In response to:

The Republican Obsession

Troglodite Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 6:26 PM
Ryan M: On a different note, here is a question on which your perspective would be appreciated. China exports real goods to us and, on balance, imports pieces of paper from us. Although their export-oriented policy may help keep up employment, it is NOT enriching China in strictly economic terms. In fact, the transfer of wealth (real goods and services) is in our direction. Why is China following this neo-mercantilist policy? I would submit that one reason is precisely one that you alluded to: to promote the erosion of our manufacturing sector, including the parts of its that support military power, in the interests of shifting the balance of power in their direction. And, secondly, to acquire the ability to flush the dollar...
Troglodite Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 6:30 PM
...down the chute if or when that becomes advantageous to China in political terms. The Chinese leadership's calculation may be that, though it would hurt China financially to reduce the value of the U.S. paper it holds, the Chinese government has sufficient internal control mechanisms to deal with the domestic fallout, while the U.S. would be devastated. In other words, given China's authoritarian order, the vulnerabilities here are not entirely symmetric or mutual.

I look forward to any thoughts that you may have. For now, I am out of here for a couple of hours. I will probably get back to this late tonight. Thanks.
Ryan_M Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 7:30 PM

I can add very little to what you have written here. I've had the same views for a number of years including on their ability to keep civil unrest in check.

While it is true they are giving consumers here actual goods in return for FRNs, I would argue they are getting the better end of the deal. As you noted the manufacturing base in being reduced. At the same time they are gaining access to more technology, not to mention actual plants like the McDonnell-Douglas plant out in St. Louis that was sold to them around a decade ago. They took it apart and sent it to China.
Ryan_M Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 7:31 PM
They practice the same principles with mining. Just about all the Rare Earth elements come from China. The remaing come from a handful of nations including the US. China used their ability to undercut these other countries' mining costs to where most of these mines are shut down including the one in the US. These elements are not only used in computers and such, but weapon systems as well.

At the end they wind up possessing most of the means of production. This is very bad when it comes to machine tools when you consider all the uses they have. I recently spent $150.00 on carpentry hand tools. I consider myself to be an economic nationalist (this didn't stop me from voting for Ron Paul), so I made it a point to buy American made tools.
Ryan_M Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 7:31 PM
I encountered a problem. A third of them were made overseas and while I avoided the Chinese made stuff I still found myself stuck with a chinese made keyhole saw. 20 years earlier when I bought tools Chinese tools were rare, Now they are everywhere.

Looking at all of this is fascinating as I own an old book from 1940 titled "Economic Geography". This book is highly detailed about the US economy, the various nations of Europe and a few in Asia like Japan, and yes, China. The US today isn't the US of 1940 not only as a manufacturing economy but also the world's biggest creditor nation back then.
Ryan_M Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 7:31 PM
The Chinese are waging a war against the US but it is an economic war and the population here is a willing participate whether they realize it or not when they buy stuff from China.

I too, will check back on this thread to see any comments you might have.
Troglodite Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 9:50 PM

Thank you. I really have little or nothing to add, except to note that, even when we think we are using American-made electronic components in weapons systems, we find out often enough that we are actually using Chinese-made knock-offs.

When a person dies of old age, one organ after another starts to shut down or fail or malfunction and each thing negatively affects something else. When a nation dies, its political, military, social and economic, and moral and cultural "organs" all seem to fail in much the same way. That seems to be our picture here.
Ryan_M Wrote: Feb 05, 2013 10:26 PM
You're quite welcome.

"...that we are actually using Chinese-made knock-offs."

All too often that is the case.

You draw a good picture. I can see this as well.

If last week's hearing for Chuck Hagel raised questions about his capacity to be secretary of defense, the show trial conducted by his inquisitors on the tribunal raised questions about the GOP.

Is the Republican Party, as currently constituted, even capable of conducting a foreign policy befitting a world power? Or has it learned nothing and forgotten nothing since George W. Bush went home and the nation rejected John McCain for Barack Obama?

Consider the great foreign issues on the front burner today.

Will the Japan-China clash over islets in the South China Sea, now involving warplanes and warships...