Just what on earth is going on in Europe right now? When I first went to China ten years ago I thought that Chinese might one day be useful as China would eventually be an economic power. People were earning a hundred pounds a month, everything was dirt cheap, and no one could afford any of it.
Fast forward to the present, and Chinese companies have bought-out the likes of IBM’s laptop division and Rover cars and a ton of multi-million pound homes in every desirable location on the planet, the Chinese have stealth fighters and maglev trains, and Britain has more and more pound shops. So, I’ll return to my original question: What on earth is going on in Europe right now?
I think it’s something big. I want to say seismic, but that world is only used when people can’t explain what they really mean. The point is that the world is changing rapidly around us; like we’re performing a gig and when we get to the end and tune back in, we’ll notice that the room is full of people waiting to see the following act, who’re stood tapping their feet behind us. To have a say in the world you need to provide funds for initiatives and troops for wars. We can’t do a great deal of either right now, and if the ECB is reduced to borrowing money off China, where, despite all the amazing growth, the average person still only earns only about 10% what people in the west make; what does that say? Italy is not lacking in income like sub-saharan African countries that get into the same financial position. It has a good turnover, but has just spent more than it can afford, knew it was doing it, kept doing it, kept electing the same greasy old man who was doing it, and is now almost bankrupt. It’s an extension of the personal credit crisis: People pressure government into spending money on them, even way beyond what it can afford, and government seems like it can’t say no, beause it’s paid to do whatever stupid things we ask of it.
Have all of the grotesque, wooden Tories been talking sense the last few years, about the need to liberalise the work force, and all that other stuff I don’t understand? People in Europe have job security until their company goes bust, because of our culture and norms, and laws. Companies go bust pretty frequently because they can’t cut costs. Here in China people have no such protection. You can be fired quite easily. BUT, people are quicker to start a business here because there are fewer complications, quicker to hire people because they could get rid of them if they want, and the economy is growing fast enough that people don’t get laid off. What’s more, if you lose your job there are tons more available so workers don’t suffer anything other than a slight inconvenience if it happens. People in Britain worry so much about losing a job because there are no others available, not because they can’t bear moving to a neighbouring company.
I think what I’m getting at is that Europe is about to be overtaken by Asia in more ways than we want. It doesn’t effect us badly if people in Asia suddenly have enough meat to eat, or buy a fridge, but if we bankrupt ourselves and borrow from the Chinese; what’s the end result? “We’ll lend you the money, but only if you…” I suspect we wouldn’t enjoy it. The scary part is that Europe looks a little like it’s actively decaying in some way, and going backwards economically, not just going forwards at a slower rate. Is it even decaying culturally when we can’t For what it’s worth, there’s a little woodworm in the economy over here, too. Local governments have been borrowing money in a big way, just like in Argentina, when they racked up big bills and the country went bust. The central government here has just written a cheque for about 300 billion pounds to sort it out, but there are also plenty of bad debts to companies here that can’t repay them. Someone wrote a book called ‘The coming collapse of China’ that said China will be bust in five years. It was published ten years ago. Does the world seem more unsettled now because it is, or because I read too many newspapers?