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OUR FUTURE WITH CHINA - COOPERATION OR COMPETITION??,
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This review is from: The People's Republic of Capitalism with Ted Koppel [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Imagine if the population of the U.S. quadrupled and the increase came mainly from rural areas and earned a fraction of what the rest of us earned. That would be something like the great contrasts that exist in China as it establishes itself as an economic superpower and the U.S. and China go forward, awkwardly 'joined at the hip', possibly irreversibly so. In this four part documentary Koppel takes a look at this complex love/hate relationship. We hate China when they take our jobs with their cheap labor but the same people who lost their jobs are the same ones (with millions others) who love shopping at Wal-Mart and other retailers with cheap, imported goods from China. We all probably know that but what doesn't seem to make the nightly news is the appetite the growing Chinese middle class have for high end 'American-made' products such as Ethan Allen furniture where the fabric and some components come from China, assembled here and shipped to China. Same is true autos. GM & Ford are flourishing in China and Asia. A Black Buick is a status car in China where 25,000 new cars are added to the highways EVERY DAY - 9,000,000 every year. 80% of Chinese car buyers have never owned an automobile. Think of America's love affair with the automobile back in the 1950's. The segment on auto insurance and how they handle the tsunami of accident claims is entertaining. Making money is the new religion in China. It comes before everything else - product safety, environmental concerns and even morality. In 2006 over 24,000 government workers were convicted of graft. While clearly many more goods come from China than are exported, our relationship is not as simple as the sound bites make it seem. Many American companies have established a very strong presence there and will benefit from the continuing growth of this amazing country and the seemingly unlimited potential of its growing middle class. To understand our future and the future of the planet, we need to understand China, both the good and the bad (huge environmental and energy issues, lack of political freedom). Will we compete or cooperate or both? This excellent documentary is a good beginning for those of us who are not experts.