Saturday, April 23, 2005

America Blames China For Our Economic Messes We Made Ourselves


What a week that was! Greenspan whining before Congress, blaming them for the fix we are in, whimpering that he wasn't responsible, claiming that he really didn't expect deficits to explode when he gave Bush the green light to cut taxes because of the surplus.

Excuuuuuuse me! I still remember that time, the first six months of Bush's reign. During the election, I watched with alarm as the internet bubble popped. I said, "Well, there goes the surplus!" and lo and behold, it began to melt away. Bush came into office and said, "Because the economy is in trouble, I will cut taxes" only he cut taxes far in the future, not a quickie tax cut! I wrote, "This is ridiculous. It will cut taxes exactly when an expected recession will be over!"

Well, he continues to do what is senseless.

Greenspan also whined about mean old China not doing what we want. Congress responded by cutting more taxes, passing more "emergency spending" for Iraq and other activities that made a bad situation a joke.

So time for the The Bipartisan US-China Economic Security Review Commission aka "BUCESRC" (Boopkus). The hand wringing is amusing. From Senator Byrd:

Mr. President, I will not recite all the many important conclusions and recommendations for action contained in this timely report. But I point out that the United States needs to be much more proactive and clear-thinking in managing our overall relationship with China, and far more focused on what our goals are in the relationship if we are to advance our national economic and security interests.

The report concludes, overall, that the U.S.-China economic relationship lacks active management. U.S. goals for specific elements of the relationship are too vague or even nonexistent. This is particularly highlighted in the enormous goods trade deficit, some $123 billion in 2003, and growing rapidly. The United States has the capability to nudge the Chinese into more positive policies and actions, thereby leveling a playing field which China has tilted in the direction of mercantilist behavior, including, in some arenas, intimidating tactics. Issues which have been festering in the WTO, for instance, such as China's artificial manipulation of the value of her currency, continued tolerance of high levels of Intellectual Property Crimes, massive illegal subsidization of Chinese enterprises, resistance to good faith compliance with important WTO procedures, and with many pledges made for progress in proliferation of WMD, all require heightened levels of attention and management by the United States

The United States certainly has such influence at this period, and for the next few years, because of the enormous dependence of China on our good will, our consumer markets, our manufacturing capability, our technology and our cooperation in many fields. Such dependence will not last forever, however, and it is time that we begin to manage this relationship in ways that will produce more positive and favorable outcomes.

I like it. "Enormous dependence of CHINA on our good will..." As I often encounter on line as well as in the streets, Americans think China comes to us, hands out, begging.

Time for us to review "Begging for Dummies". It is laughably simple. If one wants something and one can't get it by force or threat, one must BEG. Humbly. Just this week, Congress added another $150 billion to our overdraft with China. We decided to cut more taxes and spend more money. Ergo, we now have to return to China and beg for them to give us cheap loans.

They know this. We know this. We disguise our begging by calling it "sales" but what we are selling is....our begging for money. Seems to be our number one export! Begging. It equals the trade deficit. People send us stuff and in return, we beg.

The trade deficit and the budget deficit are both about $666 billion. We are beggars. Beggars can't be choosers. You take what is put in the bowl and you eat it or starve. We can complain and our benefactors will smile. Cranky beggars are funny. In ancient Rome, they were stock figures in comedies.

Members of a congressionally appointed commission on U.S.-China relations left the Beltway for Stanford on Thursday to find out how Silicon Valley thinks Washington should deal with fast-growing China.

They got an earful. Former Defense Secretary William J. Perry told commissioners the United States is losing its edge in the information technology that is key to this country's military superiority. And a parade of high-tech executives implored Congress and the Bush administration to get tough with China on the rampant piracy of intellectual property and Beijing's insistence on securing sensitive technology transfers.

Beggars are known to whine very loudly. These men spent fortunes to insure the present situation is just like it is now. They don't like it but refuse to fix it, of course. They want some magic to happen. Wave that wand and presto!

Wong raked China for failing to protect intellectual property of U.S. companies. "When it comes to keeping trade secrets,'' he said, "there is little hope of recourse'' if secrets leak out.

And leaks are likely, he noted, given the conditions imposed by the central government in Beijing. "Encryption methods must be acceptable to the Chinese authorities, and they must be given the keys,'' he said. "China is essentially a controlled playing field.''

George Scalise, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, based in San Jose, criticized Beijing for giving Chinese companies subsidies and grants that foreign companies operating in China cannot get.

Note how these non tax paying, military/industrial complexers are complaining about the Chinese subsidizing their own industries! Tch. Tch.

At the same time they beg for government spending! That will fix things! To get this money to spend in Silicone Valley, the government has to go to....China for loans. Oopsie.

Scalise called for making the U.S. research and development credit permanent as one way of leveling the playing field. He also urged Washington to lighten up on its post-Sept. 11 visa restrictions because they are impeding the flow of bright, foreign-born scientists and engineers to Silicon Valley.

Additionally, Scalise urged the Bush administration to haul China before WTO courts if it fails to provide open markets and protect intellectual property.

Oh those sneaky industrial titans! Once again, they try the "kill the Chinese with laughter" weapon! Seriously, the UN should investigate this nefarious Weapons of Mass Delusion! It is all the fault of those tricky Chinese and by the way, can we import them here? We need them here because we can't survive unless we have access to tricky Chinese computer experts as well as their equally tricky engineers!

So much for employing Americans.

And so it goes. The begging cup rattles, the beggar pleads and threatens, the USA comes staggering over to clean the windshield with a dirty rag. "Pay me!" yells the bum.

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