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Old 20th September 2005, 01:43 PM   #1
tlf9999 is offline tlf9999  United States
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Default "Revolutionary China, Complacent America"

This is an article in 9/15's Wall Street Journal, by Charlene Barshefsky and Edward Gresser. Barshefsky was the US trade representatiive to China, and THE China hawk some years ago.

The article began with a historical look-back: China used to account for 1/3 of the World's GDP, and they considered their status natural and eternal. The emporor thought the arriving Europeans in the 1700s insignificant. "Employing superior technology and military tactics, Europe came to rule Asia in just a few decades" and China's vast states fell away, ensuing period of demoralization that lasted two centuries.

The authors suggested that while America doesn't face as grim of a future, it has significant challenges ahead of it.

The article ended by saying "the plain fact is that our competition has gotten tougher, and we need to match it. Two hundred years ago the Chinese emporors failed. American must act now to succeed".

Interesting read.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 04:30 AM   #2
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Hey, when the average American fat *** can no longer afford his McDonalds double cheeseburger, he well want to do something about it. (that was a shot, BTW) We live in a country were over spending will eventually trump the economic advantage of over consumption(bulk is cheaper) and products will become more expensive. On top of that mess, we have Bush's trade plans to import cheaper products because of cheaper overseas labor. It is like letting some of the air out of the tires in order to counter act the worn out shocks or struts to gain a smoother ride. Eventually the steel belts will become weak from heat and expansion and that tire will blow. Then the average American fat *** can't afford his McDonalds double cheeseburger, much less a place to live. Unfortunately, he will be sitting on the side of the road with a popped tire and no jack, because it is still at the factory loading dock over in China.
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Old 22nd September 2005, 05:48 AM   #3
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Do you have a viable solution?
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 05:01 PM   #4
CBS240 is offline CBS240  United States
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Well, all I can say is it costs more to replace the shocks and struts then it does for a new set of tires. IOW, we must figure out a way to keep manufacturing products here in this country. This along side of import tariffs to limit imports and drive demand for US made products in the USA. We could also reduce some environmental hurdles that add cost to everything, but there should be a limit to that. Regardless, the products will cost more and that will make people somewhat unhappy. If you cut your thumb open, you could get it sewed up with a little bit of pain. But if you do nothing about it for a while to avoid that pain, it will become infected and then you have to treat it at the cost of great pain. Sometimes medicine tastes bad but at some point you have to swallow it. The problem is our government is filled with internationalist and one world government types and I think this will not happen any time soon. So the problem will just fester, hidden behind cheap imorts sold at Wal-Mart.

This must be a slow process so it has minimal effect on the economy though.
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Old 22nd September 2005, 05:33 PM   #5
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It is unrealistic to think that the US or the EU can raise the trade barriers at this late stage. The world is too interdependent and there are far too many vested interests. Neither can Western workers suddenly start working for chinese level wages or start adopting the working standards of a Chinese coal mine. The only viable response if we are to retain local manufacturing is to opt for increased industrial automation. It seems to me that at some point we are going to have to accept that we are increasingly able to do more with less and unless one plans to export to the Crab Nebula or elsewhere in the Universe, full employment is forever a thing of the past.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 06:40 PM   #6
tlf9999 is offline tlf9999  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by CBS240
This along side of import tariffs to limit imports and drive demand for US made products in the USA.
that's essentially what the Chinese emporiors did to keep China strong and foreign manufacturers out of China, some 500 years ago. Precisely what you should NOT do.

We will have to continue to invest in technology, and education so that we can maintain our lead in productivity.

trade barriers only delay the inevitable and give you a false sense of security which is exactly what killed China in the last two hundred years, and what is killing Europe now.

we have to compete.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally posted by tlf9999

trade barriers only delay the inevitable and give you a false sense of security which is exactly what killed China in the last two hundred years, and what is killing Europe now.


Really. I suppose it is just as well the EU is doing badly. According the the CIA factbook, Germany with a third of the population of the US exports more than the US and the UK and France, each with a fifth of the population of the US, export around half. Even 30 odd miillion Canadians export a third of what 295 million Americans do.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 07:24 PM   #8
tlf9999 is offline tlf9999  United States
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"export more".

Using that to judge how strong a country is is like using the length of chassis feet to judge how good the amp sounds.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 07:28 PM   #9
tlf9999 is offline tlf9999  United States
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The news of the sony layoff reminds me of this 'complacency' issue as well.

They used to be horrible. "It is a Sony" was a insult to people 40 some years ago. They were hungary and kept improving their products and came out with great designs. and eventually they ruled the world, especially in consumer electronics. Then they became complacent, they stopped innovating, they refused to make what they customers wanted, they decided to go down market, they hoped that their great band name would save their a-s-s, etc.

They ended up where they are today, because they didn't invest in themselves, like the Chinese, the Europeans, and now some Americans too.

Hopefully, the Stringer kid can bring them back.
 
Old 22nd September 2005, 09:33 PM   #10
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I guess I must have mislaid my begging bowl. Still the extent of our penury is not so great as to stop us, the Japanese and the Chinese extending your credit. Lets hope no one sends the repo man round.
 

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