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 Time to learn Chinese?

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PostSubject: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:40 am

We have a good mix of people here, both younger (as in straight out of college) and a bit older. We also seem to have a good mix of people with a strong knowledge of society and the economy.

Here's my question - for those of you with a crystal ball - for those of us just out of College, what is our future going to hold? Will we enjoy the standard of living we have become accustomed to? Will the boat or the plane be again necessary in order to achieve that standard of living?

What is Ireland's economic future down the road? I don't refer to 1-2 year recessions - some of us have a 40 odd years left in the workforce Very Happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:43 am

I just lost a fucking huge post. I'm fuckin livid.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:53 am

Hateful, especially when you're drunk. I had to write out a review of Chris Patten's book about three times once.

I wonder how johnfás' job search is going. He doesn't sound to happy.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:22 am

905 wrote:
Hateful, especially when you're drunk. I had to write out a review of Chris Patten's book about three times once.

I wonder how johnfás' job search is going. He doesn't sound to happy.
he can still have mine if he wants it...*holds head in hands and sighs, loudly*
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:41 am

In the 50s one income was enough to support a family. 60 years later productivity is many times greater but now it takes 2 incomes to scrape by. The problem is parasites. Who do you think is paying for Europe for example not to talk about the Irish trough feeders. The game is up now so thankfully people will come to their sences
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:06 am

youngdan wrote:
In the 50s one income was enough to support a family. 60 years later productivity is many times greater but now it takes 2 incomes to scrape by. The problem is parasites.

Our current problems have been caused largely by the US. The sub prime lending fiasco and the fact that every time an American mentions bombing someplace oil goes up another few dollars a barrel. To name but two.

youngdan wrote:
Who do you think is paying for Europe for example not to talk about the Irish trough feeders.

Well don't keep us in suspense, tell us. Who?

Back on topic, why start learning Chinese? While on the surface it appears to be the up an coming world economy, China has lots of serious problems, not the least of which is actually feeding it's people. The article below is a few years old but things are not improving.

http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update36.htm

latest reports indicate that at the moment the Chinese are keeping afloat (just) as regards food supply. To continue doing so China will have to limit the amount of land that can be converted from agriculture to industry. This problem is likely to worsen because the population is growing by 11 million a year. China could easily fall victim to a world food crisis and you can't have a booming economy during a famine. There's also the fact that China is running out of land. And the only place to expand to is north into Russia. You can't have a booming economy during a nuclear war either.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:19 pm

There is a series on China on Radio One lately. I caught the second half f one where some Treasury Holdings guy was reading out a monologue. It was very interesting from a business point of view. It was also interesting how the guy saw advantages in the long term planning abilities of a non-democratic Government.

The fact of the matter is that Ireland under Bertie has been learning Chinese for some time now. We have kept on side with them in the UN and we have put our diplomats at the disposal of Irish businesses trying to form links with the Chinese. We have also welcomed many Chinese students to our country over the last 10 years or so.The Treasury Holdings guy feels that the Chinese attitude to Ireland is that the Chinese like the fact that we are a small country steeped in literature and without a history of colonising other countries.

I remember at the time Bertie stepped down that some FF politician said that Bertie's Asian strategy would be one of the major parts of his legacy.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:31 pm

The population of China is expected to peak around 2030 and will be overtaken by India.

There are reasons that may bring that peak forward, the first is the reduction in girls being born and the second is the migration caused by industrialisation.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:46 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
The fact of the matter is that Ireland under Bertie has been learning Chinese for some time now. We have kept on side with them in the UN and we have put our diplomats at the disposal of Irish businesses trying to form links with the Chinese.

That's not really the issue. From the thread title, I take it that the subject is whether or not China is going to be the economic engine of the world in years to come. In the great scheme of things Irish exports to China are miniscule.

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
We have also welcomed many Chinese students to our country over the last 10 years or so.

They pay us, we teach them how to create a free market.

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
It was also interesting how the guy saw advantages in the long term planning abilities of a non-democratic Government.

You have to wonder how much western democracy the students will absorb and will they be happy to continue with a totalitarian government.

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
The Treasury Holdings guy feels that the Chinese attitude to Ireland is that the Chinese like the fact that we are a small country steeped in literature and without a history of colonising other countries.

Personal opinion - the Treasury Holdings guy has his head up his arrse there.

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I remember at the time Bertie stepped down that some FF politician said that Bertie's Asian strategy would be one of the major parts of his legacy.

Personal opinion - that FF politician has his head up his arrse there.

Squire wrote:
The population of China is expected to peak around 2030 and will be overtaken by India. .

They still have to be fed, so do the Indians who are in the same if not a leakier boat. China will then have the problem of an aging population to add to it's woes.

Squire wrote:
There are reasons that may bring that peak forward, the first is the reduction in girls being born and the second is the migration caused by industrialisation.

Those aren't really solutions.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:34 pm

I agree that outside influence which China is allowing in will change China. China would appear to be moving slowly but surely towards a manged market economy with increased accountability and democracy. Obviously nothing is certain, as our own economic future is uncertain. That is the nature of the future and why those in the know dedicate a lot of their time to scaring the living sh_t out of the rest of us.

I think it is beyond doubt that the Chinese Government and many of the Chinese people are deeply distrustful of any country with imperialistic tendencies or an imperialistic history. They have suffered terribly at the hands of such countries in the past. Furthermore, anti-imperialist sympathies amongst the general populace were hugely important in the Cummunist Party's rise to power and maintenance of such power.

As regards Bertie and personal opinion, I am reminded of the reply of a former Chinese Premier (modesty forbids me to mention his name) when asked in the 1970s for his views on the impact of the French Revolution: "It's too soon to say."
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 4:06 pm

The point is their population is likely to start declining in the next 10-20 years. Currently birth rate is 1.7.

Regards feeding them they have a healthy balance of payments surplus about 370 billion dollars and have foreign exchange reserves of 1.7 trillion.

The problem is not China feeding itself but them and us buying up food on the world markets resulting in famine elsewhere. The poor will starve as it has always been.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:12 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I think it is beyond doubt that the Chinese Government and many of the Chinese people are deeply distrustful of any country with imperialistic tendencies or an imperialistic history. They have suffered terribly at the hands of such countries in the past.

I know when people mention imperialism the automatic mental image is English country gentlemen in redcoats shooting Africans and stealing their country but didn't the Chinese do the same thing (in China) donkeys years ago.

Squire wrote:
The point is their population is likely to start declining in the next 10-20 years. Currently birth rate is 1.7.

And aging as I said. That isn't going to improve their economy.

Squire wrote:
Regards feeding them they have a healthy balance of payments surplus about 370 billion dollars and have foreign exchange reserves of 1.7 trillion.

The problem is not China feeding itself but them and us buying up food on the world markets resulting in famine elsewhere. The poor will starve as it has always been.

You are assuming that the rest of the world will always have surplus food to sell to China.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:20 pm

Lestat wrote:
Zhou_Enlai wrote:
I think it is beyond doubt that the Chinese Government and many of the Chinese people are deeply distrustful of any country with imperialistic tendencies or an imperialistic history. They have suffered terribly at the hands of such countries in the past.
I know when people mention imperialism the automatic mental image is English country gentlemen in redcoats shooting Africans and stealing their country but didn't the Chinese do the same thing (in China) donkeys years ago.
I'm not clear what you are talking about. There are plenty of images of Imperialism in China from the brutal torture of Chinese civilians by Japanese soldiers in Nanking during WWII to the Brits using military might to force the Chinese to allow the Brits sell opium to the peasants. There was also a time when foreigners owned the best and most expensive properties in the big cities while tainted leaders kept the feudal system in place to serve them. What are you talking about?
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 5:57 pm

Now Zhou, was the cultural revolution that severe? China has been ruled by emperors and dynasties in its past.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:08 pm

The Cultural Revolution was very severe - an extreme experiment in creative dissonance. The Chairman felt that the whole country, including the upper echelons of the Communist Party had to be shook up. The aforementioned former premier had his hands bound behind his back and was beaten by crowds. Nobody, bar the Chairman, was above being attacked by the mobs.

A long time prior to that the Communist party was born out of an anti-imperialist sentiment that led to mass protests including the forcible removal of ponytails which denoted the tradition of the Dynasty who invaded from the North (can't remember their name) and attacks on the consulates of foreign governments. That was before the Communist Party took over the media and all means of propaganda.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:27 pm

Lestat wrote:

You are assuming that the rest of the world will always have surplus food to sell to China.

Why do you assume that it is only surplus that is for sale? The poor starve.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:23 pm

So it is America's fault that donkeys bought houses that were wildly overprised.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:13 pm

Are these donkeys genetically modified?
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:30 pm

Zhou_Enlai wrote:
What are you talking about?

I don't know much about Chinese history but I have an idea that a succession of Emperors expanded their rule to encompass modern China. In other words China is as guilty of imperialism as the rest of the world. Into the modern era the Communists did a little empire building on their own account in Vietnam and Korea.

Squire wrote:
Why do you assume that it is only surplus that is for sale? The poor starve.

It's a fair assumption. A country cannot sell what it needs to feed it's own people. Therefore only the surplus is for sale.

The poor always starve. Such is life.

youngdan wrote:
So it is America's fault that donkeys bought houses that were wildly overprised.

Yes. The donkeys couldn't have borrowed to buy the over priced property if reckless banks hadn't lent them the money. It is the duty of government to regulate banks so that reckless lending does not occur. The sub prime crisis is the fault of the USA- donkeys, bulls, bears and government gennets.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:43 pm

Ginnet, a good word. The Irish did not borrow from the American banks, did they. Why is it any business of the government what loan is given. The government bailed out Northern Rock and now everyone has to pay for it. Things are getting better by the day back there.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:43 am

Lestat wrote:

It's a fair assumption. A country cannot sell what it needs to feed it's own people.

But surely that happens often enough today and in the past. There are many countries with starving people which export food.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:11 am

Squire wrote:
Lestat wrote:

It's a fair assumption. A country cannot sell what it needs to feed it's own people.

But surely that happens often enough today and in the past. There are many countries with starving people which export food.

Our own days of Trevelyan's Corn aren't too far behind us. Lestat should be right in principle, but the reality is probably very different.

That said, India has frozen rice exports almost completely out of fears of a food shortage. Whether China would do the same, I don't know. I know very little about the Chinese economy but having been there, and seeing the way they 'prioritise' by keeping the beggars - with rickets in the 21st century - away from the hotels, the grinding poverty in the Hutongs (which have been almost entirely razed to make way for Olympic Beijing), the well documented displacement of entire villages without compensation or alternatives when it comes to damn-building time, the treatment of ordinary people of all ages on the street... I think they'd let the people starve.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:30 am

Kate P you are probably right about China allowing some of its poor to die, that is unless by doing so it would threaten stability. My impressions of the place are even less charitable than yours.

Whilst India has poverty on an industrial scale I would have more hope for that country. There is a strange sort of cohesion and a sense of collective being and responsibility. In India they strike and protest and the government does occasionally listen. They restrict trade and profits to protect their own people. India would take considerable measures to avoid famine, in China some may even welcome it.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:36 am

youngdan wrote:
Ginnet, a good word. The Irish did not borrow from the American banks, did they.

The Irish did not have to borrow from American banks. The US mortgage lenders securitized their risky loans and sold them on world wide. For instance the Bank of China held $9.7 billion of US Subprime debt last year. The IMF calculates that the worldwide losses stemming from the US subprime mortgage crisis could run to $945 billion.

youngdan wrote:
Why is it any business of the government what loan is given. .

Of course it is. Without government in every aspect of life there is anarchy. A lending institution cannot just do as it likes, it has to be regulated and in a democracy the only possible regulator is the government that has been mandated by the people to rule.

youngdan wrote:
The government bailed out Northern Rock and now everyone has to pay for it. Things are getting better by the day back there.

Just like the US governmnet bailed out the US mortgage lenders.
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PostSubject: Re: Time to learn Chinese?   Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:46 am

Squire wrote:
But surely that happens often enough today and in the past. There are many countries with starving people which export food.

Such as?

Squire wrote:
....India would take considerable measures to avoid famine, in China some may even welcome it.

Aren't you contradicting your own argument.

Squire wrote:
The problem is not China feeding itself but them and us buying up food on the world markets resulting in famine elsewhere. .

The picture you and Kate P paint is not one of a country that is going to replace the US as the economic engine of the world.
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