Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chilling Question Of The Day: Is China More Capitalist Than The US?


While China improves its business climate by lowering the burden of state confiscation, the US plans to increase it, and in some cases by a significant amount. Meanwhile, the House last night voted 237-170 to sink $15 billion into the American auto industry, with government officially owning part of three private auto makers in order to dictate to management how to run their businesses. Management welcomed the move, and in fact wanted Congress to buy an even bigger stake in these companies.


When one looks to Beijing for rational tax policies … well, that’s just a sad day for Americans, even if it does portend a brighter future for China.

I recall a day when 'grace under fire' was considered a supreme virtue in business and inviting government into the management of your company an unthinkable ignominy. The American response to the current financial crisis, and particularly the clambering of the corporate community for government handouts, suggests just how far America has strayed from this vision of honourable conduct in business. Is China actually more capitalist than America? Of course not. But when the question can be asked without the intention of provoking laughter, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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