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I think that this is tremendously good for the global economy, because raising the living standard Chinese workers and the development of a home market will mean that the long term China will be a consumer and not just a producer.

However I think that global corporations that have been able to take advantage of the expansion of the global labor market, and now the integration of new participants in the global labor force is slowing down.  Africa remains to be integrated (and I presume Africa and SE Asia will be the location to which production migrates as Chinese labor becomes more expensive), but for there's an argument that we've reached peak labor.

By this I mean that the the availiablity of cheap labor has allowed global corporations to change their sourcing in search of ever cheaper labor, but now future gains will have to come not from paying workers less, but having them make more.  And as I've said before there's only so much productivity that can be hand from the end of a whip.  At some point future gains will have to involve investment in human captital.

And in a society where independent action is discouraged that has tremendous ramifications, because in order to make further productitvity gains workers have to be allowed to make their own decisions and act autonomously.  And once workers are allowed autononmy in the workplace, political reform is likely to follow as workers learn to act independently.

And I'll give my consent to any government that does not deny a man a living wage-Billy Bragg

by ManfromMiddletown (manfrommiddletown at lycos dot com) on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 12:56:30 AM EST
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