First of all, the sale of uber-luxury items, should not be a metric which should get too much attention. It speaks more about the culture than anything. Indians are driven by Value For Money; even at the highest end. In India you will have uber-rich people in Mumbai travelling in the local trains. In China, "face" and looking good is important. Part of the reason is that concept of private ownership and wealth has gone around a full circle in the past six decades in PRC. Such kind of disruptions does alter the perspective of most people.
I think what chola is saying is very important. The size of the Chinese consumer economy is massive and gives them massive global leverage as the West declines. And they have achieved that by linking market access to investments in the sector making China the manufacturing global hub. It is a win-win for the Chinese worker, the Chinese consumer, and the multinationals. A big lesson for India.
I think the HSR debate is kind of pointless from the economic-political point of view. Thanks to the amount of graft in India, it is not surprising that Indians may forget that one role of the government is to fund and maintain this infrastructure
. The lesson to learn of course is that when it comes to investment dollars often the most flashy and highly visible projects, may not be the best investment which helps the most.
Regarding the economic viability of the HSR, think of it as a cost for CPC to stay in power. When compared to the size of the overall economy, a few billion an year spent in keeping it afloat, is peanuts. FWIW, The Rafael deal is supposed
to have kickbacked $2B to the G2 family....wrdos:
Politicians and governments have a very different role in India and China. In India politicians have been promising the moon for 60 years but only to get power. There are multiple parties, each with its own agenda. It clearly creates a lot of friction and distractions but thats the way India is.
It is very different from the CPC based structure, where there is a monolith, which though built from the ground-up, presents a unified face to the rest of the world.CWC:
In spite of all the hoopla preceding the games, the actual execution of the games was quite good. Things were delayed till 1second to midnight, but the final product was quite good; something which was grudgingly acknowledges by even the "White" critics of India who were hammer and tongs about the mismanagement. What was really bad was the amount of money siphoned off; the head of the CWC organization committee,did spend time in Jail for it
The interesting thing is that the politicians who were talking about Shining India lost the election. The Indian people who did not agree with the shining part, had the power to throw them out. While a lot here disagree with that decision, that is the way India works; multiple power centers each jockeying for power, but ensuring that everyone has a stake and a say in the decision making.Mumbai Better than Shangai:
That is a joke, even the most jingo Indian will laught it. The kind of rapid construction, and revamping which goes on in Chinese cities, is almost impossible to happen in India, especially in a city like Mumbai. Land prices and rents are among the highest in the world, and the government just can not take over land for cheap that has happened in the many parts of China.J10 vs the LCA
Again very different philosophies. In China there is a correct, and great focus on making sure the domestic arms industry becomes world class. If that requires accepting products which are not the best in class, it is an acceptable compromise. In fact it is the only option; since much of the world is unwilling to sell arms to China.
India on the other hand has access to most major manufacturers. As a result, the armed forces operate independently of the arms industry. A domestic product has higher hurdles to pass; the Arjun tank been a great example where it had to comprehensively beat the T-90 in tests to be accepted. And even then it is not ordered in the same numbers.
The same is true of the LCA. The IAF wants to be sure of its performance and weapon integration before they pay up for it. They know if they accept a product that is not up to their standards, they will be denied a foreign replacement which might fill the gap. So they will not fly it until it is near perfect, and that takes time.
This is very unlike the Chinese philosophy where just because the product is nor perfect, does not prevent its induction and usage; iterative refinement continues to make things better.
This is a tragic scenario, and speaks volume of the strength of the foreign lobbies, and the lack of a nationalist vision, something which India can certainly learn from China. The Chinese arms industry will beg, borrow or steal what it needs to progress; the Indian industry does not have the same philosophy. It does not attract the best talent. You can attribute that to a completely different way of looking at things, and a lack of urgency which I personally find unacceptable.
Incidentally wherever there is an embargo, the local industry is doing reasonably well and creating technologies which would compare with the best in class. Where there is a foreign option, the performance is much worse.
You should spend time in some other forums on BR, to get an idea of what Indians feel about various domestic issues. Coming from a society where confirming to the norm is a core foundation, the non-confirmity would be surprising.
Regarding the future: One thing is clear that the advantages which China enjoyed over the past decades in terms of the infrastruture build-out or the ultra-cheap wages are not going to propel her forward at the same rate as the past. The amount of debt accumulated in China due to the build-out is quite substantial and is likely to put a damper.
Also it is great that the Chinese workers are now getting wages much higher than what they used to get a few years ago. There is no point in having a society where one hand we have tens of thousands driving Audis, and on the other hand have tens of millions working 12 hour shifts, six days a week simply because it is best option they have. A more balanced distribution of wealth, will certainly help longer term stability and prosperity.
The rise in wages in China also provides an opportunity to other countries who lag China to get a bigger share of the global trade. What this means is that the GDP growth in China "should" slow down, to a more natural number, not inflated by huge amount of stimulus and infrastructure spending. I do hope that the Chinese people, and the CPC do not see as a threat but a natural consequence of growing up, and becoming big.