Economic Growth - Is This A Miracle?

South Korea will soon become a 1-trillion-US-dollar economy. There are the USA, Japan, China, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and a few others that have larger Gross National Products.

It wasn’t too long ago that South Korean GNP was just a few billion USDs. The average income per capita was under 1,000 USDs when I was first learning the Korean alphabets and Arabic numbers. It was sometimes under 100 USDs when my father was in the ROK army. Within this year, it will be over 20,000. President Roh Mu Hyun, I read today, talked about South Korea’s future to have 60,000 USD income per capita within our lifetime. I predict it will be well over 1,000,000 instead, but that matters little to me because I doubt whether any nation-state will survive by that time at all.

Such a fast economic growth rate is a new thing in anyone’s history, anyone’s memory, that much is clear. So… is it a miracle or a natural course for the human species started by some aliens or gods or God or whomever or whichever?

Wealth as is today itself is a new thing. Most people in most of our human history worked to tear and burn the flesh of other humans or other species that provided good nutritional value. How do us ignorant and silly mortals adapt to a change that makes wealth creation and economic growth just as natural as the nature’s growth and evolution? Who made it possible? Where are all the new opportunities going?

Dude! That’s some heavy stuff for the start of the new year :iagree:

How do we change?

  • Realisation & compensation of an individuals contribution to society
  • Realistic pricing of commodities based on R&D & actual manufacturing costs

rather than the current trend:

  • blatant robbery of a contributors work.
  • pricing for what the market will tolerate.

As to who made it possible? shrugs Anyone that valued possessions more than everything else.

The current state of the world economies is described by many as a freefall off a high cliff … it all looks great now, but eventually we’re going to hit the bottom, and it’s not going to be pleasant.

to me it’s “what” made it possible…answer…technology advanced at a rapid rate and people jumped on board so they could…“make a quick dollar”

simple…anywhere there are jobs that pay the least and the product goes for the most…which is not here in the states

I must agree with Nosmartz about “jobs going elsewhere” so U.S. companies or other entities don’t have to pay what they do in the U.S. for health benefits, higher wages, etc. I work at a place that pays lower wages than what it should, and the ‘boss’ has workers in India he’s desperately trying to bring ‘up to par.’ There’s no doubt in my mind that if he gets them to where he wants them to be working at, he’ll can people here at the local office, because then he won’t have to pay any health benefits in India, and he’ll only have to pay them about 25-33% of what he’s paying employees here. Also, he’ll not have to pay them overtime (well, hell, he already isn’t paying that here…). :stuck_out_tongue: That’s where the “opportunities” happen. Someone else gains, but many more lose in the process.

It’s ironic that US companies, in their quest for cost-reduction will lay-off all their US employees, which will eventually destroy their target customer-base anyway :wink:

  1. Reduce prices in “Current Country” by firing “Current Countries” employees and move jobs to 3rd world country.
  2. Oops. No-one in “Current Country” has a job, hence no money, hence no market.
  3. Concentrate on new market in previous 3rd world country …
  4. Repeat.

I sincerely hope all those people owning shares in international corporations are enjoying their unemployment benefits :wink:

I just want to know who going to be the last person working in the USA and what job he will he have?

Human resources.

He’ll be responsible for firing everyone else, and finally himself.
Although of course, technically he will be the CEO, and is responsible for running the company into the ground in order to turn a profit for shareholders.

Businesses in China are outsourcing to Africa. Which is nice, hopefully it can pull africa up from way down there and it also means that chinese wages are slowly improving, thus evening out their somewhat unfair advantage. As to Kenshins original post, my belief is that SK has risen thanks to a close relationship between state and businesses and a focused mindset.

I’d like to see some more of that here, business and state pulling in the same direction.

That does help. HDTV, LCD, DRAM… have always been the South Korean central government’s top objectives. Samsung, LG, Hyundai, and some others were chosen.

How true, Debro. Over here in Australia, on our multi-lingual tv channel, SBS, there was an excellent documentary showing how factories in China treated their workers. China trumpets the fact that it honors the UN treaties as regards basic working conditions…bullsh#t!!!

The documentary followed a “day in the life” of a young garment factory worker. She worked from 6 am in the morning to past midnight every night. If any worker was injured or ill they could expect to be summarily sacked (So much for worker’s compensation…and this in a supposedly communist-worker’s paradise!) . The young girl slept in an unhygienic worker’s dorm and had money subtracted from her salary for rent and food. She was shown being bullied relentlessly on the shop floor by leading-hands and foremen and even hit!

What got to me was that these youngsters were making clothing for large Western companies for a few cents each. The big companies would then charge you a fortune in shops in their home countries. Part of the documentary showed a UK “gentleman” representing a UK retail chain bargaining the life out of the factory manager along the lines of…
“Look here, Mr. @###, the Who-Flung-Dung Materials factory can make these slacks for 50 cents US a piece and deliver them in two weeks. You want my contract you make them for 45 cents a piece and deliver in the same amount of time!” Absolutely mercenary!!!

Debro is right…once these big companies destroy the vary consumer base they are creating they will be in deep sh#t! The thing they are relying on is that countries like India and China will become wealthier and take up the consumer slack as countries like England, Australia, Canada and the US loose their middle-class consumers. Make no mistake. You think that your countries are controlled by governments you elected. That’s crap. Your country’s policies and trade are dictated by the needs of the big multi-national corporations who couldn’t give a stuff about you or their originating countries. Once they go global they don’t care if part of their many limbs dies out, even if that means no longer being a US or Aussie company.

And who is the winner in all of this? In the short term the middle classes of Western nations will have the benefit of outrageously low prices for goods. But when the middle classes are re-trenched, etc… then only the rich (who invested in these corporations…) will get richer and the poor will get poorer. Then you will see your hard-earned work place conditions start to erode-away in the interests of competing with the likes of India and China. It has already happened in Australia where our little bast@rd of a PM, John Howard, has brought in the most draconian workplace legislation probably in the whole Western world, bar the US. Everyday companies close up shop in Australia and move their operations over to Asia…it stinks!

I am not a socialist or communist, but neither am I a cowboy capitalist, and cowboy capitalism will destroy the fabric of Western democracy and economies faster than any terrorist group will, mark my words. You no longer live in functioning democracies…think about it.

But then that sort of words are too similar to what the low-class and middle-class and even some high-class guys and gals in South Korea, China, etc. all are repeating over and over. What they worry about is actually, though, Western (and especially the US) imperialism rather than the end of Western democracy.

US, European, Japanese, and even South Korean companies have moved factories or outsourced to China and other South-East Asian countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. In due time, North Korea will be one of the best places. Some similar changes happened in Japan and Shanghai and Hong Kong in the late 19th century and then throughout the 20th century, and then repeated in Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea. Wealth creation through faster technology distribution spread and such countries and regions very soon could join the rich industrialized world. China is slow because it is the largest in the world, bigger than the entire Europe and North America combined in terms of available number of employable humans, but the new wealth has already transformed the once very read country, the seemingly ultimate concentration of dictatorship and military violence and hegemony in China’s five thousand years of history and five hundred years of the industrial revolution. It was much more cruel than anything described in George Orwell’s 1984. Ironic, but it was the Dells and HP’s that made all those dictators lose power and helped hundreds of millions of modern Chinese citizens to believe in democracy and knowledge, in the most Western style.

So if you really, really care about those Chinese for having poor work conditions, just give them more jobs. Go to Washington and London and tell and beg your decision-makers to give up the most profitable defense and industrial factories and laboratories so that those Chinese can, at last, enjoy have and study for and work for. Because there’s a great supply of those humans in China while demand’s very small because China yet is at its very early development stage. Intel is doing exactly that. Intel recently decided to shut down some R&D facility in South Korea and expanded investment in the Shanghai area, for both R&D and production.

Only that will truly help the poor to get out of their never-ending poverty to join the world’s middle class and the rich to be forced to share. :slight_smile:

not my jobs it is not the rich that share it is us middle class that is doing the sharing.

Kenshin…Samlar is right. The middle-to-lower working classes are the ones that are suffering in the “jobs to Asia” transfer, not the rich. They are just getting richer riding on their shares in multi-national companies. And as to giving defence contract jobs to the Chinese…no way! I wouldn’t trust the Chinese government as far as I could throw it. Think about the incident, a few weeks ago, when one of their new super-subs shadowed a US fleet. The Chinese ship was trying to test out, and evade, the US ship’s sensing equipment. That is not the act of a trustworthy friend.

No, I’m sorry Kenshin, I’m sick to death of seeing factories close down here in Australia, in Western Europe and in the US / Canada. It creates a system whereby important skills are lost (For example, it’s very hard to find a qualified die and toolmaker in Australia…) and nothing is manufactured in the home country. Today I did a quick visual survey of items in my local Tandy (Radio Shack) store. Virtually 100% of the items were from the PRC.

Most Western economies are becoming “third-tier” service-based entities. The problem is that there aren’t enough service jobs to go around, despite the surge in education levels in school/college leavers and there is a huge number of under-employed or unemployed people that will never find jobs because manufacturing simply no longer exists in the West. I blame the multi-nationals and their “couldn’t give a f…k” attitude for creating this situation and Cowboy Capitalism. Capitalism without some sort of social restraint is an animal that feeds on the poor and makes a select (very select) few rich.

I am also very frightened that if this situation is not corrected you will see a rise in the number of idiots joining far-right and far-left political groups whose sole reason for existence is the promotion of anarchy. The other factor that concerns me is that there might be a commensurate rise in antipathy towards the new middle classes in Asia.

That’s pathetic.

But far less pathetic than the way most East Asians think. You in the West are just a little less xenophobic, a little less emotional, a little less violent, a little less nationalistic, a little less short-sighted. I’m very glad for that.

Extreme rights and extreme lefts also exist in East Asia. They also exist in Arab, Africa, Russia, Latin America, former non-Russian USSR states, etc. Compared to most of what you (the average members of CDFreaks community and those you daily talk to and work with) say and think, over 99% of the people living here are extremes, extremely against any sort of international trade, any big corporation, or any foreigner in that sense. It’s all just a matter of degree (of human-made evolution.)

Whatever, I know most of you are not 1% interested in what most people in East Asia or Africa enjoy or suffer. I was just sarcastic about hypocrisy. If you just want to get rich, or keep your unjust wealth and income, just say so. Don’t say you can have the best rhetorics of communist and capitalist while forcing the poorest people in the world lose their jobs.

Nobody (among the extremists) seems to want to answer this question: between the West and the East (Asia), who is the winner? The West says the West loses because the East provides things at too low cost because the East can abuse human resources which makes the West lose jobs and the manufacturing industry. The East says The East loses because it is mainly the big multinational corporations of the West and Western farmers and the East gets nothing in return because the wages in the East are too low while the Western bosses get most of the profits and the East has to give up “national security” because the West greedily and unfairly wants to export rice and meat at world prices and the Eastern countries and their poor farmers will have to “die” (literally or not) and then the East will lose their “national foundations” (whatever that actually means.)

Can you make any good sense out of it? Nothing’s fair or equal in nature. We mortal humans had two world wars. We went through the industrial revolution, the information revolution, found DNA, created the UN, EU, tried communism or any type of economic planning systems controlled by big and monopolized central governments, let the “third-world” people freed from colony state and experiment with socialism or free-marketism, and so on. Technology, education, income per capita, all things are unfairly and unevenly distributed. Until we create a unified world, one world, some adjustments are, however seemingly painful and disorderly, necessary and inevitable. China, among the largest nation-states, naturally will advance most rapidly, but that’s only natural as China has been the strongest and largest for most times of our human histories and China was just temporarily in a state of depression (intellectually, emotionally, and economically) in the recent 100 years to 500 years.

I don’t think it’s a miracle or something started by aliens…you got to be joking.

It’s a basically a fluke for South Korea that will prematurely peak and then decline at a moderate pace.

Only time will tell who’s right…

Nice? Have you not heard how China treats them? …They are exploiting the Africans for their own ill-gotten gains.

You could have been the last comic standing!!!

If you haven’t realised yet, China WAS the most advanced civilisation for most of the worlds history. Since the introduction of communism, the leaders fubar’d the country.

Some smart policies implemented by the chinese government this century which helped further their country into it’s current glory:
Holy crap! I just blew a fuse in a Sarcasm circuit
One Child Policy -> Parents drown the female babies, since they want a son, and they can only have 1 child. China’s now very male, at least in the “civilised” parts of the country that have any sort of law enforcement. :stuck_out_tongue:
The Traitor Policy -> Throw anyone with more money than a peasant, or any form of education above primary school into jail for 20yrs for being a traitor to the state. Since this is practically the entire middle class, china is now predominantly lower class, with all the violent & jingoistic tendencies that come with the incredible ignorance of the uneducated.
** Traditionally, it has been the middle class that provoke the lower classes into revolt, in order to bring about the downfall of the upper class. Get rid of the middle class, or at least control them ruthlessly, and the downfall will never occur. **
Communinism -> Can you say paranoia? The governments current inability to admit any sort of flaw in their original adaptation of Communism means they are still clinging to it, like a limpet to a rock during a cyclone. I’m sure keeping everyone poor helps the country, especially so that western corporations can profit from their nations peasants labour :stuck_out_tongue:

@ debro:

[B]Strongest[/B], like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Where did I address anything about an advanced issue? What’s right, I didn’t.

Strongest, as per Kenny’s post, should be taken as “most technologically advanced and strongest economy”, not “most war-mongering with the largest quantity of nukes and a button in the ‘president with a twitchy fingers’ office”.

@ debro (again):

Like I said: [B]Strongest[/B], like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder (It does not matter if it is economically, technologically, or militarily [I never even said which one I was referring to anyway]).

Why say, "not “most war-mongering with the largest quantity of nukes and a button in the ‘president with a twitchy fingers’ office”? What does that got to do with what we are talking about?