Tuesday, March 20, 2007

China's poperty laws

Last Friday I read an article in the New York Times that talked about China enacting its first law to protect private property explicitly. This law gives individuals the same legal protection of their property as the state. This law may sound good but it does not give everyone the protection they need. It does aim to better protect farmers in the countryside from seizures, but it does not privatize the land they farm. This law mainly helps the middle class in the cities.

The protection of private property is one of Mancur Olson's conditions for prosperity. If China would protect the property rights of the farmers they might see unprecedented growth and would definitely have lower unemployment in the rural areas. The inequality of income between the cities and the country would begin to lessen. This inequality poses a threat to the country's stability. Giving the poor farmers property rights would help stabilize the country. The farmers would be able to use their land as a security and borrow and invest off of it making it more productive not to mention more efficient. It would be in every one's best interest (except for the communists) to move toward more privatization and protection of property rights. I think that China will see the benefits from this law rather quickly because they will see more private investment in the economy. China is taking steps towards capitalism though they might be baby steps they are still in the right direction.

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