China might look a lot better than the U.S. right now for those affected by the drastic economic slow-down. After all, the Chinese government is stimulating the economy there in a way that will produce real jobs quickly, in contrast to the ineffective stimulus measures we are seeing here. But don't apply for your Chinese visa just yet. Listen to the words of Kerri Houston Toloczko, a Senor Analyst for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM):
“Despite its meteoric rise to global economic dominance, China has build a high rise economy on a foundation of mud,” states Toloczko.
“As manufacturing facilities popped up rapidly over the last decade, China filled jobs by encouraging massive migration from outlying Chinese villages into burgeoning factory centers. But in their plan they forgot the needs of the workers themselves.”
In the last year, over 20 million Chinese migrant workers lost their jobs as over 125,000 factories closed. The government heavily subsidized the manufacturing build-up, which has now led to a phenomenon known as “runaway bosses.” As factory owners have no personal investment in their businesses, they are leaving town to disappear into China's one million villages and among its 1.3B people without first paying wages to their now unemployed workers.
China has no social safety nets that cover unemployment, medical, or retirement benefits, people are desperate and angry, Toloczko says. “China is currently experiencing at least 1,000 demonstrations each day - some of them violent - in factory centers and in rural areas when laid off Chinese migrant workers return home and find no jobs there either.”
The AAM has been championing the idea that the U.S. gets a raw deal when trading with China, and Toloczko sees an opening on that score.
“Although the Chinese government is trying to cure its recession with a $586B stimulus plan, it is distracted by massive social unrest that we don't have here in the U.S.,” Toloczko concludes. “China is paying the price for shallow growth, manufacturing substandard consumer products and ignoring its social problems. But America's economy is wide and deep, and built on solid footing. As China pays the price for its economic aggression, this may be our chance to reinvigorate our production capacity and finally level the playing field for our manufacturers.”