Friday, December 30, 2005
Why didn't I think of that?
It has been awhile since I have blogged (crazy time of year), but I couldn't pass this one up. I am always trying to think of some way I can do something really cheap, legal, and simple to earn a bunch of money on the net. This guy has to have figured out the best thing yet. Holy cow, he "earned" $1 MILLION by simply creating a website and selling advertising on it. Obviously he must have had some sort of a plan to get hits (called free media attention), but how simple can you get?!
A view of Alex Tew's page, www.milliondollarhomepage.com. Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, earned a million dollars in four months on the Internet by selling pixels as advertising space on his home page for $100 for each 10 pixel by 10 pixel square. REUTERS/Handout
Saturday, December 03, 2005
One-child Policy Alive and Strong
I think that many people do not understand that the Chinese one-child policy is still in place. In fact, I recently read a financial article where it stated "for years China had a one child policy..." This same article went on to discuss how bad this policy is going to be for China in the coming years. According to Nicholas Eberstadt, writing in The Wall Street Journal, over the next 20 years about two-thirds of China’s total population growth will occur in those 65 and older. That age segment will comprise over 200 million people. By 2025, China’s median age is likely to be higher than the U.S.’s. This is going to make it very difficult for China to remain at high levels of output in manufacturing and the low wage younger population is going to be burdened with having to support their parents because of the poor retirement funds - even more difficult when most families only have one child.
Nevertheless, China still keeps the policy going. Today in the South China Morning Post there was a half page story about a family that decided to have a son even though they already had a 1 1/2 year old daughter. To summarize, the father had a decent job but:
According to the United Nations, Chinas population would be 100 million greater with out the one-child policy. Not to mention the fact they would have a much more accommodating male to female ratio.
This seems like a very antiquated rule and symbolizes another example of the clash between modernism and historical behavior. China is going to continue to be a very interesting country to watch over the coming years while these and many other issues work themselves out as the population becomes more educated and information becomes more readily available.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
HELP, I can't breath!
I don’t expect Hong Kong to have really clean air. They are too close to mainland China and the factories, and there are just too many people for such a lofty expectation. However, I would like to see Kowloon from my Hong Kong flat!
These last couple of weeks have been even worse the normal. I use to think it was fog, but it is the haze of pollution – I get that now. Two recent events brought this home.
First, I recently went to Guangdong and saw what really bad pollution is. Most buildings have a black smoke emitting from them and I literally could not breathe – my nose was plugged – and you could almost feel the particulates in the air. On the train, when I looked out the window at the banana trees the leaves were literally gray. Not because they were dead, but because they were covered with pollution (this makes me wonder about the safety of eating vegetables from China now too – but that is a different topic).
The second event was from a hike last weekend. It was not only because I could not see the peak next to us, but because that night and the following few days I had a cough and my lungs felt congested and my nose was stuffed. I go out to get exercise, and actually probably damaged my lungs. In fact, I have heard stories of people who train outdoors in Hong Kong getting lung infections and pneumonia because of the pollution.
There seems to be lots of talk from the Chinese government about working on the problem, and I hope that something is done soon and we will start seeing some of the fruits of the stricter regulations. I guess it is probably similar to Los Angeles and other US cities in the 70s and 80s so I don’t want to be too critical. Hopefully they can learn from the mistakes and changes in the US and have a quick impact.
For more information, you can check out Clean The Air -- Hong Kong.