George Soros: China Rising, US Declining

Funny, how what sounded like such a crazy notion to some just a year ago now seems to be pretty much accepted as a given the world over. Soros saying as much gives the point – obvious as it always was to the prescient – added weight.

China will be the biggest winner of the current financial crisis, US billionaire and philanthropist George Soros said. The financier gave an interview to Germany’s Die Welt, in which he told of the roots of the crisis and said that the mortgage bubble only triggered the process, which entailed the economic collapse. The businessman also explained the reason why the Bush’s administration proved to be unable to cope with the crisis.

The United States and a part of Europe will have nationalized banks and huge debts. China will become the new global financial empire….

“The USA’s influence has already begun to decline. For the past 25 years, we have been running a constant current account deficit. The Chinese and the oil-producing countries have been running a surplus. We have consumed more than we produced. While we have run up debt, they have acquired wealth with their savings. Increasingly, the Chinese will own a lot more of the world because they will be converting their dollar reserves and US government bonds into real assets. The power shift towards Asia will occur as a result of the sins which America committed during the recent 25 years,” Soros said.

You can ignore Soros at your own risk. His track record has been nothing short of astonishing. And for my right-wing friends who fell for the Fox News smears of Soros as a deranged leftist, all I can say is do your homework. Soros is a man of principle, a great philanthropist and a huge friend to liberal causes. Yes, he has a few – very few – skeletons in his closet (insider trading in 1988) like other billionaires do, but all in all he is a hero, and a role model for other billionaires.

We all know how much China sucks in so many ways. Most of us also know what an amazing country it is, how splendid many of its people are and what promise it holds for the future. Right or wrong, fair or unfair, we are in decline while Asia in general and China in particular are rising. That is not a judgment call on whether China should hold this honor. It’s just the way it is, like it or not. And in a lot of ways I don’t like it. It’s just what’s so. They were smarter than we were. I have to hand it to them.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 146 Comments

So far, I see very little conclusive evidence of this. Optimism about China in this crisis seems to be based on faith that the Chinese government will somehow magically boost domestic demand to offset declining demand for Chinese exports not just from the United States, but also from Europe, Japan, South Korea and other economies which are being hit hard by the financial crisis. What will really happen is that unemployment in China is going to rise drastically from the current official figure of 4% as factory workers are going to be laid off as a result of the export slump, and as construction workers and migrant labourers find themselves out of work as a result of the collapsing real estate market. How on earth can China boost domestic demand substantially in these circumstances?

Let’s not forget, either, China’s vast non-performing loans problem. Readers of China Law Blog will remember what happened to E&Y when they were rather too candid in their assessment of the extent of China’s NPL issue. What does anyone think will happen when economic growth is no longer able to mask this issue? http://www.chinalawblog.com/2006/05/ernst_young_and_china_banks_be.html

Also, the Australian mining giants are all down, which is a big sign that growth in China is slowing down or has actually stopped. Since it would be foolish to take China’s word on its growth rates, Australian mining stocks act as a useful proxy for economic growth:
http://www.fool.co.uk/news/investing/2008/10/16/pop-goes-the-stock-market-again.aspx

October 20, 2008 @ 12:16 am | Comment

Soros is a man of principle

Would a man of principle have heavily indebted himself on the hope that a country would suffer as perhaps the UK did during Black Wednesday? He might not have acted illegally, but if you think principled people bet on misery for others then you’re sick.

He was also convicted in France of insider trading.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:25 am | Comment

Oh, yes, I see you mentioned the insider trading. But that pales in comparison to Black Wednesday.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:26 am | Comment

HongXing must be happy :-)

October 20, 2008 @ 1:43 am | Comment

Something interesting on Soros.

http://tinyurl.com/6bhc7x

Michael Lewis, the author of the definitive book on Wall Street traders, Liar’s Poker, who has travelled extensively with Soros, tells me that he believes these two episodes are linked. “There is an element of vengeance in his financial life. I think probably nothing gave him greater delight than torpedoing the pound. He was proving points and settling scores . . . The strange thing about him is it wasn’t the horror of living through the Holocaust [that shaped his life], it was the horror of the status collapse on arriving in Britain. He had been a child of privilege in Budapest.”

he sparked a financial and political crisis in Russia which resulted in the collapse of the rouble, costing him some $2 billion.

Clearly causing chaos does not stop someone being a man of principle, nor does not showing any guilt at profiting from people’s misery.

October 20, 2008 @ 2:12 am | Comment

Chinese growth is largely based on domestic demand. “Export dependent” is a myth made to assuage American egos.

Would a man of principle have heavily indebted himself on the hope that a country would suffer as perhaps the UK did during Black Wednesday?

Maybe if the British saved up their profits from the Opium Wars and the money they earned from taxing tens of millions of Indians to death they would have been better insulated from the shock.

October 20, 2008 @ 2:24 am | Comment

Maybe if the British saved up their profits from the Opium Wars and the money they earned from taxing tens of millions of Indians to death they would have been better insulated from the shock.

Maybe if China had spent its tax revenue on defence modernisation rather than thousands of whores for the emperor it wouldn’t have lost the Opium Wars.

Neither that nor what you said doesn’t mean Soros can be called principled.

October 20, 2008 @ 2:45 am | Comment

You get all huffy in defense of your country

Who was defending anyone? I was making an observation. You bring up an irrelevancy and I bring one up.

I forgot, Britain is always the victim.

Where have you ever described Britain as a victim?

October 20, 2008 @ 3:07 am | Comment

For the record, Raj was just caught saying that poisoning millions of Chinese families and causing a violent collapse of the Qing is tolerable because corruption and bureaucracy made it weak enough for foreign powers to take advantage. Nevermind the millions of lives that were destroyed. If Britain does it, it’s okay, because they’re special.

Those babies deserved to die of poisoning because the CCP was too corrupt to make companies like Sanlu abide by regulations!

In that case, Britain should have focused on not being a nation of whores. That would have obviated stopped the current meltdown of your finanical sector.

October 20, 2008 @ 3:11 am | Comment

You bring up an irrelevancy

Irrelevancy? How is your questioning of Richard’s judge of character relevant to anything?

Aside from it being a chance for you to whine about how George Soros battered poor little perfidious Albion?

October 20, 2008 @ 3:14 am | Comment

The entire world today is all connected. No such thing as one country’s decline => another country’s rise. This economic and financial storm will affect most countries because everyone is on the same financial boat, and is linked by the same rope, if the rope is on fire, every one will be burned. The only one who will not be burned is North Korea and Cuba, because they are not on this boat.

But of course the US’s hand is on this rope much tighter than others. So they will be burned much more heavily. China at least has some gloves, and the burning will take some time from the front of the rope to reach China. But it is too simple and too naive to think that China is not affected by it. US’s conditions will spread, and to China too.

But in the long term, it is the different story. The world’s financial rules and market players will go through big changes, and the US will be weaker because of this storm, in the long run.

So in the short term (2 to 3 years), Chinese gov’t will cooperate with US to pass this storm together. But in the long term (8 years +) , I am optimistic that this storm will be turning point in the curve of national power for both US and China.

October 20, 2008 @ 3:34 am | Comment

Irrelevancy? How is your questioning of Richard’s judge of character relevant to anything?

Because he is singing Soros’s praises in the article?

October 20, 2008 @ 4:00 am | Comment

the answer is “you deserved it”. so he’s not a bad guy.

October 20, 2008 @ 4:25 am | Comment

Why is my comment not displayed here? Please fix it immediately.

October 20, 2008 @ 4:39 am | Comment

the answer is “you deserved it”. so he’s not a bad guy.

Or the answer is that we didn’t serve it, and the guy makes money from people’s misery.

I’m sure you think the US deserved 9/11 so you’d say the suicide bombers weren’t bad guys either.

October 20, 2008 @ 4:58 am | Comment

George Bush deserved to get hit by a plane but not random people. No one died when Soros shorted pounds.

I’m taking it as a confirmation that you think a minor economic setback is equivalent to killing 3,000 non-British people.

October 20, 2008 @ 5:31 am | Comment

George Bush deserved to get hit by a plane but not random people. No one died when Soros shorted pounds.

What had George Bush done by 2001 to deserve death?

The British people didn’t deserve to lose those billions of pounds (it was their money). Just because didn’t die doesn’t mean they didn’t suffer.

I’m taking it as a confirmation that you think a minor economic setback is equivalent to killing 3,000 non-British people.

No, I was implimenting your “logic” to the situation. And it was hardly “minor” – it destroyed confidence in a political party for over a decade.

October 20, 2008 @ 5:44 am | Comment

What had George Bush done by 2001 to deserve death?

Being a useless idiot who was planning mass murder at the time.

The British people didn’t deserve to lose those billions of pounds

Neither did the Chinese or Indians. Select preferred cop-out:

1) It was your fault for being exposed/weak
2) It’s “in the past”
3) The world is unfair
4) You do it too!

So I guess the question would be “is the UK a moral country”? You can’t say a man is unprincipled because he made a little money at your expense. That’s pretty much all England does.

October 20, 2008 @ 5:50 am | Comment

Being a useless idiot who was planning mass murder at the time.

Ah, because you saw the secret war plans. Right!

You can’t say a man is unprincipled because he made a little money at your expense.

A billion dollars is hardly a little money. And if you hadn’t noticed the current generation of Britons didn’t do anything to India or China. So unless you expect us to make a time machine and undo what happened, which in turn would change the current world and maybe mean you weren’t even born, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

October 20, 2008 @ 5:57 am | Comment

I guess, ferin, you think that children are guilty of the crimes of their parents. So please tell me, who in this world does not deserve hardship. The Chinese? By your logic they deserved the Opium Wars because China inflicted plenty of misery itself before hand.

October 20, 2008 @ 6:00 am | Comment

China inflicted plenty of misery itself before hand.

Which they paid for.

October 20, 2008 @ 6:02 am | Comment

I am surprised that Soros said these words. China and Soros have not been on good terms since the Asian Financial Crisis in the late nineties. After having brought down Thailand, Malasia, South Korea, etc, Soros and his friends decided that the Chinese Yuan was also over-valued. Since RMB was not freely convertible, they would short the Hong Kong dollar which was pegged to the US dollar.

Their strategy was this: when HKD was under attack, short term interest rates in Hong Kong woud go up and consequently the stock market would tank. So they shorted both Hong Kong dollar and the Hong Kong stocks, thinking they would profit at least in one place.

Then the Hong Kong governent did some thing unthinkable. It bought stock shares and pushed up stock prices. Mr. Soros then had to cover his short positions. He retreated and lost a fortune. Later he would support the Dalai Lama hoping to get even with China.

There was a lot of criticism of HK government action from Western economists, many of whom were friends of Soros, at that time. Now we we see how the HK intervention pales compared to the current US bailout.

October 20, 2008 @ 6:37 am | Comment

ferin,

I’ll acknowledge that the extent to which China depends on export earnings is a matter of contention. At the same time, I can’t help but notice that you chose not to deal with any of the other issues I raised in my post (#1).

October 20, 2008 @ 6:55 am | Comment

I’m particularly ferin, referring to the article citing collapsing Chinese demand for raw materials. By the way, at the end of last year, it was estimated that almost half of China’s growth could be attributed to exports and government consumption… hardly a picture of health.

http://www.monthlyreview.org/080401li.php

October 20, 2008 @ 7:00 am | Comment

It’s a shame that Soros uttered his prediction. On the other hand it could act as a “wake up” call to the US. If there ever was a time to engage with the rest of the world it is now. Developing a real alternative energy resource industry, freeing ourselves from the yoke of petroleum, rededicating ourselves to excellence in education, expanding scientific research (including real space exploration….not space shuttle BS), developing the most sophisticated communication systems, rebuilding our infrastructure would keep the Chinese in their place (a third rate nation of subsistence farmers) for decades to come….. maybe even forever. We wouldn’t even have to fire a shot militarily. By maintaining leadership (and in many ways regaining leadership) the US would defeat the Chinese (the government AND the people) through sheer superiority.

If the US doesn’t have the collective political will to do that then all, less desirable alternative to keeping the Chinese in their should be explored….no matter what the human cost.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:23 am | Comment

Do not talk about this anymore. Much more important news

1) China will now allow farmers to lease and transfer land rights to others. Biggest economic policy change since Deng Xiaoping’s reform policies. Will affect total economic landscape in China’s rural areas.

2) Kim Jung Il died on Oct 16. Announcment will be made on Monday. This is from a reliable source.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:30 am | Comment

Whoo, got some contention going in this thread!

Is somebody surprised that China is gaining on the US? I thought this news was about 10 years old. When China is growing at 10% and the US at 2%, such “decline” is pretty hard to ignore. But all the “collapse of empire” blather is just that. Now that China’s economy is “up” to about 1/4 the size of US output, they’re a major player. And having a few of the major player problems. Their stock market has lost over 50% and real estate prices have fallen around 40%.

I wouldn’t be in a hurry to attribute all that growth and surplus to being “smart”. The smart thing is that Mao died, and now 1.6 billion people are playing catch-up for all the missed opportunities. When their GDP/person gets up to 1/4 of the US’s, they’ll be a bigger economy. They’ve got 30-50 years to go.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:31 am | Comment

it was estimated that almost half of China’s growth could be attributed to exports and government consumption

By who? The most convincing reports I’m getting is that it’s 10% of GDP, 6% of employment.

Likewise, Japan isn’t getting hit as hard as the other developed economies and we’ll see how that turns out.

NPLs considered I’m not convinced that the Chinese financial sector is doing as poorly as America would like.

Developing a real alternative energy resource industry, freeing ourselves from the yoke of petroleum, rededicating ourselves to excellence in education, expanding scientific research (including real space exploration….not space shuttle BS), developing the most sophisticated communication systems, rebuilding our infrastructure

Who are you going to borrow from to finance that, stupid?

the US would defeat the Chinese (the government AND the people) through sheer superiority.

Unfortunately most of you are at least semi-retarded and your blood money is drying up.

If the US doesn’t have the collective political will to do that then all, less desirable alternative to keeping the Chinese in their should be explored….no matter what the human cost.

Enjoy that retaliatory nuclear holocaust. That is, after the dollar is dumped and America cringes into permanent irrelevance.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:43 am | Comment

By all measures, US is moving to the left. The coming election of Obama will accelerate this trend. China is definitely moving to the right. After a few years, we will find that China and US are not that diffrent at all.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Comment

Sam, we really do think alike on many things. I agree with most of your points – and no one said America will collapse. Just decline (maybe the way Japan did). The only “smart” that I attribute to the Chinese government is in protecting its money so that it runs a surplus instead of unthinkable debt. And that’s a very big smart. As you probably know, I always said they CCP gets nearly zero credit for China’s stunning economic rise – the most that can be said is that they got out of the way after the CR. There was no blueprint.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:45 am | Comment

ferin,

The Chinese, through their perpetual xenophobia, have been irrelevant for their entire history. It’s no different now. You are a perfect example.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Which they paid for.

With the Opium Wars? In which case your hatred of the UK is not justified because if someone “deserves it” the guilty party is absolved.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:48 am | Comment

With the Opium Wars? In which case your hatred of the UK is not justified because if someone “deserves it” the guilty party is absolved.

No. Communist revolution, Mongol/Manchu invasions, peasant uprisings. Pick your era.

The Chinese, through their perpetual xenophobia, have been irrelevant for their entire history. It’s no different now. You are a perfect example.

Back when your inbred ancestors were nothing more than cave-dwelling illiterate savages, the Chinese were perfecting inventions that would free you of some of your ignorance. Gunpowder alone ended the feudal era, and the unwashed European masses.

I’m sorry your experiences in China have been so hard on your ego. [deleted for obscenity]

October 20, 2008 @ 7:53 am | Comment

*and freed the unwashed European masses.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:54 am | Comment

No. Communist revolution, Mongol/Manchu invasions, peasant uprisings. Pick your era.

Why skip the Opium Wars? The point remains, your logic says that the bad guy is not a bad guy if the victim “deserved it”. So, again, you’re absolving the UK from what it did then.

October 20, 2008 @ 7:54 am | Comment

The difference between China and the UK is that China is morally superior and always has been. The Chinese people suffered for the failures of autocrats, sure. The UK, on the other hand, is still an unrepentant criminal who has never been brought to justice.

You’re essentially attacking Soros for doing exactly what Britain has always done; enrich itself on the misery of other people. I don’t care about interpreting morality in this case. I’m just toying around with your nationalist egotism.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:01 am | Comment

> You’re disgusting and evil by nature.
This guy cracks me up. He does a great job of making himself and his comments seem impartial and unbiased, eh?

October 20, 2008 @ 8:06 am | Comment

Anonymous, I deleted that. Comments don’t need to be impartial or biased, but they can’t be obscene and personally vicious.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Comment

The difference between China and the UK is that China is morally superior and always has been.

Hahaha, that’s a good one!

The Chinese people suffered for the failures of autocrats, sure. The UK, on the other hand, is still an unrepentant criminal who has never been brought to justice.

The UK has suffered much in its history. And if what you say is the case then China as one of its chief “victims” is happy to enrich us even more by trading with us.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:16 am | Comment

Today, the entire world is on the same financial boat. If there’s a fire on the US, it’ll burn everyone too, the rope is connected to everyone’s hand. Of course maybe the US will be burned more severely because its hands holds the rope more deeply than others. But soon the fire will spread to China as well. The only countries that are not on this rope are Cuba and North Korea maybe.

I think in the short term (2 years), China will continue to buy more US bonds, and help the US to go through this financial storm (helping itself too). Because China’s financial interests, at least in the short term, are roped with the US. But in the long term (5+) years, there’ll be more changes to the financial and economic and political landscape of the world, and the US will no longer be the only major player and can write all the rules. If US wants China to help it, if it wants China continue support the dollar and buy bonds, to continue to cooperate on North Korea, to cooperate on piracy, on human rights, on not intevening with Iran/Middle east, etc. It needs to give China something to, maybe more stepping back on Taiwan, more stepping back on so called poisonous food, more stepping back on RMB valuation pressure, more stepping back criticizing on these human rights issues, etc. Basically, China will have more and more cards to play against the US, and the US will no longer always be the rule maker in this game.

In the long term, this financial crisis will be a turning point in the curve of US and China’s countries’ comprehensive national power.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:47 am | Comment

The Chinese people suffered for the failures of autocrats, sure. The UK, on the other hand, is still an unrepentant criminal who has never been brought to justice

If China paid for its sins presumably there’s no need for Ferin to be so uptight, since sooner or later they’ll end up paying for theirs as well? That is if they haven’t already, of course. Sharon Stone said something about Karma a while back. Most people at the time thought she was being an idiot, but it seems she and Ferin are on the same wavelength.

http://www.tmz.com/2008/05/26/sharon-stone-calls-chinese-earthquake-karma/

October 20, 2008 @ 8:54 am | Comment

Richard, you don’t feel the need to delete this?

the US would defeat the Chinese (the government AND the people) through sheer superiority.

If the US doesn’t have the collective political will to do that then all, less desirable alternative to keeping the Chinese in their should be explored….no matter what the human cost.

Yes, “less desirable alternative to keep the Chinese (people) in their place”. I like how “personal insults” are more offensive than suggesting the extermination of 1,310,000,000 men, women and children.

The UK has suffered much in its history.

Compared to who? Liechtenstein? Paris Hilton?

If there’s a fire on the US, it’ll burn everyone too, the rope is connected to everyone’s hand.

Hm a burn that can be recovered from. Depending on how hostile the vile race/religion ego of America becomes in its quest for a scapegoat, China may or may not decide to let America burn to death.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:24 am | Comment

Sharon Stone said something about Karma a while back. Most people at the time thought she was being an idiot, but it seems she and Ferin are on the same wavelength.

For one Sharon Stone is a dumb sack of shit. She should hope there is no karma, or she’ll suffer a violent death.

Karma and geopolitics are different.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:29 am | Comment

Ferin, why should I delete that? If someone is intent on proving to the world they’re a racist, hate-filled jackass that’s their choice.

And for the record, Not A Sinophile, that was your most sickening comment ever and grounds for being banned. I can live with the heated exchanges, but not with suggestions of genocide.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:29 am | Comment

China is a viper, an odious viper that needs to be destroyed for the survival of civilization itself. I would suffer through five depressions to see a state as wretched, miserable and cruel as China removed from the Earth. Nothing has been gained from the past 20 years of opening up: the Chinese tyranny and the drones that feed it become more arrogant the more we allow them to fester. We must confront this peril. In fact, we SHOULD have confronted this menace back in the 1980s, when the mandarins were busy threatening the British government over the return of Hong Kong. Every compromise, every attempt to engage with this vicious and evil tyranny (Hong Kong yesterday, Taiwan tomorrow) only causes it to grow bolder. I have no doubt that when the West and this odious tyranny clash, we will emerge triumphant; however, the sooner we do, the less the casualties our own side will suffer.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:03 am | Comment

So the US is about to finallly rid itself of one of its most dangerous and incompetent Presidents of all time. Is China about to rid itself of one of its most loved political leaders?
“CHINA’S most popular politician, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, has become a target for Communist Party hardliners and could be forced from office, according to an influential magazine in Hong Kong.”
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24520065-2703,00.html

October 20, 2008 @ 10:06 am | Comment


Ferin, why should I delete that? If someone is intent on proving to the world they’re a racist, hate-filled jackass that’s their choice.

I agree. Chinese readers should know what these expats really think about them.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:07 am | Comment

I have no doubt that when the West and this odious tyranny clash, we will emerge triumphant; however, the sooner we do, the less the casualties our own side will suffer.

Yeah instead of the PRC burning 95% of your population down in nuclear fire, you’ll have 99% if you wait a few more years. Then planet Earth can glow green for a few milleniums.

I bet you’re a devout Christian.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:09 am | Comment

millenia*

last time I do that, promise.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:10 am | Comment

Wow, the quality of discussion here just fell off a cliff – no, make that a continental shelf.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:26 am | Comment

The quality of conversation became positively Palin-esque.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:47 am | Comment

I know. When the cat’s away. I just did some house-cleaning.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:04 am | Comment

Ferin’s so funny, calling for deletion of a previous comment, and then following up with “Yeah instead of the PRC burning 95% of your population down in nuclear fire, you’ll have 99% if you wait a few more years.”

Indeed, I agree that if someone is intent on proving to the world they’re a racist, hate-filled jackass that’s their choice- keep it up, ferin!

October 20, 2008 @ 11:13 am | Comment

Kevin, that’s the whole reason I tolerate Ferin and Math and HongXing. Along with the fact that on rare occasion they actually express something interesting. (I have strong suspicions that Math and HX are a team, if not just one “person.”) They usually devolve into self-parody. To Ferin’s credit, I sometimes think he makes legitimate points and is definitely not stupid. I get the far left and the far right in here and so little in between. I think that’s the main reason for the explosive comment threads.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:46 am | Comment

So kevin is in the pro-nuclear war camp? You think America can just nuke anyone they want without serious repercussions?

If there’s a nuclear exchange between China and America as Is_a_Pedophile desires I’m fairly certain most people are gonna be dead in a few years. There will probably be only a handful left in either country.

October 20, 2008 @ 12:15 pm | Comment

For one Sharon Stone is a dumb sack of shit. She should hope there is no karma, or she’ll suffer a violent death.

Chill out dude, all that hate is going to make you pop a blood vessel. I wouldn’t like to think what kind of karmic outcome that would lead to. You’d probably come back as an Arkensas hillbilly just as China finally gets its chance to gloat at the United States.

October 20, 2008 @ 12:59 pm | Comment

Ferin, judging from the gleeful comment that I cited above about 95 vs. 99% annihilation (which would also include you, my fellow North American friend), I would characterize you as pro-nuclear war. I’m not sure how you inferred that I was in support of such actions, but such inferences are, in line with most of your inferences, quite dull-headed. You might be more comfortable falling back on mentioning Iraq or something along those lines.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:12 pm | Comment

Excuse me, I mean Native Americans. Sorry, confused you with another monotone commenter.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:14 pm | Comment

Peace, g’night.

I sound like a fanatic? I know that my opinion is extreme, but only compared to yours, not compared to what’s what. According to my opinion on China, namely, the CCP, your opinion is, not fanatical… What word could be used… I donno, but I feel that it’s like you either don’t see the horrors or that you excuse them. Or it’s like you are addicted to sitting on the fence, like you just want to cling to your idea that everything is equal parts good and bad. Like as if you want to just please everyone, play into everyones hands, I donno. Anyway, trust me, I’m not a fanatic in the least, you and me just have different evidence in front of us, we have different info backing our stances. I’m a quite down to earth person and quite rational and logical, really not a fanatic. This evil thing, its hard for me to go into the details because there is so much info. I hope you could post more entries that provoke this evidence to come to light. I know China is all sealed up as much as possible by propaganda terrorism and brainwashing, but someday these things will be seen by people hopefully, someday justice will be a reality, and I would hope that people in your position, with your degree of creativity, skill and opportunity will be one of the people to expose China to the world, the good and the evil, so that we can have truer perspectives based on the facts and not all this speculation. Do what you want think what you want, but can you really come up with excuses for such atrocities and evil? Either you have a moral issue or you just don’t see those atrocities.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:34 pm | Comment

Not_a_Sinophile , kevinnolongerinpudong , jack, Richard. In the history of all contests between the CCP and the US, the CCP has not lost one round yet:

Chinese Civil War. US supported the KMT: KMT driven out of Mainland.

War of Resistance Against US and For Korea: US crossed the 38 line: US driven out of North Korea.

Tibetan Monk Riot of 59: US supported Dalai: Dalai driven out of China.

89 Political Incident: US supported the “activsts”: activists driven out of China.

Hong Kong negotiation with CCP: US supported the UK: UK driven out of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Financial Battle: US intervened in Hong Kong: US lost big in its investments.

Bush started Anti-Communist campaign, started anti-Terror war: US national power declines, CCP uses this period to clean up its Urgher activists and Tiebtan activists.

In 1949, Chinese industrial output is 1/10,000 of the US. 2008, it’s 1.2 times of US.

In 2008, CCP established good relations with most energy producing countries and most Asian neighbors. America becomes the hated target of everyone in the world.

1949, CCP’s ability to completely destroy America is 0% of America’s ability to completely destroy China.

2008, CCP’s ability to completely destroy America is 100% of America’s ability to completely destroy China.

CCP has not lost one round yet. So my friends, why continue this game if you have not won a single round? Do you really think those pathetic FLG, “Activists”, “Hu Jia”, those people can help you? Come on, don’t be too simple too naive. Better think about how to get funding next year from NED, I heard they cutting funding for many groups because of the recession, so you may need other sources of funding for this blog next year. Good luck.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:38 pm | Comment

In the history of all contests between the CCP and the US, the CCP has not lost one round yet:

Chinese Civil War. US supported the KMT: KMT driven out of Mainland.

War of Resistance Against US and For Korea: US crossed the 38 line: US driven out of North Korea.

Tibetan Monk Riot of 59: US supported Dalai: Dalai driven out of China.

89 Political Incident: US supported the “activsts”: activists driven out of China.

Hong Kong negotiation with CCP: US supported the UK: UK driven out of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Financial Battle: US intervened in Hong Kong: US lost big in its investments.

Bush started Anti-Communist campaign, started anti-Terror war: US national power declines, CCP uses this period to clean up its Urgher activists and Tiebtan activists.

In 1949, Chinese industrial output is 1/10,000 of the US. 2008, it’s 1.2 times of US.

In 2008, CCP established good relations with most energy producing countries and most Asian neighbors. America becomes the hated target of everyone in the world.

1949, CCP’s ability to completely destroy America is 0% of America’s ability to completely destroy China.

2008, CCP’s ability to completely destroy America is 100% of America’s ability to completely destroy China.

CCP has not lost one round yet. So my friends, why continue this game if you have not won a single round? Do you really think those pathetic FLG, Activists, “Hu Jia”, those people can help you? Come on, don’t be too simple too naive. Better think about how to get funding next year from NED, I heard they cutting funding for many groups because of the recession, so you may need other sources of funding for this blog next year. Good luck.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

Snow, long time no see. Still receiving funding from NED? I thought you were already arrested in China. Unfortunate.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:40 pm | Comment

Snow, here’s the deal, again: I have deep moral issues with China. I see the atrocities. I have deep moral issues with America, too. More with China usually. In non-election years, about 70 percent of my posts are about China, and often about these issues you refer to. But I know that – again – to call the US government or England’s government or the CCP monolithically evil is absurd. I have a lot of moral outrage about many acts perpetrated by many governments. I hate the perpetrators. I don’t hate the entire government. That would be an awful lot of hate to carry around with you all the time. And it makes you sound somewhat fanatical. And people have already seen just about all there is to see about China: the slavery in Shanxi, the photos of executions, the stories of dark jails and murder and corruption. This is all common knowledge, even by many of the Chinese themselves. (I can draw parallels of what we also know about the US under Bush, which aren’t nearly as monstrous in scale, but often just as terrible.) But you see, it’s a cruel and brutal world. I somehow still love America despite the outrages and the deaths and the nightmare stories. And I still love China – because these countries are not their governments. Not entirely. And there’s still a lot to like, and many splendid people here who do not torture or kill people. I know that’s a complex idea to grasp, but give it your best shot. Maybe you’ll realize that you can balance your anguish and despair over a country with the love and appreciation you feel for it. It is not a matter of either/or. There is no government without blood on its hands. I will always condemn the bloodshed as I see it. But I won’t let it reduce me to a blanket denunciation of an entire nation and people.

October 20, 2008 @ 1:45 pm | Comment

Just one thing missing from your scientific chart, Red Star: the fact that between 1949 and 1976 Mao sucked the brains out of China and led to more than a quarter century of stagnation, mandated stupidity, mass deaths that weren’t necessary and all sorts of other fun and games. There’s a lot more to the CCP’s history than its last-laugh in 2008 over the economy.

October 20, 2008 @ 2:09 pm | Comment

“To Ferin’s credit, I sometimes think he makes legitimate points”

Examples?

“and is definitely not stupid.”

He’s showing his intelligence every time he tries to justify his nasty insults with his so-called “sense of humor”.

By the way, I find it very interesting what people are allowed to say on a blog where not too long ago one of my comments was deleted for being “rude”. I know, I know, Richard, this is your kindergarten party, so have fun! I’ll go and visit a blog for adults now.

October 20, 2008 @ 3:00 pm | Comment

Mor, I’ve banned Ferin and others like nanhe when they were naughty and also let them back in. Lighten up. If I ever deleted a comment of yours in an emotional moment, I sincerely apologize. I hope you stick around.

October 20, 2008 @ 3:32 pm | Comment

It is true that China is rising. But the assert that US is declining is bit absurd to me. Financial crisis happens all the time, except this time it is bigger. Things will get back to normal once the turmoil is over, which will be.

There might be a day when China surpass US economically, which is also very likely to be the in the future. But this year’s crisis is pretty much irrelevant in that process.

October 20, 2008 @ 4:51 pm | Comment

There has never, ever, ever in my entire lifetime been any financial crisis in America. Recession, inflation, cyclical issues, and temporary catastrophes like 911. Never a financial crisis that almost pushed the world into a global depression. True financial crises in America are all but unheard of. Worst I know of since the Depression was the S&L debacle of the 1980′s, but that was nowhere near the breadth and depth of the present catastrophe. A couple of weeks ago we were teetering on the verge of a run on the banks and true depression – that’s why the bailout plan was necessary, distasteful as it was to reward the pickpockets. When you have the biggest , most powerful financial institutions in America drop like flies one after the other it is no ordinary financial problem, it is a crisis, and it has just started and even conservatives are saying it will at best leave us in a deep recession for two to three years minimum. At worst – well, you don’t want to go there. I’m afraid we’ll probably see the worst case play out, after the elections. There is a lot of bad news around the corner, but now isn’t the time to announce it. But if you’re reading the ones in the know, like Roubini and Soros, you won’t be surprised. And this crisis is totally relevant to America’s decreased stature and clout. We are now living in Fareed Zakaria’s “post-American world.” Get used to it, because that’s probably not changing anytime soon. Watch carefully in the weeks and months ahead as these changes manifest themselves in slashed spending, lost jobs and a general atmosphere of gloom. It’s already started. It’s already affecting me and my family, and probably yours as well. They’ll affect China, too, but China has enough of a cash surplus plus domestic market demand to keep it running relatively smoothly. Dreams will be shattered here, too, but nothing like what we’re seeing in the US and Europe. America will eventually recover and for a long time to come will be the world’s mightiest superpower. But it is and will continue to be a lot less mighty now than it was a year ago. Greed did us in.

Don’t believe me? This is from my own town of Phoenix where I own a house. The good old days are gone. These are the lean years, and the only wave we’ll see for quite a while is a downward one.

Other than that, I’m optimistic as hell.

October 20, 2008 @ 5:18 pm | Comment

Can I just say how much I wholeheartedly wish to distance myself from Raj’s comments above.My father lost his job and went on the dole after black wednesday, and I spent one of the coldest winters of my young life as a result of my parents inability to pay their heating bill. I have no great love for Soros, but he was not directly responsible for the devaluation of sterling. Black wednesday was brought about first and foremost by insistence on maintaining the peg to the Deutchemark beyond the point where it was sustainable or useful, Soros merely profitted from this mistake.

As for Ferin, well, he’s entitled to his opinions, and there seems little profit in arguing with him.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:36 pm | Comment

Uh-oh! They had to give up their $360,000 foam pit for snowboarding, Swimming lessons are raised to $12.00 and now people are expected to pay for their own tree-trimming?! What’s next? Soon we’ll be forced to buy our own shoes and pay cash for ice cream.

October 20, 2008 @ 8:49 pm | Comment

FOARP

he was not directly responsible for the devaluation of sterling

He led the run – how could he not be even partly responsible?

Soros merely profitted from this mistake

And you think that principled men make money out of others’ suffering?

October 20, 2008 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Sam, you can mock it if you’d like, but they are giving up police officers on the street, and a lot of those things you took for granted as a kid that actually mean a lot to families. How far didi you get in the article? Did you see this part?

In the Seattle area, King County is making cuts to offset a projected $93 million budget deficit. The cuts will mean fewer sheriff’s deputies patrolling the county, staffing cutbacks at the courts and less spending on public health, including a program that helps women who are HIV-positive and pregnant find doctors and get counseling.

I know, it’s all awfully jolly, but these things mean a lot to a lot of people. Laugh away. But there’s nothing funny about it at all. Of course, my Republican readers find this sort of thing a barrel of laughs.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:16 pm | Comment

Raj, call it off. Soros is a liberal so you have to defame him. He did nothing wrong. He did not get rich off other people’s suffering. He saw where the market was going and he put his money there. I’ve shorted stocks. It’s not the same as shaking down widows and orphans.
Stop being this blog’s resident old fart and sourpuss. Really. Once again, China threads only, okay?

October 20, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

Soros is a liberal so you have to defame him.

Richard, stop this witch-hunt right now. I couldn’t care less about Soros’ politics, and you are getting ridiculously paranoid if you suspect every criticism of people like him by “conservatives” to be motivated as such. I had no idea about whether he was a “liberal” or not before you said so. You can lie to yourself if that makes you feel better, but that is the truth.

He saw where the market was going and he put his money there.

Please, he was part of the reason things were going that way in the first place. It’s not like he only joined in when it was too late to do anything about it.

Once again, China threads only, okay?

No, not ok. Let me voice my opinions like anyone else, please.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:35 pm | Comment

When I was a kid? When I was a kid?! There was no state income tax, and a city income tax was unthinkable. Now the bureaucratic wankers of Phoenix can’t manage to muddle through with a 3 BILLION dollar budget! Are you sure that crowd of parasites is the one you want to extend your sympathy to?

Three fucking billion, and they can’t keep policemen on the streets? The reason that the local voters don’t hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats escapes me completely.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:44 pm | Comment

Raj’s opinions are not only worthwhile, they are much more well-reasoned than most. Unless this blog intends to be a permanent kindergarten, he’s a definite plus. And Raj, stop being so damn nice.

October 20, 2008 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

I’m always magnanimous. I let him comment, no worries. You and Raj make a cute couple.

Sam, if you read the article and others like it, this is just the beginning, These are the first things that go – the little things that made America nice, like libraries that offer special programs, having enough police on the street, medical services for the less fortunate. Okay, I can understand if you think these things are unnecessary. But the point is they are the first things to go with many more to follow. It will be painful for a lot of people.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

things that made America nice, like libraries that offer special programs, having enough police on the street, medical services for the less fortunate. Okay, I can understand if you think these things are unnecessary

Wrong, Poindexter. We had libraries, public pools, the county hospital, pure water, and police BEFORE the idea of government being all things to all people took root. Care to guess where the source of all the bloat came from? Do you have any idea how much it costs to maintain a permanent victim class? Local agencies that prevent small companies from competing too much with big companies? When Phoenix talks about cutting their budget, they talk in the BILLIONS! Nowadays, they spend more complying with regulations alone than they used to spend to run the whole damn city.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:25 pm | Comment

Okay, I’m glad to know you have all the answers, Sam – the pro-Bush (are you still?), pro-Iraq war, pro-Palin, pro-GOP, pro-Raj conservative. It’s a good thing I love and appreciate you, knowing that underneath that leathery, tough-guy exterior you’re actually a cool guy and a real person. But please, get over your ingrained misperceptions. You’re way off-base about Phoenix, a state with relatively scant social services and bloat. Anyway, no matter where you are in America, have no fear, this is coming soon to a theater near you: fewer police, fewer services, less frequent garbage collection, less enforcement of law you always thought kept you safe (they’re meaningless without enforcement), and a leaner, meaner time all around. And that’s for starters. Meanwhile, we just handed over a trillion frikkin’ dollars to the money lenders who put us in this mess – talk about bloat!

October 20, 2008 @ 10:37 pm | Comment

Sam_S

Conservatism is by definition caution. Liberalism is by definition being open to new ideas. Both are virtues in the real world. “Conservatism” has become closed mindedness and “liberalism” has become amorality. Neither of those have any place in today’s world.

All those regulations you rail against are designed, for the most part, to prevent things like the mass collapse of thousands of buildings, mass illnesses due to food quality issues, improvements in air/water quality, corporate responsibility for deliberate poor product production. Scream all you want for de-regulation, but in the end you’ll wind up with a place like China….filthy, ignorant, unaccountable and a world menace…..oh, I guess we are already like that….”conservatives” must be dancing with glee.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Comment

Well, NotaSP, I was with you for the first few sentences. But then….

Your rabid hatred of China is really scary. How can you be a liberal and be so closed-minded about China? What happened? There has to be a story here somewhere. Maybe you’re Nanheyangrouchuanr’s twin brother…?

October 20, 2008 @ 10:45 pm | Comment

I noticed that no one commented on my positive suggestions the US actually needs to do to survive, thrive and lead. Is there any real discourse on here? The only way to get anyone to respond seems to be threaten their cozy little bubble or their trumped sense of moral outrage……ooohhhh or insult their “nationalistic” viewpoint.

All the rest of the readers could do was be horrified at my suggestion that a military solution may be forced upon us. If you are that horrified than maybe you should all think about fighting for disarmament. What’s the point of having this stockpile if the use them is even on the table?

October 20, 2008 @ 10:49 pm | Comment

NotaSP, if no one commented on your loathsome suggestion, maybe it just means no one wanted to dignify it with a response.

Back to the topic of what Soros said: It looks like China is making plans to ensure the meltdown doesn’t have to severe an impact on their economy. Of course, it’s based on unfair trade practices that the US would normally condemn (as the article points out), but alas, China has the upper hand – we need them too much, and now isn’t the time to bite the hand that feeds you.

China’s State Council, or cabinet, met over the weekend and decided to shift the emphasis toward maintaining, “a stable and rapid economic development,” the state-controlled media reported on Monday. The previous policy had been, “to ensure growth and control inflation.”

As part of the new policy, the State Council announced that it would increase export tax rebates for everything from labor-intensive products like garments and textile to high-value products like mechanical and electrical products. Banks will be encouraged to lend more money to small and medium-sized enterprises and support programs will be drafted to help farmers, the government said.

Government agencies will also spend more to rebuild earthquake-damaged areas of southwestern China, to improve transportation links and other infrastructure and to improve the social welfare system, the official Xinhua news agency said, without providing details.

Hu Angang, a prominent Chinese economist who is the director of the Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said in an interview on Friday that the government was drafting plans to step up its spending on vocational training and other educational programs for adults. The goal is to help China’s workers move away from low-wage, low-skill assembly line tasks in export-oriented factories, and provide these workers with the skills necessary for an internationally competitive economy that balances the service and manufacturing sectors.

“The government needs to give consideration to human capital investment,” Mr. Hu said.

Chinese officials insist that their country will only suffer limited harm from the global financial crisis, mainly through slower exports. “Our economy remains vigorous and has the capability to defend itself against international risks,” Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said on Friday.

Increased export tax rebates will make Chinese exports even more competitive in the United States and Europe, particularly as China has intervened heavily in currency markets to halt any further appreciation of China’s currency since mid-June. But with the United States heavily dependent on China to buy the Treasury bonds needed to finance a bailout of the American financial system, the Bush administration has stopped criticizing China’s trade and currency policies.

Policymakers in almost any country except China would be delighted with 9 percent growth, particularly given the financial turmoil that was worsening at the end of the third quarter.

You have to let that sink in. We are facing negative growth in America, contraction, and China is taking all these extraordinary steps because their growth will only be 9 percent.
Of course, part of the reason for this is the CCP’s justifiable paranoia that once the economy balloon deflates they might be in trouble, since the cries to Jia You may start to become fewer and softer or even cease altogether. The CCP knows this, and it appear they’re not going to let it happen. The show must go on. At least they have a strategy for keeping things afloat.

October 20, 2008 @ 10:58 pm | Comment

Taming The Dragon

And now a paranoid break for everyone to wind down and laugh at me…

I am still trying to figure out the global outcome of this crisis, and I am glad to see that I am not entirely crazy (some might argue on this point, I have to admit)… Since some of my apprehensions are becoming reality. At least the media are starting to catch up on these issues.

For a while, I’ve been speaking about the possibility of the following scenario: What if the current (engineered ?) financial crisis was aimed at China ?

What if what we were witnessing right now was just a gigantic planned domino effect in order to slow down the development of the Dragon ?

The current popular reasoning is that China will be able to avoid the economic turmoil, mainly because of domestic consumption. This makes no sense.

Where are the numbers and studies to support these claims ? Is there anybody here that can point me to solid data about this (honest request) ?

China’s GDP is a big fat lie (in the same line as mostly anything “official” in this country), and this since the opening reform of the country.

So can anyone explain me how we are supposed to draw rational conclusions based on these loquacious calculations ?

Here’s a study made by Carsten Holz. His main focus is on the Mainland economy with “Chinese characteristics”… (Btw, am I the only here that whenever I hear the words “Chinese characteristic” it instantly equals to me as: “the following could / has been heavily manipulated in order to fit in a certain predefined Chinese vision of the world = BS ?).

http://repository.ust.hk/dspace/bitstream/1783.1/2085/1/DeconstructexpappGDP28Oct03.pdf

I don’t expect anybody to read this lenghty piece, so I’ll just give the outlines:

“China’s National Bureau of Statistics has on repeated occasions explained in great detail how its GDP statistics are derived from underlying data. Based on these explanations, this article reconstructs Chinese official household consumption, which accounts for half of GDP. The findings are condemning. Not only do the various official explanations offered between 1997 and 2001 differ from each other, but none allows the researcher to accurately reconstruct household consumption. The relationship between the GDP component household consumption and the underlying data, furthermore, varies from year to year, which suggests that time series comparisons of Chinese GDP may be invalid.”

Some key quotes (worth reading in its entirety if you have time)

“Third, time series comparisons of the consumption data with the underlying data reveal roller-coaster relationships that stretch credulity.”

“Two clearly identifiable effects are a tendency of official GDP to underestimate actual GDP throughout all years until 1994, and to overestimate GDP growth between 1994 and 1995.”

“That households routinely consume one-quarter to one-third more consumer goods, in terms of value, than they report, especially in the rural case, is also not plausible (questioning the level of NIA commodity consumption).”

The last extract brings me to one point: The internal consumption is overrated and takes into account the global population. But the actual projected ratio of distribution is ridiculous.

Why ? because in the event of an economical crisis in China, the rural sector contribution to the GDP will be next to nothing. The people that are loosing their job right now (thousand of factories shutting down as we speak in Guangdong – other regions to follow soon) are the first on the line of fire. These people’s power of consumption is already not much, and it will become almost zero.

So that would leave the urban regions: The stock market has been crumbling since the last 1-2 years (from a 6000 peak to now what ? 1800 ?), house prices and real estate market are going down the drain (40% in certain areas). This is also a clear sign that people are cautious and cutting on expenses.

So my question is: Where will this magical internal consumption comes from in the event of a major crisis here ?

Do you think that the new measure giving the ability to the farmer to rent and transfer their land is a coincidence ? Of course it’s not. It’s a direct answer to the fear of what is coming next. In addition to distributing evenly the wealth in the country, they hope it will help to put a plaster on the job losses. So it’s a very good timing for them.

I think that all the elements are now coming together for the perfect storm. As stated in some other articles, the power and the support of the people to the CCP comes mainly from the economical miracle that they generated. But what will happen once it’s not true anymore ? High unemployment rate leads inevitably to social unrest (it’s already starting in some regions).

So in my opinion this is a double direct strike from the US to China: And impending economic blow and a direct influence on the social stability of the country.

If the US alone acted with their single power, it would not be enough to make a difference (20% export). But couple that with a worldwide crisis (i.e. Export market demand slowing down globally and not just from the US). And then it can become a real threat to China’s grow.

These links are a courtesy of China Herald: http://www.chinaherald.net/2008/10/china-crisis-watch-6.html

http://www.ibankcoin.com/flyblog/index.php/2008/10/19/chinese-industry-on-the-brink-of-collapse/

“This financial crisis in America is going to kill us. It’s already taking food out of our mouths,” the 42-year-old laborer said Friday as he stood outside the shuttered Smart Union Group (Holdings) Ltd. factory in the southern city of Dongguan.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=6066427

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7679180.stm

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95727213

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/03f8445c-9df0-11dd-bdde-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

I would really not be surprised to see some article about what I envision soon. Maybe not also. I tried to search about this but could not find anything in the media yet about this concept.

I am not an expert or even an economist. So please feel free to debunk what I say. I would actually be very happy to hear some professionals on this.

Also, please take into consideration that English is not my mother language, I know, I sound like a 14 years old boy writing an essay.

Finally…

Food for thought:

http://chinaredux.com/2007/02/24/dick-cheney-as-chinas-worst-enemy/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/etc/wolf.html

“There are three additional aspects to this objective: First the U.S must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. Second, in the non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. Finally, we must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”

Nothing is happening in this world due to pure coincidences. Only fools would think this way.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

Okay, I’m glad to know you have all the answers, Sam – the pro-Bush (are your still?), pro-Iraq war, pro-Palin, pro-GOP, pro-Raj conservative

What in God’s name does any of that have to do with the 3 Billion dollar budget of Phoenix? If they have 3 billion, scant services AND little bloat, what the hell are they doing? Using it for crack? Being forced to be realistic and accountable might be the best thing that ever happened to them. Read all the letters from Phoenix residents about their local pols not taxing them enough? Thought not.

All those regulations you rail against are designed, for the most part, to prevent things like the mass collapse of thousands of buildings, mass illnesses due to food quality issues, improvements in air/water quality, corporate responsibility for deliberate poor product production.

Tell me which of those “all” regulations I’m railing against, you nitwit, and I’ll begin to take you seriously. Know a lot about Phoenix, do you? Of that 3 billion, how much is allocated to building inspection? Water quality is paid for in the water bill, so how much si devoted to protection from the evil corporations? The fact is, that in Phoenix especially, very little of the budget goes to the benefit of the taxpayers. Tightening their belts and being responsive to the citizens, rather than vague platitudes, will do them a world of good.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Richard,

For every positive experience I have in China, there are many negative ones. The hard working people who built (“decorated”) my condo had their hearts in it, but their bosses were liars and thieves. The sheer filthiness of the streets in my city are appalling. The lack of the rule of law and the glee with which that is “celebrated” is unintelligible. Consumerism as become a virulent disease. The police are lazy, ignorant, untrained and/or corrupt. The “government” officials are pompous, ignorant, untrained and/or corrupt. Yes, it may be a “cultural” thing and I can be accused of being and “ugly expat.” However, banking, construction, industrial production, aviation, etc. are not “culturally” Chinese. They have become universals in the modern world. The double standard for behavior in those endeavors that the Chinese whom I have encountered expect are just not acceptable to me.

I guess my daily frustrations with these issues raise my rage to a boiling point. I want to see some drastic changes and not some piddling, gradual accomodation. If it requires revolution, so be it. If it requires something more, though certainly not an advocate of it, I think all options should be explored.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:03 pm | Comment

Again, you kind of had me with you (kind of – at least you didn’t sound criminally insane) until the “other options should be explored” – that sounds like Final Solution language. Do you realize that?

October 20, 2008 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

One last thing: Think about what Soros did, and now what a country can do…

“Would a man of principle have heavily indebted himself on the hope that a country would suffer as perhaps the UK did during Black Wednesday?”

October 20, 2008 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

Okay Sam, what’s happening in Phoenix is a good thing, you’ve convinced me. Thanks.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:11 pm | Comment

Call me crazy, but as a country I’d rather have long-term control over resources needs than a lot of financial wealth (which recent events show is a lot more ethereal than people commonly assume).

What is the point of having a lot of numbers on a computer if the counterparty ain’t selling?

That’s where the Bush approach can seem logical, as repugnant as it is. What is the ability to trade paper money for real resources if the other guy doesn’t want to give them to you? Not much. Real ownership is military occupation of needed resources, as in Iraq. The Bush crew was doing little more than securing the American Dream as they understood it- oil-fueled.

Now, some would argue that all the resources and lives wasted on occupying Iraq would have been better used building renewable energy infrastructure at home to reduce the need for oil in the first place. And I’d certainly agree.

So where does that leave China and the US in the 21st century? Probably on much more of an equal playing field than the “China Triumphant” crowd let on. China giving the US lessons on fiscal responsibility? Now there’s a laugher! If you buy that, then I’ve got a whole portfolio of hidden non-performing loans to sell you.

I think power in the 21st century will be dependent on 1) ownership of REAL, not financial resources or 2)reduction of dependence on resources not found in one’s own jurisdiction. Of course, the environmental question complicates things- both the US and China have decent amounts of coal, but is that tenable without CO2 sequestration?

China is currently excelling at the generation of financial wealth, but their physical state (ie real world) situation leaves much to be desired. Hopefully it can come back from the brink of environmental destruction and avoid the military escapades abroad that made the 20th century so much fun for the US.

The US is in much better shape environmentally (largely because it has managed to convince other countries, ie China, to absorb its toxicity), and arguably has more resources at home, but its overconsumption and dependence on foreign energy are now coming home to roost. Hopefully, the current system shock will finally wake people up.

Call me crazy, but I think it makes more sense to spend resources on developing an electric car than occupying countries half a world away.

We are at a crucial juncture where the mania of financial wealth and resource politics have collided to expose ugly geopolitical realities to all. Hopefully this current mess will used as an opportunity to steer respective national ships in a new direction.

If both China and the US get serious about developing and building renewable, indigenous supplies of clean energy, then who cares who is rising or falling? The ‘rise’ or ‘fall’ logic only applies in a world where power equals the opportunity to occupy foreign lands by force and depend on ludicrous transnational systems for doing simple things like, oh, heating your home.

If China and the US cooperate seriously on new energy and environmental technologies, then the sky is the limit for both. And various African countries will have the fortune of not getting bloodied in various resource proxies wars.

If both feel, rather, that the problem is solely that not enough paper money is being created, then we are all seriously in trouble.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

Of course, if you really want, you could pay a little more into the Navigable Streams office (In Arizona!), the Race Commission, the Economic Security Department (how’s that working out? Get your money’s worth?), the Barbers Board, the Physical Therapy Board, the Funeral Directors and Embalmers department, the Homeopathic Medical Board, and the Naturopathic Physicians’ Board. If you really want to express some outrage, you could try asking them why they can’t manage basic medical and police services with 3 billion! Or you could argue why all those bureaucrats are really necessary, and it’s quite OK to pick your neighbor’s pocket to pay for them. Put their feet to the fire and tell them to get serious.

And to the Arizona expert, having your government be transparent and accountable is the most radical proposal of all these days. Think about it.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:30 pm | Comment

Resource based economy. It’s the next step. And others have been envisioning it for decades. I totally agree with you PB.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:33 pm | Comment

I agree with PB as well. China is a trainwreck in many ways. If we think Obama is going to have problems, think about the rulers of China. Of course, they carry a lot of the blame, but China’s population and myriad other problems (lack of resources and the still-festering wounds that Mao inflicted) make it frighteningly unmanageable. Where they were smarter was in keeping a surplus instead of a deficit. Thanks for the excellent comment PB.

October 20, 2008 @ 11:42 pm | Comment

A small addendum to my thinking.

One of the classic way to kill the competition is to place a lot of orders, make sure they put in place all the required infrastructures, that they are indebted (mainly in costs of operation based on future estimated large scale production) and then what ?

Stop ordering.

Doesn’t that sound familiar ?

October 20, 2008 @ 11:52 pm | Comment

The sad fact is that China is indeed inferior to the West in every way and the Chinese know it. Whether it is pollution, food contamination, lack of basic civil rights, support of like minded repressive regimes such as Sudan and Zimbabwe, mass starvation in their own country, the humiliting military losses to Japan, the US, the British, the Mongols, the stunning and massive failure of the Communist way of life and their new embrace of capitalism, the odious repression of the Uiguars and the Tibetans, the list of failures and being “second best” goes on and on. The most obvious proof of this obvious inferiority will be the diatribes that Chinese will post in reply to this message–the vehemence and the irrationality of the replies will say it all–so sad that China has such great potential but will always be humiliated by other asian countries and cultures such as the Japanese and the Koreans and now even the Vietnamese that are inherently superior.

October 21, 2008 @ 12:04 am | Comment

It’s funny Nanheyangrouchuan, whatever handle you use, I can recognize your writing style.

;)

October 21, 2008 @ 12:12 am | Comment

Yes, Sky Magician, we know a lot of things about China are really dreadful. The one point about China that Soros makes, and that I have to agree with, is that China isn’t hit nearly as hard by the economic maelstrom we’re witnessing and that it was shrewd enough to save more than it spent.

Your talk about inferiority and superiority, by the way, is truly malignant. You wouldn’t happen to be sprouting a toothbrush mustache now, would you?

October 21, 2008 @ 12:41 am | Comment

Richard, I might sound stupid, but I am not. This IS Nanheyangrouchuan.

And now I will post a shocking event on this board. Don’t forget I am the google master. And Nanheyangrouchuan is a very easy target. Studying persona is one of my skills. I won’t say more.

http://blog.newsweek.com/forums/2/593785/ShowThread.aspx

Just search:

The most obvious proof of this obvious inferiority will be the diatribes

October 21, 2008 @ 12:46 am | Comment

Took me 3 seconds to Google one of his previous copy paste post.

His handle on this other board is: freeallchinese

October 21, 2008 @ 12:48 am | Comment

I have to admit, this site draws the oddest cast of characters imaginable. All I try to do is point out obvious truths and steer the misguided, like Sam, into finding the meaning and essence of life, and to recognize that Liberalism is the light and the truth and the way. And still, all the crazies seem to land here like its flypaper.

October 21, 2008 @ 12:52 am | Comment

It’s because your site is actually in the spotlight. It’s attracting much more attention than what you think (not in a negative way). For example, the reason I am posting here is because I want to connect with people sharing similar experiences. We live in a strange era.

A world shaping era. And every single bit of information is part of this whole. I would never post here if it was pointless.

And no, I am not Nanheyangrouchuan, I am just “connecting” the dots again.

October 21, 2008 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Do you think that 50 cents are a Chinese invention ? (not referring to myself) it’s been here forever.

October 21, 2008 @ 1:01 am | Comment

And one last thing before going to bed…

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/BUSINESS/10/20/china.economy/index.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7679679.stm

As I stated previously in another thread, before the bailout when I was saying: this is just the beginning. Mark my words: You ain’t see nothing yet.

CNN is a very useful tool of US propaganda, when it reaches this level, you can expect the worse. From obscure blogs to the mass.

Enjoy.

October 21, 2008 @ 1:15 am | Comment

And if you skipped my lenghty post, read it again.

October 21, 2008 @ 1:20 am | Comment

Ok, I know… I am spamming.. But F***.. This kind of headline is making me sick.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/20/campaign.wrap/index.html

McCain, Palin: Obama tax plan will ‘spread the wealth’

What the fuck is wrong with that ? As Human beings, this is the perfect example of greed an decadence. The US sadden me so much it’s beyond ridiculous.

Can somebody argue about this headline ? How in the world can you justify this sentence in any other way than showing you are a perfect greedy and selfish ass****.

October 21, 2008 @ 1:48 am | Comment

Joe the plumber can explain it to you. Ever since the boston tea party and the whiskey rebellion wealthy people have been enlisting crackpots and bums to “keep the money they worked so hard for from the government.

Joe is not really a plumber, nor does he do such a good job paying taxes, in fact he probably does not work all that hard. looks more like a prior military service alcoholic hired by the RNC to rally the base to protect rich people from having to pay taxes.

you see when the government gives your tax money to lehman brothers as a bailout that is sound economic policy. when the government taxes lehman brothers that is “class warfare” and that is bad.

it’s all laid out in the bible, just ask sarah.

October 21, 2008 @ 2:33 am | Comment

it’s like you either don’t see the horrors or that you excuse them.

You don’t see them either. You read Falun Gong newspapers and then add your own “spice” to it.

Black wednesday was brought about first and foremost by insistence on maintaining the peg to the Deutchemark beyond the point where it was sustainable or useful, Soros merely profitted from this mistake.

At last, one honest person who won’t just blame everyone else for their own mistakes.

Where are the numbers and studies to support these claims ? Is there anybody here that can point me to solid data about this (honest request) ?

Everywhere you’re deliberately not looking. The CCP itself says China’s GDP will be 1/3rd of America’s in 2020, or something. So you can believe them out of your hatred for the “yellow peril” (a fixture in American society and white supremacist thought) or maintain that they are always liars.

the humiliting military losses to Japan, the US, the British, the Mongols, the stunning and massive failure of the Communist way of life and their new embrace of capitalism, the odious repression of the Uiguars

It wasn’t “humiliating” to anyone except the bureaucrats and overlords who took “international face” seriously. The average person in China, be they Han Chinese or not, suffered tremendously at the hands at foreign powers AND their own government. It’s no comfort to be told by a Japanese nationalist that “Mao killed parts of your family too” when the IJA killed the other half.

The main thing that “Chinese nationalists” are angered about is not your incredible stupidity, bias, or ignorance, but the fact that you will not give them a shred of genuine sympathy and instead regard them as a) stupid children that need the guiding hand of “the West” or b) evil maniacs bent on world domination.

Discourse with such idiots is pointless. As for Mongolia “humiliating” China, I doubt it. The Mongolians were confined to the cruel steppes of East Asia for thousands of years. They raided China perpetually since pre-history and never really made inroads until 800 years ago. Even then, Khwarezm and the Tangut Empire faced such horrible genocides that China’s fate was much less harsh my comparison. The only thing that saved Japan (which was a backwater up until the 1600s) was either the kamikaze or Chinese/Korean sabotage.

October 21, 2008 @ 3:23 am | Comment

What are Uiguars btw, relatives of the jaguars? Stegosaurs?

I love how none of these anti-China (they call themselves pro-Minority) kids can ever spell Uighur. It’s always wigger, uighua, or uygger.

Sounds like all you know about them is some bullshit propaganda piece by a US news agency.

October 21, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Comment

@Raj –

“He led the run – how could he not be even partly responsible? . . . And you think that principled men make money out of others’ suffering?”

He made a profit by making a wise bet on how Sterling was going to trend – it’s called market economics, Conservatives like myself believe in it, you might want to join us some day. As I’ve said before, and as the historical record shows, the peg became less and less viable after the reunification of Germany lead to inflationary government spending in that country, Soros merely called the UK government on it’s inability to maintain the peg, the people who followed his bet against Sterling would have lost billions along with everyone else had they not shorted the pound – Soros included. Now, the UK government might have got off the peg sooner, or they could have sorted out a gradual transition, but by staying on it they brought about the events of black wednesday. Essentially the peg was great as a short-term confidence building measure, but rubbish as a long-term strategy – and that’s what the market exposed.

October 21, 2008 @ 5:43 am | Comment

OMG!!!!!

October 21, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

Published on Monday, October 20, 2008 by TruthDig.com
The Idiots Who Rule America
by Chris Hedges

Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. That it is still in power, and will remain in power after this election, is a testament to our inability to separate illusion from reality. We still believe in “the experts.” They still believe in themselves. They are clustered like flies swarming around John McCain and Barack Obama. It is only when these elites are exposed as incompetent parasites and dethroned that we will have any hope of restoring social, economic and political order.

“Their inability to see the human as anything more than interest driven made it impossible for them to imagine an actively organized pool of disinterest called the public good,” said the Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul, whose books “The Unconscious Civilization” and “Voltaire’s Bastards” excoriates our oligarchic elites. “It is as if the Industrial Revolution had caused a severe mental trauma, one that still reaches out and extinguishes the memory of certain people. For them, modern history begins from a big explosion–the Industrial Revolution. This is a standard ideological approach: a star crosses the sky, a meteor explodes, and history begins anew.”

Our elites–the ones in Congress, the ones on Wall Street and the ones being produced at prestigious universities and business schools–do not have the capacity to fix our financial mess. Indeed, they will make it worse. They have no concept, thanks to the educations they have received, of the common good. They are stunted, timid and uncreative bureaucrats who are trained to carry out systems management. They see only piecemeal solutions which will satisfy the corporate structure. They are about numbers, profits and personal advancement. They are as able to deny gravely ill people medical coverage to increase company profits as they are able to use taxpayer dollars to peddle costly weapons systems to blood-soaked dictatorships. The human consequences never figure into their balance sheets. The democratic system, they think, is a secondary product of the free market. And they slavishly serve the market.

Andrew Lahde, the Santa Monica, Calif., hedge fund manager who made an 870 percent gain last year by betting on the subprime mortgage collapse, has abruptly shut down his fund, citing the risk of trading with faltering banks. In his farewell letter to his investors he excoriated the elites who run our investment houses, banks and government.

“The low hanging fruit, i.e. idiots whose parents paid for prep school, Yale, and then the Harvard MBA, was there for the taking,” he said of our oligarchic class. “These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.”

“On the issue of the U.S. Government, I would like to make a modest proposal,” he went on. “First, I point out the obvious flaws, whereby legislation was repeatedly brought forth to Congress over the past eight years, which would have [reined] in the predatory lending practices of now mostly defunct institutions. These institutions regularly filled the coffers of both parties in return for voting down all of this legislation designed to protect the common citizen. This is an outrage, yet no one seems to know or care about it. Since Thomas Jefferson and Adam Smith passed, I would argue that there has been a dearth of worthy philosophers in this country, at least ones focused on improving government.”

Democracy is not an outgrowth of free markets. Democracy and capitalism are antagonistic entities. Democracy, like individualism, is not based on personal gain but on self-sacrifice. A functioning democracy must defy the economic interests of elites on behalf of citizens. This is not happening. The corporate managers and government officials trying to fix the economic meltdown are pouring money and resources into the financial sector because they only know how to manage and sustain established systems, not change them. Financial systems, however, are not pure scientific and numerical abstractions that exist independently from human beings.

“When the elite begin to think that money is real, the crash is coming,” Saul said in a telephone interview. “That is just a given in history. Because what they’ve done is pull themselves out of the possibility of looking in the mirror and thinking, this is inflation, speculation, this is fluff. They can’t do it. And when you say to them, gosh, this is not real. And they say, oh, you don’t understand, you’re so old-fashioned, you still think this is about manufacturing. And of course, it’s basic economics. And that’s what happens every single time.

“The difficulty is you have a collapse, you have a loss of face by the people who are there, and it’s not just George Bush, it’s very, very deep,” Saul said. “What we’re talking about is the need to rethink the departments of economics, of political science. Then you have to rethink the whole analytic method of the World Bank. If I’m the secretary of the treasury, and not a guy like [Henry] Paulson, but I mean a sort of normal secretary of the treasury or minister of finance, and I say, OK, we’ve got a real problem, let’s get the senior civil servants in here. Gentlemen, ladies, OK, clearly we have to go in another direction, give me some ideas. Well, those people don’t have any other ideas because at this point they’re about the fourth generation of what you might call neoconservative globalist managers, unfairly summarized. So they then go to the people who work for them, and you work down; there’s no one in there with an alternate approach. I mean they’ll have little alternatives, but no basic differences in opinion. And so it’s very difficult to turn anything around because they’ve eliminated all opposing ideas inside. I mean it’s the problem of the Soviet Union, right?”

Saul pointed out that the first three aims of the corporatist movement in Germany, Italy and France during the 1920s, those that went on to become part of the Fascist experience, were “to shift power directly to economic and social interest groups, to push entrepreneurial initiative in areas normally reserved for public bodies” and to “obliterate the boundaries between public and private interest–that is, challenge the idea of the public interest.”

Sound familiar?

“There are a handful of people who haven’t been published in mainstream journals, who haven’t been listened to, who have been marginalized in every way,” Saul said. “There are a couple of them and you could turn to them. But then who do you give the orders to? And the people you give the orders to, they are not going to understand the orders because it hasn’t been a part of their education. So it’s a real problem of a good general who suddenly finds that his junior generals and brigadiers and corporals, you want them to do irregular warfare and they only know how to do trenches. And so how the hell do you get them to do this thing which they’ve never been trained to do? And so you get this kind of disorder, confusion inside, and the danger of what rises up there is populism; we’ve already had populism in a way, but we could get more populism, more fear and anger.”

We may elect representatives to Congress to end the war in Iraq, but the war goes on. We may plead with these representatives to halt Bush’s illegal wiretapping but the telecommunications lobbyists make sure it remains in place. We may beg them not to pass the bailout but 850 billion taxpayer dollars are funneled upward to the elites on Wall Street. We may want single-payer, not-for-profit health care but it is not even discussed as a possibility in presidential debates. We, as individuals in this system, are irrelevant.

“I’ve talked to several Supreme Court justices, several times in several countries,” Saul told me, “and I say, look, in your rulings, can you differentiate easily in cases between the social contract and the commercial contract, and to which the answer is, we can no longer differentiate. And that lies at the heart of the problem. You don’t have the concept of the other, and of obligation of the individual leading to individualism. You can’t have that if the whole legal system has slipped over the last, really, 50 years, increasingly, to a confusion between the social contract and the commercial contract. Because they are two completely different things. The social contract is about the public good, responsible individualism, imagining the other. The commercial contract is a commercial contract. They’re not supposed to be confused. They don’t actually fit together. The commercial contract only works properly when the social contract works in a democracy.”

The working class, which has desperately borrowed money to stay afloat as real wages have dropped, now face years, maybe decades, of stagnant or declining incomes without access to new credit. The national treasury meanwhile is being drained on behalf of speculative commercial interests. The government–the only institution citizens have that is big enough and powerful enough to protect their rights–is becoming weaker, more anemic and less able to help the mass of Americans who are embarking on a period of deprivation and suffering unseen in this country since the 1930s. Consumption, the profligate engine of the U.S. economy, is withering. September retail sales across the U.S. fell 1.2 percent. The decline was almost double the 0.7 percent drop analysts expected from consumers, whose spending represents two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. There were 160,000 jobs lost last month and three-quarters of a million jobs lost this year. The reverberations of the economic meltdown are only beginning.

I do not think George W. Bush or Barack Obama or John McCain or Henry Paulson are fascists. Rather, they are part of a cabal of naive, mediocre and self-deluded capitalists who are steadily weakening political and economic structures to a point where our democracy will become so impotent that it can be blown aside, probably with broad popular support. The only question is how this will happen. Will there be a steady and slow decline as in the late Roman Empire when the Senate ended as a farce? Will we see a powerful right-wing backlash from those outside the mainstream political system, as we did in Yugoslavia, and the rise of a militant Christian fascism? Will there be a national crisis that allows those in power to instantly sweep away all constitutional rights in the name of national security?

I do not know. But I do know that what is coming, as long as our oligarchy remains in charge, will not be good. We will either recover the concept of the public good, and this means a revolt against our bankrupt elite and the dynamiting of the corporatist structure, or we will extinguish our democracy.

Copyright © 2008 Truthdig, L.L.C.
Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winner and a former foreign correspondent for The New York Times, is the author of “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America.” His column appears Mondays on Truthdig.

October 21, 2008 @ 3:08 pm | Comment

FOARP, I guess the point is whether the peg would have become unsustainable without the run and if that would have happened, when. Soros can say “it was unsustainable”, but he was arguably pushing that matter to a head earlier. It’s perfectly legal, though I have a personal view that if one wants to engage in that sort of activity they can’t complain if they are regarded badly because of it. But I agree that the peg itself had been a failure and it would have been better to get rid of it before BW.

It’s funny you mention the Conservative Party because I have been thinking about joining them (again) for a while. I’ve certainly been voting for them. But until the last few years didn’t feel very enthusiastic about the party itself.

October 21, 2008 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

I haven’t visited an expat blog for a while, but it doesn’t at all surprise me to see that the standard of commentary and insight has not yet improved.

China suffers from huge problems, but what society on the face of the planet doesn’t? All these people who opine with such peremptory assurance about it circumstances suffer from the most demonstrable ignorance of history. China is an industrializing nation. Has the process of mass industrialization ever occured without generating enormous hardship and suffering, or engendering huge inequalities and rampant iniquity?

This is supposed to be one of the more civil and respectable China-related expat blogs, but most of the comments consist of nothing but asinine whining.

Not_A_Sinophile, well gee, I’m sorry to hear that you have suffered so much during your tenure in the Middle Kingdom. You are obviously an extremely frustrated and embittered individual, and no doubt harbour many genuine grievances. But this alone doesn’t lend validity to anything that you’ve ever thought or said. Think of residing in another country as a type of aptitude test – one which I doubt that you’ll ever pass.

Most of you the people commenting here exemplify the reason that China will take the lead in the next few decades – even Westerners who live in China are completely clueless about it. How many people contributing to this blog who reside in China can even read Chinese?

October 21, 2008 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

I think you’d be surprised at how many here can read Chinese, Kenneth. But that really isn’t the test about whether one’s opinions about China are reasonable or not. I’ve read shocking viewpoints about China from people who can and cannot read Chinese. If you’re not sure what I mean, take a look at some of the posts here by Math and Hong Xing; people can read Chinese and still have a very warped view of China. Some who cannot, like some of the foreign correspondents here, can be spot-on in their analyses. Nonetheless, I appreciate the comment and partially agree with you. NotA_Sinophile does sound embittered, and there’s a lot of whining here. Luckily I’m here to guide things and keep everyone on track, so the truth usually comes through in the end.

October 21, 2008 @ 4:43 pm | Comment

“If you’re not sure what I mean, take a look at some of the posts here by Math and Hong Xing; people can read Chinese and still have a very warped view of China.”

We need to delve into this issue much more deeply.

I’ve always thought that China is a very, very strange place. It’s the only place that I know of where the less that one knows about a place, or the more delusional that one is, the better off one is.

I once read a comment by some balding 60 year old American businessman in China who’d married some 20 year old Chinese girl who remarked that “one doesn’t need to be able to speak Chinese or even know anything about China in order to succeed in China.”

It’s almost as if the best taxi drivers are blind taxi drivers.

October 21, 2008 @ 7:51 pm | Comment

Murphy’s law expressed at its best…

The answer is simple Buck, uneducated peoples. And I am not saying that on a pejorative tone. It’s just where China stands at this moment. And of course not everybody, mostly seen in tier cities.

Think about the US 30-40 years ago, the family’s uncles preaching the truth with a beer between the legs and a cigarette in the mouth.

China is not yet sophisticated (by our standards), so for us Laowai, it’s like traveling back in time.

I’ve been trying for a long time to try to find the perfect analogy for people like Hong Xing. Still searching but I know one day I’ll find it.

Their reasoning is really a mirroring of their education and the way their mind is shaped. I am not an anti-china person, but if there is one thing that I despise in this country, it’s the education system, and this takes the prize in front of the CCP. People are just not taught to think outside of the box. They just memorize data. They are never taught to question the information or the systems (I’ve been told this many times by my wife and many Chinese friends, so it’s not an evil foreigner assumption). And for the people working here as managers or CEO’s, I am sure you are experiencing on a daily basis.

The biggest weaknesses of China are creativity and education, not it’s political system.

I think the best way I could express it now would be: Analytical mental jail.

October 21, 2008 @ 8:47 pm | Comment

ISM and goat boy are not the same person, Bao. ISM is a Chinese-Australian from plus4chan /n/. nanheyangrouchuan is an ant-CCP poster who has been around the block a lot longer. They are rather similar in some ways, (although ISM is perhaps considerably less well-balanced) and I can see why you would make that mistake.

October 21, 2008 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

Bah, it was just a wild guess anyways. I can’t for sure know if it’s him or not. I was merely using the occasion to self elevate myself to the rank of Google detective master.

October 21, 2008 @ 10:02 pm | Comment

That TruthDigg article above is actually quite thought provoking The author is no flaming radical either. One day we’ll talk about the oligarchy that rules America.

October 21, 2008 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

The article is good but only scratches the surface, again. Sometimes being inflamed and passionate about something is good. Most of the major changes in human history went through this. I don’t know of many historical events that were put in place through calm and non inflamed discussions.

Moderation is only good in times where change is not necessary and maintaining the status quo is the most logical thing to do.

You’ve got to get mad…

I live by a simple rule now: Whatever humans can envision can become or is reality.

Arthur C. Clarke and the satellites… The list is very long.

People are getting lost into details, it’s like a mental drug. Addicted they are to dissect the false reality in front of their eyes and feeling clever and being rewarded by their peers for doing so, unable to see the bigger and more abstract, but so much more real big picture.

October 22, 2008 @ 12:18 am | Comment

The Earth is round my friends! What ??? Burn him! Heresy!! Witch!

October 22, 2008 @ 12:21 am | Comment

To Bao:
A very interesting observation, but i disagree. You mention that China is not yet as sophisticated as the western countries. That is true. So why do you use western standards to analyse the Chinese education system? Chinese is a developing country. The goal of the Chinese education system, presently, is not to catch up with the sophisticated western educational system. The goal of the Chinese educational system is to educate the maximum number of people in the shortest amount of time. That’s a herculean task consider the population size. The best apple to apple comparison would be comparing the Chinese educational system to the Indian educational system. The Chinese system no doubt is the better of the two in terms of literacy rate, access to public education, and quality of education. Besides, a typical Chinese student learn far more stuffs than that is required in the western countries from 1st-9th grade. Most teachers don’t have the time to explain the concepts behind the every problem because free public education only lasts for 9 years. As for the don’t question the information they received, you couldn’t be more wrong. We Chinese (generation X) know whats up if you ask too many questions. Most of us that are interested in politics take it to the tea houses, and do our yapping there. But at times when virtually every major economy is in a recession, and we are in a 9.1 percent growth for the third quarter, and we feel like the government is doing its job to undo its wrongs( recent land reform, prediction that China will be a democracy in 2020 by Zhou Tianyong). All that its needed is to “act stupid and pretend a fool”.

October 22, 2008 @ 12:39 am | Comment

NJ

It’s not a question of catching up, but more about the actual system being used currently. There’s nothing to catch up, all it takes is a reform and the stopping of the “teachers are gods” mentality (without mentioning all the abuses that go with it, recent news headlines, you already know anyway).

Bringing thousands of foreigners in the country to palliate to the obvious lack of higher skilled managers is the perfect example. In my opinion, the right thing to do would be focus on the roots of the problem.

Do you think it’s normal that your only occasions to discuss and think freely are around a cup of tea with your close friends or your family ? Do not under estimate the importance of your early education. This is what defines you as an adult. Unless you undergo sci-fi brainwashing techniques, you’ll be stuck with this. It’s just how the brain an the psyche works.

You might think you are a free thinking spirit, but the previously and deeply imprinted cognitive mechanisms are still active today.

If you have a chance and you did not read it already take a look at : Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung.

“The goal of the Chinese educational system is to educate the maximum number of people in the shortest amount of time.”

You can say a lot and define a lot in a very short amount of time. This just sound like an excuse to me. I can teach many things in 9 years, I can teach you to hate, to kill, etc, including free thinking. It’s all about the underlying system. Ever heard about the wolf child ?

I have one very general definition to categorize people. The world is made of 2 major types of people: Technicians and creators.

A technician is somebody that will absorb knowledge and excel to apply it. They usually are very fast learners. They master knowledge, but they are unable to create new things.

A creator is usually someone that will follow a more bumpy road. They usually are mediocre in school, learn slowly, etc.But once they learn something, they are able to push it further, in non expected ways. They are outcasts and for the most of their life will be considered as failure, until the day when they reach their true potential.

I believe there is a deep symbiosis between the 2 groups. But the ratio is totally uneven. My estimate is that creators account for around 1-5% of the population, while the technicians account for 95% or so. None of the group is better than the other, they are just different.

Both groups cannot exist without the other. Even if out of balance, for example, the creator group would stagnate if the technician group was not there to realize their visions. And the technicians would not progress as well, unable to go further in their thinking.

Based on your previous comment, I do believe that you are probably part of the creator group. But what about the other 95% living in China ? You question, I agree. But not the rest of the mass. I hope you are aware of this.

October 22, 2008 @ 1:21 am | Comment

“But at times when virtually every major economy is in a recession, and we are in a 9.1 percent growth for the third quarter…”

Enjoy 2009 NJ

;)

October 22, 2008 @ 1:42 am | Comment

NJ:

“So why do you use western standards to analyse the Chinese education system? Chinese is a developing country.”

Calling China a ‘developing’ country is itself adhering to Western standards. The world will be a better place when this whole ‘developed/developing’ approach to understanding countries is tossed into the trashbin of history. I mean what does ‘developed’even mean, anyways? An economy based on unproductive financial arbitrage? The US, Europe, Canada, etc. don’t look in such great shape these days, do they…

I always laughed when my Chinese friends told me Canada was “developed”. My response was “what do you mean, has it stop moving or changing? Is everything frozen in a perfect state?”

October 22, 2008 @ 3:00 am | Comment

Bao is also known as Bobby Liu. He’s is a known racist on thebeijinger.com

October 22, 2008 @ 3:26 am | Comment

The hard working people who built (”decorated”) my condo had their hearts in it, but their bosses were liars and thieves. The sheer filthiness of the streets in my city are appalling. The lack of the rule of law and the glee with which that is “celebrated” is unintelligible. Consumerism as become a virulent disease. The police are lazy, ignorant, untrained and/or corrupt. The “government” officials are pompous, ignorant, untrained and/or corrupt.

Sounds like an Detroit, New York or some parts of Washington D.C.

The world is made of 2 major types of people: Technicians and creators.

Not really. Most people are good at both or not good at either. The Einstein type is uh, rare. He only did poorly at being a “technician” because human society doesn’t really accomodate exceptional people.

People are just not taught to think outside of the box.

That’s not an education problem, I don’t think. People aren’t taught to “think outside of the box” in America either. It’s just that the American public school system, as worthless as it is, doesn’t completely break a kid’s spirit like the schools in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China.

October 22, 2008 @ 7:41 am | Comment

was going to say *an American city but I decided to list examples.

http://invisibleskymagician.baywords.com/

Here is ISM’s blog if you want to get to know him better. I was going to find the article where he is laughing at African women with breast cancer but there’s one laughing at the 9/11 victims on the front page.

He and Not_a_Sinophile are more or less the same, along with all the other crazies who have a pathological hatred for China.

October 22, 2008 @ 8:15 am | Comment

Wow, ISM is one hell of a monster. What a site.

October 22, 2008 @ 8:56 am | Comment

Anon

I have nothing to do with this Bobby Liu and I’ve never even heard about the thebeijinger.com.

And I must say that it sadden me a bit to see that my comments define me to some people as being a racist, which I am absolutely not. I am merely giving my opinion on certain subject and in the future, I’ll try to make my points very clear in order to not give any feel of “hatred”.

I grew up in an extremely multicultural society and the racism concept is totally unacceptable. This is also a concept that Chinese people are having a hard time to grasp, since China is mostly homogeneous (Han).

From where I come, we usually don’t refer to people coming from abroad and living and working in in our country “foreigner” or “lao wai”. They are just citizens, either permanent or temporary.

And in my opinion that’s part of the beauty of America. It’s not perfect and there is tensions, but overall I consider this kind of society as an evolution for the human race and I sure hope that one day, we’ll live all together on this planet without borders. But I am not sure if we humans are clever enough to reach this goal. The future will tell us.

October 22, 2008 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

@ferin

Oh man! What a blog! A place to visit when one is deranged.

Also, good to visit after a ferin’s post bombardment ;-)

Still considering if putting it in my google reader list, under special label of course.

October 22, 2008 @ 2:37 pm | Comment

Look for this in ISM blog

“-Newbie’s Guide To Pro-China Internet Trolls-”

Absolutely great! ;-)

October 22, 2008 @ 2:42 pm | Comment

That’s great too

“9) Everyone is as bad as the ChiCom Party

Usually it goes like this:

Person: “China is bad at issue x” (where x can be such issues as pollution and human rights)
ChiCom Troll: “But [insert country here] is just as bad at issue x as China”
Person: “That may be the case, but it still doesn’t excuse China’s handling of the matters”
ChiCOm Troll: “China is doing the best it can at issue x, I suggest [insert country here] fix up their own problems first before criticizing China”
Person: “[insert country here] IS trying to fix issue x also, and it’s certainly doing much more than China, which is close to nothing”
ChiCom Troll: “China is doing the best it can at issue x and I trust there will be positive results in the future”

Also called the “Two wrongs don’t make a right” fallacy.”

October 22, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Comment

http://www.usatoday.com/money/world/2008-10-21-red-dragon-china-factories-economy_N.htm

Many economists, including Yu Yongding of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believe that China needs to keep annual economic growth of 8% or 9% to absorb the 24 million people entering the labor force every year or risk social instability.

This threshold is scarily high… Does that mean that China must maintain a double digits growth just to maintain social harmony in the country ?

And once the China’s growth miracle will end, what will happen next when the 24 million people flow doesn’t stop coming on the market every year, in fact by this time this number should have doubled at least…

October 22, 2008 @ 7:03 pm | Comment

“I once read a comment by some balding 60 year old American businessman in China who’d married some 20 year old Chinese girl who remarked that “one doesn’t need to be able to speak Chinese or even know anything about China in order to succeed in China.”

It’s almost as if the best taxi drivers are blind taxi drivers.”

“Ahhh…GlassHoppa…Don’t eva assume dat just ’cause one has no eyes dat one cannot see!”

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=eGblsNXkJog&feature=related

October 22, 2008 @ 9:06 pm | Comment

Having briefly read the Soros article I would agree with the broad thrust of what he is saying but would add some points.

1. As Soros says China needs to convert its dollars into assets if it is to become dominant. I don’t see Chinese companies taking over the world anytime soon. The main problem here is the political resistance China will meet with if it wishes to purchase heavily in the US or EU. Think Japan’s problems in the eighties and nineties, then multiply by “they’re a bunch of nazi commies!” scaremongering.

2. China will not escape the downturn undamaged. The CCP has yet to deal with a major downturn affecting all of society and it is not clear they would survive it. The downturn will mainly affect China by damaging its export economy, which is not necessarily the most important part is nevertheless a very important source of all those lovely us dollar assets.

3. In addition to the export problems China faces endemic pollution, a water crunch, few resources, a house price collapse and fears at home and abroad over product safety.

Whilst the US and EU are floundering, Japan’s recession is looking to be short and sharp and the Japanese, also flush with US dollars, are looking to go shopping. Asia maybe on the up, but it is not necessarily China who will benefit.

I am by no means an expert, but that is my two pennies worth

October 22, 2008 @ 10:57 pm | Comment

A bit reassuring… China might lead the way after all. Let’s hope for the best.

“No matter how historical responsibility is defined, our country’s development path cannot repeat the unconstrained emissions of developed countries’ energy use,” states the Chinese-language report. “We must soon prepare and plan ahead to implement emissions reduction concepts and measures in a long-term and stable energy development strategy.”

http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn15011-china-warns-of-huge-rise-in-emissions.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news1_head_dn15011

October 23, 2008 @ 12:25 am | Comment

http://www.prisonplanet.com/what-will-obamas-international-crisis-be.html

What will it be ?

China… No doubt on this. Buckle your seat belt people.

October 23, 2008 @ 1:38 am | Comment

Bao,

When prisonplanet.com or infowar.com report on the so called Obama international crisis, they probably mean the emergence of the NWO one world government, through militaristic confrontation of the Shanghai cooperative. Or some other insane shit like “cleaning out the stables,” something insane like killing a lot of Americans, through a WMD false flag operation. The point is it is some crazy shit. The other day his guest was talking about the Luciferian symbolism of everything, I mean everything; we are currently living IN THE END OF TIMES. Stuff like that.

Well, I certainly believe in the existence of the controlling/ruling elites, but just not sure how far I want to go in my beliefs (at best it’s an oligarchy, at worst all the theories are true, they are fucking occultists who run EVERYTHING and plan on killing 80-99% of us all). I gleamed over your posts above, I think it’s possible that the current crisis is designed as an attack against China. I believe: the elites sometimes give us subliminal hints to their plans through mediums such movies: for example, the recent batman movie, what did the Joker do to all those money? HE BURNED IT! Think about that for a minute. Not to mention the martial law, chaos, of Gotham. Which I believe has a chance of coming true.

Perhaps I am simply crazy. I hope I am.

October 23, 2008 @ 2:29 am | Comment

It’s more true than we dare to believe it I think. This is the the whole point of what I have been posting on this site. The problem with conspiracy things, is that it’s a melting pot. And it becomes very hard to filter real trends from totally wacko stuff. It attracts the craziest of the craziest… But somehow, and I am very rational person (maybe a bit intuitive I would say), more and more some of these “visions” are becoming true.

I don’t know if it’s real or not. But I can clearly see a trend toward something very big. I just don’t know how to analyze this so far. I think this is the reason why I am posting of forums (I never did that in my entire life). I guess I am probing in the public to see if what I am thinking has any echoes. Yes or not, it’s my current personal quest right now.

October 23, 2008 @ 2:40 am | Comment

Again, pseudorandom, I am happy to see your answer. Not because I am looking for support in my prose. But more in a genuine interest to see how much it resonates with normal peoples.

I am not trying to push any wacko agenda here. it’s an honest attempt to learn more about what people feel about their inner and secret “crazy theories” side let’s say.

October 23, 2008 @ 2:43 am | Comment

But we cannot deny one thing… However people interpret it, be it in a very simplistic approach (religious fears, political drama, etc). There is a general feeling of doom upon us.

It doesn’t matter our personal background or our current social status, I think most of us have this feel right now. And it’s being expressed in various ways. And we all dismiss the signals coming out of our very own cast.

But somehow we all know it’s big, we just don’t know what to do about it, and we seek answers. Like me.

October 23, 2008 @ 2:50 am | Comment

About your statement about the Batman movie, I think it’s more linked to global consciousnesses. I do not believe that the politicians have a direct take on content in movies.

But I do think that creative and sensible people, do get their inspiration from trends, feels, etc. They act like antennas to focus the emotion of the world. This is vital to create a block buster. You have to be able to sense what people and the society wants to absorb at this exact moment. Hence you will easily find symbols that touches you.

These creators are influenced by the same exact world you live in, they are not disconnected. Their vision is a projection of the global vision. The more general they are, the more they will be successful, because they will reach you.

October 23, 2008 @ 2:57 am | Comment

@Bao,

What I meant was that movie producers etc have an ear to the grapevine, they may be privy to unusual things, which they then put into their movies. No, I don’t have any evidence supporting this, and I also don’t claim it to be true. But I do know from people who worked on movies that producers etc often will modify the script to add in little details. I certainly do not mean the politicians are directing movies. Matter of fact, I don’t think politicians are anything really, they are merely tools, useful idiots, most of them anyway.

Oh yeah… Some producers are high ranking masons.. Simpson guy… high ranking mason. You know the recent Simpsons movie? Yeah, pretty tripped out, huh? I don’t know this is borderline skizzo thinking… Hell, is skizzo!

I’m just saying… The elites of the western world all have strange occult connections. It’s everywhere, so freaky…

October 23, 2008 @ 6:50 am | Comment

Somewhat on-topic, here’s a question which Chinese nationalists care about immensely:

How can a country become a Great Power in a short space of time?

Is it enough to host the Olympics, launch a manned space mission and run the world’s largest engineering projects?

Not at all. The way for a country to join the ranks of the Great Powers in just 8 years is to start off as a Superpower and put Dubya in charge.

October 23, 2008 @ 8:18 am | Comment

Si, agree China will not escape undamaged. But I would say th elevel of that damage will be significantly less than in the US. China will introduce its own bailout package, even more generous than our own – but at least they have the surplus to do that without creating to much havoc.

Bao, last warning: stop posting four or ore comments in a row. Organize your thoughts before hand and write a single comment. It looks like spam when people see comment after comment by you in thread after thread. Thanks.

This thread is now too long and sprawling. Please move to the new open thread.

October 23, 2008 @ 8:30 am | Comment

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