Greg Autry

Fighting for space, not over it.

Apple Bashing: The Taiwanese Understand How Things Work in Beijing and Can Still Laugh!

Checkout this hilarious new video from a group of Taiwanese animators at NMA World Edition. Their take on China’s  hypocritical attempts to discredit U.S. brands and drive them out of the Chinese market, speaks for itself and it is a fun follow on to my recent post on the subject.

I love the way that these guys poke fun at unethical commie culture of IP theft and the holier than thou attitude that comes out of CCTV and Zhongnanhai. The bogus, Chinese made iPhone chargers killing people and the signs falling off the fake Apple stores while the cops shrug are all too real. Of course, corporate America is a big part of the China ethics problem and the way Tim Cook “beams over” to grovel in Beijing is particularly embarrassing for us activist Apple product fans and shareholders.

cookpanda

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.

Memorial Day

This is a good day to think about how NOT to have a bloody war in the Pacific that will cost the lives of American Sailors, Soldiers and Marines.

The best way to do that is to support regime change in China. America (and the West in general) must stop funding the growth of the Chinese fascist military. We must stand up straight to China’s increasingly aggressive territorial claims against Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, India, Tibet, The Philippines . . .

Twenty-five years of appeasing this dictatorship with our “engagement policy” has been an economic, military, and human-rights DISASTER Continuing this policy while executing an expensive “Asian Pivot” to counter the enemy we are building is INSANITY. Borrowing money from an enemy to fund our response to their aggression is SUICIDAL.

We must make it clear that  America will no longer support the communist government politically or economically. We will no longer trade our principles and our children’s future for cheap consumer goods. We must leave no doubt that if the people of China wish to continue or accelerate their economic progress it will have to be done under civilized leadership with respect for the rule of law and they bear the responsibility to remove their sociopathic government.

As always America will find peace through strength, truth and courage.

Korea Mem sm

Korean War Memorial, Washington DC

 

 

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.

Is Chinese democracy really worth protecting? – Guest Post by Richard Scotford

Recently, Paul V Kane wrote a piece, To Save Our Economy, Ditch Taiwan, that quickly spread like wild fire around the Internet, suggesting that in order to appease China and get relations on a better track the US could sell-out Taiwan. The basic jist of his argument was, that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) could magically make the $1.2trillion in US bonds disappear, if the US military stopped selling arms to Taiwan and basically agreed that it was no longer under any US protective umbrella.  Obviously, in doing this, Taiwanese democracy would be seriously compromised, as it would be essentially extinguished by a democratically averse CCP.  However, according to Kane, the trade off would be worth it, even a “game changer.”  He adds, “part of the savvy package” could include getting the CCP to stop supporting other pariah states, like Iran, Syria or North Korea. The deal could potentially save the US billions.  Giving up Taiwan would be the proverbial silver bullet that could quickly dispose of America’s most stubborn “cold-war-era entanglements.”  To boot Kane excitedly declares that the move could also shave off 10% off the National Debt without even doing a thing.

 

Essentially what Kane is saying is that throwing the fledgling democracy of Taiwan on the funeral-pyre in order to balance the US budget is a price worth paying. After all, they’re Chinese not American and they’ll probably be forced to embrace the Communist Mainland at some stage anyway, so why not now?  In this way, the US can also do a bit of diplomatic horse-trading to its financial benefit as well.  Without this, Kane argued, the US risks a very costly, multi-billion dollar war with China over Taiwan that would benefit no one, least of all Taiwan.   In Kane’s confused head the “The battle today is between competing balance sheets, and it is fought in board rooms; it is not a geopolitical struggle to militarily or ideologically “dominate” the Pacific.”

 

Why Kane would want to be singing from the CCP’s hymn sheet is anyone’s guess.  Let’s hope he’s getting paid more than 50cents for this trash.  After all it’s no great secret that the CCP is collecting up US debt in order to gain political leverage. They’re not buying US debt because they love America.  Kane has hardly hit on anything new here. The CCP would gladly pay $1.2 trillion for Taiwan. However, what’s shocking and somewhat disappointing is that Kane openly declares that in 2011 balance sheets trump democracies.

 

On a human level, the idea is so lacking in any moral substance that it hurts to really digest it.   The fact that anyone could equate the real notion of basic human freedoms with the ether of a country’s balance sheet is beyond callous and unfeeling. Yet, we all know this kind of thing has happened before in history, many a country’s government has been sold down the river in order to make a buck.  Kane seems to have no problem with history repeating itself again and concludes that the mercy killing of Taiwan’s democracy is ultimately a utilitarian move to save the greater democracy of the United States – his momma must be proud of his patriotism!

 

Running in tandem with the notion that money trumps freedom is the idea that Chinese people just aren’t suited for democracy anyway. So, Kane would certainly proffer, why should Americans die trying to give it them?  Instead of ideology, go with the money, just like the CCP has done to its incredible advantage.  China has 1.3 billion people who aren’t exactly dying for democracy, so why should the ‘free world’ sacrifice lives and more importantly their balance sheets for a mere 23 million Chinese in Taiwan?  This idea that Chinese people aren’t suited to democracy isn’t only limited to the delusional Kane.   It’s a common mantra of the CCP that is cleverly manipulated into the mainstream global media by so called western China experts.  Only recently I saw a TV clip where Oded Shenkar, author of The Chinese Century, unashamedly extolled, “with the exception of Taiwan, there is no precedent of a democratic Chinese Society”.  Of course, Shenkar may want to make himself out as an expert on Chinese people, but he couldn’t be more wrong if he tried. Sadly, this shows the level of delusion seemingly educated people can reach when they only focus on the economic numbers and not on the greater picture.  In relation to Shenkar’s remark, which is basically a mantra of the CCP propaganda machine, repeated verbatim, I’m guessing that he was forgetting the nearly 4 million Chinese that live in the US under democracy, which is equal to population size of the State of Kentucky or the country of New Zealand.  Or the nearly 8 million Chinese that live in Thailand, which is larger than the entire population of Switzerland. Don’t forget the 7million Chinese that live in democratic Indonesia, that’s the same population as Israel.  Or the 6 million in Malaysia, which is greater than the population of Denmark. Or the 1.3 million Chinese that live in Canada, out numbering the entire population of Hawaii.  All told, there are over 40 million ethnic Chinese living around the world in democratic countries. Which is equal to the population of Argentina.

So, let’s go back to Shenkar’s comment again, “with the exception of Taiwan, there is no precedent of a democratic Chinese Society”. Is he suggesting that these 40 million Chinese people are not engaging in society or are not Chinese?  I’m unclear?  In reality, everyone knows that the global Chinese Diasporas are some of the most upright and contributing groups in their chosen democratic societies.  Maybe Shenkar should start quoting these figures next time he is on TV rather than the ones the CCP produces on the economy. Only then may he get a little more perspective and more importantly, integrity!

Unfortunately, it’s a sad fact that the likes of Kane and Shenkar can still be taken seriously when they extort such ridiculous ideas, which are in essence CCP propaganda proliferated by devious United Front tactics.   If we really are to listen to the likes of Kane and Shenkar and conclude that democracy is not for Chinese people and therefore the likes of Taiwan should be sacrificed for the greater good of the world, or at least for a buck, then we truly are as morally bankrupt as the CCP.

Taiwan, is a thriving, sometimes jittery, fledgling democracy.  It deserves the protection of every freedom loving person on the planet and it can’t be thrown to the CCP lions in order to balance the books.  Taiwan has a population of over 23 million people.  That’s a greater population than Australia and little less than Texas, or on a par with the combined populations of Portugal, Ireland, Finland and Norway.

Would the global community torpedo the freedom and rights of these places in order to balance the books?

Exactly.

So, why would over 23 million democratic Chinese in Taiwan be worth any less?

 

Richard Scotford is a freelance writer living in Hong Kong.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Chinese Studies from CUHK and writes the China Rising blog at:  http://chinarisingblog.blogspot.com/


 

What Could Have Been

 

 

 

 

Government is good at one thing: It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, “See, if it weren’t for the government, you wouldn’t be able to walk.” – Harry Browne, Libertarian

 

Lately I can’t turn around with out being reminded by the business press or naïve academics of the so called “China Miracle” and listening to pundits tout the benefits of Beijing’s “State Capitalism” model of growth. The standard line seems to be: “a controlled economy might be a good thing if you put the right engineers in charge of it; see how fantastic it is that China has been growing at 10% or more for years?”

Well, there are a couple of problems with this line of “reasoning” and the first is the dangerously implied assumption that wealth creation is a function of government policy – just as recessions must always be cured with interventions  – rather than a result of people, resources, capital, and technology. More often than not, what governments do is throttle potential growth by misallocating these wheels of growth and China is no exception. In fact, they’ve been the poster child for holding back a nation from its rightful economic position and standard of living. “What!, how can that be. China is a miracle, everyone agrees, right?” you ask?

Let me illustrate my assertion with a little alternate history. Sherman, set the WABAC* machine for October 1, 1949, please. Imagine, if you will, that rather than Mao up on a podium before Tiananmen proclaiming the People’s Republic – history’s biggest misnomer – that Chiang Kai-shek had established a Kuomintang government in Beijing.

With nods due to General Chaing’s many imperfections, it would be reasonable to assume that China would have followed an economic path a lot closer to Taiwan than to that reckless roller coaster ride into hell that Mao designed. Taiwan began to recognize growth rates around 10% all in the 1950s – while mainlanders were melting down their pots for metal and chasing sparrows under Mao’s insane “Great Leap Forward” campaign. By the 1970s, when Deng get’s his great idea to allow a few “special economic zones” Taiwan is already a gobal manufacturing powerhouse. Not only Taiwan, either; Hong Kong and Signapore are exploding with growth as well. This is because Chinese people set free to do business, do it very well and they need no help from “brilliant” communist planners.  During the 1970s ALL of South Korea was a “special economic zone!” and Japan is obviously on overdrive as well.

These countries have lately been held back by limited natural resources, limited populations, and unreasonable defense spending (required to protect themselves from a belligerent China and its insane puppet princeling in North Korea.) Now, China must be considered with because it does have hundreds of millions of workers and claims over vast resources, and knows how to copy other’s success; but not because it has been brilliantly managed now or in the past.

The bottom line is that if China had not been blessed with the CCP it would have been on a trajectory to surpass the US in 1995 rather than 2016 or 2020! Crediting Deng, Jiang, and Hu with a Chinese “miracle” is like crediting the jockey on the last horse in at the Kentucky derby. “So what?”

The fact that China’s people and resources have been badly mismanaged is obvious to anyone who actually goes there and opens their eyes or lungs. Consider how the different systems have managed the economic externalities of growth. While their environmental records are far from perfect (nobody’s are) cities in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan never became the cancerous cesspools that China’s metropolises are. In fact, no place on Earth from Dickensian London to 1970’s Los Angeles has been as unhealthy to live in as Beijing or any just about any Chinese city is now.

As to human resources, there were issues with labor conditions in the early days of the Asian Tigers, but free people organizing to protect themselves quickly corrected that. Neither unionization nor real legislative corrective processes are allowed in the “People’s Republic”, so thousand of workers continue to be maimed and killed every year in medieval conditions. This is no Chinese “miracle” but rather a source of shame.

It is not any coincidence that the very best factories in China – like Hon Hai (Foxconn) in Shenzhen or the Honda plant in Foshan – are run by the Taiwanese or Japanese. Its sadly ironic that when workers there have issues they actually get improved conditions and pay increases, and then government blames the foreign management. When workers in Chinese state owned plants have issues they get the business end of an electric baton.

Japan, Korea, and Taiwan also became innovators in technology and management because they allowed the free flow of information and ideas while latecomer China has copied, stolen and cheated to get its 10% growth number every year, because its planners simply don’t understand or can’t trust that the fountainhead of innovation is freedom.

“State Capitalism” has been simply too little, too late despite the best efforts of the Boys from Beijing to take credit for everything the Chinese people do.

–       Greg Autry teaches Macroeconomics at the Merage School of Business, UC Irvine and is co-author (with Peter Navarro) of the new book “Death by China” www.gregautry.us

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*When in doubt, google it. 🙂