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Am Gov books and 'capitalism, socialism, and communism' descriptions


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In dd's one textbook, the definitions seems so simplistic that I started searching online and came across this quote:

 

"My explanation should help you if you are in college. If you are in high school you will need to learn this based on your text book and what is right varies state by state. Most states have politicians choose the text book and the book will use whatever definition please your state politicians. If your in high school you need to follow the book." from a Canadian Yahoo site

 

When looking at another US high school Am. Gov textbook which was quite different, for Texas, I could see his point.

 

I guess I'm surprised that there can be such differences in state teaching about this...and (this is not at all meant to start emotionally charged debates about politics) from Europe, where there are seriously 'socialist' countries, when we heard news from the states where people were calling Obama socialist, it seemed like people didn't know the meaning of the word....

 

I'm wondering if there are sites that people can recommend which can give definitions of these words which would hold true in other parts of the world - ie - description of socialism which fits counties that are socialist.

 

I realize that these definitions are getting much more blurred as the years go by....China used to be communist but has lots of capitalism going on...

 

And then there is the mixing of economics with politics which sometimes really confuses me....I have this real life exposure to countries here, but am not always sure where they fall on the continuums....and sometimes, such as in the UK, health care is nationalized while lots of other parts of society are not....

 

I'm hoping for help but not debates...just calm discussion.

 

Thanks!

Joan

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I guess I'm surprised that there can be such differences in state teaching about this...and (this is not at all meant to start emotionally charged debates about politics) from Europe, where there are seriously 'socialist' countries, when we heard news from the states where people were calling Obama socialist, it seemed like people didn't know the meaning of the word....

 

 

I do not have any sites, but growing up in a socialist country, we were drilled in the definitions to remember them until our dying days.

Strictly speaking, socialism refers to a society in which the means of production are collectively owned and where distribution is based on performance. Communism has collective ownership of means of production, but distribution based on need.

 

There is not, and has never been, a truly communist society that fulfilled Marx' definition (plagued with the economic problems inherent in a system that discourages private enterprise, no socialist society has been able to provide according to people's needs. North Korea is certainly not in that category. They may have a regime following a communist ideology, but communism they have not). All the former "communist" countries were really just the transition stage of socialist.

 

I would not call any of the countries in today's Europe socialist. They all have market economies and large scale privately owned means of production.

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Joan, those are really good questions. During the presidential election, I exchanged news sources with a good friend who is on the opposite side of the political fence. What shocked us both was a lack of a "common language." We are both relatively well-educated and grew up in the same area, yet have very distinctive definitions.

 

I won't link it for the sake of peace, but your questions remind me of the interview with the woman who was calling President Obama a "communist." When the newscaster asked her for her definition, she couldn't give one. I think she had a vague idea in her head, but could not articulate it - like many of us.

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I do not have any sites, but growing up in a socialist country, we were drilled in the definitions to remember them until our dying days.

Strictly speaking, socialism refers to a society in which the means of production are collectively owned and where distribution is based on performance. Communism has collective ownership of means of production, but distribution based on need.

 

There is not, and has never been, a truly communist society that fulfilled Marx' definition (plagued with the economic problems inherent in a system that discourages private enterprise, no socialist society has been able to provide according to people's needs. North Korea is certainly not in that category. They may have a regime following a communist ideology, but communism they have not). All the former "communist" countries were really just the transition stage of socialist.

 

I would not call any of the countries in today's Europe socialist. They all have market economies and large scale privately owned means of production.

 

What shocked us both was a lack of a "common language." We are both relatively well-educated and grew up in the same area, yet have very distinctive definitions.

 

The 'common language' is what I'm looking for....

 

And regentrude - your comments about "means of production are collectively owned" - yes, this is what I'm reading in the books

 

but people call the Nordic countries socialist based on taxation, family policies, etc .....and France socialist as well....which from what I see in some charts are one part of the definition..according to your and the books definition they aren't doing the 'production' thing.

 

So this is why I want to have this discussion...to try to sort these issues out - because there are such huge variations in perception, that just don't match up....I don't want dd to finish gov course with a perception that doesn't fit reality and somehow what is portrayed in the news.

 

Now, if you say that European countries are not 'socialist', then how do you describe them?

 

Clearly there are some differences with the US in terms of education, health care, some have big tax differences....we had friends in Denmark who moved here because the taxes were so high that the mother could not stay at home....My impression of Sweden was the same....It wasn't that the earnings themselves weren't enough, but that the system had to take in enough money to give out the benefits...what is it - cradle to grave? Then there are the business restraints..eg people say it can be hard to start a business in Switzerland but even harder in France, where there are these controls about how people are hired

 

And then, if communism, socialism, and capitalism are "economic" systems on a continuum...what are they doing in the book about government. I don't mean that as naively as it sounds, though maybe it is :-)!!! I know we can discuss economics in a government book. It just seems that there is all this mixing of economics with politics....

 

Help!!

Joan

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"My explanation should help you if you are in college. If you are in high school you will need to learn this based on your text book and what is right varies state by state. Most states have politicians choose the text book and the book will use whatever definition please your state politicians. If your in high school you need to follow the book." from a Canadian Yahoo site

While his conclusion that US textbooks vary is correct, his premise that most states have politicians choose textbooks is not at all correct in my experience. It's true that the k-12 teachers don't necessarily get to choose the textbooks, although they do have a lot of control over how the textbook is used. But it's the school boards who choose textbooks in Minnesota. School boards are very local elections. It's the power to the people, eh?! I think that's a good thing, but the downside is that it can result in goofy choices for one reason or another.

 

His other premise that is unstated but also possibly incorrect in my limited viewpoint -- that he or ANYone is able to give a completely unbiased and unarguable definition of these topics? I think what you might be looking for is the definitions of the "ideals," but I think maybe all the leaders of socialist and communist countries have envisioned the ideals differently. And many leaders have run their countries in a state of transition that doesn't look like their plans for the final product, as Regentrude mentioned.

 

And then there's the conversation about whether ideals really mean anything, if they are impossible or at least aren't desired by anyone? Even a fairly settled ideal like the USA as a capitalist country has made adaptations to suit its needs, combining the ideal of a pure market economy alongside the ideals of democracy (or federalist democracy or whatever). There are some publicly owned or publicly controlled sectors, and there are legal constraints on privately owned sectors. The labeling of a US president as socialist or communist comes up when a part of the public starts to feel that the controls on the market economy start leaning past the balance point such that the economy is starting to represent less capitalist traits and more socialist or communist traits, compared to their own ideal definitions at least.

 

Julie

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I grew up in Europe also. And what we were told is that we lived in a Socialist Democracy. The word Socialist really referred to the benefits given to the people by the state. In order to pay out these benefits the state does need to collect an enormous amount of taxes. However, the 'Socialist' in Western Europe did not refer to production and economy, although the economy is affected by taxes etc.

 

Regentrude, correct me if I am wrong, you grew up in Eastern Germany, right? We would have called that system a communist system. Although, again you are certainly correct that a true communist system like Marx envisioned it never was established.

 

This really is a very complicated subject because the lines are always blurry. There have never been clear lines. Here is another one that one must add to the discussion: Fascism.

 

Just my two cents.

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And regentrude - your comments about "means of production are collectively owned" - yes, this is what I'm reading in the books

 

but people call the Nordic countries socialist based on taxation, family policies, etc .....and France socialist as well....which from what I see in some charts are one part of the definition..according to your and the books definition they aren't doing the 'production' thing.

 

So this is why I want to have this discussion...to try to sort these issues out - because there are such huge variations in perception, that just don't match up....I don't want dd to finish gov course with a perception that doesn't fit reality and somehow what is portrayed in the news.

 

Now, if you say that European countries are not 'socialist', then how do you describe them?

 

 

In German, we have the term "Sozialstaat", roughly translated as social state (not socialist!) and characterize the economic order as "social market economy". Social refers to the (constitutionally based) obligation of the state to take care of the weakest members of society

 

For better explanation see here (I don't have time for an extensive search, so this is the first link I found):

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/05/denmarks-work-life-balance/the-sozialstaat-keeps-germans-engaged

 

 

And then, if communism, socialism, and capitalism are "economic" systems on a continuum...what are they doing in the book about government. I don't mean that as naively as it sounds, though maybe it is :-)!!! I know we can discuss economics in a government book. It just seems that there is all this mixing of economics with politics....

 

 

I do not think one can discuss government without also discussing economic systems, because they have much to do with each other. A country will not be characterized only by its political system, but also by its economic one - but they are not the same. A capitalist economy might arise in a democracy, but it could as well be a monarchy.

 

Government wise, both the US and most European states are pretty much the same: republic, democracy, elected officials (let's leave aside the issue of constitutional monarchies which have no practical significance). The differences are largely academic (role of the president, executive deriving legitimization from legislative or not, and so forth.) and are not responsible for the different focus in social politics.

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Regentrude, correct me if I am wrong, you grew up in Eastern Germany, right? We would have called that system a communist system. Although, again you are certainly correct that a true communist system like Marx envisioned it never was established.

I think this part of the confusion, actually.

 

Most people, particularly in the States where a basic grasp of the social studies tends to be pretty weak, get confused because of nations that have claimed to be communist but really aren't.

 

China, USSR, etc. all claimed to be communist, but weren't even close! Consequently, people have come to associate "communism" with subjugation, ruling and poor classes, and heavy government control.

And of course none of those things have anything to do with communism.

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I think this part of the confusion, actually.

Most people, particularly in the States where a basic grasp of the social studies tends to be pretty weak, get confused because of nations that have claimed to be communist but really aren't.

 

China, USSR, etc. all claimed to be communist, but weren't even close! Consequently, people have come to associate "communism" with subjugation, ruling and poor classes, and heavy government control.

And of course none of those things have anything to do with communism.

 

The USSR did not claim to be communist. The USSR described itself as socialist, a transitionary stage to communism. (USSR stands for Union of Socialist Soviet Republics).

Even in the Marxist-Leninist indoctrination classes we had to take throughout school, communism was always described as the not-yet-attained goal. The Soviet union was never identified as already having reached this goal. It was run by the party which called itself Communist Party, but that is not the same thing.

 

 

ETA: I myself am guilty of the same sloppy, imprecise language, having referred to the country in which I grew up as "communist East Germany" to Americans, in order to get them to understand what I am talking about.

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It's the power to the people, eh?! I think that's a good thing, but the downside is that it can result in goofy choices for one reason or another.

 

His other premise that is unstated but also possibly incorrect in my limited viewpoint -- that he or ANYone is able to give a completely unbiased and unarguable definition of these topics? I think what you might be looking for is the definitions of the "ideals," but I think maybe all the leaders of socialist and communist countries have envisioned the ideals differently. And many leaders have run their countries in a state of transition that doesn't look like their plans for the final product, as Regentrude mentioned.

 

And then there's the conversation about whether ideals really mean anything, if they are impossible or at least aren't desired by anyone? Even a fairly settled ideal like the USA as a capitalist country has made adaptations to suit its needs, combining the ideal of a pure market economy alongside the ideals of democracy (or federalist democracy or whatever). There are some publicly owned or publicly controlled sectors, and there are legal constraints on privately owned sectors. The labeling of a US president as socialist or communist comes up when a part of the public starts to feel that the controls on the market economy start leaning past the balance point such that the economy is starting to represent less capitalist traits and more socialist or communist traits, compared to their own ideal definitions at least.

 

Good points Julie. I want to put a smiley after the comment about the school boards...

 

Hmmm...so then comments about the president are actually 'hyperbole' but taken as fact because people don't recognize that it's hyperbole?

 

 

We would have called that system a communist system.

 

Fascism.

 

I was wondering because that was the word that I had thought was given to the Eastern bloc....

 

Please, can you add comments about 'fascism'? I appreciate your two cents :-)

 

 

In German, we have the term "Sozialstaat", roughly translated as social state (not socialist!) and characterize the economic order as "social market economy". Social refers to the (constitutionally based) obligation of the state to take care of the weakest members of society

 

For better explanation see here (I don't have time for an extensive search, so this is the first link I found):

http://www.nytimes.c...germans-engaged

 

regentrude - that is EXTREMELY helpful!!!

 

Most people, particularly in the States where a basic grasp of the social studies tends to be pretty weak, get confused because of nations that have claimed to be communist but really aren't.

 

China, USSR, etc. all claimed to be communist, but weren't even close! Consequently, people have come to associate "communism" with subjugation, ruling and poor classes, and heavy government control.

And of course none of those things have anything to do with communism.

 

Yes, and now I'm wondering 'where' I got the idea of the Nordic countries being socialist....was it all from English language newspapers? I'm thinking that I haven't really discussed this in depth with Europeans and I'm going to ask my ds2 now over dinner who is just home for the day....

 

Joan

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The USSR did not claim to be communist. The USSR described itself as socialist, a transitionary stage to communism. (USSR stands for Union of Socialist Soviet Republics).

Even in the Marxist-Leninist indoctrination classes we had to take throughout school, communism was always described as the not-yet-attained goal. The Soviet union was never identified as already having reached this goal. It was run by the party which called itself Communist Party, but that is not the same thing.

 

Precisely my point. ;)

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I'm thinking that I haven't really discussed this in depth with Europeans and I'm going to ask my ds2 now over dinner who is just home for the day....

 

Well, he did the Swiss matu and says he can't remember covering this subject at all - or something very brief about the EU....I guess it's that low percentage of time for the 'sciences humaines'....

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Joan, I could be way off base, but this is my understanding:

 

There are four basic types of economies:

 

Command - the government makes the decisions

Mixed - there is some government decision-making along with market-driven decisions

Market - the consumption choices of individual consumers drive the market

Traditional - community or family driven (think barter and earlier times)

 

When we talk about communism, socialism, and capitalism, we are talking about an economic system that incorporates (I think) not just the market itself, but means of production, societal structures, property rights and so on.

 

So what we get for many first-world countries today is a capitalistic mixed economy.

 

It's been sixteen years so please anyone, correct me.

 

We muddy the waters because we get markets, economic systems and political systems befuddled - for good reason in that they are all interconnected.

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I realize that these definitions are getting much more blurred as the years go by....China used to be communist but has lots of capitalism going on...

 

 

For the record: China is run by the Communist Party, but never - I believe - described itself as having gone beyond socialism.

 

L

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Now, if you say that European countries are not 'socialist', then how do you describe them?

 

 

I'd call them representative democracies (some of which have constitutional monarchies). It's all a matter of degree: the US is not a pure capitalist society - there are welfare programmes, for example. The UK is also not a pure capitalist society, but the welfare aspect is larger because the people vote for parties that make it so. No political party in the UK could win an election by, for example, intending to abolish the NHS, because the people like it and want it.

 

L

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All of your replies are helping in one way or another - but I'm really wondering where I have gotten my ideas from.....

 

Then I found a AP Comparative Gov study guide which states: two large countries declared themselves to be communist nations (in the 20th century) - the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China...so is this book wrong?

 

 

And where does 'land ownership' fall in? In China, at least I was told, the government basically owns the land and rents it out for years...

 

I found this map on Wikipedia about countries that have declared themselves socialist....

 

Joan

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Then I found a AP Comparative Gov study guide which states: two large countries declared themselves to be communist nations (in the 20th century) - the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China...so is this book wrong?

 

 

And where does 'land ownership' fall in? In China, at least I was told, the government basically owns the land and rents it out for years...

 

I found this map on Wikipedia about countries that have declared themselves socialist....

 

Joan

 

I wouldn't swear to it, but I believe China only ever said it was 'on the socialist path to communism'.

 

Not sure about the land ownership in China.

 

About long rental period: the leashold system is an ancient norm in the UK: our house in London has a 'landowner' to whom we pay £5 a year in rent. We are the leaseholder - the initial lease was 999 years, I think, issued in 1820. The lease (and right to live in the house) is sold and resold, but the landowner is separate.

 

L

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Good points Julie. I want to put a smiley after the comment about the school boards...

 

Hmmm...so then comments about the president are actually 'hyperbole' but taken as fact because people don't recognize that it's hyperbole?

 

 

 

 

I mostly agree with Julie about school boards, but many states approve texts at the state level and text books are probably never written for one local district. The writers of texts are not government employees but the employees of textbook companies who wish to sell the most books for the least amount of work.

 

On the president, it is more like propaganda. I see that also in what Regentrude was taught. In the case of the president, it is a way to lobby voters to vote against him. In the case of Germany, more like an explanation about why things weren't so good and wonderful as the communist ideal would paint. To steal a phrase, some of what she was taught was the "opiate of the masses" or hope for a better future.

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About long rental period: the leashold system is an ancient norm in the UK: our house in London has a 'landowner' to whom we pay £5 a year in rent. We are the leaseholder - the initial lease was 999 years, I think, issued in 1820. The lease (and right to live in the house) is sold and resold, but the landowner is separate.

 

I never knew this! Is it related to having "commons"? Very interesting....

 

PS Laura - could you help in the grammar question about the Swiss test, whether that is typical British English?

 

Thanks,

Joan

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Then I found a AP Comparative Gov study guide which states: two large countries declared themselves to be communist nations (in the 20th century) - the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China...so is this book wrong?

 

 

That is wrong. The Soviet Union declared itself socialist on the path to communism.

Since the hallmark of communism is distribution according to need, it is pretty obvious that they would never have called themselves communist, because need most definitely was never met and people knew that. Communism was at the end of the rainbow, to be achieved when the human being had been made into the ideal "socialist human" who would work for the greater good without expecting more rewards for harder work... something clearly against human nature.

 

 

On the question of land ownership: land being one of the most important means of production, collective land ownership was a hallmark of a socialist economy. In fact, one of the bloodiest movements in the Soviet Union was the collectivation of agriculture, where private landowners were forcibly stripped of their property rights. But again, this does not make communism.

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I never knew this! Is it related to having "commons"? Very interesting....

 

PS Laura - could you help in the grammar questionabout the Swiss test, whether that is typical British English?

 

Thanks,

Joan

 

 

Not related to common land, as far as I know. It's called leasehold.

 

I did have a look at the sentences but I'm not a grammar specialist. Both versions sounded completely natural to me, however.

 

Laura

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So the fact that the USSR never managed to distribute according to "need" means that they weren't actually communist in reality but 'wannabees' as the ruling and only party who called themselves the Communist Party.

 

So then the current world would be divided into capitalist and socialist? (with variations)

 

and we can forget communism altogether?

 

Where does the free movement of people and freedom of speech come in? or were they just additions because people didn't want to abide by the system?

 

And did you read about the Hong Kong billionaire who it seems is going to lose billions because the Chinese are claiming it was gained with loopholes?

 

Can this be done in "socialist" governments? Maybe that's not the right question...The action of taking over all those assets seems so extreme somehow....what kind of governments do that?

 

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/in-china-concern-of-a-chill-on-foreign-investments/

 

Joan

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Not related to common land, as far as I know. It's called leasehold.

 

I did have a look at the sentences but I'm not a grammar specialist. Both versions sounded completely natural to me, however.

 

Laura

 

Thanks for looking :-) That both sound natural is good for my case at least :-)

 

I think I was mixing the idea of "commons" with the leaseholder being the gov (in the case of China) thinking that the government would then be holding the property for the public in a way and therefore as common ground (just temporarily out of reach for the common man, but not given up forever). But in the UK, if the leaseholder is a private individual, that would go completely against the idea of "commons"....

 

Thanks,

 

Joan

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So the fact that the USSR never managed to distribute according to "need" means that they weren't actually communist in reality but 'wannabees' as the ruling and only party who called themselves the Communist Party.

 

 

Yes. the communist party had communism as their goal.

 

So then the current world would be divided into capitalist and socialist? (with variations)

and we can forget communism altogether?

 

 

yes, from an economic point of view, communism does not exist.

 

Where does the free movement of people and freedom of speech come in? or were they just additions because people didn't want to abide by the system?

 

 

Civil rights have nothing to do with the economic system per se. But for the socialist regimes it was necessary to limit freedom because the system was so dysfunctional that people wanted to leave - the most glaring example was the construction of the Berlin wall to physically force the people to remain in the country so the socialist experiment could continue against their will.

Forcing people into a dysfunctional economic system based on an ideology pretty much requires shutting down criticism and limiting freedom of speech; the ruling party was so convinced that their ideology is right that they could not tolerate open criticism, discussion, questioning.

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And did you read about the Hong Kong billionaire who it seems is going to lose billions because the Chinese are claiming it was gained with loopholes?

 

Can this be done in "socialist" governments? Maybe that's not the right question...The action of taking over all those assets seems so extreme somehow....what kind of governments do that?

http://dealbook.nyti...gn-investments/

 

Joan

 

 

For some reason I can't get into the article you linked, but I think I remember the case. Didn't Ms Wang act illegally? As far as I recall, she invested via proxy companies, despite knowing that non-mainland-Chinese were not allowed to invest in that kind of firm. She broke the country's laws. Most countries would deprive her of her illegal holdings in such a case, don't you think?

 

I'm not defending the Chinese political system, but each country has laws and there are penalties for breaking them which, in the US also, involve the giving up of illegally-acquired assets.

 

L

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Fascinating discussion!

 

Is it possible that the definitions as understood by those taught outside the US differ from those taught here? Or are all the definitions supposed to be based on what Marx said?

 

:-) It seems like even in the US the definitions aren't the same...but it seems like there should be a common understanding across the world otherwise governments won't be able to dialog at all if the vocabulary doesn't have a common meaning....

 

For some reason I can't get into the article you linked, but I think I remember the case. Didn't Ms Wang act illegally? As far as I recall, she invested via proxy companies, despite knowing that non-mainland-Chinese were not allowed to invest in that kind of firm. She broke the country's laws. Most countries would deprive her of her illegal holdings in such a case, don't you think?

 

I'm not defending the Chinese political system, but each country has laws and there are penalties for breaking them which, in the US also, involve the giving up of illegally-acquired assets.

 

...It's under China, Concern about Chill on Foreign Investment...

 

You are making me think which I always like....in the article it says that she used loopholes to get around the idea of foreign investment in China

 

"Ms. Wang became a pioneer in the use of regulatory loopholes to control restricted assets in China. The practice has since been refined by Chinese companies that have raised billions of dollars on stock markets in the United States and Hong Kong and also by some multinational corporations with onshore business in China."

 

I guess I have mixed thoughts....I don't agree with lawbreakers...But if there are loopholes, it seems like it's not breaking the law, though I don't know enough about the details. It somehow feels like a trap....letting her and these other companies make all this money and then just take it away. Why didn't the gov intervene earlier?

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I guess I have mixed thoughts....I don't agree with lawbreakers...But if there are loopholes, it seems like it's not breaking the law, though I don't know enough about the details. It somehow feels like a trap....letting her and these other companies make all this money and then just take it away. Why didn't the gov intervene earlier?

 

This is a 'Chinese characteristic', rather than anything to do with socialism, I think. Chinese enforcement proceeds by campaigns, rather than steady implementation of the law. It's so particular and (to me) odd, that I feel as if it might well pre-date the revolution. The classic one is spitting: it's always illegal to spit on the pavement in China (I believe) but this is not usually enforced. Intermittently, usually in connection with the visit of a dignitary or some special occasion, the law is enforced. It's usually announced in advance, and kicks off on a specific date.

 

I ran into one of these campaigns: when we moved to China, Husband had a student visa and we were therefore allowed to transfer our household goods into the country. When we left, his visa had expired and we were all on visitors' visas, which don't give the right to export household goods. Normally, one uses a Chinese connection who signs for the export of the goods - the officials would know it was happening, but would not enforce the rules. However, we were leaving at the time of the Olympics, and suddenly all these 'on the books' rules were being enforced. We were very lucky to be able to ship our container out within a reasonable time.

 

So: we knew of the rules and knew that they could be enforced at any time, if a 'campaign' was announced. The risk was on our heads.

 

Does that make any sense?

 

L

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This is a 'Chinese characteristic', rather than anything to do with socialism, I think. Chinese enforcement proceeds by campaigns, rather than steady implementation of the law. It's so particular and (to me) odd, that I feel as if it might well pre-date the revolution. The classic one is spitting: it's always illegal to spit on the pavement in China (I believe) but this is not usually enforced. Intermittently, usually in connection with the visit of a dignitary or some special occasion, the law is enforced. It's usually announced in advance, and kicks off on a specific date.

 

I ran into one of these campaigns: when we moved to China, Husband had a student visa and we were therefore allowed to transfer our household goods into the country. When we left, his visa had expired and we were all on visitors' visas, which don't give the right to export household goods. Normally, one uses a Chinese connection who signs for the export of the goods - the officials would know it was happening, but would not enforce the rules. However, we were leaving at the time of the Olympics, and suddenly all these 'on the books' rules were being enforced. We were very lucky to be able to ship our container out within a reasonable time.

 

So: we knew of the rules and knew that they could be enforced at any time, if a 'campaign' was announced. The risk was on our heads.

 

Does that make any sense?

 

yes, that makes sense but sounds pretty risky for business....how does someone just pull out billions of dollars in assets for a campaign? I was trying to think where else there is anything similar in 'socialistic' leaning countries (if that can be a new descriptor)...

 

Dh says the only time there was true capitalism in the US was in the days of the Robber Barrons. :-)

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yes, that makes sense but sounds pretty risky for business....how does someone just pull out billions of dollars in assets for a campaign? I was trying to think where else there is anything similar in 'socialistic' leaning countries (if that can be a new descriptor)...

 

Dh says the only time there was true capitalism in the US was in the days of the Robber Barrons. :-)

 

Absolutely - very risky. And as for the accounting standards in China.....

 

China is actually a really lawless place at the moment - I think that some of the campaigns come out of political panic: the government tries out loosening up the rules, then panics and tightens everything up.

 

I think I agree with your husband.

 

L

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Sorry, Joan, but I can't resist... you could always resort to cows in order to explain.

 

Ok, now you can go back to your interesting discussion. : )

Oooh, I forgot about all the cow jokes for explaining politics/econ! Some take the analogy way out there, but good for a laugh somewhere along the line:

http://www.extremelysmart.com/humor/cowsexplain.php

http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/jokes/bljokecowspolitics.htm

 

Sorry if jokes weren't what you meant :) Sometimes the jokes do help, and sometimes cow ownership analogies help even more.

Julie

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Yes, eg the food supply has serious problems - eg infant formula in Australia is getting all bought up by the Chinese who don't trust their own supply....

 

Husband wrote a report talking about the dangerous supplies of milk within China before the baby milk scandal. He had visited the factories and was seriously frightened.

 

L

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Oooh, I forgot about all the cow jokes for explaining politics/econ! Some take the analogy way out there, but good for a laugh somewhere along the line:

http://www.extremely...cowsexplain.php

http://politicalhumo...owspolitics.htm

 

Sorry if jokes weren't what you meant :) Sometimes the jokes do help, and sometimes cow ownership analogies help even more.

Julie

 

Simplifications sometimes make things easier to understand. But for some, they are much darker than the cows would lead one to believe....Some of those really made me laugh though. :-)

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for some, they are much darker than the cows would lead one to believe....Some of those really made me laugh though. :-)

 

Yes, I saw a whole list of cow economy jokes and looked at it as an exercise in trying to figure out what point of view each jokester comes from -- that can take a lot of time but interesting.

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