Saturday, October 23, 2010

Communism to Capitalism: China and Cuba

1. Bloomberg -- "Yang Shuqi paces up and down Ikea’s Beijing store, looking for a “small bed with toys” for her grandson. She doesn’t plan to buy it -- 1-year-old Beibei just needs to take a nap. Saturday afternoon is a bad time to look. Every bed (and couch, see picture above) in the 43,000-square-meter (463,000-square-foot) store is occupied, with some children and adults fast asleep under the covers. 

Ikea, whose biggest Asian store is in China, plans to more than double its outlets in the country by 2015 as rising incomes turn more dozing visitors and diners at in-store restaurants into furniture buyers. The home-furnishings market is projected to surge 17 percent this year in China, the world’s fastest-growing major economy." (HT: Norman Berger)

2. Reuters - "Cuba unveiled on Friday a new tax code it said was friendlier for small business, signaling authorities are serious about building a larger private sector within the state-dominated economy. The tax redesign comes as the government has begun slashing 500,000 workers from state payrolls and preparing to issue 250,000 self-employment licenses to create new jobs in President Raul Castro's biggest reform since taking office in 2008."


At 10/23/2010 11:13 AM, Blogger NormanB said...

That IKEA sofa costs 60% more in Beijing than it does in the US due to China's currency minipulation. They sell to us cheaper but buy from us much more expensively. China doesn't win.

At 10/23/2010 12:38 PM, Blogger KauaiMark said...

Is this a new "service" for IKEA like the cheap lunch cafeteria or are they sleeping in the display furniture?

At 10/23/2010 2:42 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

The problem is that they're only learning how to deflect criticism.

Disappearing people through the government? It's Communism.

Disappearing people through a government-backed company? It's OK.

The truth is that the business is only used to whitewash those governments. Nothing has really changed. People still get disappeared for political action or objecting to the controlling multinational.

At 10/24/2010 3:28 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 10/24/2010 3:42 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Disappearing people through a government-backed company? It's OK."

Wait! Do you mean those people in the picture aren't really sleeping?

Is Ikea managing China's version of Soylent Green?

Who would have thought. Perhaps there's a big sign over the front door:

"Come In For A Nap - Help Feed Your Neighbors"


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