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Saturday, September 7, 2019

A Strong State vs. The Market Mechanism in China

Under Marxist ideology, the Chinese economy was a command-and-control economy eschewing the market mechanism. Mao's collective farms provide us with a good example. The economy of the U.S.S.R., also Marxist, was based on production quotas and fixed prices. They changed by fiat rather than by changes in demand. State owned, or socialist, productive enterprises were given quotas based on the prior year's production (plus more). This push replaced that of producing more to sell more. Any hint of a market brought with it the stench of Capitalism. So one would suppose that China marked a significant departure when the government announced in 2013 that it would expand the range in which the yuan currency would float. Yet in 2019 in the midst of a trade tussle with the United States, the Chinese state demonstrated just how dominant the state still was relative to any market system.  

The full essay is at "Strong State vs. The Market Mechanism."