Greg Autry

Fighting for space, not over it.

Five Stars Over California

CCP Flag1The  city council of San Leandro, corrupted by the lure of Chinese money (or should I say U.S. money being repatriated for influence), has decided to fly the flag of Communist China above its City Hall on Chinese “national day”, October 1.

This date celebrates the conquest of China by Mao’s brutal communist forces in 1949 and the establishment of a regime that has killed more people than any other on Earth. A regime that continues to this day to execute more of its own citizens than the entire globe combined. Many of them for religious and political dissent. Apparently “partnering” with these sort of criminals is what San Leandro wants to be known for.

A mocking of the American flag of equal sized starts, this flag symbolizes the inferior position of the Chinese people (small stars) in relation to the Party (BIG star) and the over all dominance of Communism (Red) in all aspects of society.

San Leandro offers this insult to many people including:

Korean Vets who watched their many Americans and allied soldiers go down in the face of China’s insane “human wave” attacks.

Tibetans who are watching their country be systematically dismantled and their people abused under Beijing’s colonial ambitions.

Vietnamese Americans who had their own country stolen from them by communist forces backed by China.

Falun Gong who have been persecuted, rounded up, forced to labor in prison camps and executed so their organs and bodies could be sold for profit to the West.

Christians who have had their bibles restricted, their churches demolished. This is a country where the Catholic Church is prevented from selecting its own Bishops by the Communist Party.

Millions of Unemployed Americans who have lost their job to China’s cyber espionage, currency manipulation, and trade abuses.

San Leandro has voted to spit on all of these people.

I strongly urge you to contact the leaders of San Leandro and let them know what you think. City Hall Phone: (510) 577-3357

If you can go there on October 1st and show your disgust for this gesture and demonstrate your support for America and our values that would be great.

Bring your own food and fill up your gas tank before you enter town.NEVER DO ANY BUSINESS IN OR WITH A SAN LEANDRO FIRM. Boycott China, Boycott San Leandro.

note:  Mayor Stephen Cassidy courageously opposed this action. You can thank him at: (510) 577-3355

Greg Autry is a professor of entrepreneurship and economics. He serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance and with the Coalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out American Corporate Friends, Bye Bye!

monopolyYou just can’t make this stuff up! A Shanghai court has convicted U.S. based Johnson & Johnson of violating Chinese “anti-monopoly” laws. Really, this from the One Party State? According to the Chinese state media monopoly “The market for medical instruments in China faced a lack of competition.” What a hoot in the land of State Owned Enterprises.

Although the multinational firm was fined a measly 530,000 yuan, the decision is indicative of an accelerating trend, where local government regulators and media actively work to damage the reputation of Western firms who have been doing business in China for a long time.

Other recent moves to harm American firms include the parade of stories deploring the sanitation of our fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC. An astounding charge to those who know anything about the horrific nature of Chinese food production. Chinese media reports claimed ice served at KFC was often “dirtier than toilet bowl water.” Which, in my personal experience, would make it a lot more appealing than the Yangtze river. Of course, if they made their ice with water from the Shanghai municipal water monopoly it would be full of bacteria from the thousands of dead pigs floating in the water source.

Another fun story has been the barrage of attacks on Apple that came after Tim Cook made the announcement he would be moving some manufacturing back to the U.S. Gotta love the article entitled “Defeat Apple’s ‘Incomparable’ Arrogance” from the folks at the People’s Daily. This from a government that believes it is their right to determine what Chinese readers read and when possible, think. As soon as China can find a domestic smart phone OS (think buying out struggling BBRY), Samsung and Apple can kiss this market good bye. Of course, in the meantime Cook got on his knees to kiss the ring of the communist media.

The real goal here is to tilt the playing field in favor of Chinese domestic firms by undermining the powerful legitimacy foreign products have in the eyes of Chinese consumers. It is also a subtle way of  inviting American companies to leave China. Having brought the capital, technology and know-how to China, they are no longer necessary. Being unnecessary they are also unwelcome and have been shown the door.

This does not surprise those of us who understand China’s history. The go to strategy for Chinese Communist leaders since Mao has been to fawn on their enemies until they get what they need  from them and then arrange an arrest on trumped up charges or perhaps a convenient airplane crash. Watching the arrogance and gullibility of American CEOs play out on this stage would be darn humorous, if it were not for the  jobs, national wealth and global power that we’ve lost in the process of enriching this oligarchy of thugs.

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

Crowd Prepares to Bus off to “Welcome” Dictator Xi

I was honored to give a bon-voyage to this group of Vietnamese American Patriots headed to protest Xi Jinpings summit with Obama. Nobody appreciates their freedom as much as Orange County’s Vietnamese community!

I asked them to tell Xi “YOU ARE NOT WELCOME IN CALIFORNIA!” and to tell Obama, “THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT HUDDLE WITH A CRIMINAL DICTATOR!”

 

crowdA great group of Americans exercising their constitutional rights!

Protest Rally sm

 

photo 5

Proud to talk to the crowd!

 

photo 1 Meeting with the Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor Pro-Tem of Fountain Valley. Good people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Public Doesn’t Want to Know Who is Going to be Making their Sausage

China’s Shuanghui is going to buy U.S. Smithfield Foods. Shuanghui is a former communist state owned enterprise and Smithfield is the largest American pork production and distribution firm filling packages with dozens of brand names including: Armour, John Morrell, Cook’s, Healthy Ones . . . Before we let Congress and regulators roll over on this fat deal for U.S. bankers, let us remember that it hails from the land of outrageous food production scandals.

Before we start, let me be clear that I don’t know the details of Shuanghui’s food production, but I know way too much about what goes on with food in China and that just ain’t pretty. I could write a whole chapter (hey, we did) on Chinese product quality nightmares. For instance, I’ve watched sausage made in rural China and captured the cultural expectations of sanitation in these charming images:

Pig copy Sausage Close copy Sausage copy

Now, before you say that stuff just happens out in the sticks, let me point out that these nightmares are not limited to the medieval Chinese hinterland. Recently thousands of rotting pig carcasses were found to be polluting Shanghai’s drinking water. In a story entitled “Rivers of Blood” the Guardian newspaper writes of dead piglets bobbing on the shores of the river supplying China’s largest city with water. Nobody seems to know where 16,000 rotting pigs came from – or more likely the culprit is a big, well connected Chinese firm protected by the authorities. That’s just the way the Communist Party and their homies roll. The plutocracy gets richer, truth gets buried, the people get screwed.

China’s U.S. apologists will say, “those sort of problems will remain in China and we have the government to protect us in America.” Ridiculous, do you have any doubt that the Chinese owners of Smithfield backed by large American banks are going lower their costs by shutting down American farms – like they’ve done to our factories – and stocking your grocery shelves with pork produced in China, to Chinese standards? The regulatory argument allowing Chinese firms into the U.S. is the equivalent of allowing known bank robbers into our country because “we have police to protect us.”

The apologists will also say, despite all the evidence to the contrary, “China is working hard to clean up its act.” Well I’ll admit the commies get pretty nasty when they are publicly embarrassed. In 2008, the Chinese government executed the head of their own FDA and several others over a series of horrific scandals including the intentional tainting of milk and baby formula with melamine that sicken hundreds of thousands and killed several children. That’s how they roll in the nation that executes more of its people than the entire rest of the world combined. Get ready, the ethics of dead pigs and dead people are coming soon to your local Wal*Mart.

 

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

 

 

42, America and the Moral Equivalence Lesson

“42” is the feel good movie of the year. Heck, it was even worth watching with rabid Dodgers fans.*

Seriously , Jackie Robinson’s inspiring story reminds me of something I’m constantly trying to explain to my cynical critics who are always quick to produce a list of American historical sins as though some awful thing that happened 150 or 70 years ago in the US should excuse any manner of Chinese misbehavior today via the magic of  moral equivalence.

42

What they miss is that in America we celebrate our errors, not bury them like a Chinese bullet train accident and in doing so we move forward and get stronger. Every player in baseball wears Jackie Robinson’s number on Jackie Robinson Day each April to celebrate his victory over our own evil behavior. There is a giant monument to Crazy Horse being built by the family of an Italian immigrant to celebrate the great native American who stood up to the U.S. Army and killed a famous general. There is a memorial to the four student protesters slain at Kent state.  These days Americans are having an anxious public debate over the role of the state in marriage and whether rights are limited by sexual preference. We will survive this, eventually do the right thing and come out a better and stronger nation. It may seem embarrassing, but it is something to be proud of, because America is not a static concept or even an ideology; America is a process.

America is not great because it is perfect; rather America is great because it aspires to perfection.

The day we see a statue to the fallen at Tiananmen Square on 六 四 is the day we will know there is hope for China and the world. That would take more courage than China’s leadership can muster. Xi Jinping is not half the man Branch Rickey was.

 

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

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*I’m a die hard Anaheim Angels fan as a distant relative of mine founded the team, but for today I’ll wear blue.

Picking Apples on the Road to Serfdom

photo credit: Greg Autry

photo credit: Greg Autry

An article on HuffPo reports that taxes on the wealthy have reached a 30 year high while the middle class and poor are now paying diddly squat (that’s a technical term in economics). Tax inequality is no less immoral that income inequality and punishing the most successful for their very success while disincentivizing production is a non-sustainable model, no matter how smugly satisfying it may seem. Talent and capital invariably flee such a regime – see Cuba, Soviet Europe, Argentina, etc.

While the left anxiously ruminates about equality, the right is obsessed with growth at any cost. Equality without growth is equality in poverty. See Lady Thatcher’s powerful argument on that point. However, growth without equality invariably leads to resentment, in a democracy that means welfare and populist demagoguery which kills the growth. This is followed by the rise of an idiot like Hugo Chavez and deepening poverty. Two voyages to the same terrible destination.

Ironically, its the capitalist, captains of industry that charted our course to socialist misery by creating a society that would make Karl Marx salivate – one in which returns to capital are ever increasing and returns to labor dwindle. Stocks roar and wages fall. It’s full speed ahead for the 1%; America’s future and American values be damned! Let the rest of us save up our pennies and send our kids to Stanford so they can ALL design the next iPhone – sure.

The path to both sustainable growth and increased social equality will NOT be found in taxes and transfer payments. The solution both the left and right must embrace is the creation of a policy environment that that motivates businesses to invest in America and to hire American workers. We must do that even if it is a bit less efficient than our current model of funding Chinese communism in exchange for raping their environment and borrowing their slave labor. This means instituting a more competitive tax and regulatory environment, but doing so with an absolute refusal to join a “race to the bottom” in civilized standards of living for our citizens.

Consider Apple’s $140billion+ cash hoard. Most of it is overseas avoiding the US corporate tax (highest in the world). Very little of what is in the US is invested in creating good American jobs (sorry dudes in blue shirts). Our current political plan appears to be: tax the hell out of Apple and its wealthy shareholders and give that money to the chronically unemployed so they can sit at home and play video games on their Chinese made iPads.

Instead, we could abandon harsh ideology and simply make it fairly painful for Apple to invest further in China by penalizing them for the very benefits they gain via China’s illegal subsidies, currency manipulation, and environmental abuse. We should also throw in the cost of defending ourselves from the Chinese hacking, countering China’s massive military build up and dealing with the escalating regional tension in Asia that Apple is indirectly funding.

I propose that we cut Apple’s domestic taxes and then forward the bill for extended unemployment payments, our West Coast missile defense system, and Obama’s “Asian Pivot” directly to CEO, Tim Cook – with postage due.

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with theCoalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

Join him on Facebook

Sign up for email updates

 

WalMart Bends

Following Apple’s plan to move some production to the U.S.A., Walmart announces they will buy more Made in USA. It’s not enough, but it is enough to make it clear that we are winning the battle for the hearts and minds of America and they know it. What they haven’t figured out yet is that the problem is deeper than just products. Its a fundamental ethical dilemma and they can’t go just part way toward reform.

Here’s a really funny and insightful photo of just what’s wrong the China – WalMart situation. This is a photo I took of a WalMart poster showing the managers at their store in Kunming, Yunnan Provence. “Servant Leadership” is not a translation error. It means exactly what it says. You can really tell when you see all the employees lined up at attention in the mornings while the managers yell at them like drill sergeants. That’s not the economy or society we want to be adapting our business to. And it sure as heck isn’t the one we want running the world.

WALMART-Servants - smWe must keep pushing this, because you can either be a “Friend of China” or an American and until the Communist Party is gone, you simply cannot be both.

 

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance, Economist with the Coalition for a Prosperous America and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – a Global Call to Action. He blogs regularly at: http://www.gregautry.us/blog  and on the Huffington Post.

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A Call for Democracy in China and Excuses be Damned!

A video I prepared for presentation at the  Forum on the Pending Collapse of the Chinese Communist Party, Taiwan Merchants Association, Flushing NY, 2012.

 

 

I take on the usual excuses that China apologist offer in support of the appalling regime in Beijing. These include the usual tripe like Jackie Chan’s assertion that “Chinese people must be controlled” or the nonsense that “The Communist Leadership has lifted millions out of poverty” (where it kept them for more than two unnecessary generations) and “China is a victim of Western Imperialism.” Enough of all that BS. China is no magically different place, unable to emulate what Japan, Taiwan, or South Korea have done politically – after all it has copied their economic plans pretty darn well.

Sorry about the video quality and my reading from notes, I got the request to speak on short notice and had to film it in my cabin with an iPhone (Hey, Apple CEO: Tim Cook you are supporting this crooked regime with your insanely great products and depriving a Democratic and Free America of  badly needed middle class jobs and tax revenues in order to further enrich a very thin slice of brilliant engineers and the investor class. I love brilliant engineers and investors, but I don’t want to live in a Chinese-type plutocracy.)

Greg talk

 

Canada: Democracy with Chinese Characteristics?

I traveled to Ottawa this weekend to attend the Free Thinking Film Festival. I had been invited to speak after a screening of Death by China, a film directed by Peter Navarro and based on my book with him. The timing was prescient as China is a topic of great debate in Canada these days with two major issues:

1.The attempted purchase of Canadian Oil firm, Nexen, by the Chinese state exploration company, CNOOC.

2. The adoption of a new Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) that would grant Chinese firms a variety of special privileges in Canadian markets in exchange for promises of fairer treatment of Canadian companies struggling in totalitarian China.

The festival crowd was a diverse, intelligent and informed group of all ages, ethnicities and politics. The thing they had in common was a love of liberty and support for human dignity. Not one of them appeared to support either of these insane ideas. In fact, it appears that almost no Canadian, outside of those who will directly benefit, supports them. A recent poll shows Canadians against the CNOOC-Nexen takeover and a whopping 78% opposing the transfer of natural resources to a foreign government.

However, on the subject of China, the government of Stephen Harper has grown uniquely out of sync with public opinion. The conservative Prime Minister gained my admiration and that of human rights advocates world-wide with his bold decision to personally boycott the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony (That celebration of totalitarian state capitalism was preceded by a wave of Chinese hacking into IOC, the Montreal based World Anti-Doping Agency and several national Olympic committees that probably include Canada.).

After that good start, Canada’s China policy went downhill faster than Lindsey Vonn, culminating in the PM’s ill-conceived February meeting with the infamous party boss of Chongqing, Bo Xilai. While human rights advocates publicly warned Mr. Harper to avoid this scandal-plagued thug, the ignominious meeting actually took place just as Wang Lijun, Bo’s top cop, fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu in fear for his life. While Harper was breaking bread with Bo, Wang was spilling his guts on the murder of UK businessman, Neil Heywood by Bo’s jet-setting wife. It appears that Wang also detailed a horrific organ harvesting and body selling business as well.

Mr. Harper now seems peculiarly eager to complete the Chinese oil patch buyout and trade agreement through a secretive process without legislative debate, in-spite of vocal public opposition. This is a political process more fitting of the cadres in Zhongnanhai (commie party HQ) than parliamentarians in Ottawa.

I’m left to speculate on the cause of Harper’s about-face, which mirrors that of several recent U.S. presidents. I would like to imagine that fault lies not with the PM, but with a poor choice in China advisors (the ones who set him up with Bo). As is the case in the U.S., a distressing number of Canadian officials move between government service and lucrative work with China, Inc. or Western firms that do its bidding. It’s become very obvious to anyone working in a Western government that the best public retirement plan is to join Henry Kissinger as a “friend of China” (LOL) and at very least to never offend the sensitive Communist Party. Perhaps the Prime Minister changed advisors or a previously credible staff has been co-opted by the Chinese via the usual tactics of buyout or blackmail. Or, maybe they caved to constant pressure from the North American corporate executives and business consultants who serve as China’s proxies. Or, maybe Harper is surrounded with “useful idiots” to use the label from the communist lexicon for Westerners who actually believe in Beijing’s propaganda about progress, harmony and prosperity.

Another lesson in governance the Chinese have offered Canada is that pushing through unpopular decisions requires tight media control. There was a lot of conversation at the festival about the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) using its subsidized pulpit to manipulate radio and TV content for political ends. I might have marked such criticism of a seemingly revered institution as mere conspiracy theory if I had not personally encountered a disturbingly Orwellian taste of it.

I was scheduled for a November 2nd radio interview on “Ottawa Morning” to discuss China. As is typical, I got a call in advance from a production staffer to go over the show and the issues I’d like to discuss. As soon as it became obvious that I was cynical about China and planned to talk about the ethics of the agreement, the staffer decided to change the format of the interview. She suggested bringing in a pro-china “business consultant” to “balance” the perspective as a debate. Though, the pro-China lobby gets the bulk of Western media coverage, I was happy to make it more interesting for the audience and agreed.

Shortly after, I got another call and a saccharine email, pronouncing that my ethical angle would be “matching apples and oranges” with the business consultant that had been added to my originally scheduled interview and therefore (in the interest of “balance” I presume) my anti-China perspective was being dropped. Essentially, it seems, the CBC wanted a conversation full of facts and figures without a complicating discussion of human rights, the environment, and the legitimacy of the government on the other end of the deal.

I was prepared to discuss the horrid technical details of FIPA, which proposes to remedy Chinese trade abuse through further Canadian concessions. Concessions that place Chinese firms in a legal position superior to Canadian ones and violate the rights of many Canadian stakeholders, including the Provinces and First Nations (native tribes). What I was not willing to do was to hide the nature of the despots the deal was being made with.

The CBC staffer even suggested we compare the U.S.-Canadian NAFTA to FIPA, an agreement made with a government that ignores the fundamental rights guaranteed under its own constitution (articles 32-41 assure voting rights, free speech, religious freedom, etc.). The fact that only a useful idiot would sign a trade agreement with those who show no respect for the rule of law cannot be irrelevant to a discussion of that agreement’s value.

This maneuver quite surprised me as I had expected a Canadian government media outlet to have a liberal bent that would welcome such a conversation. It turns out that liberal nature just doesn’t apply to China. Adding insult to the process was the peculiar email plea, “I hope that’s ok with you.” Meaning, I supposed, “I hope you don’t mind having your time wasted and your perspective censored.” Sure, what pundit wouldn’t be good with that?

I do a lot of radio and TV, often with those who hold contrary opinions, but I have NEVER been treated like this. Then again, I’ve never been on a state propaganda network. I can only guess about motives, but my cynical mind suggests that facing a threat of privatization under the conservative government, CBC finds it prudent to kowtow to corporate Canada and aid the transfer Canadian resources to the Boys from Beijing. If they want to prove I’m wrong about this, then I dare CBC to put me on the air to talk about China and Canada.

 

p.s. The Huffington Post declined to run this piece since it criticized the CBC. They would have been happy to run the first part attacking the Conservative government. If you want truthful news about China, you’ll need to learn Mandarin so you can watch NDTV.

 

Greg Autry serves as Senior Economist with the American Jobs Alliance and is the co-author of the book Death by China. He also served as a producer on the Death by China documentary film  directed by Peter Navarro and narrated by Martin Sheen.

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Films expose life and death in China

Reposted from my piece in the Ottawa Sun

Albert Einstein once said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do nothing, but rather by those who watch them and do nothing.” This weekend’s Free Thinking Film Festival gives us an opportunity to consider those words.

The festival features Kean Wong’s film Free China (directed by Michael Perlman) as well as Death by China (directed by my co-author, Peter Navarro). At first glance, one film appears to be a very personal insight into the value of freedom and the other a technical documentary on trade policy gone bad. However, at their core, both films are essays on the outcome of conceding power to an unethical regime.

Death by China exposes the insanity of a “free trade” regime that while promising an El Dorado of future market access has actually delivered 30 years of ever-growing trade imbalances, plant closures, intractable unemployment and mounting debt. One must either conclude that something fishy is going on with this relationship, or accept the premise that a centrally planned economy dominated by huge state-owned enterprises offers a superior economic model.

The fishy thing turns out to be the short-term profits used to bait Western CEOs into outsourcing their production to a nation where the people and the environment can be pillaged at will. Enriching a dictatorship at the long-term expense of your firm and your nation just happens to be the cost of increasing this year’s bonus. That would be bad enough if our lost manufacturing capacity wasn’t also supporting a military confrontation with China’s peaceful neighbours and an unchecked nuclear arsenal pointed at America.

Free China’s Jennifer Zeng is not only jailed and beaten, but compelled by the brutal “One Child” policy to abort her child. When a women is forcibly denied the right to reproduce, jailed for her religion, and tortured by fascist thugs you would think the response of the American and Canadian governments would be something other than eagerness to hand over further assets, capital, technology and jobs to her persecutors. When this tragedy is scaled up to 400 million coerced abortions, millions of political jailings, and the uncountable executions that feed a ghoulish organ-harvesting business, we are left to wonder at the culpability of our leadership. If they are not completely devoid of conscience, just what sort of sleep aids do Messrs. Harper and Obama employ after a day’s kissing up to Hu Jintao or Xi Jinping?

Every North American worker that surrenders their job and their dreams to unscrupulous Chinese trade abuses becomes a victim of the same system that silences, imprisons and tortures Chinese citizens. If our governments continue to enable this historic transfer of wealth and power to the greatest totalitarian regime in history we will surely all become victims of the Chinese Communist Party.

Two decades after Tiananmen Square it has become undeniable that our engagement policy is an emperor with no clothes. There is still time, though not very much, to admit that China is not progressing, our trade deficits are skyrocketing and a frightful Asian war is brewing. Once we face these facts, our choice of action is clear, we must actively support a truly Free China or we will suffer a Death by China. This means confronting and starving the communist beast rather than fawning on it and feeding it with further investment deals.

Greg Autry is the co-author of Death by China, a producer of the film version. He blogs at www.gregautry.us. 

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