Tom Freidman did it on Meet The Press this weekend, though he took pains to point out that he was simply engaging in fanciful speculation. Today, liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias, who is currently in China, offers this:
in the past couple of months the Chinese government has taken regulatory steps to try to cool things down including, most notably, requiring a 50% downpayment on any second homes. The clear intention there is to make it difficult to engage in leveraged real estate speculation, thus preventing too much in the way of mania.Not allowing governments to have one set of rules for the home country and another for the colonies goes to the very heart of American history. For English speaking people, the notion that capriciousness in government is a bad idea may go back as far as Magna Carta. As bad as the current financial crisis is, upending this tradition now seems like an incredibly bad way to run a country.
I won’t try to judge how effective that step will be. But it’s a reminder that it’s not as if it’s impossible for regulators to notice that something funny’s happening and then change the rules in response. [EA]
More to my point here, it also seems like a bad way to win people to your cause. Just twenty years ago the Chinese government brutally suppressed pro-democracy public demonstrations. Thankfully, no Tea-partier has yet had to face down a tank, but when commentators on the left speak so glowingly of China, it reinforces the idea that worrying about such as possibility may not be all that crazy.