The Chinese Connexion
I have noticed a lot of libertarians have absolutely ignorant ideas of what China is like, which they accept
basically without question from the liberal and conservative media. They’re authoritarian, repressive, socialist, etc. The stupidest complaint I’ve ever heard was from Cato, who argued that because China is not democratic their growing economy makes them a threat, which is just the Beltway Libertards Sucking the Cox Populai as usual.
In response to a typical spiel about how Chinese wealth is illusory from a Conservative over at AEI I said:
China’s cost of living and economic fundamentals are better than the USA. They have very low regulations, practically no welfare, tax evasion is near universal and their central government is very weak.They do suffer from nepotism and some protectionist policies, as well as inflation, but overall they’re superior to the USA in economic policy. They just happen to be much poorer as it is.Also, you are far less likely to be harassed by the police in China, including for making black market transactions (except drugs). Prostitutes are easily obtainable in hotels, and the cops don’t even look twice at you as you buy pirated software on the street corner and get picked up by a cab run by the mafia (these cabs are cheaper than the state-licensed ones).You can start a business there with very low capital, doing damn near anything you want, and unless you make a lot of money nobody asks for permits, licenses, building codes, etc. etc.So, no, China isn’t wealthy – they are poor. But they’re a lot more likely to become wealthy than the US is to remain wealthy.
Aside from the economic points it is the case that far more Chinese accept the ‘free enterprise’ system as the model for the future than the United States or Europe, and that you are far less likely to ostracized for what you say or think in China – the only thing that’s really illegal is political organization; and I can’t see why a libertarian should think that mob intimidation and populism should be anyways. The central government is incredibly weak, and has really no power over the people in the countryside and never has – the mass killings in even Maoist China were grass-roots, not Soviet-style. As I said, tax evasion is nearly universal, and almost never prosecuted.
According to numerous studies and surveys, far more Chinese were open to free-markets and trade, and a reduction of government intervention, than in any of the European or American countries. At the same time Economics in One Lesson is a best-seller in China. These Chinese have very low-to-no debt, save an incredible amount of their money, tend to own or lease their properties (except for city workers), and quite frankly are harder working and more intelligent than Europeans and Americans. They’re far more socially integrated and very few of them buy into the Progressive/Democratic propaganda that the United States insists everyone in the world be converted to accepting by force.