Author: SherrySongSHSF

Should childcare service become a business? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-11-29 17:06:00 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sfphoto at 2017-11-29 17:15
Jaaja Post time: 2017-11-29 10:06

I guess we can just include this discission in the big basket of our different views about pros and cons of capitalism vs socialism.

My posts on this thread are not about ideologies (State Socialism vs Market Capitalism) but about Social Enterprises based on traditional Chinese Culture.

In my opinion, in any community there is always enough variation in people's socio-economic status so that some individuals will have more than others. And some of those who don't have, will take it from others. This is because people are competitive and capitalist by human nature.

That's the Capitalist "Law of the Jungle" or Social Darwinism as practised by the West. Chinese Socialism practices the "Law of Heaven" based on Confucian concepts of benevolence, Buddhist ideals of compassion and Taoist teachings on spiritualism. Remember, we're talking about the need for a community to provide SOCIAL WELFARE as a HUMAN RIGHT to all its members regardless of socio-economic status.

Some personal perspective:; My extended family is from rural Yunnan, and within the same  you can see wealthy tobacco farmers, people walking without shoes, and outcast thieves. In my city block in Kunming there are ex-farmers collecting bottles and scrap to sell for food, while other families own multiple apartments and live on the rental income - and me, a foreigner bringing money to the country.

A Capitalist Market Economy creates class stratification based on socio-economic status. That's why both the State and Society should fund SOCIAL ENTERPRISES as a way to promote SOCIAL WELFARE for all people regardless of socio-economic status. Otherwise, poor people won't have access to SOCIAL WELFARE which will turn into a commodity for the rich.

I don't think that the state should even try to balance this out on community-level. What you advocate, may work if they considered each inividual separately and allocated funds accordingly directly to the people. This is how it works in my home country for example. We try to avoid creating ghettos.

Capitalist Enterprises catering to rich people will have the effect of creating golden ghettos because they won't serve poor people.


But more important than any of that, in my opinion non-profitability that you advocate kills much of creativity and innovation in care industry. No different than in many other sectors.

For consumer industries, Capitalist Enterprises provide consumer goods/services to people depending upon their socio-economic status. That's fundamentally a PRIVATE transaction between sellers and buyers based on CONSUMER CHOICE. If rich people want to buy iPhones, that's their CONSUMER CHOICE. But for social welfare industries, both the State and Society MUST provide social welfare goods/services to people regardless of their socio-economic status because SOCIAL WELFARE is not a CONSUMER CHOICE but a HUMAN RIGHT.

Capitalism in care industry should be allowed, but regulated (more than in other industries) to assert that when profits increase, so does the quality (or quantity) of services provided.

Apple is a Capitalist Enterprise that makes iPhones as commodities to be priced and sold to the highest bidder in order the generate the maximum profits to its Capitalist investors. That's an AMORAL activity. But why should SOCIAL WELFARE be turned into an AMORAL activity of generating PROFITS to Capitalist investors in a Capitalist Enterprise? Why should SOCIAL WELFARE be turned into a commodity to be priced and sold to the highest bidder?


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Post time 2017-11-29 18:33:51 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-11-29 17:06
My posts on this thread are not about ideologies (State Socialism vs Market Capitalism) but about S ...
If rich people want to buy iPhones, that's their CONSUMER CHOICE. But for social welfare industries, both the State and Society MUST provide social welfare goods/services to people regardless of their socio-economic status because SOCIAL WELFARE is not a CONSUMER CHOICE but a HUMAN RIGHT


I don't disagree that state should provide some level of social welfare, that catches the whole population.

But above that basic service level, care industry becomes consumer choice as well. That's where you have the rich getting better services than the poor, and ideally the poor wanting to become rich as well to get it. This is reality, in China more than anywhere else.

Above that basic level, care industry should (and does) operate on market terms, where the best service providers survive and the worst go down. How would this work if state funded, community operated providers were the only option? How do you change the provider, other than moving to different city or area?

In these private providers you have the development and innovation (driven by market share and profits), that eventually get incorporated to the basic service level that state offers, when (and if) that level goes up too.

Regardless of how much resources the state, or society through charities, put toward caring for children and the elderly, there will always be some people and families looking for more. Do you deny them that?

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Post time 2017-11-30 11:55:32 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sfphoto at 2017-11-30 11:56
Jaaja Post time: 2017-11-29 18:33
I don't disagree that state should provide some level of social welfare, that catches the whole  ...

I think you're talking apples (Market Capitalism) while I am talking about oranges (Social Enterprise).


Here's a good definition of Social Enterprise (from the BC Center for Social Enterprise, Canada):


social enterprise is a revenue-generating business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to deliver profit to shareholders and owners.

There you have it. A social enterprise performs a social mission (such as childcare, elderlycare, etc) that benefits a community as its stakeholders. The professional management of the social enterprise is accountable to the community which participates in the financial and operational activities of the non-profit organization. In traditional Chinese society, social enterprises perform the function of social welfare by serving the community through non-profit Confucianist benevolent clan/village associations, Buddhist charitable organizations or privately-funded social welfare institutions. This informal sector of the social economy of China needs to be institutionalized by the State through the promulgation and regulation of industry standards; education, training, certification and qualification of industry professionals; financial, research and policy support for the industry.

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Post time 2017-11-30 17:33:19 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-11-30 11:55
I think you're talking apples (Market Capitalism) while I am talking about oranges (Social Enterpri ...

No, I am talking of neither apples nor orangers, but childcare, and care industry as whole.

Your arguments about definition of social enterprises is irrelevant as counter argument to my opinions - I don't disagree with any of that.

I am just saying, that to make the whole (child or other) care industry function on solely social enterprises will only work by banning private enterprises. The future of that path has already been seen in China in many other industries. You can consult your own government for detals.

It shouldn't be a surprise that so many commercial childcare establishments in China have foreign origins. Whatever social welfare your "traditional Chinese society" has provded, is clearly not sufficient in catering to needs of the population.

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Post time 2017-12-1 02:49:26 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sfphoto at 2017-12-1 11:44
Jaaja Post time: 2017-11-30 17:33
No, I am talking of neither apples nor orangers, but childcare, and care industry as whole.

Your  ...

I don't think Capitalist enterprises providing childcare services for profit will help the people who need them most, namely poor people who work in big cities. Only the rich -- the top 1% -- will benefit from consuming yet another high-priced commodity. This results in segregating the rich from poor people which is opposite effect of the community organizations providing social welfare based on traditional  Chinese culture. Rather than promoting social harmony by supporting community participation, Capitalist enterprises do the exact opposite by promoting more class stratification. The purpose is not just childcare or other social welfare services, but building the social economy through community-based social enterprises. The issue is not just about economics but about morality because social welfare is the moral obligation of Chinese society which has historically been the family, clan, village based on traditional Chinese culture.

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Post time 2017-12-1 13:08:20 |Display all floors
sfphoto Post time: 2017-12-1 02:49
I don't think Capitalist enterprises providing childcare services for profit will help the people w ...
I don't think Capitalist enterprises providing childcare services for profit will help the people who need them most, namely poor people who work in big cities.


I agree with that, but many poor who work in big cities are migrants and many of those went to those big cities without their children. Solving that problem is a different matter, though obviously tangential to this discussion.

Only the rich -- the top 1% -- will benefit from consuming yet another high-priced commodity.


First of all, this is not about "will benefit" - this system already exists in China. Secondlly, I think the number is much bigger than 1%, simply because such commercial services are only available in areas where there is sufficient market for them. Thirdly, even a low % is a big absolute number in Chinese cities.

Besides, when those wealthier middleclass families buy these commercial childcare services, they give employment to number of lower income families, contribute to the society by paying taxes, and hopefully to raising better citizens.

I am not talking about social welfare or safety nets for the poor. I am talking about the middleclass and above to find services that they want.

You fail to address my question - what do you expect the wealthy families to do, when they want better childcare for their children than what the community through nonprofits can offer?

What do you expect them, or even the less earning families, to do when (and this is not if) the local community-based social enterprise ends up in some random scandal?

You work in finance, I recall, and I guess you make more money than the average Chinese do. What if this discussion was not about childcare but care for the elderly. Would you like your career and possible savings to count for better service in your retirement days, or will you satisty to what the average Chinese get?

social welfare is the moral obligation of Chinese society which has historically been the family, clan, village based on traditional Chinese culture.


That world is gone. You can only serve a fraction of the population by assuming this as starting point for any system.


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Post time 2017-12-1 13:29:21 |Display all floors
A few points from people like me who is not from the industry:

1, Childcare and aged-care will be new emerging market in the next decade?

2, Government incentives/interference/input in the development of such industry would be beneficial in long-term from investerner's point of view and for the benefit of individuals/families;

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