Xenophobia? Take a Deep Breath People

Anyone remember when the Japanese were going to own us back in the '80s and early '90s?  Hell, it was such a big fear that it became the plot line for a Michael Crichton book that was made into a movie starring Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes; a sure sign that the apocalypse was upon us.  So how'd that turn out? Still that doesn't stop us from moving on to the next great Asian boogeyman: China.

People, our problems are huge, our economy is in trouble and times are tough. Sure we have a ton of debt, and that tonnage is increasing, and the Chinese own a good chunk of it.  But if we don't stop hyperventilating and falling for the kind of xenophobic fear mongering the folks at CAGW are peddling this election season (see below) then I fear we just may be up **** creek without a paddle.  When you view this thing just keep in mind a couple of things:

  • The makers of this video toss out a nice red herring with the whole "Empires crumbling due to turning away from core values" thing and then segueing to stimulus spending,  healthcare reform, etc.  Silly me, I thought our core principles included things like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom from taxation without representation, etc.  From which core principle does healthcare reform turn us away?
  • Our debt with China was a problem long before President Obama or most members of Congress came along, as was our trade imbalance.  It's been a problem as long as I can remember thanks to our true national pastime in America, shopping for crap we don't need and can hardly afford, combined with our brilliant economic policy of letting other people make the crap we don't need but continue to buy and then bitching about it when we realize that, gee we owe all those crap makers a lot of money. 
  • We're really morons if we think the new crop of politicians will do anything much differently.  Why? They're p-o-l-i-t-i-c-i-a-n-s. They'll change their stripes the same day Tony the Tiger does.
  • We have met the enemy and it is us, not the Chinese.  Don't be distracted by the boogeyman of the decade.  They need us as much, if not more, as we need them. Ask yourself this question: why did the banks get in so much trouble with this recession? Because they were owed money by a lot of people, and when a fraction of those people couldn't pay up the banks almost went under (yes that's oversimplified). It is in China's best interest for us to remain a strong, vibrant economy since it doesn't do them any good to own a bunch of debt from a collapsing or weak economy. So just take a deep breath and think clearly about the issues we face and the best way to deal with them. Maybe you'll come to the same conclusion you would have anyway, but at least you're coming to those conclusions via some rational deduction.

1 thought on “Xenophobia? Take a Deep Breath People

  1. Jim Caserta

    The bigger irony is that the Chinese are betting BIGGER than us on stimulus.
    China’s owning of US debt is closely intertwined with our trade deficit. China buys our bonds to keep their currency at a low value, making their goods cheaper in the US. Their bigger fear is not losing money on their ‘investment’ in our debt, but the inability to keep selling us billions in goods, keeping their people employed.


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