sunnuntaina, tammikuuta 30, 2011

Markkinoiden vapauttaminen - case Kiina

Markkinoita kritisoidaan nykyään mm. Afrikan köyhyydestä, ilmastonmuutoksesta ja talouskriisistä. Kritiikki on useissa tapauksissa täysin kohtuutonta.

Toki markkinoiden vapauttaminen epäonnistui 90-luvun alussa dramaattisesti ainakin Venäjällä ja johti kansallisomaisuuden uusjakoon muutamille ns. oligarkeille. Mutta markkinoiden vapauttaminen Kiinassa oli taas maailman kaikkien aikojen suurin onnistunut köyhyyden vastainen operaatio.

Ero Venäjän ja Kiinan markkinoiden vapauttamisoperaatiossa oli lisäksi se, että markkinoiden vapautus ja yksityistäminen alkoi Kiinassa alhaalta ylöspäin yksittäisten kylien talonpoikien toiminnan tuloksena. Yksityistäminen - kollektiivien purkaminen - oli laitonta ja kyläläiset toimivat salaa. Yksityistäminen alkoi vuonna 1978 ja levisi pian ensimäisestä kylästä toiseen. Valtiovalta rankaisi aluksi yksityistäjiä kuin mitäkin rikollisia mutta tajuttuaan yksityistämisen suuret hyödyt Kiinan johto hyväksyi tapahtuneen 1982 ja lakkautti lopelta kansankommuunit kokonaan vuonna 1984:

John McMillanin Reinventing the Bazaar: The Natural History of Markets kertoo:

China’s agriculture switched from collective to individual production in the late 1970s. The marketization of agriculture lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of dire poverty. It was the biggest antipoverty program the world has ever seen....

Desperation had hit the farmers of Xiaogang village in China’s Anhui province by 1978. The commune on which they worked collectively was dysfunctional. Known as the granary of China, Anhui contains some of the nation’s most fertile land. But Xiaogang’s twenty families were not producing enough rice to feed themselves. They had been reduced to relying on begging in other regions. In years of unfavorable weather they starved. Fearful of being arrested, the villagers met secretly and agreed to parcel out the communal land among themselves. They made a three-part resolution. First, as they were flouting government policy, the contracting of land to individual households was to be kept strictly secret; it was not to be divulged to any outsider. Second, they would continue to deliver the stipulated amount of rice taxes to the state. Third, if any of them were jailed, the others would raise their children until they were eighteen years old. They signed the pact with their thumbprints. A rapid turnaround followed. The farmers of Xiaogang immediately became more productive. “Now is different from the past,” one said. “We work for ourselves.” Working their own plots of land, they could see a direct link between their effort and their rewards. Any of their output beyond what they owed the state they now retained to use for themselves or to sell. The amount of land planted in rice nearly doubled in one year, and the village began producing a rice surplus. As a farmer said, “You can’t be lazy when you work for your family and yourself...

Provincial Communist Party officials visited the village and gave their blessings. Then a high-level Beijing official traveled to Xiaogang and neighboring villages to study the effects of individual farming. His report, which concluded that individual farming increased output and improved living standards, became influential when it was circulated among the national leaders. At a Communist Party conference in 1982, four years after the Xiaogang villagers’ meeting, China’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping endorsed the reforms. In 1983 the central government formally proclaimed individual farming to be consistent with the socialist economy and therefore permissible. By 1984, just six years after Xiaogang started the movement, there were no communes left....

Ennen yksityistämistä talonpoikien insentiivi tehdä työtä oli alhainen ja yksityistäminen johti valtavaan tuottavuuden kasvuun. Ensin maataloudessa. Maatalouden tuottavuuden kasvu johti työvoimaresurssien vapautumiseen. Kyliin perustettiin tehtaita ja ylijäämätyövoima pääsi niihin töihin:

The missing incentives translated into low output. Agricultural productivity was actually lower in 1978 than it had been in 1949, when the communists took over.

Whereas in the commune system decisions were made by the collective leadership, in the new system farmers were free to decide what crops to grow and what animals to keep. Farmers experimented with new seed varieties and began to plant a diverse range of fruits and vegetables. As one farmer said, now “everyone uses his brain.”Read more at location 1908.

Between 1978 and 1980, the prices the farmers received rose about 30 percent. Food production grew by over 60 percent between 1978 and 1984. Farmers’ incomes grew by 20 percent each year over this period. This growth was the direct result of the introduction of market incentives.Read more at location 1912.

The agricultural reforms led to a transformation of the rest of China’s economy. The increase in productivity freed labor and capital to be moved into industrial production. Rural factories were set up at a rapid clip, creating employment for people who otherwise would have been underemployed as farmers. By 1989, a decade after individual farming started, almost one-fourth of the rural workforce was working in industry.Read more at location 1919.

National income per head of population grew at a rate of over 8 percent for more than twenty years, meaning that the average person’s income quadrupled.Read more at location 1923.

The number of rural poor, according to World Bank data, fell by 170 million in the brief period of the six years from 1978 to 1984.

Kirja kertoo myös hauskan yksityiskohdan länsimaisten ihmisten naiviudesta. Näyttelijä Shirley MacLane oli käynyt kulttuurivallankumouksen aikana Kiinassa ja "tutustunut" monen länsimaisen taiteilijan ja tiedemiehen kanssa kiinalaisten elämäään:

Visiting a remote village, MacLaine met a white-bearded scholar, who told her that he felt much happier and more fulfilled on the commune, toiling in the fields from dawn to dusk growing tomatoes, than he used to feel working in a university. The scholar’s affirmation had deeply moved her, MacLaine earnestly recounted. Deng, who had himself been forced to work for a time on a commune, patiently let her finish her tale. Then he dryly responded, “He lied.”

Tiedemiehet menivät tietenkin myös halpaan - jopa taloustieteilijät:

Chairman Mao Zedung’s admirers in the West during the 1960s and 1970s liked to point to China’s communes as a new and better way of organizing life. The communes were, supposedly, humane workplaces in which concern for one’s neighbor replaced the rapacity of the market. Visitors to China would return home proclaiming the communes a triumph. Joan Robinson, a famous Cambridge University economist, asserted that as a result of “the appeal to the people to combat egoism and eschew privilege,” China was economically successful. “Peasants are taught to feel that they are working for the nation, for the Revolution and for all the oppressed people of the world, but they are clearly and obviously doing good for themselves at the same time.”9 Robinson wrote her fulsome assessment of the communes in 1976, just two years before the Xiaogang peasants, who really did know what it was like to live on a commune, risked arrest to disagree.

Yksityistäminen alhaalta ylöspäin tapahtui siis aivan samalla tavalla kuin tyttöjen ympärileikkauksesta luopuminen Senegalissa. Instituution muutos alkoi pienen ryhmän yhteistoiminnan tuloksena ja levisi ryhmästä ryhmään. Lopulta valtio lakkautti ja illegalisoi aikaisemman käytönnön.

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