Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The 4-2-1 Model

[Ferret is sitting at a bar, talking shit with Hummingbird. She is at least six drinks in on the night, and as usual, engages in manic, frenetic conversation:]


Do you know about the 4-2-1 model?


The what?


The 4-2-1 model. It’s an idea about China and shit, man.


What is it?


[gesticulating wildly with her hands as she speaks]

Okay, so you’ve got the Chinese grandparents here, and there’s four of them. And then they can only have one kid each, so there’s two, and they put all their money into them, getting them a good education and nice living standards and stuff. And they’re all Chinese so they save lots, you know? So then these two parents now only have one kid, and they benefit from all this wealth and stuff, you know?


So each generation is exponentially richer than the last because all of their resources can only be poured into one kid?


Yeah, basically. You see, and that’s why there’s a huge market for anything in China. There’s just such a wealth of money here. Especially in Shanghai. You can sell anything you want here. You know?


Yeah, I guess so.


I wonder about this model for a society in a state where negative population growth results in a sharp rise in per capita incomes. Books like A Farewell to Alms suggest that the Black Death in 14th century Europe was a contributing factor to the advent of the Renaissance.

What? Will the policies of China’s authoritarian regime accomplish what a lethal bacterium did centuries ago? Are we at the beginning of a Chinese Renaissance?

posted by ferret at 2:08 am  

Powered by WordPress