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29 July 2009

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Rien Huizer

Found your blog searching for a replacement of brad setser's, via michael pettis'. Interesting. Will have to read more though. You and several others are thinking about a pretty important problem, of how to accomodate the enty of half a billion (equivalent to the labor forces of the US and most of the EU) reasonably useful and socialized Chinese workers into the international labow market with reservation wages far below the (politically incumbent) labor force in the established industrial areas. My sense of history tells me that the coming twenty years are going to be a lot less harmonious that the past sixty..Yesterday I missed an appointment to attend a lecture by a university of lincoln lecturer who specializes in a neo-marxist approach to patterns of inrenational economic cooperation (especially the evolution of the EU) and when i read the above i wondered what such a rather exotic "analyst" would have to say here. We are looking at problems for which there are no painless solutions and democratic politicians with external power tend to export their trouble. The China phenomenon (it is too big to be useful in the long term and unlikely to be absorbed like Japan) looks a bit like the problems emerging at the end of the 19th century when continentals worried about the very fast pace of russian industrialization, combined with its then just discovered vast reserves of minerals etc combined with doubts about the sustainability of its gouvernance model. And history has proven that they were indeed looking at a problematic situation, which turned out to have many unintended winners and losers, in ways that as far as i know, no one at the time predicted even remotely accurately. China is a different case of course but something that is too big and likely to upset the garden tends to worry gardeners. And it is too late to root it out...

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John Ross

  • Is Senior Fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China

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