We left the U.S. on March 29th on our trip to Hong Kong and Australia. We flew on Delta Airlines from Florida to San Francisco. And, then on Cathay Pacific from San Francisco to Hong Kong. The difference between the two airlines reflects the startling difference between the U.S.A. and China.
AMERICAN AND CHINESE WORKERS
The major reason why American capitalists took their factories out of the U.S. and shipped them to China was the cost of labor. Labor costs are not reflected in wages alone. Apart from the high wages that American workers demand, one has to look at their attitude. They are not primarily interested in working hard, and, they find it disagreeable to serve other people.
American workers have been taught by their Union Bosses, their politicians, their schools, their peers and their media—that hard work is for horses, not for human beings. American workers are more than proud – they are indifferent and, frequently, hostile.
On our Delta flight, I watched the stewardesses work. They were all older women, of different ethnic and racial groups. Their appearance was not standardized. Their hair and make-up reflected extremely different values. They could easily have been drinking cocktails in a bar. They were all, also, overweight — not abnormally obese, but not at a normal weight. Most people would use the term: “fat.”
They worked slowly and, almost, indifferently. The public was afraid of them. If someone requested an item, they received a strange look, and, eventually, received the item. There was, definitely, no sign of friendliness, nor of eagerness to fulfill the desires of the passengers.
The Stewardesses were typical of American workers. At one time, they had been hard workers, friendly workers. But those days were passed. Now, their primary concern was keeping a job that paid them well in money, benefits and time off.
When we arrived at Memphis at the first stop on our way to San Francisco, there was a delay. We were taken off the connecting flight because the weather in San Francisco was not conducive to landing and all connecting flights were put on hold.
No one was informed of these facts. When I asked the Delta personnel at the Gate, I was given an insolent answer that did not provide any information. Essentially, the passengers were treated like sheep.
All food and drink on the Delta flight required payment by credit card. Only a small plastic bag of peanuts was given without cost. And – only one bag of peanuts per customer. This told me that the executives of Delta felt that they had a captive clientele, and that there was no need to make them feel friendly towards Delta.
There were no other Airlines to use. This was the USSR of America.
When we entered the Cathay Pacific ticketing area we entered another world! The workers here were all Chinese. They wore smart standardized uniforms: clean, neat and attractive. They smiled easily and their voices were soft and friendly. They listened quietly to our questions and answered with intelligent and supportive words. There was no sign of arrogance or insolence. They were there to help us on our flight.
The majority of these workers were younger than the Delta employees, but even the older Cathay Pacific employees demonstrated friendliness and a “I can help you” attitude. This difference in attitude is the underlying force that is pushing the U.S. down and China up.
During the flight, all food and drink were free. In addition, there was a technical source of entertainment at every seat. One could watch movies, TV, or listen to music. There were, also, games and other forms of entertainment. The crew was instantly available at the touch of a button.
It was a 14 hour flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, but it was made tolerable by the crew and the entertainment source at every seat. The plane was a Boeing 777 and was so huge that we felt no turbulence.
ARRIVING AT HONG KONG
The Hong Kong Airport is at the South Side of Hong Kong Island.
Hong Kong Island is a large mountainous island in a tropical zone of the South Pacific. It is surrounded by hundreds of smaller islands. On these islands are small villages and towns specializing in fishing and fish restaurants. All the fish are kept alive in tanks for customers to see, prior to cooking. If you are an aficionado of seafood, this is the place to be.
Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia
The Kowloon Peninsula to the south of Boundary Street and the New Territories to the north of Hong Kong Island were added to Colonial Hong Kong in 1860 and 1898 respectively. The body of water between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon Peninsula is Victoria Harbour, one of the deepest maritime ports in the world. The landscape of Hong Kong is fairly hilly to mountainous with steep slopes. The highest point in the territory is Tai Mo Shan, at a height of 958 metres. Lowlands exist in the northwestern part of the New Territories.
When we arrived at the Airport, I was prepared to see a crowded noisy airport where pushing and shoving would have to be tolerated.
I was shocked by what I found. No pushing and no shoving and peace! Everything was completely organized. The Airport was immaculately clean. It was quiet. Bags arrived where they were supposed to arrive and carts were free to use, in sharp contrast to the U.S., where carts were paid for with credit cards and generally did not function well.
After getting our luggage, we went to Immigration. The Immigration Officer was polite and knew well what he was doing. Our passports were stamped immediately, without questions, and we were off to Customs. It was obvious that the Chinese wanted their visitors to find their land and people appealing. Customs was just a wave of the hand and we entered the main section of the Airport.
I found myself looking for pieces of litter. There were none. The only other place on the Globe that I could remember was just as clean was Japan. I knew then that the West had lost its place as the pre-eminent bastion of commercial power.
Cleanliness is the primary criterion of personal and social control! If you cannot keep yourself clean, you have lost self control in terms of your mind and body. Cleanlinessis the first step in all that is Health and Hygiene.
On the Social Level, a society that is unclean, is a society where the people are lacking a fundamental requirement for social balance. Those individuals who are making their environment unclean have more power than those who would like to have cleanliness. Thus, the social forces of disruption are greater than the social forces of harmony and well being.
Unclean cities reflect unclean minds and a society where disorganization is more powerful than organization. In most parts of the world uncleanliness predominates. Disorganization is more powerful than organization. If you are in a clean city, but walk into a neighborhood filled with litter, you know instantly that you are in a neighborhood where the rules are weak and the population has little regard for Law and Order.
Such neighborhoods are found frequently in the U.S.A. today. In the past they were rare.
HONG KONG CITY
There are seven million people living on the edge of a mountain. They live in apartment houses, with the exception of a few rich Communist politicos and Old Family billionaires who live on the edge of the City of Hong Kong.
The apartments are small. The kitchens and dining areas are small. They are so small that the Hong Kong residents almost always eat out if there are more than three people. As a consequence, there are thousands and thousands of restaurants, each trying to outdo its neighbor.
Finding a good restaurant is easy. If the restaurant is bad, the people know readily, and within months the restaurant is out of business. Restaurant prices are very reasonable due to the tremendous competition.
Hong Kong is the epitome of capitalism, in spite of its being the gateway to communism.
HONG KONG REAL ESTATE
Since there is so little land available for building, real estate is very expensive. A small apartment will generally fetch a price above one million U.S. Dollars!
At one time, there were factories in Hong Kong. They are now gone. The value of the real estate for use as residential property has eclipsed almost any other use. There are a few exclusive laboratories still in use in Hong Kong. These are used for jewelry and other esoteric functions.
I was a little surprised to see a number of Rolls Royce limousines at a famous hotel. Evidently, there are many rich people living in Hong Kong. Human nature is unchanging. If you have power, you will have wealth. If you have wealth, you will have power.
Whether China is Communist or not, the wealthy and the powerful hang on to the traditions of wealth and power. They still enjoy beautiful homes, beautiful cars and luxurious living.
We could have been on the French Riviera. We saw a wedding with a bride wearing the most opulent wedding gown imaginable. The Chinese Communists do not even try to be egalitarian in their manner of living. If you have wealth or power – flaunt it!
THE HONG KONG ECONOMY
Fortunately, we have Hong Kong friends who know the Hong Kong economy intimately and well. As we surmised, the Hong Kong economy is now dependent on China’s economy. Hong Kong is the financial doorway into China. Many of the Hong Kong residents have factories or businesses on China’s Mainland. The Chinese government uses Hong Kong’s financial relationships with the West to improve the Chinese economy.
It is well known that Hong Kong is a Tax Haven. Entrepreneurs, from all over the world, open corporations in Hong Kong, where little or no taxes need be paid. They then manufacture their goods on the Chinese mainland, sell all over the world, and deposit their profits in Hong Kong banks.
Their capital is used by the Hong Kong banks to finance Mainland Chinese projects, thereby improving China’s economic position.
HONG KONG STREET SCENES
Since we had friends in Hong Kong, we were lucky enough to see the Street Scenes, so often missed by the average tourist. We went, at night to Temple Street Market.
Here is a picture:
TEMPLE STREET MARKET
The Temple Street market blooms in the dark! It is a mass of hungry humans and crazy, noisy fish restaurants. In between are stores that sell every piece of fantasy that the world can make.
If you want to buy some dream-like piece of merchandise, you will find it here. If you want to eat sea food, or any other Chinese food, you will find it here.
In spite of the noise, everything goes well. The merchants and restaurant owners know what they are doing. They have visitors from all over the world coming to see their wares, or eat their food, and, as a consequence, their menus are filled with pictures, so that language is never a problem. Point to a picture of a dish and nod your head. It will soon be in front of you.
Hong Kong is not China. It is a piece of Britain placed in the China Sea. It is filled with humans who have been trained all their lives to be tolerant of each other and to work together in harmony. Everyone knows that friction will cause this Castle of Sand to crumble and fall apart.
Hong Kong is not China, but it is a reflection of the Chinese Mentality. Either everyone works together or there will be total Chaos.