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Alternative Development or Alternatives to Development – I

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3 Responses

  1. A.J. Sutter says:

    I live in Japan, but I’m not sure what “Capitalism with Asian characteristics” is. Nor what is meant by “Asia.” Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, are all quite different from each other, and from India, for example. Can you elaborate?

  2. Tayyab Mahmud says:

    My use of the construct “capitalism with Asian characteristics” refers to the combination of private ownership of means of production with centralized state planning particularly by way of an elaborate industrial policy sutured with complimentary monetary, trade, banking and exchange-rate policies. First made famous by Japan and its Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), this model was later taken up by the so-called “Asian Tigers,” particularly, Korea and Taiwan. Today, China takes up important aspects of this model of development.

    Your caution against undifferentiated use of “Asia” and “Asian” is very well-taken!

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    Thanks. At least in Japan, certain industrial segments have advanced to the more globalized “capitalism with FU characteristics.” For example, many manufacturers threaten to export more jobs overseas unless the government reduces the corporation tax, liberalizes labor regulations, etc. — and then move jobs overseas anyway, even when the government complies. Some segments that can’t move offshore so easily, such as power companies, have undergone this evolution, too. While they remain close to government ministries — I’ve heard one knowledgeable speaker call TEPCO the “favorite son” of METI (the successor to MITI) — who is doing the planning for whom is less clear these days. TEPCO (known locally as TouDen) recently blamed the then-Prime Minister of Japan for causing “unnecessary confusion” by visiting the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant during the disaster. The Board of another kept him waiting over a weekend while they considered his “request” to shut their nuke down. The centralized state planning model may be quite transitory, not necessarily inherent to any region or country (Communist Party-dominated systems excepted — maybe).

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