China Capitalism: FEAR IT? OR EMBRACE IT? DOES USA HAVE AN O
Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 05/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An excellent, informational 2-DVD set covering the Chinese people, business, politics, government, religion, and many other aspects that are all now revolving around commerce--world wide business. China is thickest with America. This program is educational but not only for schools. Business leaders considering, or involved with China on an economic level, need to view this in-depth series on "the PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC of CAPITALISM." States, cities, and any committee looking to encourage outside (China) investors, first watch this new Athena DVD, presenting Ted Koppel and his program seen early in 2009 on Discovery Channel.
Ted Koppel is perfect for presenting this topic as he spent so many years reporting on China when little was known. He was one of the first people allowed inside the country when it began to open it's doors. He has the first-hand knowledge, but also he went to Chongqing, a staggeringly fast-paced growing city based on industrialism and consumerism. The facts, the interviews of the people, and the growth-at-any-cost attitude will enlighten you, PERHAPS ADD A BIT OF FEAR.
Impact of Wal-Mart, Ethan Allen, Buick, Briggs & Stratton, Apple, and others is highlighted.
The current economic world crisis is another factor that makes this program so relevant. Major US business is going bankrupt, Americans are loosing good jobs, US economic growth is balancing between crash and recovery, while China is winning the commerce exchange by 4 or 5 times. Why is China/USA trade so lopsided? Can it be equaled? Can it be stopped? Who is really controlling economic trade so important to the American economy? The answers may surprise you. May scare you. Or, they could suggest that you jump into the frenzy with your own company.
A rising middle class, rich and becoming powerful, driving the Chinese economic forces, is a factor to be reckoned with. Having learned of, and sometimes tasted, the excesses of a better life, the young newly-rich class grows and persists toward ever-higher levels. This rags-to-riches rise is not unlike events of the United States in earlier decades. Here the ethics (or lack of) eventually brought about laws governing how business can legally be conducted regarding the safety and fairness of American people. These laws are few or nonexistent in the People's Republic. What exists can be bought off.
Made in China--let the buyer beware. Sell technology to China?: Let the buyer beware. So is the industrial/commerce exchange with China good for all American people? It sure is for China's huge population. Although lopsided trade exists now--can it be reversed or leveled? Listen to the Chinese answer (and non-answer) to that very topic in this DVD. Then decide.
The bonus interview with Broadcasting Hall of Fame member, Ted Koppel, offering his own opinions after making the 4 part series, is as educational and interesting as the series he created.
_____A bonus booklet provides highlights and questions for each episode, like: How is US/CHINA trade affected your 401(k)? Bibliography included for additional information, map, a PR of China map, and fun facts (like top-10 selling Chinese cars soon to be dumped onto the American market.) Chinese government knows of the auto industry impact on 20th century USA. They intend to make it happen there over the next few decades. US impact? World impact? Oil impact?
SUBTITLES available for the 4 episodes:
PART 1 Joined at the Hip
PART 2 MAO-ism to ME-ism
PART 3 The Fast Lane
PART 4 It's the Economy, Stupid
SUMMARY: Enlightening, Educational, Business oriented, Informative, Fantastic filming, In-Depth reporting, Brutally honest, Heart-felt look at China's poor, Corruption revealing, WELL WORTH THE PURCHASE."
P. Geng | The Second City | 07/26/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I rarely write reviews, but after watching all four episodes of this series, and reading the glowing review below, I feel the urge to say something. The 4-hour program was produced in 2008, sometime after the Sichuan earthquake and before the August Olympics. It claims to provide objective insight into China-US economic relationship. However, I felt the coverage and interviews were sentimental, even cliched. For example, much of the program dwells on the plight of an employed older American woman, whose factory job was outsourced to China. It dwells on the grievances of poor families who live in "nail houses," who refuse to vacate their homes despite a governmental payout. It dwells on the listlessness of young, uneducated, Chinese women who drift from one low-paying job to another, without a seeming way out of the cycle of poverty. Let me be clear. These tragedies are real. But I found myself reacting negatively to the way that the stories are told by Mr. Kopple, the host: his descriptions are almost Victorian in their emphasis on the hardworking, good nature of the workers, and the greed of the masters. Kopple also quotes briefly from the Bible early in the program. Was that necessary? How do such rhetorical flourishes enhance the viewer's understanding of the issues?
The central argument of the program is that China and US are "joined at the hip" (a direct quotation from the series). But most people understand this already. Thus, for those viewers who already have a sense of the inter-dependency between the two countries, the arguments will seem commonplace, even quaint. Had the program aired ten, or fifteen years ago, it might have been arresting.
Two years ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced a 4 part series called "China Rises." I recommend that documentary over this one. The investigative scope is larger and the human stories are presented in a more original (not to mention entertaining) way."
OUR FUTURE WITH CHINA - COOPERATION OR COMPETITION??
Loves To Read | Twin Cities, MN USA | 07/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine if the population of the U.S. quadrupled and the increase came mainly from rural areas and earned a fraction of what the rest of us earned. That would be something like the great contrasts that exist in China as it establishes itself as an economic superpower and the U.S. and China go forward, awkwardly 'joined at the hip', possibly irreversibly so. In this four part documentary Koppel takes a look at this complex love/hate relationship. We hate China when they take our jobs with their cheap labor but the same people who lost their jobs are the same ones (with millions others) who love shopping at Wal-Mart and other retailers with cheap, imported goods from China. We all probably know that but what doesn't seem to make the nightly news is the appetite the growing Chinese middle class have for high end 'American-made' products such as Ethan Allen furniture where the fabric and some components come from China, assembled here and shipped to China. Same is true autos. GM & Ford are flourishing in China and Asia. A Black Buick is a status car in China where 25,000 new cars are added to the highways EVERY DAY - 9,000,000 every year. 80% of Chinese car buyers have never owned an automobile. Think of America's love affair with the automobile back in the 1950's. The segment on auto insurance and how they handle the tsunami of accident claims is entertaining. Making money is the new religion in China. It comes before everything else - product safety, environmental concerns and even morality. In 2006 over 24,000 government workers were convicted of graft. While clearly many more goods come from China than are exported, our relationship is not as simple as the sound bites make it seem. Many American companies have established a very strong presence there and will benefit from the continuing growth of this amazing country and the seemingly unlimited potential of its growing middle class. To understand our future and the future of the planet, we need to understand China, both the good and the bad (huge environmental and energy issues, lack of political freedom). Will we compete or cooperate or both? This excellent documentary is a good beginning for those of us who are not experts."