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Ain't karma a bitch; what goes around comes around.

China's Factory Blues
By Dexter Roberts
Rising costs and regulation have led to shutdowns and restructurings in China like those that tore through America's heartland.
A new Chinese labor law that took effect on Jan. 1 has significantly raised costs in an already tight labor market. Soaring commodity and energy prices, as well as Beijing's cancellation of preferential policies for exporters, have hammered manufacturers. The appreciation of the Chinese currency has shrunk already razor-thin margins, pushed thousands of manufacturers to the edge of bankruptcy, and threatened China's role as the preeminent exporter of low-priced goods....A report by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that more than half of foreign manufacturers in China believe the mainland is losing its competitive advantage over countries like Vietnam and India. Almost a fifth of the companies surveyed are considering relocating out of China.

As a consumer, I knew the winds are a blowing when I saw the clothes labels at Old Navy changed from made in china to made in Vietnam and Cambodia (I wonder how the Vietnam vets feel about this?). And the lack of quality in the garments and mediocre cloth from Vietnam/Cambodia is pitiful. Anyone know how this is affecting those Walton Walmart assholes? I never shop at Walmart.

I'm hoping this will be incentive to restart the textile industry in the USA.


Elaine, Did you read Obama's speech; In Major Speech, Obama Calls for Modernizing Our Regulation of Financial Markets

And if possible; " you could have dinner with Barack and discuss the economy with him in person... "

Maybe you can be the next US Secretary of Treasury!


Taxes are total bullshit but you will get them anyway, wanna fix the problem? Get rid of free trade and GOVERNMENT subsidy, and shitcan the central bank, stabilize the currency by making it actually worth something. Have the government seize ALL foreign assets and sell them to the public with a new line of credit.


While I am standing on my soap box, lets fix the government too! Make the constitution, constitutional, increase the House like it is supposed to be, so they can run the government and eliminate the ad hoc government agencies that are now run by 'appointment'. Elect the Senators from the State Houses. And finally Eliminate political parties!


Dutch, AMEN! And have the House Speaker be the US Premier (Prime Minister). That is how most other legislatures run their nations' governments!

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Radical political change usually rides along with some rather violent actions in the streets. This is how our own government was founded, of course.


Yes, let's start with seizing foreigner's stuff and followed by death camps and beginning of 4th Reich...


Not the fourth reich! Isn't this blatently obvious that all this mess is subversive? To destroy us from the inside, since it is impossible to do it from the outside. Do not forget that we are at war.


How about we scrap the notion of 'equality'. No two people are equal, period. It is unjust and unnatural to take from one person and give to another. Until this is understood and rectified we will wallow in our squalor for years to come.

For those of you who would like to learn more of what I speak of get a copy of Gustave LeBon's works. He predicted the very mess we are in nearly a hundred years ago. Here is a link.

Bear of Little Brain


Checked your Wiki link. Saw the "racial superiority" reference and became very wary. I think you have to put Le Bon into the context of his time. For me, that's where I'll leave him. (I also have to admit that every time I see Sigmund Freud's name pop up, it triggers a lot of negativity. Freud always strikes me as a really screwed up character. I'm with Jung. He's positive and life-affirming.)

As to your first paragraph, I have re-read it over and over, and I just cannot make sense of it. Sorry. The second and third sentences seem contradictory. It must be my addled brain. Here's my take:

If it is unjust and unnatural to take from one person and give to another, doesn't that imply that it is just and natural for one person to give to another? And isn't that an implicit acknowledgement of some kind of equality? I'm not trying to be a smart-arse, just trying to make sense of it.

As an aside: I seem to remember that certain tribes in the Pacific Islands had a civilisation that was predicated on gifting between the people of the tribe and between the tribes on different islands. But, hey, they were just ignorant savages. We're so superior. And we've got God on our side. That God that talks to "Little Boots" Bush and our own loon, Blair.

Final thought, hardrock: people may not be equal in their talents or health, et cetera, but perhaps everyone could be deserving of equal respect and compassion until they prove themselves not to be. After all, we do not choose our birth, it is thrust upon us.

All the best to you, and your twin, "hardplace". :-)



That is why house cleaning for fallen empires was, is and will be from inside - getting rid of 'traitors'.

Nearest living proof of the success of this approach is Putin; Ho Chi Minh, Mao and soon Sadr

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Sharing stuff: every mother knows that sharing must be encouraged. And the strong members of the family must protect the weaker ones, not exploit or terrorize them.

This family lesson can be expanded to infinity. A cruel dog-eat-dog universe is very scary. Trust me on this. Eventually, a person weakens and is then devoured. So the strong must fear their own weakness.

I despise such a world. It isn't safe at all. And it isn't secure, either.


I agree, since Reagan took a bullet, a Bush or a Clinton has run the country. Do not mistaken them as 'strong'. But rather as 'useful idiots'. This doesn't smell of fascism at all.


To say that the US trade deficit is due to inadequate taxation of foreign money invested in US assets is a joke. How about producing things in the US which the world really wants: products which are high in quality and low in prices? Trade is about exchange of competitive goods and services, not about taxing each other.

The reality is very simple. Even at $100 per barrel, we can not produce all the oil we consume every day. In other words, we ship more than $400 billion Dollars per year abroad simply because we prefer to buy cheap foreign oil instead of pumping it here in the US (it can not be done even at $200 per barrel). Similarly, we prefer to buy all the cheap Chinese and Japanese goods simply because we can not make them at these prices here in the US.

The trade deficit is simply due to a grossly overvalued Dollar. Devalue the Dollar to the point where demand for foreign made products ceases here in the US. Manufacturing will boom again because our products will beat the Chinese crap on world markets. It all comes to down to a very simple question: Are we really willing to consume less and work more?

Again, it is a joke to claim that the persistent US trade deficit has its origin in fiscal policies.

Elaine Supkis

As I pointed out, the problems are not simple. Oil: the vast bulk is used for driving around in huge vehicles that have much, much worse milage than cars used in sensible countries that tax gasoline very highly. And we spend far, far more on our bulky, wasteful military and then park all of it overseas. This is a huge contributor to our deficits.

And high-cost nations across the world will be hammered hard when the US market flounders and can't buy European stuff. The workers there are paid nearly as much as here and they are in a rage as they watch their jobs vanish to China and Eastern Europe which are low cost labor countries. This is what free trade does: flatten wages.

Very depressionary force.


Some review. You filled your article with cut-n-paste bills to make your very own point and never got around to telling me what the book was about. That's OK: I went to the linked website, which in turn linked an actual book review.

"The authors think the VAT tax doesn't work."

Oh, VATs work, all right, may a little too well. The problem with VAT is that it's essentially a hidden tax, passed on on the form of higher prices. End-users (i.e., "consumers") have difficulty seeing what they're really paying (unlike line 63 on Form 1040, which you can easliy look at and say, "Holy shit!")

Governments love VATs because it's so much easier to jack up taxes under that system.

I'm not a fan of taxes for taxes sake: I view taxes as the price of government, not as a form of punishment for doing too well. That said, I support the idea of taxing foreign return on investment.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

If the topic is 'international trade' the overwhelming majority of successful trading countries all use VAT taxes. The ones that avoid this have the worst trade statistics.


So - are they successful because the use VAT? Or do they use VAT because they are successful? Or is the relationship merely correlative?

(As one of my stats profs never tired of telling us, "Correlation is not causation!")

And I still prefer a year-end bill like 1040 Line 63, rather than adding up the VAT lines from every stinkin' receipt I collect over the course of a year. I don't like sales taxes for the same reason: if I knew what I actually paid in sales taxes last year I'd probably shit a brick.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

VAT kills imports.


Maybe a temporary import tariff would work to give the country time to produce goods that are of higher quality. But the problem remains with cheap labor from foreign competitors. There has to be a subsidy burried somewhere that enables foreigners to still undercut us even with their cheap labor


"VAT kills imports."

If that's the primary goal of a tax system, OK... but I don't buy into that. Taxation should have other motivations beyond merely making it difficult for furriners to sell stuff here.

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