learning from shenzhen?

Long time friend, Josh Kilroy directed me to a recent blog post by William Pesek, who argues that if Japan wants to fix the country’s economy, it should learn from China, or at least Shenzhen and set up a special economic zone. Pesek claims,

In 1980, Deng Xiaoping started China’s first special-economic zone in a coastal village that was nothing to look at. Today, Shenzhen is a teeming collage of huge skyscrapers, thriving industrial parks, 10 million people, one of the world’s busiest ports, and some of the biggest manufacturing and outsourcing industries anywhere…It’s the center of Chinese experimentation. There, officials can test what works and what doesn’t: which corporate tax rates offer the best balance of attracting foreign investment while filling government coffers in Beijing, which labor standards make the most sense, which corporate-governance standards are most advantageous, which immigration procedures are optimal, which regulations stay or go.

Why does this article distress me? In a nutshell, it distresses me because there is nothing in this statement that did not come directly from the propaganda that the SEZ churns out about itself and, even with that caveat, it teems (if I may) with errors: Continue reading