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Anorak | So what’s going to happen to Chinese manufacturing? There’s been a run on peasants

So what’s going to happen to Chinese manufacturing? There’s been a run on peasants

by | 20th, February 2012

I KNOW, I know, all those jobs we packed up in boxes and shipped off to China. The Ruin of the North, as bad as anything Willie the Conq did a millennia ago and all due to this neo-liberal globalisation shite.

However, at some point this is all going to run out of steam, right? Something’s going to change? And yes, this is true, something is going to change, as this New York Times piece shows :

But while China’s industrial subsidies, trade policies, undervalued currency and lack of enforcement for intellectual property rights all remain sticking points for the United States, there is at least one area in which the playing field seems to be slowly leveling: the cheap labor that has made China’s factories nearly unbeatable is not so cheap anymore.

China has experienced sporadic labor shortages, which in turn have driven up its once rock-bottom labor costs.

There are two things going on. The first is that until very recently there were hundreds of millions of peasants stuck in that idiocy of rural life. If offered a manufacturing job at nearly any pay they’d take it. Even 12 hour shifts making iPads for $100 a month is better than being arse deep in a rice paddy all day.

But those peasants are either now all in the factories or rich enough out there on the farms that they won’t move. Which means that to get the labour required to run the factories wages have to rise. The companies are now competing with each other for labour instead of just sucking in more peasants.

So, Chinese wages are rising after inflation by 10 % and more a year. As

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Posted: 20th, February 2012 | In: Money Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink