Blog Entry

Thank You China

Posted on: August 12, 2008 8:45 pm

It has become quite popular, in the now much heralded blogosphere as well as in the old media of the Western world, to criticize, often harshly, the Chinese and the decision to grant them the rights to host the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Some of those critics are definitely legitimate. The Chinese government is not better than other governments across the world, and no one could be happier than me to see socialist regimes collapse, as they all do eventually. We could all use more freedom and respect for differences.

But, it is also legitimate to praise the Chinese will to please us, in the United States, when they do.

I guess that if you made it to this page, it is because you enjoy the Games and probably watch the swimming finals every night. And, you will agree, they have been pretty fantastic so far. Who would have thought that a swimming relay could generate so much excitement? Beating the French is always a source of great pride, that’s understandable.

But have you thought about the fact that the race took place at 5 in the morning in France and 11, that same morning, in Beijing? The only reason why you had the chance and pleasure to enjoy it “live on prime time,” (at least on the east coast) is because the IOC and the BOCOG (Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad) agreed to schedule the swimming finals in the morning.

They also moved the gymnastic finals and that is a bigger deal. Gymnastic is a major sport in China. Li Ning, who won six medals at the Los Angeles Olympic games in 1984, was chosen to ignite the cauldron during the Opening Ceremony. The men’s Chinese team claimed the gold medal yesterday, at the end of a competition that started at 10 in the morning. And trust me, 10 am is no prime time in China.

But this sets a precedent. A dangerous precedent? Only time will tell. All we can do for now is imagine what it could be like in the future when China has become the true commercial superpower that many fear today.

The NBA is big in China. Yao Ming doesn’t receive all his All-Star votes from Houston Rockets fans. Most of them come straight from China, over the internet, after all. A few years from now, CCTV, promising 900 million viewers, may ask the NBA commissioner to have the All-Star Game played at 9 in the morning in New York, on Saturday. Who would refuse to expose its product to nearly 1 billion people? (It would be 3 in the afternoon in Western Europe). Certainly not the NBA. You imagine the Garden going crazy at 9 in the morning?

But it would be very ungrateful of us to even think about complaining.

But don’t worry too much. It is very unlikely to happen. The NBA All-Star Game will be played in Shanghai, China before Lakers fans have to get up at 6 in the morning to watch it live from New York.

Anyway, for now, I say thank you China.

Category: Olympic Games

Since: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:48 pm

Thank You China

I don't think you read the post very carefully. Like a lot of people, you equate a free democracy with capitalism and socialism with totalitarian rule. Confusing economic systems with political systems has been rampant on blogs and even the mainstream media during the Olympics in China. The French are more socialist than China. With social security, public schools, welfare, medicare, FDIC, and FEMA, the USA is almost as socialist as China. China abandoned communism over 20 years ago and nearly every state owned enterprise is being privately operated under a capitalist economy where competition is allowed. They still have a ways to go to catch the USA where only the Post Office, the highway system, and sewage are being operated by the state as monopolies. Now the real issue is that China is correctly characterized as NOT being a free democracy. The Chinese definitely cannot vote themselves a new government. However, the redneck blogs are loaded with incorrect stories about individuals not being able to choose their own careers or places to live. The cultural revolution ended in 1976 when Mao died and the Gang of Four were arrested! The capitalist reforms started in the late 70's. People can definitely choose their own careers and live where they can afford. Unlike Berlin-wall days, the Chinese are free to leave the country and their top scientists and athletes routinely go to the west where they can make more money. Within the last few years, the laws for foreigners to own things within China has also loosened considerably to the point where I've now opened 4 companies over there. China is definitely not Switzerland or Denmark but it's definitely not the Mao or Stalin era anymore either.

Since: Aug 24, 2008
Posted on: August 24, 2008 11:12 pm

Thank You China

Politics aside, all I can say is "Thank You China" for an awesome Olympics & the genuine warmth your people displayed to ALL the people who visited your country. May you continue to grow into the future with the same spirit.

Since: Sep 30, 2006
Posted on: August 20, 2008 11:22 pm

Thank You China

I don't know why you are ripping on a pure free market economy as not working since no pure system is really even possible.  Pure Communism is not possible.  The USSR found this out.  The government just gets too big and falls apart.  Pure democracy isn't really possible (only in the smallest of nations).  FYI - We are not a democracy, we are a republic.

If you knew anything, you would know that the US gives more aid when disasters happen (Tsunami) then just about all other nations combined.  I could care less about Sweeden, Luxembourg or whatever the other nations were.

I don't know why you use the Great Depression as evidence that free market economies don't work, wasn't the entire world in trouble at that time?  Europe sure was.

Universal Health Care - How about not.  I don't feel like having my money go to idiots.  STDs - too bad, you made the choice now live with it.  Get in an accident b/c you were drunk - too bad.  I'd be fine with the government helping out people with diseases that are just bad luck - Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, etc.  But anything that was the result of your negligence, common illnesses and injuries are your problem.

Socialism - Why should I be punished for being in a higher pay grade?  Im currently in college, which eveyone knows is expensive.  So since by numbers I'll make more money than people not going to college, some of my earnings should go to these people to even things out?  Why should I go to college then?  What;s the incentive?

what's wrong with our military policy? Do you want isolationism?  Isolationism got us into two world wars, yeah lets go back to that.  Iraq - they violated a treaty that ended a war which equals an act of war.  If the UN would've done their job instead of passing resolution after resolution, we wouldn't have that problem.  If you know your history, you should know that the League of Nations dropped the ball with Hitler basically the same way.

If you honestly think Socialism is better, move to France, China or the others.  If you think democracy is that bad, then find somewhere that suits you.  The fact of the matter is that free market based economies put more money into the system than any other method.  The US is evidence that free market economies (with some government intervention) work.

Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: August 19, 2008 3:11 pm

Thank You Bucking Fangles

Excellent, well written and more importantly correct. the facts when made pointed like a lazer are quite remarkable to see. When you go high enough in any system it comes down to one decision maker and if that maker is corrupt the system is corrupt. this is not to say socialism or democracy are wrong but they can be mishandled and the reliance on one type of thinking is what can cause more trouble than anything. I really could have said nothing because Fangles was good.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2008 6:33 am

Universal Health Care anyone?

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2008 6:27 am

Thank You Buckin

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: August 15, 2008 11:00 am

Thank You China

The use of incorrect labeling in order to subvert other ideas is annoying to me.

Socialism (and Communism also) is an economic policy (like Capitalism is) with many dialects/variations depending on the governmental policy that accompanies it. Socialism can exist with Dictatorship or with Democracy (governmental systems) and Socialism has absolutely nothing to do with the repression of people's rights and freedoms. Countries like the United States (the New Deal), England, France, Sweden and so on have or do practice many Socialist principles and have had many successes with them through history just as capitalism has had successes. They are two ways of doing things that both have pros and cons. Quit demonizing Socialism.

Democracy and Socialism are NOT opposites. In fact they are complimentary systems for two different things: economy and government. In Democracy everyone shares in decision making. In Socialism, everyone shares natural resources and wealth.

Criticize specific governments all you want for their specific policies, but quit labelling incorrectly or, in this case, insufficiently. China (according to Wikipedia) is "a republic." The problems with censorship and repression come from the "single-party" aspect, not from the "socialist" part. You might also rail against corruption if you like. If one wanted to get into a heated argument, one might suggest that Capitalism/Free Market was responsible for the massacre of Native Americans. Would you classify them as "those who aren't adept at effectively utilizing it (wealth) to grow our economy?"

Look up Socialism on wikipedia. You will read of many corrupt regimes that utilized socialism. But it wasn't because they practiced socialism that they were corrupt. You will also find the following:

In 1989, the 18th Congress of the Socialist International at Stockholm adopted a Declaration of Principles which declares that "Democratic socialism is an international movement for freedom, social justice and solidarity. Its goal is to achieve a peaceful world where these basic values can be enhanced and where each individual can live a meaningful life with the full development of his or her personality and talents and with the guarantee of human and civil rights in a democratic framework of society." The objectives of the Party of European Socialists, the socialist bloc in the European Parliament, are "to pursue international aims in respect of the principles on which the European Union is based, namely principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, respect of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and respect for the Rule of Law." The companion to contemporary political philosophy states: "The rallying cry of the French Revolution—equality, liberty and fraternity—now constitute essential socialist values.

I'm not necessarily a full-blown proponent of Socialism, but the use of the label in this article perpetuates ignorance and in my opinion is inappropriate in light of what the article is actually about. Furthermore, the use of prases such as "little people like you" and "dingdongs" in the hubfans comments pretty much constitute intellectual bullying. Am I supposed to be intimidated away from thinking like the first poster, lest I be chastized as a "dingdong?" Maybe that isn't your obvious intention when using those labels, but that is the effect you have and for which you are responsible.

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 5:57 am

there is massive govt intervention to PROTECT it

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 5:55 am

ie lessons of great depression(bernanke is expert

Since: Aug 14, 2008
Posted on: August 15, 2008 5:54 am

nothing close to free because it doesn't work

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