I know this is a new addition of the series of articles comments on the recent government policy in China, which is treated a sensitive topics in China. Anyway, I do have something to say, although it may worth only 2 cents.
In an environment without check and balance, it is very common that people will choose the easiest way to solve complicated problems. Since there is no objection anyway, why bother looking for a better solution. Here are some examples.
One Child Policy
Too many people in the country and the population is too big?
Easy! Very couple only can have one child.
If it still does not work, maybe have none. The point is, I am not saying population is not a problem, but the current simple solution is at the cost of several generation’s freedom. Using education or social, economical, or other solutions to solve the problem takes time, and effort, and most important, wisdom (I don’t have a must-work solution), and the result maybe is not as good as current solution.
House Price Too Hight?
Easy! Just increase tax (doubled twice in the last year).
Still not working? Easy! No villa can be built (this policy was implemented last year).
Still not working? Easy! All developers cannot build large apartment. 90 sq. meters is the bar. Bigger house higher than this bar will be highly taxed, restricted, and 70% of the new house of any place must be 90 sq. meters or smallers. (I am not kidding here. These are the real policies issued this year).
Still not working? Still Easy! Ask the media to uniformly call those living in big houses as “bad guy”.
Still not working? Requires all the current developers to sell their house immediately after completion, and punish those who has completed house but don’t sell it. Now developers must sell the houses at the agenda set by the government but not market. (This policy came out last month).
Well. The basic logical problem here is, the government is controlling the high-price price of housing problem by reducing supply! Anyone knows little bit about marketing knows this is counter-effective. That is the reason the house price goes much faster after government reduces supply, wishing to cool it down.
Olympics is Coming but Too Many Cars!
Easy! Just ban half of the cars from going onto the road. Cars with odd plate numbers can only go out on odd days, and even numbers on even days. This really worked in Beijing since it is implemented from the last month. I suspect someone will say, “how about ban all private cars? That must be more effective to solve the traffic problem in Beijing”.
Someone likes dogs, and someone don’t. They argue and this is not harmony. This is very easy! Ban all dogs (some places kills all dogs), or charge ridiculously high price for a dog plate.
Death Toll in Guangdong’s Mine Factory?
Easy! Close all Mine Factories. Guangdong implemented last year, and it works great.
Group renting caused the environment of the residential area bad. Someone is complaining?
Easy! No-one without marriage can stay together, either same sex or opposite sex.
Air Security and Traffic Control is a Hard Problem to Solve
This is the most easiest one. No one in this country can fly their own private plane in the sky of his/her own country.
Is that Easy? Yes! Is it Efficient? Yes! But..
By listing all the problems and the easy answers government took to solve these problem, I am not complaining that we should not solve these problems. The problems like population, house price, transportation, victim of mines, dog issues, air security are all seriously problems that a government must solve. But the problem is whether the most effective way is the right way to do?
When I discuss these issues with my friends, they argue that “Are you saying that you keep the population going up, or you just do nothing when so many people dies in mines?” I don’t mean that, but be sure to consider some people’s interest although they are the minority in this society, and decision makers may think they “don’t represent the PEOPLE”. Think about the interest of those who want to have two children, who want to have a dog, who want to have a plane and fly, who want a cheap location to stay, who own a car and want to drive…
With the constrain of resources, there is always conflicts. To get rid of the other side of the conflict is so easy to implement, but I do doubt that will cause bigger and bigger problems in the future.
That’s easy? I don’t think it is easy.