China is feeling the pinch:
Conventional wisdom held until recently that the Chinese economic juggernaut had “decoupled” from the world, that its consumer and export economy would remain buoyant as North America and Europe slid into the worst recession in memory…
Most industrial nations, facing “negative growth” in GDP in 2009, would be more than content with the 5 per cent to 6 per cent annual growth that the Chinese forecast for 2009. The quandary, however, is that China needs to maintain a growth rate of 8 per cent or more to absorb the influx of rural workers to urban industrial areas. Chinese universities are already thought to be graduating about one million more budding professionals than the anemic economy can provide jobs for. Despite the ruling Communist Party’s repressive ways, the first outbreaks of economy-related social unrest have not been in the West but in China, where laid-off factory workers have rioted in the industrial south and taxi drivers throughout the country have staged strikes and violent protests.
China’s big problem, of course, is that the people won’t be given a chance to throw the bums out like we just did.
Not peacefully, anyway.