By George F. WIll via Delaware Online | Jan 19, 2016

China produces an astonishing number of astonishing numbers, including this: In the 20th century, America made automobiles mass-consumption items, requiring prodigious road building. China, however, poured more concrete for roads and other construction between 2011 and 2013 than America did in the 20th century. This fact is emblematic of China’s remarkable success. And is related to its current difficulties, including its 2015 growth rate (6.9 percent), its slowest in 25 years.

The regime’s contract with its 1.4 billion subjects is that it will deliver prosperity and they will be obedient. Now the bill is coming due for the measures taken to produce prosperity.

In 1978, when Deng Xiaoping began the regime’s attempt to leaven Leninism with market reforms, half of the Chinese lived on less than $1 a day. In just six years, collective agriculture almost disappeared and grain production increased 34 percent, freeing people to move from the countryside to more productive urban employment…