Thoughts on economics and liberty

Tag: China

Why China will grow TEN TIMES bigger than India before India wakes up. Maybe it will be too late by then.

I was astonished and shocked (actually delighted!) to read how well the Chinese education system is designed, and how brilliantly it is performing.

This education system is China's real secret weapon.

While India goes down the path of the worst possible education system, China has moved to the TOP of the world.

That's enough said.

Here are key extracts:

Chinese school system offers the West a lesson in educational achievement
CHRISTOPHER BANTICK, The Australian, November 03, 2012

I AM in a classroom in Beijing. The class has 42 Chinese students who are learning English and all have their books open, pens in hand in anticipation. The students, in response to my questions, stand, give their answers and are then clapped by their classmates. There is no desultory conversation, no distraction – the focus is acute. This is not unusual.

Chinese education is steeped in success.

Part of this is due to brilliant teaching. The preparation of Chinese teachers is first class. Not everyone who wants to be a teacher makes the grade.

China is outstripping Australia through two things: quality teaching and a culture of success related to hard work. What China has grasped is that by learning English, future generations will be able to move globally and do business just about anywhere.

… due to the emphasis China places on achievement and exceptional teaching practice.

A rigorous testing program measures students and exposes variable teaching. It works like this:

Students undergo regional tests after 10 weeks and national tests twice a year. The test data is collected by the schools on students' and teachers' performance. The data is ranked, then used to judge teachers, with salary linked to performance. It's a simple equation: better results mean better salary. It's called motivation. If a teacher's results are not good for two years, the teacher is demoted to a lower class; there is no choice and no appeal. If the results still fail to improve, dismissal is a reality. Teachers work incredibly hard and are regarded as performing a significant role. They are professional and active learners themselves.

One only has to look at the results on the Program for International Student Assessment to gauge China's success.

The PISA tests are held every three years and in 2009 students in Shanghai topped the world rankings for mathematics, reading and science.

Schools are viewed in China as places of industry and application.

The school day in China is long. Some schools start just after 7:30am and end at 5:30pm. Where I taught in Beijing, classes end at 5:30pm, but senior students may well work on until 10:30pm. It was a shock to see full classrooms of Year 12 students, heads bent over books, with no teacher in the classroom. They were studying in week two of the academic year. They did not need supervision.

"In China, more than nine out of 10 children tell you: 'It depends on the effort I invest and I can succeed if I study hard.' They take on responsibility. They can overcome obstacles and say, 'I am the owner of my success', rather than blaming it on the system."

China's route to become the top-ranked country is disarmingly simple: authoritative, informed and inspirational teaching; self-motivated, ambitious and focussed students; and regular external assessment.

As for class sizes; it's a no-brainer. In China, 42 students a class is not unusual. The essential difference is the teacher. This is dragon education, and its outcomes roar loudly.

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China continues to breathe fire and scare the wits out of everyone

China's violent language is making things worse for everyone, including itself. It is perceived as a big bully, and its repeated use of intemperate language confirms that impression. 

It doesn't seem to realise that its aggressive tone (and behaviour) is precisely the reason that prompts strong defensive reaction. First it threatened Taiwan, then it threatened all small nations around it. It attacked India in 1962 and continues to threaten India's borders. And now it is threatening Australia.

A strongly-worded editorial in the state-owned People's Daily said the new Australian-US defence pact posed a security threat to Australia.

"Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached, no matter what Australia does to undermine its security," it said.

"If Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire."

The only good thing for the world is that this state of affairs can't go on for ever. China may implode sooner than later, now. Its economy is looking increasingly vulnerable (see video below, as well.)

China is (like India) a great civilisation throttled by its own people. 

The Chinese people both scared and contemptuous of their government:

Until recently, they maintained a much greater degree of respect for the central administration. That respect has now eroded significantly into growing contempt. [Source]

China is in many ways in a similar situation to what the USSR was before it imploded.

Belligerence won't help China. Liberty will.

I request China to consider increasing liberty for all. That's the PURPOSE of human existence. Why hobble your own people, China?

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China is showing some signs that it understands the power of liberty

This is the first time I've heard a GENUINE classical liberal statement from a senior Chinese bureaucrat. None in India's senior policy circles has ever articulated anything close. And none except FTI members are capable of articulating such sentiments.

If this is how China is evolving, expect it to totally dominate the world – and very quickly. China is now coming to the stage when it is able to give BASIC LESSONS IN LIBERTY to the West. Well done, China! 

I only hope China applies these lessons more broadly within China. It is not enough to incentivise people to work. They must be free to SPEAK. China is an enemy of political freedom, and that is the problem it needs to address. But it is good to hear this from China.

"If you look at the troubles which happened in European countries, this is purely because of the accumulated troubles of the worn out welfare society. I think the labour laws are outdated. The labour laws induce sloth, indolence, rather than hardworking. The incentive system, is totally out of whack.
 
"Why should, for instance, within [the] eurozone some member's people have to work to 65, even longer, whereas in some other countries they are happily retiring at 55, languishing on the beach? This is unfair. The welfare system is good for any society to reduce the gap, to help those who happen to have disadvantages, to enjoy a good life, but a welfare society should not induce people not to work hard."
 
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Memo to RSS and other socialists: Your racism and mercantalism is the best way to ruin India

Here's an excellent article by Chris Berg that conclusively proves that it is primarily SOCIALISTS who are racists. Key extracts below.

The point is simple. RSS and other socialists who want to block free trade and have "swadeshi" instead, are merely depicting a form of racism. Why does it matter to India where its goods come from? And if China wants to subsidise us, why not enjoy at its expense? 

Socialism (being collectivist) is FUNDAMENTALLY RACIST. That is clear from the history of the German National Socialists (Nazis) and socialists everywhere, including India and Australia.

Regardless of the Chinese government often behaving as an enemy of India, the PEOPLE OF CHINA are just like anyone else. They can't and shouldn't be punished for the follies of their government. Indeed, with free trade with China, India will build strong relationships which will make the further prospect of war with China an impossibility. That is called strategic thinking, which RSS and other socialists in India simply don't have the capacity for.

Memo to unions: White Australia was a bad idea

November 6, 2011

RARELY was the relationship between economic nationalism and xenophobia made so clear. The Transport Workers Union's Tony Sheldon, after complaining about Qantas's industrial relations tactics, said that his union would ''stand by the workforce, the Australian brand of Qantas and not have it Asianised''.
 
Asianised? This was not a slip of the tongue. A variant Sheldon has also used is ''Asianisation''. So is Asianisation worse than normal outsourcing?
 
Opposition to trade, outsourcing and labour migration has always been tightly bound up with xenophobia. In Australian history, racism has usually had an economic context
 
Protectionism is bad for many reasons. It raises prices and lowers living standards – worrying enough. But its moral core is dark. Surely Australians are no more deserving of jobs than people from China, Japan or Singapore. Economic nationalism implies natives are worth more than foreigners. 
 
So given the union movement's historical culpability for the White Australia policy, you would think someone like Sheldon might be sensitive to the nuances of xenophobia. The White Australia policy was led by a union movement trying to eliminate competition in the labour market. This is an awkward truth.
 
It was the official policy of Labor prime minister Andrew Fisher to grant ''absolute preference'' to white unionists in workplaces – and to encourage employers to fire ''coloured'' workers.

The Australian Socialist League called for the ''exclusion of races whose presence under present competitive conditions might lower the standard of living of Australian workers''.
 
The only serious opposition to White Australia came from pro-market thinkers – particularly the great free-trade MP Bruce Smith, who described the policy as ''racial prejudice''.
 
Steven Landsburg, an American professor of economics, asked recently: ''If it's OK to enrich ourselves by denying foreigners the right to earn a living, why shouldn't we enrich ourselves by invading peaceful countries and seizing their assets?'' Obviously the latter is wrong. The former is just as wrong.
 
There's no reason to believe workers made redundant by Qantas will end up on the scrap heap. That sort of theory was barely plausible when the Australian economy was being opened up in the 1980s and 1990s. It is ludicrous now. We've had 30 years of globalisation and the unemployment rates are at record lows.
 
International trade is not war. There is no fixed pie of jobs over which protectionist governments must fight for a share. Nor is there any reason to believe basing some Qantas services in Asia will be bad for consumers. Few companies would deliberately make their service less desirable.
 
All this leaves us with is a union boss attempting to stoke xenophobia in service of his own economic interests. That's something with which Australian history is sadly familiar.
 
Chris Berg is a research fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs.
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