[DEBATE] : SA: a capitalist view
marty at lclark.edu
Sat May 12 20:01:54 BST 2007
Notice I said the so called tiger experience is losing its luster.
Clearly East Asia remains the most dynamic center of capitalist
accumulation. My point is that the costs of that accumulation process
are growing ever higher even for those that occupy a place in the center.
In other words, it is important that people take a more careful look at
the nature of the growth process in East Asia---the dynamism of the
past, that did at one time result in improved living conditions and
generate growing formal sector employment has changed dramatically.
Manufacturing employment in China is falling for example and there has
been an absolute decline in formal sector employment in China's urban
areas (according to the ILO). Comparisons with economically less
successful regions does not make conditions better in East Asia.
All this suggests that we are living through a period of ever more
ruthless capitalist accumulation. This is something that you have also
pointed out. We certainly do not want to join with those supporters of
capitalism and legitimate their attempts to paint a false picture of
what capitalist success means for working people. Their goal is to
encourage people to adopt the policies of the East Asian countries (as
they interpret them, of course) with the implication that they too can
enjoy similar East Asian gains. Not only is that not really possible,
but even the gains that did exist are fast disappearing (for working
people that is).
You wouldnt disagree with that would you?
Doug Henwood wrote:
> On May 12, 2007, at 11:34 AM, Martin Hart-Landsberg wrote:
>> The hope to become an Asian tiger (as highlighted in the editorial
>> below provided by Doug) deserves at least a short comment. The Asian
>> Tiger experience is quickly losing its luster.
> Compared to what, Marty? If you put it to a vote, I'll bet an
> overwhelming majority of South Africans would choose to be more like
> South Korea. Not, of course, that that would be in any way possible,
> but let's be clear on the comparisons.
> Look at the numbers below:
> INDICATORS, % OF US
> SA SK
> 1980 2005 1980 2005
> per capita GDP, PPP 45% 27% 21% 53%
> infant mortality 508 917 127 83
> life expectancy 78 61 89 100
> SA has fallen behind on every measure, and SK has gained. Yeah, sure,
> SK growth and investment levels aren't what they were pre-crisis, but
> really, who's doing better these days?
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