I recently had an exchange with a guy on a photography forum. He was complaining that China has a terrible record when it comes to civil liberties and is a totalitarian nation. I agree with that, the Chinese government is a piece of work. He then went on to accuse “greedy” consumers and companies of fueling this. He was hoping that “someone with some clout” would do something to help the Chinese people.
My question to him was this, would you rather live in China now, or 20 years ago before those “greedy” companies came in. The answer is pretty obvious, now is much better than 20 years ago. It is the companies that give the Chinese jobs, and the consumers that give those companies money, they have raised the standard of living there tremendously. Yes, the government is corrupt, and I might even call it evil, but trading with them is the best thing we can do. Compare China with Cuba. We’ve had a trade embargo with Cuba for what, 56 years or something and a fairly open trade agreement with China. Cuba has been dirt poor for quite a while, and they’re not getting any better. China had been dirt poor for a long time, until they opened up their country to trading. Both China and the US have growing economies (China’s is a mach larger growth percentage, but they were starting from a much lower place), while Cuba’s is, at best, standing still. If it wasn’t for the handouts it gets from Chavez, they would be in even worse shape. As always, handouts don’t lead to growth, they are bandaids.
I’m going to put up a piece on my website about this topic. I am amazed whenever I hear about people wanting to stop trade to HELP the Chinese, Indians, Cubans, etc. Trade only helps. I am also amazed that Chavez and Castro continue to get away with publicly proclaiming that they want to be the nexus of the “new” Soviet Union. Marx lives with them, everyone knows what happened to the original Sovirt Union, right? Why would you ever want to emulate that?