Disney Expands Its Role In China
by Gary Reber
Following DreamWorks Animation SKO Inc. announced plans to build a studio in Shanghai in partnership with two state-owned Chinese media companies, Disney will partner with Beijing to help it build its animation industry.
It’s one thing to distribute the studio’s American-made popular titles in China, and quite another to partner with a Chinese company that will produce animation titles and compete with American counterparts. This is especially problematic given that the Chinese government will prop-up the new venture with all sorts of financial incentives.
Disney and DreamWorks are now two other American companies that are embracing China as a future source of cheap labor. Unless we reverse our policies to increase productivity over the coming decades, the American standard of living is certain to decline.
At present, American corporations are increasingly abandoning the United States and its communities to invest in productive capital formation outside the United States, particularly in China, Mexico, India, and other parts of Asia. As a result, America is experiencing the de-industrialization of America. Such overseas operations have the advantage of “sweat-shop” slave labor rates relative to American standards (Apple recently exposed), low or no taxation, supportive infrastructure provisions, currency manipulation, and few if any environmental regulations––which translate to lower-cost production. Thus, producing the same product or service in the United States would be far more expensive. For most people, economic globalization means a growing gap between rich and poor, technological alienation of the labor worker from the means of production, and the phenomenon of global corporations and strategic alliances forcing labor workers in high-cost wage markets, such as the United States, to compete with labor-saving capital tools and lower-paid foreign workers. Unemployment in the United States is high and there is an accelerating displacement of labor workers by technology and cheaper foreign labor, resulting in greater economic uncertainty and unstable retirement incomes for the average American citizen––causing the average citizen to become increasingly dependent on government wealth redistribution programs.
Our worldclass animation creativity should be further nurtured at home and exported to China, not the other way about.