Monday, May 28, 2012

China's "low wage" exploitation; Pakistan's power crisis

James Fallows has an interesting opinion in the New York Times, “Can China escape the low-wage trap?” , in the Sunday (May 27) Review, link here

Why does China “let us get away with it”?  It certainly makes us wonder about the about of our debt they carry. Yet, they continue to allow their workers to live crowded dorms and be employed as “proles” at “pay your dues” wages after leaving their parents “in the countryside”.  Fallows points out that China’s “people’s capitalism” (as Ted Koppel had called it) is not yet creating many of its own brands.  When will China create its own Apple, or Pear?  Trouble is, you need a liberal society to do that.  (And you  probably need to understand trademark.)

And here’s an interesting piece by Richard Leiby in the Washington Post, Monday, p. A10, “Pakistan’s power crisis enrages ‘shattered’ populace; Some say daily blackouts may pose a greater threat to stability than militants do”, link.   The biggest problems are in the tribal areas, but seem to be caused by economics and not religious fundamentalism. They even affect Abbotobad.

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