Sunday, July 10, 2011

Depends on what you want to develop

Robert Herbold (formerly of Microsoft) has written an opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal, entitled “China vs. America: Which Is the Developing Country?” One thing Mr. Herbold particularly likes about China is that country’s five-year plans:

In every meeting we attended, with four different customers of our company as well as representatives from four different arms of the Chinese government, our hosts began their presentation with a brief discussion of China's new five-year-plan. This is the 12th five-year plan and it was announced in March 2011. ... Can you imagine the U.S. Congress and president emerging with a unified five-year plan that they actually achieve (like China typically does)?

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the Second Five-Year Plan, also known as The Great Leap Forward:

However, the Great Leap Forward, which diverted millions of agricultural workers into industry, and the great sparrow campaign, which led to an infestation of locusts, caused a huge decrease in food production. Simultaneously, rural officials, under huge pressure to meet their quotas, vastly overstated how much grain was available. As a result, most of it was allocated to urban areas or even exported, while twenty million peasants starved to death.

Via Ace of Spades.

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