Financing the Middle Kingdom’s recent building boom has been expensive: Estimates put local government debt alone at between $800 billion and $2 trillion, or around 13 to 36 percent of GDP. If the real estate bubble pops, financial and social crises will follow.
I thought Republicans hated New York, the arts, giving, etc.
We just want to take art out of the public hands and ensure that there’s more control over whether or not the scatological and perverted arts receive funding over something with the sublime beauty of Richard Wagner.
I don’t know, I’ll take Serrano’s Piss Christ over Wagner’s antisemitic rants any day of the week.
But since you’re so into sublime German beauty I recommend Michael Lewis’s article on how shit jokes are high culture over there. Eh, don’t bother. It’ll just interfere with the confidence you have in forcing your narrow view of the arts on people you don’t seem to think are capable of judging for themselves.
By the 1960s, the communal, automatic soda fountain was a ubiquitous presence in Soviet grocery stories and eateries. The machines dispensed carbonated tap water: one kopeck for a glass of plain, three if you took it with a shot of syrup, all served in communal glasses.
In the last few years, cities’ efforts have helped government infrastructure and real estate spending surpass foreign trade as the biggest contributor to China’s growth. Subways and skyscrapers, in other words, are replacing exports of furniture and iPhones as the symbols of this nation’s prowess.
But there are growing signs that China’s long-running economic boom could be undermined by these building binges, which are financed through heavy borrowing by local governments and clever accounting that masks the true size of the debt.
Considering the size of China’s economy and the fact that its growth has been one of the few sources of buoyancy for the world economy in the last few years, a financial crisis precipitated by construction loans gone south (sound familiar?) would be a very bad thing for the rest of the world as well.
As frightening as that may sound, many analysts see no reason for panic—no imminent threat of an economy-collapsing banking crisis in China. That is largely because of Beijing’s $3 trillion war chest of foreign exchange reserves (much of it invested in United States Treasury bonds)
Unless the US defaults on its loans because of the debt ceiling squabble? Then the Chinese foreign reserves collapse? Then what?
By the way, I found this interesting:
Part of the problem may be incentives in China’s Politburo-driven economic system. Simply put, municipal officials in China keep their jobs and earn promotions on the basis of short-term economic growth.
So communism isn’t so different from capitalism, eh? Whether it’s the Politburo or Wall Street, everybody wants quick results.
Modern political leaders, even on our side of the Iron Curtain, feel strongly and express themselves eloquently against modern art….Because they don’t like and don’t understand modern art they call it communistic. They couldn’t be more mistaken.
Museum of Modern Art director Alfred H. Barr, Jr., “Is Modern Art Communistic?” New York Times Magazine, December 14, 1952
Ha. This is rich. At the same time that the CIA was spending millions of dollars to use modern art as a psy-ops weapon against the Soviet Union, the American public was apparently convinced that modern art was itself a Communist plot against the US. The notion was so widespread that the director of the Museum of Modern Art had to write a New York Times Magazine article to deny that modern artists had any affiliation with Communism.
I’ve known about Stefan Landsberger’s collection of Chinese propaganda posters for some time now, but a recent Gawker post on the sinking of South Korean warship Cheonan brought out comments from other fans of socialist-regime art. So, this is a handy compilation of links from that post: