Shenzhen was a fishing village

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pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

Successful economic strategy today must therefore include strategic city-level investments to absorb the masses and catapult societies into modernity. SEZs have proven to be enormous catalysts for connectivity and growth across underdeveloped countries. In 1979, Deng Xiaoping designated Shenzhen, then a fishing village north of Hong Kong, as China’s first special economic zone. Since that time, Shenzhen has grown into a thriving international hub of fifteen million people with a per capita GDP a hundred times larger than three decades ago.3 That same year, Mauritius opened its first textile SEZ and launched itself on a 6 percent growth path and all but eliminated unemployment.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile

For decades it was a sleepy rural outpost, a green suburb in the New Territories of the former British protectorate of Hong Kong, the site of the last station on the old Kowloon-Canton Railway (today known as the MTR East Rail Line, a branch of Hong Kong’s subway) before you entered the People’s Republic of China. Shenzhen, across the river, was a placid, picturesque fishing village. Between 1949 and 1979, the only legal way to cross this border was to hike over the small bridge at Lo Wu. Then, in the 1980s, China designated Shenzhen a Special Economic Zone, and Guangdong province, in which the city is located, became a haven for factories. By June 30, 1997, when the British handed Hong Kong back to China, Shenzhen was poised to challenge the capitalist city to the south.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

pages: 459 words: 103,153

Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure by Tim Harford

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Andrew Wiles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, charter city, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, Deep Water Horizon, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fermat's Last Theorem, Firefox, food miles, Gerolamo Cardano, global supply chain, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Martin Wolf, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Netflix Prize, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, PageRank, Piper Alpha, profit motive, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, rolodex, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the market place, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, web application, X Prize

It is just such a formula that Paul Romer is now promoting. There is plenty of evidence that charter cities could work in today’s world. There’s Singapore, long a successful independent city state off the coast of Malaysia; Hong Kong, for many years a British enclave on the South China Sea; more recently, Shenzhen, thirty years ago a fishing village not far from Hong Kong, now a city to rival Hong Kong itself after being designated China’s first ‘special economic zone’. Beyond South-East Asia, Dubai has proved – property bubble notwithstanding – that one can build a successful city anywhere. What all four cities have in common with Lübeck, along with their coastal settings, is that they have been governed by different rules from surrounding areas.


pages: 411 words: 114,717

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population

Rising population helps drive growth when people are moving to higher-paying and more productive factory jobs in the cities, not languishing in farm regions. In China twenty-three cities have grown from a population of one hundred thousand to more than a million since 1950. These include some of the most dynamic urban areas, such as Shenzhen, which was a fishing village as recently as the 1970s. India has only six cities in this explosive growth category, and a more aggressive effort to encourage urbanization might have boosted India’s long-term growth rate to double digits. None of this seemed to matter too much to India’s policy makers, who until recently were supremely confident that their country would become the fastest-growing major economy this decade.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

Abandoned by many of their shadowy clients, ambitious companies like Casey’s are learning to innovate instead. Both stories begin in Shenzhen. Liam Casey arrived in 1996, a few years after paramount leader Deng Xiaoping declared “to get rich is glorious” while passing through the city on his farewell tour. Deng is the father of Shenzhen, having chosen this sleepy fishing village as the first of China’s “special economic zones” in 1980. Foreign firms were invited to open shop here with few constraints or taxes, triggering the transformation of the Pearl River Delta into “the factory of the world” and Shenzhen into the “Overnight City,” having grown two-hundred-fold since then.

The combination of these clusters and air cargo created a feedback loop carpeting the Delta with factories capable of supplying the entire world. Nearly a third of all the magnetic recording heads at the heart of your hard drive and a sixth of all keyboards are made in the city of Dongguan, just up the road from Shenzhen. Twenty years ago, it was another fishing village; today it’s larger than Chicago. These instant megacities were inevitable. They didn’t have to happen here—they did because Deng and his successors willed them to—but they would have sprouted somewhere. The economics make too much sense. Research by the World Bank suggests the reason China’s megacities have grown so big, so fast is that the returns to scale have grown so massive.


pages: 310 words: 34,482

Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn

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3D printing, A Pattern Language, additive manufacturing, air freight, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, c2.com, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dumpster diving, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, future of work, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Mason jar, means of production, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, Oculus Rift, patent troll, popular electronics, Rodney Brooks, Shenzhen was a fishing village, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, software as a service, special economic zone, speech recognition, subscription business, telerobotics, urban planning, web application, Y Combinator

I’ve just been on an extended business trip since then, hanging out here, working in the market, and building things. I’ve been in cities with big electronics markets like Tokyo and Seoul, and the difference between what I see here and anywhere else is that this place is built to do business. This place is built to get things done. Thirty years ago, there was no Shenzhen. It was a little fishing village just across the border from Hong Kong. Now it’s a city of ten to twenty million people, depending on how you count it. And this has all grown up around the Special Economic Zone that China designated for manufacturing. It’s a very, very special place. There’s nowhere else in China like this.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

One of the surprises about China’s top-down approach to development is how much freedom Beijing granted to its lesser cities to take advantage of their location, even to commandeer land or funnel bank loans into building projects. This was authoritarian-style development but with power dispersed to the local level. Shenzhen was a Pearl River fishing village before 1979, when Beijing turned the area into one of China’s first experiments in opening to foreign trade and investment. The resulting boom lifted neighboring Dongguan and Zhuhai, which along with Shenzhen are three of China’s fastest-growing cities. In fourth place is Yiwu, an inland city in Zhejiang province that has prospered as the eastern terminus of the longest cargo railway line in the world, connecting China to Madrid.


pages: 389 words: 98,487

The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor, and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car by Tim Harford

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Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, collective bargaining, congestion charging, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Akerlof, invention of movable type, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, new economy, price discrimination, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, random walk, rent-seeking, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Shenzhen was a fishing village, special economic zone, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, Vickrey auction

Over half of all investment into China in 1990 came from the tiny country of Hong Kong, while Japan and the United States together supplied only a quarter. Further, almost half of all investment arrived in Guandong; Fujian was the second largest recipient. The city of Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong, was a fishing village in 1980 when it became a special economic zone. Twenty years later property developers were pulling down skyscrapers mid-construction to start building bigger skyscrapers. The Chinese say, “you’ll think you’re rich until you set foot in Shenzhen.” Unfair and arbitrary as they were, the special economic zones worked well at attracting investors without turning the entire Chinese mainland upside down.


pages: 598 words: 172,137

Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mortgage debt, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K

Wal-Mart Sets Up Shop in Shenzhen, South China’s “Miracle City” China was a gold mine for Wal-Mart. Like other U.S. multinationals, it set up shop in China big-time, with headquarters in Shenzhen, the miracle city that embodies China’s breathtaking explosion of economic growth since 1978. For centuries, Shenzhen had been a sleepy little fishing village just across Kowloon Bay from Hong Kong. Then in 1978, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping proclaimed a new strategy of economic reform. He blessed private farming, free markets, and an “open door” to world trade. He named Shenzhen a customs-free zone for trade—a springboard for China’s export strategy to the West.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

China’s urban population catapulted from about 200 million to almost 400 million people in four short, hectic years of transformation.48 China’s next urban boom began after 1992: Deng Xiaoping embarked on his historic Southern Tour of China’s southeast coastal region (during which he may have proclaimed, “To get rich is glorious”), solidified pro-market reforms as Communist Party dogma, and prompted an export-driven expansion that lured rural labor to the coast. Shenzhen, on China’s Pearl River Delta, became the modern-day Seville. A fishing village of some 10,000 people during the 1970s, it was anointed a Special Economic Zone in 1979 and reached 2.5 million inhabitants over the next decade. After the Southern Tour, growth leapt into a new gear: by the year 2000, Shenzhen’s population topped 8 million and by 2015, 10 million (or 15 million, counting migrant laborers).49 The story was repeated in dozens of other places, so that today over half of China’s population—nearly 800 million people—lives in its cities.50 In one generation, almost half a billion people—equal to the present population of the European Union—relocated.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

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Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, BRICs, British Empire, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, computer age, Corn Laws, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, European colonialism, experimental economics, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, greed is good, Howard Zinn, income per capita, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Economic Geography, New Urbanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, V2 rocket, very high income, working poor, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

Some still do, often on anti-bourgeois grounds taught to them by the clerisy after 1848. By adopting the respect for deal-making and innovation that Amsterdam and London pioneered around 1700, the modern world was born. Dignity and liberty still work. The special development zone of Shenzhen in mainland China, a suburb of Hong Kong, went from being a small fishing village to an eight-million soul metropolis in two decades. Such a feat required a shift in rhetoric: stop jailing millionaires and start admiring them; stop resisting creative destruction and start speaking well of innovation; stop over-regulating markets and start letting people make deals.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

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additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, Kibera, megacity, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

The Shenzhen plant feeds off dozens of local component manufacturers, like Delta, which employs 20,000 young workers in nearby Dongguan and is the world’s largest manufacturer of adaptors and capacitors for computers and mobile phones. And Hua Tong in nearby Huizhou, which makes Nokia’s circuit boards. Like Foxconn, both are Taiwanese companies. Shenzhen is a city literally made by mobile phones. Twenty-five years ago it was a fishing village surrounded by rice paddy. Today it is an urban sprawl of 12 million people – twice the size of Hong Kong – and stretches for 100 kilometres along the east bank of the Pearl River to Dongguan. I met a man who had been resident for eighteen years in Shenzhen.