One of those extremely liberal news rags that continually complains about wishy washy non-measurable atmospheric problems like smog. The news rag of ill repute, is the Wall Street Journal, which is commonly known as an extremely liberal anti-business publication.
On Monday October 9th, the WSJ ran with a story describing the pollution problem in China and its impact on Hong Kong. As Chinese manufacturing continues to grow, the rapid ramp-up of production is not keeping up with pollution. Contrarians point out that China is attempting to industrialize and achieve its rightful place in the modern world.
As the argument flows, China should receive a relaxed opportunity to produce products cheaply and efficiently and turn a blind eye or nose to the pollution that is created. After all, other currently industrialized countries were allowed to pollute in order to achieve their success and current place in the economic pecking order.
There are several fallacies in this argument. First, China’s rapid development and growth are partly attributable to their willingness to benchmark and adopt best practices to produce products. China has a labor cost advantage that has helped enable their ascension. Their lax environmental controls and the resulting pollution have also allowed production costs to temporarily remain lower.
The problem is that the Chinese people are paying the price for this pollution expense. Instead of establishing pollution controls, checks and balances, and passing the cost along to the consumer, China is polluting their air and harming the health of their own citizens. More people will suffer due to this lack of policy and health costs will increase.
The WSJ is quick to point out that the air pollution in Hong Kong may trigger a brain drain. As more top CEO’s and the engineers and talent behind the production growth, make healthier choices to work in safer locations abroad, China and in this article Hong Kong will suffer. China has benchmarked industrial practices to deliver a widget faster, cheaper and maybe even with higher quality. China seems to be failing to benchmark pollution standards that would allow them to compete with the citizens of the rest of the world.
History is replete with civilizations that rapidly advance on the shoulders of cheap labor. Could China lose its competitive labor advantage by allowing pollution to trigger health costs that might spiral out of control? China is rapidly catching up to the levels of other industrialized nations. They are doing this in a window of time that is much narrower than any other existing industrialized nation. This unique deliverance might deliver a simultaneous super saturated dose of pollution on Chinese citizens and residents of Hong Kong. This could injure China’s development and potentially push them back into a dark age period on par with the severe impact that colonialism and the Opium Wars brought to China in past centuries.
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Simply do a Google Search on the keywords “Smog Hong Kong” then Click the images option.