Miracle Economics

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Miracle Economics

In his book Asiaís Miracle Economies, Jon Woronoff examines the dramatically quick economic growth of five Asian countries. The five countries examined are Japan,
Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Through his study the author demonstrates that there was no miracle involved in these countries growth. They applied specific
strategies that were adapted to their local environment. Some of these strategies worked some didnít. The author says that by examining these nations, one may be able to
repeat there success. The book is divided into three parts. In Part One: Places the author tells where these countries started from. Some were poorer than average. Some
had little natural resources. The people of these countries had different outlooks on the world thus different behavioral tendencies. Part I is divided into five chapters each
examining a countries. Woronoff begins Chapter 1 Japanís Two Miracles, by discussing Japanís first industrial revolution. In 1853 when Commodore Perry opened Japanís
ports to foreigners, Japan was feudal society. It was not very evolved nor very modern. Agriculture was good but not enough for the growing population. Japan wanted to
learn from the West. Japan sent many students to Europe and the United States. Soon Japan began industrializing. Groups called zaibatsu formed. These zaibatsu dominated
industry and commerce. They manipulated politics to suit their own needs. Japan soon began concentrating own building a War Machine. After the Russo-Japanese War, the
country went into a recession. But after the First World War, Imperial Japan began growing up until the end of the WWII. The war left Japan resouceless and heavily
overpopulated. The victorious Allies gave or rather imposed democratization onto Japan. The zaibatsu were disbanded. Japan was left weak. The United States provided
much financial support. Japanís economy then began growing very fast. The Japanese protected themselves by implementing quotas and then non-tariff barriers. Companies
such as Sony, Honda, and YKK improved production methods. Businessmen and bureaucrats worked together. Many firms formed keiretsu. Keiretsu was a sort of lateral
conglomeration of banks and companies loyal to each other. The author concluded that the 1980ís, Japanís economy had surpassed those of France and Britain and rivaled
the United Statesí economy. The Japanese could now purchase many luxury consumer goods, but at what price. Their obsession with production as their prewar obsession
with military might had its drawbacks. Lack of urban planning has led to urban congestion with subsufficient pluming and sewage. Their economic success came at the cost
of living conditions, human relations and natural beauty. The author begins Chapter 2 Taiwan, Industrial Island with a brief history of Taiwan. Taiwan, the island of
Formosa was once a Dutch trading center. Then it became a part of the Chinese province of Fukien in 1683. With this Chinese began immigrating. In 1895, Formosa was
ceded to Japan. The Japanese realized the agricultural potential of the island. They built roads, railways and harbors. After the Second World War, the islandís economy
which had been based on exporting food and raw material to Japan was now greatly weakened. In 1949 when the Kumintang moved to the island , so came over one million
refugees, fleeing from the communist mainland. The first priority of the new Republic of China was its military. Aid came from the U.S. in 1953 in the form of the Mutual
Security Treaty. Taiwan attempted many things to help its economy. These implementations made matters worse. The Nineteen Point Program of Economic and Financial
Reform enabled local businessmen to act more efficiently and purposely. Despite many factors against it the Republic of China has been able to steadily grow economically
and is likely to continue to survive into the future. In chapter 3 Korea Man-Made Miracle the author explores the history of Korea. Korea has long had a history of Chinese
domination. But as China became more an more under western spheres of influence, Korea began to be dominated by Russia and Japan. Soon after Japan took control.
Japan used Korea as mercantilist colony. Japan did build roads and develop the economy. After the war, Korea was left in bad shape. The country was divided into a U.S.
zone and a USSR zone. The zone formed two separate nations. North Korea had all of the industry and the South had all of the agriculture. Soon the North invaded the
South. The U.S. came the aid of

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