Posted On: Friday - January 8th 2021 9:48AM MST
In Topics:   China  Economics  The Future  The Neocons
Until recently, Peak Stupidity has maintained a "live and let live" attitude about the superpower nation China. With a decent amount of first-hand information, much of it obtained in that country, we have written of the good and the bad since this blog's beginning > 4 years back. During the early stage of the American portion of the Kung Flu PanicFest, one can read about our attitude in America v. China. Sure, we have to get back to reasonably fair trade dealings for America, but it seemed that it ought to be pretty peaceful between us.
There were some pundits/politicians up in arms about the spread of the Kung Flu from that land, putting blame on that country for that. In Hate the Bat, not the Chinaman, one can read that Peak Stupidity doesn't agree. This is another of a long series of bad bugs out of the Orient, whether due to bad Q/A at a lab, or those "wet markets" in which diseases first get from animals to humans. Either way, blame can be placed on lax control of our borders/entry points, but I never saw it as a reason to hate or even oppose the country of China.
Peak Stupidity's sanguine attitude about the place has been changing as of late. The first problem with China is their shift toward and Orwellian society from what was (seen first-hand) the Wild, Wild, East, a decade and a half ago. For more on this, see Dashed high-hopes for China Part 1 and Part 2. China should no longer be considered anyone's bug-out location, unless he really, really LUVS Big Brother.
OK, still, let them do that Big Brother shit over there, and we'll just not emulate them, as pundits all around tell us we should. That's be fine with me.
I'm also not any kind of Neocon, so I don't see China as a military enemy. (See, the left has it's "the Russians, the Russians!", like it's 1955, and the right (of sorts) has it's "the Chinese are going to take Hong Kong, then Taiwan", capturing all those OTHER CHINESE PEOPLE!" My feeling about it is: So what? America is way beyond broke, what, at $27,000,000,000,000 right now, but that's not including unfounded obligations (your Social Security money they tricked you out of) and the budget problems of individual Americans and families.
We've got trade deficits with about everyone in the Orient. Even those poorer countries, Viet Nam for instance, are manufacturing for China now, with the Chinese getting the big profits. Why in the hell should we keep up Cold War protection agreements with places that kick our ass economics? They are one sided, at that. Would Taiwan be expected to help us fight the Chinese if it ever did come to a shooting war? Ha! I doubt that's even written into the deal. Oh, and regarding Hong Kong, in particular, they have lost lots of cultural ties with the British who installed the rule of law in the place, so screw 'em whatever happens (see Big Protest in Little China.) Oh, and while we're at it, get those 25,000 soldiers, sailers, and airman who've been in Korea for 67 years - no, not the same guys! - and use them at the Mexican border.
The Chinese are all over Africa, to exploit its huge amount resources, and I see nothing wrong with that either, as the natives are not going to every do anything constructive with it by themselves. We could be jealous that "hey, we should have control, like we did for half of the 20th century". We're not 1950s America though. Secondly, regarding Africa, American and all the Western Euro countries have been cursed out by the Africans for half a century, since they all left upon request, for this colonialism. Let the Chinese give it a go. I doubt the Africans are going to like it any better in the long run, so let's just stay here and enjoy that entertainment.
OK, so what's the problem? Can we let China do it's new Totalitarian thing, while we do our thing, which is really going to have to be a second American Revolution, the way things look right now?
Here is the big problem, and this is even beyond what I think is the smaller problem of China exerting it's cultural influence throughout the world*: It's the economy, stupid. China's threat to the US is economic, not so much military. President Trump may have helped just a little on the trade imbalance, but Big Biz wants to make money in China, not here, and this deficit is still huge. Each excess dollar that gets sent to China is money that the Chinese can use to BUY UP THIS COUNTRY.
In our Part 3 of the There's a lot of ruin in a Nation series**, we did a quick calculation on how much US farmland the Chinese could buy with $2 Trillion of our money. A back-o-the-envelope calculation says pretty much all. I'll put more calculations in a subsequent post, along with an explanation about why this is not just stoppable by law.
One thing I personally did not pay any attention to during the 1990s, even with my perusing the Wall Street Journal during the latter part of that decade, was the looting of Russia by the American finance crowd. To me, this period just after we'd won the Cold War (the external one) was a time for gloating. (Wait, is that even in Ecclesiastes, or at least the Byrds song?) I didn't care what happened to the place. Yet, I've read lots in the last 5 years (thanks, Ron Unz, for some of this), about how Russian companies were just broken up for the cash for the equipment and materials. A friend who'd done a lot of traveling during the 1990s told me how he met a Russian on the plane to Moscow who told me about his factory being bought up for less than the steel inventory was worth.
Could that all happen to America? It's not possible during good economic times. It may not be during rough economic times if we were still unified politically. Both are not the case now.
I will break up the rest into these parts:
- Manufacturing assets
OK, with this China posting, and plenty of down-home turmoil about to happen with a Feral Government to consist of a Blue-squad Executive branch and both-house Legislative branch, we've got plenty on our plate. I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but ...
* I won't get more into this, as it's discussed in Part 4 of our review of We Have Been Harmonized.
** See Part 1 and Part 2. The title was lifted from the OTHER Adam Smith.