Tonight, Lars Hinrichs, from Xing, and I went out for a walk. We wanted to go from the Grand Hyatt hotel to Tianmen Square. The walk was dissapointing. Not only were we approached by many women who were offering their services to us, but as the video that I include here shows, we also saw many homeless people sleeping on the street right outside the fanciest shops in Beijing. I should say though that during the 18 years I lived in NYC I also saw tremendous poverty coupled with extreme wealth, something less common in Europe. I guess by now the most socialist region left in the world is Europe, and curiously Japan. The rest of the world has a worse distribution of income. China which has no socialism left really, it is going for the extreme capitalist model. I wish it moderated it. China should adopt a European or Japanese model of development that balances capitalism with the welfare state. I do not believe that extreme poverty is necessary to generate growth. Korea is also another country that proves that enormous income differentials are not needed for a country to grow out of poverty.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars