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John

The OECD tells everyone to raise or hold interest rates--EXCEPT JAPAN. Gee, looks like another bunch of paid-off lackeys...

Iowan

Isn't this how England got rich? Importing cotton/exporting textiles.

From China’s Economic Clout Affecting U.S. Cotton

In an effort to smooth the cotton trade routes to China, the National Cotton Council recently signed an important memorandum of understanding with the China Cotton Association, promoting cooperation between the U.S. and China.

“Cotton trade with China is very healthy today,” says Allen Helms, a cotton producer from Clarkedale, Ark. and chairman of the National Cotton Council. “The United States exported 8.6 million bales, or about 36 percent of its crop, to China in the past 12 months.

“This agreement is significant for the U.S. cotton industry as it seeks to build not only on that current momentum, but on its long-time relationship with China.”

Helms says working through the NCC, the U.S. cotton industry has made substantial strides in fortifying its infrastructure to accommodate the current extraordinary volume of U.S. raw cotton export trade.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

100% correct. But you forget something else: China rejected Britain's cotton cloth trade so Britain invaded. The Chinese know this lesson very well indeed.


The US cotton: just like the slave states sold to England, they don't care that we have a $250 billion trade deficit with China, they just want to sell cotton! And the cotton trade is classic 'third world' status stuff. We can't possibly begin to close our trade deficit selling stuff to Japan and China that RETURNS after they add labor value to it! This just is impossible.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

In other words, if we make our own clothes and then sell the excess cotton to China and they make more clothes and sell this to other countries BUT NOT US, both we and China could profit.


But this isn't the case. We sell cotton to China who then returns it to the US which means their superior labor contribution gives them DOUBLE the profit we got selling to them so we lose with every transaction which is why protecting our cotton trade with China is part of the problem, It isn't making us one penny richer as a nation.

DeVaul

Right. In fact, England tried to supply its own raw goods for its textile mills at first. This is where the infamous "clearings" come from. Land was more valuable raising sheep for wool than letting people live on it, so the people had to go. Scotland was emptied by force. (We did the same thing to the Indians.)

When the potato famine hit Ireland, the English sat back and did nothing. They were hoping that the land would be cleared without them having to do anything. It worked great -- for them.

The English produced their own clothes and sold the excess to other nations and their colonies. They sucked in raw goods from their colonies and churned out finished goods that cost more and were worth more. The colonists ended up in debt to England. Even George Washington complained about always being in debt to his London brokers.

A classic economic system that all empires try to adopt at some point. All profits go to the aristocracy, who also control the standing army.

This is why I say that trade destroys nations and causes wars. It is never done with any sense of fairness. Everyone tries to buy something for nothing. The only differnce between modern day international trade and "Viking" trade is that the Vikings were more honest. They offered a fair price. If it was rejected, they got mad and killed a few people.

In modern times, we offer nothing for something and then invade and kill millions when our "offer" is rejected.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Our revolution was all about trade. England forbade the making of glass or other productive goods so they had something to trade for all that tobacco and other raw materials like FURS, a primary export item for the US. This is why England had to take Canada from the French.

JSmith

Interesting you should type about clothing.

The WSJ had an article this morning about a little problem Chinese textile manufacturers seem to have: Wal-Mart passed on the Spring 2008 order.

"SHANGHAI -- Several months ago, Chinese clothing executive Shao Zhuliang got bad news from his U.S. agent: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., his biggest customer, wouldn't be placing any orders for the spring 2008 season.

Now, Mr. Shao says, he is scrambling to line up other buyers from Europe, Japan and South Korea to keep production lines running this summer at Boshan Linar Garments Co. in eastern China's Shandong province.

Wal-Mart "said they had inventory piled up over there," says Mr. Shao, who heads Boshan's sales department. 'It's always hard to make money from Wal-Mart orders, but without them, we are finished.' "

Whoops!

DeVaul

Wow! Inventory has piled up. I saw a pig flying today. Finally.

Before I remarried, I rarely stepped foot in a mall. When I did, I just stared and stared at all the merchandize extending in all directions as far I could see, and this was just one store of many in the mall. And this was just one mall of thousands in the U.S.

Who buys all this crap? It is pure crap. And expensive. And all made in China.

I wear shirts for a minimum of 15 years. Pants for as long as I can get away with it. Shoes last at least 5 years. Dress shoes last a lifetime. Boots can go 10 years or better. Socks: one or two years (planned obsolence at work here).

So who buys all this crap? A new line of clothes every four months? In every store in the U.S.?

I didn't think it could get any worse than here until I saw Bangkok. Bring a machete with you to hack through the piles of unsold clothes brought over from America and new clothes shipped in from everywhere else. (Yep. That's right. We burn oil to ship clothes from China to America and then back again just so they can sell for 2 bucks in a flea market.)

I have always viewed clothing and the ubiquitous "accessories" as proof that we are, as a species, completely mad.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

True. Walmart isn't selling much of anything. Thanks for the news about Walmart cancelling their spring frocks!


Soon, our working poor will be in rags, I assume.

JSmith

"I wear shirts for a minimum of 15 years. Pants for as long as I can get away with it. Shoes last at least 5 years. Dress shoes last a lifetime. Boots can go 10 years or better."

Do you wear a shirt every day?

I get 2-3 years out of mine; when the collars and cuffs start to fray they become car towels. I do get my dress shoes resoled/reheeled; they're comfortable and I like them. Running shoes go a year (I put 800-1000 miles a year on my running shoes); after that they're either leisure or yard shoes depending on how beat up they look.

DeVaul

"Do you wear a shirt every day?"

You sound like my mom.

It depends. It gets hot here in Kentucky. Why waste a good shirt by sweating all over it?

JSmith

As you say, it depends.

If you don't wear a shirt when you're hanging out at home, that's fine. But please put one on before going to the carryout for more beer.

DeVaul

I can only imagine how much it must please you to think that I regulary drive out to pick up some brewskies. I am afraid the reality of my situation would disappoint you.

Ames Tiedeman

You have an interesting way of writing. You talk bout our Monroe Doctrine lands south of the border. An interesting perspective.

FYI: The U.S. has not had a trade surplus with Japan since April of 1976. We are not likely to ever have a trade surplus with Japan or the World ever again.

muska supra

I also follow through Google Reader!

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