China may be putting on the brakes for the world’s trash

April 16, 2014

There are more than one hundred thousand people working in China’s recycling industry, and it’s a hard way to make a living—even more so now that China’s central government is implementing stricter environmental laws.

However, trash and recycling are a big business in China. Some estimate that it is a fourteen billion dollar business for a family driven cottage industry.

Long hours of hard work add up to a living wage for the Chinese involved in this recycling business.

According to a recent United Nations report, “China now appears to be the largest e-waste dumping site in the world.”

The collected recyclable material is taken from the city for a few hour drive to factories where the trash is turned into raw material for a second life.

In fact, “We sell this plastic to Foxconn,” a recycle worker says.

And the recyclables just don’t come from China’s cities. It comes from all over the world, since China is the world’s largest importer of trash.

Computers and bottles tossed in recycle bins in the US, often show up in China where they are processed then resold as a new product to Western countries.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Silicon Valleys (plural)

March 25, 2014

In You Can’t Build a New Silicon Valley Just Anywhere by Margaret O’Mara, writing for Foreign Policy magazine (August 16, 2010), she said, “for many of the would-be silicon cities being constructed by the Russias and Chinas of the world; with their long histories of centralized control, they are still convinced they can order up success.”

O’Mara’s theme is that the success we have seen in California’s Silicon Valley is due to the freedom America’s republic—now a democracy—offers along with loads of money from the government and venture capitalists with no strings attached.

However, there’s evidence that democracy isn’t needed for innovation, because China (ruled by Emperors under an autocratic imperialistic monarchy) was more technologically advanced than any country on earth for almost two thousand years.

In fact, a recent December 4, 2013 issue of the Wall Street Journal reported that “Beijing’s Zhongguancun district is “studying the style, personality, management and funding of (America’s) Silicon Valley. What’s more, they reject China’s traditional top-down corporate model, deference to management and emphasis on size.” In addition, successful high tech companies in China want to branch out to be more than just a Chinese company.

After all, the Chinese invented the stirrup for saddles which revolutionized warfare on horseback, gunpowder, the multistage rocket, the compass, paper, the printing press and pasta along with a long list of other innovations that changed the world.

Without the Chinese, where would the world be today? See Chinese Crossbow and other Inventions

China may not offer the same individual freedoms the West does, but “face”, which is important in Chinese culture, is a strong motivator to improvise and invent so one gains “face” and becomes powerful and wealthy.

Before Deng Xiaoping and the “Getting Rich is Glorious” generation that he gave birth to, I would have agreed with Margaret O’Mara but not now.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Is China really responsible for all the lost jobs in the United States?

February 25, 2014

The reason for this post is because I left a comment for “Google robots, iPhone trackers—which sci-fi movie is coming true?” and a guy named Dave [I think it’s a guy] left a reply.

Dave pulled this quote from the comment I wrote: “If we don’t do something soon, the day will come when there are no jobs and no consumers because every job will be automated.” And Dave replied, “What? Have you any proof for this baseless assertion?”

Yes I do, Dave, and I’ll get to that, but first I want to deal with China getting the blame for jobs vanishing in the United States.

Heritage.org says, “Those who attack China often do not examine real economic events: They do not measure actual failed businesses and actual job losses. Instead, they assume the U.S.–China trade deficit means that both production and production jobs are moving from the U.S. to China. … Imports do not cause unemployment; quite the opposite, they are a signal of prosperity and plentiful jobs.”

Cato.org supports what Heritage says: “In the quarter century between 1983 and 2007, as real GDP more than doubled and the real value of U.S. trade increased five-fold, the U.S. economy created 46 million net new jobs, or 1.84 million net new jobs per year.”

If what Heritiage.org and Cato.org says is true, then what’s causing lost jobs in the United States?

First, after the 2007-08 global financial crises caused by US Banks and Wall Street greed, trade between the United States and the world shrunk by 12 percent and six million jobs were lost—jobs that were not lost to China where jobs were also lost.

Did you know that the United States has the largest manufacturing sector in the world, and that China is only number two? (Greyhill.com)

I wouldn’t be surprised if you said no.

Just how large are US exports to the world? NPR.org reported: “In 2011, the U.S. exported goods and services worth $2.1 Trillion”—more than what China sold to the world by about $80 billion. “China exported goods worth an estimated $2.021 Trillion to the world [in 2012] and imported goods from other countries that added up to an estimated $1.78 Trillion.”

At this point you may be confused and ask, “How can the U.S. be the world’s leader in manufacturing when millions of jobs are being lost in that sector?”

Bright Hub Engineering.com offers one answer: “Robots have replaced a lot of activities formerly carried out by a human, with one robot replacing as many as ten workers.”

“In the last fifteen years, manufacturing in the United States has undergone a fundamental shift,” Arena Solutions.com reports. “As millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost to … automation, output has steadily continued to grow. And while U.S. manufacturing output has decreased by only 1% since 1990, manufacturing jobs have decreased by over 30% in the same time period.”

Losing manufacturing jobs is not only happening in the US. The Harvard Business Review.org says, “Manufacturing employment decline is a global phenomenon. As a Bloomberg story summarized: “Some 22 million manufacturing jobs were lost globally between 1995 and 2002 as industrial output soared 30 percent.”

Instead of bashing China, blame the real culprits for millions of lost jobs on robots and the greedy rich who are behind the decisions to replace humans with automation. If one robot can replace ten humans, that’s a lot of money saved leading to increased profits and wealth for the rich.

After all, Robots don’t need Social Security, medical care, retirement plans, paid sick leave or vacations—in fact, they don’t earn any money, even minimum wage with no benefits.

One way to stop this from happening is to pass laws that protect humans from losing jobs to automation.

Other choices are to stay in school and work harder to earn a better education leading to jobs that robots can’t replace any time soon—and stop blaming teachers for a student’s lack of interest, cooperation or laziness. The other choice is to end up working for poverty wages in the fast-food industry or retail stores like Wal-Mart—that is until those jobs are also replaced by robots.

And if you drive an 18 wheeler; work for UPS or FedEx, be warned, Google—for instance—is working hard to take driving cars and trucks away from humans and turn driving over to robots. Meanwhile, Amazon is working on another project to turn delivery of goods bought from its Website over to automated drones that will fly in and deliver what you buy.

Sounds cool until you realize that means an end to a human’s job.

Also discover STEEL (no, not steal) FROM CHINA

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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The bumpy learning curve of China’s charities

February 18, 2014

Now that China is the 2nd largest economy on the planet, the responsibility of helping the needy may have come of age. Today, China has about 1.1 million millionaires in U.S. dollars and Business Insider reports that there are more than 300 Chinese billionaires—an increase of 64 from the previous year.

In October 2010, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet visited Beijing to convince China’s wealthy to give away their money for a good cause. The result was lukewarm but that may be due to distrust because charities in China do not have much transparency.

Philanthropy.com says, “To many in China, the more money rich people donate, the more respectable they are. If people pledge or donate all their money altruistically, they are regarded as heroes in China. But if they refuse to donate, they would be considered one of the ‘ruthless rich,’ people to be scorned.”

For a quick summary of charitable giving in China—in 2008, after the earthquake that killed thousands and left millions homeless, annual donations reached $15.7 billion U.S.—more than three times what was given in 2007.

However, according to China Daily.com—after several scandals related to charities causing widespread public outrage—the level of giving dropped dramatically. In 2011, 84.5 Billion Yuan ($13.96 billion U.S.) was given, and in 2012, the number dropped below 70 billion Yuan ($11.57 billion U.S.).

China Daily also reported: Charity organizations have mushroomed since 2004, when China put an end to the government’s monopoly on charity organizations. … In September 2013, the number of non-governmental charities hit 3,361. There were 1,800 in 2008.

The lack of transparency of charity organizations in China as well as a lack of tax incentives such as in the U.S. and many other countries has discouraged people from participating in charity. Meanwhile, volunteerism is still a new phenomenon and only popular among certain youth groups, China Daily reported.

To solve the problem of transparency among Chinese charitable groups, the China Foundation Center has set goals to make Chinese philanthropy more transparent. Their members are a mix of public and private foundations, including the Jet Li One Foundation.

For a comparison, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy reported, Americans donated an estimated $316.23 billion to charitable causes in 2012.… individuals gave $228.93 billion while corporations only gave $18.15 billion.

National Philanthropic Trust.org reported where the money went: “In 2011, the majority of charitable dollars [in the U.S.] went to religion (32%), education (13%), human services (12%), and grant making foundations (9%).

Another way to measure charitable giving is through volunteering—donating time and not money. In the U.S., 105 million people (ranked 1st in the world) volunteered time compared to China’s 44 million (ranked 4th). Then there’s the number of people helping strangers. China was number one with 283 million people, and the US was in second place with 178 million. [Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index 2012]

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


China Harnessing the Wind

February 12, 2014

China’s goal to go green in the Middle Kingdom moves forward due to the wind and the sea along China’s long coast, which runs about 9,010 miles or 14,300 km.

“China has the largest wind resources in the world, and three-quarters of them are offshore,” Barbara Finamore, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Beijing office, told Scientific American.

China has an estimated offshore wind power potential of more than 750 gigawatts, far greater than the country’s land-based wind potential of 253. Source: UPI.com

There’s an advantage having China’s government when it comes to creating green energy.  In the U.S., the first potential offshore wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts took nearly a decade for approval and still faces potential regulatory and judicial obstacles.

While the U.S. struggles to get clearance for its first offshore wind farm, the world’s largest offshore wind farm started producing energy in 2010 off the British coast, the London Array, and now produces 620 megawatts, which is enough electricity to heat about 500,000 British homes. (London Array)

In China, the first offshore wind farm is near Shanghai and started supplying power to the city in July, 2010 with 102 megawatts being generated today.  The second offshore wind farm is Jiangsu Rudong Inter-tidal Wind Farm generating 150 megawatts. Nine more offshore wind farms are expected to start construction in 2014; when completed it is expected they’ll generate more than 1800 megawatts of electricity. (Offshore Wind China)

Learn more about China Going Green

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

Subscribe to “iLook China”!
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

About iLook China

China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


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