Snow in China

Recent weather problems in China have caused over $3 billion in damages in what appears to be the worst winter weather in decades. Many people are trying to get home for the Chinese New Year celebration, and 500,000 people have been left stranded in one train station. The travelers are upset, but who can you blame when it's weather that's the problem? Leaders have been in damage-control mode and are doing their best. Will the Chinese economy fall apart under this crisis, or will it unite the people and create more economic activity?


Dr. Tufte said...

This bears watching. A sign of development is how well a country deals with natural disasters.

Of course, this is China. How will we know what the actual outcome was?

Trinity said...

Dr. Tufte said "Of course, this is China. How will we know what the actual outcome was?"
To what problem in China were you referring? I'm aware that data collection there is not great and the government shields unfavorable data from the press. Are these the problems faced or are there others to which you're referring?

Gavin said...

Extra Credit - Dr. Tufte
Dr. Tufte suggested that a sign of development is how well a country deals with natural disaster. The level of response to disaster throughout the Untied States varies. Does this suggest that some regions of the country are less developed?

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I think that China has shown many growing strengths. They have been able to turn around their whole economy. And I believe with their hard working competitive character they will be able to manage and get through this.

Reagan said...

Dr. Tufte asked the question, "How will we know what the actual outcome was?" It's been several months since China experienced the winter storm disasters and I wanted to see if I could find any information on the aftermath. In early March the Chinese government released information that the storms cost their economy $15 billion dollars, damaged over 350,000 homes and destroyed over 90,000 square miles of farm land. It took 3-4 weeks to restore power and home repairs and rebuilding will go one for the better part of 2008. They also stated that insurance companies were processing claims quickly and the recover efforts where moving as good as could be expected. If you can trust what the Chinese government is reporting then it seems that China is becoming a more developed country.

TheFindlay said...

Dr. Tufte
I applaud your communist skepticism; I just hope it is twice as bitter against Russia. Anyway,if a country is developed when they can effectively deal with natural disasters what do we say about the Katrina recovery time? I think China and her billions of people will be able to figure it out. We can always look at this as Mother Nature’s way of population control.

Jacques said...

Dr. Tufte suggested that we may not know what the actual outcome might be. I too wasn't sure what was meant by this, but I'll take a shot. I think in the case of the resilient US, when we are faced with a natural disaster, even such as bad as Katrina, we can all have confidence in the ability of our economy to sustain itself in the long run. China with its Marxist propensity to attempt to control everything might ultimately regulate itself into a shambled economy.

I am not suggesting the management of the Katrina crisis was at all well executed though; I don't think anyone could.

Dr. Tufte said...

Gavin - yes, I am suggesting exactly that.

Reagan! Nice effort!