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European Workers Are "Lazy," Says Chinese Computer Mogul
November 3, 2011 11:00 AM
TIGER MOM OF THE CORPORATE WORLD
Should China help bail Europe out? That’s the question on everyone’s mind as we continue to see the fallout from Greek prime minister George Papandreou’s call for a referendum on the debt deal for his country.
But perhaps the better question is: Will China help? The answer seems to be no, if we go by Lenovo Group founder and outgoing chairman Liu Chuanzhi's opinion of Europe.
It turns out that Liu,
as one of China’s most powerful people in 2009, isn't a big fan of the generous social welfare packages Europe is known for.
"I think they (European workers) have more than enough, which will make them rot and lose their competitiveness," said Liu, who added that Europe has become a “lazy society” because of its social security,
according to an article
in Want China Times. Yeah, why don’t you tell us how you really feel, Liu?
Speaking to college students in Shanghai, the Asian tech industry titan, who
stepped down yesterday
, added that he hoped Chinese employees will never take to the “more-than-enough” benefits workers in Europe enjoy.
Harsh words from Liu? Maybe the 67-year-old (retiring at 67? Isn’t that a little young?) is simply living up to the cultural stereotype of the all-work-and-no-play Chinese, most recently brought to American attention by "Tiger Mother" and strict disciplinarian Amy Chua. Consider Liu Chanzhi the "Tiger CEO," if you will.
Of course, while Amy Chua’s parenting views have met with outrage here (check out the comments section of her
Wall Street Journal
op-ed), Liu’s opinions on Europe’s social welfare policies, which he gleaned from his experience working at Lenovo’s European branches, will have plenty of supporters stateside. Whole Foods head honcho John Mackey, well known for his libertarian views, famously compared
to herpes, and is also a vocal critic of single-payer healthcare systems.
“The assumption behind that is that people don't care about their own health, and that somebody else has to -- a nanny or somebody -- has to take care of me because people are too stupid to make these decisions themselves. That's not been our experience. We find our team members (employees), not surprisingly, seem to care a whole lot about their health,” said Mackey in a
Indeed, with union membership here in the US
and real wages having stayed
for decades, Liu would surely approve of the state of our society. Maybe that’s why China's willing to continue to buy our debt.
Meanwhile, Liu hasn't completely given up on Europe: He says governments can “fix the problem by increasing job opportunities and supporting minorities with tax income.” Hmm, he might've lost John Mackey with that one.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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REAL WAGE STAGNATION
EUROPE WELFARE STATE
TIGER MOM AMY CHUA
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