China's cache of foreign currency means that its central bank cannot easily raise interest rates to fight inflation. Thus, Chinese companies are starting to import and stockpile commodities. It's a tense mess with the highest of stakes.
If the US is to sell more abroad and borrow less, countries with trade surpluses -- notably Germany and China -- will have to spend more, buy more, save less and export less. Only China and Germany clearly haven't got the message.
America's habit of deferring maintenance on its infrastructure goes beyond crumbling buildings and slow trains -- in the long term, we'll fall behind the rest of the world in our ability to compete economically.