Today Russia has alerted over 150,000 soldiers to test their readiness to invade the Ukraine, the Syrian Civil War rages on supported by Russia killing tens of thousands. Iran , once again supported by Russia, is racing to build nuclear weapons and threatening to wipe Israel from the map. The US is committed by treaty to defend South Korea against the nuclear armed North Korea, which just so happen to share the world’s most heavily armed border in the world with over 1.2 million on either side of the border ready to kill each other. The US is also obligated by treaty to defend Japan and all its territory. Recently the Chinese have begun laying claim to Japanese territory. To intimidate the Japanese and America the Chinese have routinely in the last year sent ships and planes to continuously provoke the Japanese. The exact same has happened with the Philippines, which just so happens to have a treaty with the US.
None of the above even mentions the ongoing battle with islamic extremists around the globe. On top of all this current Sec. Def. Hagel has admitted that the US stands to lose military dominance if investments aren’t made to ensure continued US technological advantages. However in spite of everything I just listed, what can only be described as a world spinning out of control, this administration has decided to make drastic cuts to the American military. In essence we are communicating are lack of resolve and weakness to our many adversaries around the globe. Unfortunately for us and the world as a whole they are listening.
After Romney lost the 2012 election I remember reading how his campaign struggled during the election day with a faulty computer program that was central in their “get out the vote” initiative, for those interested that story is here ORCA, Mitt Romney’s high-tech get-out-the-vote program, crashed … The program was code named ORCA and on election day it failed badly resulting in the Romney group pretty much flying blind during crucial periods of the day. Contrast this with the Obama campaign’s reportedly super effective data mining operation and you can see how states that were close might have gone to Obama just because of IT. What if this was no coincidence though? What if the Chinese played a role in crashing Romney’s computer networks? To be fair I have not been able to find any evidence linking the crash of ORCA and Chinese hackers but here is what we do know. The facts are that the Chinese constantly hack US government computers, they also have been accused of hacking both the Obama and McCain campaigns in 2008, Chinese hacked Obama, McCain campaigns, say US officials – …. On top of all the above a recent article from Time on one of their blogs called Swampland talks about how the Romney campaign was constantly under attack by Chinese hackers, that story here The Hunt for Pufferfish. To better understand the threat the Chinese posed to the Romney campaign and how serious the campaign took it take a look at this excerpt from the story.
“Myers set up her operation in a the third- floor office on Boston’s Commercial Street that became known as the “clean room”. Because the Romney campaign’s servers were under continual assault by Chinese hackers, the computers in the clean room were not connected to the Internet”.
Also realizing that Romney was taking a decidedly tougher stance on China than the Obama campaign and you can quickly see how this is not out of the realm of possibilities. Also please note I am not saying the Obama campaign had anything to do with this.
When I first started writing this article I wrote the title as a question. Upon further reflection I came to the easy decision that there really wasn’t any question about it and that I should write it as a statement instead to better reflect reality. As our fearless leaders in Washington both republican and democrat debate whether or not we should launch military strikes against Syria I think it is time to acknowledge that our days of being a Superpower have passed. Yes, we do still have the world’s most powerful military by far but that fact doesn’t look so powerful when you begin to realize that for us to use this military we have to borrow the money, mostly from China. Can you really claim to be a real Superpower when you are dependent on rival regimes to finance your mighty military? To me the answer is obvious and has been since the Great Recession began. The sad fact of the matter is that we are now dependent on borrowed money from rival foreign powers to do anything militarily. What happens when our interests don’t align with the people that are lending us the money?
Over at www.autoblog.com is a story about how GM just won approval from the Chinese government to build a new Cadillac plant there with the capacity to build 150,000 new cars. Along with this comes an announcement that GM is going to move production of its brand new flagship sedan the Cadillac XTS to this new plant in China. Now I don’t really blame GM for this move because I believe that it is governments responsibility to set the conditions for success for both individuals and corporations. Our government in all its wisdom has decided that we ourselves will remove most of our barriers to trade so that countries like China can export all their garbage here and make a fortune while in the process we lose millions of jobs to countries like China. Our government is then stupid enough to actually believe that this policy encourages predator nations like China to open up their market when in reality we just get more chinese junk, less American jobs, and bigger trade deficits.
Some will say that the Chinese do support our budget deficit by financing it with the money our government allowed them to steal from us. My response is that this practice has only encouraged our incompetent government to continually run ever larger budget deficits because the American people are too dumb to care and the extra money the government spends helps get some of these politicians re-elected so in reality it is like a double whammy to the country. To prove my point about our government being responsible the article from autoblog mentioned that the reason they were shifting production of the new XTS to China was to avoid that countries 25% tariff if GM would have shipped it from the US. This tells us that we don’t have a similar tariff on automobiles produced in China and shipped to the US. The real question is why we don’t match the Chinese tariff for tariff? Pretty soon we won’t have to worry about this because we won’t have anymore jobs to send to China nor the ability to buy their junk. All thanks to those morons in Washington.
Why do Americans continuously send politicians to Washington that support free trade when we are one of the few countries that actually truly believe in it. Everyone else says they do to make us feel better about the fact that we have the world’s dumbest trade policies so they can keep taking advantage of us. The fact of the matter is that the 2008 economic crisis was because of our moronic trade policies (the Chinese and others invested their obscene profits made from exporting goods to the US in US backed government securities which had the effect of artificially lowering mortgage rates in America thereby creating the housing bubble).
Is it fair to trade with China when we all know they artificially lower their currency to make their goods cheaper here? Well, one might argue that we get the Chinese to finance our obscene budget deficit that runs over a trillion plus every year. Fair enough, but does anybody really believe that we are getting good value for that extra trillion we borrow to finance our own governments horribly inefficient operations? Also if the Chinese pretty much get open access to our market then why don’t we get open access to their market? If an US auto manufacturer wants to export cars to China they have 3 choices. First, they can export the cars from the US and pay a steep tariff that will double the price of the vehicle. Second, they can export the cars in parts that would then be assembled in China ( they call them knock down kits). Or finally, if they want to build the cars in China they are forced to partner with a Chinese competitor who then has the chance to get a free education on how to build cars to Western standards. Does any of this sound like it is Free Trade? Not to me it doesn’t and it begs the question as to why Americans put up with it? I know this for sure we can’t continue these destructive policies for long because America is on its way to becoming a second world nation because of these policies.
Here we go again, it is like a broken record that we seem to hear every time North Korea acts up over the last 10 years. Republican and democrat alike, even so-called experts like former Gov. Bill Richardson seem to think that China should do more to control the loons in North Korea. The argument goes that China has great influence over the North Koreans economically so the North should listen to the Chinese. Lets assume for a moment that is is true, then why does China never seem to use this influence to get Pyongyang to act in a more reasonable fashion. The answer is simple, the Chinese find the North Koreans acting provocatively useful to worry the US. The fact that the North Koreans are a major headache for the American diplomatic and security professionals (and I use that term lightly) is a good resource for the Chinese to have while trying to go about their own business. No, I don’t think the Chinese put the North Koreans up to these latest provocations by the North Koreans but in general the fact that the United States, South Korea, and Japan all have to focus way to much time, money (defense spending to counter North Korean threats), and energy probably suits the Chinese just fine. Think about it, in any scenario that the US has a crisis with China in the future the US will have to account for the lunatic North Koreans in their calculus on how to handle the situation. So if our politicians could recognize that it’s not really in China’s interest to control North Korea then they could actually spend their time trying to develop a more sensible approach to the North Korean question instead of always rolling out the same old tired line that China needs to exert influence over the North Koreans blah, blah, blah.