Monday, August 13, 2007

growing up too dang fast

No, I'm not talking about DollinkGranddaughterLB this time. Though she is growing and changing week old today...Well, more on that sweet l'il gal later...

It's China.
Too much too soon too fast.

Lite side: an entertaining example of this country's amazing growth is this movie-studio-set-theme-park, serving industry as well as tourism.
Sign of the times.

Not all is amusing about rapid growth, however.

Not so lite side: from most reports, it seems China can barely keep up with itself and the impact 'growth and prosperity' is having on its future generations (and the rest of the world).

I often kid my fellow shoppers when I remark that the majority of products lining the shelves of our stores were made by 'my brothers and sisters and cousins (and by their children) in China'.

We get the goods.
You can bet the mark-up is plenty high.
Big bucks are made by big businesses on both sides of the pond via their big business dealings. To get stuff from there to here requires quite a few middlemen...and everyone gets their take.

The ones who actually manufacture all that we need to sustain our affluent lifestyles are folks who now have work to earn money to get food on their tables, keep roofs over their heads. Some of the more fortunate are now able to purchase the new technics, buy fancy cars, outfit their brand new homes with all the latest amenities.
They're fast becoming immersed in the big C.
Imagine kids who never before owned or played with a fancy factory manufactured toy... let loose in a Toys R Us..

Gee, those guys are becoming - kinda sorta - just like us guys.
Sure looks to be that they're adopting our Consumer values like an exciting new religion.
Wonderful, innit?

A couple decades ago their lifestyle (albeit politically oppressed)(who says capitalism isn't also oppressive in its own way?) may have been simpler. Communal living. Little to no emphasis on the individual. A uniform of simple cotton clothing. One speed bicycles for transportation. Small family units within larger village units.
Knowing and trusting your neighbours. Eating more garden grown veggies than McDonald's cheeseburgers. Lack of indoor plumbing. Unpaved roads.

Yet on a Quality-of-Life level, perhaps it was a far richer lifestyle.
Of course, it would be near impossible to find anyone admitting to Q of L being better then than now.
For all intent and purposes, they are (finally) living the high life, as we in the 'more developed' parts of the world have defined it. Their mantra: Out with the Old, In with the New.
(Danger danger Will Robinson)

The dark side: A tragic news story came out this week that may well typify the too dang fast theory...cutting corners to increase profit margin.
Did somebody mention 'greed'?
Doesn't wanting to get more by providing less - long been standard practice of greed-based commerce and trade? Is there commerce and trade sans greed?

China in the fast track.
What price modernization?


jessamynit said...

I have a friend who's trying to boycott goods made in china right now... to which I say, HOW?!

I'm very curious to see how next year's Olympics will unfold! what a fascinating, and weird, commu-capitalist country!

John said...

A co-worker who came here from China at age 17 tried to explain the whole thing to me one day. Doesn't it just come down to the fact that the government controls the value of their currency? As I write that, it sounds like bunk. Hmmm...

baffle said...

I will be amongst the first to confess that China's rapid economic growth (and the rest of the capitalist world's dependence on it) eludes me. As does everything 'China'.
Bottom line, all does seem quite out of control, no?