This NYT piece is so achingly close to being right that I felt a pang of hope this morning that it would end properly. Of course it didn't. The Times reporters naively place blame for this tragedy on China's "lack of a free press, independent trade unions, citizen watchdog groups and other checks on official power." Trust me folks, the problem is not having "checks" on official power. Y'all won't get anywhere until you have less official power - full stop. Remember when this guy had lots of official power and millions of people died in labor camps? Civil society organizations won't solve the problem of unlimited official power.
Read it carefully and you'll see the problem with all modern societies. It's not greedy businesspeople per se (although they exist). It's not malevolent government officials per se (although they also exist). It's that greedy, subhuman businesspeople bribe malevolent government officials. And together they exploit people horribly.
And then the left gets to call it capitalism and the right screams about government corruption. And poor Mrs. Yang Youbiao will never know whose ashes she has.