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A friend told me last week that back in July people in China he used to do business with had started calling him up again, desperate to move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of.

 
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  1. I don’t know, but I’m sure we will soon have a Godfree Roberts or Fred Reed damage puff piece in full damage control mode if there’s anything to it.

    • LOL: Thulean Friend, RW
    • Replies: @nsa
    Godflee Loberts and Fled Leed velly smalt and velly good wliters, and u and u girl fleind Ledneck Falmer is Amelikan molon plicks.
    , @last straw

    I don’t know, but I’m sure we will soon have a Godfree Roberts or Fred Reed damage puff piece in full damage control mode if there’s anything to it.
     
    Damage control for what? Capital flow is always two way. Without knowing the inflow/FDI, who knows what's really going on?
  2. There’s gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that’s no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    • Replies: @Jake
    And the Chinese are indeed very much like Jews - high IQs with a whole lot of financial corruption. If the government is trying to crack down on that corruption, perhaps to better insulate the country for any prolonged trade war with the Anglo-Zionist Empire, then hordes of Chinese with money would prove the government's point by trying to get theirs out of China now to invest in the Anglo-Zionist Empire.
    , @TomSchmidt
    We can dream.
    , @Realist

    There’s gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that’s no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.
     
    That would be a great policy here.
    , @nebulafox
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/04/vietnams-punishment-for-corrupt-bankers-death/?utm_term=.254988e65234

    https://www.rt.com/news/405165-vietnam-death-penalty-oil-chief/

    The Vietnamese are a deeply pragmatic people...

    , @Not Raul
    That’s one thing China does better than the USA, IMHO.
  3. Hong Kong, where they used to put their money, has become less attractive.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    Good point.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Also, China has devalued its currency to counter Trump’s latest tariffs.
  4. • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.
    , @anonymous
    Some context on Bass. He won acclaim for betting against subprime mortgages in 2007. However, over the last 5 years he has lost a lot of money and his hedge fund Hayman is on its final legs. The fund has gone from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $420 million in 2019. Investors have fled his fund because of its losses. The catalyst for his huge losses was a bet against the Chinese yuan in 2015. He predicted that a Chinese banking collapse was right around the corner and result in a big depreciation of the yuan. That didn't happen. Based on his histrionic tweets he's probably lost his wits because his business is falling apart.
  5. @Change that Matters
    Hong Kong, where they used to put their money, has become less attractive.

    Good point.

  6. @Digital Samizdat
    There's gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that's no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    And the Chinese are indeed very much like Jews – high IQs with a whole lot of financial corruption. If the government is trying to crack down on that corruption, perhaps to better insulate the country for any prolonged trade war with the Anglo-Zionist Empire, then hordes of Chinese with money would prove the government’s point by trying to get theirs out of China now to invest in the Anglo-Zionist Empire.

  7. For international relations and political economy topics, the commentators on this blog suck. Read Karlin instead for much better analysis in that area. Karlin is able to attract economists and even businessmen to his blog.

    • Replies: @SaneClownPosse
    Sounds like a ShepWave shill on ZeroHedge.
    , @donut
    Water seeks it's level Anatoly , if you want to attract a better class of commentator you'll have to put out a better class of post .
    For starters don't use a word like "emergence" twice in the same sentence ;

    "The city of Novgorod has played a central role in the emergence of the Russian state since its emergence in 862, as per the Primary Chronicle."

    , @J.Ross
    economists and even businessmen
    [extremely large blow-up of Norm MacDonald's face]
  8. …move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of

    Sounds like we are importing inflation, with “refugees” soon to follow.

    • Replies: @Pale_Primate
    You are wrong about inflation coming for the US dollar. The Chinese are desperate for more dollars, both at home and abroad. The dollar is getting stronger.

    Everyone should listen to this interview:

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/martin-armstrong-dow-35000-by-2021/
  9. @Change that Matters
    Hong Kong, where they used to put their money, has become less attractive.

    Also, China has devalued its currency to counter Trump’s latest tariffs.

    • Replies: @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    Devaluation of the Yuan is probably the key reason.

    China is a threat, but it has huge economic problems. Though China has the 100 year view, it also has pressing current difficulties. For them, it's a race AGAINST time, as well as a race with time..

    It has a huge population,but a severe productivity problem. That's why it steals intellectual property, it doesn't have the time to develop advances themselves. So they make low tech goods for Walmart as fast as possible, to keep their economy going, while they scramble to move into high tech fields.

    It's also why they tolerate the incredible pollution of their air and rivers. They know that's bad, but it takes a back seat to economic growth.

    China needs to grow at 8-10% a year to get its huge population into productive activity. If it slides into less than 5% growth, or even worse, into recession, it will be an economic catastrophe. China NEEDS the United States as a trading partner -- and we need them, but way less than they need us.

    Trump the real estate mogul love love LOVES playing the chicken negotiation game, and he has the leverage to do so. Devaluing the Yuan makes it appear that the prices of goods are the same, despite the tarriffs. But that can go on only for so long. We have the resources to backstop those industries that get hurt, like farming, but the Chinese don't.

  10. The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi’s ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What’s happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party’s decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It’s starting to run out.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Bloomberg’s been covering the protests pretty heavily, certainly more than they’ve been reporting on the protests in France.

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose, but they have less leverage than ever before, as Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals. I’m not optimistic for them.
    , @songbird
    I'm wondering if the CCP, for all its faults (and there are many), is in someways structurally superior to Western democracy.

    Like for instance, how many days does the CCP actually meet a year in a wide body? Probably just a few, and then I am sure there are many formalities that they have to go through. I am thinking that there just isn't enough time for the corrupt subversion that happened to Congress.

    Oh there's lots of corruption, but not the replace your own people kind. Or at least not yet, it might be too early to tell.
    , @dvorak

    Big things are happening in China.
     
    Beijing seems to think HKers are stupid, by 'suspending but not withdrawing' the extradition law.

    Media reports often fail to mention the context for why extradition is so odious to HK: For a couple of years at least, Beijing has been disappearing HK booksellers and the like to China and then forcing an apology for their crimes. It's not like the extradition bill follows a long period of comity.

    , @Jack Hanson
    Ive seen more about the HK protests in one weekend than the Yellow Vests, with the one exception being when the Notre Dame burned down, where the MSM made a half hearted attempt to say the Yellow Vests were mad that the French government was spending money on the Notre Dame v jobs.
    , @Pincher Martin

    After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It’s starting to run out.
     
    You realize we've been hearing that same line about the PRC's leadership running out of time for the last thirty years. During that three-decade period, China has gone from an afterthought in both geopolitics and the world economy to the most powerful country in the world after the United States. I'll believe China is running out of time when I see it. Whats going on in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are small bore problems.
    , @Simplepseudonymichandle
    "...but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because [China doesn't have an army - the party ruling it has an army - and it is much easier to direct aggression towards defenseless domestics than nuclear-armed foreigners]."

    There you go.

    I doubt very much China's rulers have the stomach to risk conflict with even a proxy of a great power. If I were in charge in Vietnam or Myanmar though I'd be very concerned.
  11. Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    • Agree: Haole, YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Some Random Anon
    Unfortunately his golden child Javanka just helped push through a bill in the house that will do away with the per country cap for EB5 visa so more corrupt Chinese could get their green cards by investing with the Kushner development firm.
    , @Prodigal son
    All foreigners should be restricted from buying land in the United States.
    , @Paul Mendez
    The Chinese (or any unfriendly foreign power) owning US real estate doesn’t worry me. It’s not like they’re going to pack it up in shipping containers and take it back home. If TSHTF, we just nationalize it, or freeze it in escrow for future potential reparations.
    , @anonymous
    "Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now."

    Yeah, the Jews HATE the competition.
    , @Brit Human
    A friend of mine is originally from Auckland, born and raised. Her brother still lives there, but can barely afford it anymore. Her parents were some of the people who gave into and sold their house to Chinese real estate investors before the New Zealand government realized some aspects of Laissez-faire aren't a good idea (like large scale displacement of native New Zealanders) and started to ban Chinese real estate investors form taking over too many neighborhoods in Auckland. According to my friend's version of what happened in her old neighborhood, the Chinese wouldn't take no for an answer if home owners held out. They often offered ridiculous prices for houses to anyone who said no. My friend's parents couldn't say no; they made a ton of money. She also told me a lot of people in her parent's old neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods did the same thing. Eventually, that area of Auckland became unaffordable to all of the sellers' children, including my friend. I knew Chinese money was flowing into New Zealand real estate, but I had no idea of the scale and impact it eventually had. Her story reminded me of what happened to Vancouver during the time period a few years before Hong Kong residents knew the Chinese government would be taking over Hong Kong. A lot of them got scared and fled to Vancouver, along with their money. We all know what happened to a lot of native Vancouverites after that.
    , @Foreign Expert
    Actually there should be a general ban on real estate holdings by citizens of countries where Americans can’t own real estate. There’s a lot of them.
  12. John Derbyshire plans to spend three weeks in China in the near future. He has Chinese relatives and reads Chinese reasonably well. Perhaps he can enlighten us.

    • Replies: @bored identity
    Uncle Derb is a perfect material for Chow Trial.

    Seriously, he should stay home - but Mrs. Derbishire is obviously the one who wears kilt in their household.
  13. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    Bloomberg’s been covering the protests pretty heavily, certainly more than they’ve been reporting on the protests in France.

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose, but they have less leverage than ever before, as Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals. I’m not optimistic for them.

    • Replies: @snorlax

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose
     
    Also would (maybe) make it politically untenable for Democrats+cucks to keep opposing tariffs, and might convince other countries to join in on the trade war.
    , @SteveM

    Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals.
     
    Good observation. Because where before Beijing thought that Hong Kong's relatively benign political model was a necessary condition for its market attractiveness, Shanghai and Shenzen have proven that is not the case. So the mainland government feels freer to do the beat-downs not fearing significant economic disruptions.

    Not saying that the government's assumptions are valid, just that they make empirical sense.

    P.S. Xi's governance model is clear. Turn the economy over to the technocrats, suppress any and all non-conformity with the post-Mao social model and service the party Nomenklatura with reasonable amounts of skimming off the top. In other words, Xi plans on buying off both the people and the party with economic returns.
  14. Do the contacts from China sound something like this?

    Dear Sir, SEEKING YOUR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. Please permit me to make your acquaintance in so informal a manner. This is necessitated by my urgent need to reach a dependable and trust wordy foreign partner. This request may seem strange and unsolicited but I will crave your indulgence and pray that you view it seriously. My name is Han Xing of the Peoples Republic of China. I need a reliable and trustworthy foreign partner who can assist me to move $60,000,000 out of my country, etc, etc.

  15. What about Japan and South Korea? NHK news just had a story that S.K. is looking to N.K. for assistance? I didn’t hear the whole story, just saw some of the captions.

  16. @Digital Samizdat
    There's gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that's no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    We can dream.

  17. Didn’t they recently shut down a bunch of cyber currency exchanges?

  18. Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag – the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    • Replies: @Cloudbuster
    – the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?
    , @LondonBob
    My friend sends baby powder to his wife's relatives in China. There does seem to be a big trust issue in China, and despite their high IQ they have a lot of crazy superstitions such that half the floors are missing due to so many numbers being bad luck. Ultimately I suspect the Middle Kingdom and Uncle Sam will slit each others throats.

    Thing to remember is China is a huge place, there isn't that much national sentiment so many won't care a jot what happens in HK.
    , @GermanReader2

    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China.
     
    You haven't heard of this before?
    The Chinese had a big scandal with baby powder with dangerous, sometimes deadly additives back in 2008.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal
    Since then middle-class and upper-class Chinese have been importing baby powder from a lot of European countries through Chinese students buying the baby powder in bulk in drug stores/supermarkets and sending it to China. It Germany baby powder has been rationed for the last 10 years (you cannot buy more than 3 packs at a time) and it is out of stock often, though the situation has improved a lot in the last years. The stores know about the problem and know by whom the shortages are caused. For instance, in the drugstore at my corner (in Germany), there is a sign at the aisle with the baby powder saying that one cannot buy more than 3 packs in English(!) and Chinese (!)
    , @Johann Ricke

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything.
     
    That's literally false.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landlord_Classicide_under_Mao_Zedong

    The people in charge today, as well as most of the population, are the heirs of the people who slaughtered China's land and business owners by the millions.
    , @Jack D
    It's (powdered) baby formula (or "baby milk" as it's called in some countries). Baby powder is another name for talcum powder and is a completely different thing.

    One of the things that makes the locals in HK unhappy is that mainlanders come over by train and clean the shops out of baby formula so that HK'ers can't get enough to feed their kids. The Chinese are not coming to buy the stuff for their own kids but as a business - made anywhere but China baby formula commands a premium in China.
    , @Stebbing Heuer
    We had a Chinese warship turn up quite by surprise in Sydney a few months ago.

    The eagle-eyed press photographers caught on film the Chinese sailors loading lotsa baby milk powder packs onto the ship before they left.
  19. @Dave Pinsen
    Bloomberg’s been covering the protests pretty heavily, certainly more than they’ve been reporting on the protests in France.

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose, but they have less leverage than ever before, as Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals. I’m not optimistic for them.

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose

    Also would (maybe) make it politically untenable for Democrats+cucks to keep opposing tariffs, and might convince other countries to join in on the trade war.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    I saw on Bloomberg? someone saying there is now something of a consensus in Washington that something has to bo done with China.
  20. The currency is being lowered in value to help exports. Having assets not in RMB is a good way to preserve their value right now. If one lives only in China it’s not much of an issue, if you do a lot of business/partially live overseas or buy a lot of things valued in another currency it might be very important.

  21. “The Empire, long United, must divide; long divided, must unite.”

    That little historical pendulum swing has been pretty reliable for the past two thousand years or so. But that was back when the Chinese weren’t all swimming in cash and had someplace much, much nicer — like, oh, say, America, Canada, Australia, and Europe — to bolt off to.

    The surplus rich Chinese are simply going to buy up the entire West as a safety option. They already own much, much more of it than you realize. This is going to make the Jewish Conquests of the 20th century look trivial in comparison. Oh, and plus the Indians are just warming up, too.

    Good thing we left such stalwart (((patriots))) at the helm and the gates, right? Um…. right?

    • Agree: HammerJack
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    But that was back when the Chinese weren’t all swimming in cash and had someplace much, much nicer — like, oh, say, America, Canada, Australia, and Europe — to bolt off to.
     
    Way beyond that. Even places like the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand are finding buyers. In antiquity, the gap between China and its poorer neighbors was, at the risk of some exaggeration, like that between the Jetsons and the Flintstones. Thanks to the container ship and the information age, that gap is way smaller today. When the sleepy backwaters of Southeast Asia look more attractive than China, you know the Communist Party has gone a little crazy in its totalitarian impulses.
  22. @snorlax

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose
     
    Also would (maybe) make it politically untenable for Democrats+cucks to keep opposing tariffs, and might convince other countries to join in on the trade war.

    I saw on Bloomberg? someone saying there is now something of a consensus in Washington that something has to bo done with China.

    • Replies: @Some Random Anon
    First and foremost, send packing all the Chinese nationals in this country, including the tens of thousands of illegals, fake asylum seekers, pregnant women waiting to give birth to their anchor babies, the rich living here on tourist visa and sending their kids to our free public schools...all are corrupt.
  23. @MikeatMikedotMike
    I don't know, but I'm sure we will soon have a Godfree Roberts or Fred Reed damage puff piece in full damage control mode if there's anything to it.

    Godflee Loberts and Fled Leed velly smalt and velly good wliters, and u and u girl fleind Ledneck Falmer is Amelikan molon plicks.

    • LOL: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Amelikan molon plicks
     
    We prefer to think of it as American molon labe.

    https://www.agentgearusa.com/wp-content/uploads/come-and-take-them-molon-labe-pin-400x400.jpg

  24. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    I’m wondering if the CCP, for all its faults (and there are many), is in someways structurally superior to Western democracy.

    Like for instance, how many days does the CCP actually meet a year in a wide body? Probably just a few, and then I am sure there are many formalities that they have to go through. I am thinking that there just isn’t enough time for the corrupt subversion that happened to Congress.

    Oh there’s lots of corruption, but not the replace your own people kind. Or at least not yet, it might be too early to tell.

    • Replies: @MikeJa
    You could be on to something. One thing they have going for them is they are realistically nationalist. No way they'll import a load of Somali refugees for the feels
  25. There’s been a bit of a run in the last week in cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin. It seemed unexpected. The people in the forums were saying it was Chinese moving their assets. If bitcoin seems like a stable place to hold an asset, it must be really bad there.

  26. @Digital Samizdat
    There's gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that's no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    There’s gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that’s no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    That would be a great policy here.

  27. China will be fine…if you want to worry about something, here at home would be a great place to start.

  28. They could see the writing on the wall about currency devaluation, and wanted assets denominated in foreign currency—if they moved in July, they realized instant profit today. Perhaps they see writing on the wall about restrictions on capital movement as well.

  29. Looks like China is going to aggressively devalue its currency.

    • Replies: @Hail
    How much is "aggressive(ly)"?

    FWIW, 1,000 Chinese RMB->USD exchange rates in this decade have been (roughly):

    - The old days (mid Obama era), 2011 to mid 2015: 1,000 RMB bought $155 to $165;
    - Then a slow/steady downward slide between mid 2015 and late 2016, reaching $145 ;
    - Then a rise, btwn mid 2017 and Q2 2018, to reach $155 to $160 again in Q1-Q2 2018;
    - Then a downward trend from Q3 2018 to Q2 2019, again reaching the decade's lowpoint of $145 (exactly at $145, as of last Thursday, Aug. 1);
    - A one-time drop, today, to $142.

    RMB Buying USD exchange rate (Jan. 2014 = 100)
    100: Peak rate in the in 2010s
    90: Trump-era average
    86: Today, after small devaluation

    It was not a large devaluation. So far.

  30. 1) long tedious explanation of why globalization could never work long term and will probably end in economic collapse and war

    plus

    2) neocons want war with Iran but China is currently blocking it so Trump’s trade war isn’t about “America First” it’s about putting pressure on China over Iran

    (a bit like the CIA coup in Ukraine was supposed to grab the Russian naval base to use as a bargaining chip to get Putin to drop his support for Syria)

    (2) is speeding up (1).

  31. The old saying with Russia is “Russia is never as strong as she looks; Russia is never as weak as she looks.” The same seems to apply to China. There’s so much mischief in their system, it is hard to know what’s really happening in the Chinese economy. Of course, Chinese politics are completely opaque. This is true to a great degree from insiders, as well. It is a low trust society, at least when it comes to business and politics.

    Way back in the 1990’s, the Chinese cleaned up their banking sector. They had to do this to join the international financial system. The way they went about it was quintessentially Chinese, but also a sign that China would never truly fit into the emerging global economic order. Basically the Chinese just created bad banks, into which they disappeared all the bad stuff, then made those bad banks disappear.

    What we may seeing is China is not as strong economically as it appears to outsiders. Years of hiding problems is being exposed with the trade war. They got used to exporting their problems to America. This is exposing the weakness of Xi Jinping, who appears to be in total control, but maybe has made a lot of enemies in the party.

  32. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    Big things are happening in China.

    Beijing seems to think HKers are stupid, by ‘suspending but not withdrawing’ the extradition law.

    Media reports often fail to mention the context for why extradition is so odious to HK: For a couple of years at least, Beijing has been disappearing HK booksellers and the like to China and then forcing an apology for their crimes. It’s not like the extradition bill follows a long period of comity.

  33. What’s Going on in China?

    Like most piss poor peasant intelligence operatives, I watch a video to get a handle on what is going on in China.

    Two guys on motorcycles were talking about real estate and China and the real estate asset bubble in China. China and most of the rest of the globe have huge real estate asset bubbles created by the globalized central banker shysters.

    I ended up getting car sick from the motorcycle helmet camera that one of the guys was sporting.

    They were going up and down and around some hilly, mountainous section of China and I got car sick from watching it.

    The CIA clods have cushier ways to get intelligence, I’m sure.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace

    Two guys on motorcycles were talking about real estate and China and the real estate asset bubble in China. China and most of the rest of the globe have huge real estate asset bubbles created by the globalized central banker shysters.
     
    Stay awesome !!
  34. Troublesome Asian alert!

    All kinds of kerfuffling going on with India and Kashmir. Hashtag #StandWithKashmir trending on Twitter even in the U.S. Lots of hilarious animosity out there between Kashmir and India. Hey, let’s make sure we let five million Kashmirie “refugees” into the U.S. if the shooting starts. That way, we can guarantee those ancient animosities will play out in the U.S.! What could more gloriously diverse than that!

  35. The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don’t mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    • Replies: @Gabe Ruth

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone
     
    It's obviously an uphill battle, but since there is no other way to save our society I'm not giving up on bringing manufacturing back. Jobs for Americans is not the sole reason this is desirable, and trade wars are not the only potential cause. I'm not saying it's going to make everything go back to the way it was, either during the postwar era or the post cold war era, and I doubt any professional or boomer would call these hypothetical future manufacturing jobs "well-paid", but they'll be real work, and the beginning of a revival that will take time. The alternative is more financial musical chairs, and the music will most certainly stop during the next decade.
    , @craig
    "However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, .... The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, ..."

    This mantra is frequently repeated, as if it's a natural weather phenomenon and nothing can be done about it. Jobs just vanished, never to return, and only China is capable of manufacturing anymore. Pity that only the rootless-cosmopolitan class gets to prosper in the new economy; for the rest of you, there's oxycontin and cheap consumer goods. The more America sells out its birthright for cheap stuff, the more it turns into Tragic Dirt.

    "just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back."

    Detroit has deliberately chosen to evolve beyond Wealth to Diversity. This culture shift correlates strongly, in whatever regions it occurs, with a simultaneous conversion of the regions from Magic Dirt to Tragic Dirt. Multiple Harvard researchers are working on papers to explain this curious correlation, but are delayed from arriving at a conclusive analysis by their personal time spent importing seventeen of their nearest relatives from India and Somalia.

    "I don’t mind Gabbard. She seems like she has a mind of her own, ..."

    Not really. Gabbard, like all the other crabs in the Democrat bucket, is onboard with the Left's agenda of free-everything for all 7 billion people of the world who want to come to America. Because they love America, or something. Just not white Americans -- they're not Who We Are Now -- except that a certain number must be corraled and kept as draft horses for pulling the wagon that Who We Are Now gets to ride in.
    , @Thorfinnsson


    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    This was and is a political choice. The same trade war being waged against China could be employed against all low-wage countries--or simply all foreign countries period as was the case up until 1945.


    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don’t mind Gabbard.
     
    If I understand you correctly, you want to vote against Trump because you don't like tariffs.

    This makes you a traitor.
    , @Alfa158
    Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do. Harris was selected by the Inner Party years ago as a future President when she was appointed a Senator from California, and due to the unplanned Trump win over Hillary they are moving her up four years on the schedule. I’m still predicting her as the nominee and as next POTUS.
    , @Ozymandias
    "...cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality"

    Now when you say "urban myth," did you perhaps mean "personal experience"? Cheaply made crap that's not really cheap.
    , @Jack D

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.
     

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven't even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years. I agree that some Chinese stuff is of excellent quality - the Chinese know perfectly well how to make good stuff WHEN THEY ARE FORCED TO. But Chinese will sell you the cheapest stuff that they can GET AWAY WITH.

    Now, for the most part, the stuff we get here is no better, it's just the same Chinese stuff but marked with the name brand of a US mfr, which seems to increase the price sometimes by an order of magnitude. Maybe in exchange for paying 10x the price, you might get slightly better quality control oversight which forces the Chinese factory to make better stuff, but sometimes you don't even get that, so you might as well take your chances in buying China direct. This is especially true if the item is small (e.g. light bulbs, small bike parts, etc.) - if you are paying 1/10th the price but 30% of the items fail you are still ahead of the game, at least if it's not a critical safety item.

    But with a somewhat big ticket item like a folding bike or a generator, it's a bit of a chance. Maybe 70% of buyers will get an item that came out OK and 30% get a dud that will be no end of trouble - maybe some of the welds are done wrong and will fail the first time you hit a big pothole or the bearings will lack durability, etc. Out of the box the bike is going to look shiny and new and it's probably going to work at least for a while. But check back in a year or two and you'll find a bunch of unhappy customers. If you look at things like Amazon reviews you'll find it's either mostly 5 star reviews (got a good one) or 1 stars (got a bad one) - very little in between. A lot of the 5 star reviews are from people who have either been lucky or else have not really stressed their item so they never uncover the lack of durability. People usually write their reviews immediately upon getting the item - they all (or mostly) work right out of the box. It's shiny and new and your excited to receive your new toy for such a good price - it's only later on that the flaws appear. In the most extreme cases, the item only LOOKS like the item it's supposed to be but it won't withstand any actual use - it looks like say a garden trowel but the first time you use it the blade is going to break from the handle.

    , @Achmed E. Newman

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.
     
    Myth? That's complete bullshit, Jonathan. You are what, 70 years old? Are you telling me you don't remember when consumer goods could last till you didn't want them anymore, and the tools to fix them, since they could BE FIXED, wouldn't break themselve as you worked on your broken stuff, per a (possibly) Brilliant Plan by Chinese Communist Cadres?

    I have a water heater that was installed in 1988. I bought a Ryobi table saw that was made in 1994, that may have been just as expensive as a new one from Lowes, because it was made in America. I guess we won't read back from you when your bike breaks, Jonathan, and good luck fixing it anyway. Here's more on the Cheap China-made Crap.

    The tariffs are better late than never, in my opinion. Our manufacturing infrastructure, technology, and human capital was given away in the 1990's and '00's for a few bucks for the big shots in politics, and a lot of money to the big shots of Big Biz. The Chinese must devalue their currency to keep the exports competitive. That shows that the tariffs indeed mean something to the Chinese.

    I don't support these tariffs as a way to "get at" the Chinese, just as a way to let American manufacturing have a chance again. I agree that robotics will mean that it will not be the 1950's - 1970's again here, but if you don't create wealth, the economy will die. Right now we're just living on debt, and there's a lot of ruin in a nation (i.e., it can take a while).

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she's still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    , @istevefan

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,
     
    The US is still the world's second largest manufacturer.
    , @L Woods

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China,
     
    Oh, you know, only trying to contain an existential threat to Western Civilization before it’s too late. Nbd. Sorry it inconveniences your bugman consumption habits.
    , @William Badwhite
    You have to go back.
    , @peterike

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

     

    The Chamber of Commerce assures me your box of chocolates is in the mail.
    , @Faraday's Bobcat
    Your post was reasonable until

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    Manufacturing jobs could easily have been kept in the US, the way they have been in Germany and Japan, but they were allowed to leave because of conscious, traitorous policies. Anyone can see that these policies are no longer going to be tolerated.
    , @Thulean Friend

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone
     
    Not necessarily, but the price for that will mean higher prices for everyone in the US. Is that politically acceptable to most people? We're about to find out.

    Anyway, China has reduced tariffs to other countries in recent years as a counter-balance to the US. This has rebalanced trade somewhat. The US has seen its trade deficit with China be almost completely replaced with rising deficits from Rest of World(RoW). So we've only seen a composition shift from China to RoW rather than any reduction in the trade deficit.
    , @Paul Jolliffe
    "How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good."

    Everyone forgets that the Chinese long-term manufacturing plan is to MAKE EVERYTHING IN CHINA!

    If Beijing could wave its magic wand, American exports to China would disappear overnight, including Apple and Tesla!

    There is no long-term Chinese market for American manufacturers - that market is a unicorn.

    For 5.000 years the Chinese have seen themselves as the center of universe, the apex of civilization, the Middle Kingdom, the people who need nothing from the outside world, and to whom the outside world owes complete deference.

    In the long run, the Chinese government will never permit "outside" companies to sell to the Chinese people.

    And any MSM pundit, writer, prognosticator, economist, trade guru, etc. who argues otherwise is a fool.
    , @peterike

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,

     

    Yes, and this was deliberately done by our traitorous ruling class. It took a few decades to hollow out American manufacturing and ship it away. It would take less than the same few decades to get it ALL back. Of course that won't happen since the entire power structure outside of Trump is against it, but that doesn't mean it can't.
    , @Anthony Wayne
    You’ve been ignoring years’ worth of evidence to the contrary if you still come to those conclusions.
    , @interesting
    "contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality"

    Can't read past that.....been doing work with China for decades and their quality is absolute shit.
    , @Art Deco
    "Good pensions" were never all that prevalent in the economy, and were, for the most part in the public sector (as they still are). They were also not indexed, which was Georgia peachy keen for the elderly after 1965.
    , @Art Deco
    The Bureau of Economic Analysis has the data. The ratio of employer contributions to private pension plans to total personal income was at its peak around 1987. People at the midpoint of their working life at that time typically retired around 2008. That ratio at that time was 0.0183. In 1960, at the midpoint of the post-war boom, it was 0.0115. It's declined in recent decades but is still about what it was ca. 1979.
    , @Anonymous

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    Chinese can manufacture excellent quality goods, but without strong outside supervision, generally tend not to.

    The Chinese can not build a brand or have any organization to stand by what they sell. Quality fade is a constant.

    Replacement parts, well written service manuals, etc, are a big part of what makes a piece of technology usable. These tend to be nonavailable with Chinese goods not supported by a major Western brand.

    Cheap consumer goods are more of a bug than a feature. My neighbor buys a new lawn mower almost every year. I have a Husqvarna with a Honda engine I bought used and my dad's old T head Gravely walk behind tractor. Both are reliable and any needed part still available. The Husq is at least ten and the Gravely probably over 65. It starts on the first pull of the rope after six months off since I rebuilt the carb and magneto and use 100LL avgas in it, especially the last tank before storage. I had the fuel tank rebuilt to use a BMW motorcycle petcock and powder coated, and the bottom of the bush hog Teflonned, which cot me some money, but boy it works smoothly now.

    Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game
    https://www.amazon.com/Poorly-Made-China-Insiders-Production/dp/0470928077
  36. China is vastly, vastly overrated. I didn’t want to expound on the topic; I’ll just c/p some old posts of mine & a part of a very good recent post by commenter Tom67:

    Read https://www.unz.com/tengelhardt/beijings-bid-for-global-power-in-the-age-of-trump/#comment-2477385 under [MORE]
    ——

    China will never be global hegemon, even after US ceases to be.

    1. they’re the same- the same names, all other people can’t tell one from another

    2. language barrier, insurmountable

    3. they don’t want to, they’re satisfied with themselves

    4. if they would try, really, then US, Russia, Europe, Indonesia, India, Japan..would team against it & that would be the end of Chinese power

    5. they’re not attractive, nor interesting to the “world” enough

    ———

    * Russians are extension of Europe & all Euro-Asian talk is balderdash

    * when I think of deep currents, I see that Russia basically does not exist outside of Western culture. China…. another planet.

    * I understand modern bozos, but life is more than food & basic entertainment. What can Russia get from China except some dishes? And exotic high culture for aficionados? Films, music..? No. The same with China re Russia.

    * global popular culture is 90% American. Out of this 90%, perhaps 80% is moronic, but universal in some respects (although less than 20-40 years ago), while many things are only superficially popular in other cultures (for instance sports, sport movies, superhero movies, …). Americans are conquering the world through idiocracy.

    * I’d say: Russians basically think: well, not bad for now, but they’re too numerous, too powerful & too close. And, after all- who they are? Chinese think: some land for grab, but it’s not worth it, it is some old stuff. We’re growing & we’ll dominate them. But- who they basically are? We don’t understand them. It’s America we want, they are our fascinating frenemy with all that glamour, women, money & material stuff of combined richness & dreams & fun (music, movies). And there is so much accessible stuff to make life better- because Anglosphere is the center of the world, and we want to suck in the best from them, and there is plenty of it we can use to enrich ourselves without contaminating at the same time.

    ————-

    – The “symbiosis” between Russia and China is laughable. As soon as the Anglo-Zionist empire really collapses the differences between Russia and China will come to the fore. To get China´s help after the Ukraine crisis Russia had to give China a free hand in Mongolia. Before Russia had always seen to it that Mongolia didn´t get to dependent on China. Half of the foreign exchange of Mongolia was earned by the Russian-Mongolian copper mine of Erdenet. Three years ago Russia sold its share in Erdenet. By now Erdenet has been pledged by Mongolias venal politicians as collateral for Chinese loans.

    Also China has certainly never forgot that the Russian far East was part of the Qing empire until the 1850s.This will be brought up again as soon as Russia is sufficiently weak.
    Russia was forced into the alliance with China by the West. The only industrial sphere where Russia does indeed have world class expertise is in armaments. After Ukraine Russia was forced to share its technology with China. And China will definitely put this new knowledge to good use and in the not so far future overtake Russia in this particular field of expertise. Then watch what will happen.

    – China not interested in old fashioned imperial politics. That is laughable as well. China has a base in Ceylon now that they got as collateral for a loan that Ceylon couldn’t repay. China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. To back up these claims with military muscle they build navy bases all over the Spratley islands

    – China is getting more and more carbon hydrates through pipelines from Central Asia. At the same time it is mass imprisoning its Turkic population (Uyghus, Kazakhs and Kirgiz). The way the Chinese treat those people is exactly racist in the way the Saker has described the European relationship to the rest of the world. If you are a businessman in any one of those countries you will not be allowed to interact with people of the same faith, culture and almost the same language who live just across the border in Xinjiang. The Chinese government has seen to the fact that any member of those minorities lives in mortal fear of any contact with foreigners. Any business must now be conducted only with ethnic Chinese. And as as a Kirghiz or Kazakh national you are not distinguishable from a Kirgiz or Kazakh from Xinjiang you will suffer the same indignities as them when you travel to Xinjiang.

    As venal and corrupt as the elites of the “Stans” might be: even they perceive Chinese actions in neighboring Xinjiang as so grossly offensive that they hardly hide their disdain anymore. In fact I talked to a journalist last week who was present at the latest SCO gathering in Bishkek. She was astonished at the level of Sinophobia she accounted.

    So on the one hand China is in the process of acquiring more and more of the ressources of the Stans. But on the other hand it is worsening its relationship with the peoples of these countries.
    The Stans are still ruled by the same Soviet nomenklatura. There has been no real change. The question is how stable this arrangement is. It definitely fits the requirement of the Chinese but the longer this lasts the more the elites of the Stans are coming between China and their own population.

    China is well aware of this. To protect its investment it might have to use force in the future. And that is what I expect to happen in case one of those pipelines is interrupted. Not so different from what the West is doing in the Middle East.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    lol people who think China is pining to colonize Siberia belong in the same basket as people who think China is a communist country

    Old, out of touch Americans who know nothing about either country
    , @DB Cooper
    "China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. "

    The way to understand the MSM reporting on China is this. Whatever it says, the reverse is true. Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam all seized Chinese islands in the 1970s. These countries didn't lay claim on it. They just occupied them outright. Even the shithole India grabbed a piece of China (South Tibet) in the 1950s. Tibet wasn't invaded by China. It was invaded and part of it is still occupied by India (called Arunachal Pradesh by India since 1987).

  37. There are a lot of good comments here.
    Apparently folks in China saw the devaluation of the Yuan coming, and wanted to get their assets into dollars as quickly as possible. Wise move.

    One thing I have noticed — there has been a housing bubble in China for a while. Housing bubbles can affect the cost of housing outside a large economy as well. For example, when a massive housing bubble in Japan burst, the housing bubble in Honolulu crashed as well. The housing bubble crash of 1986, OTOH, had a much smaller effect in Honolulu.

    My prediction is two-fold:

    First, the housing bubbles in places outside of Mainland China with a lot of Chinese will get worse as Chinese move their assets out of China. This includes Hong Kong and possibly Macau, but also Singapore, Vancouver, San Francisco and the rest of NorCal, LA and the rest of SoCal, NYC, London, Paris, Taiwan, etc. In other words, the housing bubble everywhere outside of China is going to go nuts.

    Phase Two: A worldwide collapse of the housing bubble. The bubble in China will pop first. Maybe the trade war will cause the pop, maybe a butterfly flapping its wings in Shanghai. Eventually the Chinese housing bubble popping will take down the housing markets in the places where Chinese invest in housing. Meaning everywhere, esp the places I mentioned above.

    • Replies: @Jilla
    it's already been happening in NYC and the Hamptons for the past 1-2 yeard. the high end of the market has been. very weak. however, mid-level apartments (1-2 beds) in manhattan/brooklyn have been strong as they attract domestic upper middle class buyers. I'm not in real estate but people say it's fewer foreign buyers, particularly china. (although I've got to think the pressure on wall street salaries is hurting too)
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    China's housing bubble, and the new West Coast city housing bubble in the US from Chinese money (Vancouver, Seattle, San Fran., and L.A.), have a common cause with that in the US, P.L. I don't discount any of the reasons Mr. Sailer, Zerohedge, and I myself have brought up either, though - the push for affordable housing to be anti-redlining, and the cheap money, the latter of which I don't know is a factor in China.

    A big factor is inflation and a lack of a good place to keep the accumulated value of one's life labor. China has had a lot of inflation. This inflation has been America's biggest export. As the Chinese Gov. pegged the RMB to the US dollar, all the Q.E. creation of dollars by the FED, diluting the value, was seen in China. Pork, at the retail level, costs more than it does in the US, when it wasn't 1/2 of it just 10 years back.

    In the US, because of artificial low interest rates, people have no safe place to park their money, where it even BREAKS EVEN with inflation. That is due to the FED. So, one can fix up a house and, yeah, "flip it", or just put capital improvements into one's own house as the only decent savings vehicle left (speaking of "vehicles", no, don't put it in actual vehicles - that is a pain in the ass).

    The Chinese are in the same situation. I don't know anything about investments/savings returns there, but I do know that the Chinese buy housing as a way to keep savings, even more so than Americans. They will buy places and not rent them out even, as one benefit of bare concrete (interior too) construction is you can just hose down the place, paint it, and rent it out.
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    I meant to write earlier, P.L., those last two paragraphs are right on the money.
  38. @Dave Pinsen
    Also, China has devalued its currency to counter Trump’s latest tariffs.

    Devaluation of the Yuan is probably the key reason.

    China is a threat, but it has huge economic problems. Though China has the 100 year view, it also has pressing current difficulties. For them, it’s a race AGAINST time, as well as a race with time..

    It has a huge population,but a severe productivity problem. That’s why it steals intellectual property, it doesn’t have the time to develop advances themselves. So they make low tech goods for Walmart as fast as possible, to keep their economy going, while they scramble to move into high tech fields.

    It’s also why they tolerate the incredible pollution of their air and rivers. They know that’s bad, but it takes a back seat to economic growth.

    China needs to grow at 8-10% a year to get its huge population into productive activity. If it slides into less than 5% growth, or even worse, into recession, it will be an economic catastrophe. China NEEDS the United States as a trading partner — and we need them, but way less than they need us.

    Trump the real estate mogul love love LOVES playing the chicken negotiation game, and he has the leverage to do so. Devaluing the Yuan makes it appear that the prices of goods are the same, despite the tarriffs. But that can go on only for so long. We have the resources to backstop those industries that get hurt, like farming, but the Chinese don’t.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    That view of China is dated. China has invested far more in advancing their technological capabilities than the US has (outside of the military) over the past 20 years, ranging from engineering education to transportation to telecommunications. They still lag in aerospace. The era of Chinese industry being limited to cheap plastic products and assembling electronic products based on foreign technology is over.
  39. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone

    It’s obviously an uphill battle, but since there is no other way to save our society I’m not giving up on bringing manufacturing back. Jobs for Americans is not the sole reason this is desirable, and trade wars are not the only potential cause. I’m not saying it’s going to make everything go back to the way it was, either during the postwar era or the post cold war era, and I doubt any professional or boomer would call these hypothetical future manufacturing jobs “well-paid”, but they’ll be real work, and the beginning of a revival that will take time. The alternative is more financial musical chairs, and the music will most certainly stop during the next decade.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    since there is no other way to save our society I’m not giving up on bringing manufacturing back.
     
    Agree.
  40. eD says:

    One thing that occurred to me was that Trump was right -again- and the Chinese Communist Party leadership was still getting much more out of the globalization trade deals than the USA was. I supported Trump was doing but was worried that it was a case of closing the barn door after the horse was left, as so much of US manufacturing had been off-shored already. I suspect we will discover that these deals largely resulted from Chinese intelligence penetration of the American elite.

  41. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    “However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, …. The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, …”

    This mantra is frequently repeated, as if it’s a natural weather phenomenon and nothing can be done about it. Jobs just vanished, never to return, and only China is capable of manufacturing anymore. Pity that only the rootless-cosmopolitan class gets to prosper in the new economy; for the rest of you, there’s oxycontin and cheap consumer goods. The more America sells out its birthright for cheap stuff, the more it turns into Tragic Dirt.

    “just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.”

    Detroit has deliberately chosen to evolve beyond Wealth to Diversity. This culture shift correlates strongly, in whatever regions it occurs, with a simultaneous conversion of the regions from Magic Dirt to Tragic Dirt. Multiple Harvard researchers are working on papers to explain this curious correlation, but are delayed from arriving at a conclusive analysis by their personal time spent importing seventeen of their nearest relatives from India and Somalia.

    “I don’t mind Gabbard. She seems like she has a mind of her own, …”

    Not really. Gabbard, like all the other crabs in the Democrat bucket, is onboard with the Left’s agenda of free-everything for all 7 billion people of the world who want to come to America. Because they love America, or something. Just not white Americans — they’re not Who We Are Now — except that a certain number must be corraled and kept as draft horses for pulling the wagon that Who We Are Now gets to ride in.

    • Replies: @Fredrik
    Today's manufacturing jobs are IT programmer jobs. One small problem, jobs that can be done by Jack and Deshaun are done by Rajiv and Kumar.
    , @JR Ewing
    Yeah, Tulsi might be decent around the edges - she was (and probably still is) anti-LBTQwhatever and she's not a warmonger - but all of her other positions are more or less the same old democrat shit: free everything and make the evil white man pay for it.
  42. I’d be very careful in assuming that everybody in HK is protesting against Beijing. It’s mainly 20-somethings rightfully angry about limited upward mobility and declassment. Rule of thumb is that they and the tycoons are the ones who have a bone to pick with the PRC, whereas middle-class business types and local triad-connected working stiffs tend to be pro-Beijing. This is less about democracy than it is about economics: the people protesting want jobs, more affordable rents, higher wages.

    As for the boys in Beijing, they just want Hong Kong to be quiet, because they know that this will be the model they are selling to the Taiwanese. I suspect the solution that makes everybody relatively happy lies in making Hong Kong about tech (Shenzhen is right across the border) rather than banking: expecting HK to go back to the latter is about as realistic as Detroit going back to the auto industry. All that stuff is in Shanghai now.

    • Replies: @Neoconned
    I don't understand why that's such a hard topic to grasp for westerners......its never about democracy....its the economy stupid...its ALWAYS ABOUT jobs & the economy....
  43. My aunt saw her crummy bungalow in Mountain View, Silicon Valley fly from ~150k USD to over 4 MILLION USD with unsolicited cash offers from the l980s til now….

    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2019/02/china-vacant-apartments-housing-market-bubble-ghost-cities/583528/

    20% of China’s housing stock is empty. Its worth over a trillion dollars. Per this:

    https://amp.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/2181808/why-chinas-housing-market-bubble-wont-burst-any-time-soon

    That fifth of empty homes is equal to 50 million homes. I don’t know how to do it but if you could figure out how to get Chinese interested in your area you could make a killing. I get the impression the closer to the West Coast you are the more Chinese influx you’ll see….

  44. @Digital Samizdat
    There's gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that's no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.
  45. istevefan says:

    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump’s tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Three reasons.

    The first is that the Chinese Communist Party is unsurprisingly not committed to free market doctrine.

    The second is simple game theory. Trade retaliation may impose a cost on domestic consumers, but not retaliating will encourage more protectionism.

    The third is that there are in China influential factions which demand retaliation either to protect their own interests or for political reasons.
    , @L Woods
    Because China’s elites, however corrupt, are rooted in China and aren’t effecting a long smash and grab operation.
    , @another fred

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump’s tariffs and threatening to retaliate?
     
    Whether the "above" is true or not, I doubt that Xi is so secure in his position that he can ignore hotheads in the Party - who do react to the "insult".

    He cannot be seen as weak and lose face in the Party.

    , @JMcG
    They are the same ones telling us that diversity is our strength. The Economist types. China doesn’t seem to buy that load of codswallop either.
    , @notanon
    it's not true - "free trade" only makes sense in the original context i.e. nations exchanging goods that grew better (and thus cheaper) in their climate with goods that grew better in some other place, it doesn't apply when the main difference in the bulk of goods traded is the labor cost.

    in the modern context "free trade" is just a scam cooked up by Wall St. so they could offshore production to places with cheaper labor and then sell back to the US without any tariffs.

    China has benefited greatly from the scam and tariffs will mess it up (especially as the global economy is already starting to creak).

    nb it was reported that all but one of Trump's advisers were against the tariffs (because Wall St. makes billions from the current arrangement).

    maybe he's squeezing them to get them to agree to war with Iran (which they don't want cos their factories in China need middle east oil).
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson

    The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.
     
    The 'free traders' are wrong. The 'economists' are measuring the wrong metrics. They do not measure, e.g., the despair caused (opioid crisis), the inability to source our military with a supply chain we control, or the loss of knowledge about how to manufacture well.

    Plus, they count a dollar buying a trinket the same as a dollar buying a productive machine. It is a scam from start to end.
    , @Anonymous
    Free trade doctrine comes out of classical liberalism, and the idea that people should be free to pursue their individual interests so long as they don't harm their fellow citizens.

    So if a person wishes to boycott the produce of a certain foreign country, such as China, they're free to do so, however they have no right to enlist the power of the state (e.g. tariffs) to force their neighbors to join them in their boycott.

    Whether this makes countries collectively richer or poorer is a matter of debate. The paramount issue is personal liberty.
  46. @nebulafox
    I'd be very careful in assuming that everybody in HK is protesting against Beijing. It's mainly 20-somethings rightfully angry about limited upward mobility and declassment. Rule of thumb is that they and the tycoons are the ones who have a bone to pick with the PRC, whereas middle-class business types and local triad-connected working stiffs tend to be pro-Beijing. This is less about democracy than it is about economics: the people protesting want jobs, more affordable rents, higher wages.

    As for the boys in Beijing, they just want Hong Kong to be quiet, because they know that this will be the model they are selling to the Taiwanese. I suspect the solution that makes everybody relatively happy lies in making Hong Kong about tech (Shenzhen is right across the border) rather than banking: expecting HK to go back to the latter is about as realistic as Detroit going back to the auto industry. All that stuff is in Shanghai now.

    I don’t understand why that’s such a hard topic to grasp for westerners……its never about democracy….its the economy stupid…its ALWAYS ABOUT jobs & the economy….

  47. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    This was and is a political choice. The same trade war being waged against China could be employed against all low-wage countries–or simply all foreign countries period as was the case up until 1945.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don’t mind Gabbard.

    If I understand you correctly, you want to vote against Trump because you don’t like tariffs.

    This makes you a traitor.

    • LOL: bomag
    • Replies: @Anon
    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.
  48. Simple: Get the money into dollars while the dollar is cheap. Now, after devaluation, Chinese assets will be cheap so look for increased investment into China again – in other words, the money left and it’s going to come right back.

  49. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    Three reasons.

    The first is that the Chinese Communist Party is unsurprisingly not committed to free market doctrine.

    The second is simple game theory. Trade retaliation may impose a cost on domestic consumers, but not retaliating will encourage more protectionism.

    The third is that there are in China influential factions which demand retaliation either to protect their own interests or for political reasons.

  50. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do. Harris was selected by the Inner Party years ago as a future President when she was appointed a Senator from California, and due to the unplanned Trump win over Hillary they are moving her up four years on the schedule. I’m still predicting her as the nominee and as next POTUS.

    • Replies: @George
    "Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do."

    Should read: Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as Trump did, virtually zero.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.
    , @NYMOM
    I believe they will still run Joe Biden (to undermine Trump) and Harris will be the VP. Biden will sit one term if he wins and not run for re-election...

    Whether or not Biden wins depends upon how gullible the Democrats and Independents are who switched party lines and voted for Trump last time and/or how fed up they are by all the drama surrounding his presidency...

    It's a toss-up.
  51. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    “…cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality”

    Now when you say “urban myth,” did you perhaps mean “personal experience”? Cheaply made crap that’s not really cheap.

  52. @Alfa158
    Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do. Harris was selected by the Inner Party years ago as a future President when she was appointed a Senator from California, and due to the unplanned Trump win over Hillary they are moving her up four years on the schedule. I’m still predicting her as the nominee and as next POTUS.

    “Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do.”

    Should read: Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as Trump did, virtually zero.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Trump was incorrectly perceived as having zero chance. The ruling class was too mentally insular too understand his appeal.
    His adoption of the Miller/Bannon platform, in combination with his ability to self finance his campaign for a while so that the ruling class couldn’t choke it off, made him a shoo-in for the nomination.
    Tulsi won’t get the money needed for her campaign to take off, and she can’t finance herself. Hence, zero chance.
  53. China’s Golden Age is OVER!

  54. As always, my first named law: whatever the media is reporting is either not happening or not important, and whatever’s really important is not being prominently reported. And for the media to report this would require them to admit that Trump was right about China and right about how to handle it. When Reagan was right about Soviet weakness, the media presentation was that Reagan was democidally dangerously thoughtless, and that’s never been corrected, even after history vindicated him.
    Illustrative of the effects of the same idea: Trump falls for the laughable establishmentarian forcememe that Trump is responsible for Trump-supporting 4chan visiting “incel” shooters, and today promises to completely eliminate anyone who bought a MAGA hat. He embraces the lie that something which happens less often than lightning deaths is a massive epidemic because after all it gets huge media coverage.
    If Trump wins in 2020, it’ll have been because the Democrats pulled another Schwartzeneggar.

  55. @Paleo Liberal
    There are a lot of good comments here.
    Apparently folks in China saw the devaluation of the Yuan coming, and wanted to get their assets into dollars as quickly as possible. Wise move.

    One thing I have noticed — there has been a housing bubble in China for a while. Housing bubbles can affect the cost of housing outside a large economy as well. For example, when a massive housing bubble in Japan burst, the housing bubble in Honolulu crashed as well. The housing bubble crash of 1986, OTOH, had a much smaller effect in Honolulu.

    My prediction is two-fold:

    First, the housing bubbles in places outside of Mainland China with a lot of Chinese will get worse as Chinese move their assets out of China. This includes Hong Kong and possibly Macau, but also Singapore, Vancouver, San Francisco and the rest of NorCal, LA and the rest of SoCal, NYC, London, Paris, Taiwan, etc. In other words, the housing bubble everywhere outside of China is going to go nuts.

    Phase Two: A worldwide collapse of the housing bubble. The bubble in China will pop first. Maybe the trade war will cause the pop, maybe a butterfly flapping its wings in Shanghai. Eventually the Chinese housing bubble popping will take down the housing markets in the places where Chinese invest in housing. Meaning everywhere, esp the places I mentioned above.

    it’s already been happening in NYC and the Hamptons for the past 1-2 yeard. the high end of the market has been. very weak. however, mid-level apartments (1-2 beds) in manhattan/brooklyn have been strong as they attract domestic upper middle class buyers. I’m not in real estate but people say it’s fewer foreign buyers, particularly china. (although I’ve got to think the pressure on wall street salaries is hurting too)

  56. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven’t even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years. I agree that some Chinese stuff is of excellent quality – the Chinese know perfectly well how to make good stuff WHEN THEY ARE FORCED TO. But Chinese will sell you the cheapest stuff that they can GET AWAY WITH.

    Now, for the most part, the stuff we get here is no better, it’s just the same Chinese stuff but marked with the name brand of a US mfr, which seems to increase the price sometimes by an order of magnitude. Maybe in exchange for paying 10x the price, you might get slightly better quality control oversight which forces the Chinese factory to make better stuff, but sometimes you don’t even get that, so you might as well take your chances in buying China direct. This is especially true if the item is small (e.g. light bulbs, small bike parts, etc.) – if you are paying 1/10th the price but 30% of the items fail you are still ahead of the game, at least if it’s not a critical safety item.

    But with a somewhat big ticket item like a folding bike or a generator, it’s a bit of a chance. Maybe 70% of buyers will get an item that came out OK and 30% get a dud that will be no end of trouble – maybe some of the welds are done wrong and will fail the first time you hit a big pothole or the bearings will lack durability, etc. Out of the box the bike is going to look shiny and new and it’s probably going to work at least for a while. But check back in a year or two and you’ll find a bunch of unhappy customers. If you look at things like Amazon reviews you’ll find it’s either mostly 5 star reviews (got a good one) or 1 stars (got a bad one) – very little in between. A lot of the 5 star reviews are from people who have either been lucky or else have not really stressed their item so they never uncover the lack of durability. People usually write their reviews immediately upon getting the item – they all (or mostly) work right out of the box. It’s shiny and new and your excited to receive your new toy for such a good price – it’s only later on that the flaws appear. In the most extreme cases, the item only LOOKS like the item it’s supposed to be but it won’t withstand any actual use – it looks like say a garden trowel but the first time you use it the blade is going to break from the handle.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven’t even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years.
     
    Yes, everything you say is true, but I have had 3 folding bikes before including a Brompton, a Dahon, and a Schwinn, two of which were stolen.

    The bike I have on order is made by a company established in 1897.

    I have an add on for Firefox that translates complete Web pages, and have been able to read the Chinese version of their Web site. The link here is to the English version of their site.

    http://www.phoenix-bicycle.com/index.php/center/brand

    I am capable of replacing and repairing components as needed and have an extensive workshop, so hopefully it will work out OK so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida and hopefully lose a few pounds too.

    Incidentally the add-on that translates whole pages via Google Translate at the click of a mouse is very useful and I have used to it order electronics from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and China, not to mention being able to read news articles not available by other means.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/translate-whole-page/?src=search

    , @Old Prude
    Excellent comment. My cheap plastic Chinese made Raybans looked terrific. They even were so thoughtful as to emboss “Made in Italy” on the side. They totally sucked as sunglasses.
  57. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    Myth? That’s complete bullshit, Jonathan. You are what, 70 years old? Are you telling me you don’t remember when consumer goods could last till you didn’t want them anymore, and the tools to fix them, since they could BE FIXED, wouldn’t break themselve as you worked on your broken stuff, per a (possibly) Brilliant Plan by Chinese Communist Cadres?

    I have a water heater that was installed in 1988. I bought a Ryobi table saw that was made in 1994, that may have been just as expensive as a new one from Lowes, because it was made in America. I guess we won’t read back from you when your bike breaks, Jonathan, and good luck fixing it anyway. Here’s more on the Cheap China-made Crap.

    The tariffs are better late than never, in my opinion. Our manufacturing infrastructure, technology, and human capital was given away in the 1990’s and ’00’s for a few bucks for the big shots in politics, and a lot of money to the big shots of Big Biz. The Chinese must devalue their currency to keep the exports competitive. That shows that the tariffs indeed mean something to the Chinese.

    I don’t support these tariffs as a way to “get at” the Chinese, just as a way to let American manufacturing have a chance again. I agree that robotics will mean that it will not be the 1950’s – 1970’s again here, but if you don’t create wealth, the economy will die. Right now we’re just living on debt, and there’s a lot of ruin in a nation (i.e., it can take a while).

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she’s still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    • Agree: Ibound1
    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she’s still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

     

    We can agree on Trumpy's tariffs Mr Newman!

    We can disagree on Ronald Reagan.

    Trumpy should pop the Chinese Communist Party with a PROHIBITIVE tariff of between 90 and 150 percent or more on all goods from the Chinese Communist Party.

    Trumpy must disregard the trade policy suggestions from politicians such as Mitch McConnell who have clear and direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

    US national security and US sovereignty are under attack from the Chinese Communist Party and the plutocrats and the transnationalists in the USA who push globalization and financialization and trade deal scams.
    , @JMcG
    Just as another data point here. I bought my son a non-running Yamaha dirt bike to get him familiar with how engines operate. We took it apart, rebuilt the carb, bought an oem piston and assorted other parts.
    It turned out to need a new crankshaft. Yamaha wanted 360.00 for the part.
    He did some research and found euro-spec Yamaha made crankshafts for 180.00.
    I went on eBay and found Chinese produced crankshafts for 59.00. Then I checked alibaba and found that if you were to buy 200 crankshafts, the unit price was ... 6.00. Six dollars for a machined steel, pressed together crankshaft with a connecting rod installed. Three roller bearings.
    I bought a Chinese knockoff from eBay. The object was to learn how to build engines, not keep the bike forever. When it came a couple of days later, by Air Freight, it looked and mic’d out identical to the OEM part.
    We put it all together and it fired right up. Ran for about thirty minutes for one of the Chinese bearings seized on the new crank.
    My son learned a couple of important lessons. How to rebuild a four stroke engine, and never to buy Chinese crap for anything important, no matter how good a deal it seems.
    My buddy does high end kitchen installations. He swears the Chinese have to be selling flat pack cabinets here as a money laundering operation. He said there is no way they can be making a profit on the quality of cabinets he sees at the price point they are hitting.
    , @James Braxton
    I have sometimes replaced American made items that lasted for years with the same item now made in China. You can do a side by side comparison and see that cheaper alloys are used, the threads on the screws are misaligned, and a million other small differences in quality that add up to a big pile of crap compared to the old product.
  58. Here’s a guess: nothing much. He just has anxious friends. The fellow above who said they’re looking for a place to move money they had parked in Hong Kong I’d wager has called it.

  59. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,

    The US is still the world’s second largest manufacturer.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    The good news is, because of automation the cost difference between manufacturing in the US vs. Asia is smaller. Advantages in shipping costs and times can actually make manufacturing in the US more advantageous in some situations.

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.

    One interesting study worked out the correlation between automation and counties where Trump picked up votes compared to Romney in 2012. The conclusion was that if there had been 2% less automation in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Take that conclusion with a grain of salt, but it begs the question: have any serious candidates for President, including Trump, learned the lesson?

    Andrew Yang is not considered a serious candidate at the moment. In the future he may be regarded as ahead of his time. Perhaps he will be elected in a decade or three.
  60. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China,

    Oh, you know, only trying to contain an existential threat to Western Civilization before it’s too late. Nbd. Sorry it inconveniences your bugman consumption habits.

  61. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    Because China’s elites, however corrupt, are rooted in China and aren’t effecting a long smash and grab operation.

  62. @Paleo Liberal
    There are a lot of good comments here.
    Apparently folks in China saw the devaluation of the Yuan coming, and wanted to get their assets into dollars as quickly as possible. Wise move.

    One thing I have noticed — there has been a housing bubble in China for a while. Housing bubbles can affect the cost of housing outside a large economy as well. For example, when a massive housing bubble in Japan burst, the housing bubble in Honolulu crashed as well. The housing bubble crash of 1986, OTOH, had a much smaller effect in Honolulu.

    My prediction is two-fold:

    First, the housing bubbles in places outside of Mainland China with a lot of Chinese will get worse as Chinese move their assets out of China. This includes Hong Kong and possibly Macau, but also Singapore, Vancouver, San Francisco and the rest of NorCal, LA and the rest of SoCal, NYC, London, Paris, Taiwan, etc. In other words, the housing bubble everywhere outside of China is going to go nuts.

    Phase Two: A worldwide collapse of the housing bubble. The bubble in China will pop first. Maybe the trade war will cause the pop, maybe a butterfly flapping its wings in Shanghai. Eventually the Chinese housing bubble popping will take down the housing markets in the places where Chinese invest in housing. Meaning everywhere, esp the places I mentioned above.

    China’s housing bubble, and the new West Coast city housing bubble in the US from Chinese money (Vancouver, Seattle, San Fran., and L.A.), have a common cause with that in the US, P.L. I don’t discount any of the reasons Mr. Sailer, Zerohedge, and I myself have brought up either, though – the push for affordable housing to be anti-redlining, and the cheap money, the latter of which I don’t know is a factor in China.

    A big factor is inflation and a lack of a good place to keep the accumulated value of one’s life labor. China has had a lot of inflation. This inflation has been America’s biggest export. As the Chinese Gov. pegged the RMB to the US dollar, all the Q.E. creation of dollars by the FED, diluting the value, was seen in China. Pork, at the retail level, costs more than it does in the US, when it wasn’t 1/2 of it just 10 years back.

    In the US, because of artificial low interest rates, people have no safe place to park their money, where it even BREAKS EVEN with inflation. That is due to the FED. So, one can fix up a house and, yeah, “flip it”, or just put capital improvements into one’s own house as the only decent savings vehicle left (speaking of “vehicles”, no, don’t put it in actual vehicles – that is a pain in the ass).

    The Chinese are in the same situation. I don’t know anything about investments/savings returns there, but I do know that the Chinese buy housing as a way to keep savings, even more so than Americans. They will buy places and not rent them out even, as one benefit of bare concrete (interior too) construction is you can just hose down the place, paint it, and rent it out.

    • Replies: @Peter Lund
    > Pork, at the retail level, costs more than it does in the US, when it wasn’t 1/2 of it just 10 years back.

    China has a mega outbreak of African Swine Fever:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_swine_fever_virus#China

    That has severely hurt their pork production and has caused them to increase their imports immensely, especially from the EU. That is definitely a factor in the increased pork prices in China (and the EU).
  63. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    You have to go back.

    • Agree: snorlax, notanon, L Woods
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    AGREED! - Back to formerly-Great, formerly-Britain. At least some of us are "giving it a go" here, as you blokes say.
  64. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    The Chamber of Commerce assures me your box of chocolates is in the mail.

  65. @William Badwhite
    You have to go back.

    AGREED! – Back to formerly-Great, formerly-Britain. At least some of us are “giving it a go” here, as you blokes say.

  66. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    Ive seen more about the HK protests in one weekend than the Yellow Vests, with the one exception being when the Notre Dame burned down, where the MSM made a half hearted attempt to say the Yellow Vests were mad that the French government was spending money on the Notre Dame v jobs.

  67. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    Your post was reasonable until

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    Manufacturing jobs could easily have been kept in the US, the way they have been in Germany and Japan, but they were allowed to leave because of conscious, traitorous policies. Anyone can see that these policies are no longer going to be tolerated.

  68. @Alfa158
    Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do. Harris was selected by the Inner Party years ago as a future President when she was appointed a Senator from California, and due to the unplanned Trump win over Hillary they are moving her up four years on the schedule. I’m still predicting her as the nominee and as next POTUS.

    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    "You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class."

    Maybe not tools, but definitely douches.
    , @Alfa158
    I think Harris will win the nomination because she is a tool of the ruling class, a woman, and a POC.
    Bernie is not a tool of the working class but is willing to go along with open borders, which means his other virtues such as non-intervention and support for a welfare state are irrelevant. A welfare state cannot survive borders open to the third world so whether he likes it or not he is working on behalf of the ruling class anyway while getting no support from them.
    Tulsi would be a great candidate, but she just isn’t subservient enough to our rulers to ever have a shot at the nomination as a Democrat. I can see her coming back in 20 years when the US becomes restive and fractious under California style one party rule by the Democrats and people become receptive to a third party candidate.
    The ongoing demographic changes and weakening of support for Trump because of his failures to deliver on his promises and the appointment of people like Pompey and Bolton mean Harris can win despite her qualities. The news and entertainment media will drag her across the finish line. The ruling class was caught by surprise by Trump and were ultimately unable to stop him, but you will recall the speed with which they reacted to his nomination campaign and rabid ferocity with which they have been fighting him ever since.
    , @Anonymous
    Amongst many issues that Biden has is his huge corruption with China.

    A few days after flying to China with his dad, Hunter Biden's hedge fund (also run by John Kerry's son) picked up an extra 1.5 billion dollars to play with.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5507429/Bidens-son-Hunter-deal-Bank-China-fathers-trip.html

    I'm sure Trump will notice this at some point.

    , @Intelligent Dasein

    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.
     
    It is not really necessary to go on reminding us of that in every post you write, especially when your handle already says a much.

    I think the rest of what you said, however, sounds quite sensible. I would not worry about Harris at all. Biden is going to win the nomination handily.
  69. The HK protesters started attacking the apartments of police and fire fighters. The knives are gonna come out now.

  70. Whatever the exact shape of Chinese events, the people trying to get their money out are taking one hell of a chance. They had better follow the fiscal exit closely with their own personal exit.

    China is in one hell of a tight spot if (when) the global order breaks down, as they are dependent on food and energy from the outside and are not well situated to defend their supply lines.

    While I expect an eventual breakdown, I expected Xi to play for a little more time, and he may yet. China is not in a position to do well in a total breakdown of order. Perhaps he is gambling, like Hitler did early on, that he can get away with some bold moves without getting his hand called.

    It may well be that internal events are forcing his hand.

    Interesting times.

  71. When Plato talked about the shadows in the cave, he might as well have been talking about the CPC leadership. There are all sorts of palace intrigues going on behind the walls of the leadership compound that we will never find out about (unless the regime collapses and the archives are released) and what we see are merely the shadows of those intrigues. Even momentous events such a the Tiananmen Massacre are just byproducts of power struggles that we will never know about directly. We can never hope to learn in real time what is really going on – we can only guess at them from the shadows that we are seeing. Naturally most of the time we are going to guess wrong.

  72. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone

    Not necessarily, but the price for that will mean higher prices for everyone in the US. Is that politically acceptable to most people? We’re about to find out.

    Anyway, China has reduced tariffs to other countries in recent years as a counter-balance to the US. This has rebalanced trade somewhat. The US has seen its trade deficit with China be almost completely replaced with rising deficits from Rest of World(RoW). So we’ve only seen a composition shift from China to RoW rather than any reduction in the trade deficit.

  73. @Jack D

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.
     

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven't even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years. I agree that some Chinese stuff is of excellent quality - the Chinese know perfectly well how to make good stuff WHEN THEY ARE FORCED TO. But Chinese will sell you the cheapest stuff that they can GET AWAY WITH.

    Now, for the most part, the stuff we get here is no better, it's just the same Chinese stuff but marked with the name brand of a US mfr, which seems to increase the price sometimes by an order of magnitude. Maybe in exchange for paying 10x the price, you might get slightly better quality control oversight which forces the Chinese factory to make better stuff, but sometimes you don't even get that, so you might as well take your chances in buying China direct. This is especially true if the item is small (e.g. light bulbs, small bike parts, etc.) - if you are paying 1/10th the price but 30% of the items fail you are still ahead of the game, at least if it's not a critical safety item.

    But with a somewhat big ticket item like a folding bike or a generator, it's a bit of a chance. Maybe 70% of buyers will get an item that came out OK and 30% get a dud that will be no end of trouble - maybe some of the welds are done wrong and will fail the first time you hit a big pothole or the bearings will lack durability, etc. Out of the box the bike is going to look shiny and new and it's probably going to work at least for a while. But check back in a year or two and you'll find a bunch of unhappy customers. If you look at things like Amazon reviews you'll find it's either mostly 5 star reviews (got a good one) or 1 stars (got a bad one) - very little in between. A lot of the 5 star reviews are from people who have either been lucky or else have not really stressed their item so they never uncover the lack of durability. People usually write their reviews immediately upon getting the item - they all (or mostly) work right out of the box. It's shiny and new and your excited to receive your new toy for such a good price - it's only later on that the flaws appear. In the most extreme cases, the item only LOOKS like the item it's supposed to be but it won't withstand any actual use - it looks like say a garden trowel but the first time you use it the blade is going to break from the handle.

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven’t even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years.

    Yes, everything you say is true, but I have had 3 folding bikes before including a Brompton, a Dahon, and a Schwinn, two of which were stolen.

    The bike I have on order is made by a company established in 1897.

    I have an add on for Firefox that translates complete Web pages, and have been able to read the Chinese version of their Web site. The link here is to the English version of their site.

    http://www.phoenix-bicycle.com/index.php/center/brand

    I am capable of replacing and repairing components as needed and have an extensive workshop, so hopefully it will work out OK so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida and hopefully lose a few pounds too.

    Incidentally the add-on that translates whole pages via Google Translate at the click of a mouse is very useful and I have used to it order electronics from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and China, not to mention being able to read news articles not available by other means.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/translate-whole-page/?src=search

    • Replies: @Jack D
    The claim of dating back to 1897 is dubious. All PRC firms were severely affected by the Revolution and there was little continuity. Wikipedia dates the founding of Phoenix (less well known than Flying Pigeon, the iconic Chinese bike but with a similar original product line) to the 1950s, which is probably more truthful.

    At one time, China had a very large state owned bike mfring sector (since people couldn't afford cars or even motor scooters due to that same system of state ownership) but their products would be considered outdated by current standards - heavy double top tube "roadster" bikes that were somewhat crude and imperfect copies of old English or Dutch designs. Some of these state owned companies made the transition to making modern bikes that are salable on the world market and some didn't.

    This bike manufacturing experience is of little value when most modern bikes are based on essentially new and different technology - welded aluminium rather than brazed steel, hydroformed shapes rather than uniform tubing, disc brakes rather than coaster brakes, extensive use of alloys and even composites instead of ferrous metals, etc. If anything, hidebound traditions are an impediment sometimes. The best PRC bike mfrs are local branches of Taiwan mfrs such as Giant and not the (former) PRC state companies.

    , @Reg Cæsar

    so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida
     
    A Chinese bike to scale Britton Hill. Hope it survives!

    Then you can test it on the Ebright Azimuth.

    https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/things-to-do/arts-history/britton-hill-highest-point-florida.html


    https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/12/2b/4d/63/welcome.jpg

    https://thepeakseeker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/ebright-azimuth-delaware_1.jpg
  74. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump’s tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    Whether the “above” is true or not, I doubt that Xi is so secure in his position that he can ignore hotheads in the Party – who do react to the “insult”.

    He cannot be seen as weak and lose face in the Party.

  75. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    “How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.”

    Everyone forgets that the Chinese long-term manufacturing plan is to MAKE EVERYTHING IN CHINA!

    If Beijing could wave its magic wand, American exports to China would disappear overnight, including Apple and Tesla!

    There is no long-term Chinese market for American manufacturers – that market is a unicorn.

    For 5.000 years the Chinese have seen themselves as the center of universe, the apex of civilization, the Middle Kingdom, the people who need nothing from the outside world, and to whom the outside world owes complete deference.

    In the long run, the Chinese government will never permit “outside” companies to sell to the Chinese people.

    And any MSM pundit, writer, prognosticator, economist, trade guru, etc. who argues otherwise is a fool.

  76. @istevefan

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,
     
    The US is still the world's second largest manufacturer.

    The good news is, because of automation the cost difference between manufacturing in the US vs. Asia is smaller. Advantages in shipping costs and times can actually make manufacturing in the US more advantageous in some situations.

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.

    One interesting study worked out the correlation between automation and counties where Trump picked up votes compared to Romney in 2012. The conclusion was that if there had been 2% less automation in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Take that conclusion with a grain of salt, but it begs the question: have any serious candidates for President, including Trump, learned the lesson?

    Andrew Yang is not considered a serious candidate at the moment. In the future he may be regarded as ahead of his time. Perhaps he will be elected in a decade or three.

    • Replies: @istevefan
    I'd rather have those jobs here. So even if automation reduces the workforce, there still is a workforce. And there will be a need for those to maintain the machines that do the work.

    If Yang is promoting the notion that automation will reduce the needs of the future workforce, is he also deviating from mainstream orthodoxy on immigration and suggesting we need to throttle back on immigration due to the decreasing need for workers?
    , @Pincher Martin

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.
     
    That's not bad news. It's called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always - ALWAYS - want to make more with less. Unless you're a Luddite.
  77. Thanks for the heads up, iSteve. But the same thing has been going on continuously throughout my years in China.

    Chinese investments stink. Real-estate “ownership” that consists of a 99-year lease on a condo with a 20-year shelf life. Companies led by army officers who anxiously await the day they sell off the machinery and flee to San Marino.

    The smart money in China accumulates, accumulates, accumulates… then splits.

  78. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    They are the same ones telling us that diversity is our strength. The Economist types. China doesn’t seem to buy that load of codswallop either.

    • Agree: istevefan
  79. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,

    Yes, and this was deliberately done by our traitorous ruling class. It took a few decades to hollow out American manufacturing and ship it away. It would take less than the same few decades to get it ALL back. Of course that won’t happen since the entire power structure outside of Trump is against it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t.

  80. @Jack D

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.
     

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven't even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years. I agree that some Chinese stuff is of excellent quality - the Chinese know perfectly well how to make good stuff WHEN THEY ARE FORCED TO. But Chinese will sell you the cheapest stuff that they can GET AWAY WITH.

    Now, for the most part, the stuff we get here is no better, it's just the same Chinese stuff but marked with the name brand of a US mfr, which seems to increase the price sometimes by an order of magnitude. Maybe in exchange for paying 10x the price, you might get slightly better quality control oversight which forces the Chinese factory to make better stuff, but sometimes you don't even get that, so you might as well take your chances in buying China direct. This is especially true if the item is small (e.g. light bulbs, small bike parts, etc.) - if you are paying 1/10th the price but 30% of the items fail you are still ahead of the game, at least if it's not a critical safety item.

    But with a somewhat big ticket item like a folding bike or a generator, it's a bit of a chance. Maybe 70% of buyers will get an item that came out OK and 30% get a dud that will be no end of trouble - maybe some of the welds are done wrong and will fail the first time you hit a big pothole or the bearings will lack durability, etc. Out of the box the bike is going to look shiny and new and it's probably going to work at least for a while. But check back in a year or two and you'll find a bunch of unhappy customers. If you look at things like Amazon reviews you'll find it's either mostly 5 star reviews (got a good one) or 1 stars (got a bad one) - very little in between. A lot of the 5 star reviews are from people who have either been lucky or else have not really stressed their item so they never uncover the lack of durability. People usually write their reviews immediately upon getting the item - they all (or mostly) work right out of the box. It's shiny and new and your excited to receive your new toy for such a good price - it's only later on that the flaws appear. In the most extreme cases, the item only LOOKS like the item it's supposed to be but it won't withstand any actual use - it looks like say a garden trowel but the first time you use it the blade is going to break from the handle.

    Excellent comment. My cheap plastic Chinese made Raybans looked terrific. They even were so thoughtful as to emboss “Made in Italy” on the side. They totally sucked as sunglasses.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's a Chinese custom to send offerings to your ancestors in heaven. You can't send stuff to heaven by Fedex or send wire transfers by Western Union but if you burn it, it will go up to heaven and reach the departed. Now the Chinese being practical people aren't actually going to burn valuable currency or goods, but if you burn a paper version of the item, that will do.

    Classically the offering was money (play money, not real money) but in modern times can also include paper versions of various goods, including the latest up to date goods (surely your ancestors would want a nice cell phone). Or perhaps your ancestor was a coffee lover - send him a nice espresso machine.

    https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/news-trends/article/2168791/9-bizarre-luxury-offerings-people-will-burn-honour

    Anyway, sometimes I get the feeling that the distribution channels get mixed up and the Chinese are sending us the paper offering version of certain items rather than the goods themselves because the stuff lasts about as long as if it were made out of paper.
    , @JMcG
    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.
  81. istevefan says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    The good news is, because of automation the cost difference between manufacturing in the US vs. Asia is smaller. Advantages in shipping costs and times can actually make manufacturing in the US more advantageous in some situations.

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.

    One interesting study worked out the correlation between automation and counties where Trump picked up votes compared to Romney in 2012. The conclusion was that if there had been 2% less automation in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Take that conclusion with a grain of salt, but it begs the question: have any serious candidates for President, including Trump, learned the lesson?

    Andrew Yang is not considered a serious candidate at the moment. In the future he may be regarded as ahead of his time. Perhaps he will be elected in a decade or three.

    I’d rather have those jobs here. So even if automation reduces the workforce, there still is a workforce. And there will be a need for those to maintain the machines that do the work.

    If Yang is promoting the notion that automation will reduce the needs of the future workforce, is he also deviating from mainstream orthodoxy on immigration and suggesting we need to throttle back on immigration due to the decreasing need for workers?

    • Replies: @notanon

    I’d rather have those jobs here.
     
    yes - the more efficient manufacturing jobs become the more service jobs they support - every one is precious.

    the ideal solution would be for China/US to come to a deal where they share out the manufacturing jobs as this would allow both to support a more prosperous middle class - unfortunately the banking mafia are too greedy to allow it.
    , @Paleo Liberal
    A quick Google search took me to Yang’s immigration policy.

    Yang appears to have an immigration policy significantly less bad than other Democrats.

    1. He realizes his cash for citizens could cause a run at the border, therefore we need a secure border before we handle any illegal aliens already in the US.

    2. He does acknowledge we have a border crises due to insecure borders.

    3. On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’. However, this can ONLY be implemented after the border is secured.

    4. On the bad side, he doesn’t mention H1-B visas nor restrictions on legal immigration at all.

    Am I grading on the curve?

    I would give him a barely passing grade without a curve. With a curve, he gets an “A” for not demanding something very close to open borders. Note that the fashionable left line these days is to scoff at people who say leftists want open borders, then make proposals which are as close to open borders as you can get without actually being open borders. At least Yang is arguing for enforcing the laws we already have.
  82. The potential extradition treaty with the mainland has scared those who use Hong Kong as a tax haven, and now they want to get their money out any way they can. IIRC, back when it (the extradition treaty) was first announced, Reuters ran a piece detailing how private banks in Hong Kong were overwhelmed by the number of clients trying to open accounts in Singapore and move their deposits there.

  83. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    it’s not true – “free trade” only makes sense in the original context i.e. nations exchanging goods that grew better (and thus cheaper) in their climate with goods that grew better in some other place, it doesn’t apply when the main difference in the bulk of goods traded is the labor cost.

    in the modern context “free trade” is just a scam cooked up by Wall St. so they could offshore production to places with cheaper labor and then sell back to the US without any tariffs.

    China has benefited greatly from the scam and tariffs will mess it up (especially as the global economy is already starting to creak).

    nb it was reported that all but one of Trump’s advisers were against the tariffs (because Wall St. makes billions from the current arrangement).

    maybe he’s squeezing them to get them to agree to war with Iran (which they don’t want cos their factories in China need middle east oil).

  84. Speaking of the nexus of outsourcing and Troublesome Asians, good review of a book that examines the shenanigans in the generic drug manufacturing world: based largely in — tah dah! — India and China. Scandals ensue! People die! Who could possible have imagined that!

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/foreign-generic-drugs-a-matter-of-life-or-death/

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "the shenanigans in the generic drug manufacturing world: based largely in — tah dah! — India and China"

    See this on Ranbaxy, who supply things like Lisinopril to Americans with high blood pressure.

    https://fortune.com/2013/05/15/dirty-medicine/
  85. @istevefan
    I'd rather have those jobs here. So even if automation reduces the workforce, there still is a workforce. And there will be a need for those to maintain the machines that do the work.

    If Yang is promoting the notion that automation will reduce the needs of the future workforce, is he also deviating from mainstream orthodoxy on immigration and suggesting we need to throttle back on immigration due to the decreasing need for workers?

    I’d rather have those jobs here.

    yes – the more efficient manufacturing jobs become the more service jobs they support – every one is precious.

    the ideal solution would be for China/US to come to a deal where they share out the manufacturing jobs as this would allow both to support a more prosperous middle class – unfortunately the banking mafia are too greedy to allow it.

  86. @Jonathan Mason

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven’t even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years.
     
    Yes, everything you say is true, but I have had 3 folding bikes before including a Brompton, a Dahon, and a Schwinn, two of which were stolen.

    The bike I have on order is made by a company established in 1897.

    I have an add on for Firefox that translates complete Web pages, and have been able to read the Chinese version of their Web site. The link here is to the English version of their site.

    http://www.phoenix-bicycle.com/index.php/center/brand

    I am capable of replacing and repairing components as needed and have an extensive workshop, so hopefully it will work out OK so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida and hopefully lose a few pounds too.

    Incidentally the add-on that translates whole pages via Google Translate at the click of a mouse is very useful and I have used to it order electronics from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and China, not to mention being able to read news articles not available by other means.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/translate-whole-page/?src=search

    The claim of dating back to 1897 is dubious. All PRC firms were severely affected by the Revolution and there was little continuity. Wikipedia dates the founding of Phoenix (less well known than Flying Pigeon, the iconic Chinese bike but with a similar original product line) to the 1950s, which is probably more truthful.

    At one time, China had a very large state owned bike mfring sector (since people couldn’t afford cars or even motor scooters due to that same system of state ownership) but their products would be considered outdated by current standards – heavy double top tube “roadster” bikes that were somewhat crude and imperfect copies of old English or Dutch designs. Some of these state owned companies made the transition to making modern bikes that are salable on the world market and some didn’t.

    This bike manufacturing experience is of little value when most modern bikes are based on essentially new and different technology – welded aluminium rather than brazed steel, hydroformed shapes rather than uniform tubing, disc brakes rather than coaster brakes, extensive use of alloys and even composites instead of ferrous metals, etc. If anything, hidebound traditions are an impediment sometimes. The best PRC bike mfrs are local branches of Taiwan mfrs such as Giant and not the (former) PRC state companies.

  87. @Paleo Liberal
    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.

    “You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.”

    Maybe not tools, but definitely douches.

  88. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It’s starting to run out.

    You realize we’ve been hearing that same line about the PRC’s leadership running out of time for the last thirty years. During that three-decade period, China has gone from an afterthought in both geopolitics and the world economy to the most powerful country in the world after the United States. I’ll believe China is running out of time when I see it. Whats going on in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are small bore problems.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's kind of like the idea that the ruling class of the US is also running out of time. Technically speaking these are both true but "time" could mean a long time. Someone once asked the MPAA guy what the Founding Fathers meant when they said in the Constitution that copyrights should be for a "limited time." He replied that until the end of the world, minus one day, was a "limited time".
  89. Fall of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, which I am sure is repeating itself.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiping_Rebellion

  90. @istevefan
    I'd rather have those jobs here. So even if automation reduces the workforce, there still is a workforce. And there will be a need for those to maintain the machines that do the work.

    If Yang is promoting the notion that automation will reduce the needs of the future workforce, is he also deviating from mainstream orthodoxy on immigration and suggesting we need to throttle back on immigration due to the decreasing need for workers?

    A quick Google search took me to Yang’s immigration policy.

    Yang appears to have an immigration policy significantly less bad than other Democrats.

    1. He realizes his cash for citizens could cause a run at the border, therefore we need a secure border before we handle any illegal aliens already in the US.

    2. He does acknowledge we have a border crises due to insecure borders.

    3. On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’. However, this can ONLY be implemented after the border is secured.

    4. On the bad side, he doesn’t mention H1-B visas nor restrictions on legal immigration at all.

    Am I grading on the curve?

    I would give him a barely passing grade without a curve. With a curve, he gets an “A” for not demanding something very close to open borders. Note that the fashionable left line these days is to scoff at people who say leftists want open borders, then make proposals which are as close to open borders as you can get without actually being open borders. At least Yang is arguing for enforcing the laws we already have.

    • Replies: @eD
    However, if my understanding of Trump's rhetoric is correct, what Trump is saying is that we have a big problem with illegal immigrants crossing the borders and we have to control the borders, but legal immigration is fine. If his administration has proposed cuts in legal immigration (which granted would need Congressionional buy-off more than just increasing enforcement) they have not really emphasized or publicized it. So the only differences between the Trump and Yang positions is style and the path to citizenship.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’.
     
    So do I. Around these parts, it's I-35, which leads to the bridge at Laredo. Once across which many of the aliens will be citizens again.
  91. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    You’ve been ignoring years’ worth of evidence to the contrary if you still come to those conclusions.

    • Replies: @The preferred nomenclature is...
    JM is a paid troll. He's Tiny Duck with better grammar. That’s all.
  92. What’s Going on in China?

    I don’t have any frigging idea about what is going on in China.

    I must say I got some opinion about China and Trump and Trump’s tariffs and national sovereignty and financialization and globalization and something called labor arbytrahge — or however you spell it.

    I agree with Trump and his tariffs. But I don’t think they are large enough to get the attention of General Tso and his chickens or the Chinese Communist Party.

    I have been hammering on that Trumpy but good on his immigration policy backstab that he pulled on the USA. Trumpy has pissed me off but good. Trumpy now pushes mass legal immigration and Trumpy refuses to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA. Trump wants to flood the USA with mass legal immigration “in the largest numbers ever.”

    BUT,

    I love Trumpy and his tariffs!

    My only problem is that Trumpy hasn’t gone far enough to ratchet up the pressure on the Chinese Communist Party. Trumpy is talking about ten percent tariffs on certain goods starting in September of 2019 — less than a month away.

    Ten percent is not enough, DAMMIT!

    90 percent or 150 percent would be to my liking on the Chinese Communist Party and their cheap labor goods.

    PROHIBITIVE Tariffs are the way to go!

    REVENUE RAISING Tariffs are boring and lack pop.

    PUNITIVE Tariffs are just half measures on the way to PROHIBITIVE Tariffs.

    Trumpy must not let politicians with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party — such as Mitch McConnell — stop him from completely and totally quarantining the Chinese Communist Party from selling their cheap labor crud in the USA.

    This is the tale of two Trumpy’s: The Trumpy who backstabs his people on immigration policy and the Trumpy who finally tells the Chinese Communist Party to go to Hell!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Great stuff and writing style, Mr. Pewitt! You are about the 2nd funniest guy on here. If I get to New England some time, I'd like to buy you a few beers ... oh, and some General Tso's finger-lickin' good chicken.
    , @Dave Pinsen
    Speaking of Mitch,

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1158534421345132544?s=21
  93. Currency Wars, where everyone loses!

  94. “desperate to move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of.”

    Your friend should tell his friend that a multi cult nation like the US is doomed. An ethno state like China is the place to be. Maybe the Chinese dude has ideas about how Americans can move their wealth to any off-the-top-of-his-head Chinese asset he could think of.

  95. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    “contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality”

    Can’t read past that…..been doing work with China for decades and their quality is absolute shit.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    This doesn't sound like an opinion that carries much expertise. If the Chinese have over a long period of time produced shit (not just shit but absolute shit), how is it that Chinese manufacturers are able to steadily over the years capture more market share to the point of now being a behemoth as the largest exporter in the world? Wouldn't there be eventually a more informed consumer that completely avoids total shit after suffering from it for decades?

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country's decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn't too bad and is good value.
  96. @Paleo Liberal
    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.

    I think Harris will win the nomination because she is a tool of the ruling class, a woman, and a POC.
    Bernie is not a tool of the working class but is willing to go along with open borders, which means his other virtues such as non-intervention and support for a welfare state are irrelevant. A welfare state cannot survive borders open to the third world so whether he likes it or not he is working on behalf of the ruling class anyway while getting no support from them.
    Tulsi would be a great candidate, but she just isn’t subservient enough to our rulers to ever have a shot at the nomination as a Democrat. I can see her coming back in 20 years when the US becomes restive and fractious under California style one party rule by the Democrats and people become receptive to a third party candidate.
    The ongoing demographic changes and weakening of support for Trump because of his failures to deliver on his promises and the appointment of people like Pompey and Bolton mean Harris can win despite her qualities. The news and entertainment media will drag her across the finish line. The ruling class was caught by surprise by Trump and were ultimately unable to stop him, but you will recall the speed with which they reacted to his nomination campaign and rabid ferocity with which they have been fighting him ever since.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Pompey? Lol. Not to mention that trump hasn’t yet recovered the legionary Eagles lost at Carrhae yet.

    No one cares about Bolton and Pompeo. The way Paleocon boomers think their hyper niche isolationist views were the driving force behind trump is laughable. Trump isn’t starting wars that’s all America cares about.
  97. @Alfa158
    Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do. Harris was selected by the Inner Party years ago as a future President when she was appointed a Senator from California, and due to the unplanned Trump win over Hillary they are moving her up four years on the schedule. I’m still predicting her as the nominee and as next POTUS.

    I believe they will still run Joe Biden (to undermine Trump) and Harris will be the VP. Biden will sit one term if he wins and not run for re-election…

    Whether or not Biden wins depends upon how gullible the Democrats and Independents are who switched party lines and voted for Trump last time and/or how fed up they are by all the drama surrounding his presidency…

    It’s a toss-up.

  98. Anonymous[307] • Disclaimer says:

    Here’s what I picked up from Youtube and other generic obvious sources a few months ago: their banks are quite fickle, and their banking laws lack much in the way of fairness.

    First of all, a large percentage of foreigners started leaving China starting in late 2018 because they didn’t feel welcome there any more. Really blatant suspicion and discrimination such that they couldn’t go about normal life any more. The trade-war stuff with Trump made it worse, but my impression is it was already underway.

    One of the key factors is the banking laws. Sometimes you get blacklisted and just can’t use the bank any more. Any number of agencies, politicians, etc. can do it to you with no explanation, and not even bothering to inform you… you’ll likely never know why. Perhaps you can’t even do deposits, let alone withdrawals or international transfers. If you can’t pay your rent, or your utility bills, or even deposit your monthly paycheck, you start to feel really helpless really quick — and you can’t keep your business running either. Technically the govt hasn’t siezed any funds, your account is still there, you just can’t actually use it if bank branches won’t do business with you.

    This sort of thing happens surprisingly often to foreigners, as they’re always under general suspicion, but Chinese worry about it too. To bring this back around to a iSteve theme:

    From the Chinese perspective, this is one of the biggest and best reasons for birth tourism (or so I’m told): you have the right to open an American bank account in your child-citizen’s name. And then you’ll have less fear of local politicians getting pissed at you; you can run your business, and your life, more confidently. For many Chinese, this is seen as the big payoff, rather than all the other citizenship benefits — and this is what the birth-tourism companies lead with in their advertisements.

  99. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    “Good pensions” were never all that prevalent in the economy, and were, for the most part in the public sector (as they still are). They were also not indexed, which was Georgia peachy keen for the elderly after 1965.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    “Good pensions” were never all that prevalent in the economy, and were, for the most part in the public sector (as they still are). They were also not indexed, which was Georgia peachy keen for the elderly after 1965.
     
    I was thinking mainly of the motor car industry. In the 1980s and 1990s vast tracts of housing and whole new cities were developed in Florida to provide retirement homes for post World War II General Motors/Chrysler/Ford retirees who were able to sell their homes and build nicer ones in Florida, where there is no state income tax and the winters are mild.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dypv4SLyAfg
  100. @Pincher Martin

    After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It’s starting to run out.
     
    You realize we've been hearing that same line about the PRC's leadership running out of time for the last thirty years. During that three-decade period, China has gone from an afterthought in both geopolitics and the world economy to the most powerful country in the world after the United States. I'll believe China is running out of time when I see it. Whats going on in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are small bore problems.

    It’s kind of like the idea that the ruling class of the US is also running out of time. Technically speaking these are both true but “time” could mean a long time. Someone once asked the MPAA guy what the Founding Fathers meant when they said in the Constitution that copyrights should be for a “limited time.” He replied that until the end of the world, minus one day, was a “limited time”.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    It’s kind of like the idea that the ruling class of the US is also running out of time. Technically speaking these are both true but “time” could mean a long time.
     
    Yes, and I suspect that both the CCP and the current U.S. ruling class will outlive most of the commentators on this board.

    I once spoke to Gordon Chang in Taipei back in the early oughties when he was pimping for his book about the imminent collapse of China. He was sure the country was on the edge of doom. Of course despite Chang being spectacularly wrong in that forecast, and then a decade later doubling up with another prediction of China's collapse (which was also wrong), he is still being paid to comment on China. I occasionally see his articles in some mainstream media outlets.

    Chang is just one example. He came along more than a decade after the Tiananmen Massacre and the end of the Cold War, which subsequently saw many U.S. commentators predicting with great brio and confidence about China's imminent political reforms towards democracy and the fall of the Chinese Communist Party.

    One day, they - or their intellectual descendants - will eventually get it right, if only by accident. But bet against them in the meantime. You'll make a lot of money before they get it right.

  101. @Paleo Liberal
    The good news is, because of automation the cost difference between manufacturing in the US vs. Asia is smaller. Advantages in shipping costs and times can actually make manufacturing in the US more advantageous in some situations.

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.

    One interesting study worked out the correlation between automation and counties where Trump picked up votes compared to Romney in 2012. The conclusion was that if there had been 2% less automation in the Midwest, Hillary Clinton would have been elected. Take that conclusion with a grain of salt, but it begs the question: have any serious candidates for President, including Trump, learned the lesson?

    Andrew Yang is not considered a serious candidate at the moment. In the future he may be regarded as ahead of his time. Perhaps he will be elected in a decade or three.

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.

    That’s not bad news. It’s called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always – ALWAYS – want to make more with less. Unless you’re a Luddite.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it's not the whole story. If there's a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that's a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well - the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while - the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    http://www.cerebro.com/store/pc/catalog/5Wishnatzki16.jpg

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    , @Counterinsurgency
    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.

    Suppose that robotics had advanced far enough that a robot physician could cure any disease you might have for a penny.
    Q: Where do you get the penny?

    There's a problem in here somewhere. Remember, for people with IQ 85 as the robots.

    Counterinsurgency
    , @AnotherDad

    That’s not bad news. It’s called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always – ALWAYS – want to make more with less. Unless you’re a Luddite.
     
    On the economic side, definitely the case. (I think there may be human behavorial issues on the human/social side.)

    But you'll only benefit from that productivity boost if you get to capture it. That means closed border. Even if the productivity boosts are fast but your border is porous--open to foreign labor--you the individual citizen may find that little of that productivity boosts ever trickles down to you in employment or welfare.
    , @Simon Legree
    typical autistic jive talk. he forgot the ceteris paribus. but even if he hadn't things are never otherwise equal.

    so let's see.

    behavior genetics = pseudo-science for autists. check!

    economics = pseudo-science for autists. check!

    and in both cases the autists are exploited by psychopaths.
  102. eD says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    A quick Google search took me to Yang’s immigration policy.

    Yang appears to have an immigration policy significantly less bad than other Democrats.

    1. He realizes his cash for citizens could cause a run at the border, therefore we need a secure border before we handle any illegal aliens already in the US.

    2. He does acknowledge we have a border crises due to insecure borders.

    3. On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’. However, this can ONLY be implemented after the border is secured.

    4. On the bad side, he doesn’t mention H1-B visas nor restrictions on legal immigration at all.

    Am I grading on the curve?

    I would give him a barely passing grade without a curve. With a curve, he gets an “A” for not demanding something very close to open borders. Note that the fashionable left line these days is to scoff at people who say leftists want open borders, then make proposals which are as close to open borders as you can get without actually being open borders. At least Yang is arguing for enforcing the laws we already have.

    However, if my understanding of Trump’s rhetoric is correct, what Trump is saying is that we have a big problem with illegal immigrants crossing the borders and we have to control the borders, but legal immigration is fine. If his administration has proposed cuts in legal immigration (which granted would need Congressionional buy-off more than just increasing enforcement) they have not really emphasized or publicized it. So the only differences between the Trump and Yang positions is style and the path to citizenship.

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    Almost.

    Trump is supposedly in favor of H1-B reform.

    I am in IT now. I can tell you the stories going around about abuse of H1-B visas are true.

    I know a guy who used to work for what we will call Bank of Antarctica. At one point he was ordered by his boss to fire every programmer making over a certain amount of money. These were very good programmers, and had been with Bank of Antarctica for many years. Hence a lot of talent and institutional knowledge was lost. The next day he started interviewing H1-B visa workers from a country we will call Indiana. I believe it. I worked for Bank of Antarctica for a while, and I was suddenly replaced one day by an H1-B worker. No notice, no severance pay, no nothing. Just out the door.

    I know of other stories like that at plenty of other places.

    Trump makes noises about reforming H1-B visas. Yang doesn’t mention it.
  103. Donald Trump has called for national red flag laws and the censorship of right-wing media in response to leftist extremists who are still totally unpoliced and uncriticized.
    We need more profound reform than is possible with one candidate.

  104. @Alfa158
    I think Harris will win the nomination because she is a tool of the ruling class, a woman, and a POC.
    Bernie is not a tool of the working class but is willing to go along with open borders, which means his other virtues such as non-intervention and support for a welfare state are irrelevant. A welfare state cannot survive borders open to the third world so whether he likes it or not he is working on behalf of the ruling class anyway while getting no support from them.
    Tulsi would be a great candidate, but she just isn’t subservient enough to our rulers to ever have a shot at the nomination as a Democrat. I can see her coming back in 20 years when the US becomes restive and fractious under California style one party rule by the Democrats and people become receptive to a third party candidate.
    The ongoing demographic changes and weakening of support for Trump because of his failures to deliver on his promises and the appointment of people like Pompey and Bolton mean Harris can win despite her qualities. The news and entertainment media will drag her across the finish line. The ruling class was caught by surprise by Trump and were ultimately unable to stop him, but you will recall the speed with which they reacted to his nomination campaign and rabid ferocity with which they have been fighting him ever since.

    Pompey? Lol. Not to mention that trump hasn’t yet recovered the legionary Eagles lost at Carrhae yet.

    No one cares about Bolton and Pompeo. The way Paleocon boomers think their hyper niche isolationist views were the driving force behind trump is laughable. Trump isn’t starting wars that’s all America cares about.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    You may have inadvertently hit on the real reason behind the push for war with Iran. Pompeo might be named after the Pompey who was part of the triumvirate when Crassus lost the eagles. Maybe he is secretly hoping they are still in Iran and he can recover them.
    Makes as much sense to me as the official reasons they’re pushing for a war.
  105. @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    The Bureau of Economic Analysis has the data. The ratio of employer contributions to private pension plans to total personal income was at its peak around 1987. People at the midpoint of their working life at that time typically retired around 2008. That ratio at that time was 0.0183. In 1960, at the midpoint of the post-war boom, it was 0.0115. It’s declined in recent decades but is still about what it was ca. 1979.

  106. @Jack D
    It's kind of like the idea that the ruling class of the US is also running out of time. Technically speaking these are both true but "time" could mean a long time. Someone once asked the MPAA guy what the Founding Fathers meant when they said in the Constitution that copyrights should be for a "limited time." He replied that until the end of the world, minus one day, was a "limited time".

    It’s kind of like the idea that the ruling class of the US is also running out of time. Technically speaking these are both true but “time” could mean a long time.

    Yes, and I suspect that both the CCP and the current U.S. ruling class will outlive most of the commentators on this board.

    I once spoke to Gordon Chang in Taipei back in the early oughties when he was pimping for his book about the imminent collapse of China. He was sure the country was on the edge of doom. Of course despite Chang being spectacularly wrong in that forecast, and then a decade later doubling up with another prediction of China’s collapse (which was also wrong), he is still being paid to comment on China. I occasionally see his articles in some mainstream media outlets.

    Chang is just one example. He came along more than a decade after the Tiananmen Massacre and the end of the Cold War, which subsequently saw many U.S. commentators predicting with great brio and confidence about China’s imminent political reforms towards democracy and the fall of the Chinese Communist Party.

    One day, they – or their intellectual descendants – will eventually get it right, if only by accident. But bet against them in the meantime. You’ll make a lot of money before they get it right.

  107. @Pincher Martin

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.
     
    That's not bad news. It's called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always - ALWAYS - want to make more with less. Unless you're a Luddite.

    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it’s not the whole story. If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well – the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while – the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    (at least for a while – the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    They aren't.
    , @Pincher Martin

    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it’s not the whole story. If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.
     
    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that's true whether you believe in redistribution or not.

    If you believe in more redistribution, you have more to redistribute.

    If you don't believe in redistribution, your country is still wealthier, and the income of most people will still grow. Productivity gains do not stay in the economic sector where they are created.


    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well...
     
    Any superficial reading of American history would prove you wrong. Read the labor history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for ample evidence that a growing economy always has some losers.

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche.
     
    Well, I agree with you about U.S. immigration policy, but you don't understand that it strengthens my case rather than yours.

    Higher productivity, which basically means making more with less, includes making more products with less labor - and certainly with less dumb labor.

    Yet U.S. immigration policy continues to allow the import of both lower-class and educated workers of marginal utility who add little to U.S. productivity, and in some sectors even prevent further productivity gains. If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains, either by buying machinery or by switching to areas in their sector where lots of available cheap labor was not as critical to their bottom lines.

    , @Clyde

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.
     
    Those are going to be the firm under ripe strawberries. What you will get on the consumer end will be acidy and less sweet. I have fruit trees. I know what I am talking about when it comes to sending premature fruit to market. I try strawberries once a year and am always disappointed. Washington State cherries can be very good. Got some last week that were a 9 out of 10.
    , @Romanian

    If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too.
     
    Check out Equatorial Guinea. All oil and gas, not much else. 23 thousand dollar GDP per capita in 2009 (twice as rich as mine, on paper), 10 thousand maybe today. The vast majority of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.
  108. @Jack D
    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it's not the whole story. If there's a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that's a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well - the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while - the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    http://www.cerebro.com/store/pc/catalog/5Wishnatzki16.jpg

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    (at least for a while – the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    They aren’t.

  109. @Jack D
    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it's not the whole story. If there's a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that's a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well - the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while - the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    http://www.cerebro.com/store/pc/catalog/5Wishnatzki16.jpg

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it’s not the whole story. If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that’s true whether you believe in redistribution or not.

    If you believe in more redistribution, you have more to redistribute.

    If you don’t believe in redistribution, your country is still wealthier, and the income of most people will still grow. Productivity gains do not stay in the economic sector where they are created.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well…

    Any superficial reading of American history would prove you wrong. Read the labor history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for ample evidence that a growing economy always has some losers.

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche.

    Well, I agree with you about U.S. immigration policy, but you don’t understand that it strengthens my case rather than yours.

    Higher productivity, which basically means making more with less, includes making more products with less labor – and certainly with less dumb labor.

    Yet U.S. immigration policy continues to allow the import of both lower-class and educated workers of marginal utility who add little to U.S. productivity, and in some sectors even prevent further productivity gains. If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains, either by buying machinery or by switching to areas in their sector where lots of available cheap labor was not as critical to their bottom lines.

    • Replies: @adreadline

    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that’s true whether you believe in redistribution or not.
     
    This might be true, just like ''increasing living standards in a country is ALWAYS good'' might be true, and so on. But those don't come for free. They have a cost. Social costs (and benefits, to be sure) when it comes to productivity gains, and economic costs (and benefits) when it comes to rising living standards. If a given measure would increase productivity like no other, at the cost of exterminating the human race, should it be taken? What if it severely decreases living standards for most of the population? Is it still worth it?
    , @Simon Legree
    If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains...

    your autism doesn't sell pinky. quit while you're behind.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/japan/productivity
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/productivity

    economics is a mental illness and it's time to bring back insane asylums.
  110. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    Unfortunately his golden child Javanka just helped push through a bill in the house that will do away with the per country cap for EB5 visa so more corrupt Chinese could get their green cards by investing with the Kushner development firm.

  111. @Achmed E. Newman
    China's housing bubble, and the new West Coast city housing bubble in the US from Chinese money (Vancouver, Seattle, San Fran., and L.A.), have a common cause with that in the US, P.L. I don't discount any of the reasons Mr. Sailer, Zerohedge, and I myself have brought up either, though - the push for affordable housing to be anti-redlining, and the cheap money, the latter of which I don't know is a factor in China.

    A big factor is inflation and a lack of a good place to keep the accumulated value of one's life labor. China has had a lot of inflation. This inflation has been America's biggest export. As the Chinese Gov. pegged the RMB to the US dollar, all the Q.E. creation of dollars by the FED, diluting the value, was seen in China. Pork, at the retail level, costs more than it does in the US, when it wasn't 1/2 of it just 10 years back.

    In the US, because of artificial low interest rates, people have no safe place to park their money, where it even BREAKS EVEN with inflation. That is due to the FED. So, one can fix up a house and, yeah, "flip it", or just put capital improvements into one's own house as the only decent savings vehicle left (speaking of "vehicles", no, don't put it in actual vehicles - that is a pain in the ass).

    The Chinese are in the same situation. I don't know anything about investments/savings returns there, but I do know that the Chinese buy housing as a way to keep savings, even more so than Americans. They will buy places and not rent them out even, as one benefit of bare concrete (interior too) construction is you can just hose down the place, paint it, and rent it out.

    > Pork, at the retail level, costs more than it does in the US, when it wasn’t 1/2 of it just 10 years back.

    China has a mega outbreak of African Swine Fever:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_swine_fever_virus#China

    That has severely hurt their pork production and has caused them to increase their imports immensely, especially from the EU. That is definitely a factor in the increased pork prices in China (and the EU).

  112. The rich in China are every bit as unscrupulous and treasonous as the (((rich))) in the US. This is just them getting the hell out of dodge with all their ill gotten gains before they get thrown in jail, now that they can no longer rely on skipping to HK.

    Of course, once they get here, it’s all “China #1!”, or at least that’s what they tell their kids. The last thing we need is more opportunistic treasonous rats from other countries, we have enough of our own, starting with Jared Kushner.

    We need to kill off the EB5 as Charles Grassley have been trying to do for years, then ban all foreign ownership of US real estate. Homes here should be for people who actually live here, not as investment properties for foreigners being left vacant while they bid up the prices to levels citizens can’t afford.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad

    We need to kill off the EB5 as Charles Grassley have been trying to do for years, then ban all foreign ownership of US real estate. Homes here should be for people who actually live here, not as investment properties for foreigners being left vacant while they bid up the prices to levels citizens can’t afford.
     
    Well said SRA.

    To me the path of least resistance on immigration is moratorium. Easy to explain the benefits, no need to wade into the racial muddle. But killing this or that visa scam like the EB5 if it can be done--great.

    But housing--dead on right. Housing is through the roof in coastal metropolises because of immigration. And West Coast especially because of Chinese. Housing in America is supposed to be for Americans. Foreigners out. I don't give a crap about the price of my house when i die off. I want my kids to be able to afford houses and start their families.
  113. @Redneck farmer
    I saw on Bloomberg? someone saying there is now something of a consensus in Washington that something has to bo done with China.

    First and foremost, send packing all the Chinese nationals in this country, including the tens of thousands of illegals, fake asylum seekers, pregnant women waiting to give birth to their anchor babies, the rich living here on tourist visa and sending their kids to our free public schools…all are corrupt.

  114. @Achmed E. Newman

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.
     
    Myth? That's complete bullshit, Jonathan. You are what, 70 years old? Are you telling me you don't remember when consumer goods could last till you didn't want them anymore, and the tools to fix them, since they could BE FIXED, wouldn't break themselve as you worked on your broken stuff, per a (possibly) Brilliant Plan by Chinese Communist Cadres?

    I have a water heater that was installed in 1988. I bought a Ryobi table saw that was made in 1994, that may have been just as expensive as a new one from Lowes, because it was made in America. I guess we won't read back from you when your bike breaks, Jonathan, and good luck fixing it anyway. Here's more on the Cheap China-made Crap.

    The tariffs are better late than never, in my opinion. Our manufacturing infrastructure, technology, and human capital was given away in the 1990's and '00's for a few bucks for the big shots in politics, and a lot of money to the big shots of Big Biz. The Chinese must devalue their currency to keep the exports competitive. That shows that the tariffs indeed mean something to the Chinese.

    I don't support these tariffs as a way to "get at" the Chinese, just as a way to let American manufacturing have a chance again. I agree that robotics will mean that it will not be the 1950's - 1970's again here, but if you don't create wealth, the economy will die. Right now we're just living on debt, and there's a lot of ruin in a nation (i.e., it can take a while).

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she's still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she’s still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    We can agree on Trumpy’s tariffs Mr Newman!

    We can disagree on Ronald Reagan.

    Trumpy should pop the Chinese Communist Party with a PROHIBITIVE tariff of between 90 and 150 percent or more on all goods from the Chinese Communist Party.

    Trumpy must disregard the trade policy suggestions from politicians such as Mitch McConnell who have clear and direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

    US national security and US sovereignty are under attack from the Chinese Communist Party and the plutocrats and the transnationalists in the USA who push globalization and financialization and trade deal scams.

  115. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    – the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?
     
    Actual babies ground up into powder?
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?
     
    Perhaps some industrial by-product that was otherwise treated as a waste product?
  116. @Charles Pewitt

    What's Going on in China?

     

    Like most piss poor peasant intelligence operatives, I watch a video to get a handle on what is going on in China.

    Two guys on motorcycles were talking about real estate and China and the real estate asset bubble in China. China and most of the rest of the globe have huge real estate asset bubbles created by the globalized central banker shysters.

    I ended up getting car sick from the motorcycle helmet camera that one of the guys was sporting.

    They were going up and down and around some hilly, mountainous section of China and I got car sick from watching it.

    The CIA clods have cushier ways to get intelligence, I'm sure.

    Two guys on motorcycles were talking about real estate and China and the real estate asset bubble in China. China and most of the rest of the globe have huge real estate asset bubbles created by the globalized central banker shysters.

    Stay awesome !!

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    OK, these guys used to make motorbike videos in which they steadfastly refused to talk about chinese politics while discussing how to live as a foreigner in China.


    Now:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQM0NL6fBU8


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZYslMrDccs

    and there's worse


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFvUp1LWS5Y
  117. @nsa
    Godflee Loberts and Fled Leed velly smalt and velly good wliters, and u and u girl fleind Ledneck Falmer is Amelikan molon plicks.

    Amelikan molon plicks

    We prefer to think of it as American molon labe.

  118. @Dave Pinsen
    Bloomberg’s been covering the protests pretty heavily, certainly more than they’ve been reporting on the protests in France.

    Hong Kong protestors have some leverage, in that if China crushes them Tiananmen-style, it will kill the golden goose, but they have less leverage than ever before, as Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals. I’m not optimistic for them.

    Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals.

    Good observation. Because where before Beijing thought that Hong Kong’s relatively benign political model was a necessary condition for its market attractiveness, Shanghai and Shenzen have proven that is not the case. So the mainland government feels freer to do the beat-downs not fearing significant economic disruptions.

    Not saying that the government’s assumptions are valid, just that they make empirical sense.

    P.S. Xi’s governance model is clear. Turn the economy over to the technocrats, suppress any and all non-conformity with the post-Mao social model and service the party Nomenklatura with reasonable amounts of skimming off the top. In other words, Xi plans on buying off both the people and the party with economic returns.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    The "benign political model" (supposedly; I've only ever been to the Chinese mainland) may not be necessary in normal times, but may prove adequate during crises, when people doing business in Shenzhen or Shanghai may fear arbitrary and heavy handed decisions from the central authorities. A lot of things which seem dispensable in good times turn out not to be so when the inevitable bad times roll in, especially the most disruptive times.
  119. @craig
    "However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, .... The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, ..."

    This mantra is frequently repeated, as if it's a natural weather phenomenon and nothing can be done about it. Jobs just vanished, never to return, and only China is capable of manufacturing anymore. Pity that only the rootless-cosmopolitan class gets to prosper in the new economy; for the rest of you, there's oxycontin and cheap consumer goods. The more America sells out its birthright for cheap stuff, the more it turns into Tragic Dirt.

    "just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back."

    Detroit has deliberately chosen to evolve beyond Wealth to Diversity. This culture shift correlates strongly, in whatever regions it occurs, with a simultaneous conversion of the regions from Magic Dirt to Tragic Dirt. Multiple Harvard researchers are working on papers to explain this curious correlation, but are delayed from arriving at a conclusive analysis by their personal time spent importing seventeen of their nearest relatives from India and Somalia.

    "I don’t mind Gabbard. She seems like she has a mind of her own, ..."

    Not really. Gabbard, like all the other crabs in the Democrat bucket, is onboard with the Left's agenda of free-everything for all 7 billion people of the world who want to come to America. Because they love America, or something. Just not white Americans -- they're not Who We Are Now -- except that a certain number must be corraled and kept as draft horses for pulling the wagon that Who We Are Now gets to ride in.

    Today’s manufacturing jobs are IT programmer jobs. One small problem, jobs that can be done by Jack and Deshaun are done by Rajiv and Kumar.

  120. @eD
    However, if my understanding of Trump's rhetoric is correct, what Trump is saying is that we have a big problem with illegal immigrants crossing the borders and we have to control the borders, but legal immigration is fine. If his administration has proposed cuts in legal immigration (which granted would need Congressionional buy-off more than just increasing enforcement) they have not really emphasized or publicized it. So the only differences between the Trump and Yang positions is style and the path to citizenship.

    Almost.

    Trump is supposedly in favor of H1-B reform.

    I am in IT now. I can tell you the stories going around about abuse of H1-B visas are true.

    I know a guy who used to work for what we will call Bank of Antarctica. At one point he was ordered by his boss to fire every programmer making over a certain amount of money. These were very good programmers, and had been with Bank of Antarctica for many years. Hence a lot of talent and institutional knowledge was lost. The next day he started interviewing H1-B visa workers from a country we will call Indiana. I believe it. I worked for Bank of Antarctica for a while, and I was suddenly replaced one day by an H1-B worker. No notice, no severance pay, no nothing. Just out the door.

    I know of other stories like that at plenty of other places.

    Trump makes noises about reforming H1-B visas. Yang doesn’t mention it.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    >fire highly skilled long-serving assets who makes the company money
    >replace them with hostile foreign helots who cannot fill their shoes
    Every day in every way we ask for civil war.
  121. @Old Prude
    Excellent comment. My cheap plastic Chinese made Raybans looked terrific. They even were so thoughtful as to emboss “Made in Italy” on the side. They totally sucked as sunglasses.

    It’s a Chinese custom to send offerings to your ancestors in heaven. You can’t send stuff to heaven by Fedex or send wire transfers by Western Union but if you burn it, it will go up to heaven and reach the departed. Now the Chinese being practical people aren’t actually going to burn valuable currency or goods, but if you burn a paper version of the item, that will do.

    Classically the offering was money (play money, not real money) but in modern times can also include paper versions of various goods, including the latest up to date goods (surely your ancestors would want a nice cell phone). Or perhaps your ancestor was a coffee lover – send him a nice espresso machine.

    https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/news-trends/article/2168791/9-bizarre-luxury-offerings-people-will-burn-honour

    Anyway, sometimes I get the feeling that the distribution channels get mixed up and the Chinese are sending us the paper offering version of certain items rather than the goods themselves because the stuff lasts about as long as if it were made out of paper.

  122. @Digital Samizdat
    There's gonna be another crackdown on corruption, maybe? In China, that's no laughing matter. Some people even get executed for it.

    That’s one thing China does better than the USA, IMHO.

  123. Anonymous[282] • Disclaimer says:
    @Paleo Liberal
    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.

    Amongst many issues that Biden has is his huge corruption with China.

    A few days after flying to China with his dad, Hunter Biden’s hedge fund (also run by John Kerry’s son) picked up an extra 1.5 billion dollars to play with.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5507429/Bidens-son-Hunter-deal-Bank-China-fathers-trip.html

    I’m sure Trump will notice this at some point.

  124. @anonymous
    For international relations and political economy topics, the commentators on this blog suck. Read Karlin instead for much better analysis in that area. Karlin is able to attract economists and even businessmen to his blog.

    Sounds like a ShepWave shill on ZeroHedge.

  125. Anonymous[188] • Disclaimer says:

    back in July people in China he used to do business with had started calling him up again, desperate to move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of.

    What people? Chinese people?

    What explanation did he give for why they were doing that?

  126. anonymous[382] • Disclaimer says:
    @interesting
    "contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality"

    Can't read past that.....been doing work with China for decades and their quality is absolute shit.

    This doesn’t sound like an opinion that carries much expertise. If the Chinese have over a long period of time produced shit (not just shit but absolute shit), how is it that Chinese manufacturers are able to steadily over the years capture more market share to the point of now being a behemoth as the largest exporter in the world? Wouldn’t there be eventually a more informed consumer that completely avoids total shit after suffering from it for decades?

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.
     
    Best basic answer I've seen comes from Canadian historian William H. McNiel [1]. Basic idea is that agriculture in East Asia comes from SE Asia, and is gardening as opposed to farming. Gardening requires considerably more hand work (rice transplanting, for example) than does farming (which gets more of is raw work (as in force through a distance) from farm animals). This means, in practice, (a) less production per gardener than for human farmer and (b) more investment in the land by the gardener. A European borderlander has historically been able to pull up stakes and take his chattels (from "cattle") elsewhere and plow different land. A gardener can't move his garden. So: a gardener is poor, and can't avoid government taxes. Compliance is at a premium, which means that aggression must be expressed indirectly (anybody wanting to compare this with the way women behave may do so). If there is a bounty on rats, make a rat farm. If there are rat farms, tax them (apocryphal story, but I couldn't resist.).
    OK, so take this through Chinese history. The Yellow river descends from the Himalayan plateau, a recent formation as such things go. It has a heavy debris load, which settles out when the river crosses the alluvial plain suitable for agriculture, and so changes course often as the river bottom rises. This can be stopped by levees, but the rising river bottom means that the levees must be constantly raised, and eventually the river breaks free. Millions would die in such event, from flooding and then starvation, until another irrigation system could be devised. This favored Imperial government, which covered enough territory that such horrible events in one place would leave enough productive territory for the Empire to survive. It also meant that China tended to have a large population that was used to working for food and very rudimentary shelter, which made investment in labor saving machinery unprofitable, and restricted technology to prestige items for governments, religious organizations, and the rich.

    So much for the setup.

    Upshot was a "Malthusian trap" [2] and an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) [3] in which nobody had any long term advantage. To quote from _The Chinese Mirror_, "Chinese society was organized to the maximum to protect its members from Chinese Society". No trust, just alliances, surface tranquility, barely hidden conflict breaking out into open warfare and rebellion from time to time.

    So: somebody outside the system comes in, offers money for product. The Chinese response has been "Here is an opportunity that will not recur. This foreigner is not protected by Chinese society, and I have many competitors. The foreigner will go to one of them next time, so repeat business is not a consideration. In any case, I can open under a new name and the foreigner (or another foreigner) will never know the difference. I had best optimize my profits while I can, by cutting expense. As long as it passes customer quality inspection (if any or at all), I'm golden." [4] Also, "life is hard, and I must meet my obligations to my dependents and allies lest I be cast out." [5]

    In other words, manufacturing is looked upon as conflict, not as an activity in a commonwealth. This has been commented upon by Western executives [4], but to no effect. The important thing about an ESS is that the participants are trapped in it cannot change it, in the same way that the West is trapped in an industrial society that is destroying it and from which it cannot escape, or the USSR was trapped in Stalin's preparations for WW II and continued preparing for WW II until the USSR finally vanished, c.a. 1990.)


    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McNeill_(historian) in his _A World History_, old but still worth reading (buy used, new versions go for about $84).

    2] http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/MalthusianTrap.htm

    3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy
    Note that the ESS can be thought of as occupying a local optimum, rather as Pacific Islanders occupy the portion of the Pacific's bottom that is above sea level. There are other islands, but getting to them can be difficult. As I understand it, such migrations were typically undertaken by losers in local wars, whose alternative was death. Much the same can be said about trying for another ESS. That seems to be why life re-forms differently after planet wide extinction, and why speciation is associated with small populations -- breaking up an ESS is hard to do, and seems to require that the ESS be physically destroyed.

    4] Paul Midler
    _Poorly made in China_
    Not a quote, but a synthesis from _Poorly made in China_ and the other two books mentioned.

    5] This goes back a long way. China lost the tea trade with Europe because Chinese merchants put a toxic green dye in their tea because the English would pay more for green tea. When news got back to England, sales dropped. The English tea trade moved to tea plantations in India and the East India Company.
    Note that an individual farsighted Chinese tea merchant could not change the practice of adding green die. If he told the foreigners about it and the fact became known to his peers, he would have been destroyed by the merchant's association for the transgression of lowering everybody's profits (including his own) that year.
  127. @Art Deco
    "Good pensions" were never all that prevalent in the economy, and were, for the most part in the public sector (as they still are). They were also not indexed, which was Georgia peachy keen for the elderly after 1965.

    “Good pensions” were never all that prevalent in the economy, and were, for the most part in the public sector (as they still are). They were also not indexed, which was Georgia peachy keen for the elderly after 1965.

    I was thinking mainly of the motor car industry. In the 1980s and 1990s vast tracts of housing and whole new cities were developed in Florida to provide retirement homes for post World War II General Motors/Chrysler/Ford retirees who were able to sell their homes and build nicer ones in Florida, where there is no state income tax and the winters are mild.

  128. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    My friend sends baby powder to his wife’s relatives in China. There does seem to be a big trust issue in China, and despite their high IQ they have a lot of crazy superstitions such that half the floors are missing due to so many numbers being bad luck. Ultimately I suspect the Middle Kingdom and Uncle Sam will slit each others throats.

    Thing to remember is China is a huge place, there isn’t that much national sentiment so many won’t care a jot what happens in HK.

  129. The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal.

    Actually it doesn’t, any more than Trump’s new tariffs means the US has “given up” on one — speaking of same, I wonder if Chines fentanyl will be affected –> link.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China,…

    Yes — what a disaster it would be if Americans had to pay $2 more for a shirt or a pair of pants, $5 more for a toaster, or $50 more for a washing machine or TV — everyone’s standard of living would take a truly massive hit.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone,…

    Too bad, right? — and who cares about the 150m Americans with an IQ of < 100 — maybe all that Chinese fentanyl will help kill them off sooner.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China,…

    Really? — I never would have guessed.

  130. @George
    "Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as I do."

    Should read: Unfortunately, Gabbard has the same chance of getting the nomination as Trump did, virtually zero.

    Trump was incorrectly perceived as having zero chance. The ruling class was too mentally insular too understand his appeal.
    His adoption of the Miller/Bannon platform, in combination with his ability to self finance his campaign for a while so that the ruling class couldn’t choke it off, made him a shoo-in for the nomination.
    Tulsi won’t get the money needed for her campaign to take off, and she can’t finance herself. Hence, zero chance.

  131. What’s going on in China?

    NOTE: This is a guess, no more. I lack the true flexibility of mind and intellectual genius required to explain later why I was wrong, so I’m putting the warning up front here.

    From a macro geopolitical standpoint, it’s this:

    The US is obviously going to be preoccupied with internal problems for the foreseeable future. To an extent, that’s already happened. The old Cold War scenario has been reversed: the US now cannot afford to keep up with Russian weapons technology.

    That means US military forces become less effective — less able, for example, to penetrate enemy airspace [1], which makes aircraft carriers much less effective. And that neglects the various anti-carrier weapons [2].

    Russia has demonstrated that it cannot be dislodged from Syria, and for that matter Maduro has demonstrated that he can’t be dislodged from Venezuela, and the Iranian government that it can’t be dislodged from Iran.

    So: we have observed increasing US inability to field expeditionary forces [3], hypothetical increasing inability to field expeditionary forces, and in increasingly obsolescent and ineffective Army, Navy, and Air Force from a technical side, also being weakened by US internal disputes.

    We now have serious trouble on every continent:
    * South America.
    Venezuela
    Brazil
    * Persian Gulf
    Iran
    Attempted Saudi reorganization
    Meatgrinder in Iraq
    * South Asia
    Meatgrinder in Afghanistan
    India revokes Kashmir special autonomy status.
    * East Asia
    PRC is apparently trying to absorb Hong Kong into the PRC’s administrative system.
    S. Korea – Japan: Low level but unusual dispute.
    N. Korea – Apparently ignoring US overtures.
    * Europe
    France now has three revolutions going simultaneously: Islamic, Antifa, Yellow vests. It appears to be losing them all.
    Western Europe is being destabilized by immigration, although not as yet as much as France.

    In other words, US stabilization of the globe is declining sharply, is visibly failing, and may well decline more in the near future.

    When the cat’s away, the mice will play.

    Major problems will crop up when access to raw materials starts to be contested, with Africa and sea routes to Africa the most likely first instance.

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S-400

    2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DF-21

    • Agree: jim jones
    • LOL: Autochthon
  132. @Sam Haysom
    Pompey? Lol. Not to mention that trump hasn’t yet recovered the legionary Eagles lost at Carrhae yet.

    No one cares about Bolton and Pompeo. The way Paleocon boomers think their hyper niche isolationist views were the driving force behind trump is laughable. Trump isn’t starting wars that’s all America cares about.

    You may have inadvertently hit on the real reason behind the push for war with Iran. Pompeo might be named after the Pompey who was part of the triumvirate when Crassus lost the eagles. Maybe he is secretly hoping they are still in Iran and he can recover them.
    Makes as much sense to me as the official reasons they’re pushing for a war.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    That’s a really good joke.

    Though I believe the eagles were returned as part of a Roman-Parthian peace treaty sometime in the early Empire.
  133. @Achmed E. Newman

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.
     
    Myth? That's complete bullshit, Jonathan. You are what, 70 years old? Are you telling me you don't remember when consumer goods could last till you didn't want them anymore, and the tools to fix them, since they could BE FIXED, wouldn't break themselve as you worked on your broken stuff, per a (possibly) Brilliant Plan by Chinese Communist Cadres?

    I have a water heater that was installed in 1988. I bought a Ryobi table saw that was made in 1994, that may have been just as expensive as a new one from Lowes, because it was made in America. I guess we won't read back from you when your bike breaks, Jonathan, and good luck fixing it anyway. Here's more on the Cheap China-made Crap.

    The tariffs are better late than never, in my opinion. Our manufacturing infrastructure, technology, and human capital was given away in the 1990's and '00's for a few bucks for the big shots in politics, and a lot of money to the big shots of Big Biz. The Chinese must devalue their currency to keep the exports competitive. That shows that the tariffs indeed mean something to the Chinese.

    I don't support these tariffs as a way to "get at" the Chinese, just as a way to let American manufacturing have a chance again. I agree that robotics will mean that it will not be the 1950's - 1970's again here, but if you don't create wealth, the economy will die. Right now we're just living on debt, and there's a lot of ruin in a nation (i.e., it can take a while).

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she's still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    Just as another data point here. I bought my son a non-running Yamaha dirt bike to get him familiar with how engines operate. We took it apart, rebuilt the carb, bought an oem piston and assorted other parts.
    It turned out to need a new crankshaft. Yamaha wanted 360.00 for the part.
    He did some research and found euro-spec Yamaha made crankshafts for 180.00.
    I went on eBay and found Chinese produced crankshafts for 59.00. Then I checked alibaba and found that if you were to buy 200 crankshafts, the unit price was … 6.00. Six dollars for a machined steel, pressed together crankshaft with a connecting rod installed. Three roller bearings.
    I bought a Chinese knockoff from eBay. The object was to learn how to build engines, not keep the bike forever. When it came a couple of days later, by Air Freight, it looked and mic’d out identical to the OEM part.
    We put it all together and it fired right up. Ran for about thirty minutes for one of the Chinese bearings seized on the new crank.
    My son learned a couple of important lessons. How to rebuild a four stroke engine, and never to buy Chinese crap for anything important, no matter how good a deal it seems.
    My buddy does high end kitchen installations. He swears the Chinese have to be selling flat pack cabinets here as a money laundering operation. He said there is no way they can be making a profit on the quality of cabinets he sees at the price point they are hitting.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Thanks for the story, Mr. McG. It's great your kid learned the workings of the IC engine, along with a bit of "you get what you pay for". My son is too young for that building of working engines.

    I was hesitant about the purpose-built Lego sets for a long time, as in "the deal is to be creative and make your own stuff". However, let me tell you, the "Technics" sets (some of them 2-builds-in-1) are cool. There are little engine cylinders (sometimes in-line, sometimes opposed) with the yellow pistons, connecting rods, and the crankshaft. It gets turned (that's backwards, of course, as there's no firing!) through a drivetrain by the wheel as the kid moves the vehicle on the floor. One has a working differential. One has rack-and-pinion steering. There are 4-bar mechanisms on lift trucks.

    The Lego people in Denmark are fantastic. I asked them if they make the sets in China, and got a sort-of "no" answer. I would guess it's that all those tiny injection-molded parts that get made in China, but the sets get designed (of course) and sets made in Denmark. That means the Q/A on whether all parts needed are in the set is done in Denmark (again, I'm guessing a bit). That last is VERY IMPORTANT.

    My kid was missing one part. We called and they got a part shipped out from Denmark the next morning! Now, it's on the way, but we got home to our house and, well, the part was in another bag my 8 y/o had left behind - I'm vehement about keeping parts together, not letting the cat in the room, etc. I called, and this was the next morning, and the part had been shipped. I told them that I called mainly to let them know that it was NOT a Q/A problem and the part had been in the set after all.

    Imagine working with quality people and stuff like this all day. You could actually get stuff done. Too bad Lego doesn't make Jonathan Mason's fold-up bike!

    Oh, and a machined part like that for 6 bucks?! Yeah, something's gotta give, and IT DID.
  134. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China.

    You haven’t heard of this before?
    The Chinese had a big scandal with baby powder with dangerous, sometimes deadly additives back in 2008.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal
    Since then middle-class and upper-class Chinese have been importing baby powder from a lot of European countries through Chinese students buying the baby powder in bulk in drug stores/supermarkets and sending it to China. It Germany baby powder has been rationed for the last 10 years (you cannot buy more than 3 packs at a time) and it is out of stock often, though the situation has improved a lot in the last years. The stores know about the problem and know by whom the shortages are caused. For instance, in the drugstore at my corner (in Germany), there is a sign at the aisle with the baby powder saying that one cannot buy more than 3 packs in English(!) and Chinese (!)

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Here in Mexinchifornia, baby formula is the nightmare. No formal laws or even policies I know of, but if the shelf isn't empty because it is sold out (to the smuggling Ching-Chongs) or all stolen (by Negroes and Guatexiraguans) one still had to present a paper coupon for the actual product to the cashier, who then had the formula's case unlocked for you by a watchful employee (because of the Guatexiraguan and Negro thieves).

    I finally discovered the one place it was usually both available and not a hassle to purchase was Target. I hate their politics, but like all leftist scum, they do not practice the pablum they preach: unlike grocers and drugstores, they have cameras everywhere, and they are being monitored actively, in conjunction with the burly guy in the cargo pants and the black shirt hanging around the store's entrance who is very unobtrusively but very effectively ensuring only the people who've paid for it leave with anything. And of course either their inventory system kept pace with the smugglers or the Wang Chungs in my area hadn't yet realised Target sells baby formula – which makes sense, because the hyper-stingy ant-people prefer places like Wal-Mart to Target, with its SWPLy, overpriced niche.

    Twenty years ago the idea baby formula would be any more a pain in the ass to track down than, say, eggs or toilet paper was crazy talk – the kind of thing that happened in the U.S.S.R. or El Honduragua. In 2018, if for any reason the Target was sold out, you were screwed into driving to six more places until you got lucky.

    Foreigners: They're why we can't have nice things.
  135. @Old Prude
    Excellent comment. My cheap plastic Chinese made Raybans looked terrific. They even were so thoughtful as to emboss “Made in Italy” on the side. They totally sucked as sunglasses.

    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

    • Replies: @peterike

    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

     

    I have a theory on this. I think Amazon deliberately allows fake goods to be sold in order to push people toward their own branded goods. Example.

    I used to like Calvin Klein white undershirts, and got them from Amazon a couple of years back. I needed new ones, and LOTS of the recent reviews were along the lines of "these aren't the same anymore," "this is just cheap junk," etc. In other words, fakes. So what to do? What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts? Nobody.

    But lo and behold, there were Amazon-branded undershirts. Good reviews, decent price. I got some, and they're fine. I haven't checked if there are Amazon branded sunglasses, but if not there probably will be eventually.
    , @anonymous
    Some of the time now I use Amazon to window shop and then buy the product from the manufacturer or a well known distributor. It's highly variable though depending on who's the seller and what product it is.
  136. @Alfa158
    You may have inadvertently hit on the real reason behind the push for war with Iran. Pompeo might be named after the Pompey who was part of the triumvirate when Crassus lost the eagles. Maybe he is secretly hoping they are still in Iran and he can recover them.
    Makes as much sense to me as the official reasons they’re pushing for a war.

    That’s a really good joke.

    Though I believe the eagles were returned as part of a Roman-Parthian peace treaty sometime in the early Empire.

  137. A friend told me last week that back in July people in China he used to do business with had started calling him up again, desperate to move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of.

    Why any American asset? Don’t these people know better that there might be a recession in the U.S. later this year or next year?

  138. @anonymous
    For international relations and political economy topics, the commentators on this blog suck. Read Karlin instead for much better analysis in that area. Karlin is able to attract economists and even businessmen to his blog.

    Water seeks it’s level Anatoly , if you want to attract a better class of commentator you’ll have to put out a better class of post .
    For starters don’t use a word like “emergence” twice in the same sentence ;

    “The city of Novgorod has played a central role in the emergence of the Russian state since its emergence in 862, as per the Primary Chronicle.”

  139. @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    Devaluation of the Yuan is probably the key reason.

    China is a threat, but it has huge economic problems. Though China has the 100 year view, it also has pressing current difficulties. For them, it's a race AGAINST time, as well as a race with time..

    It has a huge population,but a severe productivity problem. That's why it steals intellectual property, it doesn't have the time to develop advances themselves. So they make low tech goods for Walmart as fast as possible, to keep their economy going, while they scramble to move into high tech fields.

    It's also why they tolerate the incredible pollution of their air and rivers. They know that's bad, but it takes a back seat to economic growth.

    China needs to grow at 8-10% a year to get its huge population into productive activity. If it slides into less than 5% growth, or even worse, into recession, it will be an economic catastrophe. China NEEDS the United States as a trading partner -- and we need them, but way less than they need us.

    Trump the real estate mogul love love LOVES playing the chicken negotiation game, and he has the leverage to do so. Devaluing the Yuan makes it appear that the prices of goods are the same, despite the tarriffs. But that can go on only for so long. We have the resources to backstop those industries that get hurt, like farming, but the Chinese don't.

    That view of China is dated. China has invested far more in advancing their technological capabilities than the US has (outside of the military) over the past 20 years, ranging from engineering education to transportation to telecommunications. They still lag in aerospace. The era of Chinese industry being limited to cheap plastic products and assembling electronic products based on foreign technology is over.

    • Replies: @LondonBob
    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.
    , @kpkinsunnyphiladelphia
    The Chinese may have invested "more" but their manufacturing output is largely heavy industry related -- metals and chemicals/pharmaceutical, as well as consumer goods for export. I have had the opportunity to see the Chinese pharma industry first hand, and trust me, you wouldn't want to consume what they produce there, even when they joint venture with Euro and US companies.

    See: https://www.interactanalysis.com/chinas-manufacturing-growth-slumped-in-2018-hindered-by-automotive-industry-decline.

    Their auto/computer/electronics business was developed almost exclusively thorough acquisitions (think Lenovo), forced IP transfer, or IP theft.
  140. @Paleo Liberal
    Almost.

    Trump is supposedly in favor of H1-B reform.

    I am in IT now. I can tell you the stories going around about abuse of H1-B visas are true.

    I know a guy who used to work for what we will call Bank of Antarctica. At one point he was ordered by his boss to fire every programmer making over a certain amount of money. These were very good programmers, and had been with Bank of Antarctica for many years. Hence a lot of talent and institutional knowledge was lost. The next day he started interviewing H1-B visa workers from a country we will call Indiana. I believe it. I worked for Bank of Antarctica for a while, and I was suddenly replaced one day by an H1-B worker. No notice, no severance pay, no nothing. Just out the door.

    I know of other stories like that at plenty of other places.

    Trump makes noises about reforming H1-B visas. Yang doesn’t mention it.

    >fire highly skilled long-serving assets who makes the company money
    >replace them with hostile foreign helots who cannot fill their shoes
    Every day in every way we ask for civil war.

    • Replies: @theMann
    I also work in IT and second that emotion.
  141. Oh Steve, you math whiz short sighted fool you.
    They are devaluing the Yuan to erase the Trump tariffs.

    That means US Dollars are the safer investment for the Chinese.

    • Agree: Autochthon
  142. @Jimi
    Looks like China is going to aggressively devalue its currency.

    How much is “aggressive(ly)”?

    FWIW, 1,000 Chinese RMB->USD exchange rates in this decade have been (roughly):

    – The old days (mid Obama era), 2011 to mid 2015: 1,000 RMB bought $155 to $165;
    – Then a slow/steady downward slide between mid 2015 and late 2016, reaching $145 ;
    – Then a rise, btwn mid 2017 and Q2 2018, to reach $155 to $160 again in Q1-Q2 2018;
    – Then a downward trend from Q3 2018 to Q2 2019, again reaching the decade’s lowpoint of $145 (exactly at $145, as of last Thursday, Aug. 1);
    – A one-time drop, today, to $142.

    RMB Buying USD exchange rate (Jan. 2014 = 100)
    100: Peak rate in the in 2010s
    90: Trump-era average
    86: Today, after small devaluation

    It was not a large devaluation. So far.

    • Replies: @Hail
    The U.S. Treasury Department just (re?)labeled China a "currency manipulator."
  143. @MikeatMikedotMike
    I don't know, but I'm sure we will soon have a Godfree Roberts or Fred Reed damage puff piece in full damage control mode if there's anything to it.

    I don’t know, but I’m sure we will soon have a Godfree Roberts or Fred Reed damage puff piece in full damage control mode if there’s anything to it.

    Damage control for what? Capital flow is always two way. Without knowing the inflow/FDI, who knows what’s really going on?

  144. @Hail
    How much is "aggressive(ly)"?

    FWIW, 1,000 Chinese RMB->USD exchange rates in this decade have been (roughly):

    - The old days (mid Obama era), 2011 to mid 2015: 1,000 RMB bought $155 to $165;
    - Then a slow/steady downward slide between mid 2015 and late 2016, reaching $145 ;
    - Then a rise, btwn mid 2017 and Q2 2018, to reach $155 to $160 again in Q1-Q2 2018;
    - Then a downward trend from Q3 2018 to Q2 2019, again reaching the decade's lowpoint of $145 (exactly at $145, as of last Thursday, Aug. 1);
    - A one-time drop, today, to $142.

    RMB Buying USD exchange rate (Jan. 2014 = 100)
    100: Peak rate in the in 2010s
    90: Trump-era average
    86: Today, after small devaluation

    It was not a large devaluation. So far.

    The U.S. Treasury Department just (re?)labeled China a “currency manipulator.”

  145. @Diversity Heretic
    John Derbyshire plans to spend three weeks in China in the near future. He has Chinese relatives and reads Chinese reasonably well. Perhaps he can enlighten us.

    Uncle Derb is a perfect material for Chow Trial.

    Seriously, he should stay home – but Mrs. Derbishire is obviously the one who wears kilt in their household.

  146. Here’s the information I got from multiple sources (Chinese) that included members of the family:

    The real estate market for housing in many of the larger markets (including Shanghai) is essentially frozen. Buyers (if there are that many) are simply not making offers thinking that the bubble is finally about to burst. I have close friends who are sitting on investment properties (condos) and they can’t sell them. The government is now slowing down necessary approvals in order to halt those trying to get their places on the market while they still can, but the glut isn’t going away.

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what’s going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway–the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one.
     
    I don't disagree strongly with your either your general point or any of your specific points, but any Chinese old enough to remember Tiananmen Square in 1989 would remember a national economy that was stagnant for nearly two years. Those two years (1989 and 1990) were easily China's worst economic performance since 1976.

    Things picked right back up in 1991, but it's still worth pointing out that more than a few Chinese alive today would remember those two years of economic stagnation as China sought to put down the Democracy movement and then refocus on economic growth, which it successfully did.

    , @last straw

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what’s going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway–the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.
     
    The reverse is true. Pockets of real estate bubbles mainly exist in tier 1 cities. Tier 2 cities are mostly fine. Real estate investors in China tend to complain, because they often buy expensive housings in tier 1 cities with a heavy burden of mortgage. Their experience is different from the typical home owners in China - 80-90% percent of them have paid off their mortgage or bought with cash with the help of their parents and now own their homes mortgage free.

    As for hardship, only those born after 2000 in tier 1 and tier 2 cities are less familiar with it. But even these kids know better than those born in more developed countries like the U.S. Also, it's countries that have neoliberal economic policies, not China, that tend to have financial scandals and bubbles, such as the Enron scandal, the dot com bubble, the nationwide real estate bubble in the U.S., and the global financial crisis of 2008.
  147. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    All foreigners should be restricted from buying land in the United States.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    Land is the easiest asset to seize when you're at war with someone. Besides, conning foreigners with real estate deals is the oldest of American traditions!
  148. Sort of off topic: But has anyone else noticed that Wikipedia has removed Gore Vidal’s crimethink immigration quote from his wiki page? There’s not even a reference to it on the Talk page on Vidal. This removal has occurred fairly recently.

  149. @Bardon Kaldian
    China is vastly, vastly overrated. I didn't want to expound on the topic; I'll just c/p some old posts of mine & a part of a very good recent post by commenter Tom67:


    Read https://www.unz.com/tengelhardt/beijings-bid-for-global-power-in-the-age-of-trump/#comment-2477385 under [MORE]
    ------

    China will never be global hegemon, even after US ceases to be.

    1. they’re the same- the same names, all other people can’t tell one from another

    2. language barrier, insurmountable

    3. they don’t want to, they’re satisfied with themselves

    4. if they would try, really, then US, Russia, Europe, Indonesia, India, Japan..would team against it & that would be the end of Chinese power

    5. they’re not attractive, nor interesting to the “world” enough

    ---------

    * Russians are extension of Europe & all Euro-Asian talk is balderdash

    * when I think of deep currents, I see that Russia basically does not exist outside of Western culture. China…. another planet.

    * I understand modern bozos, but life is more than food & basic entertainment. What can Russia get from China except some dishes? And exotic high culture for aficionados? Films, music..? No. The same with China re Russia.

    * global popular culture is 90% American. Out of this 90%, perhaps 80% is moronic, but universal in some respects (although less than 20-40 years ago), while many things are only superficially popular in other cultures (for instance sports, sport movies, superhero movies, …). Americans are conquering the world through idiocracy.

    * I’d say: Russians basically think: well, not bad for now, but they’re too numerous, too powerful & too close. And, after all- who they are? Chinese think: some land for grab, but it’s not worth it, it is some old stuff. We’re growing & we’ll dominate them. But- who they basically are? We don’t understand them. It’s America we want, they are our fascinating frenemy with all that glamour, women, money & material stuff of combined richness & dreams & fun (music, movies). And there is so much accessible stuff to make life better- because Anglosphere is the center of the world, and we want to suck in the best from them, and there is plenty of it we can use to enrich ourselves without contaminating at the same time.

    -------------

    – The “symbiosis” between Russia and China is laughable. As soon as the Anglo-Zionist empire really collapses the differences between Russia and China will come to the fore. To get China´s help after the Ukraine crisis Russia had to give China a free hand in Mongolia. Before Russia had always seen to it that Mongolia didn´t get to dependent on China. Half of the foreign exchange of Mongolia was earned by the Russian-Mongolian copper mine of Erdenet. Three years ago Russia sold its share in Erdenet. By now Erdenet has been pledged by Mongolias venal politicians as collateral for Chinese loans.

    Also China has certainly never forgot that the Russian far East was part of the Qing empire until the 1850s.This will be brought up again as soon as Russia is sufficiently weak.
    Russia was forced into the alliance with China by the West. The only industrial sphere where Russia does indeed have world class expertise is in armaments. After Ukraine Russia was forced to share its technology with China. And China will definitely put this new knowledge to good use and in the not so far future overtake Russia in this particular field of expertise. Then watch what will happen.

    – China not interested in old fashioned imperial politics. That is laughable as well. China has a base in Ceylon now that they got as collateral for a loan that Ceylon couldn't repay. China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. To back up these claims with military muscle they build navy bases all over the Spratley islands

    – China is getting more and more carbon hydrates through pipelines from Central Asia. At the same time it is mass imprisoning its Turkic population (Uyghus, Kazakhs and Kirgiz). The way the Chinese treat those people is exactly racist in the way the Saker has described the European relationship to the rest of the world. If you are a businessman in any one of those countries you will not be allowed to interact with people of the same faith, culture and almost the same language who live just across the border in Xinjiang. The Chinese government has seen to the fact that any member of those minorities lives in mortal fear of any contact with foreigners. Any business must now be conducted only with ethnic Chinese. And as as a Kirghiz or Kazakh national you are not distinguishable from a Kirgiz or Kazakh from Xinjiang you will suffer the same indignities as them when you travel to Xinjiang.

    As venal and corrupt as the elites of the “Stans” might be: even they perceive Chinese actions in neighboring Xinjiang as so grossly offensive that they hardly hide their disdain anymore. In fact I talked to a journalist last week who was present at the latest SCO gathering in Bishkek. She was astonished at the level of Sinophobia she accounted.

    So on the one hand China is in the process of acquiring more and more of the ressources of the Stans. But on the other hand it is worsening its relationship with the peoples of these countries.
    The Stans are still ruled by the same Soviet nomenklatura. There has been no real change. The question is how stable this arrangement is. It definitely fits the requirement of the Chinese but the longer this lasts the more the elites of the Stans are coming between China and their own population.

    China is well aware of this. To protect its investment it might have to use force in the future. And that is what I expect to happen in case one of those pipelines is interrupted. Not so different from what the West is doing in the Middle East.

    lol people who think China is pining to colonize Siberia belong in the same basket as people who think China is a communist country

    Old, out of touch Americans who know nothing about either country

  150. Anon[427] • Disclaimer says:

    Anything we could do to speed up the decoupling of the US economy from China’s is a good thing. Both sides will benefit from this. The US can bring back our manufacturing, and China will finally have to boost their domestic consumption. We need to produce what we consume, and they need to consume what they produce. Win win.

  151. Probably because they saw the devaluation of the RMB as part of the trade war, less to do with HK

  152. @Paleo Liberal
    A quick Google search took me to Yang’s immigration policy.

    Yang appears to have an immigration policy significantly less bad than other Democrats.

    1. He realizes his cash for citizens could cause a run at the border, therefore we need a secure border before we handle any illegal aliens already in the US.

    2. He does acknowledge we have a border crises due to insecure borders.

    3. On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’. However, this can ONLY be implemented after the border is secured.

    4. On the bad side, he doesn’t mention H1-B visas nor restrictions on legal immigration at all.

    Am I grading on the curve?

    I would give him a barely passing grade without a curve. With a curve, he gets an “A” for not demanding something very close to open borders. Note that the fashionable left line these days is to scoff at people who say leftists want open borders, then make proposals which are as close to open borders as you can get without actually being open borders. At least Yang is arguing for enforcing the laws we already have.

    On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’.

    So do I. Around these parts, it’s I-35, which leads to the bridge at Laredo. Once across which many of the aliens will be citizens again.

    • Replies: @fish

    So do I. Around these parts, it’s I-35, which leads to the bridge at Laredo. Once across which many of the aliens will be citizens again.
     
    I tried to give you an LOL…..button no workee!
  153. @craig
    "However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, .... The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, ..."

    This mantra is frequently repeated, as if it's a natural weather phenomenon and nothing can be done about it. Jobs just vanished, never to return, and only China is capable of manufacturing anymore. Pity that only the rootless-cosmopolitan class gets to prosper in the new economy; for the rest of you, there's oxycontin and cheap consumer goods. The more America sells out its birthright for cheap stuff, the more it turns into Tragic Dirt.

    "just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back."

    Detroit has deliberately chosen to evolve beyond Wealth to Diversity. This culture shift correlates strongly, in whatever regions it occurs, with a simultaneous conversion of the regions from Magic Dirt to Tragic Dirt. Multiple Harvard researchers are working on papers to explain this curious correlation, but are delayed from arriving at a conclusive analysis by their personal time spent importing seventeen of their nearest relatives from India and Somalia.

    "I don’t mind Gabbard. She seems like she has a mind of her own, ..."

    Not really. Gabbard, like all the other crabs in the Democrat bucket, is onboard with the Left's agenda of free-everything for all 7 billion people of the world who want to come to America. Because they love America, or something. Just not white Americans -- they're not Who We Are Now -- except that a certain number must be corraled and kept as draft horses for pulling the wagon that Who We Are Now gets to ride in.

    Yeah, Tulsi might be decent around the edges – she was (and probably still is) anti-LBTQwhatever and she’s not a warmonger – but all of her other positions are more or less the same old democrat shit: free everything and make the evil white man pay for it.

  154. This guy, and you, may have made a fortune by shorting the yuan, based on this information

  155. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything.

    That’s literally false.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landlord_Classicide_under_Mao_Zedong

    The people in charge today, as well as most of the population, are the heirs of the people who slaughtered China’s land and business owners by the millions.

  156. @The Germ Theory of Disease
    "The Empire, long United, must divide; long divided, must unite."

    That little historical pendulum swing has been pretty reliable for the past two thousand years or so. But that was back when the Chinese weren't all swimming in cash and had someplace much, much nicer -- like, oh, say, America, Canada, Australia, and Europe -- to bolt off to.

    The surplus rich Chinese are simply going to buy up the entire West as a safety option. They already own much, much more of it than you realize. This is going to make the Jewish Conquests of the 20th century look trivial in comparison. Oh, and plus the Indians are just warming up, too.

    Good thing we left such stalwart (((patriots))) at the helm and the gates, right? Um.... right?

    But that was back when the Chinese weren’t all swimming in cash and had someplace much, much nicer — like, oh, say, America, Canada, Australia, and Europe — to bolt off to.

    Way beyond that. Even places like the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand are finding buyers. In antiquity, the gap between China and its poorer neighbors was, at the risk of some exaggeration, like that between the Jetsons and the Flintstones. Thanks to the container ship and the information age, that gap is way smaller today. When the sleepy backwaters of Southeast Asia look more attractive than China, you know the Communist Party has gone a little crazy in its totalitarian impulses.

  157. Heh, money laundering schemes about to get blown. But if they know, the Party almost assuredly knows they know, so they can chuck that money up their ass if they wanna, they gonna end up in some desert mining salt or sumn

  158. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    The Chinese (or any unfriendly foreign power) owning US real estate doesn’t worry me. It’s not like they’re going to pack it up in shipping containers and take it back home. If TSHTF, we just nationalize it, or freeze it in escrow for future potential reparations.

  159. Australia’s housing bubble is gargantuan, thanks in part to Chinese “hiding” money from their government in Australian real estate.

    There’s rumours the Aussie government is in the process of curtailing foreign real estate investment.

    No doubt the Chinese are looking for other avenues for sequestering their ill-gotten er I mean government attracting gains.

  160. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    “Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now.”

    Yeah, the Jews HATE the competition.

  161. @Achmed E. Newman

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.
     
    Myth? That's complete bullshit, Jonathan. You are what, 70 years old? Are you telling me you don't remember when consumer goods could last till you didn't want them anymore, and the tools to fix them, since they could BE FIXED, wouldn't break themselve as you worked on your broken stuff, per a (possibly) Brilliant Plan by Chinese Communist Cadres?

    I have a water heater that was installed in 1988. I bought a Ryobi table saw that was made in 1994, that may have been just as expensive as a new one from Lowes, because it was made in America. I guess we won't read back from you when your bike breaks, Jonathan, and good luck fixing it anyway. Here's more on the Cheap China-made Crap.

    The tariffs are better late than never, in my opinion. Our manufacturing infrastructure, technology, and human capital was given away in the 1990's and '00's for a few bucks for the big shots in politics, and a lot of money to the big shots of Big Biz. The Chinese must devalue their currency to keep the exports competitive. That shows that the tariffs indeed mean something to the Chinese.

    I don't support these tariffs as a way to "get at" the Chinese, just as a way to let American manufacturing have a chance again. I agree that robotics will mean that it will not be the 1950's - 1970's again here, but if you don't create wealth, the economy will die. Right now we're just living on debt, and there's a lot of ruin in a nation (i.e., it can take a while).

    Kudos to Trump on the tariffs! Gabbard gets one thing right, but she's still another Socialist wrecker like the rest of the Blue-Squad.

    I have sometimes replaced American made items that lasted for years with the same item now made in China. You can do a side by side comparison and see that cheaper alloys are used, the threads on the screws are misaligned, and a million other small differences in quality that add up to a big pile of crap compared to the old product.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  162. @songbird
    I'm wondering if the CCP, for all its faults (and there are many), is in someways structurally superior to Western democracy.

    Like for instance, how many days does the CCP actually meet a year in a wide body? Probably just a few, and then I am sure there are many formalities that they have to go through. I am thinking that there just isn't enough time for the corrupt subversion that happened to Congress.

    Oh there's lots of corruption, but not the replace your own people kind. Or at least not yet, it might be too early to tell.

    You could be on to something. One thing they have going for them is they are realistically nationalist. No way they’ll import a load of Somali refugees for the feels

  163. @Pincher Martin

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.
     
    That's not bad news. It's called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always - ALWAYS - want to make more with less. Unless you're a Luddite.

    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.

    Suppose that robotics had advanced far enough that a robot physician could cure any disease you might have for a penny.
    Q: Where do you get the penny?

    There’s a problem in here somewhere. Remember, for people with IQ 85 as the robots.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin

    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.
     
    It doesn't come from Jaron Lanier. It comes from the field of economics, and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum, who usually only disagree on how productivity gains should be utilized.

    Even if other countries didn't exist, economic sectors like agriculture and manufacturing would see their labor forces shrink in a U.S. economy with increasing productivity gains.
  164. What’s going on in China?

    Very short answer:
    Back a decade ago the US had the only expeditionary Army, Navy, and Air Force on the planet Earth. That’s _almost_ the case now — Russia has an very small expeditionary force, and China has those artificial islands.

    But the US expeditionary force is probably not long for this world. The “cold war dividend” meant that R&D spending has been stopped since about 1991, military equipment is obsolescent at best, USAF ability to operate in hostile airspace is drastically down, and the USN faces carrier killing ICBMs. Not to mention severe problems in the officer corps of all services and in Special Ops as well. You can’t run ground troops through a meatgrinder for decade without hurting it severely, even if the other side does take most of the casualties.

    Also, the US has severe internal problems that appear likely to become more severe, which would prohibit force reconstitution. No money, no time, no recruits.

    The US has already failed to end Syria’s alliance with Russia, and is apparently reduced to contemplating a naval blockade take out the Venezuelan government.

    Western Europe is no threat to anybody, except itself.

    So: While the cat’s away, the mice will play.

    There are maj0r destabilizations on every continent right now. e.g. China/Hong Kong, N. Korea, S. Korea/Japan, Kashmir, Venezuela, possibly Brazil, Iran, Syria, China’s attempted takeover of Africa. There’s even a Russian takeover of the far North and a US militarization of Antarctica.

    These are just trial probes. Destabilization will increase considerably as US power declines, and could devolve into warfare if the US loses its expeditionary capability.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Counter-

    Great points.

    I'd add there is enormous waste and inefficiency in the US defense industry. I'd bet only about 20-25% of every dollar spent goes into the products required by the end user. The rest is devoured by bureaucracy, fraud, and simple waste.

    The US defense industry is also far too focused on promoting unqualified women and NAMs to do things like creating, "caring engineering communities."

    Every year one month is wasted celebrating Bakkaball American History Month. A second month is wasted celebrating the LGBTWTFOMGBBQ deviants.

    This is why Mother Russia has the world's premier integrated air defense system, and the US has....uh...yeah....

  165. This could eventually change the mobile phone market everywhere:

    Huawei likely to replace Google’s Android with own mobile operating system this year
    Published time: 5 Aug, 2019
    A new Huawei phone equipped with the Hongmeng operating system (OS), developed by the Chinese telecom giant to replace Google’s Android, could go on sale in 2019, according to Chinese state-linked outlet Global Times.
    The world’s largest supplier of telecoms equipment is already testing the new homegrown OS on its mobile devices, the newspaper reported on Sunday. Huawei plans to target the low-end and medium-end segments of the smartphone market, setting the price tag for the new phone at around 2,000 yuan (roughly US$290).

    https://www.rt.com/business/465815-huawei-homegrown-os-phone/

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    No. It could not. And it won't.
  166. @Bill P
    The Hong Kong protests are as big as Tiananmen 1989 but our media are strangely unenthused. Big things are happening in China. Xi's ambitions are frankly kind of insane. What's happening in Xinjiang is just a trial run for the rest of China and I think people are starting to catch on.

    People might be tempted to draw comparisons between China and European 20th century totalitarian states, but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because there are so damn many Chinese.

    The tariffs are destabilizing the entire house of cards. We never should have let it get to this point, but our greed allowed the CCP to hang on to power despite the party's decrepitude. After 6/4, the CCP leadership made a deal with our capitalists so as to buy themselves time. It's starting to run out.

    “…but in China aggression tends to be directed inward because [China doesn’t have an army – the party ruling it has an army – and it is much easier to direct aggression towards defenseless domestics than nuclear-armed foreigners].”

    There you go.

    I doubt very much China’s rulers have the stomach to risk conflict with even a proxy of a great power. If I were in charge in Vietnam or Myanmar though I’d be very concerned.

  167. @Counterinsurgency
    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.

    Suppose that robotics had advanced far enough that a robot physician could cure any disease you might have for a penny.
    Q: Where do you get the penny?

    There's a problem in here somewhere. Remember, for people with IQ 85 as the robots.

    Counterinsurgency

    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.

    It doesn’t come from Jaron Lanier. It comes from the field of economics, and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum, who usually only disagree on how productivity gains should be utilized.

    Even if other countries didn’t exist, economic sectors like agriculture and manufacturing would see their labor forces shrink in a U.S. economy with increasing productivity gains.

    • Replies: @Simon Legree
    the field of economics

    that's a euphemism if there ever was one.

    and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum

    then you know apodictically that it's wrong.

    pincher martin's autism is NOT charming. no wonder he loves china people and volunteered for the military.

    pathetic!

    ---jorge videla
  168. @Deckin
    Here's the information I got from multiple sources (Chinese) that included members of the family:

    The real estate market for housing in many of the larger markets (including Shanghai) is essentially frozen. Buyers (if there are that many) are simply not making offers thinking that the bubble is finally about to burst. I have close friends who are sitting on investment properties (condos) and they can't sell them. The government is now slowing down necessary approvals in order to halt those trying to get their places on the market while they still can, but the glut isn't going away.

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what's going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There's not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway--the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.

    There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one.

    I don’t disagree strongly with your either your general point or any of your specific points, but any Chinese old enough to remember Tiananmen Square in 1989 would remember a national economy that was stagnant for nearly two years. Those two years (1989 and 1990) were easily China’s worst economic performance since 1976.

    Things picked right back up in 1991, but it’s still worth pointing out that more than a few Chinese alive today would remember those two years of economic stagnation as China sought to put down the Democracy movement and then refocus on economic growth, which it successfully did.

  169. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    A friend of mine is originally from Auckland, born and raised. Her brother still lives there, but can barely afford it anymore. Her parents were some of the people who gave into and sold their house to Chinese real estate investors before the New Zealand government realized some aspects of Laissez-faire aren’t a good idea (like large scale displacement of native New Zealanders) and started to ban Chinese real estate investors form taking over too many neighborhoods in Auckland. According to my friend’s version of what happened in her old neighborhood, the Chinese wouldn’t take no for an answer if home owners held out. They often offered ridiculous prices for houses to anyone who said no. My friend’s parents couldn’t say no; they made a ton of money. She also told me a lot of people in her parent’s old neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods did the same thing. Eventually, that area of Auckland became unaffordable to all of the sellers’ children, including my friend. I knew Chinese money was flowing into New Zealand real estate, but I had no idea of the scale and impact it eventually had. Her story reminded me of what happened to Vancouver during the time period a few years before Hong Kong residents knew the Chinese government would be taking over Hong Kong. A lot of them got scared and fled to Vancouver, along with their money. We all know what happened to a lot of native Vancouverites after that.

  170. @Charles Pewitt

    What's Going on in China?

     

    I don't have any frigging idea about what is going on in China.

    I must say I got some opinion about China and Trump and Trump's tariffs and national sovereignty and financialization and globalization and something called labor arbytrahge -- or however you spell it.

    I agree with Trump and his tariffs. But I don't think they are large enough to get the attention of General Tso and his chickens or the Chinese Communist Party.

    I have been hammering on that Trumpy but good on his immigration policy backstab that he pulled on the USA. Trumpy has pissed me off but good. Trumpy now pushes mass legal immigration and Trumpy refuses to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA. Trump wants to flood the USA with mass legal immigration "in the largest numbers ever."

    BUT,

    I love Trumpy and his tariffs!

    My only problem is that Trumpy hasn't gone far enough to ratchet up the pressure on the Chinese Communist Party. Trumpy is talking about ten percent tariffs on certain goods starting in September of 2019 -- less than a month away.

    Ten percent is not enough, DAMMIT!

    90 percent or 150 percent would be to my liking on the Chinese Communist Party and their cheap labor goods.

    PROHIBITIVE Tariffs are the way to go!

    REVENUE RAISING Tariffs are boring and lack pop.

    PUNITIVE Tariffs are just half measures on the way to PROHIBITIVE Tariffs.

    Trumpy must not let politicians with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party -- such as Mitch McConnell -- stop him from completely and totally quarantining the Chinese Communist Party from selling their cheap labor crud in the USA.

    This is the tale of two Trumpy's: The Trumpy who backstabs his people on immigration policy and the Trumpy who finally tells the Chinese Communist Party to go to Hell!

    Great stuff and writing style, Mr. Pewitt! You are about the 2nd funniest guy on here. If I get to New England some time, I’d like to buy you a few beers … oh, and some General Tso’s finger-lickin’ good chicken.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    How has there not been one of those epic rap battles of history made yet pitting Colonel Sanders against General Tso?!
  171. @Paleo Liberal
    There are a lot of good comments here.
    Apparently folks in China saw the devaluation of the Yuan coming, and wanted to get their assets into dollars as quickly as possible. Wise move.

    One thing I have noticed — there has been a housing bubble in China for a while. Housing bubbles can affect the cost of housing outside a large economy as well. For example, when a massive housing bubble in Japan burst, the housing bubble in Honolulu crashed as well. The housing bubble crash of 1986, OTOH, had a much smaller effect in Honolulu.

    My prediction is two-fold:

    First, the housing bubbles in places outside of Mainland China with a lot of Chinese will get worse as Chinese move their assets out of China. This includes Hong Kong and possibly Macau, but also Singapore, Vancouver, San Francisco and the rest of NorCal, LA and the rest of SoCal, NYC, London, Paris, Taiwan, etc. In other words, the housing bubble everywhere outside of China is going to go nuts.

    Phase Two: A worldwide collapse of the housing bubble. The bubble in China will pop first. Maybe the trade war will cause the pop, maybe a butterfly flapping its wings in Shanghai. Eventually the Chinese housing bubble popping will take down the housing markets in the places where Chinese invest in housing. Meaning everywhere, esp the places I mentioned above.

    I meant to write earlier, P.L., those last two paragraphs are right on the money.

  172. @Anthony Wayne
    You’ve been ignoring years’ worth of evidence to the contrary if you still come to those conclusions.

    JM is a paid troll. He’s Tiny Duck with better grammar. That’s all.

  173. @anonymous
    For international relations and political economy topics, the commentators on this blog suck. Read Karlin instead for much better analysis in that area. Karlin is able to attract economists and even businessmen to his blog.

    economists and even businessmen
    [extremely large blow-up of Norm MacDonald’s face]

  174. @Thorfinnsson


    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    This was and is a political choice. The same trade war being waged against China could be employed against all low-wage countries--or simply all foreign countries period as was the case up until 1945.


    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don’t mind Gabbard.
     
    If I understand you correctly, you want to vote against Trump because you don't like tariffs.

    This makes you a traitor.

    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.
     
    Not if you do not buy what they export. But even if you do, America will be better off.

    This makes you a sucker.
     
    You are like a child in a convenience store. You want the plastic toy and the candy and the sugar water, and you cry like a baby when mommy won't buy it because the price went up.

    And you don't think you are the sucker.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe

    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.
     

    We understand how tariffs work, and I am quite happy to pay more for Chinese products. Especially in light of the fact I barely buy any now. The tariffs are necessary in order to get China to the negotiating table, which is necessary for the future of my country. You either understand that, and apparently don't care ("traitor"), or you don't understand it ("dullard").
  175. @GermanReader2

    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China.
     
    You haven't heard of this before?
    The Chinese had a big scandal with baby powder with dangerous, sometimes deadly additives back in 2008.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Chinese_milk_scandal
    Since then middle-class and upper-class Chinese have been importing baby powder from a lot of European countries through Chinese students buying the baby powder in bulk in drug stores/supermarkets and sending it to China. It Germany baby powder has been rationed for the last 10 years (you cannot buy more than 3 packs at a time) and it is out of stock often, though the situation has improved a lot in the last years. The stores know about the problem and know by whom the shortages are caused. For instance, in the drugstore at my corner (in Germany), there is a sign at the aisle with the baby powder saying that one cannot buy more than 3 packs in English(!) and Chinese (!)

    Here in Mexinchifornia, baby formula is the nightmare. No formal laws or even policies I know of, but if the shelf isn’t empty because it is sold out (to the smuggling Ching-Chongs) or all stolen (by Negroes and Guatexiraguans) one still had to present a paper coupon for the actual product to the cashier, who then had the formula’s case unlocked for you by a watchful employee (because of the Guatexiraguan and Negro thieves).

    I finally discovered the one place it was usually both available and not a hassle to purchase was Target. I hate their politics, but like all leftist scum, they do not practice the pablum they preach: unlike grocers and drugstores, they have cameras everywhere, and they are being monitored actively, in conjunction with the burly guy in the cargo pants and the black shirt hanging around the store’s entrance who is very unobtrusively but very effectively ensuring only the people who’ve paid for it leave with anything. And of course either their inventory system kept pace with the smugglers or the Wang Chungs in my area hadn’t yet realised Target sells baby formula – which makes sense, because the hyper-stingy ant-people prefer places like Wal-Mart to Target, with its SWPLy, overpriced niche.

    Twenty years ago the idea baby formula would be any more a pain in the ass to track down than, say, eggs or toilet paper was crazy talk – the kind of thing that happened in the U.S.S.R. or El Honduragua. In 2018, if for any reason the Target was sold out, you were screwed into driving to six more places until you got lucky.

    Foreigners: They’re why we can’t have nice things.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    You didn't say what the 1st store was. Wal-mart?
    , @Alfa158
    Stores in some neighborhoods have to put security tags on Tide detergent. Some Black people prefer it for their laundry so it gets stolen and resold on the street.
  176. @Achmed E. Newman
    Great stuff and writing style, Mr. Pewitt! You are about the 2nd funniest guy on here. If I get to New England some time, I'd like to buy you a few beers ... oh, and some General Tso's finger-lickin' good chicken.

    How has there not been one of those epic rap battles of history made yet pitting Colonel Sanders against General Tso?!

    • Agree: Redneck farmer
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    Haha! To think these two high-ranking officers are, per the scripture, prophets only outside their home countries. I believe the Chinese people, seeing Colonel Sanders face plastered all over, think that he was the guy in charge of those brave airmen who flew all that materiel over the hump to fight the Japs. Then, here in America, we are under the impression that General Tso was the guy who wrote The Art of War, along with his 2nd book, How to serve Han ;-}
  177. What’s Going on in China?

    • Replies: @last straw
    Do you have other sources about China beside China-basher serpentza (video courtesy of commentator Ber)?
  178. @peterike
    Trump really needs to ban Chinese investments in American real estate, both buildings and land, including forcing them to sell whatever they own now. Allowing an enemy nation to own your real estate is consummately insane.

    Similar bans should be put in for essential industries: food, infrastructure, defense.

    Actually there should be a general ban on real estate holdings by citizens of countries where Americans can’t own real estate. There’s a lot of them.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  179. @Bardon Kaldian
    China is vastly, vastly overrated. I didn't want to expound on the topic; I'll just c/p some old posts of mine & a part of a very good recent post by commenter Tom67:


    Read https://www.unz.com/tengelhardt/beijings-bid-for-global-power-in-the-age-of-trump/#comment-2477385 under [MORE]
    ------

    China will never be global hegemon, even after US ceases to be.

    1. they’re the same- the same names, all other people can’t tell one from another

    2. language barrier, insurmountable

    3. they don’t want to, they’re satisfied with themselves

    4. if they would try, really, then US, Russia, Europe, Indonesia, India, Japan..would team against it & that would be the end of Chinese power

    5. they’re not attractive, nor interesting to the “world” enough

    ---------

    * Russians are extension of Europe & all Euro-Asian talk is balderdash

    * when I think of deep currents, I see that Russia basically does not exist outside of Western culture. China…. another planet.

    * I understand modern bozos, but life is more than food & basic entertainment. What can Russia get from China except some dishes? And exotic high culture for aficionados? Films, music..? No. The same with China re Russia.

    * global popular culture is 90% American. Out of this 90%, perhaps 80% is moronic, but universal in some respects (although less than 20-40 years ago), while many things are only superficially popular in other cultures (for instance sports, sport movies, superhero movies, …). Americans are conquering the world through idiocracy.

    * I’d say: Russians basically think: well, not bad for now, but they’re too numerous, too powerful & too close. And, after all- who they are? Chinese think: some land for grab, but it’s not worth it, it is some old stuff. We’re growing & we’ll dominate them. But- who they basically are? We don’t understand them. It’s America we want, they are our fascinating frenemy with all that glamour, women, money & material stuff of combined richness & dreams & fun (music, movies). And there is so much accessible stuff to make life better- because Anglosphere is the center of the world, and we want to suck in the best from them, and there is plenty of it we can use to enrich ourselves without contaminating at the same time.

    -------------

    – The “symbiosis” between Russia and China is laughable. As soon as the Anglo-Zionist empire really collapses the differences between Russia and China will come to the fore. To get China´s help after the Ukraine crisis Russia had to give China a free hand in Mongolia. Before Russia had always seen to it that Mongolia didn´t get to dependent on China. Half of the foreign exchange of Mongolia was earned by the Russian-Mongolian copper mine of Erdenet. Three years ago Russia sold its share in Erdenet. By now Erdenet has been pledged by Mongolias venal politicians as collateral for Chinese loans.

    Also China has certainly never forgot that the Russian far East was part of the Qing empire until the 1850s.This will be brought up again as soon as Russia is sufficiently weak.
    Russia was forced into the alliance with China by the West. The only industrial sphere where Russia does indeed have world class expertise is in armaments. After Ukraine Russia was forced to share its technology with China. And China will definitely put this new knowledge to good use and in the not so far future overtake Russia in this particular field of expertise. Then watch what will happen.

    – China not interested in old fashioned imperial politics. That is laughable as well. China has a base in Ceylon now that they got as collateral for a loan that Ceylon couldn't repay. China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. To back up these claims with military muscle they build navy bases all over the Spratley islands

    – China is getting more and more carbon hydrates through pipelines from Central Asia. At the same time it is mass imprisoning its Turkic population (Uyghus, Kazakhs and Kirgiz). The way the Chinese treat those people is exactly racist in the way the Saker has described the European relationship to the rest of the world. If you are a businessman in any one of those countries you will not be allowed to interact with people of the same faith, culture and almost the same language who live just across the border in Xinjiang. The Chinese government has seen to the fact that any member of those minorities lives in mortal fear of any contact with foreigners. Any business must now be conducted only with ethnic Chinese. And as as a Kirghiz or Kazakh national you are not distinguishable from a Kirgiz or Kazakh from Xinjiang you will suffer the same indignities as them when you travel to Xinjiang.

    As venal and corrupt as the elites of the “Stans” might be: even they perceive Chinese actions in neighboring Xinjiang as so grossly offensive that they hardly hide their disdain anymore. In fact I talked to a journalist last week who was present at the latest SCO gathering in Bishkek. She was astonished at the level of Sinophobia she accounted.

    So on the one hand China is in the process of acquiring more and more of the ressources of the Stans. But on the other hand it is worsening its relationship with the peoples of these countries.
    The Stans are still ruled by the same Soviet nomenklatura. There has been no real change. The question is how stable this arrangement is. It definitely fits the requirement of the Chinese but the longer this lasts the more the elites of the Stans are coming between China and their own population.

    China is well aware of this. To protect its investment it might have to use force in the future. And that is what I expect to happen in case one of those pipelines is interrupted. Not so different from what the West is doing in the Middle East.

    “China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. ”

    The way to understand the MSM reporting on China is this. Whatever it says, the reverse is true. Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam all seized Chinese islands in the 1970s. These countries didn’t lay claim on it. They just occupied them outright. Even the shithole India grabbed a piece of China (South Tibet) in the 1950s. Tibet wasn’t invaded by China. It was invaded and part of it is still occupied by India (called Arunachal Pradesh by India since 1987).

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Oh, bullshit.

    Read the history of the "9 Dash Line" .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

    The previous government of China (the one that now resides in Taiwan and that the Commies hate) drew a line on a map in 1947. That's the entire basis for their claim. If they had draw a line around Hawaii, would that now be Chinese territory too?

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you're the first pro-Xi one I've seen.
  180. @Cagey Beast
    This could eventually change the mobile phone market everywhere:


    Huawei likely to replace Google’s Android with own mobile operating system this year
    Published time: 5 Aug, 2019
    A new Huawei phone equipped with the Hongmeng operating system (OS), developed by the Chinese telecom giant to replace Google’s Android, could go on sale in 2019, according to Chinese state-linked outlet Global Times.
    The world’s largest supplier of telecoms equipment is already testing the new homegrown OS on its mobile devices, the newspaper reported on Sunday. Huawei plans to target the low-end and medium-end segments of the smartphone market, setting the price tag for the new phone at around 2,000 yuan (roughly US$290).

     

    https://www.rt.com/business/465815-huawei-homegrown-os-phone/

    No. It could not. And it won’t.

    • Disagree: Cagey Beast
  181. @Sean
    https://twitter.com/Jkylebass

    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.

    • Replies: @last straw

    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.
     
    Kyle Bass had lost his pants by betting against the Japanese yen. Then he moved on to short the yuan. He lost again. So a few months ago, he abandoned his yuan short and started to short the Hong Kong dollar. Ever wondered why he is so feverishly pouring gasoline on the fire of Hong Kong protest recently?
  182. @Autochthon
    How has there not been one of those epic rap battles of history made yet pitting Colonel Sanders against General Tso?!

    Haha! To think these two high-ranking officers are, per the scripture, prophets only outside their home countries. I believe the Chinese people, seeing Colonel Sanders face plastered all over, think that he was the guy in charge of those brave airmen who flew all that materiel over the hump to fight the Japs. Then, here in America, we are under the impression that General Tso was the guy who wrote The Art of War, along with his 2nd book, How to serve Han ;-}

  183. @Autochthon
    Here in Mexinchifornia, baby formula is the nightmare. No formal laws or even policies I know of, but if the shelf isn't empty because it is sold out (to the smuggling Ching-Chongs) or all stolen (by Negroes and Guatexiraguans) one still had to present a paper coupon for the actual product to the cashier, who then had the formula's case unlocked for you by a watchful employee (because of the Guatexiraguan and Negro thieves).

    I finally discovered the one place it was usually both available and not a hassle to purchase was Target. I hate their politics, but like all leftist scum, they do not practice the pablum they preach: unlike grocers and drugstores, they have cameras everywhere, and they are being monitored actively, in conjunction with the burly guy in the cargo pants and the black shirt hanging around the store's entrance who is very unobtrusively but very effectively ensuring only the people who've paid for it leave with anything. And of course either their inventory system kept pace with the smugglers or the Wang Chungs in my area hadn't yet realised Target sells baby formula – which makes sense, because the hyper-stingy ant-people prefer places like Wal-Mart to Target, with its SWPLy, overpriced niche.

    Twenty years ago the idea baby formula would be any more a pain in the ass to track down than, say, eggs or toilet paper was crazy talk – the kind of thing that happened in the U.S.S.R. or El Honduragua. In 2018, if for any reason the Target was sold out, you were screwed into driving to six more places until you got lucky.

    Foreigners: They're why we can't have nice things.

    You didn’t say what the 1st store was. Wal-mart?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    I'm not sure I understand your question. What "first store" do you mean? I'm making the point every – I tried them all – store in the town I resided in (sure as shit not "my town!") was sold out, robbed out, or made buying formula a hassle – like getting something from a safe deposit box – except Target (which was only occasionally sold out).
  184. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    It’s (powdered) baby formula (or “baby milk” as it’s called in some countries). Baby powder is another name for talcum powder and is a completely different thing.

    One of the things that makes the locals in HK unhappy is that mainlanders come over by train and clean the shops out of baby formula so that HK’ers can’t get enough to feed their kids. The Chinese are not coming to buy the stuff for their own kids but as a business – made anywhere but China baby formula commands a premium in China.

  185. @DB Cooper
    "China is laying claim to the whole South China sea and even parts of the 200 mile zones of countries like the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. "

    The way to understand the MSM reporting on China is this. Whatever it says, the reverse is true. Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam all seized Chinese islands in the 1970s. These countries didn't lay claim on it. They just occupied them outright. Even the shithole India grabbed a piece of China (South Tibet) in the 1950s. Tibet wasn't invaded by China. It was invaded and part of it is still occupied by India (called Arunachal Pradesh by India since 1987).

    Oh, bullshit.

    Read the history of the “9 Dash Line” .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

    The previous government of China (the one that now resides in Taiwan and that the Commies hate) drew a line on a map in 1947. That’s the entire basis for their claim. If they had draw a line around Hawaii, would that now be Chinese territory too?

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.

    • Agree: Romanian
    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    Read this bonehead.

    https://chasfreeman.net/diplomacy-on-the-rocks-china-and-other-claimants-in-the-south-china-sea/
    , @Johann Ricke

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.
     
    Pretty much anyone who supports Chinese territorial claims is Chinese. Perhaps DB Cooper is the exception. I doubt it.
    , @Fidelios Automata
    I have no love for the tyrant Xi, but I totally agree with China's fortification of the shoals of the South China Sea. To leave their access to trade routes at the mercy of the corporatist enforcers of the US Navy would be national suicide. In my libertarian view, I also see it as a form of homesteading.
  186. @Autochthon
    Here in Mexinchifornia, baby formula is the nightmare. No formal laws or even policies I know of, but if the shelf isn't empty because it is sold out (to the smuggling Ching-Chongs) or all stolen (by Negroes and Guatexiraguans) one still had to present a paper coupon for the actual product to the cashier, who then had the formula's case unlocked for you by a watchful employee (because of the Guatexiraguan and Negro thieves).

    I finally discovered the one place it was usually both available and not a hassle to purchase was Target. I hate their politics, but like all leftist scum, they do not practice the pablum they preach: unlike grocers and drugstores, they have cameras everywhere, and they are being monitored actively, in conjunction with the burly guy in the cargo pants and the black shirt hanging around the store's entrance who is very unobtrusively but very effectively ensuring only the people who've paid for it leave with anything. And of course either their inventory system kept pace with the smugglers or the Wang Chungs in my area hadn't yet realised Target sells baby formula – which makes sense, because the hyper-stingy ant-people prefer places like Wal-Mart to Target, with its SWPLy, overpriced niche.

    Twenty years ago the idea baby formula would be any more a pain in the ass to track down than, say, eggs or toilet paper was crazy talk – the kind of thing that happened in the U.S.S.R. or El Honduragua. In 2018, if for any reason the Target was sold out, you were screwed into driving to six more places until you got lucky.

    Foreigners: They're why we can't have nice things.

    Stores in some neighborhoods have to put security tags on Tide detergent. Some Black people prefer it for their laundry so it gets stolen and resold on the street.

  187. @Simplepseudonymichandle

    What's Going on in China?
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiRIN3Hyd_w

    Do you have other sources about China beside China-basher serpentza (video courtesy of commentator Ber)?

    • Replies: @Simplepseudonymichandle
    Your rhetorical point is noted.
  188. @Jack D
    Oh, bullshit.

    Read the history of the "9 Dash Line" .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

    The previous government of China (the one that now resides in Taiwan and that the Commies hate) drew a line on a map in 1947. That's the entire basis for their claim. If they had draw a line around Hawaii, would that now be Chinese territory too?

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you're the first pro-Xi one I've seen.
  189. @Clifford Brown
    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.

    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.

    Kyle Bass had lost his pants by betting against the Japanese yen. Then he moved on to short the yuan. He lost again. So a few months ago, he abandoned his yuan short and started to short the Hong Kong dollar. Ever wondered why he is so feverishly pouring gasoline on the fire of Hong Kong protest recently?

    • Replies: @Sean
    He has made some overly brave, (China) predatorily speculative (patent trolling) and predictably ill-fated (classic sucker bet of shorting Japan) moves. He has not lost his pants yet and even if he did I think he would come back, Jesse Livermore did and I see Bass in that mold. But with Hong Kong, Bass is going back being big bad wolf to little PIGS, small over- leveraged property boom countries with currencies pegged to economically mismatched anchor states, not too big for the overlord state to let fail.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBl05xNq_AU
    , @LondonBob
    You would have gone bankrupt following Kyle Bass and his investment advice. Given the nature of economic cycles he would eventually be proven right on one of his doom and gloom forecasts. My approach has been that I don't really understand these countries so steer clear of anything dramatic. That said if the Chinese stock market drops enough I will buy a lot, and hold for a long time,the hillbilly investment star Sir John Templeton made his fortune buying Japan in the sixties.
  190. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    The devaluation of the Yuan today suggests that China has given up on a trade deal. How this will affect US companies with export sales in China like Apple and Tesla (building factory in China) remains to be seen, but it cannot be good.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    I do not understand what Trump is trying to achieve with his trade war on China, but the best result will be for him not to be re-elected, then it will not be necessary to know what he is trying to achieve.

    Since there seems to be no credible primary challenger within the Republican party, I guess that means a Democrat. I don't mind Gabbard.

    She seems like she has a mind of her own, which is always a good thing, and is neither Protestant nor Catholic, Christian nor Jewish, is a military combat veteran, so would probably keep us out of stupid foreign wars, and could pull in the military vote, and she comes from Hawaii which killed Captain Cook, but was never a slave state, and has already produced one POTUS.

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.

    Chinese can manufacture excellent quality goods, but without strong outside supervision, generally tend not to.

    The Chinese can not build a brand or have any organization to stand by what they sell. Quality fade is a constant.

    Replacement parts, well written service manuals, etc, are a big part of what makes a piece of technology usable. These tend to be nonavailable with Chinese goods not supported by a major Western brand.

    Cheap consumer goods are more of a bug than a feature. My neighbor buys a new lawn mower almost every year. I have a Husqvarna with a Honda engine I bought used and my dad’s old T head Gravely walk behind tractor. Both are reliable and any needed part still available. The Husq is at least ten and the Gravely probably over 65. It starts on the first pull of the rope after six months off since I rebuilt the carb and magneto and use 100LL avgas in it, especially the last tank before storage. I had the fuel tank rebuilt to use a BMW motorcycle petcock and powder coated, and the bottom of the bush hog Teflonned, which cot me some money, but boy it works smoothly now.

    Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the China Production Game

    • Agree: Counterinsurgency
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    In 1984-2014 or so, buying a new PC when the old one broke down every 2 or 3 years was fun because of Moore's Law making them better. Americans got kind of accustomed by that to not expecting products to last because buying a new one was fun.
    , @Romanian
    I read that book, too. I wholeheartedly recommend it, even though it focuses mostly on retail goods (soap, decorations etc.). I had no idea how easy it is to get burned in the outsourcing game.
  191. @Jonathan Mason

    You are jumping the gun here since you haven’t even seen your new bike let alone ridden it for many miles and years.
     
    Yes, everything you say is true, but I have had 3 folding bikes before including a Brompton, a Dahon, and a Schwinn, two of which were stolen.

    The bike I have on order is made by a company established in 1897.

    I have an add on for Firefox that translates complete Web pages, and have been able to read the Chinese version of their Web site. The link here is to the English version of their site.

    http://www.phoenix-bicycle.com/index.php/center/brand

    I am capable of replacing and repairing components as needed and have an extensive workshop, so hopefully it will work out OK so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida and hopefully lose a few pounds too.

    Incidentally the add-on that translates whole pages via Google Translate at the click of a mouse is very useful and I have used to it order electronics from Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and China, not to mention being able to read news articles not available by other means.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/translate-whole-page/?src=search

    so that I can explore some biking trails in North Florida

    A Chinese bike to scale Britton Hill. Hope it survives!

    Then you can test it on the Ebright Azimuth.

    https://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/things-to-do/arts-history/britton-hill-highest-point-florida.html

  192. @Deckin
    Here's the information I got from multiple sources (Chinese) that included members of the family:

    The real estate market for housing in many of the larger markets (including Shanghai) is essentially frozen. Buyers (if there are that many) are simply not making offers thinking that the bubble is finally about to burst. I have close friends who are sitting on investment properties (condos) and they can't sell them. The government is now slowing down necessary approvals in order to halt those trying to get their places on the market while they still can, but the glut isn't going away.

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what's going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There's not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway--the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what’s going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway–the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.

    The reverse is true. Pockets of real estate bubbles mainly exist in tier 1 cities. Tier 2 cities are mostly fine. Real estate investors in China tend to complain, because they often buy expensive housings in tier 1 cities with a heavy burden of mortgage. Their experience is different from the typical home owners in China – 80-90% percent of them have paid off their mortgage or bought with cash with the help of their parents and now own their homes mortgage free.

    As for hardship, only those born after 2000 in tier 1 and tier 2 cities are less familiar with it. But even these kids know better than those born in more developed countries like the U.S. Also, it’s countries that have neoliberal economic policies, not China, that tend to have financial scandals and bubbles, such as the Enron scandal, the dot com bubble, the nationwide real estate bubble in the U.S., and the global financial crisis of 2008.

    • Replies: @Deckin
    China is obviously a huge market, but as far as bubbles and city-tiers go, maybe tier 2 cities have healthy real estate markets, but the one lower tier city I have personal knowledge of (in Jilin province), building permits have been curtailed in order to dry up future supply. Doesn't sound too healthy to me.

    As for home ownership and mortgages, you're right most Chinese have almost no mortgage. The flip side, of course, is that their property rights are not what most of us in the US view as true ownership. The rule of law with regard to property in China (despite what's on their law books) is typically whatever the local municipality feels is a good idea. I have seen many high rises demolished before they've even been completely finished or fully occupied--which, for whatever reason, often seems to take years and years and 'owners' being essentially booted out. (Weirdly, Chinese typically move into buildings long before they're completely done.)

    As for economic immaturity, I stand my ground on the Chinese as a rule. Even the most highly educated succumb to absolutely terrible investment schemes and frauds. The reason you don't hear more about it is shame. I've seen it with my own eyes many times.
  193. @Jack D
    Oh, bullshit.

    Read the history of the "9 Dash Line" .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

    The previous government of China (the one that now resides in Taiwan and that the Commies hate) drew a line on a map in 1947. That's the entire basis for their claim. If they had draw a line around Hawaii, would that now be Chinese territory too?

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you're the first pro-Xi one I've seen.

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.

    Pretty much anyone who supports Chinese territorial claims is Chinese. Perhaps DB Cooper is the exception. I doubt it.

    • Replies: @Anon
    https://chasfreeman.net/diplomacy-on-the-rocks-china-and-other-claimants-in-the-south-china-sea/

    Diplomat Chase Freeman is Chinese?
    , @Achmed E. Newman
    D.B. Cooper is one of Godfree Roberts' Comm-ent-tards. Don't mind him, and don't let the cool name fool you. I'd like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains ... never to be heard from again.
    , @DB Cooper
    There is a saying that facts matter. If someone said the earth is round instead of flat doesn't make that some one pro earth. Understand? That those islands are Chinese and are currently occupied by the Philippines and Vietnam since the 1970s is a fact recognized by international law. It is the MSM that consistently distorts the fact and mislead the gullible public.
  194. @Prodigal son
    All foreigners should be restricted from buying land in the United States.

    Land is the easiest asset to seize when you’re at war with someone. Besides, conning foreigners with real estate deals is the oldest of American traditions!

  195. what’s going on in china. they’re waiting for trump to lose so they can go back to the way things used to be.

    china would love to make a deal with democrats.

  196. @Anonymous

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    Chinese can manufacture excellent quality goods, but without strong outside supervision, generally tend not to.

    The Chinese can not build a brand or have any organization to stand by what they sell. Quality fade is a constant.

    Replacement parts, well written service manuals, etc, are a big part of what makes a piece of technology usable. These tend to be nonavailable with Chinese goods not supported by a major Western brand.

    Cheap consumer goods are more of a bug than a feature. My neighbor buys a new lawn mower almost every year. I have a Husqvarna with a Honda engine I bought used and my dad's old T head Gravely walk behind tractor. Both are reliable and any needed part still available. The Husq is at least ten and the Gravely probably over 65. It starts on the first pull of the rope after six months off since I rebuilt the carb and magneto and use 100LL avgas in it, especially the last tank before storage. I had the fuel tank rebuilt to use a BMW motorcycle petcock and powder coated, and the bottom of the bush hog Teflonned, which cot me some money, but boy it works smoothly now.

    Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game
    https://www.amazon.com/Poorly-Made-China-Insiders-Production/dp/0470928077

    In 1984-2014 or so, buying a new PC when the old one broke down every 2 or 3 years was fun because of Moore’s Law making them better. Americans got kind of accustomed by that to not expecting products to last because buying a new one was fun.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    PCs maybe. Refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, air conditioners, not so much.
    , @Jack D
    PC's in the earlier part of that period at least were not made in China for the most part. Sometimes they were assembled in China which is not the same thing. Desktop PC's were pretty reliable - most were replaced due to obsolescence and not because they physically broke (running slow doesn't count). Laptops perhaps have a shorter life because they get tossed around a lot, have coffee spilled in them, etc.
    , @Not Raul
    Another thing PC owners are running in to is diminishing marginal utility. If a five-year-old computer does everything you want, why waste money on a new computer that won’t make a difference to your life, unless you’re a hard-core gamer?
  197. “desperate to move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of”?

    I’m confused as to what is the issue here. Aren’t there innumerable potential American investments of good quality? Isn’t this question primarily one of getting money OUT of China, not finding suitable American investment vehicles?

  198. @Paleo Liberal
    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    Of the major candidates— those who have a real shot of the nomination— Ms. Harris is probably my least favorite candidate.

    I truly dislike Joe Biden, but if by the time of the Wisconsin primary the choices are Biden or Harris, I’m going with Bankster Joe.

    Why?

    Both Biden and Harris are tools of the Ruling Class. You may not like Sanders and Warren, but they are not tools of the Ruling Class.

    Biden at least pretends to care about the blue collar Midwest men who were screwed over by globalization.
    Harris just wants to wag her finger at them and demand they pay for their White Privilege.

    Hard to win back the Midwest that way.

    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.

    It is not really necessary to go on reminding us of that in every post you write, especially when your handle already says a much.

    I think the rest of what you said, however, sounds quite sensible. I would not worry about Harris at all. Biden is going to win the nomination handily.

    • Replies: @Simply Simon
    "Biden is going to win the nomination handily."
    The Democrats think Biden has the best chance to win, but will also nominate their most progressive vice-president in the hopes Biden departs this earth in timely fashion so the real progressive can take over.
  199. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    In 1984-2014 or so, buying a new PC when the old one broke down every 2 or 3 years was fun because of Moore's Law making them better. Americans got kind of accustomed by that to not expecting products to last because buying a new one was fun.

    PCs maybe. Refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, air conditioners, not so much.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The problem now is that your refrigerator IS a computer, your stove is a computer, etc.
  200. anonymous[353] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    https://twitter.com/Jkylebass

    Some context on Bass. He won acclaim for betting against subprime mortgages in 2007. However, over the last 5 years he has lost a lot of money and his hedge fund Hayman is on its final legs. The fund has gone from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $420 million in 2019. Investors have fled his fund because of its losses. The catalyst for his huge losses was a bet against the Chinese yuan in 2015. He predicted that a Chinese banking collapse was right around the corner and result in a big depreciation of the yuan. That didn’t happen. Based on his histrionic tweets he’s probably lost his wits because his business is falling apart.

    • Replies: @Sean
    His recent missteps put him on a trajectory to becoming a beach bum, although one who probably understands the financial strengths, weaknesses and strategy of China better that anyone. I'd like to see a good comeback by Bass, especially because if China weathers the Trump economic storm that will leave military pressure as the only way to stop it overtaking America.
  201. @TelfoedJohn
    Overheard at a London cafe: British businessman was describing his very profitable business getting genuine western baby powder to intermediaries in China, who would in turn sell them to high-up politicians and businessmen. Getting good baby powder is apparently a problem in China. Anyway, the British businessman had hit a snag - the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    I read somewhere that the families who are in control now are the same families who were in control before communism. It’s as if the commies didn’t change anything. You could say it’s genetics, but it’s also that the elite, as in the West, learned to speak the language of ‘socialism’ better than the plebs, so they could stay in power whilst chanting the right slogans.

    We had a Chinese warship turn up quite by surprise in Sydney a few months ago.

    The eagle-eyed press photographers caught on film the Chinese sailors loading lotsa baby milk powder packs onto the ship before they left.

  202. @Jack D
    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it's not the whole story. If there's a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that's a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well - the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while - the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    http://www.cerebro.com/store/pc/catalog/5Wishnatzki16.jpg

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    Those are going to be the firm under ripe strawberries. What you will get on the consumer end will be acidy and less sweet. I have fruit trees. I know what I am talking about when it comes to sending premature fruit to market. I try strawberries once a year and am always disappointed. Washington State cherries can be very good. Got some last week that were a 9 out of 10.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Aside from being picked under-ripe, the strawberries we get have been bred to have the texture of wood. Otherwise they would never make it all the way from California or Florida. For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious. But they bruise if you look at them wrong and spoil after a few days (and cost more than the CA berries picked by illegal aliens) . They'd never make it 3,000 miles across the continent. So our choice for 11 months a year is either hard woody sour strawberries or none.
  203. @last straw

    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.
     
    Kyle Bass had lost his pants by betting against the Japanese yen. Then he moved on to short the yuan. He lost again. So a few months ago, he abandoned his yuan short and started to short the Hong Kong dollar. Ever wondered why he is so feverishly pouring gasoline on the fire of Hong Kong protest recently?

    He has made some overly brave, (China) predatorily speculative (patent trolling) and predictably ill-fated (classic sucker bet of shorting Japan) moves. He has not lost his pants yet and even if he did I think he would come back, Jesse Livermore did and I see Bass in that mold. But with Hong Kong, Bass is going back being big bad wolf to little PIGS, small over- leveraged property boom countries with currencies pegged to economically mismatched anchor states, not too big for the overlord state to let fail.

    • Replies: @anonymous

    overly brave
     
    That's one way of putting it. But more plainly, he's a loser. Bass had one good idea in his entire career. Reminds me of James Chanos, another investor whose reputation was built on a single successful contrarian bet (Enron collapse in 2001) but his long standing China collapse strategy starting from 2009 ended in failure and retreat by 2017. Both of them are bitter about those defeats and appear on CNBC a lot with childish talking points not based on reason but grousing from losses.
  204. @Cloudbuster
    – the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?

    Actual babies ground up into powder?

  205. @Pincher Martin

    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it’s not the whole story. If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.
     
    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that's true whether you believe in redistribution or not.

    If you believe in more redistribution, you have more to redistribute.

    If you don't believe in redistribution, your country is still wealthier, and the income of most people will still grow. Productivity gains do not stay in the economic sector where they are created.


    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well...
     
    Any superficial reading of American history would prove you wrong. Read the labor history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for ample evidence that a growing economy always has some losers.

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche.
     
    Well, I agree with you about U.S. immigration policy, but you don't understand that it strengthens my case rather than yours.

    Higher productivity, which basically means making more with less, includes making more products with less labor - and certainly with less dumb labor.

    Yet U.S. immigration policy continues to allow the import of both lower-class and educated workers of marginal utility who add little to U.S. productivity, and in some sectors even prevent further productivity gains. If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains, either by buying machinery or by switching to areas in their sector where lots of available cheap labor was not as critical to their bottom lines.

    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that’s true whether you believe in redistribution or not.

    This might be true, just like ”increasing living standards in a country is ALWAYS good” might be true, and so on. But those don’t come for free. They have a cost. Social costs (and benefits, to be sure) when it comes to productivity gains, and economic costs (and benefits) when it comes to rising living standards. If a given measure would increase productivity like no other, at the cost of exterminating the human race, should it be taken? What if it severely decreases living standards for most of the population? Is it still worth it?

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    I don't dispute that there are costs to growth (e.g., externalities, occasionally increasing income disparities, etc.), but all of them can be alleviated more effectively through the wealth gained by increased productivity.

    Your hypotheticals are silly. Exterminating the human race? Are you worried about Skynet using driverless cars as guided land missiles?

    Severely decreased living standards for *most* of the population? Won't happen. The wealth from productivity gains never stays in the sector it was created. If it did, hairstylists and barbers would still get paid the same wages for their work as they did in 1900.

    If you can whip up nightmarish scenarios in a world with increasing productivity gains, just imagine what kind of nightmares will happen if productivity stops. I guarantee they will be much worse.

  206. @anonymous
    This doesn't sound like an opinion that carries much expertise. If the Chinese have over a long period of time produced shit (not just shit but absolute shit), how is it that Chinese manufacturers are able to steadily over the years capture more market share to the point of now being a behemoth as the largest exporter in the world? Wouldn't there be eventually a more informed consumer that completely avoids total shit after suffering from it for decades?

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country's decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn't too bad and is good value.

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.

    Best basic answer I’ve seen comes from Canadian historian William H. McNiel [1]. Basic idea is that agriculture in East Asia comes from SE Asia, and is gardening as opposed to farming. Gardening requires considerably more hand work (rice transplanting, for example) than does farming (which gets more of is raw work (as in force through a distance) from farm animals). This means, in practice, (a) less production per gardener than for human farmer and (b) more investment in the land by the gardener. A European borderlander has historically been able to pull up stakes and take his chattels (from “cattle”) elsewhere and plow different land. A gardener can’t move his garden. So: a gardener is poor, and can’t avoid government taxes. Compliance is at a premium, which means that aggression must be expressed indirectly (anybody wanting to compare this with the way women behave may do so). If there is a bounty on rats, make a rat farm. If there are rat farms, tax them (apocryphal story, but I couldn’t resist.).
    OK, so take this through Chinese history. The Yellow river descends from the Himalayan plateau, a recent formation as such things go. It has a heavy debris load, which settles out when the river crosses the alluvial plain suitable for agriculture, and so changes course often as the river bottom rises. This can be stopped by levees, but the rising river bottom means that the levees must be constantly raised, and eventually the river breaks free. Millions would die in such event, from flooding and then starvation, until another irrigation system could be devised. This favored Imperial government, which covered enough territory that such horrible events in one place would leave enough productive territory for the Empire to survive. It also meant that China tended to have a large population that was used to working for food and very rudimentary shelter, which made investment in labor saving machinery unprofitable, and restricted technology to prestige items for governments, religious organizations, and the rich.

    So much for the setup.

    Upshot was a “Malthusian trap” [2] and an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) [3] in which nobody had any long term advantage. To quote from _The Chinese Mirror_, “Chinese society was organized to the maximum to protect its members from Chinese Society”. No trust, just alliances, surface tranquility, barely hidden conflict breaking out into open warfare and rebellion from time to time.

    So: somebody outside the system comes in, offers money for product. The Chinese response has been “Here is an opportunity that will not recur. This foreigner is not protected by Chinese society, and I have many competitors. The foreigner will go to one of them next time, so repeat business is not a consideration. In any case, I can open under a new name and the foreigner (or another foreigner) will never know the difference. I had best optimize my profits while I can, by cutting expense. As long as it passes customer quality inspection (if any or at all), I’m golden.” [4] Also, “life is hard, and I must meet my obligations to my dependents and allies lest I be cast out.” [5]

    In other words, manufacturing is looked upon as conflict, not as an activity in a commonwealth. This has been commented upon by Western executives [4], but to no effect. The important thing about an ESS is that the participants are trapped in it cannot change it, in the same way that the West is trapped in an industrial society that is destroying it and from which it cannot escape, or the USSR was trapped in Stalin’s preparations for WW II and continued preparing for WW II until the USSR finally vanished, c.a. 1990.)

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McNeill_(historian) in his _A World History_, old but still worth reading (buy used, new versions go for about $84).

    2] http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/MalthusianTrap.htm

    3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy
    Note that the ESS can be thought of as occupying a local optimum, rather as Pacific Islanders occupy the portion of the Pacific’s bottom that is above sea level. There are other islands, but getting to them can be difficult. As I understand it, such migrations were typically undertaken by losers in local wars, whose alternative was death. Much the same can be said about trying for another ESS. That seems to be why life re-forms differently after planet wide extinction, and why speciation is associated with small populations — breaking up an ESS is hard to do, and seems to require that the ESS be physically destroyed.

    4] Paul Midler
    _Poorly made in China_
    Not a quote, but a synthesis from _Poorly made in China_ and the other two books mentioned.

    5] This goes back a long way. China lost the tea trade with Europe because Chinese merchants put a toxic green dye in their tea because the English would pay more for green tea. When news got back to England, sales dropped. The English tea trade moved to tea plantations in India and the East India Company.
    Note that an individual farsighted Chinese tea merchant could not change the practice of adding green die. If he told the foreigners about it and the fact became known to his peers, he would have been destroyed by the merchant’s association for the transgression of lowering everybody’s profits (including his own) that year.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Japanese marketing: Conduct endless focus groups in the US to figure out how many and exactly what kind of cupholders best meet the needs of American soccer moms and help build the brand for the longterm.

    Chinese marketing: Shout "Real cheap, you buy now!"

    , @Jack D
    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
    , @Romanian
    You are consistently one of the most insightful and interesting posters here.
  207. anonymous[353] • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    He has made some overly brave, (China) predatorily speculative (patent trolling) and predictably ill-fated (classic sucker bet of shorting Japan) moves. He has not lost his pants yet and even if he did I think he would come back, Jesse Livermore did and I see Bass in that mold. But with Hong Kong, Bass is going back being big bad wolf to little PIGS, small over- leveraged property boom countries with currencies pegged to economically mismatched anchor states, not too big for the overlord state to let fail.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBl05xNq_AU

    overly brave

    That’s one way of putting it. But more plainly, he’s a loser. Bass had one good idea in his entire career. Reminds me of James Chanos, another investor whose reputation was built on a single successful contrarian bet (Enron collapse in 2001) but his long standing China collapse strategy starting from 2009 ended in failure and retreat by 2017. Both of them are bitter about those defeats and appear on CNBC a lot with childish talking points not based on reason but grousing from losses.

  208. @Counterinsurgency

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.
     
    Best basic answer I've seen comes from Canadian historian William H. McNiel [1]. Basic idea is that agriculture in East Asia comes from SE Asia, and is gardening as opposed to farming. Gardening requires considerably more hand work (rice transplanting, for example) than does farming (which gets more of is raw work (as in force through a distance) from farm animals). This means, in practice, (a) less production per gardener than for human farmer and (b) more investment in the land by the gardener. A European borderlander has historically been able to pull up stakes and take his chattels (from "cattle") elsewhere and plow different land. A gardener can't move his garden. So: a gardener is poor, and can't avoid government taxes. Compliance is at a premium, which means that aggression must be expressed indirectly (anybody wanting to compare this with the way women behave may do so). If there is a bounty on rats, make a rat farm. If there are rat farms, tax them (apocryphal story, but I couldn't resist.).
    OK, so take this through Chinese history. The Yellow river descends from the Himalayan plateau, a recent formation as such things go. It has a heavy debris load, which settles out when the river crosses the alluvial plain suitable for agriculture, and so changes course often as the river bottom rises. This can be stopped by levees, but the rising river bottom means that the levees must be constantly raised, and eventually the river breaks free. Millions would die in such event, from flooding and then starvation, until another irrigation system could be devised. This favored Imperial government, which covered enough territory that such horrible events in one place would leave enough productive territory for the Empire to survive. It also meant that China tended to have a large population that was used to working for food and very rudimentary shelter, which made investment in labor saving machinery unprofitable, and restricted technology to prestige items for governments, religious organizations, and the rich.

    So much for the setup.

    Upshot was a "Malthusian trap" [2] and an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) [3] in which nobody had any long term advantage. To quote from _The Chinese Mirror_, "Chinese society was organized to the maximum to protect its members from Chinese Society". No trust, just alliances, surface tranquility, barely hidden conflict breaking out into open warfare and rebellion from time to time.

    So: somebody outside the system comes in, offers money for product. The Chinese response has been "Here is an opportunity that will not recur. This foreigner is not protected by Chinese society, and I have many competitors. The foreigner will go to one of them next time, so repeat business is not a consideration. In any case, I can open under a new name and the foreigner (or another foreigner) will never know the difference. I had best optimize my profits while I can, by cutting expense. As long as it passes customer quality inspection (if any or at all), I'm golden." [4] Also, "life is hard, and I must meet my obligations to my dependents and allies lest I be cast out." [5]

    In other words, manufacturing is looked upon as conflict, not as an activity in a commonwealth. This has been commented upon by Western executives [4], but to no effect. The important thing about an ESS is that the participants are trapped in it cannot change it, in the same way that the West is trapped in an industrial society that is destroying it and from which it cannot escape, or the USSR was trapped in Stalin's preparations for WW II and continued preparing for WW II until the USSR finally vanished, c.a. 1990.)


    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McNeill_(historian) in his _A World History_, old but still worth reading (buy used, new versions go for about $84).

    2] http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/MalthusianTrap.htm

    3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy
    Note that the ESS can be thought of as occupying a local optimum, rather as Pacific Islanders occupy the portion of the Pacific's bottom that is above sea level. There are other islands, but getting to them can be difficult. As I understand it, such migrations were typically undertaken by losers in local wars, whose alternative was death. Much the same can be said about trying for another ESS. That seems to be why life re-forms differently after planet wide extinction, and why speciation is associated with small populations -- breaking up an ESS is hard to do, and seems to require that the ESS be physically destroyed.

    4] Paul Midler
    _Poorly made in China_
    Not a quote, but a synthesis from _Poorly made in China_ and the other two books mentioned.

    5] This goes back a long way. China lost the tea trade with Europe because Chinese merchants put a toxic green dye in their tea because the English would pay more for green tea. When news got back to England, sales dropped. The English tea trade moved to tea plantations in India and the East India Company.
    Note that an individual farsighted Chinese tea merchant could not change the practice of adding green die. If he told the foreigners about it and the fact became known to his peers, he would have been destroyed by the merchant's association for the transgression of lowering everybody's profits (including his own) that year.

    Japanese marketing: Conduct endless focus groups in the US to figure out how many and exactly what kind of cupholders best meet the needs of American soccer moms and help build the brand for the longterm.

    Chinese marketing: Shout “Real cheap, you buy now!”

  209. An acquaintance worked as a middleman in China for over a decade. Now he moved to Vietnam. Sign of the times.

  210. @anonymous
    Some context on Bass. He won acclaim for betting against subprime mortgages in 2007. However, over the last 5 years he has lost a lot of money and his hedge fund Hayman is on its final legs. The fund has gone from $2.3 billion in 2014 to $420 million in 2019. Investors have fled his fund because of its losses. The catalyst for his huge losses was a bet against the Chinese yuan in 2015. He predicted that a Chinese banking collapse was right around the corner and result in a big depreciation of the yuan. That didn't happen. Based on his histrionic tweets he's probably lost his wits because his business is falling apart.

    His recent missteps put him on a trajectory to becoming a beach bum, although one who probably understands the financial strengths, weaknesses and strategy of China better that anyone. I’d like to see a good comeback by Bass, especially because if China weathers the Trump economic storm that will leave military pressure as the only way to stop it overtaking America.

  211. @Thirdeye
    That view of China is dated. China has invested far more in advancing their technological capabilities than the US has (outside of the military) over the past 20 years, ranging from engineering education to transportation to telecommunications. They still lag in aerospace. The era of Chinese industry being limited to cheap plastic products and assembling electronic products based on foreign technology is over.

    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.
     
    What do you mean?
    , @FPD72
    Maybe it’s improved in the last decade, but ten years ago I was meeting with a client whose business repaired and refabricated oil field tools and equipment, such as Christmas trees and blowout preventers. He said that the metallurgy was always “off” on Chinese equipment.

    The Chinese company that manufactures well servicing rigs, Dragon, used to have a bad reputation in the industry, but again, I’m working on old information.
  212. @Charles Pewitt

    What's Going on in China?

     

    I don't have any frigging idea about what is going on in China.

    I must say I got some opinion about China and Trump and Trump's tariffs and national sovereignty and financialization and globalization and something called labor arbytrahge -- or however you spell it.

    I agree with Trump and his tariffs. But I don't think they are large enough to get the attention of General Tso and his chickens or the Chinese Communist Party.

    I have been hammering on that Trumpy but good on his immigration policy backstab that he pulled on the USA. Trumpy has pissed me off but good. Trumpy now pushes mass legal immigration and Trumpy refuses to deport the upwards of 30 million illegal alien invaders in the USA. Trump wants to flood the USA with mass legal immigration "in the largest numbers ever."

    BUT,

    I love Trumpy and his tariffs!

    My only problem is that Trumpy hasn't gone far enough to ratchet up the pressure on the Chinese Communist Party. Trumpy is talking about ten percent tariffs on certain goods starting in September of 2019 -- less than a month away.

    Ten percent is not enough, DAMMIT!

    90 percent or 150 percent would be to my liking on the Chinese Communist Party and their cheap labor goods.

    PROHIBITIVE Tariffs are the way to go!

    REVENUE RAISING Tariffs are boring and lack pop.

    PUNITIVE Tariffs are just half measures on the way to PROHIBITIVE Tariffs.

    Trumpy must not let politicians with direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party -- such as Mitch McConnell -- stop him from completely and totally quarantining the Chinese Communist Party from selling their cheap labor crud in the USA.

    This is the tale of two Trumpy's: The Trumpy who backstabs his people on immigration policy and the Trumpy who finally tells the Chinese Communist Party to go to Hell!

    Speaking of Mitch,

  213. @last straw

    I largely agree with the sentiment, but one should be aware that Bass has been placing bearish bets on China for about five years. He has much to gain from a Yuan devaluation.
     
    Kyle Bass had lost his pants by betting against the Japanese yen. Then he moved on to short the yuan. He lost again. So a few months ago, he abandoned his yuan short and started to short the Hong Kong dollar. Ever wondered why he is so feverishly pouring gasoline on the fire of Hong Kong protest recently?

    You would have gone bankrupt following Kyle Bass and his investment advice. Given the nature of economic cycles he would eventually be proven right on one of his doom and gloom forecasts. My approach has been that I don’t really understand these countries so steer clear of anything dramatic. That said if the Chinese stock market drops enough I will buy a lot, and hold for a long time,the hillbilly investment star Sir John Templeton made his fortune buying Japan in the sixties.

  214. @Counterinsurgency

    What's going on in China?
     
    Very short answer:
    Back a decade ago the US had the only expeditionary Army, Navy, and Air Force on the planet Earth. That's _almost_ the case now -- Russia has an very small expeditionary force, and China has those artificial islands.

    But the US expeditionary force is probably not long for this world. The "cold war dividend" meant that R&D spending has been stopped since about 1991, military equipment is obsolescent at best, USAF ability to operate in hostile airspace is drastically down, and the USN faces carrier killing ICBMs. Not to mention severe problems in the officer corps of all services and in Special Ops as well. You can't run ground troops through a meatgrinder for decade without hurting it severely, even if the other side does take most of the casualties.

    Also, the US has severe internal problems that appear likely to become more severe, which would prohibit force reconstitution. No money, no time, no recruits.

    The US has already failed to end Syria's alliance with Russia, and is apparently reduced to contemplating a naval blockade take out the Venezuelan government.

    Western Europe is no threat to anybody, except itself.

    So: While the cat's away, the mice will play.

    There are maj0r destabilizations on every continent right now. e.g. China/Hong Kong, N. Korea, S. Korea/Japan, Kashmir, Venezuela, possibly Brazil, Iran, Syria, China's attempted takeover of Africa. There's even a Russian takeover of the far North and a US militarization of Antarctica.

    These are just trial probes. Destabilization will increase considerably as US power declines, and could devolve into warfare if the US loses its expeditionary capability.

    Counterinsurgency

    Counter-

    Great points.

    I’d add there is enormous waste and inefficiency in the US defense industry. I’d bet only about 20-25% of every dollar spent goes into the products required by the end user. The rest is devoured by bureaucracy, fraud, and simple waste.

    The US defense industry is also far too focused on promoting unqualified women and NAMs to do things like creating, “caring engineering communities.”

    Every year one month is wasted celebrating Bakkaball American History Month. A second month is wasted celebrating the LGBTWTFOMGBBQ deviants.

    This is why Mother Russia has the world’s premier integrated air defense system, and the US has….uh…yeah….

  215. Of course. Warren Buffett’s strategy is the way to make serious money come what may (in WW2 the regional power grid transformer station owned by a subsidiary of General Electric were nover targeted for bombing even though it crippled German industry). Politically, Buffet and those who think like him are guilty of treachery. The tech firms bitch in private about industrial espionage, but are terrified of saying anything publicly because thet can’t afford to be locked of of investment opportunities in China.

    Bass is an adventurer. When he was in the Gumball Rally he drove at over 100 miles an hour using a helicopter to spot traffic cops. His current hobby is snorkeling in shark infested waters. He is not an original thinker, but he does show how the more successful China gets the more it is being seen as evil.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth. But Liberal societies can’t admit that so they complain about unfair trade practices and lack of human rights. It is already clear that America cannot stop China overtaking it by peaceful means. So the US will switch to a game they cannot be beaten at.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.

    1. The ratio of military expenditure to domestic product is now under 0.04 for the United States, as low as it has been since 1939. In European countries, it's about 1/2 that typically. In Canada, less than that. The countries in this world who invest the largest share of their productive capacity or purchasing power into military expenditure are Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf Emirates. These are not liberal societies.

    2. You fancy it's 'not all that good at economic growth', you find a better model. If you fancy it's to be found in the Far East, you might take a gander at what happened to Japanese growth rates as the country's industry approached the technological frontier. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have seen growth rates in gdp per capita (at purchasing-power-parity) of between 1.3% and 2.4% per year the last five years.
  216. quality of Chinese goods

    i’m sure they’re capable of making high quality stuff but i think the baby milk thing is key – they don’t seem to have the guilt gene so unless there’s a kommissar standing behind them with a loaded pistol they cut corners for a little extra profit.

    #

    kyle bass

    interesting dude – charitable take is he was conned by the neoliberal BS that age demographics matter but race/ethnicity doesn’t hence his terrible take on Japan – Japan was always going to be relatively better bet than almost anywhere else because it’s full of Japanese.

    i stopped following him over the Japan nonsense so i don’t know if the age-demographic thing was partly behind his bearish China take as well.

    he ought to read some HBD stuff.

    on Hong Kong he’s being a neocon shill (anyone who says Iran is the biggest promoter of terrorism and not Saudi Arabia is a shill) so a less charitable take is maybe he always was.

    #

    China starting to kick out “westerners”

    some will be on the level and an asset but too many will be the people who destroyed America coming to start the same process in China so now America is crumbling anyway it’s probably a good idea for China to get rid of them.

    (same argument applies to Hong Kong – it’s a shame for the regular people in Hong Kong but the banking mafia want HK as a base for when they leave America so it makes sense for China to prevent that)

    • Replies: @Jack D

    they’re capable of making high quality stuff but i think the baby milk thing is key – they don’t seem to have the guilt gene so unless there’s a kommissar standing behind them with a loaded pistol they cut corners for a little extra profit
     
    This used to go on in the West also - food production in the pre-FDA era was just filled with all sorts of scams of sawdust substituted for coffee and milk brightened with lead oxide so that it would look better, etc. Canned vegetables greened with copper sulfate, Just nightmarish stuff where they weren't just cheating consumers but sometimes killing them - the technology was far enough advanced that they knew about chemical dyes and various tricks for making fake items or making real items look better but the laws and the morality hadn't caught up with the technology. Why did this (mostly) disappear in the West? Partly better government regulation but also because of better channels of consumer information. Eventually the "honest" brands drove out the bottom feeders, esp. since the consumers had more $ and were willing to pay a premium for the name brand that they knew was not poisonous.
  217. @Anonymous

    However US consumers benefit hugely from cheap manufactured goods from China, which, contrary to urban myth, are often of excellent quality.

    At this moment I have a folding bicycle on the way to me from China, and based on the specifications, it looks like a steal even though shipping costs for large individual items are not cheap.

    If tariffs make it too expensive for China to export to the US, US importers are more likely to import from other cheap labor markets, rather than increase manufacturing capacity in the US.

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone, just like Detroit as one of the wealthiest cities in America will never come back.
     
    Chinese can manufacture excellent quality goods, but without strong outside supervision, generally tend not to.

    The Chinese can not build a brand or have any organization to stand by what they sell. Quality fade is a constant.

    Replacement parts, well written service manuals, etc, are a big part of what makes a piece of technology usable. These tend to be nonavailable with Chinese goods not supported by a major Western brand.

    Cheap consumer goods are more of a bug than a feature. My neighbor buys a new lawn mower almost every year. I have a Husqvarna with a Honda engine I bought used and my dad's old T head Gravely walk behind tractor. Both are reliable and any needed part still available. The Husq is at least ten and the Gravely probably over 65. It starts on the first pull of the rope after six months off since I rebuilt the carb and magneto and use 100LL avgas in it, especially the last tank before storage. I had the fuel tank rebuilt to use a BMW motorcycle petcock and powder coated, and the bottom of the bush hog Teflonned, which cot me some money, but boy it works smoothly now.

    Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the China Production Game
    https://www.amazon.com/Poorly-Made-China-Insiders-Production/dp/0470928077

    I read that book, too. I wholeheartedly recommend it, even though it focuses mostly on retail goods (soap, decorations etc.). I had no idea how easy it is to get burned in the outsourcing game.

  218. @JMcG
    Just as another data point here. I bought my son a non-running Yamaha dirt bike to get him familiar with how engines operate. We took it apart, rebuilt the carb, bought an oem piston and assorted other parts.
    It turned out to need a new crankshaft. Yamaha wanted 360.00 for the part.
    He did some research and found euro-spec Yamaha made crankshafts for 180.00.
    I went on eBay and found Chinese produced crankshafts for 59.00. Then I checked alibaba and found that if you were to buy 200 crankshafts, the unit price was ... 6.00. Six dollars for a machined steel, pressed together crankshaft with a connecting rod installed. Three roller bearings.
    I bought a Chinese knockoff from eBay. The object was to learn how to build engines, not keep the bike forever. When it came a couple of days later, by Air Freight, it looked and mic’d out identical to the OEM part.
    We put it all together and it fired right up. Ran for about thirty minutes for one of the Chinese bearings seized on the new crank.
    My son learned a couple of important lessons. How to rebuild a four stroke engine, and never to buy Chinese crap for anything important, no matter how good a deal it seems.
    My buddy does high end kitchen installations. He swears the Chinese have to be selling flat pack cabinets here as a money laundering operation. He said there is no way they can be making a profit on the quality of cabinets he sees at the price point they are hitting.

    Thanks for the story, Mr. McG. It’s great your kid learned the workings of the IC engine, along with a bit of “you get what you pay for”. My son is too young for that building of working engines.

    I was hesitant about the purpose-built Lego sets for a long time, as in “the deal is to be creative and make your own stuff”. However, let me tell you, the “Technics” sets (some of them 2-builds-in-1) are cool. There are little engine cylinders (sometimes in-line, sometimes opposed) with the yellow pistons, connecting rods, and the crankshaft. It gets turned (that’s backwards, of course, as there’s no firing!) through a drivetrain by the wheel as the kid moves the vehicle on the floor. One has a working differential. One has rack-and-pinion steering. There are 4-bar mechanisms on lift trucks.

    The Lego people in Denmark are fantastic. I asked them if they make the sets in China, and got a sort-of “no” answer. I would guess it’s that all those tiny injection-molded parts that get made in China, but the sets get designed (of course) and sets made in Denmark. That means the Q/A on whether all parts needed are in the set is done in Denmark (again, I’m guessing a bit). That last is VERY IMPORTANT.

    My kid was missing one part. We called and they got a part shipped out from Denmark the next morning! Now, it’s on the way, but we got home to our house and, well, the part was in another bag my 8 y/o had left behind – I’m vehement about keeping parts together, not letting the cat in the room, etc. I called, and this was the next morning, and the part had been shipped. I told them that I called mainly to let them know that it was NOT a Q/A problem and the part had been in the set after all.

    Imagine working with quality people and stuff like this all day. You could actually get stuff done. Too bad Lego doesn’t make Jonathan Mason’s fold-up bike!

    Oh, and a machined part like that for 6 bucks?! Yeah, something’s gotta give, and IT DID.

  219. @Johann Ricke

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.
     
    Pretty much anyone who supports Chinese territorial claims is Chinese. Perhaps DB Cooper is the exception. I doubt it.
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Diplomat Chase Freeman is Chinese?
     
    Chas Freeman makes a living representing foreign interests to the US government. If he could make a case for handing Hawaii over to China without blowing his credibility, he would.
  220. @Johann Ricke

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.
     
    Pretty much anyone who supports Chinese territorial claims is Chinese. Perhaps DB Cooper is the exception. I doubt it.

    D.B. Cooper is one of Godfree Roberts’ Comm-ent-tards. Don’t mind him, and don’t let the cool name fool you. I’d like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains … never to be heard from again.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    For the record Godfree has been consistently praising Mao and I have been saying Mao is a fucking piece of shit.
    , @Jim Don Bob

    I’d like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains … never to be heard from again.
     
    Yeah, I'd like to think DB is enjoying his money somewhere. That was a BSD caper.
  221. @last straw
    Do you have other sources about China beside China-basher serpentza (video courtesy of commentator Ber)?

    Your rhetorical point is noted.

  222. @Jack D
    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it's not the whole story. If there's a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that's a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.

    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well - the US went from having more than half the work force on the farms to a tiny % and the displaced agricultural workers were (mostly) able to get work elsewhere (at least for a while - the problems of Detroit are really the displaced problems of the Mississippi Delta).

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche. The other day on TV there was an interview with the next generation of leadership of Wish Farms, formerly know as Wishnatzki & Nathel (their former trademark from the 1920s in old, KKK ridden America was a Star of David). BUt in the new woke Muslim America, maybe not such a good idea so they changed the name to Wish Farms a few years ago.

    http://www.cerebro.com/store/pc/catalog/5Wishnatzki16.jpg

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.

    If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too.

    Check out Equatorial Guinea. All oil and gas, not much else. 23 thousand dollar GDP per capita in 2009 (twice as rich as mine, on paper), 10 thousand maybe today. The vast majority of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.

  223. @SteveM

    Hong Kong’s share of China’s GDP has declined from ~18% to ~3% since the handover, and Shanghai and Shenzhen have grown as financial capitals.
     
    Good observation. Because where before Beijing thought that Hong Kong's relatively benign political model was a necessary condition for its market attractiveness, Shanghai and Shenzen have proven that is not the case. So the mainland government feels freer to do the beat-downs not fearing significant economic disruptions.

    Not saying that the government's assumptions are valid, just that they make empirical sense.

    P.S. Xi's governance model is clear. Turn the economy over to the technocrats, suppress any and all non-conformity with the post-Mao social model and service the party Nomenklatura with reasonable amounts of skimming off the top. In other words, Xi plans on buying off both the people and the party with economic returns.

    The “benign political model” (supposedly; I’ve only ever been to the Chinese mainland) may not be necessary in normal times, but may prove adequate during crises, when people doing business in Shenzhen or Shanghai may fear arbitrary and heavy handed decisions from the central authorities. A lot of things which seem dispensable in good times turn out not to be so when the inevitable bad times roll in, especially the most disruptive times.

  224. @Counterinsurgency

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.
     
    Best basic answer I've seen comes from Canadian historian William H. McNiel [1]. Basic idea is that agriculture in East Asia comes from SE Asia, and is gardening as opposed to farming. Gardening requires considerably more hand work (rice transplanting, for example) than does farming (which gets more of is raw work (as in force through a distance) from farm animals). This means, in practice, (a) less production per gardener than for human farmer and (b) more investment in the land by the gardener. A European borderlander has historically been able to pull up stakes and take his chattels (from "cattle") elsewhere and plow different land. A gardener can't move his garden. So: a gardener is poor, and can't avoid government taxes. Compliance is at a premium, which means that aggression must be expressed indirectly (anybody wanting to compare this with the way women behave may do so). If there is a bounty on rats, make a rat farm. If there are rat farms, tax them (apocryphal story, but I couldn't resist.).
    OK, so take this through Chinese history. The Yellow river descends from the Himalayan plateau, a recent formation as such things go. It has a heavy debris load, which settles out when the river crosses the alluvial plain suitable for agriculture, and so changes course often as the river bottom rises. This can be stopped by levees, but the rising river bottom means that the levees must be constantly raised, and eventually the river breaks free. Millions would die in such event, from flooding and then starvation, until another irrigation system could be devised. This favored Imperial government, which covered enough territory that such horrible events in one place would leave enough productive territory for the Empire to survive. It also meant that China tended to have a large population that was used to working for food and very rudimentary shelter, which made investment in labor saving machinery unprofitable, and restricted technology to prestige items for governments, religious organizations, and the rich.

    So much for the setup.

    Upshot was a "Malthusian trap" [2] and an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) [3] in which nobody had any long term advantage. To quote from _The Chinese Mirror_, "Chinese society was organized to the maximum to protect its members from Chinese Society". No trust, just alliances, surface tranquility, barely hidden conflict breaking out into open warfare and rebellion from time to time.

    So: somebody outside the system comes in, offers money for product. The Chinese response has been "Here is an opportunity that will not recur. This foreigner is not protected by Chinese society, and I have many competitors. The foreigner will go to one of them next time, so repeat business is not a consideration. In any case, I can open under a new name and the foreigner (or another foreigner) will never know the difference. I had best optimize my profits while I can, by cutting expense. As long as it passes customer quality inspection (if any or at all), I'm golden." [4] Also, "life is hard, and I must meet my obligations to my dependents and allies lest I be cast out." [5]

    In other words, manufacturing is looked upon as conflict, not as an activity in a commonwealth. This has been commented upon by Western executives [4], but to no effect. The important thing about an ESS is that the participants are trapped in it cannot change it, in the same way that the West is trapped in an industrial society that is destroying it and from which it cannot escape, or the USSR was trapped in Stalin's preparations for WW II and continued preparing for WW II until the USSR finally vanished, c.a. 1990.)


    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McNeill_(historian) in his _A World History_, old but still worth reading (buy used, new versions go for about $84).

    2] http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/MalthusianTrap.htm

    3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy
    Note that the ESS can be thought of as occupying a local optimum, rather as Pacific Islanders occupy the portion of the Pacific's bottom that is above sea level. There are other islands, but getting to them can be difficult. As I understand it, such migrations were typically undertaken by losers in local wars, whose alternative was death. Much the same can be said about trying for another ESS. That seems to be why life re-forms differently after planet wide extinction, and why speciation is associated with small populations -- breaking up an ESS is hard to do, and seems to require that the ESS be physically destroyed.

    4] Paul Midler
    _Poorly made in China_
    Not a quote, but a synthesis from _Poorly made in China_ and the other two books mentioned.

    5] This goes back a long way. China lost the tea trade with Europe because Chinese merchants put a toxic green dye in their tea because the English would pay more for green tea. When news got back to England, sales dropped. The English tea trade moved to tea plantations in India and the East India Company.
    Note that an individual farsighted Chinese tea merchant could not change the practice of adding green die. If he told the foreigners about it and the fact became known to his peers, he would have been destroyed by the merchant's association for the transgression of lowering everybody's profits (including his own) that year.

    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
     
    I'm at a loss as to why the Opium War was necessary when smuggling could have accomplished the same thing without a military clash. I expect they wanted to get a territorial concession and provoking a military clash was as good a pretext as any. Not that this kind of thing was unique to the British. Throughout, the Chinese (and everybody else) have been equally prone to issue ultimatums and initiating conflicts when those demands were rejected.
    , @Counterinsurgency

    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
     
    See:
    Sarah Rose.
    _For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History_.
    2011.

    Fascinating book. The technical challenges off getting live tea plants to India by sailing ship were very great. Seeds would lose their viability before reaching India. The plants had to be started, put in sealed glass boxes, and shipped that way. The boxes kept the plants alive during the trip. Keeping the boxes whole during the voyage (with at least on custom's inspection) proved a challenge.

    And part of the voyage was a smuggling operation, since export of tea plants was illegal in Imperial China.

    The book gives the "green dye" story in passing, as the event that kicked off the entire smuggling operation.

    As for the idea that the evil British fought the Opium War for tea that had to be paid for in silver, well, read a history of the Opium War by a professional historian. If nothing else, tea was hardly the only Chinese export item.
    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug, and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the "poison milk" scandal). The Chinese acted very badly to British merchants, endangering their lives, rather like the Chinese move yesterday concerning no further purchase of US agricultural products, in fact, and this was largely responsible for the war.
    One of the comments I've always remembered about the Opium Wars was that "The wars were conducted between two peoples who both had complete contempt for the other." I think that about sums the whole affair up.

    If I wanted to be difficult, I'd say that sending poison tea to the UK justified war, but I don't want to sound foolish.

    Counterinsurgency
  225. @Anonymous
    PCs maybe. Refrigerators, stoves, washing machines, air conditioners, not so much.

    The problem now is that your refrigerator IS a computer, your stove is a computer, etc.

  226. @Steve Sailer
    In 1984-2014 or so, buying a new PC when the old one broke down every 2 or 3 years was fun because of Moore's Law making them better. Americans got kind of accustomed by that to not expecting products to last because buying a new one was fun.

    PC’s in the earlier part of that period at least were not made in China for the most part. Sometimes they were assembled in China which is not the same thing. Desktop PC’s were pretty reliable – most were replaced due to obsolescence and not because they physically broke (running slow doesn’t count). Laptops perhaps have a shorter life because they get tossed around a lot, have coffee spilled in them, etc.

    • Agree: Cagey Beast
  227. @J.Ross
    >fire highly skilled long-serving assets who makes the company money
    >replace them with hostile foreign helots who cannot fill their shoes
    Every day in every way we ask for civil war.

    I also work in IT and second that emotion.

  228. @Clyde

    The latest Wishnatzki was showing off a strawberry picking robot which his company had developed at great expense. Not only does the robot have to gently twist at the strawberry without crushing it, but it has to figure out which berries (some of which are obscured by leaves) are ripe and only pick those.
     
    Those are going to be the firm under ripe strawberries. What you will get on the consumer end will be acidy and less sweet. I have fruit trees. I know what I am talking about when it comes to sending premature fruit to market. I try strawberries once a year and am always disappointed. Washington State cherries can be very good. Got some last week that were a 9 out of 10.

    Aside from being picked under-ripe, the strawberries we get have been bred to have the texture of wood. Otherwise they would never make it all the way from California or Florida. For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious. But they bruise if you look at them wrong and spoil after a few days (and cost more than the CA berries picked by illegal aliens) . They’d never make it 3,000 miles across the continent. So our choice for 11 months a year is either hard woody sour strawberries or none.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious.
     
    Are these sweet? I ask because I have never eaten a (non-candied) sweet strawberry.
  229. @Gabe Ruth

    The days of well-paid manufacturing jobs in the US, with good benefits and retirement pensions are gone
     
    It's obviously an uphill battle, but since there is no other way to save our society I'm not giving up on bringing manufacturing back. Jobs for Americans is not the sole reason this is desirable, and trade wars are not the only potential cause. I'm not saying it's going to make everything go back to the way it was, either during the postwar era or the post cold war era, and I doubt any professional or boomer would call these hypothetical future manufacturing jobs "well-paid", but they'll be real work, and the beginning of a revival that will take time. The alternative is more financial musical chairs, and the music will most certainly stop during the next decade.

    since there is no other way to save our society I’m not giving up on bringing manufacturing back.

    Agree.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Agree.
     
    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?
  230. @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    The ‘free traders’ are wrong. The ‘economists’ are measuring the wrong metrics. They do not measure, e.g., the despair caused (opioid crisis), the inability to source our military with a supply chain we control, or the loss of knowledge about how to manufacture well.

    Plus, they count a dollar buying a trinket the same as a dollar buying a productive machine. It is a scam from start to end.

  231. @Anon
    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.

    You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    Not if you do not buy what they export. But even if you do, America will be better off.

    This makes you a sucker.

    You are like a child in a convenience store. You want the plastic toy and the candy and the sugar water, and you cry like a baby when mommy won’t buy it because the price went up.

    And you don’t think you are the sucker.

    • Agree: Kevin O'Keeffe
  232. @Anon
    https://chasfreeman.net/diplomacy-on-the-rocks-china-and-other-claimants-in-the-south-china-sea/

    Diplomat Chase Freeman is Chinese?

    Diplomat Chase Freeman is Chinese?

    Chas Freeman makes a living representing foreign interests to the US government. If he could make a case for handing Hawaii over to China without blowing his credibility, he would.

    • Replies: @Anon
    Chas Freeman sells out his country because he opposed the Iraq war? or because AIPAC hates him or because he thinks the US should have a more sensible ME policy?

    If Chas Freeman is a traitor to his country, then you must be a great American patriot.

    On February 26, 2009, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dennis C. Blair named Freeman as chair of the National Intelligence Council,[20] which culls intelligence from sixteen U.S. agencies and compiles them into National Intelligence Estimates. Blair cited his "diverse background in defense, diplomacy and intelligence".[21]

    The nomination was met with fierce criticism from pro-Israel commentators who took issue with Freeman's views on the Arab–Israeli conflict and his ties to Saudi Arabia.

    Steve J. Rosen, a former top official at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conducting the "opening salvo" according to professor John Mearsheimer.[2][22][23][24][25] The Zionist Organization of America called for rescinding "the reported appointment".[26] Representative Steve Israel wrote to the Inspector General of the Office of the DNI calling for an investigation of Freeman's "relationship with the Saudi government" given his "prejudicial public statements" against Israel.[27]
     
  233. @Jack D
    Aside from being picked under-ripe, the strawberries we get have been bred to have the texture of wood. Otherwise they would never make it all the way from California or Florida. For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious. But they bruise if you look at them wrong and spoil after a few days (and cost more than the CA berries picked by illegal aliens) . They'd never make it 3,000 miles across the continent. So our choice for 11 months a year is either hard woody sour strawberries or none.

    For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious.

    Are these sweet? I ask because I have never eaten a (non-candied) sweet strawberry.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Yes, my son has a summer job on a local farm which has a pick-your-own fruit component. Real, perfectly fresh strawberries are God’s own work. Still warm from the sun. There’s really no point in eating them any other way. Really, all the soft fruits are like that.
  234. @Jack D
    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.

    Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.

    I’m at a loss as to why the Opium War was necessary when smuggling could have accomplished the same thing without a military clash. I expect they wanted to get a territorial concession and provoking a military clash was as good a pretext as any. Not that this kind of thing was unique to the British. Throughout, the Chinese (and everybody else) have been equally prone to issue ultimatums and initiating conflicts when those demands were rejected.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Imagine that the Mexican government is much more powerful and better armed than the US under President Ocasio-Cortez. The US has stopped most military spending in favor of building President for Life Cortez a suitable Presidential Palace rather than that ratty old White House. Pres. Cortez decides that she wants to crack down on Mexican drug smugglers and seizes their drugs. The Mexican drug cartels demand to get paid for the seized goods. They are perhaps concerned that the Presidential Guard really is more interested in selling this stuff themselves than in preventing addiction. They don't recognize US law and from their POV someone has taken their valuable cargoes and needs to pay for them. The Mexican government takes the side of the drug lords. Selling drugs in the US is doing wonders for the Mexican balance of payments problem. While they are at it, they seize the Florida Keys because, why not? The US, being weaker, is in no position to object.
  235. Anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob
    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.

    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.

    What do you mean?

    • Replies: @Jack D
    He's saying that this is an outdated stereotype. Just like the Japanese, the Chinese have worked their way up the ladder from making cheap toys that break after a few minutes of use to making sophisticated electronics that last for several weeks at least.

    A lot of the differing opinions here are of the "blind man and the elephant" variety. China makes lots of cheap junk AND they make some good stuff too. Here's a hint - you (usually) get what you pay for - if the Chinese sell you a generator and it costs 1/5th of what a comparable Honda generator costs, then they are going to cut some corners to achieve that price point.
  236. Anonymous[107] • Disclaimer says:
    @Charles Erwin Wilson

    since there is no other way to save our society I’m not giving up on bringing manufacturing back.
     
    Agree.

    Agree.

    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency

    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?
     
    Because industrial society needs imported raw materials and must pay for them with either exported raw materials or manufactured goods or food. Services, even simple ones, don't really travel. Remember the Indian call centers that were to take over the world?

    Export of raw materials doesn't work well, as too few mine them. The "oil curse" has turned the nations into states in which most of the population is unimportant, and are either treated like mosquitoes or turned into drones.

    Farming doesn't work well either. A manufacturing country makes the farming equipment.

    Which leaves manufacturing. That lets you replace worn out machines and invent new machines that are enough better to be worth purchasing, and gives a steady income.

    Counterinsurgency
  237. @Anonymous

    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.
     
    What do you mean?

    He’s saying that this is an outdated stereotype. Just like the Japanese, the Chinese have worked their way up the ladder from making cheap toys that break after a few minutes of use to making sophisticated electronics that last for several weeks at least.

    A lot of the differing opinions here are of the “blind man and the elephant” variety. China makes lots of cheap junk AND they make some good stuff too. Here’s a hint – you (usually) get what you pay for – if the Chinese sell you a generator and it costs 1/5th of what a comparable Honda generator costs, then they are going to cut some corners to achieve that price point.

  238. @Achmed E. Newman
    You didn't say what the 1st store was. Wal-mart?

    I’m not sure I understand your question. What “first store” do you mean? I’m making the point every – I tried them all – store in the town I resided in (sure as shit not “my town!”) was sold out, robbed out, or made buying formula a hassle – like getting something from a safe deposit box – except Target (which was only occasionally sold out).

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I see. I just thought your first experience was with the usual big-box Wal-Mart, where lots of people go first. Yeah, we got it all at Target too.
  239. @LondonBob
    The idea China produces rubbish is akin to fifties Doc Brown hearing from Marty that all the best electronics are made in Japan in the eighties.

    Maybe it’s improved in the last decade, but ten years ago I was meeting with a client whose business repaired and refabricated oil field tools and equipment, such as Christmas trees and blowout preventers. He said that the metallurgy was always “off” on Chinese equipment.

    The Chinese company that manufactures well servicing rigs, Dragon, used to have a bad reputation in the industry, but again, I’m working on old information.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Buying Chinese works best if you are talking about some commodity product where the tolerances are not that critical but you need a large quantity. Chinese brake discs - close enough. Chinese wheel bearings - not a good idea (anything with bearings, where metallurgy and tolerances are critical). Get the Japanese ones. You just can't let yourself be tempted by the prices, which can seem crazy low and therefore VERY tempting across the board. There's no free lunch so you have to know when to say no and not give in to the temptation. If the item costs 1/2 the price but it lasts 1/4 as long, then it's not a bargain, especially if it takes out something critical when it fails or when the labor costs more than the part.
  240. @notanon
    quality of Chinese goods

    i'm sure they're capable of making high quality stuff but i think the baby milk thing is key - they don't seem to have the guilt gene so unless there's a kommissar standing behind them with a loaded pistol they cut corners for a little extra profit.

    #

    kyle bass

    interesting dude - charitable take is he was conned by the neoliberal BS that age demographics matter but race/ethnicity doesn't hence his terrible take on Japan - Japan was always going to be relatively better bet than almost anywhere else because it's full of Japanese.

    i stopped following him over the Japan nonsense so i don't know if the age-demographic thing was partly behind his bearish China take as well.

    he ought to read some HBD stuff.

    on Hong Kong he's being a neocon shill (anyone who says Iran is the biggest promoter of terrorism and not Saudi Arabia is a shill) so a less charitable take is maybe he always was.

    #

    China starting to kick out "westerners"

    some will be on the level and an asset but too many will be the people who destroyed America coming to start the same process in China so now America is crumbling anyway it's probably a good idea for China to get rid of them.

    (same argument applies to Hong Kong - it's a shame for the regular people in Hong Kong but the banking mafia want HK as a base for when they leave America so it makes sense for China to prevent that)

    they’re capable of making high quality stuff but i think the baby milk thing is key – they don’t seem to have the guilt gene so unless there’s a kommissar standing behind them with a loaded pistol they cut corners for a little extra profit

    This used to go on in the West also – food production in the pre-FDA era was just filled with all sorts of scams of sawdust substituted for coffee and milk brightened with lead oxide so that it would look better, etc. Canned vegetables greened with copper sulfate, Just nightmarish stuff where they weren’t just cheating consumers but sometimes killing them – the technology was far enough advanced that they knew about chemical dyes and various tricks for making fake items or making real items look better but the laws and the morality hadn’t caught up with the technology. Why did this (mostly) disappear in the West? Partly better government regulation but also because of better channels of consumer information. Eventually the “honest” brands drove out the bottom feeders, esp. since the consumers had more $ and were willing to pay a premium for the name brand that they knew was not poisonous.

  241. @last straw

    If this is happening in Shanghai, imagine what’s going on in second tier cities. I think the big problem is that the Chinese have never lived through a complete business cycle. There’s not a single generation that can remember a downturn or how to survive one. They are outdoing themselves in their economic immaturity (which is surprisingly high in China anyway–the number of pyramid schemes going on at any one time and the caliber of people caught in them would shock literate Americans) and panicking.
     
    The reverse is true. Pockets of real estate bubbles mainly exist in tier 1 cities. Tier 2 cities are mostly fine. Real estate investors in China tend to complain, because they often buy expensive housings in tier 1 cities with a heavy burden of mortgage. Their experience is different from the typical home owners in China - 80-90% percent of them have paid off their mortgage or bought with cash with the help of their parents and now own their homes mortgage free.

    As for hardship, only those born after 2000 in tier 1 and tier 2 cities are less familiar with it. But even these kids know better than those born in more developed countries like the U.S. Also, it's countries that have neoliberal economic policies, not China, that tend to have financial scandals and bubbles, such as the Enron scandal, the dot com bubble, the nationwide real estate bubble in the U.S., and the global financial crisis of 2008.

    China is obviously a huge market, but as far as bubbles and city-tiers go, maybe tier 2 cities have healthy real estate markets, but the one lower tier city I have personal knowledge of (in Jilin province), building permits have been curtailed in order to dry up future supply. Doesn’t sound too healthy to me.

    As for home ownership and mortgages, you’re right most Chinese have almost no mortgage. The flip side, of course, is that their property rights are not what most of us in the US view as true ownership. The rule of law with regard to property in China (despite what’s on their law books) is typically whatever the local municipality feels is a good idea. I have seen many high rises demolished before they’ve even been completely finished or fully occupied–which, for whatever reason, often seems to take years and years and ‘owners’ being essentially booted out. (Weirdly, Chinese typically move into buildings long before they’re completely done.)

    As for economic immaturity, I stand my ground on the Chinese as a rule. Even the most highly educated succumb to absolutely terrible investment schemes and frauds. The reason you don’t hear more about it is shame. I’ve seen it with my own eyes many times.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @last straw

    As for home ownership and mortgages, you’re right most Chinese have almost no mortgage. The flip side, of course, is that their property rights are not what most of us in the US view as true ownership.
     
    In the U.S. you do not have absolute ownership either. Stop paying your property tax, you are in big trouble.

    As for economic immaturity, I stand my ground on the Chinese as a rule. Even the most highly educated succumb to absolutely terrible investment schemes and frauds. The reason you don’t hear more about it is shame. I’ve seen it with my own eyes many times.
     
    Investment schemes and frauds happen in every country. Millions older folks part from some or all of their life savings every year because of schemes in the U.S. On the other hand, Economic immaturity does not cause large scale financial crisis, but neoliberal economic policies do. That's why you only see small scale financial scandals in China, instead of the nationwide subprime mortgage scandals you see in the U.S. and the financial crisis globally in 2008.
  242. @Jack D
    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.

    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.

    See:
    Sarah Rose.
    _For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History_.
    2011.

    Fascinating book. The technical challenges off getting live tea plants to India by sailing ship were very great. Seeds would lose their viability before reaching India. The plants had to be started, put in sealed glass boxes, and shipped that way. The boxes kept the plants alive during the trip. Keeping the boxes whole during the voyage (with at least on custom’s inspection) proved a challenge.

    And part of the voyage was a smuggling operation, since export of tea plants was illegal in Imperial China.

    The book gives the “green dye” story in passing, as the event that kicked off the entire smuggling operation.

    As for the idea that the evil British fought the Opium War for tea that had to be paid for in silver, well, read a history of the Opium War by a professional historian. If nothing else, tea was hardly the only Chinese export item.
    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug, and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the “poison milk” scandal). The Chinese acted very badly to British merchants, endangering their lives, rather like the Chinese move yesterday concerning no further purchase of US agricultural products, in fact, and this was largely responsible for the war.
    One of the comments I’ve always remembered about the Opium Wars was that “The wars were conducted between two peoples who both had complete contempt for the other.” I think that about sums the whole affair up.

    If I wanted to be difficult, I’d say that sending poison tea to the UK justified war, but I don’t want to sound foolish.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Agree: jim jones
    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's not clear how poisonous the tea was. Robert Fortune was on a kind of industrial espionage mission - the British were already trying to switch to Indian tea and was set by the East India Company. So it wasn't a big leap for him to disparage the Chinese product the same way that the Chinese suddenly decide that American beef or pork is "unsafe" when they want to cut down on trade with us.

    The Chinese were under the impression that the British WANTED their tea dyed. At least they had noticed that dyed tea fetched a higher price, much more than the cost of adding the dye. If the British had told them "no dye" (and paid the same price) they would have done it no problem. They didn't dye their tea for the domestic market, which did not demand it. They thought that wanting their tea dyed was just one more strange custom of the white barbarians, like black people demanding menthol cigarettes - who can understand the thought process of these white ghosts? There was no need to understand it in any case - they were just giving them what they wanted.

    The two substances that the Chinese used were Prussian blue and yellow gypsum (blue+yellow=green) . On paper, Prussian blue contains cyanide but it turns out that it is tightly bound to iron already in Prussian blue so it cannot bond any further to the iron in your blood and so is not really toxic.
    , @last straw

    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug,
     
    This cannot be true. Even the Chinese knew that the risks outweigh the benefits for a healthy opium user at the time and that was the reason they banned its smuggling. It's ludicrous that Britain, the much more advanced country in science and industry at the time, did not know. The British forced China to buy opium, not because of its medicinal benefits, but because they knew China's healthy population would be addicted to it.

    and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the “poison milk” scandal).
     
    What substance did the Chinese add to opium the could cause more harm than opium itself when used by a healthy individual?
  243. @Anonymous

    Agree.
     
    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?

    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?

    Because industrial society needs imported raw materials and must pay for them with either exported raw materials or manufactured goods or food. Services, even simple ones, don’t really travel. Remember the Indian call centers that were to take over the world?

    Export of raw materials doesn’t work well, as too few mine them. The “oil curse” has turned the nations into states in which most of the population is unimportant, and are either treated like mosquitoes or turned into drones.

    Farming doesn’t work well either. A manufacturing country makes the farming equipment.

    Which leaves manufacturing. That lets you replace worn out machines and invent new machines that are enough better to be worth purchasing, and gives a steady income.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Jack D
    When I call a big corporation (e.g. Comcast, Amazon) I STILL get a call center. Nowadays the Philippines seems popular based upon the accents but there are still Indian ones also. The business has not gone away. Filipinos seem to be more culturally compatible with speaking to Americans on the phone. Maybe their English is a little better and they are better problem solvers. The Indians were often undertrained and incapable of going "off script" so it was like talking to a not very bright robot.
  244. @adreadline

    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that’s true whether you believe in redistribution or not.
     
    This might be true, just like ''increasing living standards in a country is ALWAYS good'' might be true, and so on. But those don't come for free. They have a cost. Social costs (and benefits, to be sure) when it comes to productivity gains, and economic costs (and benefits) when it comes to rising living standards. If a given measure would increase productivity like no other, at the cost of exterminating the human race, should it be taken? What if it severely decreases living standards for most of the population? Is it still worth it?

    I don’t dispute that there are costs to growth (e.g., externalities, occasionally increasing income disparities, etc.), but all of them can be alleviated more effectively through the wealth gained by increased productivity.

    Your hypotheticals are silly. Exterminating the human race? Are you worried about Skynet using driverless cars as guided land missiles?

    Severely decreased living standards for *most* of the population? Won’t happen. The wealth from productivity gains never stays in the sector it was created. If it did, hairstylists and barbers would still get paid the same wages for their work as they did in 1900.

    If you can whip up nightmarish scenarios in a world with increasing productivity gains, just imagine what kind of nightmares will happen if productivity stops. I guarantee they will be much worse.

    • Replies: @adreadline

    Severely decreased living standards for *most* of the population? Won’t happen. The wealth from productivity gains never stays in the sector it was created. If it did, hairstylists and barbers would still get paid the same wages for their work as they did in 1900.
     
    You're right: in human history, economic productivity gains were never accompanied by decreases in living standards. Hasn't happened. The poorer are getting richer, not poorer. They aren't poorer than they were decades ago.

    That said, the increases in living standards that productivity gains bring about are increasingly benefitting mostly the rich, specially in developed countries. They aren't making life much better for the not-rich anymore (though they are still making it better). It appears to me this process is getting faster by the year, but I can't prove this assertion.


    If you can whip up nightmarish scenarios in a world with increasing productivity gains, just imagine what kind of nightmares will happen if productivity stops. I guarantee they will be much worse.

     

    My scenario is nightmarish, it's true. So is the scenario in which economic productivty suddenly stops increasing, or even starts decreasing. In a world with 7-8 billion people living on it (and growing... for now), yes, it'd be awful.

    You agree there are costs to growth. I suspect the costs are becoming heavier for humanity, and that might, sometime in the future, bring serious harm to humanity at large, harm that possibly will not be alleviated by more growth. It doesn't have to be so, but I believe it's a solid possibility. (I understand you disagree with this)

  245. @Autochthon
    I'm not sure I understand your question. What "first store" do you mean? I'm making the point every – I tried them all – store in the town I resided in (sure as shit not "my town!") was sold out, robbed out, or made buying formula a hassle – like getting something from a safe deposit box – except Target (which was only occasionally sold out).

    I see. I just thought your first experience was with the usual big-box Wal-Mart, where lots of people go first. Yeah, we got it all at Target too.

  246. @Deckin
    China is obviously a huge market, but as far as bubbles and city-tiers go, maybe tier 2 cities have healthy real estate markets, but the one lower tier city I have personal knowledge of (in Jilin province), building permits have been curtailed in order to dry up future supply. Doesn't sound too healthy to me.

    As for home ownership and mortgages, you're right most Chinese have almost no mortgage. The flip side, of course, is that their property rights are not what most of us in the US view as true ownership. The rule of law with regard to property in China (despite what's on their law books) is typically whatever the local municipality feels is a good idea. I have seen many high rises demolished before they've even been completely finished or fully occupied--which, for whatever reason, often seems to take years and years and 'owners' being essentially booted out. (Weirdly, Chinese typically move into buildings long before they're completely done.)

    As for economic immaturity, I stand my ground on the Chinese as a rule. Even the most highly educated succumb to absolutely terrible investment schemes and frauds. The reason you don't hear more about it is shame. I've seen it with my own eyes many times.

    As for home ownership and mortgages, you’re right most Chinese have almost no mortgage. The flip side, of course, is that their property rights are not what most of us in the US view as true ownership.

    In the U.S. you do not have absolute ownership either. Stop paying your property tax, you are in big trouble.

    As for economic immaturity, I stand my ground on the Chinese as a rule. Even the most highly educated succumb to absolutely terrible investment schemes and frauds. The reason you don’t hear more about it is shame. I’ve seen it with my own eyes many times.

    Investment schemes and frauds happen in every country. Millions older folks part from some or all of their life savings every year because of schemes in the U.S. On the other hand, Economic immaturity does not cause large scale financial crisis, but neoliberal economic policies do. That’s why you only see small scale financial scandals in China, instead of the nationwide subprime mortgage scandals you see in the U.S. and the financial crisis globally in 2008.

  247. @Pincher Martin
    I don't dispute that there are costs to growth (e.g., externalities, occasionally increasing income disparities, etc.), but all of them can be alleviated more effectively through the wealth gained by increased productivity.

    Your hypotheticals are silly. Exterminating the human race? Are you worried about Skynet using driverless cars as guided land missiles?

    Severely decreased living standards for *most* of the population? Won't happen. The wealth from productivity gains never stays in the sector it was created. If it did, hairstylists and barbers would still get paid the same wages for their work as they did in 1900.

    If you can whip up nightmarish scenarios in a world with increasing productivity gains, just imagine what kind of nightmares will happen if productivity stops. I guarantee they will be much worse.

    Severely decreased living standards for *most* of the population? Won’t happen. The wealth from productivity gains never stays in the sector it was created. If it did, hairstylists and barbers would still get paid the same wages for their work as they did in 1900.

    You’re right: in human history, economic productivity gains were never accompanied by decreases in living standards. Hasn’t happened. The poorer are getting richer, not poorer. They aren’t poorer than they were decades ago.

    That said, the increases in living standards that productivity gains bring about are increasingly benefitting mostly the rich, specially in developed countries. They aren’t making life much better for the not-rich anymore (though they are still making it better). It appears to me this process is getting faster by the year, but I can’t prove this assertion.

    If you can whip up nightmarish scenarios in a world with increasing productivity gains, just imagine what kind of nightmares will happen if productivity stops. I guarantee they will be much worse.

    My scenario is nightmarish, it’s true. So is the scenario in which economic productivty suddenly stops increasing, or even starts decreasing. In a world with 7-8 billion people living on it (and growing… for now), yes, it’d be awful.

    You agree there are costs to growth. I suspect the costs are becoming heavier for humanity, and that might, sometime in the future, bring serious harm to humanity at large, harm that possibly will not be alleviated by more growth. It doesn’t have to be so, but I believe it’s a solid possibility. (I understand you disagree with this)

  248. @Johann Ricke

    Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
     
    I'm at a loss as to why the Opium War was necessary when smuggling could have accomplished the same thing without a military clash. I expect they wanted to get a territorial concession and provoking a military clash was as good a pretext as any. Not that this kind of thing was unique to the British. Throughout, the Chinese (and everybody else) have been equally prone to issue ultimatums and initiating conflicts when those demands were rejected.

    Imagine that the Mexican government is much more powerful and better armed than the US under President Ocasio-Cortez. The US has stopped most military spending in favor of building President for Life Cortez a suitable Presidential Palace rather than that ratty old White House. Pres. Cortez decides that she wants to crack down on Mexican drug smugglers and seizes their drugs. The Mexican drug cartels demand to get paid for the seized goods. They are perhaps concerned that the Presidential Guard really is more interested in selling this stuff themselves than in preventing addiction. They don’t recognize US law and from their POV someone has taken their valuable cargoes and needs to pay for them. The Mexican government takes the side of the drug lords. Selling drugs in the US is doing wonders for the Mexican balance of payments problem. While they are at it, they seize the Florida Keys because, why not? The US, being weaker, is in no position to object.

  249. @Sean
    Of course. Warren Buffett's strategy is the way to make serious money come what may (in WW2 the regional power grid transformer station owned by a subsidiary of General Electric were nover targeted for bombing even though it crippled German industry). Politically, Buffet and those who think like him are guilty of treachery. The tech firms bitch in private about industrial espionage, but are terrified of saying anything publicly because thet can't afford to be locked of of investment opportunities in China.

    Bass is an adventurer. When he was in the Gumball Rally he drove at over 100 miles an hour using a helicopter to spot traffic cops. His current hobby is snorkeling in shark infested waters. He is not an original thinker, but he does show how the more successful China gets the more it is being seen as evil.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it's not all that good at economic growth. But Liberal societies can't admit that so they complain about unfair trade practices and lack of human rights. It is already clear that America cannot stop China overtaking it by peaceful means. So the US will switch to a game they cannot be beaten at.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.

    1. The ratio of military expenditure to domestic product is now under 0.04 for the United States, as low as it has been since 1939. In European countries, it’s about 1/2 that typically. In Canada, less than that. The countries in this world who invest the largest share of their productive capacity or purchasing power into military expenditure are Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf Emirates. These are not liberal societies.

    2. You fancy it’s ‘not all that good at economic growth’, you find a better model. If you fancy it’s to be found in the Far East, you might take a gander at what happened to Japanese growth rates as the country’s industry approached the technological frontier. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have seen growth rates in gdp per capita (at purchasing-power-parity) of between 1.3% and 2.4% per year the last five years.

    • Replies: @Sean
    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive. The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn't work. Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found. From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight, which does not sound very liberal. South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China's outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.
  250. @Thirdeye
    That view of China is dated. China has invested far more in advancing their technological capabilities than the US has (outside of the military) over the past 20 years, ranging from engineering education to transportation to telecommunications. They still lag in aerospace. The era of Chinese industry being limited to cheap plastic products and assembling electronic products based on foreign technology is over.

    The Chinese may have invested “more” but their manufacturing output is largely heavy industry related — metals and chemicals/pharmaceutical, as well as consumer goods for export. I have had the opportunity to see the Chinese pharma industry first hand, and trust me, you wouldn’t want to consume what they produce there, even when they joint venture with Euro and US companies.

    See: https://www.interactanalysis.com/chinas-manufacturing-growth-slumped-in-2018-hindered-by-automotive-industry-decline.

    Their auto/computer/electronics business was developed almost exclusively thorough acquisitions (think Lenovo), forced IP transfer, or IP theft.

  251. @Counterinsurgency

    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
     
    See:
    Sarah Rose.
    _For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History_.
    2011.

    Fascinating book. The technical challenges off getting live tea plants to India by sailing ship were very great. Seeds would lose their viability before reaching India. The plants had to be started, put in sealed glass boxes, and shipped that way. The boxes kept the plants alive during the trip. Keeping the boxes whole during the voyage (with at least on custom's inspection) proved a challenge.

    And part of the voyage was a smuggling operation, since export of tea plants was illegal in Imperial China.

    The book gives the "green dye" story in passing, as the event that kicked off the entire smuggling operation.

    As for the idea that the evil British fought the Opium War for tea that had to be paid for in silver, well, read a history of the Opium War by a professional historian. If nothing else, tea was hardly the only Chinese export item.
    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug, and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the "poison milk" scandal). The Chinese acted very badly to British merchants, endangering their lives, rather like the Chinese move yesterday concerning no further purchase of US agricultural products, in fact, and this was largely responsible for the war.
    One of the comments I've always remembered about the Opium Wars was that "The wars were conducted between two peoples who both had complete contempt for the other." I think that about sums the whole affair up.

    If I wanted to be difficult, I'd say that sending poison tea to the UK justified war, but I don't want to sound foolish.

    Counterinsurgency

    It’s not clear how poisonous the tea was. Robert Fortune was on a kind of industrial espionage mission – the British were already trying to switch to Indian tea and was set by the East India Company. So it wasn’t a big leap for him to disparage the Chinese product the same way that the Chinese suddenly decide that American beef or pork is “unsafe” when they want to cut down on trade with us.

    The Chinese were under the impression that the British WANTED their tea dyed. At least they had noticed that dyed tea fetched a higher price, much more than the cost of adding the dye. If the British had told them “no dye” (and paid the same price) they would have done it no problem. They didn’t dye their tea for the domestic market, which did not demand it. They thought that wanting their tea dyed was just one more strange custom of the white barbarians, like black people demanding menthol cigarettes – who can understand the thought process of these white ghosts? There was no need to understand it in any case – they were just giving them what they wanted.

    The two substances that the Chinese used were Prussian blue and yellow gypsum (blue+yellow=green) . On paper, Prussian blue contains cyanide but it turns out that it is tightly bound to iron already in Prussian blue so it cannot bond any further to the iron in your blood and so is not really toxic.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Good argument, but apparently the Chinese had never told the British that the green color came from dye, and certainly the English never asked that the dye be added. This would seem to parallel the The British market for Chinese tea declined greatly because of lost trust.

    There is a strong parallel here with the much more recent melamine addition to infant formula. I'd guess that very few people buying infant formula asked whether melamine had been added. [1]

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Echo Huang
    "Ten years after China’s infant milk tragedy, parents still won’t trust their babies to local formula",
    _Quartz_, 2018/06/16
    https://qz.com/1323471/ten-years-after-chinas-melamine-laced-infant-milk-tragedy-deep-distrust-remains/
  252. @Counterinsurgency

    I would be impressed if someone has a coherent explanation for bad quality Chinese manufacturing and the country’s decades of outstanding growth in the global marketplace. The likely answer is that Chinese manufacturing isn’t too bad and is good value.
     
    Best basic answer I've seen comes from Canadian historian William H. McNiel [1]. Basic idea is that agriculture in East Asia comes from SE Asia, and is gardening as opposed to farming. Gardening requires considerably more hand work (rice transplanting, for example) than does farming (which gets more of is raw work (as in force through a distance) from farm animals). This means, in practice, (a) less production per gardener than for human farmer and (b) more investment in the land by the gardener. A European borderlander has historically been able to pull up stakes and take his chattels (from "cattle") elsewhere and plow different land. A gardener can't move his garden. So: a gardener is poor, and can't avoid government taxes. Compliance is at a premium, which means that aggression must be expressed indirectly (anybody wanting to compare this with the way women behave may do so). If there is a bounty on rats, make a rat farm. If there are rat farms, tax them (apocryphal story, but I couldn't resist.).
    OK, so take this through Chinese history. The Yellow river descends from the Himalayan plateau, a recent formation as such things go. It has a heavy debris load, which settles out when the river crosses the alluvial plain suitable for agriculture, and so changes course often as the river bottom rises. This can be stopped by levees, but the rising river bottom means that the levees must be constantly raised, and eventually the river breaks free. Millions would die in such event, from flooding and then starvation, until another irrigation system could be devised. This favored Imperial government, which covered enough territory that such horrible events in one place would leave enough productive territory for the Empire to survive. It also meant that China tended to have a large population that was used to working for food and very rudimentary shelter, which made investment in labor saving machinery unprofitable, and restricted technology to prestige items for governments, religious organizations, and the rich.

    So much for the setup.

    Upshot was a "Malthusian trap" [2] and an evolutionary stable strategy (ESS) [3] in which nobody had any long term advantage. To quote from _The Chinese Mirror_, "Chinese society was organized to the maximum to protect its members from Chinese Society". No trust, just alliances, surface tranquility, barely hidden conflict breaking out into open warfare and rebellion from time to time.

    So: somebody outside the system comes in, offers money for product. The Chinese response has been "Here is an opportunity that will not recur. This foreigner is not protected by Chinese society, and I have many competitors. The foreigner will go to one of them next time, so repeat business is not a consideration. In any case, I can open under a new name and the foreigner (or another foreigner) will never know the difference. I had best optimize my profits while I can, by cutting expense. As long as it passes customer quality inspection (if any or at all), I'm golden." [4] Also, "life is hard, and I must meet my obligations to my dependents and allies lest I be cast out." [5]

    In other words, manufacturing is looked upon as conflict, not as an activity in a commonwealth. This has been commented upon by Western executives [4], but to no effect. The important thing about an ESS is that the participants are trapped in it cannot change it, in the same way that the West is trapped in an industrial society that is destroying it and from which it cannot escape, or the USSR was trapped in Stalin's preparations for WW II and continued preparing for WW II until the USSR finally vanished, c.a. 1990.)


    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_H._McNeill_(historian) in his _A World History_, old but still worth reading (buy used, new versions go for about $84).

    2] http://www.thwink.org/sustain/glossary/MalthusianTrap.htm

    3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy
    Note that the ESS can be thought of as occupying a local optimum, rather as Pacific Islanders occupy the portion of the Pacific's bottom that is above sea level. There are other islands, but getting to them can be difficult. As I understand it, such migrations were typically undertaken by losers in local wars, whose alternative was death. Much the same can be said about trying for another ESS. That seems to be why life re-forms differently after planet wide extinction, and why speciation is associated with small populations -- breaking up an ESS is hard to do, and seems to require that the ESS be physically destroyed.

    4] Paul Midler
    _Poorly made in China_
    Not a quote, but a synthesis from _Poorly made in China_ and the other two books mentioned.

    5] This goes back a long way. China lost the tea trade with Europe because Chinese merchants put a toxic green dye in their tea because the English would pay more for green tea. When news got back to England, sales dropped. The English tea trade moved to tea plantations in India and the East India Company.
    Note that an individual farsighted Chinese tea merchant could not change the practice of adding green die. If he told the foreigners about it and the fact became known to his peers, he would have been destroyed by the merchant's association for the transgression of lowering everybody's profits (including his own) that year.

    You are consistently one of the most insightful and interesting posters here.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
    • Replies: @JMcG
    Agreed. He had a gold box for a while. I’m not sure what the standard is for getting/keeping one of those.
    , @Counterinsurgency
    Thanks. The areas I comment on are real and personally important for me, and I'm trying to develop accurate descriptions for my own use as well as general use. This forum is essential for that development.

    Counterinsurgency
  253. @Counterinsurgency

    Why is manufacturing the only way to save our society?
     
    Because industrial society needs imported raw materials and must pay for them with either exported raw materials or manufactured goods or food. Services, even simple ones, don't really travel. Remember the Indian call centers that were to take over the world?

    Export of raw materials doesn't work well, as too few mine them. The "oil curse" has turned the nations into states in which most of the population is unimportant, and are either treated like mosquitoes or turned into drones.

    Farming doesn't work well either. A manufacturing country makes the farming equipment.

    Which leaves manufacturing. That lets you replace worn out machines and invent new machines that are enough better to be worth purchasing, and gives a steady income.

    Counterinsurgency

    When I call a big corporation (e.g. Comcast, Amazon) I STILL get a call center. Nowadays the Philippines seems popular based upon the accents but there are still Indian ones also. The business has not gone away. Filipinos seem to be more culturally compatible with speaking to Americans on the phone. Maybe their English is a little better and they are better problem solvers. The Indians were often undertrained and incapable of going “off script” so it was like talking to a not very bright robot.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Filipinos certainly do have a uniquely good understanding of how to deal with Americans given the history, and their English does tend to be more consistently better. But they also just tend to be better at customer service related things than Indians. Austro-Polynesian cultures-Malays, Filipinos, Javanese, etc-tend to heavily stress politeness, gentleness, and civility. You wear a smile and try to avoid conflict, no matter what you might be feeling underneath.

    This isn't always positive-they'll suppress their real emotions, which can either lead to explosiveness if the pressure becomes too much or to to a disturbed relationship with reality. But this is why Filipinas (and their Indonesian cousins) tend to be in high demand as domestics throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

  254. @Intelligent Dasein

    I am a liberal Democrat, of the old school.
     
    It is not really necessary to go on reminding us of that in every post you write, especially when your handle already says a much.

    I think the rest of what you said, however, sounds quite sensible. I would not worry about Harris at all. Biden is going to win the nomination handily.

    “Biden is going to win the nomination handily.”
    The Democrats think Biden has the best chance to win, but will also nominate their most progressive vice-president in the hopes Biden departs this earth in timely fashion so the real progressive can take over.

  255. China is not going to cave until Trump grows a pair and does what is necessary: stop issuing visas of any sort for Chinese nationals — no more student visas, tourist visas, work visas, investor visas, business visas.

    When their corrupt elites can no longer send their kids to college in the US, or count on them to get a job in the US through OPT or H1b, or live in the US on 10 year tourist visas (thanks to Obama the effing moron), or buy their way in with EB5, they will kowtow in a hurry.

    Stephen Miller wanted to yank their student visas a year ago, if Trump had let him, this trade deal would’ve been done by now and they would’ve kowtowed to our every demand.

    Grow some balls and yank the visas, Mr. President, before all our farmers starve to death or commit suicide en masse.

  256. @FPD72
    Maybe it’s improved in the last decade, but ten years ago I was meeting with a client whose business repaired and refabricated oil field tools and equipment, such as Christmas trees and blowout preventers. He said that the metallurgy was always “off” on Chinese equipment.

    The Chinese company that manufactures well servicing rigs, Dragon, used to have a bad reputation in the industry, but again, I’m working on old information.

    Buying Chinese works best if you are talking about some commodity product where the tolerances are not that critical but you need a large quantity. Chinese brake discs – close enough. Chinese wheel bearings – not a good idea (anything with bearings, where metallurgy and tolerances are critical). Get the Japanese ones. You just can’t let yourself be tempted by the prices, which can seem crazy low and therefore VERY tempting across the board. There’s no free lunch so you have to know when to say no and not give in to the temptation. If the item costs 1/2 the price but it lasts 1/4 as long, then it’s not a bargain, especially if it takes out something critical when it fails or when the labor costs more than the part.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Buying Chinese works best if you are talking about some commodity product where the tolerances are not that critical but you need a large quantity. Chinese brake discs – close enough. Chinese wheel bearings – not a good idea (anything with bearings, where metallurgy and tolerances are critical). Get the Japanese ones. You just can’t let yourself be tempted by the prices, which can seem crazy low and therefore VERY tempting across the board.
     
    I could be wrong, but my understanding is that if you buy from some big chain that sources from China, they have their own standards and tests, because of liability issues. So an Advance Auto Parts or Autozone store brand Made in China part should be fine.
  257. @JMcG
    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

    I have a theory on this. I think Amazon deliberately allows fake goods to be sold in order to push people toward their own branded goods. Example.

    I used to like Calvin Klein white undershirts, and got them from Amazon a couple of years back. I needed new ones, and LOTS of the recent reviews were along the lines of “these aren’t the same anymore,” “this is just cheap junk,” etc. In other words, fakes. So what to do? What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts? Nobody.

    But lo and behold, there were Amazon-branded undershirts. Good reviews, decent price. I got some, and they’re fine. I haven’t checked if there are Amazon branded sunglasses, but if not there probably will be eventually.

    • Replies: @Jack D

    What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts?
     
    You have to be very careful when you click Buy to make sure that the seller is Amazon and not some third party. Even then there have been case of fake goods making their way into the channel UPSTREAM of where Amazon buys them but your chances are better. Unless you squint you may not notice that you aren't really buying from Amazon itself but from an Amazon seller.
    , @JMcG
    I concur. I recently started buying all my socks directly from the Wigwam website. I believe that was inspired by one of our fellow posters. They are more expensive than the bulk pack junk from Asia, but they are socks such as I’d forgotten existed. Well worth the money.
    Amazon was extremely useful as a place I could get what I needed without a second thought. It is no longer such a place for me.
  258. @peterike

    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

     

    I have a theory on this. I think Amazon deliberately allows fake goods to be sold in order to push people toward their own branded goods. Example.

    I used to like Calvin Klein white undershirts, and got them from Amazon a couple of years back. I needed new ones, and LOTS of the recent reviews were along the lines of "these aren't the same anymore," "this is just cheap junk," etc. In other words, fakes. So what to do? What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts? Nobody.

    But lo and behold, there were Amazon-branded undershirts. Good reviews, decent price. I got some, and they're fine. I haven't checked if there are Amazon branded sunglasses, but if not there probably will be eventually.

    What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts?

    You have to be very careful when you click Buy to make sure that the seller is Amazon and not some third party. Even then there have been case of fake goods making their way into the channel UPSTREAM of where Amazon buys them but your chances are better. Unless you squint you may not notice that you aren’t really buying from Amazon itself but from an Amazon seller.

    • Replies: @JMcG
    I believe that’s what happened in my case Jack. I thought Amazon was the seller. Didn’t notice otherwise until the jerks started soliciting good reviews from me for the junk I’d bought. I’m pretty sure that’s the highest markup I’ve ever paid, and I include buying my wife a diamond engagement ring in that statement.
  259. Anonymous[227] • Disclaimer says:
    @istevefan
    Here is a question for our econ friends somewhat related to this post. The free traders tell us that a nation is better off with free trade and no tariffs. So much so that even if other nations apply tariffs, a tariff-free nation would be better off because those other nations would end up paying more for goods because of those tariffs.

    Question: If the above is true, then why is China upset by Trump's tariffs and threatening to retaliate?

    Free trade doctrine comes out of classical liberalism, and the idea that people should be free to pursue their individual interests so long as they don’t harm their fellow citizens.

    So if a person wishes to boycott the produce of a certain foreign country, such as China, they’re free to do so, however they have no right to enlist the power of the state (e.g. tariffs) to force their neighbors to join them in their boycott.

    Whether this makes countries collectively richer or poorer is a matter of debate. The paramount issue is personal liberty.

  260. @Jack D
    Buying Chinese works best if you are talking about some commodity product where the tolerances are not that critical but you need a large quantity. Chinese brake discs - close enough. Chinese wheel bearings - not a good idea (anything with bearings, where metallurgy and tolerances are critical). Get the Japanese ones. You just can't let yourself be tempted by the prices, which can seem crazy low and therefore VERY tempting across the board. There's no free lunch so you have to know when to say no and not give in to the temptation. If the item costs 1/2 the price but it lasts 1/4 as long, then it's not a bargain, especially if it takes out something critical when it fails or when the labor costs more than the part.

    Buying Chinese works best if you are talking about some commodity product where the tolerances are not that critical but you need a large quantity. Chinese brake discs – close enough. Chinese wheel bearings – not a good idea (anything with bearings, where metallurgy and tolerances are critical). Get the Japanese ones. You just can’t let yourself be tempted by the prices, which can seem crazy low and therefore VERY tempting across the board.

    I could be wrong, but my understanding is that if you buy from some big chain that sources from China, they have their own standards and tests, because of liability issues. So an Advance Auto Parts or Autozone store brand Made in China part should be fine.

  261. Anon[295] • Disclaimer says:
    @Johann Ricke

    Diplomat Chase Freeman is Chinese?
     
    Chas Freeman makes a living representing foreign interests to the US government. If he could make a case for handing Hawaii over to China without blowing his credibility, he would.

    Chas Freeman sells out his country because he opposed the Iraq war? or because AIPAC hates him or because he thinks the US should have a more sensible ME policy?

    If Chas Freeman is a traitor to his country, then you must be a great American patriot.

    On February 26, 2009, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dennis C. Blair named Freeman as chair of the National Intelligence Council,[20] which culls intelligence from sixteen U.S. agencies and compiles them into National Intelligence Estimates. Blair cited his “diverse background in defense, diplomacy and intelligence”.[21]

    The nomination was met with fierce criticism from pro-Israel commentators who took issue with Freeman’s views on the Arab–Israeli conflict and his ties to Saudi Arabia.

    Steve J. Rosen, a former top official at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conducting the “opening salvo” according to professor John Mearsheimer.[2][22][23][24][25] The Zionist Organization of America called for rescinding “the reported appointment”.[26] Representative Steve Israel wrote to the Inspector General of the Office of the DNI calling for an investigation of Freeman’s “relationship with the Saudi government” given his “prejudicial public statements” against Israel.[27]

  262. @Counterinsurgency

    The tea trade moved to India because the Chinese would only accept payment in silver for their tea. They were not interested in buying English manufactured goods. Another solution that the English came up with for their balance of payments problem was to force the Chinese to buy opium.
     
    See:
    Sarah Rose.
    _For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History_.
    2011.

    Fascinating book. The technical challenges off getting live tea plants to India by sailing ship were very great. Seeds would lose their viability before reaching India. The plants had to be started, put in sealed glass boxes, and shipped that way. The boxes kept the plants alive during the trip. Keeping the boxes whole during the voyage (with at least on custom's inspection) proved a challenge.

    And part of the voyage was a smuggling operation, since export of tea plants was illegal in Imperial China.

    The book gives the "green dye" story in passing, as the event that kicked off the entire smuggling operation.

    As for the idea that the evil British fought the Opium War for tea that had to be paid for in silver, well, read a history of the Opium War by a professional historian. If nothing else, tea was hardly the only Chinese export item.
    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug, and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the "poison milk" scandal). The Chinese acted very badly to British merchants, endangering their lives, rather like the Chinese move yesterday concerning no further purchase of US agricultural products, in fact, and this was largely responsible for the war.
    One of the comments I've always remembered about the Opium Wars was that "The wars were conducted between two peoples who both had complete contempt for the other." I think that about sums the whole affair up.

    If I wanted to be difficult, I'd say that sending poison tea to the UK justified war, but I don't want to sound foolish.

    Counterinsurgency

    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug,

    This cannot be true. Even the Chinese knew that the risks outweigh the benefits for a healthy opium user at the time and that was the reason they banned its smuggling. It’s ludicrous that Britain, the much more advanced country in science and industry at the time, did not know. The British forced China to buy opium, not because of its medicinal benefits, but because they knew China’s healthy population would be addicted to it.

    and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the “poison milk” scandal).

    What substance did the Chinese add to opium the could cause more harm than opium itself when used by a healthy individual?

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency
    Opiates themselves are not all that toxic, although the additives in street heroin are. That's why the UK had a program of supporting heroin addicts back in the 1950s. The idea was that if you just supply the pure drug and you get a healthy member of society. That's also why methadone replacement for heroin has been used.

    The real danger of opioids (and other psychoactive drugs, to include even nicotine) is mental disease (addiction), and a tendency of addicts to increase the dosage until the reach LD 50 [1]. That's why opioids were made illegal in the first place: they were being sold as over-the-counter patent medicines, and people were getting addicted (with a need for ever more) without any idea that this could happen. Essentially, opioids were being sold as a more powerful form of alcohol. [2]

    Socially, opioid users were strong proponents of opioid use, proclaiming it to be a wonder drug for mental concentration. You remember the use of opioids by the fictional Sherlock Holmes [3]. A mass audience in the UK found nothing objectionable in that.

    As for me, it looks like yet another form of suicide. If you can't stand the world, self treatment with opioids or other psychoactive apparently looks good, rather like 12 proof Geritol looked good to the 70 year old with arthritis back in 1950. Still suicide, and the rule of thumb is "Never commit suicide! Not even once!"

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_lethal_dose

    2] there used to be an OTC product called _Geritol_, literally "old folks medicine", that was about 12 proof, and you can think off opiods c.a. AD 1880 being sold as a more powerful versions. Old people very often had intractable pain and little money; selling a cheap pain deadener was arguably an adequate response to that situation at the time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geritol
    Note that the iron supplement in Geritol was later found to be harmful to much of the population, if taken long term. The harm, as I remember, was that it made heart attacks more likely to be fatal.
  263. @Cloudbuster
    – the Chinese side, after using the powder, were filling the containers up with fake powder and selling it to the plebs.

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?

    What white powder could possibly be cheaper than talc and corn starch?

    Perhaps some industrial by-product that was otherwise treated as a waste product?

  264. @JMcG
    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

    Some of the time now I use Amazon to window shop and then buy the product from the manufacturer or a well known distributor. It’s highly variable though depending on who’s the seller and what product it is.

  265. The whole “chinese folks are desperate to move money offshore” reminds me of an event over a decade ago.

    There is a very fancy expensive stainless steel pipe call P91 as I recall used for steam in power plants. The catch is that the chinese figured out that you could make a fake version and fool a material identification test (but not if a metallurgist examined the grain structure) The magic was in the hardening/forcing/ect.

    As a result, the chinese counterfiet was cheap and not up to par. The chinese government banned their own utility companies from buying their own domestic counterfeit product.

    Anyhow, a pipe exploded and 14 people died in china. Their root cause analysis ended with them discovering that in the process of sourcing the material from the USA, they were taken advantage of by a chinese shell company operating through the USA to sell the counterfeit product.

    I cant verify this, but I would be money that the only reason they were fooled is because they were also chinese, so probably missed some cues.

    I would bet that there are a whole pile of chinese shell companies popping up now to take advantage of the current situation, and that a whole bunch of chinese people will use them, and miss the cues.

  266. @Johann Ricke

    For a few weeks each year in June we get real local strawberries from the Amish and they are glorious.
     
    Are these sweet? I ask because I have never eaten a (non-candied) sweet strawberry.

    Yes, my son has a summer job on a local farm which has a pick-your-own fruit component. Real, perfectly fresh strawberries are God’s own work. Still warm from the sun. There’s really no point in eating them any other way. Really, all the soft fruits are like that.

  267. @Romanian
    You are consistently one of the most insightful and interesting posters here.

    Agreed. He had a gold box for a while. I’m not sure what the standard is for getting/keeping one of those.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Aren't those only for individual comments? The other boxes are for authors on the website.
  268. @peterike

    That’s why I buy nothing but books from Amazon anymore. I bought a set of American Optical aviators, good but not great price, mid fifty dollar range if I recall. What I got was a pair of plastic framed, plastic lensed junk that would have shamed a boardwalk 2.00 a pair store.

     

    I have a theory on this. I think Amazon deliberately allows fake goods to be sold in order to push people toward their own branded goods. Example.

    I used to like Calvin Klein white undershirts, and got them from Amazon a couple of years back. I needed new ones, and LOTS of the recent reviews were along the lines of "these aren't the same anymore," "this is just cheap junk," etc. In other words, fakes. So what to do? What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts? Nobody.

    But lo and behold, there were Amazon-branded undershirts. Good reviews, decent price. I got some, and they're fine. I haven't checked if there are Amazon branded sunglasses, but if not there probably will be eventually.

    I concur. I recently started buying all my socks directly from the Wigwam website. I believe that was inspired by one of our fellow posters. They are more expensive than the bulk pack junk from Asia, but they are socks such as I’d forgotten existed. Well worth the money.
    Amazon was extremely useful as a place I could get what I needed without a second thought. It is no longer such a place for me.

  269. @Jack D

    What seller can I trust to sell me genuine Calvin Klein undershirts?
     
    You have to be very careful when you click Buy to make sure that the seller is Amazon and not some third party. Even then there have been case of fake goods making their way into the channel UPSTREAM of where Amazon buys them but your chances are better. Unless you squint you may not notice that you aren't really buying from Amazon itself but from an Amazon seller.

    I believe that’s what happened in my case Jack. I thought Amazon was the seller. Didn’t notice otherwise until the jerks started soliciting good reviews from me for the junk I’d bought. I’m pretty sure that’s the highest markup I’ve ever paid, and I include buying my wife a diamond engagement ring in that statement.

  270. @Johann Ricke

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you’re the first pro-Xi one I’ve seen.
     
    Pretty much anyone who supports Chinese territorial claims is Chinese. Perhaps DB Cooper is the exception. I doubt it.

    There is a saying that facts matter. If someone said the earth is round instead of flat doesn’t make that some one pro earth. Understand? That those islands are Chinese and are currently occupied by the Philippines and Vietnam since the 1970s is a fact recognized by international law. It is the MSM that consistently distorts the fact and mislead the gullible public.

  271. @Achmed E. Newman
    D.B. Cooper is one of Godfree Roberts' Comm-ent-tards. Don't mind him, and don't let the cool name fool you. I'd like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains ... never to be heard from again.

    For the record Godfree has been consistently praising Mao and I have been saying Mao is a fucking piece of shit.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    OK, point (in your favor) added to the record.
  272. @Achmed E. Newman
    D.B. Cooper is one of Godfree Roberts' Comm-ent-tards. Don't mind him, and don't let the cool name fool you. I'd like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains ... never to be heard from again.

    I’d like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains … never to be heard from again.

    Yeah, I’d like to think DB is enjoying his money somewhere. That was a BSD caper.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    BSD?

    Don't get me wrong, Jim Don. I think he had about a 5% chance of living through a night parachute jump (and resulting hike out) into the Cascade mountains. It'd be different with GPS and some planning. I've taken skydivers up on night jumps before, but we knew the area, and there was a full moon and clear sky (no GPS).
  273. @Anon
    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.

    Trump lies. You are paying for the tariffs not China though that will hurt their export volumes.

    This makes you a sucker.

    We understand how tariffs work, and I am quite happy to pay more for Chinese products. Especially in light of the fact I barely buy any now. The tariffs are necessary in order to get China to the negotiating table, which is necessary for the future of my country. You either understand that, and apparently don’t care (“traitor”), or you don’t understand it (“dullard”).

  274. @Bardon: What can Russia get from China except some dishes? And exotic high culture for aficionados? Films, music..? No. The same with China re Russia.

    You talk much ignorance, China lately exports more and more tv series to Asian countries, in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet country, the Chinese tv series Meteor Garden from 2018 became one of the most searched according to google trends, likewise other tv series from China became succesful in Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc
    Plus you obviuosly ignore China is among the top 10 most visited countries in the world.

  275. @Jack D
    Oh, bullshit.

    Read the history of the "9 Dash Line" .

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

    The previous government of China (the one that now resides in Taiwan and that the Commies hate) drew a line on a map in 1947. That's the entire basis for their claim. If they had draw a line around Hawaii, would that now be Chinese territory too?

    I know that there all sorts of pro-Putin fruitcakes around here who accept all sorts of BS Russian claims but you're the first pro-Xi one I've seen.

    I have no love for the tyrant Xi, but I totally agree with China’s fortification of the shoals of the South China Sea. To leave their access to trade routes at the mercy of the corporatist enforcers of the US Navy would be national suicide. In my libertarian view, I also see it as a form of homesteading.

  276. @Some Random Anon
    The rich in China are every bit as unscrupulous and treasonous as the (((rich))) in the US. This is just them getting the hell out of dodge with all their ill gotten gains before they get thrown in jail, now that they can no longer rely on skipping to HK.

    Of course, once they get here, it's all "China #1!", or at least that's what they tell their kids. The last thing we need is more opportunistic treasonous rats from other countries, we have enough of our own, starting with Jared Kushner.

    We need to kill off the EB5 as Charles Grassley have been trying to do for years, then ban all foreign ownership of US real estate. Homes here should be for people who actually live here, not as investment properties for foreigners being left vacant while they bid up the prices to levels citizens can't afford.

    We need to kill off the EB5 as Charles Grassley have been trying to do for years, then ban all foreign ownership of US real estate. Homes here should be for people who actually live here, not as investment properties for foreigners being left vacant while they bid up the prices to levels citizens can’t afford.

    Well said SRA.

    To me the path of least resistance on immigration is moratorium. Easy to explain the benefits, no need to wade into the racial muddle. But killing this or that visa scam like the EB5 if it can be done–great.

    But housing–dead on right. Housing is through the roof in coastal metropolises because of immigration. And West Coast especially because of Chinese. Housing in America is supposed to be for Americans. Foreigners out. I don’t give a crap about the price of my house when i die off. I want my kids to be able to afford houses and start their families.

    • Replies: @GermanReader2
    An acquaintance of mine works at Google in Germany, so he has access to the internal discussion boards. He told me about a heated discussion he read about home affordability at Google HQ. The question discussed in the thread he read was, whether a family of four was able to purchase a house in Silicon Valley on an income of a million (!) dollar a year. According to him, half the posts said that one could buy a house on that income and half said, that one could not do so.
  277. @Pincher Martin

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.
     
    That's not bad news. It's called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always - ALWAYS - want to make more with less. Unless you're a Luddite.

    That’s not bad news. It’s called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always – ALWAYS – want to make more with less. Unless you’re a Luddite.

    On the economic side, definitely the case. (I think there may be human behavorial issues on the human/social side.)

    But you’ll only benefit from that productivity boost if you get to capture it. That means closed border. Even if the productivity boosts are fast but your border is porous–open to foreign labor–you the individual citizen may find that little of that productivity boosts ever trickles down to you in employment or welfare.

  278. @Art Deco
    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.

    1. The ratio of military expenditure to domestic product is now under 0.04 for the United States, as low as it has been since 1939. In European countries, it's about 1/2 that typically. In Canada, less than that. The countries in this world who invest the largest share of their productive capacity or purchasing power into military expenditure are Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf Emirates. These are not liberal societies.

    2. You fancy it's 'not all that good at economic growth', you find a better model. If you fancy it's to be found in the Far East, you might take a gander at what happened to Japanese growth rates as the country's industry approached the technological frontier. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore have seen growth rates in gdp per capita (at purchasing-power-parity) of between 1.3% and 2.4% per year the last five years.

    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive. The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn’t work. Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found. From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight, which does not sound very liberal. South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China’s outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency

    Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.
     
    That's the consensus view among academics, and has been for several decades. It's also probably how the governing coalitions see things.

    China is a clear challenge to that grand strategy.

    The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.
     
    That's what the Feds think, all right. Trouble is, it's a bit late for that. If they wanted the military to save them, they shouldn't have destroyed it.

    Counterinsurgency
    , @Art Deco
    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive.

    Thanks for the ex cathedra pronouncement. Or are you telling me that counter-factual history is as easy as ABC.




    The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn’t work.

    Actually, the legislation erecting the cartels was annulled by a Supreme Court opinion in 1935.


    Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found.

    Actually, production per capita (in real terms) had returned to 1929 levels by 1939, and by 1941 had reached a level such that the net rate of increase between 1929 and 1941 was equal to long-term trends (i.e. the net rate of increase registered over the period running from 1885 to 1929). The labor market remained in an injured condition. Healing that requires (1) good policy, which is to say policy which does not hinder agreements between employer and employee and (2) time. See the recovery of the British labor market over the period running from 1986 to 2002. There was no national mobilization during that period of years. Recovery of the American labor market after 1933 was inhibited by poor policy: the aborted effort at forming cartels, a revised industrial relations regime which reduced propensity to hire, and an absurdly high federal minimum wage. The institution of payroll taxes didn't help either, though there were some trade-offs incorporated in tho that set of policy.



    From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight,

    I think you need to quote the statute and point to examples of it being enforced 'ere someone's likely to take this assertion seriously.


    South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    These are nonsense statements, of course.

    1. The United States is not a 'military machine'. It has had since 1940 a large military. The propensity to devote resources to military uses was quite large during the 2d World War (as war production encompassed about 1/3 of all output between 1940 and 1946). Over the period running from 1946 to 1993, the median ratio of military expenditure to output was about 0.067. You had a rapid mobilization during the Korean War, at which time military uses accounted for about 14% of output, then an almost unrelieved decline for 25 years, then a modest period of increase from 1978 to 1985 (the Reagan build-up), then 15 years of decline, at which time the ratio stood at 0.037. There was a modest increase during the succeeding 8 years or so, followed by a decline. After the Korean War, the share of American manpower billeted in the United States varied between 70% and 87%, with the bulk of foreign billets in a short menu of (generally affluent) countries. Men in uniform currently account for about 1% of all employed workers.

    2. A large military is neither necessary nor sufficient to sell goods and services to foreigners. If you fancy foreigners are being 'exploited' by 'preferential terms' insisted on by the United States government, let's see your numbers, current and historical. American manufacturers who faced comical difficulties trying to effect sales in (functionally pacifist) Japan ca. 1985 I suspect would be exceedingly surprised to discover that they were enjoying such preferences.

    3. I cannot help but think your addled head has wildly exaggerated the significance of foreign trade for our economic well-being (given the dimensions of our domestic product). Of course, for small economies, it's crucial and will remain so no matter how much you whinge about 'exploitation'.


    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China’s outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.


    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.


    Just about every sentence in these two paragraphs is wrong or incoherent. (For starters, there is no trade war).



    I have no clue whose material you're recycling, but you don't know what you're talking about.
    , @notanon

    the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China
     
    Wall St. owns half the factories in China and they make billions from the current rigged trade system - the US isn't cutting its own throat cos they want to maintain "liberal terms of trade", Wall St is killing the US for money.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.
     
    other way round - those societies are so good at economic growth they needed to develop a dominant military to force other countries to buy their surplus.
  279. @Jack D
    When I call a big corporation (e.g. Comcast, Amazon) I STILL get a call center. Nowadays the Philippines seems popular based upon the accents but there are still Indian ones also. The business has not gone away. Filipinos seem to be more culturally compatible with speaking to Americans on the phone. Maybe their English is a little better and they are better problem solvers. The Indians were often undertrained and incapable of going "off script" so it was like talking to a not very bright robot.

    Filipinos certainly do have a uniquely good understanding of how to deal with Americans given the history, and their English does tend to be more consistently better. But they also just tend to be better at customer service related things than Indians. Austro-Polynesian cultures-Malays, Filipinos, Javanese, etc-tend to heavily stress politeness, gentleness, and civility. You wear a smile and try to avoid conflict, no matter what you might be feeling underneath.

    This isn’t always positive-they’ll suppress their real emotions, which can either lead to explosiveness if the pressure becomes too much or to to a disturbed relationship with reality. But this is why Filipinas (and their Indonesian cousins) tend to be in high demand as domestics throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

  280. @Sean
    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive. The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn't work. Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found. From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight, which does not sound very liberal. South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China's outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    That’s the consensus view among academics, and has been for several decades. It’s also probably how the governing coalitions see things.

    China is a clear challenge to that grand strategy.

    The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    That’s what the Feds think, all right. Trouble is, it’s a bit late for that. If they wanted the military to save them, they shouldn’t have destroyed it.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    That’s the consensus view among academics,

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?
  281. @Pincher Martin

    This argument comes from Jaron Lanier, _You are not a gadget_, and is a limiting case that we probably are not approaching.
     
    It doesn't come from Jaron Lanier. It comes from the field of economics, and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum, who usually only disagree on how productivity gains should be utilized.

    Even if other countries didn't exist, economic sectors like agriculture and manufacturing would see their labor forces shrink in a U.S. economy with increasing productivity gains.

    the field of economics

    that’s a euphemism if there ever was one.

    and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum

    then you know apodictically that it’s wrong.

    pincher martin’s autism is NOT charming. no wonder he loves china people and volunteered for the military.

    pathetic!

    —jorge videla

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    Jorge,

    I'm sorry some economist, as well as a psychometrician, simultaneously banged your wife while you were working hard at that warehouse job. But perhaps she knew that they were both scientists and therefore far superior to the kind of man you would ever be.

  282. @Pincher Martin

    The bad news is more manufacturing jobs are now being lost to automation than offshoring.
     
    That's not bad news. It's called productivity gains, and it is the key to increasing national wealth. Productive countries are rich countries.

    You always - ALWAYS - want to make more with less. Unless you're a Luddite.

    typical autistic jive talk. he forgot the ceteris paribus. but even if he hadn’t things are never otherwise equal.

    so let’s see.

    behavior genetics = pseudo-science for autists. check!

    economics = pseudo-science for autists. check!

    and in both cases the autists are exploited by psychopaths.

  283. @Pincher Martin

    Generally speaking, more national wealth is good but it’s not the whole story. If there’s a really big pie but one guy gets 99% of it and everyone else has to compete for the remaining 1% of crumbs, that’s a problem too. Maybe if the pie was 10% smaller but everyone got a decent sized share of it, that would be better.
     
    Productivity gains in a national economy are ALWAYS good, and that's true whether you believe in redistribution or not.

    If you believe in more redistribution, you have more to redistribute.

    If you don't believe in redistribution, your country is still wealthier, and the income of most people will still grow. Productivity gains do not stay in the economic sector where they are created.


    In the past we were able to handle this situation fairly well...
     
    Any superficial reading of American history would prove you wrong. Read the labor history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for ample evidence that a growing economy always has some losers.

    But the first rule of holes is to stop digging. We are bringing in millions more unskilled and genetically unpromising migrants at precisely the time when automation is going to displace them from their current economic niche.
     
    Well, I agree with you about U.S. immigration policy, but you don't understand that it strengthens my case rather than yours.

    Higher productivity, which basically means making more with less, includes making more products with less labor - and certainly with less dumb labor.

    Yet U.S. immigration policy continues to allow the import of both lower-class and educated workers of marginal utility who add little to U.S. productivity, and in some sectors even prevent further productivity gains. If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains, either by buying machinery or by switching to areas in their sector where lots of available cheap labor was not as critical to their bottom lines.

    If that immigration was decreased, businesses would have no recourse but to invest more in productivity gains…

    your autism doesn’t sell pinky. quit while you’re behind.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/japan/productivity
    https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/productivity

    economics is a mental illness and it’s time to bring back insane asylums.

  284. @Jack D
    It's not clear how poisonous the tea was. Robert Fortune was on a kind of industrial espionage mission - the British were already trying to switch to Indian tea and was set by the East India Company. So it wasn't a big leap for him to disparage the Chinese product the same way that the Chinese suddenly decide that American beef or pork is "unsafe" when they want to cut down on trade with us.

    The Chinese were under the impression that the British WANTED their tea dyed. At least they had noticed that dyed tea fetched a higher price, much more than the cost of adding the dye. If the British had told them "no dye" (and paid the same price) they would have done it no problem. They didn't dye their tea for the domestic market, which did not demand it. They thought that wanting their tea dyed was just one more strange custom of the white barbarians, like black people demanding menthol cigarettes - who can understand the thought process of these white ghosts? There was no need to understand it in any case - they were just giving them what they wanted.

    The two substances that the Chinese used were Prussian blue and yellow gypsum (blue+yellow=green) . On paper, Prussian blue contains cyanide but it turns out that it is tightly bound to iron already in Prussian blue so it cannot bond any further to the iron in your blood and so is not really toxic.

    Good argument, but apparently the Chinese had never told the British that the green color came from dye, and certainly the English never asked that the dye be added. This would seem to parallel the The British market for Chinese tea declined greatly because of lost trust.

    There is a strong parallel here with the much more recent melamine addition to infant formula. I’d guess that very few people buying infant formula asked whether melamine had been added. [1]

    Counterinsurgency

    1] Echo Huang
    “Ten years after China’s infant milk tragedy, parents still won’t trust their babies to local formula”,
    _Quartz_, 2018/06/16
    https://qz.com/1323471/ten-years-after-chinas-melamine-laced-infant-milk-tragedy-deep-distrust-remains/

  285. @Romanian
    You are consistently one of the most insightful and interesting posters here.

    Thanks. The areas I comment on are real and personally important for me, and I’m trying to develop accurate descriptions for my own use as well as general use. This forum is essential for that development.

    Counterinsurgency

  286. @AnotherDad

    We need to kill off the EB5 as Charles Grassley have been trying to do for years, then ban all foreign ownership of US real estate. Homes here should be for people who actually live here, not as investment properties for foreigners being left vacant while they bid up the prices to levels citizens can’t afford.
     
    Well said SRA.

    To me the path of least resistance on immigration is moratorium. Easy to explain the benefits, no need to wade into the racial muddle. But killing this or that visa scam like the EB5 if it can be done--great.

    But housing--dead on right. Housing is through the roof in coastal metropolises because of immigration. And West Coast especially because of Chinese. Housing in America is supposed to be for Americans. Foreigners out. I don't give a crap about the price of my house when i die off. I want my kids to be able to afford houses and start their families.

    An acquaintance of mine works at Google in Germany, so he has access to the internal discussion boards. He told me about a heated discussion he read about home affordability at Google HQ. The question discussed in the thread he read was, whether a family of four was able to purchase a house in Silicon Valley on an income of a million (!) dollar a year. According to him, half the posts said that one could buy a house on that income and half said, that one could not do so.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    One can absolutely still afford to buy a house in and around Silly Valley if one earns one million (American) dollars annually.

    Maybe the people arguing contra thought the discussion was about Liberian dollars? More likely they were the kinds of vapid shits predominant in this place and, especially, at that corporation, who think intercontinental vacations multiple times a year; private schools (and piano lessons, and soccer camp...) for four children; two expensive cars not more than three years old; domestic servants; season tickets to the 49ers and the local opera; and dining in restaurants more frequently than one dines at home; and having that home be in Atherton or Woodside are the barest essentials.

    For these types, no; one million dollars annually will not meet their perceived needs.
    , @Pincher Martin
    At a million per year, you can buy a place anywhere in America, including in the Silicon Valley.
  287. @Sean
    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive. The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn't work. Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found. From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight, which does not sound very liberal. South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China's outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive.

    Thanks for the ex cathedra pronouncement. Or are you telling me that counter-factual history is as easy as ABC.

    The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn’t work.

    Actually, the legislation erecting the cartels was annulled by a Supreme Court opinion in 1935.

    Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found.

    Actually, production per capita (in real terms) had returned to 1929 levels by 1939, and by 1941 had reached a level such that the net rate of increase between 1929 and 1941 was equal to long-term trends (i.e. the net rate of increase registered over the period running from 1885 to 1929). The labor market remained in an injured condition. Healing that requires (1) good policy, which is to say policy which does not hinder agreements between employer and employee and (2) time. See the recovery of the British labor market over the period running from 1986 to 2002. There was no national mobilization during that period of years. Recovery of the American labor market after 1933 was inhibited by poor policy: the aborted effort at forming cartels, a revised industrial relations regime which reduced propensity to hire, and an absurdly high federal minimum wage. The institution of payroll taxes didn’t help either, though there were some trade-offs incorporated in tho that set of policy.

    From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight,

    I think you need to quote the statute and point to examples of it being enforced ‘ere someone’s likely to take this assertion seriously.

    South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    These are nonsense statements, of course.

    1. The United States is not a ‘military machine’. It has had since 1940 a large military. The propensity to devote resources to military uses was quite large during the 2d World War (as war production encompassed about 1/3 of all output between 1940 and 1946). Over the period running from 1946 to 1993, the median ratio of military expenditure to output was about 0.067. You had a rapid mobilization during the Korean War, at which time military uses accounted for about 14% of output, then an almost unrelieved decline for 25 years, then a modest period of increase from 1978 to 1985 (the Reagan build-up), then 15 years of decline, at which time the ratio stood at 0.037. There was a modest increase during the succeeding 8 years or so, followed by a decline. After the Korean War, the share of American manpower billeted in the United States varied between 70% and 87%, with the bulk of foreign billets in a short menu of (generally affluent) countries. Men in uniform currently account for about 1% of all employed workers.

    2. A large military is neither necessary nor sufficient to sell goods and services to foreigners. If you fancy foreigners are being ‘exploited’ by ‘preferential terms’ insisted on by the United States government, let’s see your numbers, current and historical. American manufacturers who faced comical difficulties trying to effect sales in (functionally pacifist) Japan ca. 1985 I suspect would be exceedingly surprised to discover that they were enjoying such preferences.

    3. I cannot help but think your addled head has wildly exaggerated the significance of foreign trade for our economic well-being (given the dimensions of our domestic product). Of course, for small economies, it’s crucial and will remain so no matter how much you whinge about ‘exploitation’.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China’s outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    Just about every sentence in these two paragraphs is wrong or incoherent. (For starters, there is no trade war).

    I have no clue whose material you’re recycling, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  288. @JMcG
    Agreed. He had a gold box for a while. I’m not sure what the standard is for getting/keeping one of those.

    Aren’t those only for individual comments? The other boxes are for authors on the website.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    I agree. The authors get yellow background, vs, the gold borders for those special comments (I'm pretty sure given out by the specific author of the article being commented on).

    Maybe Mr. McG's screen colors are off.

    Then, there is the red border given out to the true gangman-style Commies:

    https://www.peakstupidity.com/images/Commie_Unz_Post_Number_1.jpg
    , @JMcG
    You may be right. Counterinsurgency has been on a very good roll lately. I’m a little worried at the absence of Buffalo Joe though.
  289. @Sean
    The Dutch had the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange, they became the first liberal state. It had to be that way because they were at war with Spain and only by maximising capital with a liberal system could they hope to survive. The Depression led many people to think liberal economics had failed, so they tried to cartelisation of the economy, but it didn't work. Only when the US got into WW2 and raised the ratio of military expenditure to domestic product prodigiously was the natural liberal solution to taking up slack found. From being in living memory a poor country, the South Korean economy is now 11th largest in the world. It had the death penalty for capital flight, which does not sound very liberal. South Korea is given the military protection of liberal America virtually free of charge (as are Japan and Germany). Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.

    America’s approach to China has been based on the belief that economic integration would enable America to exploit the huge market of China while maintaining the relative advantage in power that America held over China a couple of decades ago. Far from being a rising tide of globalisation that lifts all boats, the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China is functioning as a canal lock sending it to heights no one though possible. The unrest pundits predicted for China has failed to materialise. Moreover, China is not protected by American military might and so it is not amenable to the kind of pressure America put on Japan not to develop state of the art fighter planes ect. China's outstanding success is going to be more and more attributed to use of unfair tactics. In the end, China will be seen as evil.

    Hence the trade war, which is worth a try. but is not going to work. As China begins to become a peer superpower, America can not admit it has been been beaten at its ostensible game and is fated to suffer the fate of Russia, so China is becoming seen by Americans as an amoral free rider. The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.

    the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China

    Wall St. owns half the factories in China and they make billions from the current rigged trade system – the US isn’t cutting its own throat cos they want to maintain “liberal terms of trade”, Wall St is killing the US for money.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.

    other way round – those societies are so good at economic growth they needed to develop a dominant military to force other countries to buy their surplus.

    • Replies: @Sean

    The arrival of VOC shares was therefore momentous, because as Fernand Braudel pointed out, it opened up the ownership of companies and the ideas they generated, beyond the ranks of the aristocracy and the very rich, so that everyone could finally participate in the speculative freedom of transactions. By expanding ownership of its company pie for a certain price and a tentative return, the Dutch had done something historic: they had created a capital market. ”
    — Kevin Kaiser & David Young, in "The Blue Line Imperative" (2013)
     
    . King James I of England (VI of Scotland) realised that colonies were necessary and apart from Jamestown he there were a few years when Britain had its own spice island, but the Dutch attacked and destroyed it utterly, uprooting the plants. In 1667 the Dutch seemed on the point of conquering England.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-40175458
    It was a battle that set a river on fire, caused panic across London, and left England nursing the wounds of one of its worst ever military defeats. Yet not many people today have heard of the Battle of Medway. Why? [...] Carried out over several days, it targeted the English fleet at Chatham, leaving a large section of the Royal Navy either captured or destroyed.
     
    Holland waged a war of extermination against the up and coming commercial power of Britain and in 1688 there was a Dutch backed coup d'etat in England with a Dutch King on the English throne and a Dutch army in England. Britain became a resource for King William in his ongoing wars and he transformed it into a formidable military machine. Holland began to decline relative to Britain under the effect of the

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_Acts

    The Acts generally prohibited the use of foreign ships, required the employment of English and colonial mariners for three quarters of the crews, including East India Company ships. The acts prohibited the colonies from exporting specific, enumerated, products to countries and colonies other than those British, and mandated that imports be sourced only through Britain. Overall, the Acts formed the basis for English (and later) British overseas trade for nearly 200 years,
     
    Holland was commercially advanced and made use of Britain, but eventually Britain surpassed it. At the end of the day China is to America as Britain was to Holland and America is destined to suffer the same fate as Holland did. It really does not matter what system China has because states act like black boxes, but the fact is China shows no sign of becoming a Western democracy or any kind of democracy. America will not admit it is being commercially defeated by a superior system, so I expect China will come under military pressure.
    , @Pincher Martin

    Wall St. owns half the factories in China...
     
    Uh, no. China has nearly three million factories operating in the country as of 2016, which is ten times the number operating in the United States. Wall Street invests in at most several hundred Chinese companies, some of which probably own many factories in the country but nowhere close to half of them.

    But even these few facts overestimates Wall Street's exposure to China's manufacturing base. The vast majority of China's factories are not publicly owned. They are run privately by the Chinese for the benefit of that Chinese ownership. China doesn't need Wall Street capital as much as it needs U.S. markets. The Chinese are notorious savers and hence have plenty of capital to deploy to run factories.
  290. @DB Cooper
    For the record Godfree has been consistently praising Mao and I have been saying Mao is a fucking piece of shit.

    OK, point (in your favor) added to the record.

  291. @Romanian
    Aren't those only for individual comments? The other boxes are for authors on the website.

    I agree. The authors get yellow background, vs, the gold borders for those special comments (I’m pretty sure given out by the specific author of the article being commented on).

    Maybe Mr. McG’s screen colors are off.

    Then, there is the red border given out to the true gangman-style Commies:

    • LOL: Romanian
  292. @Jim Don Bob

    I’d like to see a Chinaman jump out the back of a perfectly good 727 at night time, in the winter, over the Cascade mountains … never to be heard from again.
     
    Yeah, I'd like to think DB is enjoying his money somewhere. That was a BSD caper.

    BSD?

    Don’t get me wrong, Jim Don. I think he had about a 5% chance of living through a night parachute jump (and resulting hike out) into the Cascade mountains. It’d be different with GPS and some planning. I’ve taken skydivers up on night jumps before, but we knew the area, and there was a full moon and clear sky (no GPS).

  293. @Romanian
    Aren't those only for individual comments? The other boxes are for authors on the website.

    You may be right. Counterinsurgency has been on a very good roll lately. I’m a little worried at the absence of Buffalo Joe though.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    A few months ago, Buffalo Joe, motivated by the discovery that his daughter had decided to be a lesbian, announced he would no longer comment, and asked that his existing comments be deleted. I doubt he even reads The Unz Review anymore. It was pretty clear he was emotional about it all, and sincere. It's a shame because he was a good guy who often had worthwhile things to say (though I do not endorse homosexuality).
  294. @last straw

    At the time, Opium was considered to be a beneficial drug,
     
    This cannot be true. Even the Chinese knew that the risks outweigh the benefits for a healthy opium user at the time and that was the reason they banned its smuggling. It's ludicrous that Britain, the much more advanced country in science and industry at the time, did not know. The British forced China to buy opium, not because of its medicinal benefits, but because they knew China's healthy population would be addicted to it.

    and apparently most of the damage in China was caused by opium cut with other substances that were much more harmful (rather like the “poison milk” scandal).
     
    What substance did the Chinese add to opium the could cause more harm than opium itself when used by a healthy individual?

    Opiates themselves are not all that toxic, although the additives in street heroin are. That’s why the UK had a program of supporting heroin addicts back in the 1950s. The idea was that if you just supply the pure drug and you get a healthy member of society. That’s also why methadone replacement for heroin has been used.

    The real danger of opioids (and other psychoactive drugs, to include even nicotine) is mental disease (addiction), and a tendency of addicts to increase the dosage until the reach LD 50 [1]. That’s why opioids were made illegal in the first place: they were being sold as over-the-counter patent medicines, and people were getting addicted (with a need for ever more) without any idea that this could happen. Essentially, opioids were being sold as a more powerful form of alcohol. [2]

    Socially, opioid users were strong proponents of opioid use, proclaiming it to be a wonder drug for mental concentration. You remember the use of opioids by the fictional Sherlock Holmes [3]. A mass audience in the UK found nothing objectionable in that.

    As for me, it looks like yet another form of suicide. If you can’t stand the world, self treatment with opioids or other psychoactive apparently looks good, rather like 12 proof Geritol looked good to the 70 year old with arthritis back in 1950. Still suicide, and the rule of thumb is “Never commit suicide! Not even once!”

    Counterinsurgency

    1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_lethal_dose

    2] there used to be an OTC product called _Geritol_, literally “old folks medicine”, that was about 12 proof, and you can think off opiods c.a. AD 1880 being sold as a more powerful versions. Old people very often had intractable pain and little money; selling a cheap pain deadener was arguably an adequate response to that situation at the time.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geritol
    Note that the iron supplement in Geritol was later found to be harmful to much of the population, if taken long term. The harm, as I remember, was that it made heart attacks more likely to be fatal.

  295. @Counterinsurgency

    Superpower America is essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.
     
    That's the consensus view among academics, and has been for several decades. It's also probably how the governing coalitions see things.

    China is a clear challenge to that grand strategy.

    The real game America is unbeatable at is military pressure from a position of supremacy, and you are going to see them come to the conclusion that they must lead with that strength while it is still available to them.
     
    That's what the Feds think, all right. Trouble is, it's a bit late for that. If they wanted the military to save them, they shouldn't have destroyed it.

    Counterinsurgency

    That’s the consensus view among academics,

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?

    • Replies: @Counterinsurgency

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?
     
    Any academics that don't want the Left coming after them, any disciplines that can't avoid commenting on it, US, Europe, and (I suspect) the rest of the world as well. They don't phrase it that way (and I don't either, usually), but "protecting global trade" that is necessary to the US economy is very similar to "essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.". Only the tone is different.

    I don't spend much time in the literature in this field, primarily because it's usually a feeble support of whatever the current policy is.

    Now, if you'd like to cite some people who are saying something interesting, that would be good. I'd be delighted to follow that up.

    Counterinsurgency
  296. @Simon Legree
    the field of economics

    that's a euphemism if there ever was one.

    and is a widely-agreed-upon concept by economists on both the left and right of the political spectrum

    then you know apodictically that it's wrong.

    pincher martin's autism is NOT charming. no wonder he loves china people and volunteered for the military.

    pathetic!

    ---jorge videla

    Jorge,

    I’m sorry some economist, as well as a psychometrician, simultaneously banged your wife while you were working hard at that warehouse job. But perhaps she knew that they were both scientists and therefore far superior to the kind of man you would ever be.

  297. @GermanReader2
    An acquaintance of mine works at Google in Germany, so he has access to the internal discussion boards. He told me about a heated discussion he read about home affordability at Google HQ. The question discussed in the thread he read was, whether a family of four was able to purchase a house in Silicon Valley on an income of a million (!) dollar a year. According to him, half the posts said that one could buy a house on that income and half said, that one could not do so.

    One can absolutely still afford to buy a house in and around Silly Valley if one earns one million (American) dollars annually.

    Maybe the people arguing contra thought the discussion was about Liberian dollars? More likely they were the kinds of vapid shits predominant in this place and, especially, at that corporation, who think intercontinental vacations multiple times a year; private schools (and piano lessons, and soccer camp…) for four children; two expensive cars not more than three years old; domestic servants; season tickets to the 49ers and the local opera; and dining in restaurants more frequently than one dines at home; and having that home be in Atherton or Woodside are the barest essentials.

    For these types, no; one million dollars annually will not meet their perceived needs.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
    I completely agree with your post.
  298. @JMcG
    You may be right. Counterinsurgency has been on a very good roll lately. I’m a little worried at the absence of Buffalo Joe though.

    A few months ago, Buffalo Joe, motivated by the discovery that his daughter had decided to be a lesbian, announced he would no longer comment, and asked that his existing comments be deleted. I doubt he even reads The Unz Review anymore. It was pretty clear he was emotional about it all, and sincere. It’s a shame because he was a good guy who often had worthwhile things to say (though I do not endorse homosexuality).

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Are you serious?
  299. @Autochthon
    A few months ago, Buffalo Joe, motivated by the discovery that his daughter had decided to be a lesbian, announced he would no longer comment, and asked that his existing comments be deleted. I doubt he even reads The Unz Review anymore. It was pretty clear he was emotional about it all, and sincere. It's a shame because he was a good guy who often had worthwhile things to say (though I do not endorse homosexuality).

    Are you serious?

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    https://youtu.be/1yu5F_cAjvs
  300. @notanon

    the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China
     
    Wall St. owns half the factories in China and they make billions from the current rigged trade system - the US isn't cutting its own throat cos they want to maintain "liberal terms of trade", Wall St is killing the US for money.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.
     
    other way round - those societies are so good at economic growth they needed to develop a dominant military to force other countries to buy their surplus.

    The arrival of VOC shares was therefore momentous, because as Fernand Braudel pointed out, it opened up the ownership of companies and the ideas they generated, beyond the ranks of the aristocracy and the very rich, so that everyone could finally participate in the speculative freedom of transactions. By expanding ownership of its company pie for a certain price and a tentative return, the Dutch had done something historic: they had created a capital market. ”
    — Kevin Kaiser & David Young, in “The Blue Line Imperative” (2013)

    . King James I of England (VI of Scotland) realised that colonies were necessary and apart from Jamestown he there were a few years when Britain had its own spice island, but the Dutch attacked and destroyed it utterly, uprooting the plants. In 1667 the Dutch seemed on the point of conquering England.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-40175458
    It was a battle that set a river on fire, caused panic across London, and left England nursing the wounds of one of its worst ever military defeats. Yet not many people today have heard of the Battle of Medway. Why? […] Carried out over several days, it targeted the English fleet at Chatham, leaving a large section of the Royal Navy either captured or destroyed.

    Holland waged a war of extermination against the up and coming commercial power of Britain and in 1688 there was a Dutch backed coup d’etat in England with a Dutch King on the English throne and a Dutch army in England. Britain became a resource for King William in his ongoing wars and he transformed it into a formidable military machine. Holland began to decline relative to Britain under the effect of the

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_Acts

    The Acts generally prohibited the use of foreign ships, required the employment of English and colonial mariners for three quarters of the crews, including East India Company ships. The acts prohibited the colonies from exporting specific, enumerated, products to countries and colonies other than those British, and mandated that imports be sourced only through Britain. Overall, the Acts formed the basis for English (and later) British overseas trade for nearly 200 years,

    Holland was commercially advanced and made use of Britain, but eventually Britain surpassed it. At the end of the day China is to America as Britain was to Holland and America is destined to suffer the same fate as Holland did. It really does not matter what system China has because states act like black boxes, but the fact is China shows no sign of becoming a Western democracy or any kind of democracy. America will not admit it is being commercially defeated by a superior system, so I expect China will come under military pressure.

    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    You've overlooked the role geography played in the United Provinces' decline because they had to spend vast sums in fortifications to defend against the expansionist French monarchs. England, on the other hand, didn't have to contend with large enemy land forces (Jacobites included) on their home ground. China has exposed borders; the U.S. does not have to fear invading armies. The current "Migrant Crisis," however, is another matter.
  301. @peterike
    Speaking of the nexus of outsourcing and Troublesome Asians, good review of a book that examines the shenanigans in the generic drug manufacturing world: based largely in -- tah dah! -- India and China. Scandals ensue! People die! Who could possible have imagined that!

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/foreign-generic-drugs-a-matter-of-life-or-death/

    “the shenanigans in the generic drug manufacturing world: based largely in — tah dah! — India and China”

    See this on Ranbaxy, who supply things like Lisinopril to Americans with high blood pressure.

    https://fortune.com/2013/05/15/dirty-medicine/

  302. @GermanReader2
    An acquaintance of mine works at Google in Germany, so he has access to the internal discussion boards. He told me about a heated discussion he read about home affordability at Google HQ. The question discussed in the thread he read was, whether a family of four was able to purchase a house in Silicon Valley on an income of a million (!) dollar a year. According to him, half the posts said that one could buy a house on that income and half said, that one could not do so.

    At a million per year, you can buy a place anywhere in America, including in the Silicon Valley.

  303. @Autochthon
    One can absolutely still afford to buy a house in and around Silly Valley if one earns one million (American) dollars annually.

    Maybe the people arguing contra thought the discussion was about Liberian dollars? More likely they were the kinds of vapid shits predominant in this place and, especially, at that corporation, who think intercontinental vacations multiple times a year; private schools (and piano lessons, and soccer camp...) for four children; two expensive cars not more than three years old; domestic servants; season tickets to the 49ers and the local opera; and dining in restaurants more frequently than one dines at home; and having that home be in Atherton or Woodside are the barest essentials.

    For these types, no; one million dollars annually will not meet their perceived needs.

    I completely agree with your post.

  304. @Art Deco
    That’s the consensus view among academics,

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?

    Any academics that don’t want the Left coming after them, any disciplines that can’t avoid commenting on it, US, Europe, and (I suspect) the rest of the world as well. They don’t phrase it that way (and I don’t either, usually), but “protecting global trade” that is necessary to the US economy is very similar to “essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.”. Only the tone is different.

    I don’t spend much time in the literature in this field, primarily because it’s usually a feeble support of whatever the current policy is.

    Now, if you’d like to cite some people who are saying something interesting, that would be good. I’d be delighted to follow that up.

    Counterinsurgency

    • Replies: @Sean
    When to fund his ruinously expensive conflict with France, the Dutch King William of Orange (who with Queen Mary had overthrown James and replaced him on the British throne) took out a huge loan and used taxes to pay back his creditors, they were allowed to set themselves up as a company called the "Bank Of England" with the right to take deposits in gold and issue "bank notes", backed by gold. This was the begining of government running on perpetual debt, and paper money which stimulated investment and trade prodigiously. At this point, as with most things of the modern world, a Scotsman came up with a brilliant idea. This was proto-fractional reserve banking "money is not the value for which goods are exchanged, but the value by which they are exchanged".

    You could get money circulating and stimulate trade by having more paper money than you had gold to cover it. The word millionaire was invented to describe those enriched by John Law's administration of the finances of the French state. People lost faith in his American company and it collapsed in 1720, but only because he was ahead of his time. The company's vast American concession made it a sound investment. People like Bass are trying to short sell (a Dutch invention) China based on the same misconception. China is like America 400 years ago. Whoever gets in on the ground floor will be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. What is coming will be a showdown between Wall St./tech /coastal cities and the Deep State/red states.
  305. @JMcG
    Are you serious?

    • Replies: @JMcG
    Thank you-I’m very sorry to hear he’s gone.
  306. @notanon

    the US persisting with liberal terms of trade for state capitalist China
     
    Wall St. owns half the factories in China and they make billions from the current rigged trade system - the US isn't cutting its own throat cos they want to maintain "liberal terms of trade", Wall St is killing the US for money.

    Liberal society is really about mobilising for war, it’s not all that good at economic growth.
     
    other way round - those societies are so good at economic growth they needed to develop a dominant military to force other countries to buy their surplus.

    Wall St. owns half the factories in China…

    Uh, no. China has nearly three million factories operating in the country as of 2016, which is ten times the number operating in the United States. Wall Street invests in at most several hundred Chinese companies, some of which probably own many factories in the country but nowhere close to half of them.

    But even these few facts overestimates Wall Street’s exposure to China’s manufacturing base. The vast majority of China’s factories are not publicly owned. They are run privately by the Chinese for the benefit of that Chinese ownership. China doesn’t need Wall Street capital as much as it needs U.S. markets. The Chinese are notorious savers and hence have plenty of capital to deploy to run factories.

  307. @AKAHorace

    Two guys on motorcycles were talking about real estate and China and the real estate asset bubble in China. China and most of the rest of the globe have huge real estate asset bubbles created by the globalized central banker shysters.
     
    Stay awesome !!

    OK, these guys used to make motorbike videos in which they steadfastly refused to talk about chinese politics while discussing how to live as a foreigner in China.

    Now:

    and there’s worse

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm sure the Chinese really appreciate finger-wagging lectures from Brits on how they should run their own country.
  308. @Counterinsurgency

    Which academics, in which disciplines, where?
     
    Any academics that don't want the Left coming after them, any disciplines that can't avoid commenting on it, US, Europe, and (I suspect) the rest of the world as well. They don't phrase it that way (and I don't either, usually), but "protecting global trade" that is necessary to the US economy is very similar to "essentially a military machine for the penetration and preferential exploitation of foreign markets for military might, just as the Dutch East India Company was.". Only the tone is different.

    I don't spend much time in the literature in this field, primarily because it's usually a feeble support of whatever the current policy is.

    Now, if you'd like to cite some people who are saying something interesting, that would be good. I'd be delighted to follow that up.

    Counterinsurgency

    When to fund his ruinously expensive conflict with France, the Dutch King William of Orange (who with Queen Mary had overthrown James and replaced him on the British throne) took out a huge loan and used taxes to pay back his creditors, they were allowed to set themselves up as a company called the “Bank Of England” with the right to take deposits in gold and issue “bank notes”, backed by gold. This was the begining of government running on perpetual debt, and paper money which stimulated investment and trade prodigiously. At this point, as with most things of the modern world, a Scotsman came up with a brilliant idea. This was proto-fractional reserve banking “money is not the value for which goods are exchanged, but the value by which they are exchanged”.

    You could get money circulating and stimulate trade by having more paper money than you had gold to cover it. The word millionaire was invented to describe those enriched by John Law’s administration of the finances of the French state. People lost faith in his American company and it collapsed in 1720, but only because he was ahead of his time. The company’s vast American concession made it a sound investment. People like Bass are trying to short sell (a Dutch invention) China based on the same misconception. China is like America 400 years ago. Whoever gets in on the ground floor will be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. What is coming will be a showdown between Wall St./tech /coastal cities and the Deep State/red states.

    • Agree: Counterinsurgency
  309. @Autochthon
    https://youtu.be/1yu5F_cAjvs

    Thank you-I’m very sorry to hear he’s gone.

  310. @Reg Cæsar

    On the bad side, he supports a “path to citizenship”’.
     
    So do I. Around these parts, it's I-35, which leads to the bridge at Laredo. Once across which many of the aliens will be citizens again.

    So do I. Around these parts, it’s I-35, which leads to the bridge at Laredo. Once across which many of the aliens will be citizens again.

    I tried to give you an LOL…..button no workee!

  311. Anonymous[124] • Disclaimer says:
    @AKAHorace
    OK, these guys used to make motorbike videos in which they steadfastly refused to talk about chinese politics while discussing how to live as a foreigner in China.


    Now:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQM0NL6fBU8


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZYslMrDccs

    and there's worse


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFvUp1LWS5Y

    I’m sure the Chinese really appreciate finger-wagging lectures from Brits on how they should run their own country.

  312. @Sean

    The arrival of VOC shares was therefore momentous, because as Fernand Braudel pointed out, it opened up the ownership of companies and the ideas they generated, beyond the ranks of the aristocracy and the very rich, so that everyone could finally participate in the speculative freedom of transactions. By expanding ownership of its company pie for a certain price and a tentative return, the Dutch had done something historic: they had created a capital market. ”
    — Kevin Kaiser & David Young, in "The Blue Line Imperative" (2013)
     
    . King James I of England (VI of Scotland) realised that colonies were necessary and apart from Jamestown he there were a few years when Britain had its own spice island, but the Dutch attacked and destroyed it utterly, uprooting the plants. In 1667 the Dutch seemed on the point of conquering England.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-40175458
    It was a battle that set a river on fire, caused panic across London, and left England nursing the wounds of one of its worst ever military defeats. Yet not many people today have heard of the Battle of Medway. Why? [...] Carried out over several days, it targeted the English fleet at Chatham, leaving a large section of the Royal Navy either captured or destroyed.
     
    Holland waged a war of extermination against the up and coming commercial power of Britain and in 1688 there was a Dutch backed coup d'etat in England with a Dutch King on the English throne and a Dutch army in England. Britain became a resource for King William in his ongoing wars and he transformed it into a formidable military machine. Holland began to decline relative to Britain under the effect of the

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_Acts

    The Acts generally prohibited the use of foreign ships, required the employment of English and colonial mariners for three quarters of the crews, including East India Company ships. The acts prohibited the colonies from exporting specific, enumerated, products to countries and colonies other than those British, and mandated that imports be sourced only through Britain. Overall, the Acts formed the basis for English (and later) British overseas trade for nearly 200 years,
     
    Holland was commercially advanced and made use of Britain, but eventually Britain surpassed it. At the end of the day China is to America as Britain was to Holland and America is destined to suffer the same fate as Holland did. It really does not matter what system China has because states act like black boxes, but the fact is China shows no sign of becoming a Western democracy or any kind of democracy. America will not admit it is being commercially defeated by a superior system, so I expect China will come under military pressure.

    You’ve overlooked the role geography played in the United Provinces’ decline because they had to spend vast sums in fortifications to defend against the expansionist French monarchs. England, on the other hand, didn’t have to contend with large enemy land forces (Jacobites included) on their home ground. China has exposed borders; the U.S. does not have to fear invading armies. The current “Migrant Crisis,” however, is another matter.

    • Replies: @Sean
    Perhaps I am overdoing the importance of military considerations.. I suppose the Chinese strategy is to encourage American capitalists to do business in China and use them to make China more powerful than America.

    The historical analogy would be after 1688 the Dutch merchant elite began to use London as a new operational base; Dutch wealth ceased to grow at all after 1720. I think that is how China would like to take America down.
  313. @bomag

    ...move their money out of China into any off-the-top-of-his-head American asset he could think of
     
    Sounds like we are importing inflation, with "refugees" soon to follow.

    You are wrong about inflation coming for the US dollar. The Chinese are desperate for more dollars, both at home and abroad. The dollar is getting stronger.

    Everyone should listen to this interview:

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/martin-armstrong-dow-35000-by-2021/

  314. @Hank Yobo
    You've overlooked the role geography played in the United Provinces' decline because they had to spend vast sums in fortifications to defend against the expansionist French monarchs. England, on the other hand, didn't have to contend with large enemy land forces (Jacobites included) on their home ground. China has exposed borders; the U.S. does not have to fear invading armies. The current "Migrant Crisis," however, is another matter.

    Perhaps I am overdoing the importance of military considerations.. I suppose the Chinese strategy is to encourage American capitalists to do business in China and use them to make China more powerful than America.

    The historical analogy would be after 1688 the Dutch merchant elite began to use London as a new operational base; Dutch wealth ceased to grow at all after 1720. I think that is how China would like to take America down.

    • Replies: @Not Raul
    Our elite wouldn’t like Chinese-level accountability. China executed two executives over around a dozen melamine deaths. Vioxx killed tens of thousands of people in the USA, and no Merck executives even went to jail.
    , @Hank Yobo
    I believe that Amsterdam remained the place where the British government floated their loans for most of the eighteenth century. The Netherlands also remained a major clearing center for bills of exchange generated by British merchant houses for much of the same period. Of course Protestantism, dynastic connections, and a fear of France helped to cement relations between the two countries. I don't know if the U.S.-China connection has anything more than somewhat shared economic interests.
  315. @Steve Sailer
    In 1984-2014 or so, buying a new PC when the old one broke down every 2 or 3 years was fun because of Moore's Law making them better. Americans got kind of accustomed by that to not expecting products to last because buying a new one was fun.

    Another thing PC owners are running in to is diminishing marginal utility. If a five-year-old computer does everything you want, why waste money on a new computer that won’t make a difference to your life, unless you’re a hard-core gamer?

  316. @Sean
    Perhaps I am overdoing the importance of military considerations.. I suppose the Chinese strategy is to encourage American capitalists to do business in China and use them to make China more powerful than America.

    The historical analogy would be after 1688 the Dutch merchant elite began to use London as a new operational base; Dutch wealth ceased to grow at all after 1720. I think that is how China would like to take America down.

    Our elite wouldn’t like Chinese-level accountability. China executed two executives over around a dozen melamine deaths. Vioxx killed tens of thousands of people in the USA, and no Merck executives even went to jail.

  317. @Sean
    Perhaps I am overdoing the importance of military considerations.. I suppose the Chinese strategy is to encourage American capitalists to do business in China and use them to make China more powerful than America.

    The historical analogy would be after 1688 the Dutch merchant elite began to use London as a new operational base; Dutch wealth ceased to grow at all after 1720. I think that is how China would like to take America down.

    I believe that Amsterdam remained the place where the British government floated their loans for most of the eighteenth century. The Netherlands also remained a major clearing center for bills of exchange generated by British merchant houses for much of the same period. Of course Protestantism, dynastic connections, and a fear of France helped to cement relations between the two countries. I don’t know if the U.S.-China connection has anything more than somewhat shared economic interests.

  318. China is a rising hegemonic state concentrating on developing its manufacturing and commercial sector, while America has declining manufacturing and commercial sector but an ever increasing financial sector. The agendas of Wall St and the Chinese leadership converge.

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