The American Dream
Friday, December 16, 2011
If you were playing a game against a dishonest opponent and you allowed that opponent to lie, cheat and steal as much as they wanted to, who do you think would win? Today, China is absolutely crushing the United States on the global economic stage, but they are hardly playing fair.
They shower their own firms with huge government subsidies, they brazenly steal technology, they publicly violate intellectual property rights, they manipulate currency rates so that foreign firms cannot compete with Chinese prices and they slap ridiculously high tariffs on many classes of foreign goods. In short, they basically do everything that they can get away with to give themselves a trade advantage. This predatory behavior has caused an enormous transfer of wealth from the United States to China. It isn’t as if it is just some sort of an “accident” that we now owe China about a trillion dollars. The truth is that China just keeps slapping America in the face and America just keeps taking it. We are like an abused spouse that just keeps coming back for more. It is disgraceful and it needs to stop.
This week, the Chinese government slapped even more tariffs on cars and sport utility vehicles made in the United States. According to the New York Times, these new tariffs come to a total of 22 percent of the import prices….
The new tariffs, totaling up to nearly 22 percent of the import prices, will probably have a mainly symbolic function, rather than reducing the already skimpy sales of such vehicles in China. Other tariffs and taxes already in place have limited sales of American imports by helping raise their retail prices by about three times what the same cars and S.U.V.’s sell for in the United States.
There was no explanation from the Chinese government for these new tariffs.
The Obama administration is saying that they are going to “look into it”. But of course the U.S. government never does much about these things.
The truth is that we are in a one-sided trade war and China is beating the crap out of us.
We allow China to ship endless amounts of products into our country for free, and yet they keep slapping tariff after tariff on us.
How in the world is that “free trade”?
According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China.
When are we going to say that enough is enough?
China is not interested in free markets. Rather, China does everything that they can to ensure that their firms win.
The following comes from a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor….
Even before the government decided to use state-owned enterprises as the main vehicles through which it pumped $586 billion in stimulus funds into the economy in 2008, Beijing was boosting “national champion” firms in key high-tech sectors. It is pursuing “indigenous innovation” policies to favor domestic industries, and the government has myriad other ways of bulking up local firms until they are ready to take on the world.
Foreign competitors complain that Chinese companies are sometimes given one or more of a range of advantages: free land, low-interest loans, cheap electricity, sneak previews of government policy before it is announced, and bids rigged to suit them.
In addition, the Chinese government has no problem with allowing their citizens to be paid slave labor wages. This gives Chinese firms a huge advantage, and we have also seen thousands of western corporations shift jobs from the western world over to China in order to take advantage of these low wages.
We were promised that “globalization” would be so good for us, but the reality is that it has resulted in the loss of millions of American jobs. Today, Chinese workers toil in absolutely horrific conditions as they make goods to fill up store shelves in America. The following comes from a recent article in the Guardian….
At the Hung Hing factory the researcher found that the 8,000 workers put in up to 100 hours of overtime a month, far in excess of the legal maximum. Workers say they have to sign a document agreeing to work additional overtime on top of the legal maximum. The basic wage was £132 a month (up to £250 with maximum overtime payments) but wages were paid up to three weeks late.
Workers complained of inadequate training with the factory machines and last year one worker died when he fell into a machine. They said there were frequent injuries and concerns over the chemicals used. There were also complaints about the standard of the dormitories, where water for washing and flushing toilets is turned off at 10pm.
How in the world are workers in the United States supposed to “compete” for jobs at those wage levels?
Could your family survive on just a few hundred dollars a month?
As China is rising, the United States is declining. Every single month, more businesses, more jobs and more wealth are being transferred from the U.S. to China and our politicians are doing nothing about it.
Today, the United States spends approximately 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
Does that sound “fair” to you?
The U.S. trade deficit with China rose to an all-time record of 273.1 billion dollars in 2010. This was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.
In fact, the U.S. trade deficit with China in 2010 was 27 times larger than it was back in 1990.
But very few of our politicians seem alarmed by this.
They are just content to go on with business as usual.
Meanwhile, the economic guts of this country are being ripped right out.
As I have written about previously, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day were shut down in the United States during 2010. Overall, the U.S. has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.
Unfortunately, most unemployed Americans don’t understand any of this. Many of them feel like worthless human beings because they can’t find work, and nobody has ever told them that larger economic trends are responsible for much of our unemployment.
The Economic Policy Institute says that since 2001 America has lost approximately 2.8 million jobs due to our trade deficit with China alone.
Yet we continue to allow China to steal more and more of our work.
For example, all over the United States road and bridge projects are being outsourced to Chinese firms. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent ABC News article….
In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.
In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.
In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.
These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.
“When we subsidize jobs in China, we’re not creating any wealth in the United States,” said Scott Paul, executive director for the Alliance for American Manufacturing.
Does that disturb you?
If you can believe it, the new World Trade Center tower is going to be made with imported glass from China and imported steel from Germany.
Aren’t there American companies that can make those things?
Even the new MLK memorial on the National Mall was made in China.
And all of this unbalanced trade has helped provide the funds to make the Chinese military far stronger.
A few decades ago, the Chinese military was pretty much a joke. But now China is a legitimate military threat to the United States.
In fact, Chinese military officials are not afraid to speak openly about the possibility of World War III.
For example, Major General Zhang Zhaozhong recently said the following….
“China will not hesitate to protect Iran even with a third World War.”
Most Americans do not realize this, but the reality is that the Chinese military is far more advanced and is far more powerful than it used to be.
The United States once had a tremendous advantage over China because of our overwhelming strategic nuclear arsenal, but thanks to recent treaties with Russia, the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by over 90 percent.
Meanwhile, China just keeps pumping out more nukes. The truth is that the United States really has no idea how many nuclear warheads China has, and that is a very frightening thing.
The American people need to stop underestimating China. The idea that the United States is the “sole superpower” in the world is a load of nonsense. China has become immensely powerful both economically and militarily and everyone needs to start recognizing this.
And the truth is that China really does not like the United States very much.
China is going to keep pounding our face into the dirt as long as we keep allowing them to. The Chinese are perfectly content to keep taking advantage of the American people, and Chinese officials are absolutely amazed at what they are able to get away with.
Nobody should be allowed to take advantage of the American people. Any politician that supports our current trade policies with China deserves to be voted out of office.
Hopefully the American people will wake up and understand what is happening while there is still time.