Suppress incomes, suppress consumption, April 9:
Chinese government policy is increasingly focused on creating the social infrastructure that will persuade people to save less and spend more … Huang [Yasheng, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management], however, believes that a high saving rate is not the problem; low income growth is to blame … In Shanghai, for example, GDP has grown dramatically compared with the national average, but household income is not growing relative to GDP. The suppression works as follows: The government intervenes to acquire land from rural households, and then auctions it off to real estate developers at competitive prices … Huang’s solution is liberalization, particularly in rural areas: Revive entrepreneurship through a program of land reform and finance initiatives. No longer will rural residents flock to factories in Dongguan – some will choose to stay at home and set up their own businesses.
Global Times: Not breaking new ground, April 20:
This morning, the Global Times launched its English edition to a lack of fanfare. And lack of fanfare pretty much sums up the new newspaper. The venture was originally marketed as a new international mouthpiece for the Chinese media. Unfortunately, readers who expected a hard-line alternative to the China Daily are going to be sorrily disappointed. Gone are the angry and rash editorials of the Chinese edition … in their place is the same bland middle-of-the-roadism the China Daily is known for … Perhaps we got our hopes up too much. Global Times is state-run media, after all … Beijing wants to play it safe, and we can therefore count on Global Times to be as exciting and ground-breaking as, well, China Daily.