William Hinton, Hugh Deane's China now: reports & appraisal PDF

By William Hinton, Hugh Deane

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A number of products designated "primary products" -- for instance, important raw materials such as coal and steel -page 52 are planned directly at the national level. The plan for less important types of production (cement, furniture) is developed at the provincial level. In the case of still other products (farming implements, daily necessities), whose production is so dispersed as to make central planning pointless, the plan is elaborated at the district level. The output of the collective enterprises, which is destined largely for local consumption, falls into this category.

The Question of Planned Prices Prices play a rather secondary role in the Chinese economy. Monetary calculation intended to "maximize" the income of each production unit is not a dominant factor in the formulation of planning objectives at the overall level or at the level of a particular production unit. This does not mean that no effort is made to estimate and reduce costs, but prices do not direct production. Production is determined by the political line. The prices themselves are secondary expressions of the political line.

These discussions evaluate the factory machinery, innovations, and the creative initiative of the masses. The trade departments send their own teams to the factory where they present various marketing data. In the case of jackets, for instance, they set forth requirements regarding quantity, size, material -- cotton, nylon, etc. -- and style -- type of collar, long or short sleeves, etc. Workers and factory employees visit stores and other outlets to obtain first-hand information concerning the views of the customers.

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China now: reports & appraisal by William Hinton, Hugh Deane


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