video of the week: China’s Dead Cities

A muscial version of this story can be found here.

This video offers some facinating insight into economic policy in the centralized Chinese economy. It seems fitting that I post it here, on a blog named in part after one of the priniciple architects of that centralization, and one who lead it towards disaster.

It also affords some dazzling examples of the strange and often counter-productive intellect of modern global economics.

Essentially, in order to maintain and pace economic growth and development, Chinese authorities have been building the complete infrastructure of massive, unpopulated cities. This has been happening all over! The video looks into so-called ‘ghost cities’ in a few areas.

And there are problems with this building spree. First, it seems like a major squandering of natural resources, and source of pollution (I am yet to see a construction site, let alone one in a developing nation, that did not lead to some pollution), especially as the buildings are inadequately maintained. Second, while this glut of housing is being provided, few Chinese people can afford to live in the new accommodation! This surely will lead to issues within the housing market some time in the near future, maybe even overflowing into social unrest? It further seems that such problems in the Chinese economy are likely to be felt elsewhere, especially with the ‘global economy’ performing so poorly right now on all fronts! But I am no economist.

Anyway, this video was really interesting and kind of worrying to me, if only out of sympathy with normal Chinese people.

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~ by maoctopus on May 22, 2011.

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