standards. I also read that North Korea tried to hire ex-Soviet experts in nuclear weapons in the 90s on $1500-3000 per month.

I was also told that in the 1980s Deng and his liberal idiots wasted a ton of money purchasing overpriced stuff from Western countries, part of the reason was they wanted more excuses to go abroad as well. That money, resource, and energy could have been spent finishing up that passenger airliner 运-10 which they instead cancelled. They blamed isolationist economic policy, touted opening up and reform, all that. There was foreign investment to set up factories in China which would produce stuff that would be extremely cheap for Americans due to the grossly asymmetric exchange rate. Those comprador capitalists got rich in the process. Which reminds me of how my perceptive ABC friend once remarked that Deng was basically bringing back China to the pre revolution days with concessions in big cities like Shanghai, Tianjin, with white Westerners on top, comprador pseudo-Westernized Chinese second, and the Chinese Chinese the lowest. The cultural revolution was not enough to remove him, Liu Shaoqi was permanently disposed of, but Mao later brought back Deng, who eventually ousted Hua Guofeng from the number one spot in 1981. Now that the damage has been done, people in China appreciate the cultural revolution more, if not for that, the situation likely would have been worse or much worse, China could have experienced similar to what Russia did in the 90s. Because it took some time to reverse the far left policies during the cultural revolution, and even after that, the right wing liberals were scared that it would repeat, which inhibited their behavior to some degree.

I was amused when someone said to me in Chinese along the likes of

To the rich capitalists in China (especially if they are comprador), fear of the CPC is deep to the bone, and a yearning for free America flows in their blood.

Many of them are basically status whoring and want to transfer their wealth to America out of fear that the CPC will eventually take it away from them, but at the same time, their sending their kids abroad and investing abroad in real estate will already make the CPC distrust them. They are willing to pay ridiculous tuition in America, and I would not be surprised if China eventually turns against the Chinese with US degree. Under Xi Jinping and with the ever growing wealth and power of the country, the ethos is much more nationalistic and will only go further in that direction.

I think PRC Chinese are way more woke than Americans are. Americans have been under the yoke of Jewish liberal economic political mental bondage for too long, that culture is too deeply engrained in the English language. I increasingly realize how that had much to do with the cultural revolution, which for all the damage it did, was also quite positive in many regards for the national consciousness and economic development. Like, from what I’ve read and been told, in the 1970s China was not that much behind America in semiconductors and CPUs (which were more in their infancy during that time), and ahead of Japan and South Korea, but the policies of reform and opening up ruined it all. This person I talked to remarked how silly it is when those liberal Chinese talk about how they were rich pre-revolution, and then after reform and opening up, they went to America, after suffering some persecution during the cultural revolution, and that that is basically a way of expressing disapproval for the CPC. I do think that rule of law is bullshit and basically a mechanism for the rich and liberal to rule and manipulate, and that the way of acting during the cultural revolution, for all its problems, is in its essence way more actually democratic than anything that actually goes on in so called liberal democratic societies. America is good at tricking their way into money and power but not actually very good at fighting. They usually only win when they’re way more militarily advanced than their opponent, which doesn’t prove much. On the other hand, the PLA, Maoist, Stalinist, whatever you call it, way of simply dispossessing people who are popularly disliked without regard for this fake Western rule of law and protection of private property is much more direct and fair. You don’t have anywhere near as many rich parasitic assholes using their money and formal position and lawyers and control of media to perpetuate their privilege and in the process create a culture that more or less extinguishes any hope of ending it and creates a population of political stooges.

America tried to export that to China too after reform and opening up with the Chinese right wing compradors as their agents in China. But looks like they are not going to be successful. China may well go exact reverse of what America wants. A 21st century setting cultural revolution or 镇反 I wouldn’t say is likely but surely it’s possible, especially if US-China relations go completely down the drain, as would happen in say a military conflict, as did happen in Korea from 1950-1953. I’ll conclude by copying some Chinese over. By the way, I think copyright, patent law, intellectual property are also liberal bullshit. China should try to disregard those as much as it can get away with.

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