Anyone who has lived through the global bubble and bust of the last few years may wonder what’s so great about a consumer society. In the United States, the idea that we have reoriented our economy toward consumption and don’t make things anymore has become a standard lament, not a sign of progress. But China is a long way from consuming too much. Saying that China does not have a big-enough consumer economy is really another way of saying that not enough of its resources reach the broad mass of its people. If they had more resources, they would surely spend more. This is why the recent labor strikes, and the pay increases that followed, were so important. They were a sign that Chinese households might start to enjoy more of the fruits of the long boom.

[via @rudeshock]