Saturday, September 26, 2009

Squaring the circle, packing your bags

In Britain, there are 28.89 million employed - 72.5% of the "people of working age"; median earnings approach £25,000.

In China, the average urban wage in 2006 was 1750 yuan per month, or (at today's exchange rate) slightly less than £2,000 per year.
In Britain, there are 3 million homes where no-one works, with an average household benefit payment level of over £4,000 p.a. This doesn't factor in the cost of other benefits provided by the State, such as health and education. For example, State schooling costs something like £6,000 yearly per child.

In China, the official urban unemployment rate at the end of 2008 was 4.2%, or nearly 9 million people. This statistic does not include unemployed not eligible for benefits, or migrant workers - about 20 million out of 130 million migrants have no job. In industrialized Guangdong Province, for those who qualify, unemployment benefit for the first 24 months is 688 yuan per month, or £757 per year.

In Britain, the 27.5% of the "people of working age" that might be employed but are not, number approximately 10.96 million.

In China, estimates Eric Janszen of iTulip, there are 20 million officially unemployed and the real tally should be 40 - 50 million.

China has over 1 billion people and is desperate for land, and natural resources such as wood, water and arable soil. Despite restrictions on family size, her population continues to increase, largely because her people are getting to live longer (and will one day incur the high additional costs of growing old). She has industrialized at high speed and has built a massive skill base. She is continuing to acquire technological and scientific know-how, and is sucking in the world's steel and a panoply of key African and Australian minerals and rare earths. She sits on vast reserves of coal. The ruling Communist elite have not spent a long lifetime climbing the exceptionally dangerous slippery pole in their country, to see their beloved nation sink into chaos and their equalitarian beliefs defeated.

You are a British (or American) politician. You know all the above - or your handlers will tell you just before you go on "Question Time" or some other grill-the-pol show. (1) What will you say to your voters? (2) What private plans will you make for yourself, your family and your friends?


OldSouth said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Will preserve and share this article.

Not a month goes by that I do not have to explain to people in my world(usually parents of my students) that their darling child's competitor does not reside in Alabama or Ohio--he/she is growing up in Hong Kong or Shanghai, and is very very determined to do what is necessary to get ahead.

This will help with that task. Usually, I am greeted with blank stares.

James Higham said...

Interesting analysis that, Sackers.