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  1. #1 Trouble in China 
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    I am a China skeptic in that I just don't believe all the hype about how successful China is as an economic power. Maybe - I say, maybe - they used to be but they are on the ropes, even if quietly.

    These types of articles are hard to read for me. I'm only a amateur economist, even if I do manage to contribute a significant portion of the family income from active investing. So I'll just grab some of the easier to understand portions of the article:

    Those fearing a ‘hard landing’ for the mainland economy are likely to interpret these vanishing reserves as the latest sign of economic distress.......

    it appears capital may be losing confidence in the China growth story as it heads for the exits.......

    reverse in “hot money.” It is not going into the domestic stock market which been more or less in decline since 2008, and fell a further 22% last year.......

    report last November by Hurun that said more than half of China’s super-rich (assets over 10 million yuan, or $1.59 million) are considering emigrating or have already taken steps to do so........

    with bank deposit rates just 3.5% and inflation running at 4.1%, real interest rates remain negative.


    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chi...all-2012-01-15

    The upshot is that China has done well in the past, but is not likely to do so in the future. People have made money there, but are now looking to take their money out of China and go someplace else to make money.
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  2. #2  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Have you read Yergin's "The Quest"? The report you quote, IMHO, is just another opinion that may or may not have some basis in reality. Dr. Dan gives them a bit more possibility and the long view is very good on their energy plans. They are innovating big time on energy and energy efficiency. I would not write them off yet.....
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
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  3. #3  
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    Hey Retread...

    Here's another interesting and well informed article on China. In this article the results of the Chinese 1-child policy are shown to have already passed the point of no return by creating a population bubble of men. As this bubble of men moves through the age groups it will create a population decrease, and then a distortion of the working/non-working balance that will create an over abundance of old people with no family resources.

    Here's a sample:
    (2) As fertility declines, the age structure of a population shifts. The median age climbs and the ratio of elderly people to working-age people balloons. By 2050, China will have 330 million senior citizens. The ratio of seniors to workers (very broadly defined as anyone age 15 to 64) will be 1 to 4.

    Who's going to support those old people? China's jobs are largely industrial and agricultural and education levels are still relatively low.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblog...08/post_37.asp

    I meant to refer to this article when you posted your energy analysis, but I forgot. At any rate I am of the opinion that the world's population may have just about peaked, and that is not something the energy models take into account. Here's why I believe what I do:
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articl...ne_607774.html

    Look it over! What do you think?
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  4. #4  
    Ancient Fire Breather Retread's Avatar
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    Way too many side tracks in all those articles, opinions and views, many of them about the world rather than China but....

    My gleanings from reading your two links plus this one are as follows:
    As with the entire world over time and sometimes against all odds, things have changed in China and seemingly for the better, at least for the time being. That "Peaceful Transition" is taking place and the Communist Party of China does seem to be changing as well. They at least appear to be more interested in the health and welfare of their citizens today than even 20 years ago. I do not see this growth of their older generation as a drain on the government as the culture there has always been veneration of the elderly and support of them from the entire family unlike much of the more ‘advanced’ nations. The transference of the more humanly interactive industrialization to China does require more and more bodies in the factories. The advancements in agriculture have made the farms, like in the US, able to grow more food per acre and support the population with less farm workers.

    The advancements they have made in the energy fields, both in efficiency and alternative has really moved the country ahead. (side note: Hot button issue – T ‘bonehead’ Pickens big wind project was going to send most of the guvmint subsidy to China rather than the US. They are building the wind generators right now. My take – let’s wait and see if that ends up like the children’s toys and the home building wall board.)

    One big thing as you noted – the male/female ratio. I see the high probability of either immigration of the Chinese males into the free world looking for love or finding wives while out of the country getting that college education and then taking those ladies back home. I would also predict that the biggest part of those ladies are of Chinese extraction to begin with just because of the native culture.

    The overall evolution of the many countries in the world and the fantastic age of China as a nation lead me to believe it will evolve as needed to persist.

    As a final note “growth fell drastically from 10.7 to 9.6 from 2010 to 2011”. So where is it in the national rankings for 2011? According to whom is speaking it’s either #1 or # 6. Either way it’s at or near the top even now.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../2003rank.html

    http://www.tradingeconomics.com/gdp-...ist-by-country

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/gdp_...rojection.html

    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?t=50&v=66
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  5. #5  
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    I couldn't get into one of the websites - my Norton blocked me, but I got the rest.

    Figures released today show a 8.9% growth rate in China, which was more than expected. One of your charts showed some numbers for Germany that I found surprising (and low), but generally it is just like you said, and just like the Chinese say; 8 - 10% growth.

    I will confess to not knowing much of China's energy plans, and probably even if I read the data it wouldn't mean much. The country is just too damn big with too many cities for me to get anything out of it.

    One red flag? The reported inflation numbers are all over the map. You name a figure and someone will have a chart that shows that figure for China. There is no telling what it is, I guess, but the Market Watch article uses the 4.1% figure. Balanced against the CD rate of 3%, they would have the same problem we do.

    I remain a China skeptic, but I'm always happy to consider the alternatives.....:)
    Last edited by Starbuck; 01-18-2012 at 01:23 AM.
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    Hey Retread...

    Here's another interesting and well informed article on China. In this article the results of the Chinese 1-child policy are shown to have already passed the point of no return by creating a population bubble of men. As this bubble of men moves through the age groups it will create a population decrease, and then a distortion of the working/non-working balance that will create an over abundance of old people with no family resources.


    Look it over! What do you think?
    I don't believe China or most any other Asian country is overly concerned with older people. They usually leave welfare to the family where it should be.
    Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmPat View Post
    I don't believe China or most any other Asian country is overly concerned with older people. They usually leave welfare to the family where it should be.
    Right. You and Retread said the same thing. But here's the thing:

    In a one child population (China) who raises mostly men (China) who will be the family?
    The old guy has no mother or father (he is old)
    He has no siblings (He's an only child)
    No children (There aren't enough women)
    No aunts or uncles (both his parents are only children)
    And, of course, no cousins because he never had any aunts or uncles.

    This happens rarely in the U.S, but China has created a situation where it will happen millions of times. 300 million times according to the article, because it won't be just men. Most Chinese - most everyone, actually - simply say 'leave it to the family where it should be', just like y'all did, and, to be fair, just like I did until I pondered what the article said.

    But they can't 'leave it to the family'. There is none.

    It will be up to the state, and if they drop the ball - and they probably will - it may cause huge social problems because workers will realize that being alone will happen to them, too! They'll want social programs, but there will no longer be enough workers to generate the taxes to pay for them.
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  8. #8  
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    Inflation: With the control that China holds on theri monetary policy you can support any number you like but whatefer it really is, the government will benefit.

    He's old but unless the kid has left the country or died, he has a son, who will somehow get a wife and the veneration of the elderly is just too strong in the culture to disappera in anything short of decades.
    It's not how old you are, it's how you got here.
    It's been a long road and not all of it was paved.
    Live every day as if it were your last, because one of these days, it will be.
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retread View Post
    Inflation: With the control that China holds on theri monetary policy you can support any number you like but whatefer it really is, the government will benefit.

    He's old but unless the kid has left the country or died, he has a son, who will somehow get a wife and the veneration of the elderly is just too strong in the culture to disappera in anything short of decades.
    That's what the Chinese think; that is will somehow work out and someone will take care of the elderly. Americans find it incomprehensible that an old man - or woman - will finish his working life and have no relatives at all. No children. No wife. No nieces and nephews. But the Chinese have created the perfect situation for that very thing.

    The ratio today is about 120 boys to 100 girls. 1/6th of todays boys will go without a spouse their whole life. That's 15%. That's trouble.
    Last edited by Starbuck; 01-18-2012 at 09:35 PM.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    That's what the Chinese think; that is will somehow work out and someone will take care of the elderly. Americans find it incomprehensible that an old man - or woman - will finish his working life and have no relatives at all. No children. No wife. No nieces and nephews. But the Chinese have created the perfect situation for that very thing.

    The ratio today is about 120 boys to 100 girls. 1/6th of todays boys will go without a spouse their whole life. That's 15%. That's trouble.
    I wonder how long before there are websites in China advertising "American Brides."
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