Can Higher Wages Grow An Economy?

Around the world, China is increasing her presence as we speak.  As China grows her global presence in geopolitics and world economy, competitive countries such as the United States have to worry about the future in which China will have more influence in all things global.  If China is going to be too dominant and overtaking the United States in the influence of global affairs, the United States may have to find ways to cooperate with China.  If the future isn’t about the cooperation of the two biggest countries in the world in term of economics and raw power, then the future is certainly going to be very grim.  How grim?  Perhaps in such a grim situation, the grimmest outcome might be of a zero sum game.

I can’t imagine the kind of hell that a zero sum game is going to be waged by the two most powerful countries in the world in a nuclear age. The implication of such a zero sum game in our time is definitely scary.  If the United States and China are going to have a hot war in the future, both United States and China will force other countries to take side.  This means we might have a new world war if the two most powerful countries in the world are going to have a hot war.  Any sane person in my opinion would not want to witness a hot war between any two most powerful countries in the world, and so I think it’s very important for us humans to push for more cooperations to weed out the warmongers among us.  In order for one society to cooperate with another, we need to understand each other.  This means, the people in the United States need to understand more about China, and the people in China need to understand more about the United States.  I believe more cooperations between the two giants of the world can only bring more peace and prosperity to the rest of the world.  Most importantly, the cooperations between the two giants can also raise the quality of life for the people who are living in both countries (i.e., China and the United States).

In the video right after the break, professor Yasheng Huang gives a lecture on how capitalism has been developing in China, contributing to the huge growth of the Chinese economy that we’re seeing today.  I think his lecture is profound. In the lecture, he honestly points out hidden problems that are existing and may exist within China.  This means being a big country such as United States or China doesn’t mean big challenges are not there.  In fact, I think the bigger the country the bigger the problems are going to come out of the woodwork.

In the video, professor Yasheng Huang insists that personal income dictates the real wealth of a country.  He mentions how desperate a banker can become if regular people cannot afford to spend or buy house.  By this he implicates that the regular folks are the healthy roots that hold the strong economy together.  If regular folks cannot afford to spend on necessary things and housing, then businesses and housing construction have to slow down.  This means the bank institutions become poorer as people won’t have money to spend and deposit and businesses won’t have money to pay back loans and whatnot.  The real economy will decline if the everyday people cannot afford to spend on important things such as housing.

Personally, I partly agree with professor Yasheng Huang on the point that everyday folks with higher wages can grow the economy.  Nonetheless, I think professor Yasheng Huang needs to also lecture on how inflation can play a pivotal role in dictating the real strength of the personal income.  Inflation is very important in my opinion, because personal income can either be grander or weaker depends on the inflation.  For an example, one dollar can purchase a cart of lollipops yesterday but can only buy one lollipop today has great effect on how people spend their personal income to grow an economy.  In fact, I think a growing economy is the result of many positive economics factors, and the optimization of the balance of personal income and inflation is one of those very important, positive economics factors.  This is why I think China is not only wanting to grow her economy in quality and quantity, but she also wants to control her inflation in a way that it makes sense for everyday people in China.

Since we’re living in a global market, inflation can be exported and imported.  This means inflation policy in influential countries such as the United States can have great implication for the inflation in China.  Currency war is one of the tools that a country can use to import and export inflation.  If the United States imports inflation by weakening her currency exchange rate to promote export competitiveness, she can induce high inflation in China for China has accumulated United State’s treasury bonds over a trillion of dollars.  Simply put, if United States weakens her currency can induce China to mimic the United States’ inflation policy to keep China’s export market and United States’ treasury bond value up.

Nonetheless, weakening one own country’s currency to induce higher inflation means to weakening the personal income of everyday people.  I think currency war is going to hurt the everyday people a lot more in the end.  I know China knows this, and this is why we’re seeing China is gradually moving away from accumulating more treasury bonds from the United States.  Nonetheless, by doing this China can push the United States into hyperinflation as the dollars cannot find a home abroad.  More dollars will rush back to the United States, pushing the inflation to the unstoppable rate.  If this to happen, the United States economy will crumble as the everyday folks will not be able to utilize the dollar for purchasing whatever at a hyperinflation exchange rate.  Of course, the United States can reduce the inflation rate by buying up the treasury bonds herself and introduce higher interest rate, but this will make her already huge national debt harder to manage.  As right now, according to usgovernmentdebt.us website, United States’ national debt is at $18,176,295,505,000.  It’s a very hard situation for the United States to be in.

But can we really blame China?  China is also wanting to balance her inflation at a sensible rate that can help induce her own economic strength!  I don’t think there is an easy solution to the ever struggle between countries’ inflation import and export.  I guess in the end, it’s the local economy strength that helps a country to weather the inflation storm.  To fight insensible inflation rate, I guess a country needs to have strong employment and high personal income wages.  In the end, I think professor Yasheng Huang is onto something here, because I agree with professor on the importance of higher wages for everyday people.  Professor Yasheng Huang also emphasizes on the importance of building human capitals, but I guess you have to watch the video for the details as I’m going to end my blog post here.

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Per Capita Income Cannot Be Used To Compare How Wealthy A Country Has Become

I’ve seen some people used per capita income as an argument for how progressive an economy has been.  Nonetheless, these people could have been deluding themselves with this argument all along.  Perhaps, if they’ve known the truth, they might want to visit the past to wipe off their smirks on this very topic.  How come?  Per capita income is very distorted in my opinion.

Per capita income equation is PCI = TPI/P.  TPI is total personal incomes of everyone in a country and P is the population of a country.  So, let’s assume a fictional country A has 4 trillion TPI and the population of 80 millions, then the per capita income for the fictional country A is 50 thousands.  We can safely assume that this fictional country A has a high per capita income.  In a perfect world where a country has everyone makes the same amount of income per year, it means each and everyone in this fictional country has the ability to make 50 thousands (money) per year.

Some people like to use the per capita income to boast about one’s own country wealth and progressiveness.  Nonetheless, the simplistic per capita income equation doesn’t account for inflation.  Since inflation isn’t being included in per capita income equation, per capita income cannot really be used to compare the wealth and progressiveness of countries.

Why inflation is important?  Inflation is super important in an interconnected contemporary world like ours.  Countries are trading with each other a lot more so than ever before, thus each country relies on endless information that come out from other countries that are known as global trade partners.  Inflation is one of the important information that can help one country to assess a global trade partner’s economic stability.

Since inflation is important, we need to understand the simple concept which inflation represents.  According to my layman conception of inflation, inflation is a measurement of the strength of market prices according to supply and demand.  Although a currency for a country isn’t exactly meant to be a commodity in a market, but it’s too being affected by inflation.  Since currency is too being affected by inflation, thus inflation can measure the implicit innate price of a currency.

For an example for why inflation is an important measurement of a country’s economic stability, let’s assume a fictional country A got into too much debts and has lost the trust from global trade partners.  Since the fictional country A doesn’t have a stable economy and clean national budget, the global trade partners aren’t willing to lend the fictional country A some money, fearing the fictional country A cannot repay the future loans.  Since each country has different currency, thus there must be a conduit to allow the measurement of currency exchange to occur.  Once the conduit exists, each country can then use the currency exchange rates to decide how much a country’s currency is worth globally.  Let’s assume the fictional country A has lost the trust of global trade partners and can’t receive more foreign loans, the demand for the currency of the fictional country A is shrinking massively on a global scale.  Less demand for a country’s currency in the global market means the currency of such a country cannot be used effectively to bargain for global goods.  Since nowadays, all countries are relying on global goods than ever before, thus local inflation can now be imported and exported.  By this I mean although inflation can be used to measure the strength of prices for local goods and currency, but in the interconnected global world like ours inflation can also be used to measure the prices of goods and currency that are meant to be imported and exported for a country.  The fictional country A is going to have to adapt to high inflation since the demand for its currency is very weak globally.

High inflation means too much money is chasing after a product, thus weakening the strength of the money and strengthening the strength of the price of a product.  In the currency situation, high inflation means too much currency is chasing after a global trust.  If the world decides to not trade with the fictional country A unless the fictional country A uses some hard assets or whatever that is valuable to exchange with another country’s reserve currency for the purpose of foreign trades, then the fictional country A’s local currency has become totally useless for global trade.  This means high inflation for the fictional country A.  People who are living in the country A can make 50 thousands (money) a year, but their 50 thousands income cannot really afford them to buy goods abroad, because the local currency is too weak to have a fair exchange rate in the global market.  The fictional country A has to promise hard assets or whatever that is valuable to be traded with foreign loans (in a reserve currency) so the fictional country A can have some money to import global goods such as anything that needs to be imported.

In the interconnected world like ours, the fictional country A cannot be counted as a wealthy country, because its currency is too weak to be used as money for global goods.  With high inflation, the fictional country A’s per capita income becomes meaningless unless the fictional country A’s currency is the most valuable and sought after for global exchange and reserve currency purposes.