2013 April 27 Saturday
North Korea A Little Less Poor
Pyongyang: Partying like its 1970s Moscow?
The huge avenues of the North Korean capital, once empty, are now reminiscent of 1970s Moscow: Traffic is not too heavy, but clearly present. In older parts of the city, where streets are not that wide, one can occasionally even encounter traffic jams. Visitors and richer Pyongyangites alike can feast in posh restaurants. Gone are the days when a bottle of cheap Chinese shampoo was seen as a great luxury; nowadays one can easily buy Chanel in a Pyongyang boutique.
Is the height gap between south (taller) and north (shorter) Koreas partially closing? How much of the elite can feed their children well? For the latest generation how big of gap between actual and potential intelligence is caused by malnutrition?
The survival of the North Korean regime depends on mass ignorance about the rest of the world.
On balance, though, the fate of communist regimes was sealed by their economic inefficiency, not their political repressiveness. In order to become a political factor, this economic inefficiency first had to be recognized by the majority of the population. Had the Soviet leadership been willing and able to maintain a North Korean level of isolation and repressiveness, the Soviet Union might still be in existence today.
Got any clever ideas on how to get the news of the rest of the world thru to the North Koreans?
By Randall Parker at 2013 April 27 11:25 AM
"Malnourishment remains common, but few if any North Koreans have starved to death since 2000. "
This is Bloomberg. As long as there is a Wealthy Elite in Pyongyang, they will pronounce the economy "Excellent! (all things considered)"
They have absolutely no idea whether there is starvation outside the Pyongyang city limits or not. Hell, they don't have any idea if there is starvation INSIDE the city limits.
These guys are like the "capitalists" who made peace with Lenin and Stalin and touted how wonderful Russia was.
If they can make a buck of the poor they will. Their behavior in China should be indicative.
Now that Chinese workers are putting their foot down and looking for living wages, they must move on to another cesspool of oppression and starvation to get their goods made. And where better than North Korea!
As long as the Kim family boot is firmly on the throats of the poor they can make some Big Buck$! Expect to see reports of Western "trade delegations" to North Korea within the next year or so.
In time the North Koreans evolved into Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night.
And their brethren the South Koreans evolved into the Eloi, intelligent yet elegant childlike adults.
In thirty years North Korea will be able to destroy the USA with cheap weapons of mass destruction. The USA will then start paying massive eternal ransoms to Kim's descendants.