Authors: Shui Feng, Wang Nair, Wave-particle duality, Ke Chengzhi
After experiencing the Great Depression after the epidemic was released, the Chinese people ushered in a long holiday - May Day. Many places ushered in a short and fierce "fireworks" in the carnival of public opinion. What does it really mean? We went to Chongqing, a big city of Internet celebrities, and tried to discover the mechanism behind a handful of pyrotechnics.
I. Hotel industry: The boom stems from reduced supply
Chongqing is an Internet celebrity tourist destination, we know this. May Day is hot, and I seem to have heard about it before. But I didn't expect this May Day to be so popular.
How hot is it? Let's talk about a few things first, let's taste it.
The first is to find a hotel. We found that the accommodation was extremely expensive, so we went to Bishan District, the end of the subway, to find a place to live, thinking that it would be relatively easy to find. After walking two kilometers into the county seat, I first touched a hotel, and the lady shook her head: it was full. She said that the hotel was very hot in the past two days, and the houses were fully booked, and "the hotels in the whole county were basically full." "They themselves have to sleep on the couch today.
We asked three more full hotels, and finally, we found a small hotel on the street side south of the bus station.
The owner of this stall is husband and wife, they all sleep in the bar, they say there is only one room left... I looked down, the air leaked, the window could not be closed... No wonder there is left. I had to stay. The room does not have a private bathroom, and you have to use the public bathroom, which is probably a low-end hotel now. According to them, more than half of the more than 20 hotels in the surrounding area have collapsed in the epidemic, and only six or seven remain. The house they rented from a certain company, if the company did not waive three months' rent, would not be able to continue. In the end, they also lamented that business is difficult to do.
The popularity of hotels stemmed first from the previous epidemic eliminating many hotels and reducing the number of suppliers. Even if you encounter a normal number of tourists in previous years, if the reception capacity is limited, it will always appear extremely hot. Can't cope with it.
It seems that the rush to buy and boom, first of all, is the result of the mass demise of the supply side.
When we were in Yangjiaping, we looked at the nearby job advertisements, the hotel temporary worker price is 11-13 an hour, although the hotel price is quite high, the location is quite good. No matter how hot the market is, no matter how high the price is, it has nothing to do with hotel workers. Of course, this is especially true if the popularity is only temporary.
2. Stall-up economy: "pyrotechnics"? Recession!
We walked down the main road near Red Rock Village and found a group of vendors setting up stalls at the fork in the road on the right-hand side. The outermost is a big sister who sells fruits, who is busy with a large business alone, and it looks very hard. Chongqing has cloudy days, less ultraviolet rays, and people's skin is generally white, but she has a black and firm face, according to others, it is "hard tan", which can be imagined to have endured more wind and sun than others. Yi drove himself and set up a large stall of fruit, which was sold at ten o'clock in the morning and sold until ten o'clock in the evening. According to the aunt who sold fried goods at the adjacent stall, this eldest sister worked very hard, and she drove here alone, loaded the goods, and started selling. "With so many things, it's very difficult for the chengguan to move around."
Seeing our curious eyes, my aunt explained that this road is the junction of two districts, the south of the road belongs to Kowloonpo, and the north belongs to Shapingba, so this place forms a market for vendors. "When the city management comes, you can run at both ends, it's convenient." Shapingba is coming, I will go to Jiulongpo, Jiulongpo is coming, I will go to Shapingba..." After this section, it will not work, because there is an iron fence in the road, and it is impossible to pass. Therefore, the vendors only focus on this section. At the next opening of the fence, we found a few more vendors.
We asked my aunt how business was going, and she said, "Well, business isn't doing well during the holidays." ”
There are office buildings and neighborhoods on the side of her land, and most of them usually come here to pick up children and people from work. There are fewer people on holidays, they all stay at home, this is not a tourist area, and there are fewer tourists. She said one more paragraph:
"Business has been more difficult lately, and this year's business is particularly difficult. Because a lot of young people are unemployed. ”
According to her, some of them are regular customers, and they still make a little profit when they set up stalls, plus the government also talks about the economy of land stalls, so they come out to set up stalls and squeeze on the side to rob her of her business. The original customer is now a competitor.
We have already seen three ice powder stalls on the side, all young people setting up stalls. The clothes are quite fashionable, and there is a young lady who is still wearing a feathered dress to sell ice powder there. Of course, there are also those who sell knick-knacks, also young people, according to the aunt's identification, all of them are unemployed and then come out to "grab business". Let's ask more, "Was there any last year?" "Auntie said, there was last year, but last year there were very few, and this year is especially many.
The aunt also said that usually these foods are fried at home and sent over, because gas is expensive here. Of course, she still brought a gas canister, mainly for heating.
We thought about it, ice powder is the lowest organic composition of capital, does not need heating, the materials are the simplest, a table, a chair, a few bags of materials, a bucket of water ...
3. Looking at the hardships of life from the commissary
We passed by a commissary at the entrance of a supporting factory opposite the Gree factory. Above this commissary are advertisements for workers and signboards at the training office of Gree Supporting Factory.
According to him, this factory is a supporting factory of Gree, which is fully automated, and there is nothing to learn, because each automation is different. This factory is eight to eight in the evening, and the salary is 3500 to 4000. Some can work up to 4500, his wife came to work in this factory in 02, just built the factory and came, can get 5800 yuan a month, nephew is also from this factory, not so much, but he has been working for several years.
He also said that the salary in Chongqing is about 4,000 yuan, and then he said, "We have a lot of people from Sichuan and Guizhou mountainous areas, and we have never seen so much money, and we are very happy to get 4,000 yuan." ”
This factory has dormitories, a kilometer away, across an intersection, two roads to cross, and it is currently full. The factory not only wrapped up, but also covered food, that is, the money for meal subsidies was punched into the card and the workers were allowed to spend in the factory area. Of course, as usual, there are related households who take kickbacks and earn another sum on the workers. For example, there were also small supermarkets in the factory, and the so-called non-monetized wages that were punched on the workers' cards could only be consumed in the canteen and the small supermarket in the factory. You can buy snacks, you can buy vegetables, you can buy rice, noodles and oil. Of course, this kind of consumption is much more expensive than outside, such as oil is more than 20 yuan more expensive than here.
He also said that every once in a while, people from three agencies come to his place to recruit workers. Now it is not easy to find a job, and they are laying off people. He also emphasized, "The key to finding a job now is to be able to pay cash." ”
In his opinion, what is Chongqing making more money now? It's a builder. Because Chongqing is hot in summer, construction workers start work at four in the morning and finish at eight o'clock, then start work at five o'clock in the afternoon and finish work at nine o'clock, working eight hours a day. "Hard work to earn money."
4. Workers: layoffs, layoffs and low income
Whether it is a good or a bad economy, pyrotechnics have recovered by a few percent, and all kinds of goods and services that consumers expect and enjoy are always borne by various workers.
We were passing by a motorcycle parts processing factory that was starting at noon in an industrial zone south of Jiulongpo, and we met an old man who was preparing to load the car, and he cut a cloth at the door and used it as a mat to load the machine. He said that the wages here are quite high, 56,7800, but that is all based on piecework, overtime, and the higher wages are fooling people. Asked if he needed any skill to work, he said no. Of course, he also said that it is not so easy to find a job now, because factories are laying off people everywhere.
Speaking of motorcycle parts factories, May Day also encountered a place in Xiejiawan, but it went out of business. This factory used to be a big factory, producing motorcycle parts and motorcycles, but now the factory buildings are deserted, and you can see small trees sticking out of the windows. According to him, the factory originally had more than 6,000 people, but a few years ago the factory collapsed, and one person bought out hundreds of thousands, and now the factory building is empty, I don't know what to do. He is currently looking after the factory for others, "taking a little porridge money" and "someone can pay for it anyway."
The next day, near the industrial zone in Kowloonpo, we met several co-workers pulling weeds, two women and one man, two women wearing coats and vests, and one male worker not wearing them, pulling weeds with his bare hands. According to an eldest sister, they received their salary from an outsourcing company, worked eight hours a day, worked every day, not only for pulling weeds, but also for pruning, the salary was dozens of yuan a day, then went to work at eight o'clock in the morning, left work at eleven o'clock at noon, had a meal time, and went from half past one to six o'clock in the afternoon.
We also met a sanitation master who was working on the west side of the south gate of the Gree Factory, he was more shy, saying that he was working for his wife, and they worked alternately to earn one person's money. The couple is a worker, in charge of cleaning a section of the road, sometimes more work, sometimes less work, a day is also dozens of yuan, about eighty or so, a month's salary is about two thousand, almost enough for the minimum wage line.
According to her, many Chongqing locals have either gone to factory or sales, with few other employment directions.
What does dry sales do? On the evening of May Day, we found a strange phenomenon in the crowded Yangjiaping business district: roadside restaurants would hire people to recruit customers outside, shout for drinks, and pull customers in, and it was said that they hired dozens of yuan a day. Shops where there are people soliciting customers are crowded, while shops outside the door where there is no solicitation, there is not a single customer inside, and it is empty, despite the crowds outside. A stark contrast. So hiring such salespeople in tourist areas may still be useful.
On the basement floor of the Human Resources Bureau in Jiulongpo, there is a common area with tables and chairs, which looks quite high-class. On the left is a sign of the Entrepreneurship Center, which is about the meeting place of entrepreneurs, and on the right is a sign of the Workers' Station, which is said to be a resting place for outdoor workers. The two brands actually point to the same area. We tried the power supply and it couldn't be charged. After sitting down, I found that half a centimeter thick ash had accumulated on the chair and tabletop.
Whether it is entrepreneurship or labor, it has not been here for a long time.
5. What does pyrotechnic gas really mean?
This "hot" is manufactured. The concentration of time nodes, the concentration of people, the concentration of supply, and the combination of squeezing out a short-lived "boom" by cracking down on traders and the supply contraction caused by the previous epidemic make people feel as if the economy is prosperous. But these booms are only so-called consumption booms, which have little to do with production at present; More importantly, it is a short-term boom, a manifestation of consumption squeeze and concentration, but it may usher in a longer cooling-off or depression period in the future.
What's behind the pyrotechnics? There is a recession and a wave of unemployment.
Hotel closures are a manifestation of a slump. It is because there are fewer hotels that hotels are popular. In other consumer industries, we can see that Chongqing's consumer economy is becoming more and more volatile, and these consumer owners now have to use higher shop rents, cheaper people, and lower capital organic composition to complete its reproduction.
This "roll" means more fierce competition, which is brought about by the wave of unemployment, a trend of more and more sellers and fewer and fewer buyers; It is a process in which people at the bottom are struggling more and more in this low-end industry and low-tech industry.
Layoffs by related companies are the source of unemployment. With the advancement of technology, high-tech applications have brought about a large number of low-tech positions, and "high-tech does not need to be literate." This weakens the demand for workforce skills. Outsourcing, monotonous technology, tool people, and experience have no possibility of adding value to labor, and the technical degradation of workers means that it is easier to threaten them with unemployment, and it also means that there is greater personal control within the factory.
In a global manufacturing center, a manufacturing country with the ambition of 2035, representatives of monopoly capital must know what retail consumption is. For them, this pyrotechnic gas has nothing to do with their economic prosperity, and they know it in their own hearts. At present, if the manufacturing industry is prosperous, if the economy is really good, it will boast about manufacturing 2035 every day, and will tout the prosperity of this industry every day, what is that industry. New equipment, new technology, which industry wages have risen, which industry has opened an extra factory ...
They will definitely not promote pyrotechnics, once only promote pyrotechnics, it means that the prosperity of manufacturing in a short period of time is probably out of reach, right? At least you can't see it for this time. So at this time, we have to use the guise of pyrotechnics to let everyone obtain a false illusion of prosperity, as if consumption can make the manufacturing industry recover.
There is actually no relationship between the two. You will find that this so-called pyrotechnic boom is precisely the manifestation of economic depression, the manifestation of manufacturing recession, and an ominous omen for the entire Chinese economy. Tourism is the last straw that such struggling places have to choose in times of so-called economic downturn.
The EU has the "Bungy Four", with the worst economy and the biggest problems. Portugal, Spain, Greece, Italy these four countries are known for tourism, in fact, they are not good at manufacturing, and the developed countries of the EU are all countries with developed manufacturing.
Tourism is a pretense to coax the citizen class, which can make the petty bourgeoisie, immersed in the appearance of the world of consumption, cheer, feel that the fireworks are back, and feel that consumption can produce with consumption. In fact, this is complete nonsense. The historical facts are all there! You will see that pyrotechnics is not a unique thing of the capitalist economy, it has nothing to do with the prosperity of capital, and it has nothing to do with the prosperity of investment, and capital does not value this thing at all. The Tang Dynasty also had pyrotechnics, and the Song Dynasty also had pyrotechnics. The Ming Dynasty also had pyrotechnics, the Qing Dynasty also had pyrotechnics, and even the Republic of China had pyrotechnics, was the economy prosperous at that time? Has capitalism developed? So it's not a measure, it's not something that should be in this era. But the reason why even pyrotechnics are taken out for propaganda in this era is not very good.
So why rush people? Is it not well coordinated? No. The street vendor economy is already in a state of oversupply, and in this case, the chengguan rush is also creating fireworks: concentrated, overloaded, tense, is what looks prosperous.
Moreover, the big capital group or monopoly capital group, on the one hand, wants to use them to whitewash the peace, on the other hand, he can't even wait to leave the market, so he has to go to the way of driving people, so that the vendors feel that it is his honor to come out to do business, and it is given by the master to live.
Of course, more importantly, it is necessary to maintain the continuous power of the manufacturing industry, that is, to maintain the ability to deliver meat to the manufacturing industry, so it is "stable" to drive away the vendors from time to time and let them know that they still have to go back to the factory to work like that.
What is the basic contradiction or dilemma of the current capital movement in Chinese society? The downturn in manufacturing lies in the increase in unemployment. In order to whitewash the peace and maintain order, big monopoly capital has to carry out the creation of false prosperity in order to boost confidence and create prosperity.
And after that? Capital may still have to drive people to the manufacturing industry, may have to reduce the wages of workers lower, hoping that you will enter their reserve army of manufacturing industry at a lower wage, and throw them into the manufacturing industry at any time. For example, if the salary in Chongqing is lowered from 4,000 yuan to 3,500, they will probably rejoice, right? This is something that workers need to pay attention to.
They were preparing for a manufacturing boom, but the manufacturing boom didn't come. Therefore, they need to produce pyrotechnics, but also control the fire, and use administrative means to maintain small producers in the uncertainty of "being put in order at any time", so as to ensure that they are stored in the industrial reserve army and can be put into the future "boom" at any time.