When we call global Johns Hopkins an IVY LEAGUE hedge fund with its BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION controlling all economic and development activity and 5% pols and players these few decades of Robber Baron CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA----this is what we mean. These overseas development corporations tied to wars, civil unrest, and then building Foreign Economic Zones employed what was our middle-class as US corporations left US cities-----our EX PAT US citizens wanting to remain employed in good paying jobs went overseas to install FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES---HUMAN CAPITAL DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS----global military corporations paid professional mercenary soldiers 1,000 times more than our US public military troops.
All of this was done to keep Americans thinking they were WINNERS. All of this was tied to OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1% freemasonry/Greeks creating this core of 5% to the 1% capturing our US economy and governance. This same model was installed in developing nations building Foreign Economic Zones.
We shout to those global 2% who are extended family or 'brotherhood' watch out-----MOVING FORWARD placing that global 1% into a position of not having to pretend to have INCOME LADDERS. Our global 1% and their 2% filling US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones will see an END TO WINNERS HAVING HIGH SALARIES----very soon.
THESE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS ARE SIMPLY HOLDING THOSE TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN MASSIVE FRAUDS OF US TREASURY AND PEOPLE'S POCKETS.
21 Business Development Companies With Sky-High Yields
August 20, 2010, 06:44:49 PM EDT By George Self,
Private equity (PE) firms get a lot of press for the incredible returns they're able to generate. They turn huge profits by offering debt financing, equity investment and consulting services to closely-held firms. When the projects meet with financial success, the private equity group profits handsomely. A few of the larger PE funds have consistently achieved annual gains in excess of +20%.
The main problem for most of us? Unless you meet strict income and net worth requirements, you're largely forbidden from investing in a private equity fund . So how can the average investor gain exposure to this type of investment?
By investing in a business development company ( BDC ) .
BDCs are similar to private equity firms, but are traded on public markets. BDCs focus their attention on small companies often considered too risky to receive a loan from a bank. This high risk level allows BDCs to charge high rates, and earn large returns. BDCs provided start-up capital to some of today's brightest stars, including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) , Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) .
Though BDCs may seem risky, they're really not. Like a mutual fund , a BDC typically invests in a relatively large number of firms over a range of different sectors, thus diversifying its otherwise high level of risk. BDCs also tend to perform well in bear markets. When credit is tight and banks are less willing to make speculative investments, more companies turn to BDCs for funding, enabling them to lock in more favorable lending terms.
One final reason to own BDCs is that they're tax-advantaged. BDCs are exempt from federal taxes as long as they (1) pay 90% of income to shareholders as dividends, and (2) maintain a debt-to-equity ratio below 1.0. As you can imagine, the 90% dividend payout ratio typically leads to high dividend yields.
Here is a list of BDCs along with their market cap and juicy dividend yields:
Company (Ticker)Market Cap ($million)Dividend Yield as of 8/19/10
Apollo Investment Corporation (Nasdaq: AINV)1,71012.02%
Ares Capital Corporation (Nasdaq: ARCC)1,8509.73%
BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (Nasdaq: BKCC)2,80012.13%
Capital Southwest Corporation
Fifth Street Finance Corporation
Gladstone Capital Corporation
Gladstone Investment Corporation (Nasdaq: GAIN)1268.39%
Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Inc. (Nasdaq: HTGC)3498.31%
Kayne Anderson Energy Development Co. ( KED )1478.29%
Kohlberg Capital Corporation
Main Street Capital Corporation
MVC Capital Inc. ( MVC )3053.81%
NGP Capital Resources Co.
PennantPark Investment Corporation (Nasdaq: PNNT)31810.30%
Prospect Capital Corporation
Saratoga Investment Corporation
( ASR )1,3904.08%
Solar Capital Ltd. (Nasdaq: SLRC)65812.09%
THL Credit, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCRD)2261.72%
TICC Capital Corp. (Nasdaq: TICC)2449.68%
Medallion Financial Corporation
Triangle Capital Corporation
Keep in mind that, before investing in a BDC, it is important to do the research! Since the performance of the BDC hinges upon its underlying assets, thoroughly examine the companies in which the BDC is investing (in this case the small, closely-held business looking to the BDC for capital). Putting in the time doing your homework can help you determine which members of our list are healthy and able to sustain their high yield .
While this week's discussion on immigration/immigrant public policy was directed at the 99% of global labor immigrant citizens we will end by waving the WARNING FLAG to those global 1% and their 2% thinking of MOVING FORWARD IN US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES. What we have seen these few decades inside the US is creation of NGOs for our immigrant citizens mirroring what was built overseas by these same GLOBAL NGOs. Where our Latino immigrant citizens have the strongest NGO system employing that 5% to the 1%----now we see Asian, African, South Pacific global 1% doing the same. This article addresses this ROBBER BARON structure in 1990s---during Clinton----and it is key to STOPPING MOVING FORWARD in US cities. We are shouting to our global 2% -----there is no winning in MOVING FORWARD US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----for US or global 2%.
It is those GLOBAL NGOs inside US cities that create the corruption and fraud and MOVING FORWARD is making all this soar. We all know it is those OVERPAID NGO CEOs that make up those extended family/brotherhood global 2% ----the 99% of black, white, and brown citizens whether US or immigrant MUST WAKE UP and stop shaking fists at Trump instead of breaking down US cities NGOs and development corporations. It is as vital to our global labor 99% wanting a future in a freedom, liberty, and justice US CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS----as it is to our 99% of US black, white, and brown citizens.
THIS IS WHERE THE POPULIST WAR STARTS AND ENDS FOLKS----PLEASE STOP FOLLOWING GLOBAL 1% ALT RIGHT ALT LEFT 5% PLAYERS DOING FAKE POPULIST ACTIONS.
Corruption in the NGO world: what it is and how to tackle it
by Jérôme Larché November 1999
Corruption is a sensitive issue in the NGO world. Humanitarian actors need to understand what corruption is, recognise the forms it can take in humanitarian response, determine its true scale and better understand the conditions which lead to it. They also need to identify what mechanisms need to be put in place or strengthened to guard against corruption, even in the most difficult contexts. Mitigating against corruption is necessary if NGOs are to achieve both operational efficiency and accountability to their stakeholders. However, it is also important to recognise that adopting a proactive and transparent approach to dealing with corruption may involve short-term risks to an NGO’s reputation.
What is corruption?
Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as ‘the abuse of power or position for private gain’.+ This covers ‘active corruption’, such as bribery, and ‘passive corruption’, or allowing oneself to be bribed, as well as misappropriation. The exact scale of the problem in the humanitarian aid sector is by its nature very difficult to determine, but is assumed to be at much lower levels than corruption in the private commercial sector.
Another model of corruption takes into account the sources from which these risks emanate.+ ‘Contextual’ corruption is linked to the environment surrounding the intervention (corrupt regimes, governments, police forces). ‘Systemic’ corruption refers to the humanitarian system, with its multiple, interacting and interdependent actors. ‘Intra-organisational’ corruption is linked to the constraints inherent within each NGO (human resources, active prevention strategies against corruption risks, verification procedures). This more operational model can help in prioritising and identifying NGOs’ scope of action in light of these risks. Thus, while NGOs have little hope of eradicating contextual corruption, they can and should take steps to prevent or address corruption within their own organisations.
A number of factors which can lead to corruption in humanitarian operations have also been identified.+ These include lack of planning (or even the impossibility of planning), the number of humanitarian actors present and the financial resources at stake. The way in which the international humanitarian system has developed in recent years, including the exponential growth in the number of NGOs and the development of the humanitarian ‘industry’, has also been a contributing factor. Finally, we should not forget that corruption exists in developed countries, as well as developing ones.
Corruption and humanitarian aid: new dilemmas?
The number of NGOs has grown exponentially over the last 20 years, as has the scale of resources available. In 2010, it was estimated that humanitarian spending reached just shy of $17 billion.+ Some NGOs have become transnational, with very large budgets. One American NGO, World Vision International, has a budget topping $2.6bn.
NGOs are often reluctant to talk about corruption for fear that it will lead to bad publicity and, consequently, a loss of funding. Working across borders to reach people in need can also give rise to allegations of corruption. The degree of confidentiality necessary to negotiate with those who control access can sometimes make transparency difficult to achieve. Moving clandestinely across borders to access affected populations, as NGOs have done over the years in many conflict situations, can also raise questions about the legitimacy and legality of such action. During the Afghan war in the 1980s, for instance, the Soviet-allied government in Kabul did not want humanitarian actors in Afghanistan, particularly in areas controlled by resistance factions. In this context, humanitarian NGOs had no choice but to cross the Pakistan–Afghanistan border illegally (without permission), through Peshawar and the North West Frontier Province. When humanitarian personnel were captured and held hostage by Soviet or Afghan forces, NGOs argued that the illegality of their actions did not decrease their legitimacy.
Humanitarian organisations cannot ignore the possible consequences of paying bribes or illegal taxes, especially in armed conflicts. Choosing to pay an illegal tax or bribe (in cash or in kind) when confronted by armed guards at a checkpoint may enable the organisation to access people in need, but can be misinterpreted as corruption. Choosing not to pay can mean that humanitarian needs go unmet and that lives may be lost or the risk of harm increased for NGO staff.
NGOs must widen the scope of risk assessment to consider whether their programmes are vulnerable to corruption, such as theft or misappropriation of funds or in-kind goods by warring parties, real or perceived inequities in the distribution of aid and sexual abuse and exploitation of beneficiaries by agency or partner staff. While every situation is different, in all cases NGOs have to balance their commitment to humanitarian principles with the need to control the risk of corruption so as to be truly accountable to their beneficiaries and donors. They should also be transparent with stakeholders about these challenges, and how they may affect decisions about whether or not to continue their work.
Still a taboo?
Some NGOs, particularly in Nordic countries, have chosen to publicise the results of corruption cases as well as the anti-corruption policies that they have implemented. For example, DanChurchAid (DCA) has a website page detailing corruption cases within the organisation and how they were dealt with.+ Despite the financial crisis that began in 2008, DCA increased its 2009 budget to 498 million DKK (about $123m), a third of which came from private donors (the same proportion as in 2008). Being transparent about corruption does not appear to have negatively affected donor perceptions of DCA. Nonetheless, many NGOs believe that reporting cases of corruption is a major risk with potentially irreversible consequences for humanitarian organisations and their activities. They fear that such cases can undermine their credibility and reputation (particularly with the media), as well as discouraging public and private donations. In France, the Prometheus Foundation, a group of the largest French private companies, including oil, health insurance and pharmaceutical firms, has issued an ‘NGO Transparency Barometer’. The methodology, based only on available public data from NGOs’ websites, has been openly criticised by Coordination Sud, the French NGO forum.+
To open up the debate on corruption and to promote preventive measures, Médecins du Monde (MDM) led a study in 2008 which aimed to interview the 17 largest French NGOs regarding their perceptions of corruption, their approaches to field work and appraising and managing risks, and the procedures they had in place to minimise and prevent such risks.+ Surprisingly, 11 of the 17 NGOs contacted refused to participate in this (strictly confidential) study. Among NGOs that agreed to take part, most recognised that cases of corruption were part of the significant operational challenges around humanitarian aid (see Box 1+). The study confirmed what TI had already demonstrated: that humanitarian operations are most vulnerable to corruption in the procurement, transport and distribution of medicines, food, building materials and other consumables, particularly in large, rapid-onset emergencies.+
It is also important to remember that most emergency situations occur in countries where corruption is already widespread. The great majority of agency staff questioned in the 2008 study believed that corruption was primarily contextual in origin. Over half had witnessed incidents of corruption, been offered bribes or asked to pay them or had been invited to participate in corrupt activities.
NGOs need to ensure that they are well-informed about the nature and level of corruption in the countries in which they operate. This can be done by using, among other sources, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and TI reports on corruption levels. Although NGOs are unlikely to be able to address the root causes of ‘contextual’ corruption at a country level, individually or directly, by working with other NGOs and civil society it may be possible to mitigate the impact on humanitarian operations and local governance. In Bangladesh, for instance, 66.7% of households experienced some form of corruption when trying to access public services. Forty-eight percent of those interviewed encountered corruption in the health service, primarily bribery and nepotism. The most obvious examples were doctors charging for prescriptions and referring patients to their private clinics, and patients having to pay extra fees for tests in government hospitals. Community action at field level resulted in the creation of Committees of Concerned Citizens (CCCs), which acted as watchdogs on local governance and attitudes in both the education and health sectors. This led to dramatic improvements in the quality of care, and significantly reduced bribery, nepotism and negligence.+
At the international level, TI has just finalised a practical guide to identifying the weak links in the humanitarian response system in order to improve awareness and as far as possible prevent corrupt practices.+ The guide also devotes significant attention to how to monitor and evaluate anti-corruption measures. Several NGOs, notably from English-speaking countries, participated in the development of this document, which is more technical than political.
In 1997, the Ethics and Transparency Committee of Coordination Sud drafted a charter of good practice.+ Most large French NGOs are members of the Comité de la Charte, an independent organisation whose aim is to promote financial transparency. NGOs belonging to the committee are required to have their activities (financial and operational) audited each year by a certified auditor. NGO programmes and accounts are also subject to various external audits (several per year) commissioned by donors including EUROPAID and ECHO, as well as by the Cour des Comptes (the government audit office). In addition, most French NGOs have established internal control mechanisms which enable information from the field to be verified and cross-checked.
One of the lessons of the MDM study, which has also been confirmed by TI, is that it is extremely important for field teams to have appropriate and clearly defined intervention strategies, good knowledge of the field context and training on how to identify and reduce the risks of corruption, particularly operational risk factors associated with the procurement, transport, storage and distribution of relief goods.
As a complex global phenomenon with significant local consequences, corruption is a critical aspect of humanitarian thinking and action. Good governance and transparency are at the heart of NGO legitimacy. NGOs must work with Transparency International, the OECD and other institutional partners and private donors in order to fight corruption effectively. Strengthening community involvement in the implementation and evaluation of humanitarian (and development) programmes improves the ‘acceptance’ of NGOs by the beneficiary population and helps to mitigate against corruption and promote better local governance. We need an open debate on the risks of corruption and how to address them, without undermining donor funding to and beneficiary confidence in NGOs. As well as strictly operational considerations, corruption constitutes an important ethical and political challenge for humanitarian NGOs.
Jérôme Larché is a doctor, Associate Researcher at the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique and Delegate Director of Grotius International. He is a former board member of Médecins du Monde-France.
Below we see what will be a TEMPORARY MIDDLE/AFFLUENT CLASS in China as in all Asian developing nations tied to FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES----these are the global 2% created from Chinese 1% moving from being millionaires to being billionaires all while pretending to be LEFT COMMUNIST.
A BOURGEOIS class is simply that middle-class and those using these terms while pretending those POLITBURO COMMUNISTS were anything other than the rich of China-----are playing the CLASS WARFARE in China as it is playing out in US.
There is no intention of keeping this Chinese global 2%----just as there is no intention of having those American 1%, 2%, that pesky 5%. They are going under the bus.
What we see coming to Foreign Economic Zones whether here in US or globally are these NGOs sent in to build the DACA job training and education structures needed to transport global labor pool. We see them here in US cities---and all 99% black, white, and brown whether US citizens or global labor 99% immigrant should be fighting these global NGOs just as we dismantled our US NGOs and development corporations.
WHEN WE SHOUT TO THE GLOBAL 99% OF CITIZENS ---STAND UP AND FIGHT BACK----WE ARE TALKING TO THOSE GLOBAL 2%----WE MUST STOP MOVING FORWARD IN ALL SMART CITY GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT THAT IS ONE WORLD FOR ONLY THOSE GLOBAL 1%.
'But the country is no longer a socialist paradise where the party dictates and the masses toil. A bourgeois class of perhaps 300m people has emerged—and they have their own views on the sort of place China should become'.
These GLOBAL NGOs are simply FAKE 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' organizations tied to global 1% freemasons and Greeks----especially those 5% fake religious organizations. We hear the UNITED NATIONS calling for China to become 'democratic' by giving the vote----well, know what? A captured POLITIBURO now billionaires will build a fake DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM looking just like US FAKE far-right, authoritarian, militaristic, dictatorship global 1% corporate rule LIBERTARIAN MARXISM and pretend WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% VOTED FOR THIS.
Enter the Chinese NGO
The Communist Party is giving more freedom to a revolutionary idea
Print edition | LeadersApr 12th 2014
THE rulers of China have always seen its history as binary. Long divided, the empire will unite, goes a famous saying; long united, it will divide. Today, under the Communist Party, fear of division is strong. Determined to avoid the fate of the Soviet Union, party leaders strive to hold China together.
But the country is no longer a socialist paradise where the party dictates and the masses toil. A bourgeois class of perhaps 300m people has emerged—and they have their own views on the sort of place China should become. At the same time, the party has retreated from most people’s daily lives, no longer even pretending to provide cradle-to-grave benefits. Many weaker, poorer members of society are suffering.
Enter the Chinese NGO.
A vast array of new non-governmental organisations are trying to meet both middle-class aspirations to participate and also society’s need for services (see article). Some 500,000 NGOs have registered over the past 25 years, a figure that some think will double over the next couple of years, as rules are relaxed. Many of these, admittedly, are quasi-state bodies, like an official youth foundation, or businesses in disguise, like private schools, but a growing number are the real deal. And a further 1.5m-odd NGOs operate without being registered, including some that the party suspects of being too independent or confrontational. They include everything from self-help groups for the parents of autistic children to outfits defending the rights of migrant workers to house-church groups looking after the elderly.
Many of these are illegal, but they have been tolerated and even encouraged at the local level. Strikingly, the national government now wants to recognise formally many more of them: national regulations are expected within months. But, as ever, it causes problems for the party. On the one hand, cadres have always railed against “peaceful evolution”—a phrase that strikes most mortals as a desirable aim but in party-speak means Trojan horses stuffed full of Western liberal ideas first subverting and then overthrowing the regime. On the other hand, more pragmatic sorts say the NGOs can help the party by mitigating social anger and offering health care, education and other services which the party finds it hard to provide.
A call to alms
The party’s plan seems to be to wriggle free from its dilemma by allowing NGOs to operate, but on a tight leash, keeping them small and local. So far, that has broadly worked. Most NGOs, even the religious ones, are not full of anti-party revolutionaries, and the Chinese government is quite adept at co-option: witness its success with the country’s entrepreneurs. And although some of the more independent outfits (not to mention Western supporters) will hold their noses, China clearly benefits from the collaboration.
Yet from the perspective of the most needy Chinese—the poor, the elderly, the excluded—the government needs to go further. The NGOs are institutions that people often trust more than the party. To work properly, NGOs need their rights to be detailed, upheld and certainly enforced by law. Ad hoc measures—relying on the goodwill of people working in NGOs—will only last so long. There are still too many areas where the government is being too tentative and restrictive.
First, it could expand the types of NGO allowed to register. At present this is limited largely to groups providing social services. Few advocacy groups are allowed. But in their work representing weaker parts of society most labour groups, unions and church organisations—hitherto illegal—often contribute to the stable, harmonious society that the party says it wants.
Another issue is funding. The party does not allow independent fundraising, so it is still difficult for NGOs, even if allowed to register, to raise money without official help. They should be given full freedom to do so. Meanwhile, the party should also make its disbursal of funds to NGOs more transparent. Too much money is given to well-connected insiders and shell NGOs run by officials rather than to people in NGOs who actually know what they are doing.
All these measures would help. But the most useful reforms for China’s nascent civil society are really the same things that all China needs: a stronger judiciary, more responsive people’s congresses, a more independent press. These will bring about more transparency and accountability.
These words still scare conservatives in the regime. But the old system cannot cope. If the regime wants to keep China united, a lively civil society could be a bridge to the future, empowering individuals and institutions so that when the crunch comes, as it inevitably will, China’s binary history does not end up repeating itself all over again.
Our global 99% of citizens KNOW these developing nations filled with FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES making the global 1% extremely rich while the 99% are enslaved and extremely poor are NOT GOING DEMOCRATIC WITH VOTING.
All Asian nations have been HYPER-NAKED NEO-LIBERAL CAPITALISM especially these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA and a national POLITBURO OF BILLIONAIRES in China will no more build a REAL democratic structure with free and fair elections anymore than in US these few decades of GLOBAL 1% ROBBER BARON extreme wealth =====our US elections corrupted to assure those 5% pols and players controlled governance and development.
AS GLOBAL 1% ARE MOVING FORWARD HERE IN US FROM CLINTON NEO-LIBERALISM AND BUSH NEO-CONSERVATISM TO FAR-RIGHT LIBERTARIAN MARXISM-----SO TOO IS CHINA AND OTHER ASIAN DEVELOPING NATIONS WITH THAT SAME 'DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM'.
We need our global labor 99% coming to US or already inside US to understand what DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM means in their nations and moving forward in US------it is ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE global corporate campus socialism----for only the global 1%-----it has nothing to do with DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES-----it has nothing to do with AMERICAN FREEDOM AND JUSTICE DEMOCRACY ----it is simply moving far-right, authoritarian extreme wealth and extreme poverty to ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE.
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% in US must stand up against these structures globally if we are to keep our own status as citizen with freedom, liberty, and justice! EDUCATE OUR 99% OF IMMIGRANT CITIZENS ABOUT REAL LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE EQUAL RIGHTS AND EQUAL PROTECTION.
Chinese GREAT LEAP FORWARD meets US MOVING FORWARD to reinstate DARK AGES OLD WORLD MERCHANTS OF VENICE GLOBAL 1% as the only people having a voice in public policy and economic development. We fought populist revolutions to escape DARK AGES----LET'S JUST GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET 1% POLS AND PLAYERS.
Our global 2% and 99% need to know DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM in US will look just like DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM in China-----please fight these structures in all Foreign Economic Zones especially here in US cities deemed FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
Hmmmmmm, sounds just like CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA--------------
'Tie, 20, also gets to choose China's next president, a right in this country exercised not by the hundreds of millions of voting-age Chinese but by 3,000 handpicked "deputies" to China's legislature'
In China, it's an election in name only
Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY Published 2:31 p.m. ET March 14, 2013 | Updated 11:06 p.m. ET March 14, 2013
Handpicked deputies who approve the president have no real power.
(Photo: Goh Chai Hin, AFP/Getty Images)
The National Party Congress is a rubber-stamp parliament
Bloggers and many more are hoping for real political change
Corruption in government is rampant
BEIJING – Like many 20-something girls in China, Tie Feiyan spends hours on a smartphone posting gossip, photos and countless emoticons on her micro-blog.
Tie, 20, also gets to choose China's next president, a right in this country exercised not by the hundreds of millions of voting-age Chinese but by 3,000 handpicked "deputies" to China's legislature.
""Election'?! I'll die laughing," wrote Shu Kexin, an activist for grass-roots democracy, on the Twitter-like Sina Weibo, where other users made fun of the "suspense" caused by the official blackout on the number and identity of candidates.
China's National People's Congress on Thursday approved Xi Jinping as China's president, called "chairman" in Chinese. Just like the eight, small and subservient "democratic parties" wheeled out at this time of year to show China enjoys a "multi-party" system, the NPC remains a rubber-stamp parliament following orders from the ruling Communist Party.
No candidate lists are publicized, yet all Chinese knew that the only name on the ballot was Xi's, who will complete the leadership transition begun last November when he took over the party and the People's Liberation Army, two far more powerful roles than state president.
"It's an insult to the word 'election,' or they're giving 'election' another meaning," Shu said. "But sooner or later there'll be a day we have a real election completed through campaigning and voting."
Definitely not sooner was the clear message emerging from this NPC and its sister advisory body, whose new head, Yu Zhengsheng, promised that China will "not imitate Western political systems under any circumstances."
That familiar rebuttal frustrated some micro-blog users who hoped the Communist Party could set aside its "Western" ideological hang-ups and learn from democratic Japan or Taiwan, fast-changing Burma or even Vietnam, whose ruling Communist Party has begun some intra-Party reforms.
No political system can be replicated, agreed Yu Jianrong, an outspoken sociologist, but at least in Western systems people can use their vote to restrict official power, he wrote on his Weibo account, which has 1.6 million followers.
In China, officials "always think about how to preserve the system of sharing the spoils among the alliance of powerful officials; this is an impossible, evil way."
Despite their lack of independence, the two sessions of the legislature and advisory body still comprise the annual, public highlight of China's highly secretive political system. The issues raised there increasingly reflect public concerns, such as widespread pollution, unsafe food, unfair treatment of migrant workers and worries over education, health care and social welfare.
Optimistic observers look on the ministerial restructuring announced this week, and Xi Jinping's possible pick of "reformist" candidate Li Yuanchao for vice president, a largely symbolic role, as evidence Xi may dare to engage in political change once his feet are firmly under the table.
Other analysts await further proof of credentials that would mean change.
"The real test will be if Xi dares to implement public disclosure of cadres' assets," said Zhang Ming, a political scientist at People's University in Beijing.
Corruption runs so deep in China that many citizens want officials to declare their wealth, but government efforts at transparency have stalled. Xi's relatives have reaped fortunes in business from their connection to his ever rising political power, according to a Bloomberg report last year.
For now, Zhang sees no sign that Xi will empower the NPC to fulfill its proper role of providing oversight to the government.
"The Communist Party takes all the decisions and uses the NPC to add legal process to those decisions," he said.
As for the handpicked NPC deputies who approve China's laws, there are too few lawyers, said Zhang, while any outspoken ones, such as female lawyer Chi Susheng, dropped this year, are excluded for disobedience.
Most NPC members work their way up the party ladder. But "moral models" such as the young Tie Feiyan can jump from nowhere.
A road toll collector from southwest Yunnan province, Tie pricked the public consciousness by helping to rescue people from a river two years ago.She got a phone call last month telling her to pack for Beijing to become a member of the NPC.
The there is China's best example of the loyal legislator who slavishly obeys party orders.
Farmer Shen Jilan, 83, was picked as a "model worker" deputy in the early 1950s and has never missed a session since – or voted against any party proposal. Such obedience has been the subject of online criticism this month, an unusual event in China politics.
Despite public skepticism, some deputies insist their proposals for changing China can make a difference, especially if allied with Internet campaigns. This year He Youlin, a high-school master from southern Guangdong province, repeated his popular proposal to allow couples to have a second child without being punished by China's "one child"' policy in which enforcers have been known to treat couples brutally, sometimes forcing abortions.
"In the near future, there won't be many changes in family planning policy," admitted He. "It doesn't matter how deputies are chosen," He said, "as long as you represent people at the grass roots, speak more and tell the truth.