Soros: Chinese Government Better than the US

November 17, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The latest from Soros,  as reported by Canada’s Globe and Mail:

“Mr. Soros devoted much of his talk to China because the country’s rapid rise is taking place at the exact same time that the U.S. is losing its global economic dominance. ‘There is a really remarkable, rapid shift of power and influence from the United States to China,’ Mr. Soros said, likening the U.S.’s decline to that of the U.K. after the Second World War.

Because global economic power is shifting, Mr. Soros said China needs to change its focus. ‘China has risen very rapidly by looking out for its own interests,’ he said. ‘They have now got to accept responsibility for world order and the interests of other people as well.’

Mr. Soros even went so far as to say that at times China wields more power than the U.S. because of the political gridlock in Washington. ‘Today China has not only a more vigorous economy, but actually a better functioning government than the United States,’ he said, a hard statement for him to make because he spent much of his life donating to anti-communist groups in Eastern Europe.”

Big Peace

Open the Pod Bay Door, Hu: President Obama Fails With Chinese Currency Manipulation Push, South Korean Trade Deal

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Not a successful day in Seoul, South Korea, as President Obama isn’t able to get Chinese President Hu or South Korean President Lee to agree to measures to help American jobs. Our “World News” report: You can read more about…

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Political Punch

Chinese Economic Data: More Tall Tales

November 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style=”float: right; margin-bottom: 1px; margin-left: 1px;”> href=””> class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-39784″ title=”China-s-Stocks-020410″ src=”” alt=”” width=”200″ height=”166″ />

The Conference Board, a global research association, made a splash with their 2011 global outlook. The group’s most interesting href=”″>claims are that emerging markets will drive “global growth” and that China could pass the U.S. on one measure of economic size as early as 2012. The Conference Board is making two mistakes many observers make, and which the media gladly eats up.

First, the Conference Board projects China could have a larger economy than America when adjusting for purchasing power parity (ppp). PPP is a way to account for different prices across countries. For example, most things are cheaper in China than the U.S., so a dollar’s worth of money, or 6.7 yuan, generally buys more in the PRC than the U.S. id=”more-46451″>

In that light, the dollar value of China’s GDP should be revised higher in comparison to America’s. For 2009, the World Bank has American GDP near $ 14.3 trillion and Chinese GDP at $ 9.1 trillion using ppp, where using normal GDP China was at $ 4.9 trillion.

Moreover, China almost always revises GDP higher after the fact and boasts much faster growth than the U.S. It’s not going to pass the U.S. in 2012 but, in current ppp terms, it could get close. Hence the headline.

Now the part headlines miss: prices change. What a dollar’s worth of money buys in the PRC is slipping. Chinese prices are rising faster than American prices, arguably much faster. The ppp comparison between the U.S. and China’s is going to change, making China’s economy look smaller.

This has happened before. The last time the World Bank adjusted its ppp href=””>measurements, the ostensible size of the Chinese economy fell 40 percent. PPP has advantages but, as you move farther in time from the price measurements that give purchasing power across economies, ppp can tell a very inaccurate story.

The Conference Board might have adjusted for prices changing over time but they gave no indication of having done so. More important: most commentators will not adjust for changing prices; they will take the current ppp measurement and run. That will in turn generate a lot of false claims that China’s economy is soon to be bigger than America’s.

The second mistake the Conference Board made is already common: fast-growing economies drive global growth. That seems sensible but it gives fast-growing economies too much credit. Fast-growing economies may be helping everyone but they may be only helping themselves.

In 2010, China will not add to the rest of the world’s GDP, its trade surplus means it will take almost $ 200 billion away from the rest of the world’s GDP. This is just a function of how GDP is counted. The PRC does contribute to the world economy in many ways but it is badly misleading to suggest that it is doing the most to help the rest of the world. China is raising the average of GDP growth among countries but doing so in part by continuing to drain GDP from the rest of the world.

In terms of adding to the rest of the world’s GDP, even though we’re growing slowly, the U.S. remains by far the biggest contributor.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

A Chinese Parallel to My Soviet-Era Emigration Experience

November 7, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

(Ilya Somin)

In response to my memoir about emigrating from the Soviet Union, a Chinese-American reader e-mailed me the following [posted with permission of the author]:

Thank you for posting your memoir. I really enjoyed reading it. I can completely identify with your experiences, as my family also had to make its escape from a Communist country, China. My parents are professors who came to this country with nothing, and worked their way up by taking 2–3 menial labor jobs. Your anecdote about how adults never criticized the government in front of you had me nodding my head; my mother told me one of the big reasons why she wanted to leave the country was the ever-present tension between telling me the truth and risk me getting into trouble in school and not saying anything and watching me be brainwashed.

My parents have made similar statements to me, noting that telling me the truth in the USSR was even more dangerous than with most other children because I was never one to keep my opinions to myself.

This, of course, is not the first time that people have noticed parallels between the Russian and Chinese experiences with communism. Alexander Solzhenitsyn made the same comparison many years ago, as did various others. The two regimes adopted very similar policies and institutions: a one party state, government ownership of the economy, a vast network of secret police, collectivization of agriculture, and stultifying censorship and political repression, among others.

At the macro level, this led to massive death and suffering, with Mao Zedong possibly exceeding the world record for mass murder previously set by Stalin. At the micro level the similarity is reflected in stories like the above. Two small incidents from my own family history further illustrate the point:

In the 1950s, when the two big communist powers were still allies, my grandfather had some Chinese students at the scientific research center where he worked. After relations between the two regimes soured in the 1960s, he learned that at least one of the students had spent years in a brutal “reeducation camp” during the Cultural Revolution, in part because he had previously been in the USSR. China’s reeducation camps were of course largely based on Soviet models.

In the late 1970s, my father was required to run a political education session at his workplace. By this time, he had already become disillusioned with communism and had already applied to emigrate. So he picked as his subject the “errors” of the “dogmatic” Chinese communists. He saw it as an indirect way of criticizing the USSR’s own very similar rulers without running afoul of the authorities.

The Volokh Conspiracy

Too Top-Down…Even for the Chinese Government!

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

By Daniel Ikenson

It’s not surprising that Treasury Secretary Geithner’s recent G-20 proposal that governments agree to keep their current-account balances (either surplus or deficit) within 4 percent of GDP has met with resistance. After all, it assumes governments can and should manage the buying, selling, and investment decisions of hundreds of millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide. But I marvel at how deeply Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai’s tongue must have been planted in cheek when he uttered this rich rejection of Geithner’s idea: “The artificial setting of a numerical target cannot but remind us of the days of a planned economy.” If the shoe fits….

Too Top-Down…Even for the Chinese Government! is a post from Cato @ Liberty – Cato Institute Blog

Cato @ Liberty

Late-Term Forced Abortions Exposed on Chinese ‘Twitter’

November 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Last year when Michael Jackson died, average people all over the world knew it within minutes, thanks in part to advances in social media technology such as Facebook and Twitter that make information sharing instantaneous. But maybe these new media have a role in getting out actually important, yet under-reported stories. That may be the case with the horror of violent forced abortions in China.

The enforcement of China’s infamous one-child policy has led family planning authorities to fine women with an illegal second pregnancy for as little as $ 1 for the poorest citizens, up to $ 40,000. But in some cases, government actions are far more extreme. Thanks to an Al Jazeera video posted on China’s version of Twitter, the truth of a gruesome, late-term abortion forced upon a mother in the modern city of Xiamen is now receiving more mainstream attention than it might have in a pre-Twitter era.

(Video below the fold)

read more – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

As Americans Expose their Electoral Divisions, Chinese Dictatorship Powers Ahead: El Pais, Spain

October 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

As the 2010 U.S. midterm elections head toward their climax, Spanish columnist Lluis Bassets is concerned that while there remains a soft spot in the heart of many people around the world for the United States, its electoral divisions and infighting are looking ever-less appealing compared to China’s ‘well-ordered dictatorship,’ which ‘continues to make decisions that are momentous for us all.”

For Spain’s El Pais, Lluis Bassets writes in small part:

America is great not only for its geographic and demographic dimensions, but for its depth and wealth and its influence as a political model in the world.

U.S. citizens will punish Obama for decisions made by Bush, such as the financial aid offered to distressed banks during the crisis. Moreover, a large fraction of those who received such aid are now financing Obama’s electoral punishment. It’s a chaotic and irrational system of election financing, after the Supreme Court decided to allow unlimited private contributions, treating them as an element of free expression applicable not to individuals, but to corporations. Just as chaotic and irrational, if fearfully efficient, is the radical opposition of the Republican base organized in the Tea Party, a movement directed primarily against taxes and government intervention.

But what this great and chaotic democracy decides will also have huge repercussions around the world. This is due to the presidency, its range of influence and its capacity to act within the international arena. But also to the ideological attitudes and political initiatives for which the U.S. sets the trend: see how the entire world is watching the Tea Party movement?

Up to now, Obama has not been a strong president domestically, where it has cost an arm and a leg to get through health care and financial reform – his two clearest successes. Neither has he shown himself compelling in foreign affairs, where it has proven difficult to impose his vision on the world of emerging new powers like China; or on allies and friends that are too weak – like the Europeans; or on the excessively despotic – like Israel.

While this great and chaotic democracy exposes its weaknesses and infighting to the world, in silence and behind closed doors, China’s huge and well-ordered dictatorship continues to make decisions that are momentous for us all, as it did just 10 days ago at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party. … Although the U.S. remains immensely appealing to many of the world’s citizens who would love to have a vote in the election of the American president – and why not? – of representatives and senators, the fact is that what former Prime Minister Felipe González has described as the global fascination with China’s mandarins is also on the rise.

READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.

The Moderate Voice

Lefty Crackpot Theory: Chinese Dictators Funneling Cash into GOP Campaigns to Export Jobs

October 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The potentially historic midterm elections are a week away and left-wing voices  are getting more shrill and paranoid than ever before.

On CNBC’s Oct. 26 “The Call,” left-wing talker and frequent MSNBC guest Mike Papantonio went on a nearly six-minute conspiratorial, anti-corporation, anti-conservative candidate rant suggesting GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Sharron Angle was raising secret money from the Chinese government in order to help them ship American jobs overseas.

Video Below Fold

read more – Exposing Liberal Media Bias

Chinese Professor Ad Highlights Cause of America’s Decline

October 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A new political ad on how bad economic policies in Washington can change the balance of power in the world to the benefit of foreign rivals.
American Thinker Blog

Behind the ‘Chinese Professor’

October 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The striking new "Chinese Professor" ad from Citizens Against Government Waste is an homage to an unusual, legendary, high-budget 1986 advertisement made by the director Ridley Scott.

The new ad was paid for by Citizens Against Government Waste, a group founded by the late industrialist J. Peter Grace. Grace’s company paid for the original ad, "The Deficit Trial," which made a huge splash despite — or perhaps because of — networks’ refusal to air it, and depicted America after a spending-induced collapse in the year 2017.

The new ad "is directly inspired by The Deficit Trial," said Larry McCarthy, who produced the new ad at a performing arts center in Northern Virginia on a six-figure budget. CAGW, he said, had long been hoping to do a sequel to famous 1986 spot, and "trial — those of us in the business have always admired ‘The Deficit Trial’ on several levels, one of which was the production budget Ridley Scott had to work with."

McCarthy hired a native Chinese-speaking star and extras from nearby colleges for the spot; he also had a translator on the set to make sure the subtitles matched up.


Though McCarthy, a veteran Republican adman whose famous products include "Willie Horton" and more recently for "Ashley’s Story," an emotionally powerful ad on behalf of George W. Bush in 2004. 

The new ad is one of many focusing on China this cycle, and has been taken as China-bashing by some.

"I don’t think Chian’s being bashed at all here — if anything it is noting the economic success that China has had, is currently on the trajectory to have, and may have in the future," McCarthy said, adding that "this ad is about Amerca, it’s not about China."

James Fallows, who knows China well, finds the ad "phenomenal" and memorable, and not anti-China — though he does note that the attack on stimulus spending ignores China’s own stimulus. Fallows calls the ad a "a notably effective introduction of a new theme," which is why I’ve been writing about it so much today.

It is perhaps also worth nothing that with 2017 much nearer than it was in The Deficit Trials, we aren’t yet shivering in our ruined buildings as a result of the 1980s deficits.

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