LA Times Op-Ed writer is fucking amazed to find that free markets work.
In the name of sovereignty, China’s leaders for a long time have gotten away with suppressing their own citizens while ignoring the get-gloriously-rich-quick corruption that has thrived in the absence of the rule of law. But, thanks to globalization, China’s export reliance on the U.S. market has imported the political demands of the U.S. consumer into the equation. Americans won’t hesitate to cut the import lifeline and shift away from Chinese products that might poison their children or kill their pets.
Unlike organized labor or human rights groups, consumers don’t have to mobilize to effect change; they only have to stop spending. And their bargaining agents — Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us — have immensely more clout than the AFL-CIO and Amnesty International in fostering change in China.
Ironically, the United States’ “most favored nation” trade treatment for China (and its later entry into the World Trade Organization), which labor and human rights groups so virulently opposed in the past, has become a Trojan horse. China’s future is now so linked to the American consumer that Beijing will be forced to curb corruption and strengthen regulation through the rule of law or face the certain doom of its export-led growth.
Tens of thousands of laissez-faire capitalists have pointed this out time and time and time again, over and over and over. I just wonder if this journalista dude will get that it works in all markets, all over the world, all the time.
This also explains why China isn’t about to be going and selling all those T-Bills they “own.” We’re their biggest market. You simply don’t screw your customers just for the pleasure of screwing them.
And, from the cheap seats here, this is about all the diplomacy you ever really need. Cash for goods. Everybody wins. Simplisme, no?