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Trump and China

Our make-America-dumber in-chief, Trump, keeps trumpeting about how our jobs are going abroad, to Mexico, and to China.

According to CNN Money:

Donald Trump blasts companies like Ford and Apple for manufacturing products outside the United States. He even threatened to stop eating Oreo cookies after he learned some production was moving to Mexico.

But Trump does the same thing. Many of his products are made outside the United States. Most Donald J. Trump ties are made in China. Some Donald J. Trump suits are also made in China.

Donald J. Trump signature men’s dress shirts are made in China, Bangladesh or “imported,” meaning they were made abroad.

And it’s not just Donald’s products. Harvard professor and trade expert Robert Lawrence analyzed over 800 items in the Ivanka Trump fashion line. There are shoes, dresses, purses and scarves. All are “imported.”

Just google “Trump made in China” and you get a bonanza of pictures like this:

Trump China 1

[Photo Credit – Mike Twombly]

Really?

This is the man we should trust with the Oval Office?

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China has succeeded in a major experiment in the process of creating a fusion reactor. This happened on the heels of Germany achieving a similar goal, albeit using a different type of technology. China and Germany are pulling ahead of the United States in research and development of a major game-changing technology. If we don’t watch out, we’ll have to buy required technology from China – at whatever price they set – and we’ll be in the same position we’ve been in for the past 100 years, having to buy oil from the Middle East.

All is not lost. Supposedly Lockheed Martin Skunk Works predicts to have a fusion reactor that can fit in a van within 5 years. Hopefully that’s true.

Meanwhile, we in the United States spend billions on things that serve no purpose, like defense equipment the pentagon doesn’t want or need, developing the F-35, a fighter plane not up to facing the current Russian generation of fighters, or oil subsidies to the most profitable companies on planet earth.

Our leaders focus on turning our country into a theocracy. They think it’s important to worry about women’s procreative habits, and they believe that dumbing down our children by religious dogma, conservative propaganda and stifling science on all levels is the way to “make our country great again.”

Meanwhile, we’re missing the boat in the areas that really matter: Revitalizing manufacturing in the United States, keeping prices down and productivity and creativity up, educating our children in science and technology, curbing the insane waste of money on military activities, making progress in renewable energies, and upgrading our infrastructure on all levels.

Try to buy anything at the mall today that is not made in China. Good luck!

In 20 years, we’ll even need to buy our energy in China.

Time to wake up, America!

Edit:

After a comment by a reader, challenging my statement about the Middle East, I did a little more searching and found that we import far less petroleum products from the Middle East than we think (and our public perceptions indicates) we do. Here are some interesting graphs to illustrate that.

 

 

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Here is a powerful and insightful article about the Rise of China and its impact. The author gives his own opinions, and they happen to coincide with mine. I took to liberty to quote him here. Please link to his post for the full article. It’s worth reading.

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The USDA recently approved that it’s ok for U.S. chicken to be shipped to China for processing, then shipped back to the U.S. for human consumption. This was previously not done because it was not seen as economically feasible. As it turns out, it’s already being done for some seafood, like salmon and crab from Alaska.

According to Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council:

“Economically, it doesn’t make much sense,” Super said. “Think about it: Chinese company would have to purchase frozen chicken in the United States, pay to ship it 7,000 miles, unload it, transport it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port, then ship it another 7,000 miles. I don’t know how anyone could make a profit doing that.”

Apparently it makes sense now. This is alarming, however, in light of the horrible Chinese food safety conditions. The USDA has no way of overseeing how clean some food processing plant in some backwater of China is.

This means that we’re not only outsourcing our manufacturing now, and our pollution with it, but we’re also starting to outsource our processing labor and services. Pretty soon we’ll fly to China to get a hair cut. Hey, it makes sense.

I am not in favor of excessive regulation. But we have the USDA in place to protect us from bad food products. Remember the toxic drywall from China a few years ago? Tens of thousands of houses were built with drywall that started to stink after a couple of years. Now we’re shipping our chicken to China so Chinese hands can touch them, before they show up in our children’s school lunches?

We need to figure out how to do things cheaper in the United States, or we’ll be a second-rate consumer nation completely under the economic and nutritional control of others, China foremost.

Make no mistake about it in this upcoming presidential election season: This is about jobs in the United States. Every chicken processing job is now at risk.

 

 

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California is in the process of building the most expensive and slowest high speed rail line in the world. Politicians love to make fun of this project. Yet, we need high speed rail – efficient and effective high speed rail – so badly in this country.

There is a rail line planned from Victorville, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. For those of you that are not from Southern California, Victorville is a community in the high desert.

Victorville

Victorville is a bedroom community about 40 minutes north of San Bernardino, over the mountains, in the Mojave desert. People commute from there into the San Bernardino valley for work. It’s also a stop on the way to Las Vegas, or up Highway 395 into the Sierras.

I cannot imagine driving to Victorville, which would be about two hours from Los Angeles or San Diego, then park my car and get on a high speed train to complete my drive to Las Vegas. By the time I am in Victorville I am through the hard driving, and the remaining two to three hours are easy.

I imagine the line won’t be completed to Los Angeles or San Diego because of land constraints and expenses of building a train line in the middle of urban areas. But that’s where we need them the most. If I could get on a high speed train in San Diego to Las Vegas, and be there in a couple of hours, I definitely would use the train.

The Victorville to Las Vegas line is definitely a boondoggle that makes no sense to me.

Then there is the planned connection between Los Angeles and the Bay Area, which also gets terrible press by many politicians.

Here is a summary of the high speed rail initiatives in the United States.

Now let’s compare our initiatives with those of the rest of the world, particularly in China. Here is a map showing high speed rail lines in the United States, superimposed over all our rail lines.

America's High Speed Rail System

[source language=”Wikipedia”][/source]

 

This admittedly looks pretty anemic for a large, industrialized country. Here is China’s map, in comparison:

China's High Speed Rail Lines

China is approximately the same land size of the United States. Yet, it has more high speed rail than the entire rest of the world combined. And it’s still building more. Here is a chart that illustrates this:

 

High Speed Rail

My take-away from this:

China has more high speed rail than the entire rest of the world combined. China is currently building almost twice as much high speed rail as the entire rest of the world combined. The United States is ranked along with tiny countries like Belgium, Austria, Taiwan and Uzbekistan in its installed base. Greece, yes, Greece is building more high speed rail right now than the United States.

High speed rail, the way we think of it, is apparently not practical in the United States. China knows something about infrastructure that we’re not paying attention to, and our children and grandchildren will pay that price. China will be able to move military equipment and troops all over their country with rapid speed. We cannot match this, and even if we started now, we’d be decades behind.

China just started building all this infrastructure within the last 15 years or so. Yes, China is a very polluted country with disregard for human rights, individual freedom, and the environment. Nevertheless, they are building infrastructure like mad, and we are not.

I think the United States is on a dangerous path of rapidly losing its competitiveness in the world by disregarding its infrastructure, and high speed rail capacity is one aspect that illustrates this.

 

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China Warns U.S.

Thirty years ago China was a third-rate communist country with no noticeable presence on the world stage.

Today, China warns the U.S. to stop “manufacturing crises” and upsetting world markets. And it galls me that:

1. They are right. We ARE manufacturing crises and we’re looking ridiculous in the eyes of the rest of the world.

2. It’s China that is starting to tell us what to do, and we actually would be wise to heed their advice.

For those that don’t know, China’s economy is scheduled to exceed that of the United States by 2020 at the current course. If the Republican knuckleheads have their way and actually commit political and economic suicide due to ideological obsessions, it might be much sooner than 2020.

Let’s all give the baton of leadership to China quicker than it has to be – to China, which was a third-rate nation with no noticeable presence on the world stage just 30 thirty years ago.

Are we insane or what?

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