this isn’t a pissing contest, and this isn’t a personal attack. The fact that you say you “whacked me in some 9-11 attack”, - wow, I have no memory of that … and how many years ago was that? -just says you are oversensitive (and maybe revisionist). geez, and this is just tripe:
Enigma wrote: [quote]However, you suggest that the economic interests of MNC corporations should override the health, safety and incomes of the average American.[/quote]
I never said that, and it’s annoying that you would twist my words. What I have said is that these MNCs’ interests are quite powerful and need to be confronted ie they are an obstacle.
- In this depression, I’ve heard many people simply blame China for US problems. I just don’t buy it. Yes, there’s a trade imbalance, and yes, manufacturing has shifted, yes, it’s quite a large problem. Yes, it’s easy to blame China. Yes, consumers COULD choose to boycott goods and organize. BUT:
a) US economic problems are larger and more complicated than the China issue alone.
b) people on the internet just blurt out knee-jerk reactionary things like “ban all China imports” (without anything else) is laughable, because that’s really not helpful. Americans overspending, spending into debt, living a life they couldn’t afford, and then irrationally expecting all their real estate investments to flip with massive profit (or using equity in their homes irrationally), not saying that’s you, but a lot of folks on the internet, gets old. China as a boogeyman gets old. yes, it’s a problem, but there are many problems in the US we can fix first (you mention special interests, I would add investment in training, education, fixing tax code, etc.).
And also, if you re-read my post, I have mentioned that I would like to hear your thoughts on how this could be done as a practical matter (other than the government needs to somehow magically come up with political will which you seem to suggest).
I have in previous threads mentioned that brand items like Nike shoes appear to me to not have changed prices much since, say, the 80s (afaik), and I have argued to others who readily castigate China that it’s the US companies who keep the lion’s shares of the “savings” rather than being all passed on to the consumer for many such products, so no I haven’t “changed” my position on that (it’s just that my example of shoes might not have been the best one). On the other hand, it seems to me, that many white-brand goods seem to be very cheap because of China and all Americans have benefited from this. This is an example of having one’s cake and eating it too; and I argue it’s a habit/expectation which needs to change or be dealt with before one simply bans all Chinese goods. Because suddenly a struggling family may have one parent out of a job and going from paycheck to paycheck AND also not be able to afford to buy things they needed from Walmart. What happens to those people? Aren’t they one of the struggling American families you seem to be defending? Or do they just have to eat bitterness while your plan magically evolves? ( But I would agree that Americans should wean themselves off the idea of cheap goods without some sort of trade-off/cost if they want to tackle this problem ie. some poster mentioned the union guys who upped their wages for their production and then turned around and bought cheap Chinese goods for their consumption).
I have never said that Apple’s bottom line should outweigh a family’s means to a living. That’s just silly. My point was simply, these MNCs and other companies who are tied into the Chinese economy are too heavily invested (in expansion in China, in selling Chinese products in the US, or some ancillary service like shipping) AND are too powerful politically speaking; they have to be dealt with. You wishing to turn back the clock without any suggestion of how to deal with the immense obstacles is what I’m criticizing as laughable, that is, your “solution” of simply banning imports rather than the idea that the US needs to rebuild X,Y,Z which I think is sensible (and I’ve already said a specific ban on products we suspect or know to be harmful is a rational first step that I support). I’ve also made a post about Andy Grove’s idea to rebuild manufacturing (and its ancillary effect of growing R&D) which I support. I’m not defending the CCP, the MNCs, etc. -geez!
The other problem I see with a simple ban on Chinese imports is that it doesn’t necessarily result in US manufacturing moving back to the US. It might just go elsewhere like Vietnam, India, Mexico, etc. Then you just create a multi-headed dragon. How are you going to encourage US companies to build factories in the US under current conditions and then compete with cheap labour abroad (of course, you could make high-end goods like some of the Europeans, but that doesn’t solve the entire problem)? What about the US Tax Code? it’s pretty f’ed up; you blaming China for that one too? And the focus/attraction in America on financial services (rather than encouraging more engineers for example, whose fault is that?
I also said that a complete ban would trigger a trade war; that would hurt US companies doing business in China too. And before we say, hey, we don’t care about these MNCs (or rather they are less important than my family, etc.), what about those small companies struggling or at least not making billions off cheap labour, or those regular Americans (not Apple top executives) who depend on that job at the MNC, say, based in Shanghai. In any trade war, they will suffer. Do they deserve to lose their jobs, perhaps even their entire company? Maybe they’ve got a family to feed too. Is this their fault? We have several Forumosans in that position, I think. Do they deserve to lose their shirts or jobs, because the Prez back home suddenly endorses Enigma’s Complete and Non-Temporary Ban on All Chinese imports? And politically, this is probably gonna create another Cold War. Yay. great.
Ultimately, I think people who think blaming China is the answer to their problems are myopic. You yourself mentioned special interests/lobbying problems in the government. Will that end because we’ve cut off Chinese imports? Whose fault was that? You argued for people taking back control of their own government away from special interests, and we can both agree on that. But certainly you must agree, that is not a China problem. And as I’ve argued, cutting off China doesn’t mean you’ve dealt with this problem, and therefore doesn’t mean you’re going to rebuild the US. which is why, again in previous posts, I would like to hear (from everyone) a more practical plan rather than just wishful thinking or unrealistic vision. I do agree that the US needs to do something to rebuild its domestic economic strength, but how do we get there? I’m not saying it’s laughable because it can’t be done at all, I’m just more interested in knowing how it can be done.
I’ll start with this interesting post by F. Zakaria who among other comments, talks about massive investments and avoiding blaming other countries for our problems (e.g. overconsumption and debt-driven economy is of our own doing). and what I really like is he agrees with Mayor Bloomberg: give all foreign students who graduate from US universities with certain degrees (that we see as useful) green cards; they are highly educated, probably highly motivated and productive people - why let them go back to their home country instead of encouraging them to stay?