Posted On: Monday - January 25th 2021 9:16PM MST
In Topics:   China
After our 6-part series of speculation about looting of America by the Chinese (Part 1: Intro, Part 2: Housing, Part 3: Big Biz, Part 4: The Fruited Plain, Part 5: The Wilderness, and Part 6: Conclusion - The Golden Rule), it's time for a little good news. Good news for us, not for the Chinese, that is. This is purely anecdotal, but I think I can extrapolate some.
It's about the Chinese middle class. Even with a few hundred million rural people still in poverty, that middle class is bigger than the entire U.S. of A., even with 30 million illegal aliens. The question is, what kind of middle class is it. I know from experience in the country, the salaries people make, and the cost of living, that this Chinese middle class in NOTHING like the American middle class of the 1950s through the 1990s, well even what's left of it now.
The Chinese economy is booming, because they make all the stuff. (OK, some is being outsourced for cheaper labor, but they are a manufacturing powerhouse.) The hardest working of the Chinamen are not the ones getting the biggest benefit of this economy though. The Chinese Communist Party runs the show there, and it's those high-up and those connected, who unfairly reap the big bucks via corruption. The owner of a 200 employee plant that I'd visited (a lean, mean operation, with an office staff of 8, including said owner) was able to get a nice Toyota, but that was the extent of the extravagance.
The people we know there are working couples, both working long days to support one or two kids. The grandparents, if not living with them, are close by to take care of the kids during the daytime outside of school hours. This for the equivalent of $3,000 a month* tops for the family. In the big city, cars are expensive to own, and the public transportation can make for a long working day. Plenty of Americans do the same, but this is LOWER middle class, at best.
Peak Stupidity has mentioned before the situation that has arisen from the 1-child policy, which has been pretty much rescinded only in the last 5 years or so. With 1 or 2 kids getting attention from 6 parents/grandparents, there are a lot of spoiled Chinese young adults by this point. There are stories of divorce, kids dropping out of school, etc, that we heard. Life is not easy for the middle class, but more of the social problems the US has had for half a century may be cropping up there too.
I will write a post on the "demographic collapse" some time soon. That's in quotes because declining population, especially in a place with 1.4 Billion people is not in itself a bad thing. Right now, though, China, is not so much the place of family formation (affordable or not) that it once was.
No, I don't have the stats on me. These thoughts are just along the lines of: China is no monolithic juggernaut, at least as a people. We can hope that they have enough social problems of their own that they don't get a chance to do all that looting. OTOH the CCP big money guys are the ones that would do the big looting and they are doing well. We can hope that the hard-core turn toward Totalitarianism of Xi Jinping will do to the economy what it usually does. I'd like to see that before our SHTF. It's a race of competing lumps of shit headed toward their respective fans. Get some real assets and go long Orville Redenbacher.
* The Chinese discuss their salaries on a monthly basis.