Friday, January 08, 2010

From Iron Curtain to "Iron Rice Bowl" to Iron Production

How did a 46 year old woman, born in Maoist China, turn a lay-off in 1996 into a multi-million dollar business in 8 years? She lost her job with millions of others when Communist China's state run businesses downsized to shift to a capitalist economy. The Government then gave the laid off workers assistance finding new employment or tax exemptions if starting a new business.

These lay-offs of massive numbers of workers from government subsidized businesses marked the end of the "iron rice bowel" -- guaranteed government employment.

She failed at her first business as a sugar wholesaler due to lack of experience. She started a second business, interior decoration and installation. She had a ready, cheap labor pool of 2100 laid off women in their 40s and 50s. Monthly pay for a worker: about $48.00 per month. Her attitude: "I just tried to make my businesses successful so that I could help more people."

This is a simplistic story, with a tone of propaganda, originating from a Chinese News Agency. Still, it suggests that the U.S. Government could think of creative ways for the unemployed with entrepreneurial bent to develop businesses that would specifically target the unemployed for jobs.

"If the pink slip doesn't fit,
get redressed!"
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