April 25, 2011

The Reign of Obama May Close Out the Age of America

Justin Katz

It's not the current president's fault (although many of us would be inclined to suggest that he hastened the end result), but if Barack Obama wins a second term, it may be that he'll turn out the lights on the Age of America... at least according to the International Monetary Fund:

According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China's economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.

Put that in your calendar.

It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power. ...

The IMF in its analysis looks beyond exchange rates to the true, real terms picture of the economies using "purchasing power parities." That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.

Brett Arends, who wrote the above, suggests that the Age of China won't be as benign a hegemony as has been the past few "ages" dominated by Western democracies. He also quotes NYU Stern business professor Ralph Gomory as suggesting that the United States has "traded jobs for profit," leading to "a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class."

On the latter count, I'd say that business leaders' transition of jobs to lower-cost foreign markets is only part of the story. As seems to be a repeating theme, in our society, the trouble arises by our failure to follow a particular governing philosophy. What I mean is that the pursuit of cheaper labor for reasons of profits has had to combine with government imposition of regulations, mandates, and other market controls in order to trip up the United States.

With ever-increasing barriers to entry, the middle and working classes have been unable to compete with established companies, decreasing the risk for the internationals in turning toward distant employees. Displaced workers, and those who would employ them, have also been restricted in their ability to explore new means of making a living.

The way through this is to trust in the American people by removing government manacles, despite the fears and selfish interests of our ruling class, and begin to rebuild the character of the nation.

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I caught that article on Drudge, and thought certain matters were not addressed; population size and form of government.

Considering the disparity in population, I would think China would require a GNP 3-4 times larger than ours for an equivalent standard of living. Although if they retain low cost manufacture, only a multiple of two might be required.

Second, it is popular to forget that China is a communist country. It is not a free market, the economy is "directed". The formulation of "guns and butter" may not be what it is in a democracy.

Historically, China has not been expansionist. Still, it will shortly be feeling the pinch for "resources" and "lebensraum".

With regard to exporting jobs and the rich getting richer, it is true that the world has been our oyster for 60 years. We have outsourced without concern for national security, or the security of our suppliers. That may change.

I see the Chinese as inner directed, and not particulalry war like. Continuing free flow of information may serve us, on the other hand the government has a "kill switch" for the internet.

Posted by: Warington Faust at April 25, 2011 3:12 PM

"What I mean is that the pursuit of cheaper labor for reasons of profits has had to combine with government imposition of regulations, mandates, and other market controls in order to trip up the United States."

This is all around us, perhaps we do not notice it. I am an old car fan, when I send something off for chrome plating; it seems to go to Southern California, just north of the Mexican border. I suspect that chrome plating is "too dirty" for us, so we send it to Mexico which cannot afford environmental concerns.

The same with steel mills. "Too dirty" for us, let's send it to the Far East. China is like a vacuum for all of our scrap metal. If push comes to shove, we may wish we had retained some of that. In the meantime, scrap yards are changing hands for enormous sums.

When the Newport Ferry was operating, it was possible to gauge the price of scrap by observing the height of the pile off Allens Avenue.

The scrap metal industry is quite interesting. With the exception of a few skilled workers,it is almost entirely peopled by Hispanics. A few years ago scrap yards were purchasing cars (including upholstery, etc) for $450 a ton (remember the "We buy junk cars" signs everywhere?) The price is now appreciably lower. I am given to understand this is the result of an edict from the Chinese government limiting imports.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 25, 2011 3:31 PM

APRIL 25, 2011

Trump Dogged By Rumors His Hair is Not From U.S.

So-called ‘Balders’ Movement Gathers Steam

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) – A threat to the fledgling presidential campaign of Donald Trump emerged today, as a group of activists charged that Mr. Trump is not eligible to hold the nation’s highest office because his hair does not originate from the U.S.

The group, who call themselves “Balders,” claim that the hair-like substance that crowns Mr. Trump’s head is from a foreign country, which would mean that the candidate is less than one hundred percent American.

“Time and time again, Donald Trump has refused to produce a certificate of authenticity for his hair,” said Leeann Selwyn, a leading Balder. “This is tantamount to a comb-over of the truth.”

But if in fact Mr. Trump’s distinctive mane turns out to be of foreign origin, such a revelation need not be fatal to his presidential hopes, says Professor Davis Logsdon, who has studied the history of presidential hair at the University of Minnesota.

“Remember, several of our greatest early presidents, like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, had hair that originated elsewhere,” Mr. Logsdon says. “The only thing that could kill Trump politically is if his hair turns out to be from France.”

At a GOP event in Iowa, Mr. Trump made no reference to the Balders controversy, and instead sounded an upbeat theme: “If I am given the chance to do the same magic I did for NBC, America will be the number four country in the world.”

In a piece of good news for Mr. Trump, a new poll showed a majority of likely voters agreeing with the statement, “Donald Trump being sworn in as President would be a great last scene in a Planet of the Apes remake.”

From The Borowitz Report. It carries the same degree of seriousness as Justin's post here and Senor Faust's (or is it Mephistopholes?)reply

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at April 25, 2011 8:34 PM

OTL, some distinctions between the "balders" and the "birthers". Trump has not spent millions defending the privacy of his hair. Everyone who Trump went to school with remembers his hair.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at April 25, 2011 9:01 PM

The USA is the most innovative and adaptable country in the world. However 99 wks. of unemployment,food stamps,etc. can disable a country quite quickly. China has the ace-in-the-hole small itty bitty advantage referred to as slave labor also. No OSHA,EPA,etc. there to impede "progress". Two different societies in different universes. Hussein in the White House admires China. That should frighten every American.

Posted by: ANTHONY at April 26, 2011 12:05 AM

China is not generally expansionist in the physical sense.
Of course,the annexations of Tibet and Sinkiang and the ill fated invasion of Vietnam after the US withdrew are exceptions.
The Chinese do,however,have the "overseas" Chinese who live in well-defined ,generally mercantile/professional self-sustaining communities in other countries of Asia and elsewhere.
These communities have never cut their economic/cultural ties to China except during the worst period of Maoist
oppression.They are a great resource for China.
I'm not making a value judgement about these communities and their relationship to China,just noting their long term existence.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 26, 2011 12:07 AM

How nice that Lefty took time away from his Mother Jones to cut and paste that little piece. It's part of the typical tactic of using adolescent snark to draw attention away from a serious subject.

The serious subject is not the circumstances of Obama's birth, nor Trump's potential candidacy (which I would energetically oppose), but the extraordinary lengths to which the Obama machine has gone to cover up nearly every aspect of his personal history. The 2008 election was unique in that the background of the winning candidate was kept secret - at great expense, it turns out - and a conspiring media establishment was complicit in the myth-making and the cover-up.

I hope that the appalling performance of the Obama regime will be the wake-up call to Americans that that their very survival does depend on their being aware and active in politics.

Posted by: BobN at April 26, 2011 6:16 AM

America will not survive until 2020 on the path of $5 billion a day deficits. That is evident to all but the brain damaged old time lefty's and the deluded members of the Government Workers Elite.
Throw in suicidal open immigration (with ultra-generous welfare programs) and Anchor Baby policies and you have an American Empire flailing just like the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires circa 1911.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at April 26, 2011 10:01 AM

After typing "the text that shall not be entered", paste this into your browser. Subscribe and visit daily. We can no longer afford to be fooled by Obama and deceived by Ryan.


God Bless America!

Posted by: Douglas Farnum at April 26, 2011 12:00 PM
if Barack Obama wins a second term, it may be that he'll turn out the lights on the Age of America... at least according to the International Monetary Fund...

That's flatly false. Of course, saying the IMF says something certainly adds weight, but the IMF never said anything of the sort:

In a statement sent to MarketWatch, the IMF confirmed the report, but challenged my [Brett Arends'] interpretation of the data. Comparing the U.S. and Chinese economies using “purchase-power-parity,” it argued, “is not the most appropriate measure… because PPP price levels are influenced by nontraded services, which are more relevant domestically than globally.”

The IMF added that it prefers to compare economies using market exchange rates, and that under this comparison the U.S. “is currently 130% bigger than China, and will still be 70% larger by 2016.”

"The way through this is to trust in the American people by removing government manacles..."

Just like the Chinese are doing, right? Any actual ideas on right about competetiveness or just more spouting of empty slogans?

Posted by: Russ at April 26, 2011 2:16 PM

"Any actual ideas on right about competetiveness or just more spouting of empty slogans?"

Russ, you must like the more substantive ones, like "Hope and Change"


Posted by: Douglas Farnum at April 26, 2011 5:08 PM

China will implode at just about the same time as us. That could be next week, or next year, but it is coming and it is now inevitable.

Nothing can stop the collapse.

Posted by: Gary at April 27, 2011 9:04 AM

"...you must like the more substantive ones, like 'Hope and Change'"

Umm, no. I thought that was major bs.

I didn't even vote for the guy because I believed he would govern about like he has, continuing many of the same practices progressives thought were impeachable when done by the Bush administration. (full disclosure - I voted for Obama in the primary, but everyone else had dropped out by then except Clinton so can you blame me?)

Posted by: Russ at April 29, 2011 12:43 PM
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