Friday, July 01, 2005

Welcome to Chinatown

I used to put words in the mouth of a CEO who was an early advocate of trade with China. The Chinese, he said, thought in terms of centuries, while American companies thought in terms of the next quarter. We didn't get into the strategic timeframe of the U.S. government, but I'd venture that it focuses on the shorter end of the stick, while the Chinese are figuring out what they'll be doing about our great great grandchildren.

China sells us electronics and athletic shoes and miscellaneous crap, filling Wal-Mart shelves, and turning cheap labor into dollars. Then turning those dollars into investments. It was okay when they bought corporate stocks and Treasury bonds. It was even kind of cute — the commies were kind of honorary Ammuricans.

But now they want to buy Unocal, and Dems are running into Repubs trying to figure out where they stand on this. Are we further linking our destinies, as the free traders would have it? Or have the Chinese shrewdly figured out that it's far more cost effective to buy a few oil companies, than to support a military that will be fighting wars in godforsaken lands until the oil runs out?

The Chinese insist it's just bidness. Sort of like our presence in the middle east is just democracy on the march.

We are going to start getting a helping of what we have been serving to the rest of the world for the last 50 years, and we are not going to like it. The notion that Congress can put a stop to it is just too precious to contemplate.

3 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Natural said...

Charlie, it sure does SEEM like there aint a creative thinker nor a matched set of balls in the whole goddamned gubmint, don't it?

They keep us squabbling over abortion (which is none of my goddamned bidness, much LESS the pResident's!) and main stream media bullshit...I could just SHOUT...in fact, sometimes I walk out to the ocean's edge and do just that.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Jack (CommonSenseDesk) said...

Charlie, I first traveled to China early in'81. They absolutely take the long view of everything. And there is no way this is just "bidness". The Chinese believe the Middle Kingdom will prevail. Time for us to wake up and started to think about dealing with what's coming.

8:55 PM  
Blogger bob said...

I was't aware they were going after an oil company!
I fear for our children when everyone in China has a car and the oil goes away. I don't think we'll take it gracefully and that could be a bad thing.

6:04 AM  

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