China isn’t really a capitalist country. Why not? Because the capitalists are not in politics. They don’t run the country. The market or the capitalists are a tool to develop the forces of production instead of a form of Politics as they are most everywhere else, where they manage to conveniently screw up most everything for the masses.
The Communist Party rules China and the Hell if they are going to let the capitalists take over their country and run it into the ground like they do everywhere else. Instead the market is simply a tool, and the capitalists are barred from politics as they ought to be.
Capitalists should just make stuff. They’re pretty good at that. Once they gain political power, they seem to blow up everything and turn it all to Hell. Want some evidence? Open your eyes and look around at the capitalist world. See?
In China the capitalists have to go along with the Communist Party’s plans. New labor laws? Suck it up, capitalists. New pollution controls? Better fix those smokestacks, capitalists. The capitalists don’t have any say in this because if you let them take over, they always vote to ruin labor and destroy all the environmental laws because that’s what the profit motive demands.
Capitalists in China have to follow the Party’s five year plans. They have to do what the government says, or orders, for that matter. If the capitalists defy the party and don’t do as they’re told, the Party will just go in and confiscate all their property. They’ll steal all your stuff. So that’s good motivation to get along and go along. Then they will either nationalize it or turn it over to one of their friends who is a bit more obedient.
There is a Party committee that sits on the board of directors of all large corporations. Large corporations are frequently bought out and nationalized. The state must own a proportion of all foreign corporations that set up shop in China. Apple wants to set up a factory? Fine, but the government gets a piece of that.
The banking is almost all controlled by the state. This is how China among a few other countries weathered the bankster economic crash of 2008. The state owned the banks so China was not plugged into world capitalist finance.
Japan is similar. There are a few very large banks at the top of the economic pyramid, and they are owned by the state.
Like in Korea, economic decisions about the development of the country are made by teams made up of the government and corporations. Korea’s giant conglomerates are nearly state-owned in part.
The Russian government is similar. It either owns outright or owns 50% of almost every large corporation in Russia.
A number of China’s state corporations are among the largest companies on Earth. They are right there in the Forbes 100 or even in the Forbes 50. They are immensely profitable and they generate a tremendous amount of money for the state, which is then used to develop the country or distributed to the people in one way or another. What’s wrong with that?
The Chinese state spends a staggering amount of money developing their country. They do things quite easily, quickly, and even cheaply there – such as developing deep water ports or high speed rail systems – that either take forever and cost a fortune in the US or are simply not done, as they are economically unfeasible.
For instance, the US has decided that high-speed rail is not economically feasible in the US. How is it economically feasible in China, Japan, and Europe then? That argument is senseless.
China is presently pouring vast amounts of money into the rural areas, as they have been neglected. A lot of rural people move to the cities to seek their fortune. A lot of them don’t make it. China allows them to keep their farms as insurance when they do this, so rural folks who don’t make it in the cities always have the fallback of moving back to their farms. Hey, at least they can eat and survive.
This is where having the state own all the land in China comes in. Since the state owns all the land, the rural farms can remain as a backup insurance policy for rural workers who migrate to the cities and don’t make it.
If land in China was privately owned, that backup would not be available, and Chinese cities would be teeming with awful slums made up of rural dwellers migrated to the city. This sad scene is typical all over the capitalist world. But maybe it’s not necessary.
As noted, all land in China is owned by the state. Every inch of it. This is important as the private ownership of land is one of the main reasons that the India – Pakistan – Nepal – Bangladesh South Asian region is such a shithole. The best single thing India could do would be to abolish the private ownership of land.
In China, you get to own your house but not the land it’s built on. Sure you can lease out state land, even for a long time, but you can’t own it. In Netherlands, similarly all land is owned by the state. It’s not a bad idea.
A vast amount of the Chinese economy – 45% and growing – is publicly owned at some level or other, often at the municipal or even village level.
The state owns the vast irrigation system that underpins the entire rural economy. If that were privatized, all Hell would break loose. Think about it. You can’t have private corporations running the irrigation networks. Hell, we don’t even have that in the US.
The state used to run small schools and even medical centers in most rural villages, although they are getting away from that. Education is free through the graduate level. This also helps free graduates from being mired in poverty in debt for years or decades after they graduate. They keep their money to spend in the economy instead having most of their money go via debt bondage to parasitical bankers who don’t create anything of real value anyway.
Most capitalist banks in the West are giant loan-sharking institutions or casinos in the sky. Speculation isn’t real investment. It’s like going to the casino. If everyone just goes to the casino, this is good for the economy how? This is what happens when all that’s left of your economy is the economic mirage called “finance.”
Similarly, China now covers almost all typical medical care that people need. The state pays 85% and people pick up the rest. It’s easily affordable for most anything other than a very serious injury or illness such as cancer, which, unfortunately, the state won’t pay for.
This is a black mark to me, but it’s still better than our for-profit medicine system that wastes incredible amounts of the productive forces on overhead and executive payouts.
Medicare’s overhead is 2%. All the rest goes to medical treatment of patients, as it ought to. The overhead and profit of private insurance companies comes to 20%. So with Medicare, 98 cents of every dollar goes to actual health care, and with private insurance, only 80 cents of every dollar goes towards patient care. That’s obviously a grossly inefficient waste of economic resources. What’s this about the state being inefficient and the private sector being so efficient?
Once again, when the state covers your medical care, workers can not only relax, but they also don’t have to go into debt, bankruptcy, and poverty to pay their medical bills. All of which helps whom? The vultures called for profit hospitals and insurance companies?
Why should sick people be financially ruined and living on the streets because they were so sick that they had to give every time they owned to some human shark in a corporate suit? In what possible world is this a just or even acceptable outcome?
Instead of being ruined, losing everything they own, and going homeless due to medical bills, with state health care, workers can keep working at their jobs and keep their money and their wealth as the state foots the doctor bills. So these workers remain productive and continue to spend money in the real economy. Win-win.