China to U.S. | Pot, Meet Kettle.
When U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, concluded her East Asian tour with a highly visible visit to China she demonstrated how times have truly changed. For a 'Hyper-power' like the U.S. is forced to bring a begging bowl to a once submissive, introspective, and seemingly naive nation, you know things have truly gone to Hell in a Prada handbag.
Clinton was doomed to criticism from the very moment her dodgy gaze fixed on the most important of all foreign policy objectives for the rookie Obama administration - the overwhelming power China holds over a potentially bankrupt nation that is, sadly, the United States of America. The U.S. is a nation whose standing in the world continues to weaken daily - it is epically supported by a battle-weary military force it can no longer afford; and it is financed and despised by a Communist nation state that it once belittled and continues to misunderstand. The U.S. is a nation torn apart by social self-doubt and stagnated by a ground-shifting political heave from the selfish, greedy, and arrogant NeoCon 'Right' to an equally noxious Socialist über-nanny-state - the ultimate Democratic dream.
Everything the U.S. has stood for since its founding years - a clear, substantial, effective and proud nation with force of will, confidence and a strong knowledge of righteousness over oppression - is now firmly in the proverbial shitter. We know it, the Chinese know it, and the world fidgets on the sidelines watching and waiting for some sign of direction and certainty. Our allies keep their fingers crossed and our adversaries wish for another eight years of stupidity.
"The Speech" by sweepingly honest and refreshing Ronald Reagan summarized it best 44 years ago - and isn't it amazing JUST how history repeats itself.
China is an adversary would have been 180 degrees off cue from a President Reagan.
"If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation."
A speech from a different era but the very same challenges and the words continue to ring true for our relationship with China. If we appease, if we go against everything we know is true; that is right; is human ... then we should not dare criticize our Government's begging cash support from a corrupt, dictatorially immoral regime. A regime we need to save the day; to fund our stupidity; to support the cost, the painful stomach ulcer the U.S. has built up from two decades of feasting like Bacchus on 'irrational exuberance' and greed. Greed that once was 'Good' but has bitten us in the arse.
This is a globalized society, ruled by the almighty Dollar - the God of Greed - and it has dictated the fine mess we find ourselves in. Where economies of scale, the easy shift of commercial interests measured only by cost-per-unit / cost per wage-slave. with little to no consideration given to the enormous social impact of manufacturing displacement, is our world. We relished it's good side but life is cyclical and now we suffer.
The reassignment of the entire manufacturing capability of one nation to another with no consideration given to the bigger picture, the end-result, the future cost of immediate reward is our just desert.
The result? Any moron (that includes me) can fire up an Excel Spreadsheet (actually, iWorks) and compare and contrast the enormity of our indebtedness to the Peoples Republic of China ("PRC")
The United States of America has a population ofapproximately 1/5th of China's (300m versus 1,330m tortured souls), yet our public debt - the debt owned and leveraged against us by the PRC - is almost four times more than that of our Asian friends.
Our GDP - ability and willingness to place our hard earned Dollars (purchasing power) on goods (read: China) and services - is approximately twice that of China ($14 trillion versus $7.8 trillion) and, as a result, we spend almost twice as much on our insanely inefficient, but ridiculously dedicated and unswerving U.S. military. In fact, the U.S. spends more on its military than the sum of every other nation on this fine dirty-blue planet.
Clearly the U.S. spends more on its military than it should - everyone knows it - and it shows only too well in our ability to sufficiently educate and train our graduate workforce. A workforce that needs quantifiable and credible skills that can compete against the very best China will and does throw at us.
How are we to compete against a morally corrupt, downright devious and wholly untrustworthy nation that continues to bankroll the United States into oblivion of consumer slavery? Certainly not by trusting them!
China is the number one culprit of industrial and military espionage against the United States and its diminishing ranks of allies. Why? The U.S. has always enjoyed the enviable role of innovator. Our ideas become the goods manufactured by the Chinese that are purchased by the U.S.! Ah! - the pleasures of globalization. Remove our innovation as a competitive edge, eliminate our ability to defend our freedoms (militarily) and we are even more screwed. Report after damning report slams the Chinese efforts to steal our patented secrets, to eek out our military weaknesses, and to document our decision processes.
We've talked the good talk in Congress for years now and done what? We have closed-door Senate committee meetings and all kinds of wonderful Congressional Reports and yet do we fight the good fight and bring an ultimatum to the Chinese that trust beguiles stability otherwise globalism is a flawed concept that undermines everything we stand for.
The Chinese say it the best, and at least they are honest and upfront about their distaste for our freedoms and way of life:
Luo Ping, a director-general at the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said after a speech in New York that China would continue to buy Treasuries in spite of its misgivings about US finances.
“Except for US Treasuries, what can you hold?” he asked. “Gold? You don’t hold Japanese government bonds or UK bonds. US Treasuries are the safe haven. For everyone, including China, it is the only option.”
Mr Luo, whose English tends toward the colloquial, added: “We hate you guys. Once you start issuing $1 trillion-$2 trillion [$1,000bn-$2,000bn] . . .we know the dollar is going to depreciate, so we hate you guys but there is nothing much we can do.”
The truth stings and should be a wake-up call. And yet ...