Monday, August 22, 2011

Daddy Issues: The Reality of China’s Challenge to the United States

Michele Bachmann needs to learn a lot of things. First off, among those members of the Republican Party who can read books, her approval rating hovers tenuously between Rick Perry and genital warts. Slightly less immediately, she needs to know that puns are the absolute lowest form of humor… on Earth. And making any sort of puns relating to President Hu Jintao’s name is an exquisite means of saying “I am not, and will never be, by any definition of the words, an intentionally funny person.” I didn’t think anything could make Michele Bachmann’s already groan-inducing remarks at CPAC all the more objectively more painful when she was able to stop talking about lightbulbs long enough to touch on the subject of China, and how they hold a “vast amount” of American debt. Bachmann insisted that, “Hu is your Daddy.”

This was apparently funny enough to the crowd that it became worth repeating four months later at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. And this fear of China has been parroted throughout both parties. The recent sea tests of a People’s Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier have prompted commentators to say that China’s new aircraft carrier and, “growing” “naval” “power,”  is a means of broadcasting their own superiority, especially when juxtaposed with the recent, and apparently egregious cuts made to the defense budget of the United States of America. This same budget, for the record pays for ten more aircraft carriers than the Chinese have. Also, China’s “new” aircraft carrier is in actuality a decommissioned Soviet tub that was sold to Macao to serve as a casino. Apparently, the next boogeyman of the seas is a floating Bellagio, that has half the armaments of many smaller American ships and is from an era in which we thought Rick Astley was in any way a respectable performer. My point is, that if you buy into anybody’s rhetoric about a future invasion, or being “owned” by the Chinese, whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean, you’re an idiot.

Now, there’s the notion that the People’s Republic of China “owns” the United States, and could – through the sale of our treasury bonds create everything ranging from stock market crashes, to the rapid devaluation of our dollar, to the total collapse of the American economy, to the eruption of the supervolcano in Yellowstone.

The truth is, that when you owe someone a thousand dollars, they own you. When you owe someone a billion dollars, you owe them. The truth is given to a much greater extent when you consider that the Chinese, own about two trillion dollars of the US debt.   Now, the last Chinese stimulus, directed at local infrastructure maintenance package taught us that the Chinese are not willing, or legally able to spend foreign money on domestic problems. I guess it might help Rand Paul and Michelle Bachmann sleep a lot easier knowing those damned Chi-Comms aren’t paying for their Commie bridges with ‘Murkhin dollars, which could be spent on giving flags to orphans or… killing Chi-Comms. But what it does is forces the Chinese into a situation where their debt can only be spent in other countries. The problem is, there’s no very well developed European bond markets, and China’s shrunk most of its holdings in Korea and Japan in the last decade, mostly so they could spend more money building up their holdings of American debt. In other words, by their own machinations, the Chinese have literally no other options than to invest in the States.

Whenever we hear rhetoric coming out of Xinhua, calling out America for its “addiction” to debt, and “irresponsibility” we can rest safely in the knowledge that it is just that: rhetoric.  If the Chinese truly thought their money would not be returned, and they had literally two trillion dollars that could go, and be spent nowhere, the Chinese response would be truly apoplectic. If there was any possible means that we would have defaulted, we would have seen measures much sterner from the Chinese than a second-tier editorial from Xinhua calling us “irresponsible.”

At the end of the day, it’s not as though we have nothing to fear from the Chinese. But, Hu, Xi, and Wen will not wind up being our daddies, and the thought of Chinese overlords remains little more than a good video game storyline, or a RonPauloompa’s wetmare. What the United States Government can do to prevent much more real threat of jobs, rather than debt-dollars going to China is to make every available effort to foster job growth within the United States, and keep a watch on the amount and quality of items purchased from the People’s Republic. At this point in time, the Chinese need us, in equal degree to which we need them. With the correct measures in place, the United State’s may be able to show some tougher love towards “Daddy” in the future.  

By: Travis Nemme, Contributing Conservative

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