Tags: china | ben | bernanke | deficit | debt

Don’t Blame China for Our Woes

Friday, 19 Nov 2010 08:30 AM

By Chris Freind

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The nation was recently abuzz regarding a mysterious plume off California’s coast.

Was it:

A) The California economy going up in smoke now that Jerry Brown is Governor again after 36 years;

B) Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke magically creating $600 billion in new funny money — the smoke trail being inflation “taking off;”

C) China flexing its muscle by test-firing a missile in America’s backyard

If you voted for the first two, you win. But if you think it was China the aggressor, I’ve got news for you — not a chance.

The reason is simple. Unless bold political leadership takes hold in Washington, utilizing common sense in dealing with our biggest global competitor, China wins any way you slice it.

Republicans and Democrats had their chances to implement a sound economic policy, but both sides chose to roll over. Congress and presidents — both past and present — have created a system whereby America is almost singlehandedly building China into the world’s most influential economic, political, and military powerhouse.

China funds our insatiable spending and massive debt, which we in turn use to purchase more goods from China, bail out Wall Street (thereby continuing fat cat executives’ huge campaign contributions), and buy oil from Middle Eastern nations, some of whom can only be described as enemies of the state . . . and that’s being generous.

It took Rome 1,000 years to fall. At the rate we're going, we'll accomplish that much quicker.

Many campaign ads tried using “bad trade deals with China” as a wedge issue this election. They didn’t work, because until real leadership emerges, nothing will change, except that China’s position will strengthen as ours deteriorates.

It’s easy to paint China as the boogeyman. After all, they’re stealing our companies, jobs and technology, we’re told. But really? Is that how the growing inequality came to be? Or is the real answer one we don’t want to face? Doesn’t the ultimate responsibility lie with the politicians and we, the people, who elected them?

It’s certainly not partisan, as Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama all had congressional majorities in their respective parties to enact sensible policy
with absolutely no results.

Maybe we should be using stimulus money to buy two gigantic mirrors: one for the voters and another for Washington. Because no matter how much we justify our predicament, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I am not an apologist for China; in fact, much of its conduct is deplorable. They are the world’s biggest polluter; their child policy, both in labor and the forced-abortions, is abhorrent; and their disregard for safety is inexcusable, such as the widespread existence of lead and other toxins in their finished products.

That said, America’s inability to compete with Chinese manufacturing is entirely of our own doing. And more than anything else, America’s decline can be traced to the outsourcing of our industrial base.

Politicians like to explain that away, stating that in the New World Order, it’s all about being a service economy. Wrong.

Service economies cannot last, especially when they run up $14 trillion debts. And despite the talking-heads that try to favorably compare America’s debt as a percentage of GDP now versus 1943, they forget one huge factor: we were the strongest industrial power the world had ever known. We made everything, from ships to TVs.

Now, we make nothing but excuses.

Let’s face facts. America can’t beat China in labor costs, so common sense tells us we need to improvise. Two immediate steps can return us to prosperity: Cut the corporate income tax, second-highest in the world. At nearly 40 percent, it’s no wonder CEOs move their operations overseas. No corporate executive wants to do that, but when the government forces their hand by not lowering the rate (despite virtually every other nation making reductions), the gates get padlocked, jobs are lost, unemployment and welfare checks increase, and we end up LOSING revenue.

Then. start offshore drilling. Energy independence creates millions of jobs and decreases the costs of importing goods from across the world. And as an added strategic benefit, we reduce our oil dependence on nations that don’t exactly put the U.S. on their Christmas card lists.

This is the ultimate step in looking out for American interests, rather than relying on foreign nations that have an interest in seeing us bent over an (oil) barrel.

These policies alone are not the complete answer, but they are mandatory if we are to regain our greatness. Best of all, they can be instituted right away, with immediate results.

But do we have the political will to do it? If not, you’d better register for what is fast becoming the most popular course: “How To Speak Chinese.”

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.freindlyfirezone.com. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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