Amy recalls her experience in China with the redistribution of wealth. She was born in 1952. Her brothers were born in 1948 and 1949. There was baby formula available from the US for her brothers, but for her there were less desirable options. She recalls coupons and rationing for food that would get “worse and worse”. She recalls that there were rich and poor before the CCP took over, but after the CCP took over, they began redistributing the wealth. There was a brief period when the poor benefited, but the supplies very quickly ran out.
When Amy was on the train to the re-education camp, traveling through the 10,000 mountains area, the train stopped at a station, but didn’t let anyone out. Then thousands of kids ran up to the train and started banging on the windows begging for food. Amy recalls that their poverty was so severe that there were grown up girls without clothes. Amy recalls being surprised to see such severe poverty when the propaganda had always said that those sorts of problems only happened in other countries. A few moments later, the Liberation Army showed up to chase the children away from the train. The experience was a real shock to Amy, just to realize that people in their country could be that poor.
At the re-education camp, the most loyal to the party poor farmers would talk to the camp internees. The camp buildings and land had been confiscated from a Thai chief and the former villagers.
Amy was assigned to speak to a Thai woman who spoke a little bit of Mandarin. Amy asked her how her life had changed before and after communism. She said that the reason she was classified as a poor farmer was that her village had been burned down and she had fled to a Thai village. The Thai village had accepted them, but they had no land. They worked for the local chief and eventually they were able to earn enough to rent some land to farm. The land in their area was very bountiful.
After the land was turned over to the CCP and the government commune took over all the land, the misery began. The rich peoples property was taken to give to the poor, but was actually given to the state. The communist officers called a daily roll call. You had to work even if you were sick. Two thirds of the produce was taken by the government. The farmers were left with only a 5 month supply of rice for the year. Formerly, there was enough to live on and life was good. Families took care of each other and had their own private gardens. After communism, you were not allowed to tend your own garden. Some of the locals made a Buddhist temple were they would place some extra rice for the poor. They were hung for stealing food.
Amy asks why the same land was bountiful and the people lived well, then they were poor. She suggests it was the redistribution of wealth.
In 1985, Amy’s family visited Hong Kong and she recalls being shocked by the amazing food at a market. She had never seen so much food and with no long lines. She remembers being amazed by the idea of a choice of different ice cream flavors. She says in China they “only had ice, no cream”.
Nan describes how some of the largest Chinese corporations are donating billions of dollars to help the poor. He suggests that the donations will actually be going to the government. The team discusses Jack Ma’s resignation from Alibaba, suggesting that it was a life or death decision.
Nan describes how Chinese business tycoons were forced to buy shares in government companies at fixed share prices.
Nan mentions that the same slogan “Common Prosperity” was used for major wealth distribution in 1956.
Dick mentions that John Kerry participated in a recent climate change meeting with Chinese officials. He suggests the meeting could not proceed until the US concluded that the virus did not originate in a Chinese lab. Dick and Billy discuss the money trail to gain of function research in China.
Nan asks how much longer the CCP will wait before all the international corporations in Hong Kong or corporations like Tesla and Apple in mainland China will face the same sort of “Common Prosperity” repercussions. Nan describes how the CCP considers their level of progress to still be “elementary socialism”, suggesting that the capitalist market economy was a supplement to their socialist progress and now they are moving past the elementary stage. Nan says it could happen tomorrow or ten years from now.
Billy asks about the disappearance of prominent celebrities and business people, concerned that it might be a sign that something significant is about to happen. Amy suggests that the propaganda storms are gathering. Nan suggests that the most scary part is that we don’t know. Amy suggests that the “Common Prosperity” programs are to ease domestic issues. She suggests that the intention is to redirect public discord toward foreign powers.
Amy describes how hard work was rewarded, which produced a lot of wealth, but the real estate situation has caused stagnation.
Nan suggests that the current program is to address social instability. He mentions that the CCP was in big trouble after Tienanmen Square, but they were rescued by Herbert Walker Bush. Amy suggests that there was some idea that China would become a good dog, but instead it became a wolf.
The team discusses the futility of negotiating on climate change, with a government that does not hold to its commitments.
Nan explains that the CCP’s interest is not to respect any financial systems or private wealth of individuals, but to gain access to technology and information. Amy asks if we will see the CCP asking Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerburg to step down?
Billy mentions the effects of the chip shortage on US Automakers and points out that Taiwan is one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world. He’s concerned by the possibility of the CCP’s takeover of Taiwan.
Nan feels that the US doesn’t seem to really care about China’s ambitions to usurp the US. He suggests our government doesn’t even think about the ways China gains from our policies and decisions. Billy suggests that the US has a history of not thinking about the future consequences. He point out that the US handed over control of the Panama canal and now China is building their own canal.
John wonders if China has enough domestic stability to be independent from the US market place. Nan suggests that China is seeking a leadership image globally, because they will no longer be able to rely on investment and technology theft from the West. He suggests that, the use of Chinese technology in Africa, Asia and South America will give the CCP substantial control.
Nan and Amy have a heated debate regarding the degree to which the Chinese people can be separated from their government.