March 8, 2005

CHOKING DRAGON (via Tom Morin):

China's bloated army of 46m bureaucrats worries ruling elite (Richard Spencer, 08/03/2005, Daily Telegraph)

China now has 46 million government bureaucrats, new statistics revealed yesterday, a number almost as great as the entire population of England.

While the country is used to outdoing the rest of the world for sheer numbers, the explosion in officialdom is alarming its ruling Communist Party.

Its excessive and corrupt bureaucracy was regarded as one of the principal causes of the decline of imperial rule. Yet there are now 35 times as many people on the government payroll, even as a proportion of the population, than at the time of the collapse of the Qing dynasty in 1911.

If people were stunned at the rapid collapses of Bolshevism and Islamic dictatorship, despite the fact we were at obvious war when both imploded, imagine how much more shocking they'll find the collapse of the PRC, which Realists keep telling them is going to be our 21st Century rival?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2005 11:17 PM

46 million? John Kerry and Howard Dean must look on that figure with envy.

Is there a Chinese version of the Humphrey-Hawkins bill somewhere?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 9, 2005 12:05 AM

How many Chinese bureaucrats does it take to change a light bulb?

Posted by: Gideon at March 9, 2005 2:30 PM

I have been trying to compare this number to something else. I give up. It is too enormous.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 9, 2005 3:55 PM

An entire country run like the New York City Board of Education. Now that is a scary thought.

Posted by: Bart at March 9, 2005 6:33 PM