Thursday, August 16, 2007

China visit

I recently returned from Hong Kong and a couple of quick trips into the mainland.

More to report than I've got time to blog. The Chinese and Hong Kong economy are growing and creating wealth in an unprecedented way. Obviously, a billion people moving to a market economy is unprecedented. Given the number of people, the virtually unlimited opportunity to improve the skills and productivity of those people, an expanding pool of capital, and the absence of any effective anti-growth vehicles that hamstring the U.S. economy, I don't know why China can't grow at 10% per year indefinitely.

Key impression still comes from a quick visit to Shantou: simultaneously on the road were: pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, some motorcyles converted to a kind of small truck-like three wheeled vehicle, trucks, cars, and buses. Lanes were more like general guidelines, and left turns across oncoming traffic were a type of guts poker.

Also from Shantou I noticed a couple of what appeared to be brand new, but totally empty, condo apartment towers. Overbuilt???

Hong Kong has the achievement of looking even newer as it grows. Some amazing architecture - HSBC's downtown office is a nighttime showplace.

But, you don't have to go very far for China to be very third world....

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