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Is this the China the marxists in our government love so much?

I way too often hear stories how evil our school system is because only the rich, those that can afford to pay for private education, make out, while those stuck with public schools are facing a crap shoot. My kid landed in one of the better school systems in Connecticut. Don’t get me wrong, I pay for it in taxes. My property taxes have all gone up by ridiculous numbers. The taxes on my home went up 5 fold in the 17 years since I bought it. The taxes on my vehicles all but doubled in the same time span, even though the relative value of the vehicles stayed about the same. My kid lucks out. Move about 17 miles north of me to Hartford, and you have some of the worst public schools in the nation. In Hartford they spend far more money per pupil than where my kid goes to school, and yet, they have some of the most frightening drop out and failure rates. They do have some strong ass unions and are hard core leftists, though, so I guess you can call it all Karma.

Anyway, we have all the marxism lovers here in the US, and especially those that were or are members of this administration, telling us they wished they ran the show here like they do in China. I wonder if they mean that they would like to run the public school system – the only one allowed in China – like they do there:

BEIJING — For Chinese children and their devoted parents, education has long been seen as the key to getting ahead in a highly competitive society. But just as money and power grease business deals and civil servant promotions, the academic race here is increasingly rigged in favor of the wealthy and well connected, who pay large sums and use connections to give their children an edge at government-run schools.

Nearly everything has a price, parents and educators say, from school admissions and placement in top classes to leadership positions in Communist youth groups. Even front-row seats near the blackboard or a post as class monitor are up for sale.

Zhao Hua, a migrant from Hebei Province who owns a small electronics business here, said she was forced to deposit $4,800 into a bank account to enroll her daughter in a Beijing elementary school. At the bank, she said, she was stunned to encounter officials from the district education committee armed with a list of students and how much each family had to pay. Later, school officials made her sign a document saying the fee was a voluntary “donation.”

“Of course I knew it was illegal,” she said. “But if you don’t pay, your child will go nowhere.”

I guess the first observation I can make is that if we did the same here, all that loot that these bribes would yield could be used to solve all the teacher’s union’s fiscal problems in one fell swoop. Of course, it is ironic that the very system that our marxists worship clearly has the worst aspect of an egalitarian system going for them: the hefty bribe that thus favors the well off.

And things are changing in China. The leadership just went from being one run by engineers to one no longer run by them. The new leader, Xi, has a double degree – chemical engineering and law – but he is the exception rather than the rule. Maybe with lawyers taking over China it will end up as fucked up as we are here. One thing is for certain: these leftist paradises are all always rotten to the core.

7 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    Let me know when you want some help relocating to the Puget Sound region – as bad as my taxes are, they ain’t got shit on what you’re going through and I live in a really good school district (Northshore). And the weather is better…

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  2. TheContrarian says:

    Reason number 347,998 why, no matter where in the world we end up, we’ll be homeschooling our son.

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  3. dbaggins says:

    It always strikes me as funny when people refer to China as a thoroughly Marxist nation despite the fact that in cases like these, it is actually ultra-capitalist compared to the US. This makes me remember Leeinchina, a blog that I very much loved because it really showed the growing, free-market portion of the country that had begun to take shape during my childhood….

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  4. Seattle Outcast says:

    That free market portion has managed to recently snag the lion’s share of the world’s sword production, and not the cheap wall-hanger shit, though they’ll make that for you as well if you want it. Getting a live blade out of Japan is hideously expensive as government regulations severely limit the number of swordsmiths and their monthly production quota. You know what Japanese swordsmiths tell people when they want to buy a sword? Fucking wait five years, and give me $10K in advance.

    You can find individuals in the US, South Korea, and other places that make a living making katana, and they are much more affordable than anything you’ll get out of Japan (and faster), but until a few years ago there were almost no factories devoted to turning out high-quality carbon steel katana for the serious practitioner or collector. Right now I can purchase a custom, folded steel, clay tempered katana made to exacting standards with high-end mounting hardware for well under $1000 and have it made from scratch and delivered in less than 5 weeks. You’ll have enough left over to get a matching short sword and a knife to go along with it.

    If you want a generic katana made to the exact same quality standards you can have it shipped to you in three days for far less (most katana are 28″ long and use a generic tip shape).

    Why in the fuck didn’t someone in the USA start doing this 20 years ago? It’s not as if the construction techniques are a fucking secret and the machine shop capability to make them isn’t available to anyone with a power hammer and a furnace. No, all the US did (and everyone else for that matter), was turn out super-cheap 440 stainless steel shit you can literally buy for under $40 (includes shipping) that nobody wanted, but reluctantly settled for as a decoration. No, it was the “Communist Chinese” that exploited a world-wide market in textbook fashion and rule it like a railroad baron.

    Good luck if you want to crack that market for anything other than producing boutique swords for people with too much money.

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  5. AlexInCT says:

    It always strikes me as funny when people refer to China as a thoroughly Marxist nation despite the fact that in cases like these, it is actually ultra-capitalist compared to the US.

    Actually, this example doesn’t showcase capitalism at all, and it is a stretch to pretend that the corruption and abuse of privilege behind this behavior, equals capitalism. Just because China adopted some principles of capitalism doesn’t mean squat. In the end they are still a nation run by an oligarchy with absolute power, not much more different than royalty/aristocracy.

    What we have here is a showcase of how totalitarian systems, especially those of the “we are doing things for the good of all the people, because we are all equal” types, are plain and outright bullshit. The rich in china are ONLY the ones that the ruling oligarchy has allowed to prosper. They are not rich because of hard work, innovation, a better product or service, but definitely nothing else but the abuse of the capitalist ideals. And if you are not one of the insiders then you are SOL.

    The rich in China are a bunch of credentialed elites, kind of like ours, whom are the only ones to enjoy the system. They can afford to game the system. The Chinese middle class isn’t really rich, unless compared to the poor in China and elsewhere

    There is defenitely something to be said for a system where you are alloed to buy your education, but the point is that the Chinese system pretends to be about collectivist equality, when in reality it is still dominated by the same age old corruption that continue to drag down and plague tribal societies. Basically the system serves the oligarchy.

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  6. dbaggins says:

    What we have here is a showcase of how totalitarian systems, especially those of the “we are doing things for the good of all the people, because we are all equal” types, are plain and outright bullshit. The rich in china are ONLY the ones that the ruling oligarchy has allowed to prosper. They are not rich because of hard work, innovation, a better product or service, but definitely nothing else but the abuse of the capitalist ideals. And if you are not one of the insiders then you are SOL.

    The rich in China are a bunch of credentialed elites, kind of like ours, whom are the only ones to enjoy the system. They can afford to game the system. The Chinese middle class isn’t really rich, unless compared to the poor in China and elsewhere

    Considering people like Zong Qing Hou, a man from very humble beginnings who effectively took a business selling soft drinks on the street corner and turned it into $20 billion dollars of wealth over several decades and I would say that the statement you have made about China’s wealthy is a gross over-generalization to say the very least. Having actually known some people in this class, I can say that a good portion of them came from modest backgrounds and some of them effectively got where they are on less than a high school education. They were largely able to create wealth for themselves and their families through hard work, good business sense and a willingness to take big risks when the situation required it. They didn’t become part of the elite because they were born into it, they worked their way from the peripheries of Chinese society. This is really no different from the current cross section of the wealthy in the US which consist from people from the landed elite class of the industrial era and people who got there by effectively going out of their own and starting ventures that grew and appreciated in value over time. If anything, China has a larger percentage of the latter due to policies enacted during the cultural revolution that limited access to post-secondary education and forcefully seized wealth from rich families from the original aristocracies.

    Your understanding of the Chinese middle class is also very poorly informed at best. While there’s still a fairly significant gap between them and the middle class in developed nations that gap has narrowed by leaps and bounds since the mid 90s and will likely continue to do so if ongoing economic issues in the US and Europe persist. Real income and purchasing power have increased substantially for a large portion of people and that’s translated into real hard dollars thats made China into a serious consumer of goods. Look at where luxury brands like LV, Prada and Apple have seen the strongest growth and its pretty obvious that the middle class have not been completely locked out of the benefits of double digit economic growth. Have the rich and influential scaled much better? yes, but that’s almost the situation in any case, regardless of geography or the system of government.

    Your response is part of the reason I even bring up Leeinchina. Lee had some of the same reservations that you had about the country when he first moved there but his perception of that changed over time as he began experiencing everyday aspects of Chinese life and society that were left woefully uncovered in western media. In the end, his perception of the country became much more nuanced and reflective of actual reality. Do I completely disagree with your points? No, but I don’t think its constructive to have a conversation on the issue by severely overgeneralizing and simplifying the situation.

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  7. AlexInCT says:

    Considering people like Zong Qing Hou, a man from very humble beginnings who effectively took a business selling soft drinks on the street corner and turned it into $20 billion dollars of wealth over several decades and I would say that the statement you have made about China’s wealthy is a gross over-generalization to say the very least.

    Did he have to get in bed with the princelings to be able to do this? I doubt he would have been allowed to succeed unless they where getting their cut. Not knocking him and his work or work ethic: just pointing out that in these totalitarian regimes the winners are picked by the oligarchy. Heck, check out Putin’s new empire too. These people do not succeed without patronage from the oligarchy.

    And yes, unfortunately, we have too much of that here to. Our government, the very people that tell us how much they envy the power of the Chinese leadership, love the practice of picking winners and losers.

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