Economic Update: China’s Economic Record and Strategy

This program
is a follow-up on an earlier program we did. That program was devoted to the Soviet Union,
that first example in the modern period of history of an attempt to build a socialist
society. I built that program and the one today around
the following assumption; that in many conversations about capitalism and socialism as alternative
systems mention is made, particularly by the older generations, of the Soviet Union and
today about the People’s Republic of China. These are looked at as examples (good, bad
or mixed) of what socialism is. They certainly are examples of what some of
the early efforts at building socialism look like and because they’re spoken about so often,
referred to and thought about, it seemed a reasonable time for me to devote some attention
to analyzing them. We did that with the Soviet Union in the earlier
program and today we’re going to do it with the People’s Republic of China. Before I jump into it let me be really clear
about how we are going to do it. This is not an exercise in “we’re good. They’re bad. ” Either way that comes from the Cold War
which was supposed to have ended in 1989-90 but clearly hasn’t, or at least the Cold War
is alive and kicking in the minds of some of our fellow citizens. This is too bad because it prevents the kind
of balanced approach of looking at the pros and the cons that a mature and intelligent
conversation ought to be about. Capitalism has strengths and weaknesses. Socialism is an alternative and it has strengths
and weaknesses. We’d all be better off if we were able to
talk about all of that without resorting to childish invocations of how “we’re good
and they’re bad”. You really ought to get over that at a certain
point in your life or else something’s wrong. We’re not going to go there so let’s go. Let me begin by talking about what economists
often talk about when comparing different kinds of societies and
comparing different countries. You might remember that Adam Smith’s great
work “The Wealth of Nations” published back in 1776 was about explaining why some
way nations are wealthy and some nations are not and to account for that, to understand
it. Part of that was a very generous impulse Mr.
Smith understood that poor countries would like to not be poor and wanted to learn what
the rich countries might be able to teach them about how to get to that situation. China was one of the poor countries at the
time Adam Smith wrote and it got poorer after that. By the 20th century (the last hundred years
or so) the Chinese people were not only the most numerous people of any country on earth
(they remain today the most populous country on this planet by far) but also very poor. The capitalist part of the world had grown
much richer in the intervening couple of centuries so they were even further behind as well as
being absolutely poor. So, they were focused, like most of the people
in the world are, on overcoming poverty. So that’s been their major goal and it’s a
reasonable place to start to assess how well they’ve done. If these numbers trouble you then please understand
it’s because you did not know about them before, not because there’s anything wrong with the
numbers. Over the last 20 years the People’s Republic
of China has increased its output of goods and services faster than any other country
on this planet. In the case of the comparison between the
People’s Republic of China on the one hand and the United States of America on the other
they’re not even close. Let me explain with some numbers. The rate of growth of output of goods and
services (the productivity of the economy, if you like) [for China] in 2005 was 11%. In 2017 it was 15%. In 2010 it was 12% and it has slowed down
since then. Over the last year it was a mere 6.4%. If you wanted to average it out it was probably
in the neighborhood of 10-11% over the last 10, 15, 20 years. By comparison, let me give you the numbers
for the United States of America. Its average growth rate in the 1950s and 60s
was 4%. In the 70s and 80s it fell to 3% and in the
last 10 years it has averaged 2%. In the latest year it was 3.2%; half of what
it was in China, but for most of the last 20 years the rate of growth of China has been
2 to 3 to 4 times that of the United States. That, in a simple way, tells us something. Number one it explains why we’re reading and
hearing so much about China; because they have become the second most important economy
in the world because they have achieved these extraordinary rates of economic growth. Number two it will help you understand something
else about the people of China: they are not about to be pushed around, neither by Mr.
Trump nor anybody else because they have the economic strength
to resist. Number three, if you’re the government of
the People’s Republic of China (and that is a government in which the Communist Party
of China is dominant) you are hardly about to change the way you organize your economy
given how well it has been doing. Governments change either willingly or under
pressure when they’re doing badly for their people. It makes people bitter, angry, critical, and
liable to push for change. This is something Americans no doubt understands
since it’s a situation we face here in American capitalism, or in Europe with
their capitalism that’s not doing really well for an enormous number of people. As a consequence, criticisms are rising. You see a rediscovery of socialism, for example,
here in the United States, you see the yellow vest movement demanding fundamental changes
in France and you see all kinds of other movements we don’t have the time, today, to go into. I like to deal with them occasionally, at
least, in other programs. This is already enough to explain to you why
the People’s Republic of China is the economic phenomena of our time. Let me turn next to the second most typical
statistic to look at if you’re comparing countries and you’re trying to understand what’s going
on with the development or not, of wealth and poverty. This number is called the “real wage”. Here’s what it means: how much can people
afford to buy with the average wages they get. To understand that we look at two numbers. First, how much money is given to people per
hour for the work they do and on the other hand what are the prices of the things they
buy with the wages they get. In other words, if your wage goes up by 10
percent but so do all the prices you face, you’re not one bit better off. You got 10 percent more money but it doesn’t
buy you anything but the same quantity of things it bought you before. When we adjust the wages workers get for the
prices they have to pay, we get what’s called the “average real wage”. What you can afford with the money you get. Let’s compare the last 20 years in the United
States that is this century so far in the United States with that in China. In the United States real wages (the average
wage of the American worker) has stagnated. It has gone nowhere. That’s true not only for the 20 years we’re
talking about of this century, it’s true for the last 25 years of the 20th century. Here’s a statistic for you to think about
as an American if you’re watching this program from the United States or listening to it
on the radio here. In 1973 the wage of the United States, the
average wage of an American, was able to buy (here we go now) MORE things than it was in
2018. The real wage in the United States is less
today than it was then. It’s not less by a lot but it means that over
the last 40 to 45 years Americans who have worked harder than ever, who have been more
productive than they ever were across that time, have not shared in their greater productivity. Their real income, their real wages have not
gone up. The real hourly wage in the United States
is lower today than it was in 1973 and that is something to think about. But now comes the Chinese story. Over the same period of time, the last 20-25
years, real wages in the People’s Republic of China have quadrupled. Let me tell you that again. The basket of goods and services that an average
worker gets in China for an average hour of his or her work is four times greater today
than it was 25 years ago. Yes, Chinese wages remain below the average
in the United States because they were and they still are a poor country when you divide
their total economy by the enormous number of people that live in that country. But if you want to understand why the people
of China support their government here’s a clue: their real wages went up four times
over the last 25 years in a society led by a government in which the Communist Party
is the dominant political force. Let me pause to let all of this sink in. This is not about whether you like these numbers
or don’t this is not about whether you’re critical of many aspects of Chinese society
or you’re not. I myself find things in China I admire and
things in China I would like to avoid. I try to look at the strengths and weaknesses. But when it comes to the economics of their
socialist system and I compare its performance over decades to this moment, there is no contest
about which system has served its people better in terms of economic growth of output. The economy as a whole and the real wages
of the average worker in that society. Is China an example of equality? No. It has a great deal of inequality. There the United States and China have something
in common; high inequality that’s actually getting worse. We will continue after the mid program break
to talk about what’s going on in China so that we understand what the internal
mechanisms are that explain this performance. Before breaking let me remind you, please,
to make use of our websites: and Please subscribe to our YouTube channel. Just go to And finally I want to thank our Patreon community
for the support it continues to provide. We are grateful and appreciative. We’ll be right back. Welcome back friends to the second half of
today’s economic update. We’ve been talking about the People’s Republic
of China. In the first half today we spoke particularly
about its performance as an economy: its rate of growth in production of goods and services
on the one hand and the rate of growth of the average real wage of a Chinese working
person on the other. Having shown the remarkable success of their
economic growth program in both those ways I want to turn now to how they did that. How do they organize their economy and particularly
in what ways differently from that of the United States or Western Europe that might
help us account for their extraordinary performance? First, and perhaps most important for many
of you that are watching and listening, is to understand that the Chinese economy for
quite some time now has had a mixture of privately-owned enterprises and state-owned enterprises. wYou might think of it as a mixed economy
between private and state. It is also true over the last 2025 years that
the role of the private sector has been enlarged, relative to the role of the state sector. However, that has to be made a little more
complicated by noting that the Chinese, in managing this balance between the state and
the private, give the dominance to the state. They say that the state-owned enterprises
will always be the leading sectors, the main industrial groups within the Chinese economy. There’s plenty of room for private enterprises
but the leading part of the economy will be the state. Why are the Chinese doing that? First and foremost, they are doing it because
it’s their way of learning from the experience of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union’s kind of socialism
(in which the state was overwhelmingly dominant and the private sector
was really quite restricted), when the Soviet Union collapsed in on itself in 1989 it went
through an extremely quick transition from an overwhelmingly state industrial sector
to an overwhelmingly private one. This was pushed by the folks in Russia who
wanted these changes, it was pushed by foreign advisers led by Jeffrey Sachs now of Columbia
University. It was called a kind of “cold shower treatment”
or sometimes “shock therapy” as a way of fixing what was understood to be wrong. The Chinese analysis is that the suffering
of the Russian people in the 30 years since then (the failures of the Russian economy
in the 30 years since then) had largely to do with the excessive speed and the excessive
extent of what happened in the Soviet Union. They have been determined not to repeat that
mistake. In other words, their communist party’s plan
is to make the transition slow and limited. Yes, foreign enterprises can come in if they’re
private capitalist enterprises, and many have. Yes, Chinese people can set up private enterprises
as many have. But the leading sectors of the economy will
remain state-owned enterprises running the program of economic development that the state
organizes under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party. It’s important to understand that the Chinese
kind of socialism is itself a learning process in which what happened to the Soviet system
is playing a major role, in this case of what not to do in the way that happened in the
Soviet Union. But it is not the only factor that’s involved. To continue the comparison with the Soviet
Union, because the Soviet Union was the first socialist country and completely isolated
after the 1920s, surrounded by a world that hated what they were doing, they couldn’t
and didn’t find a way to build their economy by exporting. They could not produce for the
rest of the world, make a lot of money that way and use it to develop their own economy. They had to do it pretty much on their own. The Chinese have taken a different path there
as well. Early on the Chinese decided (at the end of
the last century the beginning of this one) to hitch their economic wagon to the world
market, to become the producer of goods and services for sale around the world. In order to do that they had to build industries
that produced what the rest of the world did either at a higher quality or at a lower price
or both. Basically, they’ve done that which is why
Chinese automobiles join Chinese appliances, Chinese clothing, Chinese you-fill-in-the-blank
is everywhere. Most of what you will see in an average Walmart
is made in China and there’s a reason why Walmart stocks up on Chinese goods, and they’re
not the only company of course. So, they hitched their wagon to the world
market and they’ve done very, very well because of it. The Russians couldn’t do that and the Chinese
could and they did. Here’s another thing: private capitalists
didn’t go into Russia hardly at all but they have been rushing, stumbling all over themselves
to get into China. The Chinese understand that and they offered
Western capitalist enterprises the following deal. We need your technology, the Chinese said. We need your money, your capital to be invested. So here’s the deal. We offer you, we will provide you with well
disciplined, efficient, hard-working workers at a very low wage (the one that we have here
in our poor country) and we will build the roads and provide the supports for you to
be able to make a lot of money producing here in China more cheaply than you could ever
produce in America, or Western Europe, or Japan etc. All we ask in exchange is that you share your
advanced technology because that’s why we’re doing this with you. You will have access to our workers and you
will have access to our customers to sell your product, but we want your technology
and your capital. Nobody put a gun to any capitalist enterprises’
head. They made the decision to accept the offer
of the Chinese because it was profitable them for them to do so. If it meant that they laid off workers in
their home countries, these capitalist enterprises, they could care less. They did that. They abandon whole industries. They abandon whole communities. That’s how capitalism has always worked only
this time, with this destruction of working people in the West there was a boon to the
workers of China, which is why I gave you the numbers about the average real wage. So, the Chinese used the world market. The deal they struck with private capitalists
and the lessons they learned from the Soviet Union to organize what they call a special
Chinese kind of socialism that allows for private enterprise (a considerable amount),
allows for market dealings (a considerable amount), but controls from the top through
the state-owned enterprises the leading or dominant sectors of the Chinese economy. The last part of the show for today is to
give a little historical context China is an old civilization and a quite homogeneous
civilization. The Han people are the dominant ethnic group
and other ethnicities are small and scattered. The Chinese are a proud people with a long
history of a pretty well-developed civilization which at various times over the last couple
of thousand years was much more developed than civilizations in the West were. So for them it was doubly embarrassing, humiliating
is the word they used, to fall under the control of foreign colonialists in the 17th, 18th,
19th century from Britain, from France, from Germany, from the United States. It culminated in a horrible moment of rebellion
called the Boxer Rebellion at the end of the 19th century when a futile effort by the Chinese
authorities to push back against the Western imperialists was defeated. China was never made into a colony. They’re very proud of that. But they had to give away Hong Kong and parts
of their country to the foreigner who controlled them, who settled their merchants and other
companies in these special territories where they didn’t find
themselves subject to Chinese Authority or Chinese law. The Chinese, as a people, made a commitment
to find their own way, to break, led by Sun Yat-sen at the beginning of the 20th century. And when that wasn’t sufficient and when they
were added the humiliation of the invasion of their country by the Japanese in the 1930s
a revolt of a much deeper sort took place in China. They were successful. At first it was an alliance between the nationalists,
who wanted to build up a capitalist China. and the Communists, who wanted to build up
a socialist China. But they worked together to push the Japanese
out. By 1945 they had done so, together with the
fight of the United States and its allies against Japan. As soon as World War II was over the alliance
between the capitalist / nationalist Chinese under their leader Chiang Kai-shek ended up
in a civil war with the Communists, their former allies, led by Mao Zedong. A civil war broke out from 1945 to 1949 ending
with the decisive and complete victory of the Communist Red Army. The Chiang Kai-shek people left the mainland
of China and went to Taiwan where their descendants still live and still imagine that they, on
the little island, are China whereas the vast mass of people on the mainland are something
else. No one hardly is left in the world who shares
this delusion. From 1949 to now, 70 years, is historically
not a long time. But from a decimated, poor, colonialized country
China is now the number two economy in the world. It is an incredible achievement. Not to understand that, not to understand
what this means in the minds in the feelings and in the pocketbooks of the Chinese people,
not to understand that it has involved moving four to five hundred million people off of
the poverty-stricken countryside into the urban industrial jobs along the coast of China,
these are misunderstandings that make no sense. You are not helped in understanding, let alone
fixing the problems of the world, by living in the delusion that the things I’ve tried
to get across today are not the case, don’t have to be taken into account and somehow
don’t matter. Unfortunately, in the mainstream media of
the United States, and in other parts of the West, most of this is simply not reported
on, not covered, evaded. That doesn’t do anyone a service unless it’s
the people who run the kinds of society China isn’t, who are afraid of the model and the
example China offers. For my part it is our effort, here at economic
update, to provide the kind of information on the basis of which rational decisions can
be made about making the world a better place. I hope you have found these in-depth analyses
of the Soviet Union and China a useful part of the ongoing debate about capitalism and
its alternatives, the number one of which is varieties of socialism. Thank you for your attention and I look forward
to speaking with you again next week.

  1. What about China faking it with 5 banks printing the same denomination rbm? How can any country invest in them being so untrustworthy, authoritarian, copycats? China copied India, Taiwan, other Asian Countries manufacturing and selling to the West.
    Chinese people are never trained to think, to imagine, just to repeat and obey.

  2. It's important to think of Capitalism's historic arch. Capitalism 's strength is resolving "scarcity". China is in the midst of dealing with scarcity and will for the next several decades. The US was in similar period in the "Special Century" 1870-1970. The US is now in a post-scarcity period. All basic needs have been met and commodified in "Late Capitalism." Late Capitalism is principally of extraction and predation. Little top line economic growth happens in a post-scarcity commodity dominated economy. Now that China has decided to move beyond producing the crapification of Walmart and Dollar Tree US wage stagnation will really bite the US.

  3. Taiwan (capitalist) GDP per capita $24971 (2018)
    China (mixed communist/capitalist) GDP per capita $9608 (2018)
    From a similar starting point about 1950 the capitalist system has done better.

    Care to compare how well state owned enterprises in China have done compared with private companies in China Wolfe?

  4. Very good .most regular people are to busy to care or understand. But I do care and understand. Thank you

  5. An in-depth insightful, profound yet objective analyses and accurate historical facts on China culminating to its standing today, Prof Wolff.

    It's rare indeed to find such information elsewhere in the mainstream media today anywhere in the Western hemisphere.

    A key highlight among the facts noted by Prof Wolff, there's NO GUN POINTED at the CEOs of Western enterprises when they chose to relocate from their home country, destroying millions of jobs locally in the process, and sharing their technologies with China. Why is there argument on stealing technologies or forced TRANSFER now, when no one is forcing upon them to agree back then. After all, it's simply capitalism at its finest, business profitability, all that matters to those Western enterprises.

    An educational piece for our current and future generations on understanding the true story of China's development so far. Thanks, Prof Wolff!

  6. Im sure China is and want a system same as the Swedish model! To be a socialist country Sweden has proven the model has been very succesfull. Both in making money and at the same time taking care of our people. In the USA, every socialist government is called communist and it will mess up any country they says! But Sweden and many scandinavien country prooves them wrong! Im proud to say Swedish socialist capitalist system is the best System! Its nothing wrong to be rich and the same time have good social welfare ! 
    Thx Dr Wolf for understanding the chinese ways of thinking and the situation in the world! U knows chinese history much better than that fake chinese Gordon Chang! He call himself for a knower of China, his books about China collapsing is a JOKE! U should give him a history lesson, that guy is fraud and a Warmonger!

  7. We can learn a lot from this…the evidence and number is unequivocal…we need a kind of Sociocapitalism…Deng Xiao Peng was an extraordinary visionary, perhaps the most relevant leader of our times, for China and for both the developing and developed world….just imagine lifting 800 millions people from poverty and subsistence existence to the Belt and Road initiative….even the dry poverty stricken folks of Africa can benefit from the advancement of science and development

  8. Professor Wolff, your analysis is admirable.
    Unfortunately, as you yourself know, the
    "man on the street" in the USA doesn't know
    what you're talking about.

    Those who know what you are talking about
    and understand it have no way of drawing
    their lessons from it. Those who both
    understand and have the power to draw
    lessons from the analysis, those who do not will.

    For they know how to survive a catastrophe
    themselves and fear change that cannot be in
    their favor. So, what is the conclusion of what
    China is showing the world?

    Translated with

  9. China's success has proved Western democracy is not the only way. Developing country have other options

  10. All well said and true … China experienced industrialization in the past 20-25 years, and that's why growth and wealth accumulation rates are so high. All societies experienced such period when industrialized. On political system, there is no democratic re-election every 4 years in China, and CCP has a single handed control and a national goal of in 100 years since 1949 to make China the leader in the world. Huawei, as an example, is a state owned company. It has unlimited resources to execute China's economic strategy. On American media propaganda, it does not cover the world and China where vast majority of people are. News and Hollywood are losing credibility even among American public, so it's no use.

  11. Raw growth is not the only metric. China's growth came at an cost of the utter devastation of their environment – among other factors.

  12. In 1978 China moved its economy to capitalism and it seems to have really worked! If China moved back to communism they stop growing and probably decline.

  13. There are a few things that may be interesting
    1) Soviet industrialization from 1920's depends much from Germany's help . Germany was isolated by the West too.
    2) Initially ,Mao wanted to get close to US , but was rejected by US. Thus Mao turned to Soviet Union
    3) State owned enterprise was the in thing in the world in 1950's and 1960's. China state owned enterprises saved China from total chaos in the 1950's to 70's.

  14. Remember that socialism and the government in China are not democratics, they control and manipulate information to their advantage, for example, Cuba have one of the lower child mortality in the world but if you are Cuban you know that is misinformation and manipulation of data.

  15. Democracy at work should form a China study group sending people to China's localities and villages where undergoing government's poverty helping projects. We can have what they have too.

  16. Not fear no wages increase as much as cost of living inflation. No wage increase is OK when cost of living drop. One way or the other, drop the cost of living please.

  17. There is more to it than that.. but good start.. At least Mao unlike Lenin got some deserved thanks.

  18. 你们谈福利的时候,我们在加班。你们谈民主的时候,我们在加班,你们在谈自由的时候,我们在加班。因为傲慢的西方人给了我们一百多年的屈辱。When you talk about welfare, we are working overtime. When you talk about democracy, we are working overtime. When you talk about freedom, we are working overtime. Because the arrogant Westerners have given us more than a hundred years of humiliation.

  19. The Soviets fought capitalism and failed. The Chinese are using capitalism to fight capitalism to bring fourth communism.

  20. Dear Dr. Wolff, we have same in Europe probably for same period like USA, people getting angry and not happy from all of this. Can you tell us how to fix this ? Can EU, USA and allies to come up with something ? We need quality of life !

  21. Very intresting and useful information. One could also say that the chinese economy in many ways works like a market economy but that china is not a capitalistic country (like the west) because the politics still has the supremacy over the capital. In the west it seems to me more and more as it is the capital that has the supremacy over politics. I think for example about the influence that various economic lobbies have when it comes to elections in the USA and in Europe, and how very much of the american foreign policy is also influenced by particular economic groups. I think also that a political stable environment (I am not advocating that we in the west adopt such a systetm) like the chinese has a clear advantage in its higher capability of long term planning, compared to western systems where politician have to be re-elected after 4-5 years. On the other hand I also find it difficoult to describe the chinese system as really socialist, at least in the sense that we give to that word here in Europe. I'm thinking for example of the nordic countries in Europe, where socialism is synonimous with welfare state. I honestly do not see very much of that in China today. So I think that the definitions that is often describes the chinese case as a "state controlled capitalism" is quite fitting.

  22. The video summarizes pretty well what the Chinese have done great: 1) a leading state-owned economy with vibrate private sector (together with a controlled and gradual economic reform to avoid mistakes from USSR) and 2) opening up to the world with a deal that trades technology and capital with labor and consumer market. I think the root cause of all these is that Chinese is a pragmatic people, they seek truth from facts and care less about what ideology/model is absolutely right. As the former leader Deng Xiaoping said, it doesn't matter if it's a black or white cat, as long as it catches mice it's a good cat.

  23. Rich vs Poor….=All lose none wins…How about all equal?Its a no brain to think that markets will allways be on high,for someone to win other has to lose….Just Ban Money slavery.

  24. As a US citizen having just completed my 11th year living in China, I can say that if the US continues retreating into it's go-to mindset of delusional opinions (not facts) about the greatness of the USA(for whatever reason), and the wrongness of any other economic systems, they will likely soon find themselves living in a shack in some rural part of the country, likely, as is already happening, bought-out(displaced) by the tidal wave of millions of incoming newly rich Chinese people, hungry for US real estate( and other assets). It's so odd how a completely dysfunctional partisan mindset has become some sort of creature comfort of the US people, and that it is somehow our duty to maintain that position (or be ostracized) as the only way forward for this winner-takes-all land of milk and honey. Unless you are already one of the elite, this football-team and partisan mindset will take us nowhere but into poverty, as your children may already be trying to explain to you. (Though you're probably not listening) PS – Trading in your life's savings, and taking on huge debt, for an over-priced college education is not the answer.

  25. The time for defending monikers, labels, and "isms" is long gone. If there isn't a consensus on some kind of action soon, we will all lose what we fought for in the first place, if we haven't already.

  26. Many thanks, as a Chinese , what we have done is “ have been determined not to repeat the Soviet Union’s mistakes “ . What will we do is to avoid the United States’s mistakes which already happened and will happen. A system which better serve their people is the best.

  27. The merit of the chinese economy is to start the modernization and not being a rural economy any more. But all of these development wasn't out of the good heart of the burocracy. The are the ones how benefitted most. Yes, wages rose a lot, because the started from a very low standard. Mean while, the new chinese billionaire class came out of the burocracy.
    Worse than not having unions, they have state unions, that works as the transmission belt of the burocracy interest in the labor class.
    So independent labor organizations are Illegal.
    As a socialist, I can recognize the chinese achievement of taking millions out of misery, but ultimatly it was done by the burocracy on self interest, selling out it's own ppl Labor under an irion fist in benefit of the international capital.

  28. China produces so much now because American companies chose to move production to the third world to exploit cheap labor. None of that has anything to do with socialism

  29. At the end of the '80s when the USSR collapsed I knew the life in the 'west' will slowly go to shit but I never guessed the rise of China. I wonder if the countries that were part of the Eastern block are taking another look at Socialism after the rise of China?

  30. I’m an American living in China and moved here because I can make more here teaching English with a college degree than I can most jobs I find in the USA.

  31. China and India were not poor before the British got their hands on them China was in fact rich and stable China became poor after the Opium Wars.

  32. No matter which system — capitalist or communist — all countries in the world have three (3) forces at play:

    1. Political

    2. Social

    3. Capital

    The Capital force is almost always in conflict with the social force, while the political force can play either A. Independent / Balancing role, B. Siding with the social force, or C. Siding with the capitalists.

    The West is suffering right now. Both Europe and America are suffering, and the main reason is that the interplay between the 3 forces has collapsed, resulting in the Capitalist Forces winning it all.

    Take, for example, the United States of America.

    The political realms have been taken over by the Capitalists. Washington D. C. has become a swamp (no, I am not a MAGA fanboi) because the political machinery inside the Beltway is now working not for the people of the United States, but rather, it is working for THEIR PAYMASTER

    So who are the capitalists? If you think Wall Street is the representative of the Capitalists, you are only half right.

    The other half of the Capitalist forces inside America is the Military Industrial Complex, controlling both the Capitol Hill and the Pentagon.

    While C-Span attempts to tell us that it is the Congress which determines what to buy, it is the Military Industrial Complex which determines what kinds of weapon the American military gonna use, from now, to 50 years from now.

    The revolving doors of the Pentagon / Defense Contractors dictates what kind of weapon system we must buy. As for the Congress — the choice in front of them is to 'buy A' or 'buy be' or 'buy both A and B'

    No, Congress no longer has the right to tell Pentagon which kind of weapon system we gonna use. The Congress critters have lost that right a long, long time ago !

    Along with what kind of weapon we buy, the military industrial complex also tells us what war we gonna fight.

    You see, our media tells us that it's the White House who determine who our enemies are.

    No longer.

    It's the generals, under the advice of the so-called 'think-tanks' who are being paid for by the Military Industrial Complex, who tells the POTUS who are our enemies, and who we are going to harass, attack and/or kill.

    As you can see, even the deaths of our boys and girls in the military, and where they gonna end up died, are pre-determined, again, thanks to the 'wisdom' of the Military Industrial Complex.

    The West is screwed, not by China, not by Russia, but by our own people !

  33. I rarely comment on Youtube video. But as a Chinese born Chinese who still work and live in China, I find myself with a profound feeling and resonance with what he talked in the video. Especially the last historical part.
    Most westerners thought Chinese people support their government because they are 'brain-washed' by the government, but it is not true. We support the government, because it worked so well and did so good, based on what we achieved by key 'benchmarks'. China helped ten, a hundred millions, or even a billion of people or so, out of POVERTY. Please again, it is not help a million of people, it is a billion of people.
    I myself is a founder of a high-tech startup, and when you think the country like running a company to achieve certain goals. No matter what kind of capitalism or socialism is, we want the result, we want to achieve what we want to, to beat the KPI.
    China did a more than excellent work in doing so.
    That is why Chinese people don't always complain about this, even we certainly know a lot of things lacking, like democracies.
    It just like: an app achieved 10 millions of daily active users from nothing, but with bad user experience or slow speed – the last part doesn't that matter compared to the first one.
    Chinese people are proud, historically, but Chinese people are also humbled.
    Imagine, when President Xi Jing-ping, talked the story that the presententor of the video said in the last part, via a broadcasting service nationwide, just like Churchill did during the WWII. Chinese people will be united, as we all know the humuliating and tough history we have. And now China has the strength to say no to other bullies.
    President Trump doesn't understand it, as other US policy makers. So, in my point of view, strategically, they made it wrong, and the wrong approach will let them to pay it off by themselves.
    Better understanding the fundamentals and the history is a key to talk, to negotiate and cooperate.
    Thanks again, and I sincerely wish you can produce more videos, reporting the facts and the truths, and let more people to make rational decisions. 谢谢。

  34. Just another clue for you: 1980s, leader Deng Xiao Ping, “Chief architect of the reforming and opening-up”, planed to build China into a “moderately developed country” in 70 years. 40 years passed, the plan is still going well. What kind of parties can make a plan and work on it insistently for 7 decades? Not the kind can rule only 4 years.

  35. The way I see it, the position of the world's labor aristocracy (workers who aspire to be like the bourgeoisie, who get higher wages due to social democratic measures in the context of imperialism) is slowly moving from its traditional positions in the US and Western Europe over to China. Engels' criticisms of the British working class in his time will he applicable to Chinese workers in 25-50 years

  36. Despite the progress that the Socialist produced, Chine is a repressive dictatorship and not a good example to follow.

  37. But isn't is true that in China workers are often represented by prison labor. While I also know that this is done in the United States but I am not sure it is done on the level of China. Would not that, by itself create a tremendous growth in GDP?
    While I am not sure of the Chinese anti-religion, communist ideology, it is obvious that its economic growth out paces the USA. What we do know for sure is, capitalism doesn't work for the masses only for the few and its not about "hard work" and "lifting up by the bootstraps". This is about corruption, who you know and purchasing and peddling influence and 1984 style mass brain washing.

  38. Democrats be saying “Why did Charles Xavier send Wolverine back to 1973? This action totally changed USA history. Xavier was working for China! Let’s terminate him!”

  39. Thank you, Richard, for this lecture which I watched with great interest. Your understanding of China (civilisation, history, people and current ruling government) is very impressive for this humble Chinese viewer. In addition, you shown an incredible insight into America and Russia political systems, all of which makes this video one of the best I have seen so far. Look forward to more of your analyses on Democracy @ Work.

  40. Fair enough. The optimum IS somehwere between the rampant neoliberal rigged-capitalism and the Chinese system

  41. IF China were poor when Adam Smith wrote his tome, then Europe and America were poorer than China back then. Get your history straight.


  43. Under the current political system in the West ! They cannot learn or enhance their situation even they know the China is doing the right thing ! Their hand are tied up by their democracy system and nothing can do about that !

  44. For some parts isnt it a little bit of a weird comparison to compare a growing market to an already established market. I'm not sure myself so I am asking?

  45. Dr. Wolff, you have a good historical perspective! This helps to understand how China moves in today's world!

  46. We needed and still need a big wall around capitalist so they can't go and give our Technology and Mfg. jobs away anymore.

  47. I am a Chinese, and I think he is right, but I am glad that there are few Western experts who know China. False news is more. Some say China is a sleeping lion, but now the Chinese think that the West is asleep and not going to wake up.

  48. I have thought about these two posts, both the Russian one and the Chinesr one. I agree with Professor Wolff almost entirely. He cannot be argued with wgphen he explains both history and the development of China. Socialism is a wonderfu way to bring growth. The people of China have come far. But Russia took another turn and China has mad this error several times. That is that democracy is subotdinated to the demands of the state. Individual needs and desires when the local government does not satisfy have niowhere to go. Mass protest is slapped down or sometimes toletated for days or weeks but seldom produces popular changes demanded by the lowest level of society. One of the most valuable American contributions to ordinary people with very little power and wealth is mass protest, constitutional orotections for it and a free press. Here I must say that these things must be continually fought for.

    I keep seeing posts by people who are obviously Chinese government propagandists. This does not please me and if that is what I can expect from socialism, I am not enthusiastic. What I want for my country is the preservation of the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment in particular but the whole thing. I want to have the kind of American socialist system that encorporates the best of our society but also a loosening of the clamp down against socialism. We would do well to socialize the economic safety net, transportation, health care, housing and food guarantees but also leave room for individual innovation and some profit making. I think we need a cap on individual wealth, the excess of which would go to the government in taxes. China's mixed economy works pretty well but their justice system, their repression would not go over well here.

    The name calling I am seeing does not dusturb me but it proves my point. That China has to answer an old woman who thinks entirely independently shows a kind of fear. Yes, I have organized and. stood up for justice in my own country. Yes, my efforts have not always been successful. But together with others we have made progress on issues and increased space for reform. Now I want some fundamental change. I don't want any government reacting with propaganda. That stiffles dissent which is a powerful tool of the people to constantly remind entrenched functionaries to listen to the will of the people.

    Wolff has much good to teach. But more criticism of the current Russian government which absolutely did interfere with our election and China's grab of an entire huge body of a sea need to be talked about too.

    Let us be honest here. Think for yourself. What do we need in the United States to improve worker's lives? What is our President doing to democracy? Where has our system failed? What can we learn from Russia and China? Where havethey failed and what can they learn from us?

  49. China has a huge advantage over other developing nations in terms of economic development, They can copy the development of Taiwan, Hong kong and Singapore. There are Chinese dominated society.

  50. Doesn't Richard seem to be speaking in a kinda condescending demeanor? I know, it's the system stupid, but still…

  51. Please Proffesor Wolff can you do a analysis of the ex Yugoslavia. I think that is also a good example of what can go in good or bad way in socialism. Good period is transition from Socialism to Marković time to today nacionalist diversity capitalistic country's. Thank you very much for your time and effort in analyzing this various models. I look forward to see more.

  52. My right wing uncle doesn't believe me when I tell him the real wages in the US have been stagnant for the last 45 years. Where can I find the specific statistic Mr. Wolff is referring to?

  53. I must admit, I usually do not like you and find a lot of your explanations to be misleading. But this was great work, I hope to see more work of this quality from you.

  54. Lol, the Caribbean could have been China with better logistics but racist ideology sent all the technology to the east. American capitalist exported the economy to China, so lets not kid ourselves and say they did this themselves. Recent history shows how we did this with Japan and Korea etc.. Now we are building out Vietnam. The method is noting new, it is simple predatory capitalism transported and updated from the colonial era, in the same way the British Empire built the USA and we became a monster.

  55. One of very few smart American economic analyst I have come across who speaks the truth. Well done Dr Wolf.

  56. China controls the thoughts/speech of its citizens.

  57. I think the reason why China's economy has grown much quicker than America's is due to something called the catch up effect which is the tendency of poorer countries to have higher GDP growth than richer countries. In the latter half of the 20th century, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan began to experience rapid GDP growth; these countries were called the asian tigers. Today, these four countries have similar living standards to the US and Western Europe, but the GDP growth has slowed down significantly. The same will likely happen to China which has experienced high GDP growth since the 1970s when Deng Xiaoping made capitalist reforms (Xiaoping was actually inspired by Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore to make these reforms) but now has a declining annual growth rate.

  58. Economic Maturity

    القرآن – سورۃ نمبر 62 الجمعة
    آیت نمبر 11

    أَعـوذُ بِاللهِ مِنَ الشَّيْـطانِ الرَّجيـم
    بِسْمِ اللّٰهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

    وَاِذَا رَاَوۡا تِجَارَةً اَوۡ لَهۡوَا۟ اۨنْفَضُّوۡۤا اِلَيۡهَا وَتَرَكُوۡكَ قَآئِمًا‌ ؕ قُلۡ مَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ خَيۡرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهۡوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ‌ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ خَيۡرُ الرّٰزِقِيۡنَ  ۞

    But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. Say, "What is with Allah is better than diversion and than a transaction, and Allah is the best of providers."

    When you start providing the product of your services. When you have overcome all the diversions and hurdle in appropriate time and had not left anybody standing stranded because of your ambitions. So May Allah mature us to help others

  59. Lmao china having higher quality?? Nope. Its exclusively due to low price. How can they accomplish this? With ridiculous low cost labor. Thats why they have the numbers that you claim, real wages up 4X. Socialism didnt create economic growth. How stupid. Its always Capitalism that builds wealth. The Chinese realized this thats why they have a private sector and implemented free market policies. If Socialism is so great, they should get rid of the private sector and have the state or the people own and control everything. But they wont do that. Cuz thats retarded

  60. If your focus, as you claim, is to "provide the kind of information on the basis of which rational decisions can be made to make the world a better place", don't you think it is at least worth mentioning the cost in human lives this "economic miracle" has inflicted? 36-76 million died of starvation, 2.5 million were tortured or summarily executed.
    Or the 3 million violent deaths of the cultural revolution
    Or that the GDP per capita in China is 6.7 times lower than the US
    China GDP per capita = $8,826
    USA GDP per capita = $59,531
    Thats a little more than "slightly less"
    Or the environmental cost of this "economic miracle"
    Or the fact that China is notorious for exaggerating its GDP. 30%
    Or that Chinese debt is 300% of its GDP
    Don't you think in the interest of making "rational decisions" said decision makers would like to know that China is experiencing its worst GDP in 30 years?

    No Professor Wolff, you have no interest in proving people with honest information about alternatives to capitalism, your only interest is to push your ideology.

  61. What is the basis for your statement that most Chinese people support the system in their country? Also, isn't the Chinese economic system quite close to the theory of National Socialism?

  62. The problem with percentages is that it depends on the base. An increase of 2 units when the initial total is 2 gives a 100 percent increase whereas an increase of 4 units when the initial total is 100 units is merely 4 percent even though more units have been produced

  63. Great job as usual..Mr. Wolf . All the smart people stand aside , the Dumb one works for the Criminal Government . That's how the US is fading fast . The lies are coming straight from the top .

  64. One thing I will like to tell you: why don't you go to live in CHINA? with the bloody Communist, and stop talking nonsense?and live us in peace.. with our own DEMOCRATIC ..thank you!!

  65. Debt and the interest added on, not to mentioning printing so much money, has weakened the dollar. Less purchasing power for you wages naturally follows.

  66. *****. 5 stars. If not 6. Excellent. The usual RW. And the fact that the growth in China so far only benefited 1/3 of the population, makes all that keep on saying that China's growth is hitting the ceiling, so pathetic. To those I say: keep dreaming.

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