Business, Finance & Economics

National Geographic's China issue

PH talks about the factory towns that are springing up on former agricultural land all over China: The sense you get visiting these places is the entrepreneurs at these places. Things evolve and democratize very quickly and it's all focused on the business. (What was the starkest example of the �anything goes� attitude with these factory towns?) It's rare to see a cop or government official. I was there for 19 months and I would watch one town develop. And I made repeated trips to track the experience. The first thing I noticed was when I started to get speeding tickets. You never see cops on the road here. But they do have police cameras, and I was getting three tickets a day eventually. That was an easy investment for the cops. (Are there any rules for people in positions of power?) Yes, and at some level it is a coherent system because it continues to develop, and this is true of corruption. I then compared this to frontier towns in the West in US development. One of the first things I found was a church or a newspaper being built first, a non-business institution and that development is lacking in China. (You write it's hard to imagine there's another place where people are more willing to work. Karl Marx never anticipated something like that.) I think there's a lot of history to this and the Communist period was very difficult for them and then things opened up, so they appreciate opportunities. The government and people in China tend to be short-sighted and not worry about tomorrow.

Player utilities

(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

Comments