The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show empty cities

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Brian Foley, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    The real reason why China built all these unused, unoccupied cities for millions is that is artificially increased their GDP.

    Many of these cities were built with ‘Stimulus Packages’ to produce work for a product no one needs.

    Another major part of China’s inflation problem is the price of food, which increased more than 11 percent in the past year. While some of this increase has to do with changes in international food prices, much of China’s problem is a function of increased agricultural wages. As has been pointed out elsewhere, the pull of higher wages in urban areas has left China with a depleted rural workforce. In some areas, this has led to a doubling of wages for farm laborers. Rising food costs indicate that these increased labor costs are being passed on to the Chinese consumer.

    The story you have not heard is that China is in worse shape than the USA.
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    With all this stimulus, they must be doing OK. I can't imagine that housing is unnecessary.
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  5. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Is it possible that the stimulus is distorting the real economy? I'm kind of shocked since I had read the the government only directs 33-34% of China's economy with the rest being private.
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  7. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    I say good for them- let them spend their American dollars building empty cities.

    They're a communist nation, right? Can't they just assign those houses to people?
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Isnt that just a way of saying...'I cant believe all that housing is empty'?
  9. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    They have to do something with all the money they printed to devalue their currency and boost exports.

    They remember what happened to Japan after signing the Plaza Accord...a lost decade.
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    it seems part of the problem was the restrictions on imports which weren't tied to currency - say like no importation of Michigan apples? Also, it didn't seem to dent the Japan's auto industry much as they continued to out compete the US.

    That aside, I'm still interested in IF governments can really stimulate the real economy - or even what the "real" economy is...
  11. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    It is not rare that a strong central government with un or lowly developed interior land will build new cities in the interior, especially if most of their productive population lives on the coastal strip. Brazil's capital, Brazilia is a case of this. The US used many "land grant" programs to develop its interior. "40 acres and Mule" and 100 mile wide land grants to railroad companies, being two still well remembered.

    What few appreciate is that currently the gretest mass urbaniztion in human history is taking place in China. It took the US nearly 100 years to transform its self from a nation that was 90% framers into one where less than 10% are farmers, but China is and will do this in little more than a decade.

    The government owns the farmland in China. The peasants living on it for many generations had the exclusive right to use it, but until about 3 years ago, could not rent it to any one else. Their tiny plots were not able to support all the next generations, so for more than a decade, at least million farm boys and girls migrated to the coastal cities each month seeking jobs. They were a steady supply of very cheap workers for China's growing export industries, quite willing to work 14 hour days basically for their meals in the factory's dinning hall and a bunk in the company dorm.

    Now about a million farm boys and girls (and often their parents too) each month have an alternative they are taking. They can lease "their" land. Large modern farms are replacing thousands of tiny inefficient plots. (China now gets more wheat / acre than any other country does!) They no longer migrate to the coastal cities. They have steady rent income and jobs available near their homes. This has made a sever labor shortage and closed many coastal factories. (Even with 30% increase in wages in 2010, FoxComm had to close two factories and relocate them to the interior.)

    The new interior jobs are often building the new infrastructure of modern China. 100 new cities for 1 million residents each in this and next 5 year plan, rapid expansion of the railroads, new power plants, new mines (for three years now China has been world's number 1 producer of gold) new airports, new schools, new hospitals and clinics, new sewerage systems, new subways, new high rise apartments in the new cities for the approximately 150 million former farmers to live and work in. etc.

    Yes this intensive rapid urbanization is not perfectly coordinated. Yes there are ghost towns NOW, but they will be needed soon. China is making new homes and jobs equal to all the homes and jobs in the US and in slightly more than a decade! -The greatest mass urbanization in human history!
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2011
  12. hardalee Registered Senior Member

    Why are so many cars in he parking lot and some on the streets as well as the boat wake on the water in the first picture?

    Second looks more deserted. Maybe they have parking garages.

    Just a thought.
  13. sifreak21 Valued Senior Member

    thats very odd hardalee look at the ammount of cars then look at the facility.. its like have 400 cars at a NFL stadium, this has been around for quite sometime now as one pic says over a decade, even if there was parking garages there is no people
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    Micael, there was recently an artical in the Sydney morning herald (from memory) about gerald harvy complaining people arnt buying his junk. why is it "good" for the public to constantly waste money on ever more dispoable junk which wrecks the planet and benfits noone in the end but its "bad" for goverment to use money to build houses and infustructure which even if its not in use now will actually get used (everyone knows chinas population is massive)?

    Thats what buggs me about the right, profits are all and social degrigation, enviromental distruction and just plain waste are seen as somehow good
  15. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    I found this to be an interesting article in relation to the 'empty cities'.

    China's Empty Cities Are Result of UN Agenda 21?
    Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – by Staff Report
  16. hardalee Registered Senior Member

    I assume, without proof, that someone is driving the boat in the lake. That is just one person at least.

    Also, who parked the cars?
  17. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Well there is one good thing about having a whole bunch of empty cities, if there was ever a major crisis in the country where the population gets displaced, they actually have somewhere to house them rather than just building a tent city.

    Also the cities are suggested to still have a population, just not a very big one compared to how many it could sustain. They are likely there as security and maintenance just to make sure it stays in a liveable state.
  18. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Your quote contained:
    "...the Chinese have now dropped any pretense of a market driven economy. The Chinese are "planning" the economy, and in a big way. ..."

    I don't think China has ever claimed to be totally market driven economy. In fact they are centrally planned economy for the basic infrastructure needs. This is their great advantage over the US which does approximate a totally market driven economy. I.e. they can and do undertake developments that take 15 or even 20 years to complete. In the US it is rare that Congress supplied funds for needed project if their benefit only comes after most of the congress men voting for it will need to stand for re-election with only costs and no benefits to point to in their election campaigns.

    But China learned for the USSR's disastrous attempt to centrally plan the entire economy. As far as the consumer economy goes, China is very much market driven economy.

    I.e. China has hybrid economy. Can make long term investment in development and yet let the invisible hand of Adam Smith make sure what the people need as consumption good are available in the market.

    I have posted some time go about my conversation with Russian economic student during a train ride in Hungry so will only tell one of her three summer job experience in a tomato canning plant. She sat at her work station that summer and read eight important English language books as the central planners had only order the cans (and forgot to order the associated lids) be made and delivered to her plant. Each day about 10 truckloads of tomatoes arrived at the plant. The plant manager signed for them, but told drivers to dump them in the town's trash dump.

    Often there was no toilet paper in the USSR's stores, and when some came it was quickly sold out (to then be distributed at higher prices in the black market, etc.)

    SUMMARY: Central planning of production of market place consumer goods is a disaster. Market place planning of long term infrastructure needs is almost as bad, especially if funded by Congress men who need to stand for re-election before any benefits are realized.

    China's hybrid economic system seems to be much better than either "pure system." - It is why they have had three decades of annual GDP grow at least three times higher than the US has had.
  19. Gustav Banned Banned

    i really wish these chinese stop burning coal
    20% to 30% of particulate matter hovering above los angeles is estimated to originate from china

    China’s problem has become the world’s problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides spewed by China’s coal-fired power plants fall as acid rain on Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo. Much of the particulate pollution over Los Angeles originates in China, according to the Journal of Geophysical Research.

    i think its time that the citizenry of the world made a stand against these types of willful negligence. lets head to the docks and protest

    China does have an army of amateur regulators. Environmentalists expose pollution and press local government officials to enforce environmental laws. But private individuals and nongovernment organizations cannot cross the line between advocacy and political agitation without risking arrest.

    At least two leading environmental organizers have been prosecuted in recent weeks, and several others have received sharp warnings to tone down their criticism of local officials. One reason the authorities have cited: the need for social stability before the 2008 Olympics, once viewed as an opportunity for China to improve the environment

    we must make contact.....

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  20. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    The USA is still burning a lot of coal to make electricity.

    The USA is a coal exporting nation

    The US is exporting coal to China.

    Increasing the USA will be exporting more Wyoming coal to China so that the Chinese can make the electricity required to make all the low cost products that China will sell to Americans who will use money borrowed from China to maintain their lifestyle of consuming low cost Chinese products.
  21. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

    Google Earth has imagery of Zhengzhou New District dated 2009, which shows crowded roads and parking lots.
  22. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Ironic, is it not?
    Exporting resources and jobs, contributing to pollution, yet expecting to gain by purchasing cheaply made goods, once again using fossil fuels to transport the goods to market in a nation of increasingly under-employed people, the USA.

    Meanwhile, we google seemingly unoccupied cities from space.

    Global economy defies conventional logic, being neither conventional or logical.

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  23. Gustav Banned Banned

    no worries, nirakar
    china by way of wyoming

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