Bob Pollin: Stop Subsidizing Wall St., Start Subsidizing Workers for High Energy Costs

Yves here. While I understand the logic of helping workers cope with a sudden increase in energy prices, which then gets incorporated in goods and services, I’m bothered by the framing of “subsidizing” energy use. Bob Pollin is doing that to correctly shift blame for “inflation” away from labor costs.

However, we need to encourage radical conservation. That is our only hope of forestalling the worst climate outcomes. But the fact that no one is willing to discuss changing habits (beyond say riding bikes) along with cutting back our cancerous military, means the climate change “conversation” is a big headfake.

Oddly, the video does not appear to yet be loaded on YouTube, so I can’t embed it locally, but you can watch it here.

By Paul Jay. Originally published at

Paul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to, please don’t forget the donate button and subscribe and all the buttons. We’ll be back in just a few seconds to talk to Bob Pollin about the economic crisis for inflation and supply chains and all the various issues that are rising.

So we are in what’s being called the post-pandemic recovery, and it’s never been clearer that the United States is divided into those who are awash in cash, of course, at the highest levels, they’re completely, perhaps, drowning in cash. But there’s larger segments of the society that do have some spending power right now, disposable income. Of course, there’s large sections of the society who are struggling and do not have disposable income and got really hammered during the whole pandemic crisis. But there is an interesting situation now where there is “a labour shortage.” People, at least for now, seem to be having some choice in what kind of jobs they want, and people don’t want jobs that are paying minimum and crappy wages and are exercising some judgment on where they’re going to work.

Unemployment benefits are running out. Various other kinds of government subsidies are running out. And of course, there’s this supply chain problem, which it seems to me was completely foreseeable, but I don’t know if it’s because of the irrationality of capitalism or there’s something else going on. But there’s dozens and dozens of ships, as everybody has seen on the news, filled with containers sitting off the Port of Los Angeles and other ports. And they’re talking about the consumer price index. What people really pay to live could be going up as much as 4% or 5%. If you listen to Bloomberg Radio, some things people have to buy might be going up in price by as much as 10%. And there’s, of course, a big debate on whether this is temporary as the recovery sets in, or is there something more being baked in? And the Fed is saying, the economists at the Fed, who apparently are supposed to know more than others, seem to think it’s temporary. But right now, even if people have some disposable income, they’re getting hurt in the cost of their day-to-day life.

So now joining me to talk about all of this is Bob Pollin. Bob is the co-founder of the PERI Institute, which is the Political Economy Research Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts. He co-authored a book with Noam Chomsky titled Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet. And of course, Bob has authored many books on income and equality and the issue of the rights of workers and so on. So thanks for joining me again, Bob.

Bob Pollin

Very glad to be on. Thank you, Bob.

Paul Jay

So one of the interviews we did last we talked about, this was a few months ago. We talked about the possibility of some inflation, and you were saying a little bit of inflation isn’t so bad if it’s because workers’ wages are going up. Well, the inflation that seems to be setting in now, whether it’s temporary or not, actually doesn’t seem to be all that connected to workers’ wages, at least not very much. It’s to do with the price of energy going up, its global supply chains, to my mind, complete irrationality and lack of planning or deliberate chaos because maybe there’s money to be made out of this crazy shit.

But I know when I played that interview, I got a lot of feedback on YouTube saying, “Yeah, sure. Pollin’s saying a little inflation is not so bad, but he doesn’t have to worry about what would it cost to buy groceries every month.” So start with a little bit of dealing with what people are objecting to; how you were saying a little inflation is not so bad, and then where are we at?

Bob Pollin

Okay, what is inflation? First of all, inflation means a rise in the general price level. So if we look at overall prices, we take a basket of goods that includes necessities, and it’s not just one price that’s rising, but it’s this overall basket, which means that in order to sustain someone’s living standard, it’s going to cost more. So that’s what we mean by inflation. So there’s two basic causes of inflation, and one is, yes, when workers achieve more bargaining power, they bargain up their wages. So that’s the part that I was saying was good. They bargain up their wages, and then businesses try to pass on those additional labour costs in the form of higher consumer prices. So the good part of the inflation would be if the wage increases are exceeding the price increases that the businesses are trying to pass on.

Paul Jay

And that’s usually the case, isn’t it? That even if they try to pass it on—

Bob Pollin

They can’t fully pass it on.

Paul Jay

They can’t really fully pass it on. So increased wages actually is an advantage because some people try to argue there’s no point even trying to fight for higher wages.

Bob Pollin

No. So, for the most part, I’ve been working with different Unions on wage bargaining right now. I’m doing it without revealing the details with one of the largest Union contracts in the country right now. And so we know what the wage increase that we want to get in order for the real incomes after we factor in inflation. After we factor in inflation, the living standard of the workers is still going to go up. So that is one source of inflation.

The other basic source of inflation is what we say in the economic world is supply shocks. In other words, when you have something, the most prevalent form of a supply shock is really big jumps in oil prices. You can also have supply shocks if you have, for example, breaks in the supply chain. So the big one that’s happening right now, in addition to the energy issue, is with the semiconductors that go into, in particular, into cars. And it’s slowing down the rate at which new cars get built because there is this shortage of semiconductors.

So right now, when we talk whenever it was a few months ago, it looked like the major source of inflation was going to be wage increases. And I took that to be positive. So when we talk about, well, I don’t know what it takes for people to buy their groceries. Well, maybe I don’t, but I think I have a reasonably good idea. And if your wages are going up by 5% and the cost of buying groceries is going up by 2%, well, then you’ve just improved your living standard by 3%, which is not trivial once it’s compounded over some years. So that’s one thing.

Paul Jay

Okay. Just before you talk about supply, let me just add one thing to that. I think it’s going to be true that unionized workers that get a pay increase may get that extra, say 3%, but unorganized workers may not. They actually might get hit. And there’s a very simple answer to that, which is, excuse the language, fucking get organized because you’re going to get screwed if you don’t get organized. It doesn’t matter whether wages go up, down, sideways. If you don’t get organized, you’re going to get screwed. So that’s the only answer there is to that. But sorry, go ahead.

Bob Pollin

Yeah. So in terms of the supply issue, what’s going on right now is there’s really two supply shocks happening right now. And one is the oil energy prices. So I’m just looking; I just printed this out a couple of hours ago from the Department of Labour. So for September of this year, relative to September last year, we do have a very high measured inflation rate: 5.4%. That’s very high by historical standards. It’s high.

Now, what is this? It’s not evenly distributed across the whole country. The biggest price increases by far are in the energy sector, in particular, gasoline prices. Gasoline prices relative to last year have gone up by 42%. Now, it’s true that they were really depressed during the severity, the most downturn period of the COVID crisis because people weren’t travelling as much. And there was a glut of energy because of airline travel and so forth having collapsed.

Nevertheless, what we’re observing now is this increase in oil prices. In particular, what we’re seeing, gasoline at the pump is up 42%. That’s massive. And that’s a big part of people’s overall spending package. Other energy prices are in the range of 20%.

The other big area of price increase is used cars. Used cars because what happened there is that the car rental agencies have been selling off their cars when their businesses were collapsing. So they were selling off their supply of cars. And so then we have this situation where those cars are already either mothballed and now to rebuild the stock, we have the shortage of semiconductors. So those are the two big areas. And, of course, the energy cost increase feeds into everything else in the economy.

So let’s focus on the energy supply issues. Okay, right now. So we have this debate, and [Vladimir] Putin is strutting around saying, well, guess what? You all need me more than I need you. And we have [Viktor] Orbán of Hungary saying that the green agenda is destroying the global economy, that was just today or yesterday. So what do we do about that? I mean, the basic answer is straightforward in that one of the things that even this Commission, led by Alan Greenspan and other leading Orthodox economists in terms of addressing the climate crisis, they are proposing, tax, energy tax, and a subsidy for people to help them absorb the increased cost of energy. So tax and rebate. Tax and rebate.

And so what we could do right now is, for the moment is instead; we’re effectively getting the tax part because the prices of energy are going up. So let’s just introduce the rebates. And so people will be rebated. People will be covered to address these increases in energy costs. And that’s how we get through the immediate crisis. In the meantime, it serves the benefit of okay, we have much higher gasoline prices. Well, over time, we’ll figure out how to save on energy consumption, buy more efficient cars or start buying electric vehicles. And you don’t have to worry about the price of gasoline. But that’s obviously not a short-term solution, but for the short-term solution, then people should be rebated for this spike in energy cost.

Paul Jay

And there’s another thing that could be done, which has been talked about from the point of view of climate change, which is nationalizing the fossil fuel industry phasing it out. But if you nationalize the fossil fuel industry, you could also decouple from the global oil market because the United States produces enough oil for itself. Why do you have to sell at those prices? Just because “global market is that?” The same thing in Canada, Canada has enough oil for Canada. Why is Canadian oil being sold to Canadians at some global market price when it could be sold.

In fact, in Venezuela, they sell at a much cheaper price to their own people. I mean, too cheap, actually, probably. The whole issue is this irrationality of the way capitalism is operating now at a time of existential crisis. Even the semiconductor story is the same kind of irrationality. It just got explained to me the other day by the guy that actually invented the silicon chip. He’s not the only one who knows this, but this is the first time I really heard it clearly. Because Intel and the other American companies that use and sell semiconductors, it was cheaper for them to outsource semiconductor production to Taiwan and South Korea.

And then it turns out there’s only one country that produces the machines that make the high-level semiconductors, and that’s Holland. And if all the factories in Taiwan and all the semiconductor producers in South Korea, which is mostly Samsung, all buy from Holland. When there was this big downturn in the pandemic, and the car industry and everyone thought they weren’t going to sell much. They pulled back on the orders of the semiconductors. So the whole production line was slowed down. And it’s the same irrationality that’s affecting the other parts of the global supply chain. And it’s all because of globalization as a way to undercut the wages of American workers. The irrationality just boggles the mind. And now, apparently, it’s going to take them five to ten years to try to repatriate semiconductor production, assuming they actually really do it.

Bob Pollin

Well, you could say it’s irrational, or you could say it’s rational, because if it has led to increased profits for capitalist.

Paul Jay

Short-term rational. Yeah.

Bob Pollin

But the point is that, and I think we talked about it some months ago. I actually wrote an article about nationalizing the fossil fuel industry a year ago when the price of the oil companies had fallen by whatever it was; it was fallen by more than half. The U.S. Treasury could have bought the entire fossil fuel industry for maybe a 10th of what they were putting into Wall Street to bail out Wall Street. They could still do it now. They can’t do it at the price that was available a year and a half ago. But okay, that’s a good one. I like it. Let’s be real. That one’s not going to happen.

The one that I’m proposing, at least it’s endorsed effectively by the leading Orthodox economic wise people in the world. You have this document supported by the likes of Alan Greenspan, Janet Yellen, Larry Summers. I don’t agree with all these people on a lot of things, but you could say, I mean, this is effectively what they’re saying, tax and rebate. Or actually, in the terms of my U-Mass colleagues who really developed the whole concept, Jim Boyce, he called it tax and dividend, but whatever we want to call it, you make people whole. And it would be easy to make people whole. They are not losing any money, but you also have the disincentive to fill up with oil, as opposed to other alternatives, such as high efficiency or transitioning to electric vehicles exactly because the price of consuming oil is up. And so, making the people whole, though, is critical.

And the fact that in France, whatever it was three years ago when President [Emmanuel] Macron introduced a carbon tax proposal, and he got destroyed by the so-called Yellow Vest movement. Working people saying, “You don’t know what our lives are like. You don’t know what it takes to put groceries on the table.” That was not because he introduced the carbon tax but because there was no rebate part of it. Without recognizing the distributive impacts on working people, it’s always going to blow up. It’s always going to be a disaster. It can be successful in Alaska; it’s been going for years. And even Sarah Palin supported that when the revenue from the oil companies came into the state of Alaska, they just distributed it to the citizens. Everybody got a share. It’s the same idea.

Paul Jay

And workers don’t get how much subsidization is taking place. For example, in the stock market, the stock market is at historic highs in spite of global supply chain catastrophes and on and on. Every week you read about a new high in the market. And of course, it’s like, what is it, 3% or 5% of the population that really benefits the most? I mean, a lot of people are in the game because of pension funds, but the real gains in terms of the amount of money, people who reap the benefit of the market. I think it’s 3% to 5% of the population. And it’s because the Fed is essentially guaranteeing that they won’t let the market crash.

Bob Pollin

No, not effectively. Absolutely explicitly. We had the bailout over the last year of unprecedented proportions, 20% of GDP, $4 trillion the Fed pumped into Wall Street. Absolutely unprecedented. And if that hadn’t happened, Wall Street would have collapsed. Who knows where capitalism would be right now? And so, that has to be recognized as absolutely central to our understanding of how capitalism is working now.

Wall Street is massively subsidized beyond people’s belief. The fossil fuel companies are massively subsidized right now. And those are the things that once we factor those in and our understanding of those, that’s how you can, and it’s the only way that you can explain the fact that when we had the COVID crisis, half of the U.S. workforce was laid off over the course of 12 months and were getting unemployment insurance. At the same time, Wall Street goes up by 50%. Never happened. Nothing like that has ever happened.

Paul Jay

All right. What’s your take on this debate? Is this inflation relatively temporary, maybe a year, maybe 18 months, or is there something more being baked in here?

Bob Pollin

The likelihood, in my view, that it is temporary because the inflation that we’re seeing is supply shock, supply chain oil. And the main thing with respect to oil, as we’ve talked about, is just stopping dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. And if we can’t do it within the next 12 months, okay, we can’t do it. Well, then subsidize people to protect them against the depredations of the oil companies. And then we transfer our spending out of oil and other fossil fuels altogether. That will be key.

And I’ve argued this for a long time, especially when we talk about developing economies that getting off of oil is the most important thing they can do. Forget about the green agenda just in terms of running an economy, a macroeconomy, because oil importers in developing economies, they’re completely dependent on the global oil market. So, of course, it hurts us, but if you see a 40% increase in the price of oil in, say, Kenya or other sub-Saharan African countries. I mean, that’s absolutely devastating. That means that they have to impose austerity just to pay for the oil in order to keep the economy operating minimally.

So we have to get off of this dependence, if for no other reason, just in terms of stabilization, even beyond advancing a green agenda.

Paul Jay

All right. Thanks very much, Bob.

Bob Pollin

Great. Thank you.

Paul Jay

And thanks for joining us. And instead of asking for donations, I’m only going to say, get organized.

Bob Pollin

Get organized. I agree.

Paul Jay

Get organized. Thanks again.

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  1. John Steinbach

    In light of the current imbroglio on Capital Hill, what are the prospects of congress passing energy rebates for working people, let alone a carbon tax & rebate program. As Pollin says, this proposal has been around for many years and supported by a range of economists, yet hardly visible in the Democrat’s agenda .

    Again, Yves is correct about the imperative for radical conservation. The point needs to be hammered that radical conservation is imminent whether encouraged, mandated or imposed by rapidly shrinking resource and environmental limits.

    A carbon tax & rebate is a step in the right direction, however

  2. tom abeles

    A tax, to be effective has to be high enough to effect a change. In the case of luxury items, including cigarettes, for example, the avoidance is an “option”. For those who must use fossil fuels, there is little option if vehicular travel or even home energy use leave little room to reduce. Off setting the “cost” via a rebate cuts the pain but not the use. Switching to a more efficient option, e.g. electric vehicle, requires the capital investment and an increase in pain for the end user and doesn’t account for the material input to manufacture and, eventually recycling a small portion.

    As we see, with the current supply chain issues, a cut back in material consumption from mining to end user, provides the means to reduce environmental impact, including energy with one piece from reducing the supply chain demand. Of course, there is the economic disruption which can be mitigated. One of the fall out of this path is the reduction in the “fuel” or the reduction in debt with an impact in the rentiers’ pocket books.

  3. GlassHammer

    My understanding is that since oil is priced in the commodities market the producers (OPEC and the like) can’t really dictate the price so “nationalizing the fossil fuel industry” wouldn’t necessisarily create a favorable price per gallon for your nation.

  4. solarjay

    I agree that aggressive conservation is needed, however I don’t see it happening, at least on any scale that will make much of a difference. The list is long of what we need to do and the latest so called bill from Biden is no where near up to the task of addressing any of them.
    I’ve been a solar person for 25 years. The reason I’m now pro nuclear, is because I don’t see renewables being scaled up to what we need on a time line that will do anything. Part of the reason is that there really isn’t much money in it, part is perception: its those liberals and to me that means that 50% of the country isn’t going to do conservation. And then you have a whole idea from people that personal life changes ( conservation) isn’t going to do anything, only the big companies can fix that, makes me wonder if that marketing was produced by the big oil companies). If you have big centralized energy production you have the support of the big biz that really run the country. Then you can get that pushed through. Yes it will involve tax breaks and subsidies so be it. I look at for example just a single wind project that takes 2-5 years to do the leases, EIS, getting financing and then you have to build it, which takes another 1-2+ years, all way to long if we listen to the IPCC reports.

    I like Paul Jay, but he’s kinda of broken record in that he keeps wondering why it doesn’t happen. Bob Pollin is right on about why not.

    Which has me looking in this totally different direction about how to address climate emergency, because the way that the dems are doing it now, is amounting to about 0.

    We need a massive amount of clean non carbon energy to power: planes and trucks and boats ( E fuels), more electricity as the grid grows, desalination for the drying regions and city centers, CCS, DCA, and the list goes on. As I’ve given the statistics on US solar and wind production: Last year the US installed 1/3 of 1% new solar, wind was a bit more. That isn’t getting us to where we need to be. On an annual basis that 1/3% of solar is about one, yes one, 2GW nuclear or FF power plant. So when Diablo Canyon gets turned off in 2023, that will use up a whole year of US installation of solar. I joke that the US is installing about 1.5GW per month, we need about 1 GW per day.

    We need the all of the above strategy in regards to climate emergency.


  5. Rob Urie

    Pollin has long been arguing that radical conservation is both unnecessary and that it would place an undue burden on the economically marginal. This derives from his view that climate change a minor technical inconvenience that can be solved through offering tax incentives to spur development of so-called green technologies. He partnered with Noam Chomsky to write a book to this effect.

    1. John Steinbach

      My very first academic paper at Michigan back in the early 70s was the disparate impact of resource depletion & other limits on the economically marginal. The situation is no different today. Radical conservation with special emphasis on meeting the needs of poor working people is essential to any successful strategy to limit climate change. Unfortunately there are many “greens” who have swallowed the technological fix argument.

      1. Solarjay

        Dear Mr Steinbach,
        Can you elaborate how we can get to a negative carbon number with conservation alone?

        I have seen many people proposing this idea but I’ve not seen anyone articulate how this is done in practice.

  6. Felix_47

    I remember in Ca some years ago gas shot up to almost 5 dollars a gallon. The Metrorail became packed. Buses were full. People were walking. The freeways loosened up. As soon as the price dropped the Metrorail was almost empty, Buses ride around almost empty and the freeways were jammed. And since I take public transit I observed it which many of our pundits might not. And until the recent runup in gas prices ridership for public transit was falling every year despite the fact that billions have been invested in it. And it really is not that the bus system and train system in the LA basin is that terrible. The problem is it takes time but all of that could be fixed if the ridership was high. The people that would best respond to higher gas prices are poor people. The lawyers and managers and medical rent seekers are writing it off their taxes and don’t care. We would need a huge gas price to get lawyers out of their Mercedes and people out of SUVs. And the poor have a lot of kids and they like big SUVs like the Chevy Tahoe. Often that is the first thing they buy (used) when they arrive because in their native lands women especially don’t get to drive. So if we rebate gas taxes to poorer people we are not going to see any effect on behavior. I don’t think Pollin has spent much time in LA, much of which is quite poor, since it is one of the largest immigrant cities in the nation, if not the largest. And LA in a way is representative of the nation. And the beauty to a gas tax is that it solves the problem of high cost fuel because the producers in the mid east and elsewhere have to lower their prices when the demand drops. I took an economic course once and I remember hearing the solution to high prices is high prices. And if a minimum wage McDonalds worker can’t get to the store that is in some high rent suburb far from public transit……so what……I guess they will have to raise prices and pay more or shut down or provide transportation. In Germany gas is 10 dollars per gallon and people get to work. So this rebate to the poor idea does not make much sense to me if anyone cared about global warming. It seems more a way to generate a fuel rebate bureaucracy with plenty of managers and office workers. Another way to dramatically decrease gas consumption and prices would be a national speed limit that was enforced. Nixon tried 55 and it really did not save much because it was not slow enough. The magic number is 45 if one looks at the data. And in CA on the freeway everyone is going 75 when there is no traffic. The beauty to a tough speed limit law is that it makes the people take notice that the climate is an issue and that the government is taking action. Simple things like taxing gas or slowing down traffic are not being done. And it could be done by executive order…Nixon did it. It makes me conclude that despite all the screaming about Trump the Dems are no different, just better behaved climate deniers.

  7. Sound of the Suburbs

    Finding out how free trade actually works might be a good start.
    You want a low cost of living to be internationally competitive in an open, globalised world.
    Our firms off-shored to places that did have a low cost of living, where they could pay lower wages to maximise profit.
    The old well paid, full time, unskilled and semi-skilled jobs were off-shored to be replaced by poorly paying, part time jobs in the service sector.

    The UK knew how free trade worked in the 19th century, before neoclassical economics.
    How did the UK prepare to compete in a free trade world in the 19th century?
    They had an Empire to get in cheap raw materials; there were no regulations and no taxes on employees.
    It was all about the cost of living, and they needed to get that down so they could pay internationally competitive wages.
    UK labour would cost the same as labour anywhere else in the world.

    Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
    Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.

    Ricardo supported the Repeal of the Corn Laws to get the price of bread down.
    They housed workers in slums to get housing costs down.
    Employers could then pay internationally competitive wages and were ready to compete in a free trade world.

    That’s the idea.
    You level the playing field first; then you engage in free trade.

    The interests of the capitalists and rentiers are opposed with free trade.
    This nearly split the Tory Party in the 19th century over the Repeal of the Corn Laws.
    The rentiers gains push up the cost of living.
    The landowners wanted to get a high price for their crops, so they could make more money.
    The capitalists want a low cost of living as they have to pay that in wages.
    The capitalists wanted cheap bread, as that was the staple food of the working class, and they would be paying for it through wages.

    Of course, that’s why it’s so expensive to get anything done in the West.
    It’s our high cost of living.
    Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
    Employees get their money from wages and the employers pay the cost of living through wages, reducing profit.
    High housing costs have to be paid in wages, reducing profit.

    Everyone pays their own way.
    Employees get their money from wages.
    The employer pays the way for all their employees in wages.
    Off-shore from the West ASAP to maximise profit.

    The playing field was tilted against the West with free trade due to our high cost of living

    1. Sound of the Suburbs

      Who’s been messing about with the economics?

      There were three groups in the capitalist system in Ricardo’s world (and there still are).
      Workers / Employees
      Capitalists / Employers
      Rentiers / Landowners / Landlords / other skimmers, who are just skimming out of the system, not contributing to its success

      The unproductive group exists at the top of society, not the bottom.
      Later on we did bolt on a benefit system to help others that were struggling lower down the scale.

      Identifying the unproductive group at the top of society didn’t go down too well.
      They needed a new economics to hide the discoveries of the classical economists, neoclassical economics.

      Can you see the problem?
      They have taken the rentiers out of the equation and so no one can see what they used to be able to see in the past.

      Let’s put the rentiers back into the equation.
      Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
      Employees want more disposable income
      Employers want to maximise profit by keeping wages as low as possible
      The rentiers gains push up the cost of living.
      Governments push up taxes to gain more revenue

      The dynamics of the capitalist system are more complex than today’s policymakers realise.
      You want a low cost of living with free trade, and the West has a high cost of living.
      Western firms off-shored to places they could pay wages people couldn’t live on in the West.

      Even the Chinese are struggling with neoclassical economics.
      The Chinese were trying to increase internal consumption, but they didn’t have the equation.

      Davos 2019 – The Chinese have now realised high housing costs eat into consumer spending and they wanted to increase internal consumption.
      They let real estate rip and have now realised why that wasn’t a good idea.

      The equation makes it so easy.
      Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
      The cost of living term goes up with increased housing costs.
      The disposable income term goes down.
      They didn’t have the equation, they used neoclassical economics.
      The Chinese had to learn the hard way and it took years, but they got there in the end.

      They have let the cost of living rise, and they want to increase internal consumption.
      Disposable income = wages – (taxes + the cost of living)
      It’s a double whammy on wages.
      China isn’t as competitive as it used to be.
      China has become more expensive and developed Eastern economies are off-shoring to places like Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

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