Like Tree86Likes

China Bullet Train Derails

Closed Thread
Page 5 of 26 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 13 ... LastLast
  1. #41

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,905

    Bribery is also officially illegal in China and many other developing countries and people have been put to death for corruption.

    It's pretty ridiculous to say that bribery in the West gets uncovered because it's illegal. Some of it comes to light, sometimes it's swept aside or a scapegoat gets the brunt of the blame and no doubt there's plenty that also goes unnoticed just like many other crimes.

    Just because the US currently manufactures for more dollars than any single country doesn't necessarily mean that the West has shifted a lot of it in developing countries. Vehicles, pharma and raw materials will likely stay in place.

    For many companies, the whole point is to escape the rules and regulations and take advantage of the fact that corruption allows for this in some countries whereas in most western countries, it is now too difficult or costly to operate. Certainly lower wages is usually the biggest factor. Corruption is about opportunity and risks, not about race or nationality. No one is inherently morally superior, the environment often shapes the behavior.

    I've seen many people behave in very different ways when put in vastly different environments and morality becomes a very shifty concept.


  2. #42

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Back in California (finally!).
    Posts
    2,079
    Quote Originally Posted by gilleshk:
    Bribery is also officially illegal in China and many other developing countries and people have been put to death for corruption.

    It's pretty ridiculous to say that bribery in the West gets uncovered because it's illegal. Some of it comes to light, sometimes it's swept aside or a scapegoat gets the brunt of the blame and no doubt there's plenty that also goes unnoticed just like many other crimes.

    I've seen many people behave in very different ways when put in vastly different environments and morality becomes a very shifty concept.
    Perhaps I should clarify...in my comment about the Western 'bribery' being uncovered I was referring to the cases of Westerners bribing officials in other countries. Specifically, the US has something called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that makes paying foreign bribes illegal (even if it is supposedly accepted practice in the foreign country) and has prosecuted companies and individuals under that statute. I wasn't commenting on bribery in the West itself, which is certainly common, although I hope you would agree, as you seem to, that it is in no way as endemic in the 'rich' world as in the developing or middle-income world.

    It is true that China occassionally prosecutes and punishes corruption, but the sheer scale of even what is known is pretty amazing. However, prosecution is patchy and appears to happen only when a very public figure is involved in a public tragedy resulting from said corruption (e.g., the tainted-mild scandal). It is my contention that this sort of corruption is inseparable from a system where one group of people hold all of a nation's political and economic power, and where there is no opposition or free press motivated to expose the wrong-doings of the other side.

    In short, corruption florisihes in China because it can; in fact, because the system in China makes corruption inevitable. That is not to say that the Chinese are any more corruptable as individuals as people elsewhere.
    Last edited by Freetrader; 24-07-2011 at 02:32 PM.

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Central
    Posts
    725

    Hmmm how much does the average China government official get paid a month?

    I would guess its probably less then 2 grand USD.

    Now put this guy in a position where he oversees millions/billions of dollars, then things like corruption/bribery are very tempting.

    Hong Kong was exactly like this in the 60's until the formation of the ICAC and the higher compensation for government employees.

    It's like getting a fat kid to watch the candy store and you will give him a bar of chocolate.


  4. #44

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Back in the US of A, home of the free...
    Posts
    862

    Well one high level guy I know gets paid about 8KRMB a month, his housing is free, his car is free, his food is free, his kid's tuition to PKU is free. At the end of the year his bonus is about 280 to 200K RMB.

    He says there is no need to take money, I have everything I need. To him its not worth it unless its 100 Mil USD or more, then he would consider it.


    Quote Originally Posted by aliendavid1:
    Hmmm how much does the average China government official get paid a month?

    I would guess its probably less then 2 grand USD.

    Now put this guy in a position where he oversees millions/billions of dollars, then things like corruption/bribery are very tempting.

    Hong Kong was exactly like this in the 60's until the formation of the ICAC and the higher compensation for government employees.

    It's like getting a fat kid to watch the candy store and you will give him a bar of chocolate.

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,151

    I think as long as there is an attitude that bribery is acceptable, and a way of getting things done, then bribery will continue. I don't think this is directly related to income level.

    When society's attitude to bribery is that it is unacceptable, then the person in a position of responsibility, whether it is at a high level ensuring that the correct kind of escalators are installed in train stations or that fail safe equipment is used on high speed train lines, or at a lower level meaning that train tickets are sold through ticket offices and do not disappear through the back door, will just do their job for the salary they are owed. Bribery will not even be a consideration. China is not at that stage yet.


  6. #46

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5,112
    Quote Originally Posted by HongKongFoot:
    Well one high level guy I know gets paid about 8KRMB a month, his housing is free, his car is free, his food is free, his kid's tuition to PKU is free. At the end of the year his bonus is about 280 to 200K RMB.

    He says there is no need to take money, I have everything I need. To him its not worth it unless its 100 Mil USD or more, then he would consider it.
    Is that the norm however? Salary, benefits and other form of compensation varies alot in China between and within private and public sector. Many Chinese official's salaries are pretty low yet they drive a Mercedes S class or live in a nice premium condo. In some cases, those are legit perks in their jobs, but the line between "proper" benefits and potentially corrupted practices and gifts aren't always as clear-cut in China. For a vast bureacracy like the Chinese railway ministry I suspect not everyone is so satisfied with their pay cheque...

  7. #47

    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,680
    Quote Originally Posted by drumbrake:
    If there was a total power failure, why didn't the second train also stop?
    The power failure was said to be in the first train and ironically (in a sad way) the lightning also caused the electronic safety measures to fail that would have warned and stopped the following train. But expect details to come out later, it's too early to know the exact cause and sequence of events.

    Quote Originally Posted by shri:
    US and European rail infrastructures are old and under-maintained. One expects a little bit more from what is probably the most financially powerful country and not to mention, oh-so-proud of its achievements.
    European railways are far more modern than the US, especially the high speed railways. In which case we should actually exclude the US from the comparison since it doesn't have any.

    And just for the record, there have been high-speed rail accidents in Europe, too, in particular the one involving the German ICE in 1998 that killed more than 100 people, which also happens to be the world deadliest high-speed railway crash so far.

    Sure you will.
    Last edited by Raccon; 24-07-2011 at 07:11 PM.

  8. #48

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,905
    Quote Originally Posted by Freetrader:
    Perhaps I should clarify...in my comment about the Western 'bribery' being uncovered I was referring to the cases of Westerners bribing officials in other countries. Specifically, the US has something called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act that makes paying foreign bribes illegal (even if it is supposedly accepted practice in the foreign country) and has prosecuted companies and individuals under that statute. I wasn't commenting on bribery in the West itself, which is certainly common, although I hope you would agree, as you seem to, that it is in no way as endemic in the 'rich' world as in the developing or middle-income world.

    It is true that China occassionally prosecutes and punishes corruption, but the sheer scale of even what is known is pretty amazing. However, prosecution is patchy and appears to happen only when a very public figure is involved in a public tragedy resulting from said corruption (e.g., the tainted-mild scandal). It is my contention that this sort of corruption is inseparable from a system where one group of people hold all of a nation's political and economic power, and where there is no opposition or free press motivated to expose the wrong-doings of the other side.

    In short, corruption florisihes in China because it can; in fact, because the system in China makes corruption inevitable. That is not to say that the Chinese are any more corruptable as individuals as people elsewhere.
    There are plenty of countries that call themselves democratic that have levels of corruption similar or worse than China. One can think of India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Morocco and many others. Obviously a free press is helpful in uncovering excesses but when people have little to lose and a lot to gain, corruption is widespread.

    If the political elite is seen as corrupt and exploitative regardless of the way they get there, it also certainly encourages people to try to make their own lives better at all costs.

    In the US, police forces like the NYPD or Chicago were also famously corrupt only a few decades ago but wages increased and working conditions became much better bringing better people to do the job with a lot more to lose. It takes a couple of generations to change attitudes and ingrained behaviors. There's no way you can make serious inroads on corruption in a short span.

  9. #49

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Back in California (finally!).
    Posts
    2,079
    Quote Originally Posted by gilleshk:
    There are plenty of countries that call themselves democratic that have levels of corruption similar or worse than China. One can think of India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Morocco and many others. Obviously a free press is helpful in uncovering excesses but when people have little to lose and a lot to gain, corruption is widespread.

    If the political elite is seen as corrupt and exploitative regardless of the way they get there, it also certainly encourages people to try to make their own lives better at all costs.

    In the US, police forces like the NYPD or Chicago were also famously corrupt only a few decades ago but wages increased and working conditions became much better bringing better people to do the job with a lot more to lose. It takes a couple of generations to change attitudes and ingrained behaviors. There's no way you can make serious inroads on corruption in a short span.
    I don't disagree, except to reiterate that having an opposition is an inherently useful tool in eliminating corruption; democracy is no cure-all for corruption but even if the PRC government put massive efforts into curing corruption it would be impossible to control it in China because the system is rotten to the core. The only known way to control corruption is the combination of adversarial politics, an independent judiciary, a free press, and relatively open systems of governance. None of those conditions currently exist in the PRC.

  10. #50

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,905

    Yes, no doubt they can be helpful tools yet Singapore didn't have and still don't really have many of these things and managed to have far lower levels of corruption while a place like India has all of them and yet has many problems.

    The US also had all those things in place many decades ago yet many police forces were rife with corruption. Politics can and should be part of the solution but at the end of the day, people have to have a lot to lose in order to diminish the temptation. You put lots of money floating around and people with relatively low wages and poor working conditions and it absolutely doesn't matter what system people are under, many will steal...

    Freetrader likes this.

Closed Thread
Page 5 of 26 FirstFirst ... 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 13 ... LastLast