To boost profits, international finance capital is demanding that Beijing carry out a major restructuring of industry, involving speedups, layoffs, the shut down of plants and the consolidation of industrial sectors. To that end, the central bank has been tightening money supply since February.It's difficult to offer international finance capital even more speed-ups than company towns and prison labor already provide.
The new Chinese leadership appears to have made finance sector “reform” a priority in its drive to accelerate pro-market restructuring and open up the remaining sectors of the economy to private investors.
In Brazil, a left government confronts a superstitious opposition.
Not many would object to a 20 centavos [bus fare] increase if the buses were more frequent and not hideously overcrowded, or if the roads were less riddled with potholes, or if the traffic was less apocalyptic. Similarly, nobody would mind paying hefty taxes if it meant decent public schools, hospitals, and social care. Probably (this one may be a stretch) nobody would even mind the politicians receiving their exorbitant salaries, if they just spent less time filching, skiving, and scheming, and devoted a little more time to helping their country get better.And no Kingston Trio to sing, "Now you citizens of Rio don't you think it's a scandal, How the People have to Pay and Pay."
In truth, the protests are an amalgam of a dozen reasons why the patience of the Brazilian people has finally run out. The shoddy state of so many public institutions. The grubby capering of pantomime villains such as Marco Feliciano (the president of the Human Rights Commission of the House of Representatives, currently promoting a “gay cure”, and who believes that the problems of Africa are a result of a biblical curse) and Renan Calheiros (the president of the Senate, who positively drips with past and current corruption charges). Then there is PEC 37, a proposed constitutional amendment that will limit the investigative powers of Brazil’s public prosecution department. And in the middle of this, the £8 billion and counting cost of the World Cup, which may just have been the final drop of water (the local version of the camel and his straw) and perhaps lit the spark under this huge pile of indignant tinder.