Blogs > Cliopatria > Strike the Battle Drum of the Great Leap Forward Ever Louder!

Dec 1, 2011

Strike the Battle Drum of the Great Leap Forward Ever Louder!

The day after I wrote a post here wondering about the decline of a localist, communitarian left in the United States -- the day after I asked why American progressive political argument is "stuck on massive" -- former SEIU president and Columbia Business School senior fellow Andy Stern has an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal arguing that the U.S. should learn from "China's Superior Economic Model." They have five-year plans! They just released their twelfth central plan for the economy, and the People's Economy is Surging Forward to Eternal Victory As Every Heart Swells With Joy for the Heroic Project of Industrial Development:

"The aims: a 7% annual economic growth rate; a $640 billion investment in renewable energy; construction of six million homes; and expanding next-generation IT, clean-energy vehicles, biotechnology, high-end manufacturing and environmental protection—all while promoting social equity and rural development... While we debate, Team China rolls on. Our delegation witnessed China's people-oriented development in Chongqing, a city of 32 million in Western China, which is led by an aggressive and popular Communist Party leader—Bo Xilai. A skyline of cranes are building roughly 1.5 million square feet of usable floor space daily—including, our delegation was told, 700,000 units of public housing annually... Meanwhile, the Chinese government can boast that it has established in Western China an economic zone for cloud computing and automotive and aerospace production resulting in 12.5% annual growth and 49% growth in annual tax revenue, with wages rising more than 10% a year."

Because never in history have the PRC's five-year plans been unrealistic. Never once has Chinese central planning caused unintended consequences. Five-year plans work every time, end of story. The economic zone in western China will have 12.5% annual growth, and wages will rise 10% every year, because the plans say so. Hey, why don't WE have backyard iron smelters? Why won't OUR government invest in renewable energy?

Words fail. How little would you have to know -- about history as about current events -- to write this pornographically ignorant trash? The yearning for the massive centralization of power is unmistakable, inexplicable, ahistorical, and unforgivable.

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