Originally Posted by macologist
My impression is that China throws around their population size as a big leverage, and world drools about potential profits. But, how much of a Emperor Has No Clothes is that?
Most of their population is poor, and only few can afford things! How many millions those few wealthy are is the true number on which to build expectations! Korea or elsewhere have smaller populations, but if more people in those countries can afford things, compared to the actual number of "haves" in China, then what?
And can you please provide actual statistics you based your speculations from? Or, you just thought it must be so, and believe your utter ignorance about the real world.
It is attitudes like this that cause discrimination. I was at the Boston Apple store a few weeks ago. Here were this eager Apple sales people being solicitous to almost everyone that came in. Sometimes they give me the creeps when they follow you too much. Too many staff perhaps with nothing much to do sometimes but stand. But sometimes they do get overwhelmed.
There was this quiet Oriental about middle age, most likely a Chinese, who tried to get the attention of one of the Apple sales people. But was told by the Apple sales person that he was busy with other customers, possibly true because it was crowded that day. But, I did not seem to find any difficulty attracting attention from one of them. And had not difficulty getting one when I asked.
The Oriental guy was waiting patiently but for the most part ignored by everyone. Being an Oriental myself, I was furious. I do not like being ignored. I had most of my questions answered already. He was there I believe before I did. After sometime, I decided to call the attention of the first Apple salesperson that was just roaming around. And was emphatic to tell him that the Oriental guy had been waiting patiently but was ignored.
It turned out, he was ready to buy an iPhone. I wonder how many sales they must have missed because of attitudes like this, and for putting most of their attention to other customers and ignoring others. Like myself, many of those who visit the Apple store do not always leave buying anything. I wanted the iPhone but not ready to pay the monthly bills to AT&T.
If you read economic journals, you may possibly know that Chinese are practically buying the whole world, Africa, South America, Australia including the US, to ensure that their burgeoning population would be cared for. There was a stink when Chinese money bought some of the key port facilities in the US. I think they were forced to sell.
The recent diplomatic controversy involving Hilary Clinton and countries in Africa was about China's growing economic interests in many African countries.
China has replaced Japan as the biggest investor owner of most of the raw materials resources in many parts of the world. Contrary to public perception in the West, while the Chinese government was complicit, it is Chinese business people, including those from Honkong and Taiwan who were behind these investments. Sure, they were coming mostly from the richest Chinese, but in every endeavor, there are many executives, and middle executives, and middle echelon workers -- apart from the multitude of lowly paid Chinese.
Many of these middle class or lower middle class Chinese may not receive salaries like many Westerners do, but they do well compared to the standard of living there.
Do they have aspirations any different from Americans or Westerners? I do not think so. Part of that is to aspire for luxury and status in life, and that luxury may include the status symbol of owning an iPhone.
Originally Posted by macologist
How hard it would be to take out the calculators and carve the pie? Why does it take so long? A mind game? ANNOYING! China appears to be bluffing, and the world is too seduced by their profits dreams, and the competitors are too busy brown-nosing the "recovering" communists, who want to preserve their power, and make more money, some of which is probably kept in Switzerland, just in case...
Well, why don't you do your math, but before you do that, why don't you look at the US Census or wherever you may get any economic demographic data, rather than simply speculating.
But even without that.
What is 1% of 1 billion, as opposed to 300 million?
Say 2%, or 5%?
I came from a much poorer country myself, the Philippines, even much more poor than many in China. The standing joke among us Filipinos here in the US is that even the poorest kid in the remotest village has a cell phone. It is an exaggeration of course but that is how techno-craze younger people are. A friend of mine who visits our country more often was amazed sometimes how more advanced some young Filipinos are when it comes to the cell phones they have.
Some of these may have come from relatives who live abroad. One of my sisters, who live in London fro example routinely brought home her cell phones to give to my other Sisters.
Our "People Power" revolutions were a result more recently due to the power of cell phones, mostly texting.
If you have traveled to other countries, you won't be surprised to find Chinese businesses, usually a restaurant in some of the remotest places. This is true also in the US and Canada, at least the places I have been to. These Chinese have relatives back home in China or wherever they came from. Like many Filipinos, they might be sending money or other luxury items that we have here in the West.
What many Westerners may not be aware of is that the one child policy
to control the population of China during the time of Mao had a great impact on China as a society. With only one child to pin their hopes on, to carry the name of the family, the young of China the past few generations could be very pampered, spoiled even.
Do you think these young Chinese would be any different from Americans or any Westerner? Do you think many of them would crave for the iPhone?
Do you even know of places like Shanghai, or Beijing or some of the more cosmopolitan areas in China? They rival many of the great cities in the West. And like many cosmopolitan cities, the opulence and luxury you will find may even be better than where you come from.
I have never been there myself, but I have relatives who live in Honkong and visited China. Many Filipinos work in China.
And China is bluffing? Do you ever read the papers? The borrow economy of the US was made possible because of the excess profits and investments coming from China. In theory, the Chinese government could make the US down to its knees, but would not do so. They are astute businessmen, from my own experience. There are many Chinese Filipinos and Chinese in the Philippines.
For China to cripple America would cripple them too. For better or worse, the American economy is the bread and butter of many Asian economies. The China that is today is different from the China a few decades ago.
I would not be too surprised, considering their strategic investments all over the world, they might become the power to reckon with in the next century. They already are an economic and military oower to reckon with today. Many Western multinational companies would not survive without China, and many Asian countries. And this is not just because of cheap labor. If you are in academia you will find that many departments would be teaming with Chinese graduate and Asian students. That is also true in the faculty and biomedical institutions.
While some are Chinese Americans, many come directly from China. While smaller educational institutions may need cheap graduate students for their research. that will not hold true for ivy league schools like MIT, Harvard, etc. And, this is not limited to the sciences. You should go to the MIT Symphony presentation, many of them orientals, many Chinese.
That many of these schools accept Chinese and orientals, directly from their countries, is a testament to the growing improvement in education in these countries. In the past, many of these foreigners may decide to stay. But many of them return home because of greater opportunities back home. Even well established Chinese and other Asians are returning home. These are the growing middle class in China and India and other Asian countries. I am not sure if you even know of this trend.
My interest in China is how they are affecting my own birth country.
Swiss banks??? It shows how utterly clueless you are of Asian cultures, and Asian people. Asians may be more astute in hiding money than you can ever imagine. But then again, you get too arrogant and complacent with your own lack of understanding of a changing world.