The End of the Chinese Miracle
Financial Times (2017)
This documentary explores factors behind China’s declining economic growth and the potential effect on the rest of the global economy.
The filmmakers attribute China’s recent economic miracle to an explosion of young workers willing accept low wages in hundreds of thousands of factories manufacturing cheap consumer goods for the West. Over two decades, the lure of jobs has prompted the migration of millions of Chinese youth from the countryside to 88 super cities (the size of London) all over China.
Owing to demographics, this supply of endless young workers has stalled, causing average manufacturing wages to more than double. The global recession and declining demand for cheap plastic has prompted many Chinese manufacturers to move to Southeast Asia, where wages are much lower. Others are are illegally employing undocumented Vietnamese laborers smuggled into China. Not mentioned in the film, is the rapid replacement of Chinese workers with robots (see China Replaces Workers With Robots) .
Owing to the decline in good paying manufacturing jobs, many rural workers are returning to their families to work the land.
Meanwhile commodity exporting countries (eg Australia, China’s main source of coal) are being forced into recession as Chinese manufacturing declines.
I suspect US financial interests want to convince us that the Chinese economy will collapse – and I’m sure they are doing their best to assist the process. In the long term, it should be obvious to all that American propaganda has convinced most of the world that their way of life is the best – so the teaming billions outside homeland USA mostly dream of consuming like Americans . . . and Planet Earth will not be able to support the drain on its resources. I can’t feel sorry for resource-rich countries like Australia that finance their own consumer-based lifestyle by exporting their natural wealth.
Australia’s mining industry has one of the worst environmental records in the world – but things seem to be turning around since China quit buying their cheap coal. They are trying to turn the economy around via major investment in solar production and storage. I sure wish New Zealand would do that. The Green Party is campaigning to create a Green Infrastructure Fund to invest in renewable energy – if they get into government on Saturday.