The Tariff Thread

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G. Keenan
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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Guys, I don't think this administration has any idea what it's doing.
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pioneer98
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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This came out in May and I didn't see it posted. It's really good, as always.




Hindsight is 20/20 but 2008 really was the end of the US as the #1 world superpower. We had a good run. Up to then China had viewed the US as something to fear and even emulate. After the financial crisis, they realized it was all BS. There is a guy who talks about how before the crisis, our big CEOs could demand a meeting with the Chinese president, and it would almost always be granted. After the crisis, those same exact guys would have to meet with a low-level commie party guy, who would berate them. And during that time China had been growing their own economy like crazy. So they were already feeling emboldened. When the financial crisis hit, that was when they realized becoming the top superpower was within reach. The Beijing Olympics of that same year looms really large as a symbol of this turning point. China is pouring billions and billions into education and infrastructure while we're fighting over border walls and Russian hackers.
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G. Keenan
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Re: The Tariff Thread

Post by G. Keenan »

pioneer98 wrote:This came out in May and I didn't see it posted. It's really good, as always.




Hindsight is 20/20 but 2008 really was the end of the US as the #1 world superpower. We had a good run. Up to then China had viewed the US as something to fear and even emulate. After the financial crisis, they realized it was all BS. There is a guy who talks about how before the crisis, our big CEOs could demand a meeting with the Chinese president, and it would almost always be granted. After the crisis, those same exact guys would have to meet with a low-level commie party guy, who would berate them. And during that time China had been growing their own economy like crazy. So they were already feeling emboldened. When the financial crisis hit, that was when they realized becoming the top superpower was within reach. The Beijing Olympics of that same year looms really large as a symbol of this turning point. China is pouring billions and billions into education and infrastructure while we're fighting over border walls and Russian hackers.
I will def have to watch that. Have you seen American Factory on Netlfix? Pretty interesting. It was fascinating to watch the Chinese give their employees in Ohio a briefing on what to expect from American life, and a psychological profile of the American personality. They have us totally pegged. Then to see the American workers go to China to observe how HQ does things and how Chinese workers work there in the same jobs making the same products. That part made me realize that we are f*cked. China is a capitalist army. The whole country is a giant centralized capitalist machine harnessing the labor power of peasants who will work themselves to death for a dollar, and there are a billion of them. We're screwed.
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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G. Keenan wrote:The whole country is a giant centralized capitalist machine harnessing the labor power of peasants who will work themselves to death for a dollar, and there are a billion of them. We're screwed.
The weird thing here is that Trump sees the threat much more clearly than the centrist experts who wishcast that an expansion of the Chinese economy would lead to a more open Chinese society. He has no idea how to address the problem -- tariffs on China and friendly relations with Russia barely move the needle -- but then again progressives weren't exactly rushing to defend TPP either.
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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These are self-inflicted problems. They do talk about how American companies went into business in China. The Chinese almost always made them do a joint venture with a Chinese company. Then that Chinese company stole the technology of the American company. Then the American companies privately begged the US government to do something but what could they do? The real issue here is American companies put short term profits above all else. The Chinese market was so lucrative that they couldn't abandon it even after getting robbed blind. They gotta hit their profit targets no matter what.

And in general, short term thinking seems to be our problem. They touch on it a bit in the video - China has long term plans for what they will be doing 10, 20 and 50 years from now, and they guide their entire economy towards those goals. In America if a company misses their profit projection for the quarter, it's time to cut costs, lay off people, etc. There is no long term goal anymore at all. Short term profits are all that matter.
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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That Frontline is great for the insight into Chinese official perspectives, though it left me wondering how many stupid reporters are writing White House insider stories based on Bannon’s obvious BS.

Favorite line (23:30): Wang Shouwen Vice Minister of Commerce looks to camera:
We do not have the secret strategy to replace the United States as the global superpower.
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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pioneer98 wrote:And in general, short term thinking seems to be our problem. They touch on it a bit in the video - China has long term plans for what they will be doing 10, 20 and 50 years from now, and they guide their entire economy towards those goals. In America if a company misses their profit projection for the quarter, it's time to cut costs, lay off people, etc. There is no long term goal anymore at all. Short term profits are all that matter.
That sounds simplistic. As an example, the most obvious long term problem -- or alternatively the the most obvious example of lousy short term thinking -- facing the human species is climate change. Guess which country leads the world in coal consumption, and guess which country is still building lots of coal-fired power stations, both inside and outside its borders. It has become clear that regulating carbon emissions in the US has much less significance for saving the planet than building energy technology that can be shared with China.

Also, don't get me started on the nonsense surrounding companies like Uber, which may never turn a profit, but has heaps of capital thrown at it anyway. All in the name of long term thinking.
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33anda3rd
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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greenback44 wrote:Also, don't get me started on the nonsense surrounding companies like Uber, which may never turn a profit, but has heaps of capital thrown at it anyway. All in the name of long term thinking.
Off topic, but there are 3 million Uber drivers in the US. For some it's a side hustle, for some it's their only income. They don't count towards unemployment numbers but let's be real: driving Uber is not a job. There's more stability and benefits working at The Gap or your local CVS. They scrape by on $100-200/day while whoever is sitting at the top of the food chain makes a fat salary on investor money. Uber has no liability if a driver is in an accident and there's an injury. It's a terrible business--everyone is a contractor, the owner holds no responsibility other than keeping an app going, the human resources element is completely missing, it's just a money churn, it feeds Americans' laziness.

Imagine Uber goes busto and those 2+ million whose only income is driving Uber, many of whom took out a car note to drive Uber, go into the pool of unemployed. What kind of impact does that have?

This is a conversation the Dems should have every single time Trump talks about Unemployment: yeah but 3 million of them are gig workers driving for Uber. How many more are gig workers driving for Amazon? How many of them are gig workers for Door Dash or Postmates? How many people are working at non-jobs where they just do other people's running around for them?
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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33anda3rd wrote:
greenback44 wrote:Also, don't get me started on the nonsense surrounding companies like Uber, which may never turn a profit, but has heaps of capital thrown at it anyway. All in the name of long term thinking.
Off topic, but there are 3 million Uber drivers in the US. For some it's a side hustle, for some it's their only income. They don't count towards unemployment numbers but let's be real: driving Uber is not a job. There's more stability and benefits working at The Gap or your local CVS. They scrape by on $100-200/day while whoever is sitting at the top of the food chain makes a fat salary on investor money. Uber has no liability if a driver is in an accident and there's an injury. It's a terrible business--everyone is a contractor, the owner holds no responsibility other than keeping an app going, the human resources element is completely missing, it's just a money churn, it feeds Americans' laziness.

Imagine Uber goes busto and those 2+ million whose only income is driving Uber, many of whom took out a car note to drive Uber, go into the pool of unemployed. What kind of impact does that have?

This is a conversation the Dems should have every single time Trump talks about Unemployment: yeah but 3 million of them are gig workers driving for Uber. How many more are gig workers driving for Amazon? How many of them are gig workers for Door Dash or Postmates? How many people are working at non-jobs where they just do other people's running around for them?
Ironic that this is being brought up now - this week California just passed a bill to reshape the gig economy.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/11/tech ... -bill.html

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49659775
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33anda3rd
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Re: The Tariff Thread

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Also the same week that Blumenthal from CN has demanded answers from Bezos as to Amazon's practice of the drivers being contractors, with Amazon having no liability for what happens with their delivery vehicles.

The human toll, labor-wise, of the human desire for quick easy cheap stuff or a ride somewhere so they don't have to take the bus or, heaven forbid, ride in a taxi with a driver who's been doing it 20 years and knows where he's going, and the whole gig economy is a special kind of sinister.
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