Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Worse Chinese Virus?

 

No, it’s not a biological weapon, it’s an economic one. By completely upending its social structure from an agricultural society to an industrial one over very few years, and by heavily subsidizing its manufacturing capacity, China has pushed the US out of vast areas of the tech market. So much so that we cannot launch defensive weapons without using Chinese chips. And you thought COVID-19 was scary.

This information comes from the March 2018 volume of Hillsdale’s Imprimis speech digest by David P. Goldman of the Asia Times. It’s a must-read. In it, he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China. Short answer: DARPA and NASA.

An excerpt:

As the third graph shows, China’s share of high tech exports has risen from about five percent in 1999 to about 25 percent at present, while America’s has plummeted from about 20 percent to about seven percent. That’s not a sustainable situation. What it means in practical terms is that America can’t build a military aircraft without Chinese chips. That’s a national security issue.

But, there’s so much more than the financials discussed by Goldman. He understands the effect of our cultural differences, too. I don’t believe you can claim to understand China without reading him.

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  1. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    It is amazing to me that our leaders, Clinton, both Bushes, and Obama, even Reagan, not to mention congress on both sides of the aisle, let our country be devastated by Chinese treachery. But it wasn’t just that, it is ourselves we have to blame. We let our education demean our country to the point where too many Americans have given up to the Chinese. I remember all the discussions here on Ricochet during the primaries of 2016 when Jamie Lockett and others were insistent on the God of “free” trade. Nothing seemed more important to them. It wasn’t fair! We are getting hosed! Nothing seemed to matter to the NT’s. Now, here we are. We can’t even make our own medicine (which we invented).

    • #1
    • May 28, 2020, at 7:22 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. RightAngles Member

    Most of our leaders have enabled the situation we find ourselves in today. It’s hard to imagine more short-sightedness. By contrast, Donald Trump has been sounding the alarm about China for decades. But here is Joe Biden as VP in 2011, at an opening session of the United States-China strategic and economic dialogue (bold type is mine):

    “There was a debate here in the United States and, quite frankly, throughout most of the West as whether a rising China was in the interest of the United States and the wider world. As a young member of a Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now: That a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world at large.”

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/09/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-opening-session-us-china-strategic-econ

    Idiot. He has always been an idiot, even when he was young. That aspect of Biden has nothing to do with his age. His age merely makes him even more incoherent. He has been wrong on every single foreign policy issue all his life. But then, on China, so have most of our other leaders.

    • #2
    • May 28, 2020, at 8:45 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. cdor Member
    cdor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Most of our leaders have enabled the situation we find ourselves in today. It’s hard to imagine more short-sightedness. By contrast, Donald Trump has been sounding the alarm about China for decades. But here is Joe Biden as VP in 2011, at an opening session of the United States-China strategic and economic dialogue (bold type is mine):

    “There was a debate here in the United States and, quite frankly, throughout most of the West as whether a rising China was in the interest of the United States and the wider world. As a young member of a Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now: That a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world at large.”

    https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/05/09/remarks-vice-president-joe-biden-opening-session-us-china-strategic-econ

    Idiot. He has always been an idiot, even when he was young. That aspect of Biden has nothing to do with his age. His age merely makes him even more incoherent. He has been wrong on every single foreign policy issue all his life. But then, on China, so have most of our other leaders.

    Too many of our leaders spout platitudes about the positive effects of a rising China when they really mean the positive effects on their bank accounts do to the bribes they are taking from that same rising China.

    • #3
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:05 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Interesting essay, especially in light of the 2+ years of intervening events since it was written. Unfortunately when he gets into the “what to do” area he goes back and forth a lot – “we should have an industrial policy” but “industrial policies don’t work for America”. He identifies a lot of the problems correctly, but his solutions? Vague and largely incoherent. Citing DARPA and NASA a lot won’t somehow conjure their successes into existence, and the failures of NASA over the last 30 years are a lot more illuminating.

    If he wants more high-tech manufacturing here, then that has to really start at the regulatory level – it’s too expensive to try and build that here. If he wants more STEM students, then US universities need to be strongarmed into taking more American applicants to such programs and to cut their costs down from the stratosphere. That’s really at the core of everything he wants: we stopped doing it because made it too expensive to do here.

    • #4
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:36 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    “we should have an industrial policy” but “industrial policies don’t work for America”.

    No, I think you misread that. He says explicitly, “The answer is not to adopt an industrial policy.” He says we have to take the risks of funding R&D (through DARPA and NASA, for example), knowing that not every development will pay off or be adaptable to the commercial market. But, we can’t do what China does with industrial policy. It just isn’t our way.

    Thanks for catching that this was from 2018. Missed that, but corrected now.

    • #5
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    Idiot. He has always been an idiot, even when he was young. That aspect of Biden has nothing to do with his age. His age merely makes him even more incoherent. He has been wrong on every single foreign policy issue all his life. But then, on China, so have most of our other leaders.

    He’s just wrong about everything! Mr. C and I watched Justice Thomas in his own words last night. When Biden goes off at the confirmation hearing about “you and I know the difference between natural law and positivism,” but no one else is going to get this, Justice Thomas says he obviously didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but Thomas had to just sit there and listen to him yammer on. What an idiot.

    I’d almost hope Trump would use that clip in a campaign ad, but what Democrats did to Thomas is almost too painful to repeat. Despicable.

    • #6
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    “we should have an industrial policy” but “industrial policies don’t work for America”.

    No, I think you misread that. He says explicitly, “The answer is not to adopt an industrial policy.” He says we have to take the risks of funding R&D (through DARPA and NASA, for example), knowing that not every development will pay off or be adaptable to the commercial market. But, we can’t do what China does with industrial policy. It just isn’t our way.

    Thanks for catching that this was from 2018. Missed that, but corrected now.

    I did not miss that – what he says beforehand basically is an industrial policy. He’s arguing for one implicitly, just one with American Characteristics, even if he’s explicitly disavowing the term. Any time anyone is arguing that the US must make X or Y, or drive more people into A or B fields, they are arguing for an industrial policy in all but name.

    • #7
    • May 28, 2020, at 9:59 AM PDT
    • Like
  8. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hmm, I didn’t read that we “must make X or Y,” but that our previous innovations (through DARPA and NASA) resulted in X and Y and the one thing our government can do is fund R&D leading to innovation and its commercialization. That’s not the same as subsidizing industry.

    As to encouraging us to produce more engineers, that did smack a bit of “learn to code,” but I’d definitely like it if our universities were held to account for producing unemployable gender studies majors and the like. Maybe if universities were required to pay off student loans for graduates who couldn’t get a job in their field of study within 18 months. . .

    Have you written about how your industry is affected by regulation, Skip? Have any of Trump’s deregulation efforts been of help to you?

     

    • #8
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist: he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China. Short answer: DARPA and NASA. 

    Anyone who thinks DARPA and NASA are the solution doesn’t know much about DARPA or NASA. The most effective parts of these organizations are their PR departments, which explains why someone might look to them for salvation. “We invented the Internet” makes me think of Al Gore.

    • #9
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  10. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China. Short answer: DARPA and NASA.

    Anyone who thinks DARPA and NASA are the solution doesn’t know much about DARPA or NASA. The most effective parts of these organizations are their PR departments, which explains why someone might look to them for salvation. “We invented the Internet” makes me think of Al Gore.

    I believe you, Doc, but how would you goose innovation to make the Chinese investment in manufacturing expensive and obsolete?

    • #10
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Hmm, I didn’t read that we “must make X or Y,” but that our previous innovations (through DARPA and NASA) resulted in X and Y and the one thing our government can do is fund R&D leading to innovation and its commercialization. That’s not the same as subsidizing industry.

    He was arguing pretty clearly for the US making a lot more in the way of high-tech chips. How much does he know about such chips though? Or why so many are made elsewhere (besides here or China)? And whether you subsidize the factories or the R&D, you’re still choosing to subsidize certain things while choosing not to spend that money elsewhere – it’s still a form of the government picking winners, and very often picking political winners . 

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    As to encouraging us to produce more engineers, that did smack a bit of “learn to code,” but I’d definitely like it if our universities were held to account for producing unemployable gender studies majors and the like. Maybe if universities were required to pay off student loans for graduates who couldn’t get a job in their field of study within 18 months. . .

    Oh gosh, yes. Our university system is a mess, but that’s in no small part because it gets way too much money as it is through the federal capture of the student loan industry. But the fix here is not to make universities pay off loans for jobless graduates (that’s just subsidizing bad majors), but rather to ration loans out based on their job prospects. “Ah, I see Gender Studies majors for your college of choice tend to be unemployed for at least 24 months…. LOAN DENIED. But machinists from this local tech school are employed before they even graduate – have you considered going there instead?”

    • #11
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Have you written about how your industry is affected by regulation, Skip? Have any of Trump’s deregulation efforts been of help to you?

    I’ve written here and there (conflict minerals, for instance), but by and large the only service Trump has been for us has been to stop promulgating new regulations. This is valuable (Obama’s constant meddling made it completely unworthwhile to do any long term planning), but health costs continue to skyrocket, the tax structures are still a terrible mess, and California has gone completely rogue with crap like Prop 65 and bullying other states around – Trump has done nothing in any of these areas.

    • #12
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:44 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    And whether you subsidize the factories or the R&D, you’re still choosing to subsidize certain things while choosing not to spend that money elsewhere – it’s still a form of the government picking winners, and very often picking political winners . 

    I read it as “subsidizing” R&D for things our military and/or space industry needs or wants which might eventually be transferable to a commercial application.

    I’ll ask you: how would you goose innovation? Or do you even see innovation as an effective way to address the strategic Chinese problem?

    • #13
    • May 28, 2020, at 10:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  14. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    And whether you subsidize the factories or the R&D, you’re still choosing to subsidize certain things while choosing not to spend that money elsewhere – it’s still a form of the government picking winners, and very often picking political winners .

    I read it as “subsidizing” R&D for things our military and/or space industry needs or wants which might eventually be transferable to a commercial application.

    I’ll ask you: how would you goose innovation? Or do you even see innovation as an effective way to address the strategic Chinese problem?

    Innovation is tricky. I’ve been through multiple long-term design cycles in my own business and seen the sweat and tears (blood is infrequent, thankfully) that it takes. It’s also very often organic, and in response to a need to solve problems. Is the government particularly good at identifying where innovation is needed? Rarely. Are they any good, even when they identify a problem correctly, at picking the right solutions to subsidize? That’s even more rare (especially when you get into military innovation and procurement – history is replete with stories of bloat and malfeasance there).

    How do you goose innovation? Mostly by getting the heck out of the way and letting inventors go to town and fail a lot until people come up with breakthroughs. 

    The true breakthroughs? Often those are entirely accidental in nature, when some engineer or scientist stumbles across some new concept or applied technology while in pursuit of something else, and then he or someone else realizes that this new thing can finally solve some old problem or leap forward into new territory. Those are inherently unpredictable.

    Chinese innovation at present is all purposefully directed at clear stated national military and strategic goals. Their engineers don’t get to play or create, they’re directed at targets, all in service of the state. That is ultimately soulless and totalitarian, and in the end it will be society killing. In that sense we still possess the ultimate strategic edge – we’re allowed to create things for our own ends, and to follow our own passions.

    • #14
    • May 28, 2020, at 11:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I believe you, Doc, but how would you goose innovation to make the Chinese investment in manufacturing expensive and obsolete?

    I don’t have the answers. Looking at the historical record, several thoughts come to mind:
    1. A regulatory and incentive structure that favors capital investment and innovation.
    2. Incentives for obtaining STEM degrees and disincentives for “studies” degrees at universities, possibly via the student loan system
    3. Derailing the DIE (diversity, inclusion, and equity) movement, including Affirmative Action.

    The problem is more cultural than it is policy. Remember what Andrew Breitbart said: “Politics is downstream from culture.” Many, if not most, of our large corporations are moderately to fully converged. There’s no simple fix for that.

    As an aside, I read Goldman’s piece. I’d heard good things about him so I was looking forward to reading it. Based on the topics I know well, he’s just blowing sunshine. I’d be glad to expand on that if there’s any interest. Given that, I will not fall prey to the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. If he’s so wrong about those few things, everything else is highly suspect. 

    I found the following interview with Steve Bannon from 2018 far more insightful. Note that this was long before the WuFlu and before much talk of disengagement from China.

     

    • #15
    • May 28, 2020, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    Based on the topics I know well, he’s just blowing sunshine.

    Agreed.

    • #16
    • May 28, 2020, at 12:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Western Chauvinist: As the third graph shows, China’s share of high tech exports has risen from about five percent in 1999 to about 25 percent at present, while America’s has plummeted from about 20 percent to about seven percent. That’s not a sustainable situation. What it means in practical terms is that America can’t build a military aircraft without Chinese chips. That’s a national security issue.

    The third graph makes me sick. It’s almost unbelievable.

    • #17
    • May 28, 2020, at 1:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. The Reticulator Member

    Western Chauvinist: This information comes from the March 2018 volume of Hillsdale’s Imprimis speech digest by David P. Goldman of the Asia Times. It’s a must read. In it, he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China.

    Regarding the following sentence from the article:

    Former allies of the U.S., including former NATO members, are orienting towards China.

    I hadn’t known there are any former NATO members, and haven’t been able to find out which countries he means.

    • #18
    • May 28, 2020, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: This information comes from the March 2018 volume of Hillsdale’s Imprimis speech digest by David P. Goldman of the Asia Times. It’s a must read. In it, he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China.

    Regarding the following sentence from the article:

    Former allies of the U.S., including former NATO members, are orienting towards China.

    I hadn’t known there are any former NATO members, and haven’t been able to find out which countries he means.

    Good point. Maybe he meant former allies that are members of NATO. In any case, I think we’d be shocked to know just how cozy other nations have become with China. 

    • #19
    • May 28, 2020, at 1:40 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. ctlaw Coolidge

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist: This information comes from the March 2018 volume of Hillsdale’s Imprimis speech digest by David P. Goldman of the Asia Times. It’s a must read. In it, he suggests How to Meet the Strategic Challenge Posed by China.

    Regarding the following sentence from the article:

    Former allies of the U.S., including former NATO members, are orienting towards China.

    I hadn’t known there are any former NATO members, and haven’t been able to find out which countries he means.

    There’s the de jure v. de facto distinction. Turkey is a de facto former member. And Italy became the Western world epicenter of the Commie Cold based on their coziness with the ChiComs.

    • #20
    • May 28, 2020, at 2:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. ctlaw Coolidge

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I believe you, Doc, but how would you goose innovation to make the Chinese investment in manufacturing expensive and obsolete?

    I don’t have the answers. Looking at the historical record, several thoughts come to mind:
    1. A regulatory and incentive structure that favors capital investment and innovation.
    2. Incentives for obtaining STEM degrees and disincentives for “studies” degrees at universities, possibly via the student loan system
    3. Derailing the DIE (diversity, inclusion, and equity) movement, including Affirmative Action.

    Add:

    Fundamental reform of K-12 via vouchers, distance learning, etc. Without that, we won’t have a source of university students capable of achieving STEM degrees.

    Aggressive fighting of Chicom trade barriers. There are too many industries where we have absolute and comparative advantage but China has taken them over via trade barriers. Impose trade barriers not just on China but on any country that does not get on board.

    • #21
    • May 28, 2020, at 2:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member