Thoughts on leaving China

The only people who look for green solutions are people who have never worked a day in their lives. Spending a week in Shanghai has reminded me of all of the labour-saving devices we in the West take for granted. Manual labour of the most exhausting kind is found at every turn, you see people bicycling huge piles of goods, carrying things we would put on a delivery truck. It is a time-warp remembrance of what things must have been like for us a generation or two back.

The cruelty and profound ignorance of the Global Warming mob remains a scandal. These people basically intend to deprive everyone of the enormous advantages that electricity and the internal combustion engine have provided. They sit in their air-conditioned offices, paid for the cushiest jobs, providing nothing of value to the world. Meanwhile those in developing economies – the ones they wish to deprive of the power we take for granted – live at a standard of living fantastically below the level the bottom quartile of our societies not just take for granted, but feel shortchanged that their ability to consume is not higher than it is.

I am also more amazed than ever that Shanghai works at all. A population greater than the whole of Australia’s in an area about the size of Melbourne must be a logistical nightmare. It wouldn’t work at all if everyone had a car. They will get richer, but they will have to abandon their government-owned enterprises which will take a long time, since the unemployment they would create would be impossible to deal with. But having listened to and spoken with China’s greatest Mises-Hayek scholar, eventually they will move in the direction of Singapore and Hong Kong. Markets work, and the Chinese understand this. Meanwhile, we in the West are centralising our economies more than ever. Which calls this to mind.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

The wheel, my friends, is still in spin as it always is. Between Hillary and Merkel, and those of the same mentality who may come after, there is no telling what things will be like by mid-century.

Meanwhile, looking forward to being back in Australia in the morning.

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