“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Carving up the Trade Pig.


Mercantilism is nothing more thsn the using the power of the state throughout the economy to enrich the state. A mercantilist economy is a managed economy. Mercantilism is controlling the means and sources of producing goods and services for the national benefits of one state against another. It is based on manipulated trade and invariably leads to militarism and can result in war.

It was thought that free trade was the antidote, but then again, what is free trade?
I think I know it when I don't see it.



The End of Free Trade


By Robert J. Samuelson Washington Post
Wednesday, December 26, 2007; Page A21

Here's today quiz. What do the following have in common: (a) Vladimir Putin; (b) China's currency, the renminbi; (c) the U.S.-Peru trade agreement; and (d) Hugo Chavez? Answer: They all reflect the "new mercantilism."

It's an ominous development affecting the world economy. Even as countries become more economically interdependent, they're also growing more nationalistic. They're adopting policies intended to advance their own economic and political interests at other countries' expense. As practiced until the mid-19th century, mercantilism aimed to do just that.

It was an economic philosophy that favored large trade surpluses. At the time, this had some logic. Trade was an adjunct to military power. Exports earned gold and silver coin, which financed armies and navies. But mercantilism fell into disfavor as a way to promote national prosperity. Free trade, argued Adam Smith and David Ricardo, would benefit all countries, because each would specialize in what it did best -- the doctrine of "comparative advantage." The post-World War II economic order took free trade as its ideal, even though trade barriers were lifted slowly. Now mercantilism is making a comeback, as governments try to manipulate markets to their advantage.

The undervalued renminbi is a glaring example. China's leaders have staked their country's political stability on export-led job creation driven by an artificially cheap currency that puts competitors -- Mexico, India and other developing countries as well as the United States and Europe -- at a disadvantage. China's trade surpluses have swelled. In 2007, the current account -- a broad trade balance -- will register a $400 billion surplus, about 12 percent of gross domestic product, says economist Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute. That's up from $21 billion, or 1.7 percent of GDP, in 2000. As a share of GDP, China's current account surplus is "triple Japan's level in the 1980s when Japan-bashing was at its peak."

Mercantilist notions also affect the energy trade. "A bear at the throat" is how the Economist recently described Europe's reliance on Russia for about a quarter of its natural gas. Putin talks of a gas cartel, and Europeans fear that their dependence exposes them to political blackmail. Ch¿vez is already less subtle. He dispenses Venezuela's oil to Cuba and other friendly countries at discounted prices. The specter is that scarce energy supplies, now available to all on commercial terms, will be increasingly allocated by political commitments.

Finally, the retreat from global trade agreements also reflects the new mercantilism. The Doha round of worldwide trade talks is floundering. Countries feel more comfortable with nation-to-nation and regional trade agreements, where they have more control over the terms. The World Trade Organization counts about 400 such agreements; the U.S.-Peru pact is the latest.

The paradox is that as the Internet and multinational companies strengthen globalization, its political foundations are weakening. Of course, opposition is not new. Even if free trade benefits most countries, some firms and workers lose from added competition. But for most of the postwar era, a pro-trade consensus neutralized this opposition. That consensus is now fraying.

Two powerful forces had shaped it, notes Harvard political scientist Jeffry Frieden. First was the belief that protectionism worsened the Great Depression. Everyone wanted to avoid a repetition of that tragedy. The second was the Cold War. Trade was seen as a way of combating communism by promoting the West's mutual prosperity. Both ideas bolstered political support for free trade. For years the global trading system flourished on the inertia of these impulses, whose relevance has faded.

In a booming world economy, the resulting tensions have so far remained muted. China's discriminatory trade practices, for example, have excited angry rhetoric, but not much else. The Chinese have generally deflected protests by, among other things, announcing large import orders at crucial moments. When European officials recently visited, there was a placating order for 160 Airbus planes worth an estimated $15 billion.

But would a global slowdown change that if other countries blamed Chinese exports for destroying their domestic jobs? Would import quotas or tariffs follow? Already, China has turned from the world's largest steel importer to the largest exporter, says Lardy. In the United States, the present pattern of global trade is viewed with increasing hostility: U.S. deficits are seen as eroding industrial jobs while providing surplus countries with the dollars to buy large pieces of American firms.

The world economic order depends on a shared sense that most nations benefit. The more some countries pursue narrow advantage, the more others will follow suit. "What's the glue that holds all this together?" asks Frieden. "Is there a common agreement about cooperation that allows governments to give up something to maintain the international order?" It's an open question whether these conflicting forces -- growing economic interdependence and rising nationalism -- can coexist uneasily or are on a collision course.


75 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. " As a share of GDP, China's current account surplus is "triple Japan's level in the 1980s when Japan-bashing was at its peak."

    Japan responded by investing here in capital that creates quality employment. (Honda, Toyota)

    China responds by sending more industrial spies.
    GWB responds by firming his grip on his ankles.

    The Dogma Peddlers (WSJ and lesser lights) explain why
    It's All Good.
    Honest.
    Trust Us.

    Wed Dec 26

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  3. Sino-Indian army exercises bring two Asian powers closer
    Forty-five years after a border war, the two nations begin to collaborate on security.
    ---
    Indeed, more than military exercises or ministerial meetings, it is economics that has recast the relations between India and China. Trade between the two countries surpassed $11.4 billion in 2007 – up from only $250 million in 1991, according to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It grew by half in the first four months of 2007, and forecasts suggest trade could hit $40 billion in the next three years. China could even eclipse the US as India's largest trading partner in the near future, with two-way trade projected to reach $100 billion in the years following 2010.

    In closer Sino-Indian ties, Sen He, managing director of Sany Heavy Industry, sees only opportunity. For the past three years, Sany has been exporting machines such as conveyer equipment to Indian firms. After selling more than 700 machines, the company decided to invest $60 million to build a factory near Pune. The operation, scheduled for completion next year, will be the first Chinese-owned major manufacturing plant in India.

    "India's economy is booming … and the construction market is flourishing," says Mr. Sen. "There is a big demand for our product."
    Meanwhile, major Indian corporations such as Ranbaxy pharmaceuticals and Videocon electronics have opened operations in China.

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  4. US braces for baby boom retirement wave
    ‘I’m Getting Paid Back’:
    First Boomer Retiree Claims Her Cash

    The first of the vast US baby boom generation goes into retirement in January, setting off a demographic tidal wave with wide-ranging economic, political and social implications.
    Kathleen Casey-Kirschling, born on January 1, 1946, is acknowledged as the nation's first baby boomer and the first to apply for social security benefits, for which she will be eligible in 2008.

    The cost for government-funded social security and medical care for the boomers leaves a funding gap of between 40 and 76 trillion dollars for next 75 years, according to various estimates.
    ---
    Pay up, Cutler!

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  5. UCL Alert:
    Unidentified Crawling Lizard
    Too bad it's real, might never make "Late Night"
    :-)

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  6. Most families can't even gather for the holidays without some form of tension and dysfunction.

    The broader "family of man" is no different.

    Take the EB for example. Most of the time, we all get along well enough but occasionally, things get ugly. Like yesterday.

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  7. Some topics are just outside the lines, whit.

    Not to answered or discussed, just dismissed as "unserious".

    But the questions remain.
    Unanswered

    But for most of the postwar era, a pro-trade consensus neutralized this opposition. That consensus is now fraying.

    This is a US centric view of the matter. The Japanese and the Chinese, the Soviets/Russians, and the French and their satellites, never took that view. They saw the US as an engine of ther own prosperity, not themselves as an engine of US prosperity.

    The US began the free trade relationships from such an overwhelming position of authority and power, that the "leveling", while raising the "others" dramaticly, whould have to lessen the US advantage, comparitive to 1948/49.

    Prior to 1939 the US had not yet achieved the economic breakout, as that film of the South that duece posted a few weeks ago so aptly demonstrated.

    Which sector of US society has worked hardest to return the world to that 1939 Standard of Equality, to give up the US's position of being head, shoulders and trunk above all the rest?
    Certainly not US Nationalists, but a cabal of bankers, industrialists and internationalists, supported by the political elites in the US.

    While there certainly have been advantages to "World Trade", the US still maintaining the highest material living standard for the largest number of people in all the world, the leveling has begun.

    That leveling is accelerating as the non-free economies better learn the "Free Trade Game" and the US economy becomes ever more Governmentaly controlled.

    The US strategic superiority in manufacturing, considered vital in 1949, exported to China and India.
    As doug mentioned, the Joint Chiefs reporting that the US cannot be supplied even 60% of it's material requesitions, domcesticly.

    Who gains from this New World Order, where the major US political parties offered US but two flavors of Skull & Boner, vanilla and vanilla lite, in the last Presidental cycle?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Compare the wage and lifestyle of an engineer to that of an assembly worker. Which would you rather be?

    A nation's wealth is in its brain trust. Apple, Dell, HP, and the other US brands, do not manufacture their wares. They design it. And that is where the wealth is.

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  9. As Toyota becomes the world's biggest car maker, and make the best car too, Ford is reported to sell more cars overseas than in North America.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ron Paul hits 10% in Iowa, poll says.

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  11. And before you make up your mind how to cast your vote this election cycle, make certain you understand each candidates position on the most important issues of our day.

    Coast-To-Coast

    Wed 12.26 >>
    Researcher Grant Cameron will discuss the various presidential candidates and their UFO related experiences as well as recent documents relating to UFOs which have been released from the Clinton Library.

    Foreign policy experience is said to be a big factor in our politics, but alien policy is is oddly left mostly unexplored. What would you wish a candidate to do when an alien craft is found hovering silently in front of the United Nations Building?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Not even Thomas Sowell, in all other things a font of good sense, is able to bring himself to discuss the unacknowledged issue of our times.

    He does frighten the begibbers out of one, however, with his talk of the possibility of Bill Clinton on the United States Supreme Court.

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  13. Having been an employer with hundreds of manufacturing workers, I can say that there are a lot of good paying , satisfying trades that have been outsourced and lost in unfair trade deals. You can have free trade when taxes, insurance and social benefits, that are paid for by the employer in the US, and paid for by government social programs in foreign countries, are balanced. US employees that have certain trade skills, but are made redundant, are not necessarily exchangeable to service industries. They lose out and the economy by sector can lose out.

    GNP can grow be ten percent in 50% of the economy, while another 50% decrease by 2%. To an economist that reads as if the entire economy is growing by 4%. Tough noogies for the unfortunate 50%.

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  14. Samuelson is a Commie asshole that would completely destroy the economy of the U.S. if given an opportunity.

    Trade Protectionism (Smoot-Hawley) WAS the PRIME REASON for the Great Depression. PERIOD.

    The Doha Round collapsed because the "Socialist" countries of the world had, absolutely, NO Interest in anything as free market as "Trade."

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  15. Letter from the Manchu Emperor of China to King George III of Great Britain, 1795--

    Swaying the wide world, I have but one aim in view, namely, to maintain a perfect governance and to fulfill the duties of state. Strange and costly objects do not interest me...I have no use for your country's manufactures....It behoves you, O King, to respect my sentiments and to display even greater devotion and loyalty in the future, so that by perpetual submission to our throne, you may secure peace and security for your country hereafter...Our Celestial Empire possesses all things in prolific abundance and lacks no products within our borders. There was, therefore, no need to import the manufactures of outside barbarians in exchange for our produce...I do not forget the lonely remoteness of your island, cut off from the world by intervening wastes of sea, nor do I overlook your excusable ignorance of the usages of our Celestial Empire...Tremblingly obey and show no negligence.

    Ho,Ho.

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  16. I think the point being that an isolated culture over time tends to get carved up. The Chinese don't seem to be making the same mistake these days.

    What Cat Vomit said--mew spew:)

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  17. On the other hand, the traders of Mahenjo-daro and Harappa, in what is now Pakistan, where artifacts were found from the Mediterranean world, got wiped out by the non-trading aryans, so there isn't any hard and fast rule I quess.

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  18. Wouldn't it be silly to have huge tariffs on products traded between Idaho, and California? Or, NY and Texas? It doesn't make any more sense to have large Barriers to Trade between Nations. Only the poor people get hurt.

    We are really going to need good trade relations with Colombia. As Oil runs out they will become more, and more, important producers of Biofuels.

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  19. Washington State Wheat Scientist Writes 'W' Entry For Encyclopedia

    AP--

    When the 2009 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia hits the presses next year, it will include the contribution of one of WSU's leading wheat scientists.

    Stephen S. Jones, 50, a professor of crop and soil sciences at the university, wrote the "W is for Wheat" entry for the new encyclopedia.

    "I think it's great. I was just thrilled to do it," Jones said, who admitted he was surprsed when he was called by the editor of the encyclopedia and asked to write the entry.

    Jones and the wheat research team at WSU--along with their counterparts at the University of Idaho--are leaders in wheat genetics and breeding programs, a fact even few locals understand.

    "We breed new varieties-we've been doing that here for 113 years," Jones said. "But also, we look down the road longterm to what wheat is going to have to look like for as many growers to keep growing it as possible."

    "What's obvious is that this current strict commodity model of growing wheat is not working..What can we do differently--and that is what the editor wanted to see."

    To begin with, WSU scientists are looking at ways to grow wheat that would lessen the ecological footprint of the crop by developing varieties that require less nitrogen. They are working to create wheat that is more resistant to pests and disease, and both of these advances would benefit farmers who could cut costs on fertilizer and pesticides....

    The article mentions the declining number of farmers among other worries. These folks have been trying for years to create a wheat that fixes nitrogen, like peas, but have so far failed.

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  20. Mitsubishi to show Laser TV at CES 2008.

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  21. Guangzhou is not equivalent to Virginia. Virginia and California share the same army, state department and social security system. No such equivalency exists between Guangzhou and Virginia. Money earned in California will not be going into a navy that threatens California. Satellites launched in California will not be shot down by the Old Dominion.

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  22. What Deuce Says!
    Cat Vomit oversimplifies the issue, just to keep that cute cat vomit smiley runnin.
    :)

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  23. In Laos, Chinese Motorcycles Change Lives

    The cheap Chinese products that are flooding Asia are met with appreciation by the region’s poorest people.

    Mr. Gu claims he can tell a Japanese brand, manufactured in Thailand, just by listening to the engine.
    “It sounds more firm and the engine noise is softer,” he said. Some Thai-made Japanese motorcycles can go 10 years without an engine overhaul. Chinese bikes, he said, usually need major repairs within 3 to 4 years.

    “I want a motorcycle from Thailand but I don’t have the money,” said Kon Panlachit, a police officer who brought his Jinlong 110cc motorcycle to Gu’s shop for repairs on a recent weekend.
    “When I ride it, it makes a noise — dap, dap dap,” Mr. Kon complained. “It’s the second time I’ve brought it here for this problem.”

    The cheapest Thai-made Honda goes for 55,000 baht, about $1,670 — four times the price of the cheapest Chinese bikes, which are sold under many brand names, including Yinxiang, Dashan, Yincin, Zongshen and Honshun.

    The influx of Chinese motorcycles is keeping mechanics busy in Luang Prabang. A decade ago there were only two or three repair shops in the city, says Mr. Gu. Now he counts 20.

    Mr. Gu does not worry about maintenance for his own motorcycle.
    “I have a Honda,” the mechanic said.

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  24. Chinese exports to Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos amounted to $8.3 billion in the first eight months of the year, up about 50 percent from the same period in 2006.

    Khamphao and his neighbors all have $100 Chinese-made television sets connected to Chinese-made satellite dishes and decoders, causing both joy and occasional tension among family members sitting on the bare concrete or dirt floors of their living rooms. “I like watching the news,” Mr. Khamphao said. “My children love to watch movies.”

    A two-hour interview with Khamphao was interrupted twice: once when his buffalo in the adjoining field gave birth to a healthy calf and a second time when a cable TV channel was showing “Lost in Translation,” and the actor Bill Murray sang an off-key rendition of Bryan Ferry’s “More Than This.”

    Mr. Khamphao’s children, whose daily lives are largely confined to the mountain village, have picked up the Thai language from television and they sing along to commercials broadcast from Thailand.

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  25. French Youths Attack Police On Christmas Eve

    There was more than a mouse stirring late Christmas Eve in Belleville, France. French "youths" continue to escalate their violent nihilism, offering a regional police station a series of fiery Christmas presents, which seemed to represent only a fraction of their overall plan.
    Loosely translated from Yahoo France:

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  26. Cat Vomit suffers Stockholm Syndrome:
    Purrs Puke trying for Trish.

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  27. Doug: The cost for government-funded social security and medical care for the boomers leaves a funding gap of between 40 and 76 trillion dollars for next 75 years, according to various estimates.

    It would have been much less if your buddy Bush didn't ram the prescription drug benefits through at the behest of the geezer lobby.

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  28. Well, we embargoed Japan's oil back in 1940. That worked out well, eh?

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  29. Bobal: What would you wish a candidate to do when an alien craft is found hovering silently in front of the United Nations Building?

    Yell, "Fire at will."

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  30. Bobal: These folks have been trying for years to create a wheat that fixes nitrogen, like peas, but have so far failed.

    Maybe they are going about it the wrong way. Instead of getting the wheat to like the nitrogen-fixing bugs, maybe they can get the bugs to like the wheat.

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  31. Your Sweetheart wants Universal Pre K, T!
    ---
    Social control through public 'education'
    "Whenever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found State education. It has been discovered that the best way to ensure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery."
    – Benjamin Disraeli

    "The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality."
    – H L. Mencken

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  32. "Liberals believe government should take people's earnings to give to poor people. Conservatives disagree. They believe government should confiscate people's earnings and give them to farmers and insolvent banks.

    The compelling issue to both conservatives and liberals is not whether it is legitimate for government to confiscate one's property to give to another, the debate is over the disposition of the pillage."
    – Walter Williams

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  33. When China let their currency start rising it was trading at about 8.30 to the dollar. It's now at about 7.30 to the dollar.

    Recognizing that by allowing it's currency to appreciate "too fast" (as a result of pressure from the U.S.) in the last century Japan sentenced itself to a 15 year recession, China has moved a bit slower. But, it has been steady.

    China has a Billion + people, and they are NOT lazy people. And, they are NOT Stupid. We can try to hold them down, and GUARANTEE ourselves a Conflict, or we can work, and trade, with them and give them a chance to "Grow" into a "Responsible" International power.

    What some of you guys don't recognize is that China exports the type of low value-added products that we ARE NOT going to manufacture here ever again. If we don't buy them from China we'll buy them from Vietnam, or Thailand, or Someone else in the Developing world. They have so much potential for manufacturing this type of products that they're making money faster than they can spend it. Although, they buy more "High-Value" Goods every month than the month before it will be quite some time before they can develop sufficiently to buy enough to "Equalize" the Books.

    In the meantime, they're not "Hurting" anybody. They're investing their profits in whatever investments that are available, and Building as fast as they can. They are ALREADY danged good customers, and will, one day, be our LARGEST Customers.

    On the other hand: Aside from doing a little "Proxy" mischief with N. Korea, and Vietnam they, actually, don't have much of a history of Aggression toward other countries. I'm having a hard time seeing a down-side, here.

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  34. "Well, we embargoed Japan's oil back in 1940. That worked out well, eh?"
    ---
    They'd already taken over half of the Far East/Southeast Asia.

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  35. The Complaint is not with the Chi-Coms per se:

    "The US strategic superiority in manufacturing, considered vital in 1949, exported to China and India.
    As doug mentioned, the Joint Chiefs reporting that the US cannot be supplied even 60% of it's material requesitions, domcesticly.

    Who gains from this New World Order, where the major US political parties offered US but two flavors of Skull & Boner, vanilla and vanilla lite, in the last Presidental cycle?
    "

    ReplyDelete
  36. Longmont City Council's delegation of all the powers of the City Charter government to unaccountable boards and commissions has compounded the denial of equal opportunity problem in housing in Longmont. Disgruntled active and former political liberals from the various Boards have taken it upon themselves to override Council and proselytize unprepared citizens with the power.

    ...

    Although Boulder Secular Progressives are in denial that secular humanism is a religion, even the U.S. Supreme Court recognized it as such in the eyes of the law. In Torkoso v. Watkins (1961).

    ...

    At the core of every issue in the conflict between land in Longmont Boulder public development and Longmont's private developer sector is Boulder's assertion that free speech over powers Longmont citizen's right to equal opportunity in the economy Longmont regulates. Enter Council members Benker and McCoy with procedural First Amendment procedural monkey wrenches using secular religion rules in Longmont's process to preclude the citizens of LifeBridge equal opportunity.


    Equal Opportunity Initiative

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  37. At the end of WWII, 1945, the US owned the industrial base on the planet. I think national smokestacks are a good thing.

    The US a huge surplus of savings in dollars backed by most of the world's gold reserves. That is a good thing.

    The threat was communism. It was real and real nasty.that was a bad thing.

    The US could be very generous in offering trade and aid to Europe and Japan. The US benefited by building up strong allies and trading partners.

    China distorts all US experience by a scale that is difficult to comprehend. Europe and Japan did not use their growing trade surpluses to build a military threat to the US.

    Neither did they pose an economic threat nor a geo-political counter weight to US ambitions and intentions in Latin America.

    The Chines have just begun to put together a real military-industrial complex. If one depends on them to use their wealth and power in a benign fashion, that is understandable and very hopeful. I am not quite so sanguine, but then I rarely am when it comes to politics and human behavior.

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  38. Doug we don't manufacture a lot of things; BUT, we CAN manufacture EVERYTHING if we desire to.

    We buy a lot of circuit boards from Taiwan, but if the Sea Routes got cut off we could manufacture them here in a heartbeat. Same with skivvies, and utility uniforms from Malaysia, or Trucks from Canada.

    China, however, CANNOT, under ANY scenario manufacture F-22's, Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems, or Air-borne Lasers.

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  39. 2164th: China distorts all US experience by a scale that is difficult to comprehend. Europe and Japan did not use their growing trade surpluses to build a military threat to the US.

    When's the last time a Chinese carrier battle group did an exercise off the coast of Oregon? When we stick our nose in everyone's brown water, all it takes is a brown water navy to be a "military threat to the US"

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  40. Nuclear-powered submarines would likely be responsible for supporting the carrier group attack on the east coast and cutting off US aid.

    The People's Liberation Army's military expansion will not end here, however.

    In evaluating China's combat capabilities, Taiwan must adopt a strategic viewpoint that is 10 or 15 years ahead. If it makes the mistake of keeping its eyes on the ground, a catastrophe could be waiting around the corner.


    Leaving Out One Detail

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  41. Look, the way I see it is: In the thirties the world was "ate up" with Mercantilism. It was "Bugger thy neighbor" on a Global Scale. The "Losers" went to War.

    Let's try a Different way. Let's trade, and cooperate. Let's see if China really wants to Attack their Greatest Customer (who just happens to have B-2's, F-22's, a layered Missile Defense, and enough Nuclear Warheads to erase the Chinese language from the face of the Earth.)

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  42. "We can try to hold them down, and GUARANTEE ourselves a Conflict, or we can work, and trade, with them and give them a chance to "Grow" into a "Responsible" International power."

    ..
    Rufus,

    Let me tell a little anecdote. This anecdote being a true story, and not so amusing.

    I was coming back from a sight seeing trip, downtown Toronto. I took the subway. I arrived at my station, I got off the train. I still needed to take the bus. So I waited at the bus stop. As the subway trains bellow came and left, more and more people were arriving at the bus stop. We were waiting for about 20 minutes for the bus to arrive. Then, something very interesting occurred. About 5 seconds before the bus made a full stop at the bus stop, an elderly Chinese woman arrived at the waiting line. Though there were at least 20 people in front of her, including myself, she managed to be the first to get on the bus. You haven't seen a magic show in your life, if you haven't been there and seen this. No one said a word.

    Anyway, something to think about.

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  43. Rufus,
    My question is when and how will the loss of manufactuing capacity ever stop?

    Currently, it continues to erode at a substantial rate, Buchanan claiming a loss of 1/6 on W's watch.

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  44. Hunter wants to reduce taxes on companies that keep manufacturing in the USA.

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  45. That's a good idea, help keep the jobs here.

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  46. Dogma - Prepare Thyself.

    http://quicksilverscreen.com/watch?video=18487

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  47. The Russian navy is considered to have high-quality electronic equipment capable of observing new weapons systems and intercepting communications, which could become high-value assets to Syria and Iran.

    Russian Mediterranean Naval Build-Up

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  48. Doug: My question is when and how will the loss of manufactuing capacity ever stop?

    If it was more profitable for companies to retain manufacturing capacity in America, they would automatically do so. If you mandate it through the government, they take a loss, and you're in the same territory as the Soviet Union with their Five Year Plans.

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  49. If you force a domestic manufacturer to follow osha rules, pay workers compensation, match social security taxes, pay liability insurance, pay unemployment taxes, pay health benefits, all by law and practice, and then allow a foreign manufacturer to compete in the same market with none of those constraints, how is that a free market? That is a free fall to closing that industry down by government fiat.

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  50. .38 cents an hour, that's what I read somewhere, wages in China. Tough to compete with, even if it's $1.38 an hour. Whatever advantage we might have in knowledge and technology is rapidly evaporating as well. There's still a hungry world out there for a lot of our foodstuffs, at least.

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  51. Four years ago, after the tech crash led to a staggering 200,000 layoffs in Silicon Valley, the pessimists were everywhere. There was a very real fear that the glory days were gone for good, thanks to the emergence of high-tech business centers in low-cost nations such as India and China and government-protected and government-subsidized tech centers in Taiwan, Singapore and elsewhere.

    That fear looks silly now. As the Mercury-News reported, "the region is riding high," its "status as the world's pre-eminent tech center (having been) strengthened by the evolving global market, not weakened."

    Giant local firms Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard report soaring revenue on international sales. Many Silicon Valley-based software, computer chip and Internet companies have further cemented their places among the globe's leading firms in their fields.


    The Silicon Story

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  52. In Las Vegas, one extra factor has been a booming Chinese economy, as wealthy Asian players are risking - and losing - money in record numbers inside the city's most exclusive V.I.P. lounges.

    Vegas can compete:)

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  53. Additional felony charges were filed Wednesday against three co-defendants who pleaded not guilty in a school bus stop shooting that wounded six people, authorities said.

    A judge set a Jan. 10 preliminary hearing for 18-year-old Dresden Michael Williams, 20-year-old Erica Renee Adams and 17-year-old Franklin Jackson in the Dec. 11 shooting, a court clerk said.

    Jackson, who initially was charged as a juvenile, is now charged as an adult in the case, said his defense lawyer, Joel Mann.


    Bus Stop Shooting

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  54. "If it was more profitable for companies to retain manufacturing capacity in America, they would automatically do so. If you mandate it through the government, they take a loss, and you're in the same territory as the Soviet Union with their Five Year Plans."
    ---
    Welcome to the Bar Francine!
    (we aren't exactly the Culture Club here, so be forewarned!)
    ---
    Yes, but,
    Currently, Govt Policy acts in the opposite direction, what with regulatory burdens not borne by most offshore plants, that plus taxes often being the REASON for offshoring, in fields where we could still be competetive.

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  55. Oops, didn't see Deuce's Post!
    That's why he's the boss!

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  56. " then allow a foreign manufacturer to compete in the same market with none of those constraints, how is that a free market? That is a free fall to closing that industry down by government fiat "
    ---
    Amen, and Cat Vo, er, Rufus needs to address that one.

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  57. Wall Street is in deep sneakers. They are busy putting a positive spin on 2007, which in mid-year unleashed the beginning of an unstoppable nightmare.

    ...

    The Robert Rubin mentality has prevailed for well over a decade, wherein US banking policy is designed to recklessly put off problems until tomorrow in order to buy some time today. And yes, during the many todays, the Manhattan Made Men crowd have profited handsomely.

    ...

    The 2007 year started out reasonably calm, and ended with constant damaging storms in an utter barrage. Wall Street denials of the housing crisis and mortgage debacle were as consistent as they were a departure from reality.


    Denials

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  58. We all know this but the maps are impressive--Who Has The Oil

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  59. Those are pretty cool maps. Saudi's really puttin' the squeeze on everybody else.

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  60. And this interesting observation from the following article--

    Nineteenth-century anarchism and terrorism adhered to a certain code of honor. There was a code of chivalry (treuga dei and pax dei) in European medieval warfare (and also in medieval Islam), not to attack and harm monks, women, children, elderly people and the poor in general. The targets of terrorist attacks were leading figures such as kings, ministers, generals, and police chiefs considered personally responsible for repression and crimes. Great care was taken not to hurt the innocent; if a Russian Grand Duke appeared unexpectedly together with his family, the attackers would abstain from throwing their bombs even if, by acting so, they endangered their own lives. More often than not, the attackers considered themselves sinners for taking a human life; it was unthinkable that they would boast of dancing on the graves of their victims or express the wish to drink their blood. There are no known cases of sadism among nineteenth-century anarchists. The indiscriminate murder which has become the rule in our days did occur but was rare and mostly unplanned.

    In contrast, incidents of sadism have been frequently reported in our time—for instance, in the Algerian civil war, or in the case of Zarqawi, who was upbraided by some of his followers for cutting throats too quickly. The enemy not only has to be destroyed, he (or she) also has to suffer torment. The barbarisation of terrorism has not been limited to the jihadists, but they have been its most frequent practitioners by far. How do we account for these changes in the theory and practice of terrorism compared with the age of the anarchist militants? This seems to me a central issue which has yet to be addressed.

    Middle East Strategy site recommended* by bob

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  61. I thought Canada had a bunch, like number 2?
    Is that Shale or something?

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  62. Wiki:
    Canada
    Canadian conventional oil production peaked in 1973, but oil sands production is forecast to increase to at least 2020Canada's proven oil reserves were estimated at 179.2 billion barrels as of January 2007, placing it second only to Saudi Arabia.[1] Over 95% of these reserves are oil sands deposits in the province of Alberta. [2] Although Alberta contains nearly all of Canada's oil sands and about 75% of its conventional oil reserves, several other provinces and territories, especially Saskatchewan and offshore Newfoundland, have substantial oil production and reserves.[3]

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  63. Tar sands, Doug. We've got the shale in Colorado. I think...

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  64. ...oil sands.
    How hard is that to get, Rufus?

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  65. Not as hard as shale, I think...you got the heat the material up so's it oozes out I read.

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  66. Venezuela's Orinoco tar sands are less viscous than Canada's Athabasca oil sands – meaning they can be produced by more conventional means, but are buried deeper – meaning they cannot be extracted by surface mining.

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  67. President Bush is just a figurehead for the Illuminati and associated groups that seek One World Government, OWG, and is in on the UFO coverup as well. This I learn (again) from the interviewee tonite on Coast to Coast. !
    Boners!, one and all.

    Hillary is in on this too, as her weekend with old man Rockefeller a decade or so ago clearly shows.

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  68. Hillary's recent speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in which she referenced "Independence Day" and mentioned how she hoped all nations could work together, is just another instance of this conspiracy to dominate. Nothing, repeat, nothing, gets in these speeches without approval.

    And don't forget Jackie Gleason. He got filled in on UFO's by President Nixon. Twas Gleason's second wife that let this all out. Jackie was shacken to the bones. Nixon showed Jackie the alien bodies at that Air Force Base in Florida.

    Get it out yourselves at Presidential UFO. com

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  69. Check this out...Presidential UFO Site

    Now see if you can get some sleep:)

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