The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewFred Reed Archive
Sidestepping the Military Leviathan
Make Money, Not War
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information

Mock-up of planned Russian-Chinese airliner to compete with Boeing and Airbus. To enter service by 2025. Ambitious? Oh yes. Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump? Credit: Sputnik News.

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Is Washington really going to start a trade war with China, or is it just huffing and puffing for position? I don’t know. Mr. Trump has inexplicably failed to brief me. A point worth bearing in mind:

The United States cannot compete commercially with a developed Asia, or China.

America has nowhere to go. It is a fully developed economy that cannot grow rapidly if it grows at all. America is also a country of only medium size with a white and Asian population of a bit more than two hundred million who do all the brain work. It has a decaying system of education, declining living standards, and an economy crippled by huge military expenditures.

By contrast China has a billion Han Chinese, intelligent government, a great deal of room to grow and high rates of doing so. The combined land mass, population, and economic potential of Asia are staggering. In differing degrees, Asian nations are growing.

Further, Eurasia is one continent, and China has land connections to all of it–“interior lines of communication,” as soldiers say. America does not. Beijing’s stated intention is to use this to unite Eurasia into one enormous commercial unit—which will not include guess who. Beijing can do this. It has the cash. China is the world’s leader in high-speed rail. As a competent dictatorship, it can decide to do things and then do them, while America often seems unable to do either.

First Direct Freight Train from China to UK Arrives in London.” Chinese rolling stock like the above is becoming common in Europe.

Some time has passed since Beijing made its first rail shipment from Wuli on the Pacific coast through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belorusa, Poland, to Germany and then left to Madrid. It was clunky and a bit of a stunt. Now there are scheduled trains connecting many Chinese cities to the rest of Asia, including Europe. This will not rival sea transport in volume, but will give a lot of places in Asia access to each other. Influence will follow. Watch.

This is bad news for Washington. Greater trade between Europe and the eastern part of the continent means less influence for Washington. It means potentially very much less influence. European nations have much to gain by trading with the incomprehensibly large markets, current and arriving, between Poland the the Pacific. They have nothing to gain by remaining as sepoy states under American control. Their businessmen know it.

China, already the world leader in supercomputers both in number and performance, hopes to have an exascale machine by 2018, way ahead of the US. These are not people to underestimate.

This dismal reality looks to be behind the orchestrated billingsgate against Russia, the war drums being pounded about the South China Sea, and the obvious desire for war with Iran. These three counties are key to an economic union that, if not stopped, will dwarf the United States. While some hope that China will collapse because of internal problems, this is a thin reed upon which to bet the Empire. Washington knows it.

The Empire can not afford to lose control of Europe’s governments, which will happen if heavy trade is allowed to develop with the Three Bugbears. Thus Washington’s hostility to all three—a hostility whose chief effect, note, has been to drive them together against America. Not good. The first rule of empires is Don’t let your enemies unite.

Here we come to a crucial difference between American and Chinese foreign policy. Washington’s approach to maintaining the Empire has consisted of military attack, threats of military attack, military occupation, and the imposition of sanctions. These are visibly declining in effectiveness. The US currently has sanctions against North Korea, Cuba, Iran, and Russia—none of which has produced the desired capitulation. Unless Washington comes up with something quick, presumably a shooting war or a trade war, its aircraft carriers will steam in circles, slowly rusting, while Asia grows.

Glimmerings of rebellion appear in many places. In the Philippines, Duterte is snuggling up to China. While Washington may kill him or twist his arm, twenty years ago this would not have been necessary. Malaya recently bought Chinese naval vessels. Thailand has begun buying Chinese arms. Countries are slowly abandoning the dollar. German businessmen want to trade with Russia.

Trump now proposes sanctions on China, having said the he would impose a tariff of forty-five percent on goods from there. Perhaps he was lying, bluffing, or posing in the standard manner of politicians. Maybe he wasn’t. I am not so foolish as to think I can predict the course of a trade war, but neither am I so foolish as to believe that Trump can.

He seems to have the instincts of a bully, which works, or may work, with weak states like Mexico. China isn’t one. He has said that China needs the US more than the US needs China, and so China will surrender. This was also said of Cuba, North Korea, Iran, and Russia. The US remains superior to China in all sorts of things, but a lot fewer than before. A trade war won might prove less desirable than a trade war not started. We remember Pyrrhus for a reason.

China begins operating world’s largest radio telescope.” A friend, more patriotic than observant, recently spoke of China as “900,000,000 illiterate peasants.” I suggested stronger coffee.

If only for reasons of vanity, Trump couldn’t let China get away with calling his bluff. Millions have died over wounded vanity. What could he do? Go for an all-out trade war? Again, risky. Proud countries dig their heels in. China is not without options. By simply turning to Airbus as exclusive provider to its large and growing market, it would wreak havoc on Boeing and its work force and perhaps marginalize the company. Add that Israel may not allow Boeing to sell to Iran, which would be a further blow.

It is interesting to consider recent PISA scores, which measure the academic performance of school kids. Math scores in order by country: Singapore, Hongkong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, China. The US was well below average for the countries tested, though its scores are lowered by minorities. Headline: “NY Professor Says Algebra Is Too Hard, Schools Should Drop It.” On fairness, America leads in safe spaces, trigger warnings, puzzled diversity, and whimpering Snowflakes. Watch out, Beijing.

A trade war might come down to whose population can better tolerate want. The deplorables who shop at Walmart are already stretched pretty tight and would not react well to being further impoverished for what they would see as profits for the Establishment.

If I may briefly reveal my commie tendencies, maybe America ought to worry about its universities, roads, laboratories, and medical care instead of wasting its money on corruption, bombers, lunges for empire, and dreams that 1955 is just around the corner.

China has launched the world’s first quantum-crypto satellite, presumably intended to get NSA off it back, as transmissions are not usefully interceptable. I’m not sure all of us quite know what we are dealing with. The days when Asia made little paper umbrellas for expensive drinks seem to have ended.


Fred can be reached at Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid voracious auto-delete routine. Due to volume, response, alas, not guaranteed.

(Republished from Fred on Everything by permission of author or representative)
Hide 149 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Rurik says:

    A trade war won might prove less desirable than a trade war not started.

    we’re already in a trade war, only it’s being fought unilaterally and aggressively by China, and we’ve simply been in perpetual surrender mode. It’s good for the corporate execs, the globalists, and the whore politicians who bend over for them, but it ain’t no good for some wiry scamp of a boy in them there yonder hills of Appalachia, now is it?

    Why is it Fred that it seems like these days, from the issue of immigration to our epically disastrous trade policies with China, that you seem to kneejerk side against us here deplorables? I remember once not so long ago when I counted you among us. But nowadays it seems like you’re always mocking us hick country fellas and lookin down on us. It ain’t becoming I tells ya, it ain’t! I’m startin to wonder if them there feminist types haven’t gotten a rubber band round your pouch.

    Add that Israel may not allow Boeing to sell to Iran

    I see you snuck that in, huh?

    says it all, don’t it?

  2. Sean says:

    Don’t forget the Arctic sea route. They are ripping the planetary environment apart like a car in a wrecking yard, and clearing the way for their deindustrialising exports. Yes, China will win any fair competition, that is why we won’t play fair, but rather lead with our strength: military pressure, thereby forcing China into a military build up that will alarm all their neighbors . Then we encircle them with the ensuing coalescing alliance of India, Russia, Japan (all on China’s borders will be terrified by what it turns into) and eventually even Europe. They won’t have a friend in the world apart from Pakistan, Sri Lanka and N. Korea.

  3. pyrrhus says:

    Satire???Denial?Or do the delusions actually run that deep…..

    • Replies: @george strong
  4. China, ‘As a competent dictatorship’?

    ‘Dictatorship’ doesn’t convey the reality of China’s governance model, which hasn’t changed much in 2,200 years. It’s always been an open meritocracy in which the most virtuous get promoted. (Lee Kwan Yew called Xi Jinping ‘a Chinese Nelson Mandela’).

    All Chinese heroes have been government officials and their heroism has been moral, not military. As Martin Jacques points out, the Chinese are extremely proud of their government and treat it as the head of their extended family.

    It’s essentially a neutral government shaping national consensus. Right now, public approval of its policies fluctuates between 90% and 96%.

  5. Yeah, but countries go now from hardworking, self-sacrificing serfs to lazy playboys and girls in a very short time. Been happening for a while now with India, which has lost its edge.

  6. mtn cur says:

    Gonna be interesting when Bubba and Billy Wayne figure out that the Donald can’t deliver for the same reason that no other president would be able to. The citizens of “by the people for the people” made this mess and are too stupid to see that they are the only ones who might be able to even mitigate the mess that they sold their childrens inheritance for. Idjits will blame Trump, same as they did Obama, and the Donalds name doesn’t even sound like Osama.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Anonymous
  7. @Rurik

    Fred is old now, and old men lose their testosterone. He now has the mind of an addled old woman.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @El Dato
    , @annamaria
  8. @pyrrhus

    Sean is obviously high on goofballs.

  9. Perceptive article; when you are the top, no place to go but down. America’s levers are decreasing with every ‘studies’ degree handed out.

    So where to go if you don’t want to go down – up!

    Restart the space program big time. If an A-bomb can be built in 5 years and a spaceship in 10 – its not that impossible. Heck, combine both – Project Orion beckons. Per aspera ad astra and all that.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  10. Talha says:
    @mtn cur

    Good points mtn cur. On the one hand…

    whose population can better tolerate want

    Might actually do us some good to tighten our belts and lose some girth. I’m pretty sure the older generation like you sees the newer ones have gone pretty soft and lost their edge. At least I see it in the kids these days – we’ve spoiled them, walking around with their faces in one screen or the other, constantly swiping and tapping; this won’t end well.


  11. To me, China demonstrates the advantage of state capitalism, where the mechanics of capitalism are used for the benefit of the whole country – over oligarchical capitalism (that we have in the west), where mechanics of the state are used for the benefit of capitalists…

  12. Oh yes. Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump?

    Well, to be fair, Airbus is still worth laughing at.

    That said this was a good article that makes many correct and very germane observations.

    • Replies: @Rdm
    , @Philip Owen
  13. @frayedthread

    That would sure be a much better waste of resources than Wall Street bailouts or welfare, but still a waste of resources.

    • Replies: @frayedthread
  14. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    He seems to have the instincts of a bully, which works, or may work, with weak states like Mexico. China isn’t one.

    Who was it that wrote: the most likely thing to turn a man into the parody of himself is a wife?

  15. China has a population between four and five times as big as ours, and their economy is about the same size.

    That means they have a gigantic number of people sitting around doing nothing, or very little.

    It is their own, homegrown Generation Snowflake.

    Some of their best tech could never have been developed inside China. They have Bill Clinton to thank for their success (at last!) in orbital dynamics and nuclear warhead design. They have a hacker army to thank for recent developments in steel production. They have American-born companies like Apple to thank for their being a leader in manufacturing phones and electronics.

    They have themselves to thank for pollution levels beyond anything you have ever seen in the West. There is no place in China where you can drink the water. Don’t give me scare stories about how badass a civilization is when you cannot drink their water.

    So China is big and powerful, yes, and they are growing, yes. But they aren’t ten feet tall. As for intelligent government, Fred, you should know better than that. Government, everywhere you find it, is an instrument for getting really smart people to do really stupid things. In that regard, China has the edge on us. Much of China still regards the central government with bitterness, hatred, and resentment because of fantastically dumb crap like the one-child policy, forced abortions, violent repression of religion, and so on. They are closer to being like the old USSR than a unified country, and they have a really long history of not getting along with each other. It would not surprise me a bit if the country went totally to pieces.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  16. @The Grate Deign

    “That means they have a gigantic number of people sitting around doing nothing, or very little.”

    You have that exactly backward.

    GDP per capita is a reflection of the amount of capital invested in an economy.

    A simple example for a simple mind.

    You can cut a golf course with 5,000 men with shears, 500 men with push mowers or 5 men with big ride-ons.

    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
  17. “Thou breakest the head of Leviathan in pieces” – referring to the God-Emperor hisself.

  18. @Anatoly Karlin

    Other than divvying up the world with Russia & China in an act of outright colonialism (hello 1984!), how else is the U.S. economy gonna grow?

    We don’t really export anything to the world other than claptrap movies,armaments, financial services, software and LGBTQ+ choler revolutions.

    We are slipping behind even in supercomputers and nuclear power tech. TaihuLight, Hualong-1 etc..

    Re: the Singularity – No we don’t all want to escape meatspace either!

  19. @Rurik

    you do realized that the trade deficit is by our own design right? it is what we wanted and set it up that way. we basically get goods and services for printed papers and IOUs. while china gets a jump start to it’s economy + build it’s zero infrastructure. now that china is done with that and trying to transition to a consumer economy, it no longers needs our useless printed papers. that is what rattles our freeloading elites. they want china to forever remain our factory 🙂

    I can’t believe there is actually someone who thinks there is an economic war going on right now :()

  20. Rich says:
    @godfree roberts

    China has always been “an open meritocracy”? Surely, you jest. We don’t have to go too far into history to find the “Great Leap Forward.” It’s estimated that the beloved “government officials” killed 45 million people. Was this vicious murder spree based on merit? There are many other examples of nepotism, mismanagement, corruption and tyranny in China’s long history. They’ve got a long road ahead of them and the threat of communist terror hangs over everyone who lives under that regime’s heel.

    • Replies: @paratrop
  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @george strong

    Nothing like a China article to trigger the people here at Unz.

    Fred is going to get criticized here for not mentioning the typical China talking points.

    Ghost Cities
    Human Rights
    Taiwan and Tibet
    Russia nuking China after China goes for Siberia
    Cheap Crap

    • Replies: @macilrae
  22. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    This is 100% correct.

    It’s worth noting that this is also the same deal that Japan had, except it was never able to transition away from the mercantilist arrangement where the Japanese make cheap things for printed paper.

    Japan has US bases on its soil, China does not.

    The US elites are basically using the formula that worked against Japan, of which Trump is intimately aware of, on China.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  23. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    Remember when we laughed at Toyota, Airbus, and Trump?

    Read three letters “UAC” on COMAC fuselage and the “laughter” stops right there. I never heard of anybody laughing at Soviet/Russian aviation. In fact, it has always been taken damn seriously.

  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The irony is that China is one of the few places where US manufacture brands are still very popular and prestigious, including brands that are all but dead even in the US, like Buick:

    It might sound surprising to American ears, but 2015 was the best year for Buick in the car make’s 112-year history.

    Yes, that’s the same Buick still trying to overcome the American perception that it’s all stodgy sedans. Your grandfather’s Buick. Former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz a decade ago famously called Buick and Pontiac “damaged brands.” While Pontiac was killed off when GM emerged from bankruptcy, Buick was left to find its way. And it’s been a struggle.

    In last two years, Buick has been flooding U.S. television airwaves with ads of people reacting with surprise that an attractive vehicle is, in fact, a Buick. “That’s a Buick?” And the GM division has been rolling out new models aimed at younger customers.

    “The narrative hasn’t changed as fast as the brand has,” said Buick brand manager Rob Peterson at the North American International Auto Show last week.

    Still, Buick managed to sell 1.2 million vehicles worldwide last year, a third consecutive sales record.

    And that’s thanks to China.

    Eighty percent of all Buicks are sold in China these days. Last year, that amounted to nearly 990,000 vehicles – 4-1/2 times as many sold in the United States.

  25. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    “America has nowhere to go. It has a fully developed economy that cannot grow rapidly, if it can grow at all…” And so on. Vacuous statements unsupported by any evidence or demonstrated logic.

    What if the US were to transform its transportation systems with autonomous vehicles, electric cars, supersonic transcontinental hyperloops? Are such developments not conceivable, and if they occurred would they not constitute economic development?

    What if Americans went back to making shoes an shirts, computers and car parts for one another as they used to, instead of acquiring them from Asian sweatshops? Would that not constitute economic growth?

    And what if instead of importing cheap Asian brains to take the place of American born and educated engineers, would that not motivate a lot more American kids to learn hard subjects and boost national Pisa scores, whatever they may be?

    But Fred obviously has nothing sensible to say about the future of the American economy. He’s simply joining in the globalist howl of anti-Trump derision in the hope that it will somehow help defeat the new administration before it is able to prove that Western nations have an alternative to Third-Worldization.

  26. Wally says:

    An economy like China’s works because the citizenry are fairly unified, on the same page, and generally believe that what’s good for one is good for all.

    The US on the other hand is plagued by the sham of ‘diversity’ where more & more low IQ 3rd worlders want to live off the labor of euro whites.

  27. @Anonymous

    but china isn’t japan :() china would probably laugh in trump’s face if he tries the same formula we used for japan on china now. the formula was used during the late 90s to create the asian economic crisis and china single handedly stabilized everything. it works for craptastic country like brazil, but it has zero chance on a 11 trillion dollar economy that is still growing by 6% annually.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Daniel Chieh
  28. Wally says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    By whose design?

    Who is the “we”?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  29. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “China begins operating world’s largest radio telescope.”

    Are you sure that is a radio telescope? It looks like a giant solar wok to stir-fry all the dogs and cats of China.

    • LOL: KenH
    • Replies: @El Dato
  30. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    “China has launched the world’s first quantum-crypto satellite”

    Are you sure it’s not chop suey carryout for astronauts in the space station?

  31. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    “To me, China demonstrates the advantage of state capitalism”

    It works somewhat cuz of Han Chinese unity.

    Venezuela and Brazil have state capitalism but works less well because too many blacks and ethnic confusion.

  32. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @godfree roberts

    “It’s always been an open meritocracy in which the most virtuous get promoted.”

    Virtue being acing the ridiculous eight-legged essay.

    • Replies: @godfree roberts
  33. El Dato says:
    @Astuteobservor II


    OTOH, there will be slowdowns of a decade or so as the many bubbles of China implode and non-ROI generating sinkholes need to be written off (like those empty cities…) . It will happen.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  34. El Dato says:

    This is the 天眼, literally “The Eye of Heaven”.

    It could be useful for both roles, though I haven’t heard of anyone attempting the experiment in Puerto Rico’s Arecibo, the only other of the “fixed dish” kind (hopefully one day these will all be in deep space, shouldn’t be too hard either).

    The local dwellers nearby the dish site got moved out of the way with extreme prejudice I hear.

  35. macilrae says:

    Fred is going to get criticized here for not mentioning the typical China talking points.
    …… Human Rights

    “Human Rights” are a luxury that can only be afforded by societies that have reached an advanced level of development – until then they must take a back seat. Just consider the USA during its staggering growth phase from, say 1900 through to the early 1960s. To grow such an economy you need an enforced social discipline that allows the wheels of progress to run smoothly – if somebody tries to jam the gears they get ruthlessly smacked down.

    Thus with the coexistence of modern China and modern USA you see the one saying, impotently, to the other “Do as I say, not as I did”. Part of the reason the US has exported so many of its jobs, apart from the lower wages, is because its workers are now high maintenance with lots of grievances, absenteeism and healthcare needs – not to mention an unsustainable preoccupation with safety and environmental issues. You can say the US exported its human rights problems.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  36. KenH says:

    There’s good points and bad points in this articles, but it seems to me that anyone who offends the honor of Fred’s beloved “messicans” quickly gets put on his sh*t list. And since Trump doesn’t think it’s in our interests to allow millions of violent illegal aliens (most of whom are messican) to remain here while importing the whole of Mexico and Latin America, he is now on it and probably won’t ever get taken off.

    America has nowhere to go. It is a fully developed economy that cannot grow rapidly if it grows at all.

    This isn’t correct. We’ve lost up to seven million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA and GATT were passed according to some estimates. Trade and economic conflict are often a zero sum game and if America under Trump starts winning and jobs return then that will mean China and other Asian “powerhouses” are losing. That means America’s GDP starts going up and away beyond the 1-2.5% a year of the past decade and a half.

    If I may briefly reveal my commie tendencies, maybe America ought to worry about its universities, roads, laboratories, and medical care instead of wasting its money on corruption, bombers, lunges for empire, and dreams that 1955 is just around the corner.

    With the exception of wasting money on more military hardware Trump has committed to doing just this but you can’t give him credit since he offended your sensibilities about messicans and your adopted nation of Mexico (or is it Mesico?).

    • Replies: @Rod1963
    , @Anonymous
  37. Rich says:

    What happens to a person who proclaims himself a member of an unapproved religion? What happens to a person who calls for democratic elections? What happens to a person who wants more than the state regulated number of children? How do native Tibetans appreciate the Chinese? How many journalists, CEOs and religious leaders have gone missing in China?

  38. DB Cooper says:

    United States shouldn’t touch India with a ten foot pole, much less to go into an alliance with it. India is a failed state.

  39. Lurker says:

    Pedantic trainspotter note: What’s depicted as Chinese rolling stock arriving in London – isn’t. It’s Chinese international shipping containers on western wagons. China & Europe use standard gauge railways but the former USSR uses broad gauge. To traverse Eurasia those containers had to be transferred to Russian broad gauge wagons than transferred again to European wagons.

    So the China-London train was actually three different trains carrying the same batch of containers.

  40. Rdm says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Why is Airbus still worth a laugh?

    Based on a total number of order and delivery, Airbus beat Boeing. Besides, Airbus is very common in Asia while Boeing is mostly consumed in the States.

  41. Rdm says:

    “China begins operating world’s largest radio telescope.” A friend, more patriotic than observant, recently spoke of China as “900,000,000 illiterate peasants.” I suggested stronger coffee.

    The legend says China, using their largest radio telescope, detected a new wave of indecipherable speech coming from 8000 miles away. It was always in a form of 140 characters, no more than that.

    China first thought they had an intelligence on what those words might represent. They decoded their meanings, they extrapolated all the inferences from the wave.

    China finally decoded the wave — a random gibberish thoughtless, pussy grabbing, movies-speech copying, prone to incestuous sensation, a mixed bloc of neural dysfunction-possessing brain hidden in a golden bush.

    That’s how All that glitters is not gold saying comes into existence.

  42. @Rich

    What happens to a person who calls for democratic elections?

    Nothing, I presume. And why ‘call’ for it, when it’s already in the constitution?

    • Replies: @Rich
  43. @Astuteobservor II

    you do realized that the trade deficit is by our own design right? it is what we wanted and set it up that way. we basically get goods and services for printed papers and IOUs.

    Michael Pettis had a very good post on that topic a couple of years ago. He predicts, and I agree, that it is going to come unwound pretty soon.

    The joker in the deck is what we have done to our population and society in the meantime, while we have been exchanging goods and services for printed paper.

    The independent small farms and businesses are gone and in their place we have millions of “guest workers” and welfare dependents.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  44. @Bill Jones


    All the times I have been to China, large numbers of people standing around not doing anything is what I saw, a whole lot. On any given day in Guangzhou, the parks are packed with people doing music, tai chi, and just sitting there on a bench. Visit a 7-11 store the size of an American clothes closet, and they may have four people “employed” in there, three of whom aren’t contributing a thing to the weal of the business, but there they are. Granted, that’s anecdotal, but I saw it so much that I regard it as generally true.

    Yes, they have more people doing manual labor than America does. And as you suggest, some of it is way primitive, such as old women with brooms sweeping the streets.

    But they still have a welfare state that dwarfs ours. If America stopped its welfare state, we would have riots and some hungry people learning, for the first time, to work. If China stopped theirs, half a billion people would starve to death.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  45. Rich says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Are you telling me there are now elections in Red China? Guess I missed that news flash across the bottom of my TV screen. Or maybe you’re referring to the elections in Hong Kong where recently two candidates were denied their seats because they disagreed with the tyrants on the mainland? Not exactly democracy.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Mao Cheng Ji
  46. @El Dato

    you need to check those “empty cities” again bro. just one example. This “empty/ghost cities” are so passe for propaganda/pr about the imminent implosion of the chinese economy.

    I 100% agree with your bubbles comment though. but that is what happens when certain sectors of the economy gets too hot. how well the govt of china handles it will show their maturity.

  47. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    On second thoughts, one realizes that this piece is a brilliant satire on the Economist/Financial Times style of reportage. The bit about “First Direct Fright [sic] Train from China to UK” and the accompanying full color route map is a particularly nice touch.

    The fact that the journey took ten days, almost twice the time it takes to send a container ship from New York to London, is not of course mentioned, since that would negate the anxiety induced by noting that America is surrounded entirely by water (well except for the second largest country in the world to the North and an entire other continent to the south). Neither is it mentioned that rail lines from China to Europe have been in place for more than 100 years, and that the undersea connection to London was completed more than 20 years ago without any assistance whatever from the Chinese.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  48. DB Cooper says:

    “How do native Tibetans appreciate the Chinese?”

    Studies has show that Tibetans are more nationalistic and identify more with the Chinese state than their Han counterpart.

    Listen to this podcast,

    Answer to your question starts at around 28:00 minutes.

  49. @another fred

    well, UBI to the rescue? welfare dependents does trap alot of people who wants to better themselves. basic income for those will ensure the good ones who wants to get out, get out.

    collective bargaining has gone to shit in the usa. but that is inevitable because the elites have access to a global pool of workers for 30 years now. and I agree about the death of small pop and mom shops dying out is very bad for the long term health of us economy. you can blame the likes of walmart for that.

    • Replies: @mtn cur
  50. @Wally

    as I typed in my last reply to you in another article, google bro, google. there are literally tons and tons of information on this. hell, even youtube has some real documentaries about this if you don’t like reading, you just have to wade through a ton of propaganda ones since 2012-2013 was flooded with them after obama called for it.

  51. Jason Liu says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Dirigism – the greatest economic model known to man.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
  52. “Further, Eurasia is one continent, and China has land connections to all of it–“interior lines of communication,” as soldiers say”

    You haveen’t factored in the comparative costs of expensive shipping by land versus cheap shipping by sea. As another reader pointed out, in the case of Eurasia the cost differential is magnified by the need to offload and then reload land cargo due to different railroad gauges and other factors.

    The USA’s advantages in having a large number of seaports on its Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean coasts far outweighs any other country’s advantage in this respect. It’s probably cheaper to ship by sea from China to the US, offload on the Pacific coast, transship by rail, reload on the Atlantic coast and ship to Europe than it is to route cargo by rail directly from China to western Europe. This makes it an even more unfortunate and avoidable tragedy that the USA has essentially ignored its merchant marine fleet for three-quarters of a century.

    China does not actually have a very threatening economy once the artificial advantages it has been conceded by US elites, working for their self-aggrandizement and against the general welfare of the USA, have been taken into account. The same can be said of Japan. Anyone who doubts this might go back twenty-five years or so and re-read all the hype about Japan’s 4GL advantage.

    All the individuals I know who have worked in those countries report that the economies are actually very fragile and far less efficient, advanced, flexible, etc., than the USA. If the USA, under Donald Trump’s leadership, threatens dire consequences if these countries do not relax the ridiculously unfavorable trade conditions under which the USA currently operates, these countries will have little choice but to yield. Doing otherwise will risk a trade war that will devastate their econmies and only ding the USA’s.

    All that said I think Trump will adopt a far more peaceful approach towards China than our first affirmative action president’s insanely bellicose “pivot to Asia”. Trump is interested in a better economic deal for the USA, its work force, and its economy; not imperial over-reach.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Philip Owen
  53. annamaria says:
    @george strong

    It seems that you tried to insult the author, instead you exposed your own pettiness as well as poor understanding of who and why makes the decisions on US-China trade. Perhaps you are not aware that the US is an oligarchy and not a democracy:

  54. Rod1963 says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    you do realized that the trade deficit is by our own design right?

    No it’s not, PNTR with China was promoted by handful of Wall Street firms and the Chambers of Commerce. Not the American people per se.

    t is what we wanted and set it up that way. we basically get goods and services for printed papers and IOUs.

    I guess you were born yesterday, China didn’t provide any goods or services we needed prior to normalizing trade with them. All it served was to off-shore vital industries and send millions of workers to the unemployment line for good. Not to mention devastate entire communities in the process. Oh yeah it the executive class very wealthy and that’s whats important.

    It’s really nice of you to leave out the central players in this.

    I can’t believe there is actually someone who thinks there is an economic war going on right now

    Yes many ignorant people have no idea that China engages in predatory trade practices against the U.S. including dumping of goods and rampant theft of intellectual property and then sells the counterfeit goods back to the unsuspecting in the U.S.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  55. Rod1963 says:

    The old boy went native a long time ago and you’re right, once Trump pointed his finger at illegal immigration from Mexico, Trump was on Fred’s s**t list.

    If I may briefly reveal my commie tendencies, maybe America ought to worry about its universities, roads, laboratories, and medical care instead of wasting its money on corruption, bombers, lunges for empire, and dreams that 1955 is just around the corner.

    You know Fred, Trump does worry about all of this and wants to fix it. He’s made it quite clear. Yeah he wants to rebuild a our military that dubya wrecked in Iraq and Afghanistan. And oh he has zero intention of building a empire. As he said, Iraq cost us some \$2-3 trillion dollars and we got nothing out of it and that money would have been better off spent here at home.

    • Replies: @in the middle
  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    These are all nice thoughts, but you might as well say the same thing about Canada. What if……

    To fund these projects, and make them sustainable, the populace of whatever country will make that future reality will need a high savings rate.

    Funding these projects based on the petrodollar is coming to a close especially as the west tries to prevent it’s demise by spending more on the military.

    To me, it’s more likely that future happens in China than America. They have a high savings rate to afford these projects, the means of production to make it happen, and the IQ without the immigration problem we have.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  57. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    I agree with this, but I still think this is the game plan. And I think Trump is channeling what worked in the 80’s with the expectation that it will work again.

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  58. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Fred triggered you. We get it.

    Now crawl back to your safe space.

  59. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    We don’t have democracy here either Rich.

  60. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You obviously haven’t heard of Mackinder and his Heartland theory.

    The idea is to push all trade from east to west and vice versa through sea channels that the west can control.

    Using rail bypasses this problem. Especially if they will use high speed rail.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
    , @nsa
  61. @Rich’s_Republic_of_China

    Not exactly democracy.

    There’s no such thing as ‘exactly democracy’.

    And what’s your point in all this, anyway?

    Satisfaction with the central government has remained consistently high — 92.8 percent are satisfied with performance, of whom 37.6 percent are extremely satisfied

    92.8% satisfied, I don’t see how you can get more democratic than that. In the US this number is usually under 30%. Is that ‘democratic’?

    • Replies: @Rich
  62. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Jus' Sayin'...


    The benefits of freight are well known in the US and Eurasia.

    It will be AT LEAST 50% faster to ship by rail than by sea and much cheaper than air from east to west

    Different rail gauges can be swapped out over time, and there are different technologies that can overcome this too.

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
  63. utu says:

    China needs more nuclear warheads and rockets.

  64. @Jason Liu

    Dirigism – the greatest economic model known to man.

    Well yeah, perhaps, at this point in history. Especially the non-belligerent kind with egalitarian flavor. Surely beats oligarchical capitalism. Another example of a success story would be Soviet NEP of 1922-1928.

  65. mtn cur says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Why have citizens when you can segue from busting unions to busting citizens with either legal or illegal scabs who can be fired and deported at your leisure with even less legal recourse than citizens who no longer can afford lawyers. No wonder the republicans defecate rolls of red hot barbed wire at the thought of wetbacks with voting rights.

  66. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website

    I agree with this, but I still think this is the game plan. And I think Trump is channeling what worked in the 80′s with the expectation that it will work again.

    What “worked” in 1980s was a dramatic de-industrialization of the US and emergence of FIRE, so called, economy. Trump is trying, at least if to judge by his statements, to undo precisely what happened and “worked” in 1980s. All those economic monetarist “measures” , as well as existence of this very FIRE economy are possible only when there is a robust manufacturing sector which produces real value.

  67. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    To fund these projects, and make them sustainable, the populace of whatever country will make that future reality will need a high savings rate.

    How much of China’s infrastructure spending has been financed by savings? I have no idea, do you?

    But what I do know is that much of China’s capital investment has come from state owned or backed banks using printed money supplied by the central bank, much of it probably never to be repaid.

    Printing money is not only how China has financed its high speed rail, etc., but how China has manipulated the dollar/Yuan exchange rate. Chinese companies sell stuff to America in exchange for dollars, the Chinese central bank then buys the US dollars with printed renminbis, using the dollars to buy US Treasuries. That keeps the renminbi from rising against the dollar and it keeps the jobs flowing from the West to China.

    The US can print money too, and has done in record amounts under Obama. Thing is, Obama pissed it away on foreign wars, and welfare for illegal immigrants, etc.

    Trump aims to be smarter. First, much of the cash to fund infrastructure will be created by the nominally private sector Infrastructure Development Bank or whatever it will be called. For every dollar of capital provided by the the US Government, the bank will, in effect, print ten more by creating loans on the basis of a ca. 10% capital reserve.

    In addition, funding will be provided to private entities by way of tax incentives, so the US Government will likely still run huge deficits, but these will be funding infrastructure development by the private sector, not bureaucrats salaries, welfare checks and ISIS.

    And some of the capital for infrastructure development will come out of the corporate sector’s current huge stash of cash, as the corporate sector seeks to take advantage of the opportunities for profitable investment at home created by the new administration.

  68. @Rod1963

    corporate profits trumps your workers and communities. never claimed it was good for the american people or the long term economy. just giving info on why the current trade is the way it is. workers are powerless central players, not like they can affect policy. those firms and players you so casually dismissed is why the current trade is the way it is.

    If you really think about it, your comment refuted non of my points. 🙂

    please define predatory trade practices? selling a product at a lower price? isn’t that competition(unless it is govt subsidized, but then that becomes a case for the WTO)? what do you mean?

    Ip theft? what does that have to do with the trade deficit? or your “predatory practices”? isn’t that for the govt and courts?

  69. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    This from Fred, on the first day of Mr. Trump’s presidency. One cannot listen to Mr. Trump’s inaugural address and not feel his deep sense of patriotism and love for the American people. Call me naive, but I believe in his words, and his exceptional ability to make things happen.

  70. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    It will be AT LEAST 50% faster to ship by rail than by sea and much cheaper than air from east to west

    But it will still take twice as long and cost twice as much to ship by rail from China to Europe, as to ship by sea from the US to Europe. So, yes, rail may reduce China’s disadvantage relative to the US in the European market, but China will still be at a disadvantage.

    Anyhow, maybe the plans of the endlessly innovative Mr. Musk’s for a boring company include a transAtlantic tunnel, for hypersonic freight shipment, that would make those Chinese trains rattling along the Trans-Siberian (do they still have to lay track over the ice on Lake Baikal in the winter) look distinctly obsolete.

  71. @godfree roberts

    Mussolini and Putin enjoy(ed) 90% approval ratings too.

  72. @Anonymous

    Ridiculous? Professional and expert opinion disagrees:

    But feel free to backup your assertions witrh evidence. I’m particularly interested in where you learned Russia is considering the gauge conversion of all its railways.

  73. @Jus' Sayin'...

    I never forget going to Sony’s R&D HQ in Tokyo and walking along the pavement (sidewalk) from the station and the smell of sewage coming from the septic tanks of nearby houses. Or walking past small hardware shops in Kyoto and comparing them to my father’s. Japan grew so fast that development was extremely uneven. Malaysia, another place I know, similarly. In Russia, 21st Century facilities are surrounded by still decaying Kruschavi. So, it would be miraculous if China’s development was even.

    That said, the US would not enjoy its present standard of living if it returned millions of low added value jobs on shore.

  74. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    China is still weaker than the USA, militarily, for several more years. A trade war, followed by a massive conventional attack, would savage the Chinese economy, which has very few tools to damage the physical assets of the US economy. No long-range subs with reliable cruise missiles, no long range bombers that can get anywhere close to even California, no powerful surface fleets to backup a carrier group, nothing besides a few untest parlor tricks like the DF-21. Plus, we have basically no mercantile fleet left for their submarines to target, and the majority of our remaining, relic industrial base is buried very far inland, across many thousands of miles patrolled by excellent Air National Guard fighter units.

    On the other hand, B-2s could devastate industrial sites throughout China, destroy critical hydroelectric power plants and nuclear generating facilities, turn shipyards to scrap, and annihilate the capital investment poured into the country over the last decades by both the government and foreign businessmen. American attack subs would cut through the Chinese merchant fleet like wolves in the henhouse. They don’t even have a dim, dusty organizational memory, like the US Navy does, about how to approach that kind of threat. Chinese aviation’s proudest moment has been crashing into a Navy EP-3 when trying to scare it off, and news of the abject lack of quality recruits with the correct psyche profile for fighter aviation work in China has been noted as far away as the Western press. Sure, they have S-300 and S-400 batteries which are formidable… To a point.

    The vast focus of the PLA and assorted junior partners (PLAN, PLAAF) is on sinking the 7th fleet, which if they go all-in… they have about a 50% chance of doing. We have five additional fleets ready to jump into the breach if that happens and while the Navy is absorbing communist firepower, submarines, Navy tacair, and Air Force long-range strategic bombing is doing irreparable damage to the Chinese economy. After that sort of campaign, how would China recover, if the world’s largest economy and the war victor exerts every possible economic and political control to prevent the threat from recurring?

  75. mcohen says:

    China has no gas.most of it is imported

    China is facing grain shortages

    No oil and grain shortages.not a good position.that places a definite limit on expanding a manufacturing military to plunder other countries.what to do chairman how.

  76. Rich says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    92.8% satisfaction, why not 100%? I wonder why so many Chinese were afraid to say they were dissatisfied with the Godless commies who run their country? Couldn’t be because they were afraid not to be satisfied, could it?

    Imagine freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to have as many children as you want. Basic human rights that are denied to people under the Communist regime.

  77. annamaria says:
    @Philip Owen

    What is your drudge against Russian federation that you put the name of a fascist Mussolini next to a name of a prez of a country that has a long memory of suffering from a fascist invasion? The ziocons would love to eliminate this memory; see Clinton’s hysterics “Putin is Hitler.” Was it Clinton that informed your Russophobic passion?

  78. Hibernian says:

    “Especially if they will use high speed rail.”

    Not very economical for freight.

  79. @Anon

    All of that is why a war between US and China would go nuclear very quickly. Thanks to Slick and Loral they could make enough of a mess of us that there would be no real winner (even though we could erase them).

    The stuff I read they are pretty plain in their plans to be top dog in their region and hope to challenge us there without triggering a global war. I think a lot will depend on how Japan and India respond.

    I do not expect war until a good many years after trade cooperation breaks down, which will happen before too long.

  80. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @mtn cur

    Gonna be interesting when Bubba and Billy Wayne figure out that the Donald can’t deliver for the same reason that no other president would be able to.

    Not a problem, JimmieBob mtn cur; the wimmin, Blacks and queers is gonna take charge — said so right there in DC just today. How can anyone argue against the compelling logic of pink hats w/ horns?

    The deplorables who shop at Walmart are already stretched pretty tight

    hee hee. down in Central Virginia we used to sit in the Walmart parking lot and watch the fat people go in and out. Talk about stuff stretched tight.

    Today would have been a bad day for fat people sightings at Walmart.
    They were all on the Mall in DC, wearing pink hats with horns.

  81. @Rich

    92.8% satisfaction, why not 100%? I wonder why so many Chinese were afraid to say they were dissatisfied with the Godless commies who run their country?

    It has not been that far in the past that millions were starving to death (they still have a lot of hunger), and not long before that they were being overrun by the Japanese. Just being on an upward trajectory looks good to them.

    They have a lot of problems, especially with their interior province peasants from what I read, but culturally they have a lot of patience, perseverance, and fierce ethnic pride.

    I think Michael Pettis is correct about the economic challenges they face in the near future (as do we), but I don’t think we will find cause for celebration in them.

  82. Of course Fred Reed is 100% correct, and at the same time, totally irrelevant. Trump has said many times that he wants to end the interventionist foreign policy that we’ve had for the past 70 years. If you listened to his inauguration speech carefully, you will note that he reiterated this point. Its possible that the guy might by lying through his teeth, but I don’t think so.

    I think the reason for the ongoing “civil war” between the “deep state” and Trump is precisely over this issue. The “deep state” wants war with the rest of the world. Trump does not.

  83. @Anon

    There was nothing ridiculous about the eight-legged essay in its time. It was employed long past the point of true usefulness, certainly.
    But it was not the measure of virtue, in any case. It was the measure of academic proficiency and served only as the gateway to a career in which virtue had to be demonstrated in action.

  84. @Philip Owen

    Mussolini deserved his approval rating based on his early reforms. He lost it when he went to war.

    Putin is the best leader Russia has had in the past 1200 years and his approval rating is well earned.

    Our approval of our government has been falling for 40 years, along with our wages. It’s time we stopped sniping at other, more successful governments and turned that critical attention on ourselves, because ours is failing.

    • Replies: @JackOH
  85. @annamaria

    What is your drudge against Russian federation that you put the name of a fascist Mussolini next to a name of a prez of a country that has a long memory of suffering from a fascist invasion?

    whoa there Nellie.
    First of all, If I were Russian, I would make a distinction between Russia, the Putin version, and Russia the Stalin, or, more precisely, Bolshevik version. If I were Russian, I would want to argue that the Bolshevik version was an aberration imposed on Russia; was almost thoroughly evil, and that Putin does the lord’s work to restore Russia to its Russian self-without-Bolsheviks.

    Then I’d get a grip on what Mussolini was all about: basically, Mussolini wanted similar things for Italy that Putin wants for Russia: a united people, under their shared identity and culture, enjoying economic well-being. Mussolini made some nasty moves: invading Abyssinia was one, being pals with Churchill was a second evil move, and invading Greece (I suspect at the goading of Churchill) was a third. He paid dearly for his nastiness, and the Italian people paid an even higher price.

    As for “a country that has a long memory of suffering from a fascist invasion,”
    a. cry me a river

    b. if by “fascist” you mean NS Germany, they were bent on eradicating Bolshevism. So was Wilson. So was Britain, before it wasn’t. But as noted above, in a way, Putin’s vision is also to eradicate Bolshevism.

    c. imo “fascism” is inappropriately applied to NS Germany; fascism was Mussolini’s scheme, and imo it was not dishonorable. “Fascism” has been turned into a term of opprobrium by the same gang that imposed Bolshevism on Russia. What tangled webs we weave . . .

    d. I get the impression Russia- the- Putin version needs to remind the world of the evils of the Nazees but to sweep under the rug the evils of the Bolsheviks, Communists and Stalinists. Bolshevik – Stalinist Russia inflicted its share and geometrically more on the German and Polish people. Perhaps best to tone down the jingoism, unless you think Russia would fare better in an accurate comparison of body counts and an honest assessment of who-did-what-to-whom.

    e. Italy “suffered under” several centuries of foreign invasions. Machiavelli’s writing urged Italy’s leaders to unite in order to be strong enough to resist invaders, and Mussolini attempted to fulfill that project. Bernard Baruch and Franklin Roosevelt derailed that project from one direction; Churchill attacked it from another direction, and the Communists delivered the coup d’grace, assassinating Mussolini together with his Italian mistress who stayed with him, not with his Jewish mistress who skedaddled for greener pastures.

    The ziocons would love to eliminate this memory; see Clinton’s hysterics “Putin is Hitler.”

    Hell, everybody’s been “Hitler.” Saddam was Hitler, Qaddafi was Hitler, Ahmadinejad was Hitler, the Mullahs are Hitler.
    Putin should be flattered, except that the appellation issued from the cackling lips of the hysterical Clinton.

    The curious thing, tho, is that nobody really has an exact bead on who Hitler was. If all of those people are said to have been “Hitler,” and they weren’t, then maybe not even Hitler was Hitler, and the algebra of the thing leaves X = only “hysterics”.

  86. Dale says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Why not individual capitalism?

  87. annamaria says:

    A little bit of topic: A political prisoner in Poland:
    “Mateusz Piskorski is a renowned Polish scholar and anti-NATO activist who has been held in prison in Warsaw on no charges since May 2016, when he exposed NATO plans to suppress protests in Eastern Europe”

  88. JackOH says:
    @godfree roberts

    “The idea that American government is a failure may be a grim message, but I think it’ll be worthwhile for [the new] City Club people to hear it. A good speaker can underscore the hidden obstacles that allow bad ideas to flourish while better ideas remain stillborn.” So I wrote in a locally published letter last October suggesting a speaker who’d offer arguments for a new constitutional convention. So, yep, I agree, our government is failing.

  89. nsa says:

    Mackinder’s ideas may not be mainstream, but you can bet the boys over in Langley and the Pentagon have studied the concept of the World-Island (Eurasia) which contains over half the world’s resources……why else would they be so anxious to drive their Joohadi assets up into the soft muzzie underbelly of the former USSR? Note carefully Mackinder’s idea that the inner peripheral island chain (UK, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines) was of little consequence…..and that the outer peripheral island chain (North and South America, Australia, NZ) was of even less consequence. Ouch!

  90. You constantly see Chinese rail hyped and related to Mackinder geopolitics, but rail is much less energy efficient than sea and barge transport. And we’re running out of cheap energy now. I don’t see how massive trade flows on rail lines pencils out. Somebody explain how this is going to work. I don’t think the volume of sea freight we have now is even sustainable, let alone a continental rail system moving even more things.

  91. @annamaria

    The Russian use of the word against the Nazis was not particularly associated with Mussolini. Hitler was far beyond fascist (or Theosophist – Thule Society, of which there is also much in Russia). The point is that authoritarian nationalists are often popular. They shut down debate by defining critics as anti-Patriotic, rather like Brexiteers. Add De Gaulle to the list if it makes you feel better, although he faced more opposition. Lee Kuan Yung too. They usually stay on too long. As you can see, more than a few people on this site have positive views about Fascism. If you read Mussolini’s 1933 speech defining fascism, change Italy to Russia, Catholicism to Orthodoxy, you have a rather good description of the Russian Insider site, except that they are a lot more anti-semitic than Italian, Spanish, or Lebanese fascists every were. Further East, as in Romania, they were Nazis.

  92. @Anon

    jeez, talk about retarded wet dreams.

  93. @Anatoly Karlin

    A380, biggest hub to hub transporter with exceptionally low fuel consumption per passenger. Technical leader in fly by wire and use of composites. This is a laugh? The US business community are great salesmen but they do overstate their achievements. Business Week has been predicting the immediate collapse of sclerotic Europe since the late 1970’s that I know of. Gap keeps narrowing.

    British Airways still buys Boeings because traditionally, the British Government wanted to make sure that Rolls Royce engines were a design option on Boeings. Japan had a joint development programme with Boeing. Most of the rest of Eurasia is not a Boeing first zone.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  94. Unlike the US, the EU has large underdeveloped regions within its borders. It also has mechanisms for improving the infrastructure. Turkey and Ukraine are there on the edge as well. There is a lot of room to develop and about 700 million people to benefit. The oil price is down since the end of 2014. It’s the EU’s turn to shine again. China is building trade routes to the EU in Greece and Ukraine.

    Russia’s adventures in Crimea resulted in the cancellation of a huge port project to give China an alternative to Rotterdam. Romania is trying to sell its ports to China now. Greece has done. As with the purchase of gas from Russia, China doesn’t close a deal until it has options (in that case, a pipeline to Takjikistan). China’s alternatives to the US are sliding into place and hey, Boris Johnson says the UK can do a great trade deal with China. It will replace the EU and then some.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Anonymous
  95. It will be AT LEAST 50% faster to ship by rail than by sea and much cheaper than air from east to west

    What if the countries between China and Europa try to charge tolls on rail traffic ?

  96. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    The US is a developed, highly diversified economy. It could live without trade.

    It is now the world’s largest producer of oil and gas.

    In spite of running a trade deficit, people like US dollars. The dollar index is at multi year highs.
    Five years ago, it was around 80 and now is above 100.

    Most of the nostalgia for manufacturing is misplaced. Nevertheless, we have left a lot of money on the table.

    Shockingly, Obama finally filed a protest against Chinese Aluminum.
    And the subsidies include dirty burning of dirty Chinese coal.

    This has been going on for years and was sitting there for Hillary, had she been paying attention. Most of the stuff we don’t want back. But there is still plenty of low hanging fruit. Trump can simply push against the well known, well documented issues an demand they be resolved in a timely manner. This is hardly a trade war.

    US Universities? By far the best funded in the world. Even our 2nd tier states have their flagship universities listed in the top 100 or 200 in the world.

    Fortunately, the US can help itself by simply not doing things. Like losing wars. And leaving the gate open to low skilled foreigners.

    The big change over the last decade is the enormous growth of US tight oil. The US is now the low cost producer of chemicals thanks to the cost and difficulty of exporting natural gas.

    But seriously, the US has problems that other nations would love to have. Culture wars? We argue over nothing because we have political parties that need to argue.

  97. R says:

    You are right, USA is much stronger than China. You can erase them eight times and they can erase you only one time.

  98. Well Fred, I think I’ll just go outside and shoot myself. (Don’t want to make a mess in the house.)

    There are a few self-respecting Americans who are not content to sit on their asses in Mexico and proselytize. It would be easy to just move to the cheap labor land of tequila and leave our brethren to Oriental servitude, but we just don’t like the heat down there.

    Once again, you haven’t written anything here we are not aware of. All you did was leave out the role our capital has played in building up that invincible land of human robots you now salute.

    China would be nothing without the United States. Let’s cut it off. I don’t care what happens. That would be better than the future you are welcoming.

    Have your servidor bring you another margarita.

    • Replies: @Rdm
  99. Paul C. says:

    Instead of worrying about China and trade wars, we should be focused on getting back control of our money supply, which has been reduced to a fiat currency controlled by international bankers.

    Since the inception of the Federal Reserve in 1913 the value of a dollar has declined dramatically. The owners of the Fed are robbing us blind. They create trillions of dollars out of thin air, think QE1 and QE2, and this money gets distributed to member banks. The private owners of these banks then buy ownership in America (corporations, media, gov’t, etc…), in everything that can be purchased.

    And globalization is another way for them to profit without a care for the country.

    Would we be in \$20T of debt if we didn’t have owners? A government “of the people” and “by the people” should control its own money supply, as outlined in the constitution. Interest income received (vs. paid to the Fed) would fill the coffers of the Treasury to the point where income tax may not be needed. Remember, the IRS was introduced in 1913 side by side with the Federal Reserve. We didn’t have an income tax before the Federal Reserve was introduced. We relied on trade tariffs for revenue and therefore only bought (foreign) what was really needed or liked.

    I’m not against global trade but we should always be self sufficient and need to consider our own industries. We have decimated inner cities and 50 million receiving food stamps. Personally, I’m willing to spend more to buy American, if it’s quality.

    But the larger issue is the crime going on in our backyard everyday. It’s called the Federal Reserve. And no one sees it.

  100. @Rich

    92.8% satisfaction, why not 100%?

    92.8% are satisfied, because their standard of living has been raising dramtically, year after year, for at least 20-25 years now.

    The rest, 7.2%, have different criteria, perhaps. But hey, satisfying the aspirations of a majority is what ‘democracy’ is all about, isn’t it? And the Chinese political system has done, obviously, a much better job than most other governments.

    And the western political system (with its ‘human rights’ and all that) is good at satisfying western oligarchs, but not the general population:

    • Replies: @Rich
  101. Rich says:
    @Mao Cheng Ji

    Guess you misunderstood my comment. I don’t believe there is anywhere on God’s green earth where 92.8% of people are “satisfied.” It defies human nature. I think people were afraid to say they were dissatisfied.

    If you believe freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to have as many children as you want, etc. are a Western construct, then you belong in Red China and not the West. But, even with all the censorship, even with the “disappearing” of dissidents, the eternal flame of freedom will come even to Communist China. The tyrants should never sleep easy because although they may be able to slow it down, freedom will eventually rear its ugly head. Then the torturers will learn what justice is.

  102. annamaria says:
    @Philip Owen

    “Russia’s adventures in Crimea…”
    Sounds like a skilled propagandist. This is not FauxNews/CNN – this is Unz Review forum; have some respect for the intelligence of the readers.

  103. @Philip Owen

    I’ve recently flown on both Boeings and Airbus and my impression is that the former were much better in terms of electronic amenities and ergonomics.

    Airbus looked to me like the exact sort of plane that a multinational committee would design – German engines, Italian airframes, British interior decoration, etc. that don’t fit very well together. Also as far as I’m aware their biggest plane was a total failure.

    Still, I will admit to not having looked at the sales statistics in this particular case so obviously my cursory impressions won’t count for much.

  104. @Rich

    I don’t believe there is anywhere on God’s green earth where 92.8% of people are “satisfied.” It defies human nature.

    Seriously? Well, I remember back in 2001-2002, 90+% of the Americans felt satisfied with the performance of George Bush. But perhaps they were afraid to answer “dissatisfied”?

    I think people were afraid to say they were dissatisfied.

    This is silly, no one is afraid. And if you don’t believe the polling data in China reflects the actual sentiment, it’s up to you to provide the evidence of your hypothesis. Btw, did you check the graphs I linked?

    If you believe freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom to have as many children as you want, etc. are a Western construct, then you belong in Red China and not the West.

    It’s not that these proclamations are a ‘Western construct’ (although of course they are), it’s just that these are empty phrases that have nothing to do with reality. In the west, the forbidden speech and associations are declared (for example) ‘terrorist’. Or ‘treason’ (giving of aid and comfort to the enemy). or ‘piracy’, or ‘libel’, or ‘disclosure of classified information’, or unlawful ‘Holocaust denial’. In other countries (including China) it something similar. Your dichotomy of Red China vs the West is a false dichotomy, I’m afraid.

  105. Rdm says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    You haven’t heard of “Slater the Traitor”.

    Here’s a little imagination for you.

    A thief stole a jewelry from another man.

    The thief sold the jewelry to a pawn shop.

    The owner of the pawnshop, without any knowledge of the stealth, accepted the items and received the goods.

    In this scenario, the stealth movement is completely gone out of the equation.

  106. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Philip Owen

    Unlike the US, the EU has large underdeveloped regions within its borders.

    You should travel less by air and more by car or bus. US has uuuuge undeveloped regions within its borders.
    What US does not appear to have is financiers willing to invest in developing those undeveloped regions.

    “In the United States there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is.
    This is what makes America what it is.”

    –Gertrude Stein, author, feminist, playwright

    • Replies: @another fred
    , @bobbybobbob
  107. @macilrae

    As always there’s a lot more to the US/China story than meets the eye.

    That as far back as about 1919 Mao was a creature of Yale, usually goes un-noticed.

    and from

    “George Bush, the first US diplomatic representative to the People’s Republic of China back in 1973, was a member of skull and bones. So were his father, brother, son, uncle, nephew and several cousins.

    Winston Lord the Reagan Bush administration ambassador to China was a member. So were his father and several other relatives.

    James Lilly, the current ambassador to China, was a member of Skull and Bones, as was his brother.

    Except during the Carter administration, every US ambassador to Beijing since Kissinger’s deal with Mao Tse Tung was a member of the same tiny Yale cult. A mere coincidence? Mao was a Yale-y.

    Back in 1903 Yale Divinity School established a number of schools and hospitals throughout China that were collectively known as ‘Yale in China’. It has since been shown that Yale In China was an intelligence network whose purpose was to destroy the Republican movement of Sun Yat-sen on behalf of the Anglo American establishment. The Anglo American establishment hated Sun because he wanted to develop China. On the other hand they loved the Chinese Communists because they intended to keep China backward and were committed to growing dope. One of Yale In China’s most important students was Mao Tse Tung.”

    If you don’t follow James Corbett you really should. He is meticulous in linking to his sources unlike the Mainstream fake news media.

    He would be an enhancement to Ron Unz’s site.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
  108. I agree. Bussing through flyover territory is not required. Upper New York state will do. A trip to Northern Idaho (even all those shacks outside Boise on the road North to McCall) is not necessary. I’ve not been to Appalachia. I imagine that it’s similar to South Wales where I live. But the EU has more poor areas, in less isolated places in Eastern Europe where the problem is less structural underdevelopment than unrealised potential. A broke capital city, say Bucharest, is less of a problem than a mining town without a mine.

  109. @Anatoly Karlin

    I fly on both Airbus and Boeing and find that the experience is the same. Airbus planes often have better entertainment features than the Boeing’s, but Boeing is catching up. From a user perspective, I see no difference between the two.

    The one problem I do have Airbus is in their A319/A320 planes, which is a bug in the flight control system that causes a crash every few years. This usually occurs during landing when the pilots decide to go around, the flight control system will suddenly cause the nose to go up and the plane to stall. As far I know, this bug has not been identified and fix (it does not happen enough for it to be easily identified) and the problem does not occur on their other planes (A330, A380).

    I would not call the A380 a failure. It did come in overweight compared to the original spec. It cannot carry 800 passengers the full 8500 miles or whatever the original spec called for. However, the A380 has ended up in a niche market as a luxury plane for the middle-eastern airlines, which has generated sales of more than 100 planes. Emirates Airlines has bought 50 of them. Additionally Airbus has sold more A380’s than Boeing has of the 747-8.

  110. DB Cooper says:
    @Bill Jones

    Good info. I didn’t know this before. I have dig up another clip showing Mao yanked George Bush forward when the two met. Footage starts at 1:40. By the way Winston Lord and Kissinger are all in the clip.

  111. @Anatoly Karlin

    The interiors and passenger electronics are specced by the airline companies. Emirates A380’s are very different to BA or Singapore Airlines. The carrier decides how many people to cram in. Fuel economy for the route is the main criterion for an airline, after which compatibility with existing maintenance facilities comes in. Throw in a financing package to spin the decision a bit. Fuel economy varies by preferred speed and usual operating range. There is no clear cut answer. The USG reran the bidding until Boeing won when Airbus beat Boeing for the USAF freighter. Antonov managed to disqualify itself.

    World order backlog of planes is over 10,000 so new order intake does not always reflect serious intention but is political manouvering for a place in the queue. The genuine big order this year so far was Iran Air which choose 100 Airbuses. Delivery is a better reflection of market. In deliveries, they run about even by value over a cycle. Boeing tends to go ahead in the early part of the upswing (usually the US comes up first with demand for medium range narrow bodies) and Airbus comes in strong on the later part. The biggest planes are \$400m each so one delivery makes a huge difference especially with Airbus which does well on the very biggest planes. That said, typically the list price is paid on the first plane and the rest are heavily discounted.

    Website googled at random.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  112. @Anonymous

    US has uuuuge undeveloped regions within its borders.

    Here in the Southeast a lot of those “undeveloped” lands are farms that have been allowed to go fallow as we have shifted to agribusiness from farming.

    If you spend much time in the countryside you can find the old terraces, graveyards, and abandoned structures, but you have to be out there on foot.

    Agribusiness is also a large part of why we imported millions of immigrant laborers.

  113. @Philip Owen

    Oh, and German engines are from MTU which makes Pratt & Whitney under licence. The British bit is the wings, which are the key part of the aircraft (engines being the airlines’ option but usually the airframe builder restricts the choices) for aerodynamic effectiveness. The rest is coachwork! I would say that wouldn’t I.

  114. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    German engines

    Germany is allowed into the jet-engine design and production business only as a junior partner (MTU) in what are largely Rolls-Royce, GE, Pratt And Whitney and other non-German enterprises. I have to agree, however, I prefer Boeing planes. And I simply do not like A-320 series, for a number of reasons.

  115. @Anonymous

    US has uuuuge undeveloped regions within its borders.

    The “undeveloped” places pretty much everywhere in the world now are undeveloped because of water and other logistics problems. You can’t just stick towns and industry anywhere. In practice you need a major river. Both the EU and the USA are overpopulated.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  116. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    pretty amazing that Americans developed the many towns that they did, in interiors near creeks but not rivers or lakes, 200 years ago, without electricity or engines.

    & Iran is notoriously difficult terrain — mountains & deserts, but they figured out ways to irrigate deserts a thousand years ago, and today, still use qanats around Yazd, and still use systems of channels to distribute mountain runoff throughout the streets of Tehran.

  117. Sam J. says:

    Even if everything said is true at \$500 billion a year trade deficits we have to stop trading with China under the rules we have now. Maybe we will be less wealthy but we will in the same boat if we keep on doing what we’re doing now.

    Saying that we’ll lose out and not prosper in the future without the trade model we have now is like saying that you’ll never win your money back playing poker with a guy who’s cheating if you stop playing. You weren’t going to win anyways.

  118. TheBoom says:

    One thing Fred would never be able to admit is that the low math scores in the US are in part a consequence of the massive influx of his beloved Mexicans who, along with blacks, score lower in math than whites and Asians.

  119. @godfree roberts

    Its just the eternal bureaucracy. It has its ups and downs.

  120. @CanSpeccy

    What if the US were to transform its transportation systems with autonomous vehicles, electric cars, supersonic transcontinental hyperloops?

    Its not going to happen, I’ve kind of wanted to believe that some time ago, but even in electric vehicles, China is now leading in acquisition and use. As messed up and clumsy as things are here in China, there’s something of a vague coherence in government policy and a sense of progress; in the US, it feels like the government is actively trying to self-destruct.

    Basically, if you were going to ask me, I’ll say that Chinese bubbles explode just like US bubbles. But Chinese bubbles explode and leave useful results – ghost cities that gradually get populated, railroads that actually work, probably automation that accomplished something. The US bubbles of cleantech, dotcom, and housing didn’t seem to leave anything behind beyond tons of lawsuits, bitterness and self-help books.

    • Replies: @another fred
    , @kemerd
  121. @Astuteobservor II

    When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  122. @Rich

    What happens to a person who proclaims himself a member of an unapproved religion?

    Nothing, unless that’s Falun Gong. Well, call yourself a Nazi in the US and see what might happen to you.

    What happens to a person who calls for democratic elections?

    Nothing. Weibo’s pretty active with people like that you know.

    What happens to a person who wants more than the state regulated number of children?

    You pay an additional tax.

    How do native Tibetans appreciate the Chinese?

    Most don’t care. Some think of us as geeky and privileged, of course, and that they are better socially, more musical, are better dancers, etc. You can correlate with your own minorities in the US. Affirmative action here favors them.

    How many journalists, CEOs and religious leaders have gone missing in China?

    I’m grateful for every single feminist that they disappear and reeducate. They don’t do it enough.

  123. @Rich

    You seem like a weird liberal troll.

  124. woodNfish says:

    I think Fred might be getting a little senile, or at least gullible. This whole article is prefaced on the idea that Trump is protectionist, he isn’t. Trump is all for trade, but trade that is fair to our people and country. Why is that so difficult to understand. Maybe Fred has been listening to the lying LSM too much. Trump doesn’t want a trade war, but he also doesn’t want our companies required to do a full technology transfer if they want to do business in China or anywhere else. China requires that.

    Maybe before Fred and his lying LSM friends go second guessing Trump, he ought to give him a chance. Trump has more negotiating and business experience than Fred or any of you readers. Yesterday, Trump was shaking hands with the FBI’s Comey, and telling everyone how wonderful Comey is. Comey is someone I’d like to see indited for conspiracy with the Clinton’s, so I can tell you it surprised the hell out of me. But I am willing to give Trump the time he needs to put his structure together to do the job he has repeatedly promised us he will do. The least Fred and others is to give him the space to do that instead of stirring up bullshit and then declaring the water is brown.

    • Replies: @SolontoCroesus
  125. Joe Wong says:

    USA is a mentally sick nation made up by a bunch of uneducated colonial rednecks who are ‘god-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘inquisitors’, since its existence it has been waging reckless wars against indigenous people and rest of the world on fabricated allegations as humanitarian intervention.

    The American cannot think anything constructive, all day long they are foaming from mouths with bombing, killing, torturing, destruction and bagger-thy-neighbour trolls. The American set the bar for how far the dark side humanity can go, and how low a pariah can sink into.

    • Agree: FB
  126. @Sean

    The major issue with this strategy is that the US has shown that it has the ability to exercise military force, but not necessarily the will to follow through just about anything. As President Durete asked the US envoy when he first got into office – would the US help them fight a war to reclaim their islands?

    “Only if you are attacked.”

    “What do you mean by attacked? Only if it was a military attack?”

    “The exact definitions can vary.”

    The general levels of weasel words and the inability to get commitments from the US very much discourages reliance, and that’s a reason why the “illiberal” governments in Asia more or less gravitate toward China. Its better to have a reliable bully than a pleasant but erratic salesman, especially if said salesman just keeps wanting you to get into a shooting war and might back you up. In limited means. Mostly airstrikes. Probably.

    I think Syria seriously injured the US credibility. Obama shouldn’t have even mentioned the red line if he wasn’t going to go ahead with military force; it just put the US in a terrible no-win situation.

  127. @Daniel Chieh

    in the US, it feels like the government is actively trying to self-destruct.

    Since 2009 there has been a broad consensus in government that fiscal “stimulus” of the economy is needed, but there has been a stalemate over the form of the stimulus and therefore which segment of the population is to benefit. What is going on is a very serious fight for access to more claims against the government (benefits) by the “masses” on the left and their government employed patrons, resisted by the productive (tax payers not employed by the government) part of the population who wants government “stimulus” of the productive sector.

    The coalition of organized labor with the masses has broken down as they have slowly realized that the Democrat Party has been taken over by those who make their living off the government and abandoned by taxpayers (non-government working people). Finance (Wall Street) has moved to the Democrats as they realize that they make their living off the flow of funds (raking off “commissions”) and just want the flow to continue unabated.

    The election of Trump is just a artifact of that struggle, not its resolution (as was Obama’s).

    The struggle will not be resolved as long as the credit gravy train chugs along and goodies can be handed out to keep the opposing sides from each other’s throats. When the credit cycle ends and the contest must then result in real winners and losers (as opposed to big winners and lesser winners), then there will be a resolution. We will either resemble Cuba or Germany ca. 1936.

    Neither outcome will be good, but neither will last long.

    Growth creates instability. The attempt to maintain growth in the US greater than its natural path has created greater instability. We have danced and now must pay the piper.

    • Replies: @annamaria
    , @Daniel Chieh
  128. @Rich

    Dude, I’ve lost most of my family to the commies. Mao Chen Ji has even heard the story before and I have less bitterness against the current Party than you do. I think you sincerely lack understanding of how we as Chinese perceive the world. Honestly, it sounds like you’re rambling in a disjointed way and completely missing that fact that China is far from being all that repressive, and where it is totalitarian, its not in a way that really bothers most people.

    You want to know what bothers people here in China? Pollution. Not being able to get a house. Rumors of corruption. Japan. I mean, by your measure, it would be impossible for the Mayor Geng Yanbo, clearly a Party person of importance, to make any favorable comments toward religion, and yet he clearly did that on record. You seem to think that people feel that its an autocracy with no entrance, but that’s the error.

    Entrance to the government is not all that mysterious, and as such, it provides the population with a pretty decent sense of agency. Get a really good score on the gaokao, and you’re in. Different from the West, but its present, and perhaps its enough. It creates that image of meritocracy – which may or may not be an illusion, but it works pretty well in giving the sense of agency.

    In some ways, the presence of low-level officials actually gives a greater sense of influence in the US. When you can just hassle your local mayor and talk to him, it gives a sense that someone cares, more than writing a letter to your congressman which gets lost.

    Keep your eternal flame of freedom with your SJWs, please. You’ve confused China with North Korea, and then some. Its a different system, and maybe its not perfect or lasting, but its pretty damn functional.

    • Replies: @Mao Cheng Ji
    , @DB Cooper
    , @Rich
  129. @woodNfish

    Moon of Alabama

    While our esteemed elite media were fighting over crowd numbers,

    Today the Trump administration announced the end of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement:

    The president’s withdrawal from the Asian-Pacific trade pact amounted to a drastic reversal of decades of economic policy in which presidents of both parties have lowered trade barriers and expanded ties around the world. Although candidates have often criticized trade deals on the campaign trail, those who made it to the White House, including President Barack Obama, ended up extending their reach.

    The NYT seems astonished that, unlike Obama, Trump stands by his words. The media had expected different and was distracted. It failed to report the issue until the decision was taken.

    The TPP would have imposed “free trade” on more countries and products. The “free” in those trades would have meant that private companies would have been free to overrule national governments and their jurisdiction. They could have sued for “compensation” if a country, for public health or environmental reasons, rejected or hindered one of their businesses. Everyone should be happy that this monster died.

    • Replies: @woodNfish
  130. @Daniel Chieh

    From what I gather, seeing your country gaining prestige on the world’s stage is greatly important to most people. Such is human nature. The current central government does satisfy this desire…

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  131. DB Cooper says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Rich is most likely from India. Indians has been hating Chinese since 1962 when their country land grabbed China but was beaten back decisively. Since then the Indian government has been feigning victimhood and brainwashing their people and the world at large that China was the aggressor when the opposite is true.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  132. woodNfish says:

    Exactly Solonto. Trump also signed several executive orders, one of which bans funding the support of abortions overseas, gave a press conference, is putting a hiring freeze on federal parasites and more. Fred, Lynh, and the others are just stirring up anxieties while looking for clicks by publishing sensationalist bullshit.

  133. Joe Wong says:
    @The Grate Deign

    If most Chinese are standing around not doing anything while the Americans are working their asses off, how do you reconcile Chinese economy from 1/10 of the USA in 1980 to surpass the USA by 10% in 2016 in PPP? Mind you USA’s GDP was half of the world’s GDP in the 50’s and 60’s, are you saying the Americans are like medieval European serfs only with muscle but no brain? Perhaps the sight of public works in the USA can explain the American decline, the common sight of public works in the USA is one guy is digging with shovel and ten guys are looking over his shoulders while the trucks with equipment are packing at curbside.

    Besides the USA is overloaded with obese people, a sign of large numbers of people not doing anything except eating.

    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
  134. annamaria says:
    @another fred

    Thank you for the clear explanation

  135. @another fred

    When the credit cycle ends and the contest must then result in real winners and losers (as opposed to big winners and lesser winners), then there will be a resolution. We will either resemble Cuba or Germany ca. 1936.

    Seems remarkably bleak if that’s indeed the case. So you think its a bubble that has no answer except to explode eventually?

    • Replies: @another fred
  136. @Daniel Chieh

    I do not think it has to “explode” (it may), but it definitely will come to an end. You cannot get more out of a system than you put in and for 50 years we have been taking out of the system (the economy) more than it has to give by borrowing from the future.

    Not all of the borrowing has been in ledger entry debt, but also in promises such as pensions and health care that the system cannot fund. Our unfunded liabilities are estimated to be over \$200 Trillion. These have bought us some measure of domestic peace by putting off hard choices.

    The most probable way to end it (based on human behavior) will be to print money and socialize the debt, BUT the system must eventually be brought to balance. No nation can print money forever. Socializing debts by printing money has costs.

    The problem with bringing it into balance is that so many people have been getting free rides by virtue of the increasing credit (debt). When the growth of credit ends the free rides will also end. In the US we apparently do not have the ability to address this democratically, but there are laws on the books that will circumvent the democratic process in the event of an “emergency”.

    You should be aware that the whole world, including China, has been doing the same in one fashion or another. Either as a borrower like the US or Greece, or as a lender to borrowers who cannot pay, like China and Germany. The US has the “advantage” of owing debt in \$US, which means we can print our way out, but that will still involve pain. It does not really matter which end one holds, one cannot pick up a turd by the “clean end”.

    The “crisis”, when it comes, will be manageable, but it will no longer be possible to give all parties some crumbs and promises by borrowing from the future. Because the books must balance there will be losses assigned, not by the market but by government fiat. The losers will not be happy.

    Below are two good articles that discuss the fact that one cannot print one’s way out of this kind of a hole except by realizing the costs in some other way. Mr. Pettis teaches at Beijing University and has much to say about China and their options for their internal debt. Accounting applies to us all the same.

    China has the advantage of centralized authority. Personally, I would rather the USA had not put itself in this position, but they did not ask me, nor did they listen for the years I was complaining. I predict we will not address this issue without centralizing authority in the US.

  137. @Joe Wong


    America has a huge welfare state too, just not as big as China’s. One advantage to the Chinese system is that it at least seems to engage people in faux work. For example, the famous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou used to have uniformed button-pushers for the elevators. The American system also has some of that, as you pointed out, jobs where people watch other people work. Stupid is stupid in both systems.

    And you won’t find me defending obesity in America. But if you’ve been to China recently, you know it’s getting to be a problem over there too. In Kunming, they had public service billboards showing pictures of grotesquely fat children, and discouraging people from overeating.

    Still, and for all that, even with China’s whopping four-to-one population advantage, America’s economy and China’s economy are about the same size. So I maintain the factual nature of what I saw in my trips over there: China has a long way to go to combat a society of loafing, even farther than America does.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @DB Cooper
  138. @Rod1963

    What exactly is wrong with you? what does the Republic of Mexico, has done to you both?. Half of the USA was Mexico a while ago, so it is extreme ignorance to label people who live in that land once owned by Mexico as ‘Mexicans’ how stupid. So Euro-Americans are what? Euro trash washed in our shores? Dump that ignorance and enjoy life.

  139. @The Grate Deign

    Agreed. I think that China has enormous potential, but we won’t realize it by denying that our problems. Incidentally, I’ve been wondering if most Chinese have bodies adapted to famine and thus obesity will be hitting us harder as a whole.

    I’m a strong believer in the Pareto Principle, incidentally. I heavily doubt that a straight up number of population will be that much of an advantage; ultimately, it depends on the smart fraction.

    And wonderfully for us in China, the dumb fraction that is ever increasing in the US of A.

  140. DB Cooper says:
    @The Grate Deign

    “For example, the famous White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou used to have uniformed button-pushers for the elevators. ”

    That was a long time ago when it was thought that elevators need an operator to operate. Believe it or not when the White Swan Hotel was first built it was the tallest building in Guangzhou and the government installed anti-aircraft atilliary on its roof top until the owner of the hotel, a Hong Kong tycoon persuade the government that it is not a good idea to have anti-aircraft atilliary on top of a five star hotel.

  141. Rich says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I’m sorry to hear that your people have become so broken by the communist heel. Not all that “repressive”? “Totalitarian” in a way that doesn’t bother people? Wow. I grew up down the block from a family of Chinese that fled Mao’s paradise. They were honest, hard working people. If I hadn’t known them and saw only the sniveling shills like yourself and the others (who I hope are at least being paid for your work) I would lose all hope for the overthrow of the Godless Commies who rule China. But, having known them, comrade, I’ll warn you that within many of your people the embers of freedom still burn, and one day they are going to come for you commie shills. Sleep tight thinking about that day. Payback, as they say, won’t be pleasant.

  142. jack ma on china, usa, trump, and trade 😛 worth the watch. I didn’t know he was that fluent in English.

  143. kemerd says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    oh, I loved the part about self-help books, which is a peculiar america-only sickness.

  144. @Mao Cheng Ji

    China got a lot of issues too. Environmental catastrophe, huge unsustainable long term population which cannot grow anymore and is bound to go down which in any case will cause a lot of troubles on social front… Someone has to support all those aging Chinese. Huge accumulated debts very early in development stage. Lots of bubbles. And plainly the planet does not have enough resources to support China growth with this kind of population and illusion of possibility to provide this population with same living standards as say tiny Switzerland.
    I think Chinese future is not one many think it is , namely being the One.
    Chinese history is moving in waves… Currently China is on upswing but in modern times trends tend to develop and reverse on a dime. I believe that the cake was baked long time ago when China went into population bubble and it all will have to play itself.

  145. So, Fred Reed is of the opinion Global Empire is a prize worth having. Seeing as the global population is getting so large, unless one is a sadist, I would suggest being in charge of those masses of humanity during a period that will one day necessarily involve significant levels of human carnage, is a mugs game. The founding of the united states, the principles espoused, and responsible people living with liberty, freedom, and the responsibility to care for themselves and their family sounds like a superior way to go. Of course that would mean figuring out a way to shake off the global juggernaut.

    The first step for leadership that wants to be able to sleep at night in the future is using present leverage that we in the US possess to help design a cooperative multi-polar framework where our leaders can say “That is your problem” when it comes to dealing with the exponential function played out on 7.5 billion human beings. We are running our country presently like a bunch of deluded morons, what with importing seemingly unlimited amounts of whatever decrepit specimens of humanity that can be rounded up from the far flung places on earth while we fight with our neighbors, who actually have much to offer us. We presently provide monetary incentive for the bottom of the barrel to out breed the natives. Our policies need some major adjustments.

    I would suggest that “Fortress America” won’t be a bad place to be, even if it does lack the wonderful land bridges that Fred describes over in the promise land of Eurasia. If I were a betting man, I would say that if the US were to get some better leadership and principles, that the Americas will be an oasis of calm if/when the day resources get stretched and the Eurasian peoples decide to take up arms against one another so they can eat or get clean water.

    I want to be in the camp that is ready and willing to pull their own weight and live in freedom and liberty, and not in Tokyo level densities. The present “World Economy” and its die hard adherents need a global government that will be in charge of rationing. Americans ought to be smarter than getting wrapped up in such a monstrosity and instead start working out the deals to design the new system and making sure friendlies are manning some of the other poles of a New World Order.

    As to just how we can do this on our side of the ponds, I suggest we deal with cities (metropolis) last. They are already becoming so hostile to traditional people, christianity, freedom, personal responsibility, etc. that it would not be surprising to me to see thinking people leaving and setting up shop somewhere more hospitable to their desires. Look at Hotel California for example, does anyone like the lengths they are going to to try and deal with so many people and the strain on resources. They have already had to suspend the United States constitution there, because when you want to live in high densities there is no ability to have the liberty our nations founding documents describe. Major metropolitan areas are not and can not live by our constitutional principles. If the “Wealth” that is achieved in these areas truly made their inhabitants happy, it might be worth fighting to stay global hegemon. I have been to some of these cities and would suggest many of the inhabitants simply don’t know there is another way. You know, if we got our country back we could run it in a way that makes sense for the people who are here and their progeny rather than continued faith in an economic system run amok. The rise of the City State is certainly a possibility, we are really there already, but DC just rolls out the legislation they want and forces all US citizens to accede to their demands. This needs to stop, and the city state is the way out.

    The EU would be my choice for pole # 2. Greater Asia pole # 3 (coming soon).

    Bring back gold standard of some sort where periodically gold changes hands between the poles and most importantly affects exchange rate (Actors accruing all the gold will have sky high currency values, meaning that their mercantilism will not run forever). When looking at currency values, the quantity of gold held by the pole will be major factor in the perceived safety of the money. There is a reason that Gold historically is the Kings money and silver the peoples money. There is wisdom in that history.

    Something like that sounds awful good to me.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Fred Reed Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave