“I can’t believe how many people are missing the forest for the trees.
America is in an elective recession; we didn’t have to have this second half of the double-dip, except that the GOPers couldn’t see anyway to get elected in 2012 on their own merits. Hence, they set up the false debt ceiling crisis as a means of driving the economy back into recession, and purely for their own partisan benefit. Call it economic treason.
China has nothing to do with this recession of the loss of manufacturing jobs. The US has been steadily shedding manufacturing jobs since October 1943. That’s the month when we had the largest share of the employed workforce in manufacturing production. Don’t blame China for a 68-year long trend.
American consumers, that 97.5% (literally) of the population that doesn’t work in manufacturing, will suffer if the protectionists succeed in launching a trade war. Why in the world would you want to pay 10%, 25% or 40% more for daily purchases? These products will never again be made in America; if they aren’t made for American consumers, cheaply and well, in China, they’ll be made less cheaply and less well in Angola, Bangladesh, Croatia, and the rest of the alphabet.
Protectionism is inherently anti-poor: the less money you have, the more dependent you are on low-cost goods. No one decides to shop at Wal-Mart because they don’t like the selection at Saks 5th Avenue.”
“I’ve been out of the country for about 30 years, so sometimes I get a bit behind in the news.
Has anyone seen a long-form birth certificate on this whack job? I don’t mean a photoshopped copy of something that looks like it was typed up in 1961, but The Real Thing.
rebchguy on Jun 28, 2011 at 06:51:54
“Are you speaking of Bachmann? I dont think she was born in 1961......stay where you are, idiot.....30 years is not long enough for you....were you jailed somewhere? The Birther issue is a dead issue....ever your bagger friends concede that.....numbnuts”
nornoralee on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:58:35
dollyfedup on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:35:49
“I don't know if it's possible if the planet where she was born will release it to you!”
LiberalAlarge on Jun 28, 2011 at 03:33:41
“Did you ask to see Bush, Clinton or Reagan birth certificate? I thought so.”
“China historically is a trading nation” ? Really? Only if your definition of ‘history’ is about 15 years. In the reform era, China surpassed Hong Kong in total exports only in 1999. In the imperial era, the restrictions on foreign trade were so severe that they set the scene for several wars.
“It's unfathomable how we have allowed ourselves to become dangerously indebted to a country which is one of the worst human rights violators in the world!” Really? That doesn’t seem to take into account the massive run-up in the national debt under Ronald Reagan and George the Sane, a $3 trillion rise that tripled the level Reagan inherited from Jimmy Carter.
And, the title, “China Is Succeeding Based On Ideas That Americans Despise.” Really? We told them to stop banning private business, to let entrepreneurs employ people, to relax price controls, to open up to foreign trade (imports were $1.4 trillion last year, second in the world and equal to 24% of GDP as compared to 13.3% in the US), to open up to foreign investment (another success story) and to become a part of the global economy.
In short, they did everything we told them to do (and more, some of which is contrary to our values), but among the things we told them to do, which part of those ‘values’ do Americans despise?”
Steve Rockett on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:30:10
“Interesting analysis. Fanned. See my comment above. I think the right wing is paralyzed by their indecision about whether to like China for the market or hate it because it is communist.”
David Rozgonyi on Jun 8, 2011 at 01:28:48
“" they did everything we told them to do "
Yup, with the kind of collective direction and control only available in an ironclad centralized government (for better and worse).”
I include in my "thousands" those who died in other cities, and given the lack of accurate, independently verifiable body counts, base it on first-hand reports and other non-governmental reports coming out at the time.”
Charles Liu on Jun 17, 2011 at 12:12:23
“@DOR2, I'd love to see some citations to the effect. Other cities had protests, but they were peaceful and short-lived. Next largest protest in Tianjin, reported no death.”
“The June 4th Movement had its roots in high inflation (over 20% in 1988, and rising), a cut in subsidies to university students (compounding the loss of purchasing power) and official corruption. It went on for months.
The original protest, just like the one in April 1976, started with spontaneous mourning for a popular deceased leader (Zhou Enlai in %u201976; Hu Yaobang in %u201989).
Because that leader was not an ally of those in power when he died, both protests took on the flavor, intended or otherwise, of a protest against the current leadership. Purges of the dead leaders%u2019 allies (Deng Xiaoping in %u201976; Zhao Ziyang in %u201989) further inflamed the protesters.
Force was used in both cases to %u201Cclear the square,%u201D to %u201Crestore stability,%u201D and for the obvious reason of keeping those in power safe.
The 1989 %u2018Pro-Democracy%u2019 angle was mostly (but not entirely) an invention of the Western and Asian media, as was the idea to build a Goddess of Democracy. I%u2019m not saying there was no pro-Democracy sentiment, just that it was a minor reason why people protested.”
“Hong Kong is almost totally self-governing. Yes, China is changing and very quickly. However, an example of freedom of speech, assembly or political protest in Hong Kong does zero to reinforce any notions about what is happening in the rest of China.
Hong Kong isn't like the rest of China, in this way.”
cornel on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:04:04
“You are right, however small protest also happened in Mainland. Would have been unthinkable even 5 years ago.”
“The now-widespread understanding that there were very few, if any, actual deaths inside Tiananmen Square %u2013 and thousands massacred outside the Square %u2013 does nothing to minimize this tragedy.
Those who chant %u201CNo one died in Tiananmen Square%u201D are simply raising a red herring.”
DAE on Jun 7, 2011 at 01:34:15
“Just to add this. I was in Beijing at the time with a Brit who had seen action in North Africa during WW2. Based on his experience he said it is really very difficult to kill lots of people under the circumstances that prevailed that night. Later when he heard the estimates of thousands of dead he scoffed and said that it was simply impossible. He said no more than a few hundred could have been shot that night and he thought that unlikely.”
DAE on Jun 7, 2011 at 01:26:14
“The exaggerated figures that were widely quoted for many years were that 20,000 Chinese died at Tiananmen Square. This is still the mental picture that vast numbers of people have. In actual fact there were probably no more than a few hundred deaths at Muxidi miles away from Tiananmen Square, in line with what the Chinese government eventually acknowledged. The damage to China's image however has long since been done. Everyone recognizes that the episode was a tragedy and it is obviously still a very sensitive subject in China. There does appear to be a double standard when it comes to incidents of this sort. A similar thing happened in Mexico City in 1968 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlatelolco_massacre) and at Thammasat University in Bangkok in 1976 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thammasat_University_massacre) and more recently in 2010 in Bangkok. There are many other similar stories from all over, including Chile and Argentina. None of these incidents are ever brought up to criticize those countries. Even at the time that these incidents occurred they were seldom taken seriously by the Western press and were soon forgotten.”
Charles Liu on Jun 7, 2011 at 00:55:50
You might want to check declassified NSA briefings that showed our intelligence estimated casualty was 180 - 500, in line with Chinese government's official of 243 people including police and soldier?
Jeans made in China ARE $2 a par, and the cars ARE $5,000, and the power supplies (whatever you mean by that) probably ARE $5.
Ever heard of the middle man's markup? Ever heard of import duties?
30 gig video iPod, US retail value $299.
Share attributable to Japan (mostly the screen), $73
Share attributable to China (assembly labor), $4
Share attributable to USA (a coupld of chips), $13
Share attributable to US retail and distribution, $75
Share attributable to Apple (copyrights, patents, brand), $80
Remainder (miscellaneous parts and labor), $54
Amount defined as a Chinese exports, and a US import, $224
Tell me again why consumers should hand over large amounts of cash to Uncle Sam every time they but imported goods, if you would.”
Remember the last time the People's Liberation Army successfully projected its power outside of China's borders?
They have a very large, labor-intensive, land-based army.
They have a very small, high-tech airforce. The most advanced planes have to be serviced in Russia, because Moscow won't sell them the technology to do it themselves.
They have a modestly efficient brown-water navy with good potential to become a blue-water navy in a few years.
They are yet to deploy their first aircraft carrier.
And, they have today exactly the same number of pilots with experience landing on an aircraft carrier -- in optimal conditions, not during a storm at night -- as they did back when the PLA was founded in 1927 (here's a hint: it is a number less than one).
Sure, China has ICBMs; so did the USSR. Not useful.”
Of course US corporations agree to many conditions imposed by China. So do Europeans, Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and everyone else. We also all do it when we invest in the UK, Germany or Mexico.
The host sets the rules, and either you live by them or you leave.
As for exploiting Chinese workers, are you aware that for the past 20 years farmers have been flocking to the Eastern coastal region of China to eagerly take up the jobs offered by foreign investors?
Or, are you suggesting that for some twisted reason the Chinese should adopt Swedish or Finnish or American labor laws? If so, why?”
MichaelPetty on May 19, 2011 at 06:12:50
I exploit third world workers too, I have a company in a third world country that services the First world. I like to think, though, that the salaries that we offer enable our university grad workers to live well locally. They live as well as our workers in the UK and Australia, where our markets are.
I'm not suggesting that China should adopt anyone else's labor laws.
During the Industrial revolution British workers flocked from the farms to the factories becasue though the factories were Blake's dark satanic mills, rural life was even worse.
The Chinese are getting richer and Americans are getting poorer. It will all balance out in the end as when Chinese salaries rise then Chinese will offshore their activities in Africa, they are already investing there.
This is what happened in Japan and even Malaysia.
There is no reason why Americans should enjoy high wages when the global markets are so open. And the Internet has, of course, opened up professional activities too, which is what my companies work in.”
Speak for yourself. French Toast and allperils have it right: let’s get our own house in order, first.
If you borrow from the bank, it is your responsibility to repay it.
If you can’t repay, don’t borrow.
If you did borrow, and you can’t repay, declare bankruptcy.
That’s the American way, last time I checked, but maybe the mortgage defaulters have changed your view of right and wrong?”
JamesJerico on May 19, 2011 at 14:33:43
“What exactly did I say to imply any different? "pulling out of the wars, cutting government spending, reforming trade and increasing education" would all be considered getting our own house in order. Many Americans have debt but not all have debt; I personally don't carry any debt despite recently completing an expensive engineering degree. I'm not sure where I said we should default on our national debt either; I simply pointed out that allperils is wrong in trying to apply labels to the American people as a whole.”
“The first straw man is that “has not honored obligations it has assumed towards us.” The second is that “China's failures to honor its obligations run into the trillions of dollars.”
The currency argument is pure protectionism. Some 8 years ago, several analyses of the renminbi-US dollar rate came to wildly varying results, everything from a 40% over-valued dollar to no significant imbalance. The very poor simple average of these studies was cited in protectionist propaganda to claim that the dollar was some 20-25% under-valued.
When China subsequently let its exchange rate rise by 22%, these arguments should have died. They didn’t. Instead, we hear that China should be punished because it controls inflation better than the US, and also increases productivity faster.
So, on an ethical basis, there is nothing but moral bankruptcy in the argument that China should sacrifice its own economic interests because American consumers are not willing to live within their means, and American politicians are desperate to get re-elected.
As for intellectual property protection, China is following the same pattern that many other nations followed in the past. No judgment, just a statement of fact. However, if software, audio and video makers are unwilling to encode their products so as to prevent IPR theft – quite simple, but annoying to consumers – then they really don’t have much of an argument. Sort of like screaming about your car being stolen, with the doors unlocked and the motor running.”
MichaelPetty on May 16, 2011 at 03:15:25
“F&F DOR2. It is in fact US corporations that have not only sent jobs to China but that have also agreed to many conditions imposed by China. They do so to exploit Chinese workers.
China has also lent the USA billions to wage war that the USA did not want to pay for through taxes.
Really the Chinese position is a prudent one. And if the Republicans do not extend the debt ceiling, something they did seven times without question for GWB, then the USA will be stiffing China and the rest of the world too.
If the USA wants to cease trading with the rest of the world then the USA should indeed stiff China.”
sherlockman on May 16, 2011 at 03:07:49
“You're pathetic - the points you make are why we should dump our debt on you fools. No logic (despite thinking you do - creating a straw man on what you say is a straw man); no shame - China is the least ethical country in the world today along with North Korea, Iran, and a bunch of terrorists we just eliminated. And as for cheating, China has reached a new height of state sponsored corruption and degeneracy. And believe me I know what I'm talking about - I know China and it's communist party very well.”
“Some 8-9 years ago, the (very) simple average of several studies on the value of the renminbi (very) poorly concluded that the Chinese currency was some 25-30% under-valued. That's the same number cited above.
But, in the meantime, the Rmb has apprecaited about 22% vis-a-vis the US$, which seems odd.
Ah, but the protectionists say, that's just nominal value, not the trade-weighted or real exchange rate.
So, we can only conclude that because China was better at controlling inflation than the US, and better at boosting productivity -- quite independent of the exchange rate -- therefore, ipso facto, China should immediately move to do to their economy what the September 1985 Plaza Accord did to the Japanese . . . enter into 2+ "lost decades."
One has to wonder why the Chinese refuse to comply with such a reasonable request!”
“I always get suspicious when someone claims to know better than the market. And, does so without evidence.
In the first quarter of this year, there were 8.07 million manufacturing production workers in America, and 303.6 million other consumers. That’s a 97.3 to 2.7 ratio, in favor of people who buy things as opposed to those who make them.
7.6% of private sector employees actually make things, or
5.3% of the labor force, or
2.6% of the population as a whole.
I don’t believe it is right to penalize the vast majority of the population, to favor the few. Do you?
What you propose is to redistribute the wealth of the 97.3% for the benefit of the 2.7%. Isn't it?