Sunday, March 5, 2017

New York Times: Chinese Lawmakers’ Wallets Have Grown Along With Xi’s Power

The People's Republic of China, once a country adhering strictly to communist principles, today is a market-oriented mixed economy as is the United States. An economy where government and private ownership (capitalists) share in the production of goods and services.

However, in this system, government, politicians, and capitalists create a dependence on one another. The government becomes a plutocracy, explicitly oligarchical. It becomes corrupt with quid pro quos and insurances that certain politicians and legislation favor certain interest.

It’s inherent in capitalism.
Also inherent in capitalism is inequality. Capitalism creates great wealth and opportunity for the few while disadvantaging the rest. Capitalism is the cause of all the world’s problems. Among them, oligarchy, plutocracy, economic instability, war, hunger, and social disparity, particularly in healthcare and education. It’s the reason we have political parties and a divided country. It’s the reason we have an authoritarian, Donald Trump, as the President of the United States.

Capitalists, as “Mao once branded capitalists enemies of the Chinese people,” are the enemy of all the world’s people.

We need to change the system. We can make this a better place for all of the world’s inhabitants by evolving to a world without the need of money.

Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Xi Jinping are at the epicenters of a new global oligarchy that’s not just driving up prices of real estate in New York, London, San Francisco, and Vancouver but also entrenching itself politically around the world.

1. Trump has brought more billionaires into his administration than any administration in history. They include one of the richest men in the nation, Wilbur Ross, his new Secretary of Commerce, as well as Rex Tillerson, the new Secretary of State.

2. Putin, for whom Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration, is at the center of Russia’s own cluster of oligarchs who have extracted billions from Russia’s oil, gas, and financial sectors, and are tightly linked to the Kremlin.

3. Xi Jinping is at the center of the third cluster. As the Times reports, below, the combined fortune of the wealthiest members of China’s Parliament and its advisory body amounts to $500 billion, just below the annual economic output of Sweden. Among that group of 209 entrepreneurs and business tycoons, the 100 richest saw their net worth rise 64 percent in the four years since Xi took power.

These three clusters of oligarchs intersect. For example, Wilbur Ross is a major partner in the Bank of Cypress, which serves as a conduit for Russian oligarchic money; Ross just nominated to head the bank the former head of Deutsche Bank, who was just implicated in a Russian money laundering scheme. Deutsche Bank is also Trump’s largest known lender.

Tillerson is also close to Putin and Russia's oil billionaires.

Trump, Putin, and Xi pretend they represent the people. In fact, they represent the most powerful moneyed interests in the world today.

Among the delegates to China’s Parliament are, 
from left, Zong Qinghou, founder of 
the Hangzhou Wahaha Group; 
Lei Jun, founder of the phone maker Xiaomi;
 and Pony Ma, chief executive of Tencent Holdings. 
Credit Getty Images, Associated Press
By Sui-Lee Wee, march 2, 2017