ECONOMICS: Richard Cantillon can provide assistance in unlocking the paradox of communist China and its entrepreneurial class, writes ANTOIN E MURPHY
ON A recent visit to Shanghai I was struck by the extent to which China has not only a vast population (1.3 billion people) but also a burgeoning population of entrepreneurs. There is a multiplicity of backstreet shops with entrepreneurs producing a wide range of goods. They are not alone. The suburbs are full of Chinese companies producing commodities for the global market, while the mushrooming of high-rise buildings suggests there are many rich entrepreneurs in the construction sector.
China has quickly blown away the negative implications of the great financial crash of 2007 to 2009 and is in a new strong phase of economic growth. Gross national product is rising by as much as 9 per cent. This raises the paradox as to how a supposed communist country can produce such an impressive macroeconomic performance.
The reality is that from an economic perspective communism has been thrown out the window of these mutistorey buildings. The workers-versus-capitalists classification has no relevance to the restructuring of the Chinese economy. The 18th-century Irish economist Richard Cantillon can provide assistance in unlocking the paradox of China and its entrepreneurial class. more