Tuesday assorted links

by on March 14, 2017 at 11:52 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Doug March 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

#3

Is there any sub-national cuisine that has evet become a “thing” in the US? Even Chinese food which has been big in the US forever is only just barely marketed as Cantonese, Szechuan, Shanghainese, etc.

95% of restaurants are just generic Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Thai, etc. Despite enormous regional variation in those countries. I think Americans are just really bad at geography and can barely even tell separate nations apart, let alone foreign sub-regions.

Short answer: Uigher food will not be the next “big thing” unless Xinjiang secedes.

2 BDK March 14, 2017 at 12:42 pm

I suppose that depends on your definition of “big thing.” Unlikely that Uigher restaurants will compete nationally w/ “Mexican,” “Chinese,” or “Indian” restaurants in sheer number, but I think the suggestion is that the cuisine is poised to get new attention from the sort of foodies who do distinguish between sub-national cuisines. And I assure you that there are plenty of those–sometimes to the point of parody (I say that as someone not entirely innocent of that offense).

3 Doug March 14, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Well Americans can always be bothered to understand nuance as long as it’s about America.

4 P Burgos March 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm

Do sub-national cuisines from the U.S. count? Cajun and Soulfood come to mind, as does Italian (Brooklyn Italian), as well as New York style delis.

5 Axa March 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Don’t blame US people for believing in Mexico’s homogeneity.

One of the objectives of Mexico’s Perfect Dictatorship was to end with secessionist rebellions. Thus, a national culture was invented and pushed down the throats of school age children since 1930s. Mexican Pink is not folklore tradition but carefully planned nation-building. A simple reference to this imaginary homogeneous Mexico is found in every Corona beer TV ad.

When Mexican restaurants are generic, it may be: a) they represent Mexico following what they learned in school, b) they know better but why fight the world if you can follow trends and do great business.

Just ask yourself why generic Mexicans restaurants don’t offer fish or sea food in spite of Mexico being located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

6 Matthew Young March 14, 2017 at 3:05 pm

What we call Mexican food is fake, it originated among the old Californians.

Then everyone robbed old California of our trademarks, so we just credited Mexico, and that expanded our markets. It was all a plot by the original California vaqueros. It was open fire and the California vaqueros worked the grill n the mission markets of old. To this day you can stiil order the California taco at U of Santa Clara, right across from the mission chapel.

7 Massimo Heitor March 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

In reality, Americans eat microwave dinners and pop tarts, yet restaurants sell a fake caricature that is a lot tastier.

8 Troll me March 16, 2017 at 12:56 am

Weren’t old Californians basically Mexican?

9 Doug March 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm

That makes a lot sense about Mexican national culture. But I’d say that marketing strategy only worked because Americans are already eager and willing to oversimply the world outside America. Particularly when it’s conveniently simplifying, e.g. “That giant mass of heterogenous people are ‘Mexicans’. They love burritos, mariachi bands and trafficking narcotics. Case closed, I know everything there is to know now.”

Heck, just look at Canada. I mean it’s so well-integrated to the US, that it’s practically the 51st state. How many Americans could name even half the Canadian provinces off the top of their head? I bet it’s more than the number that can name all 50 state capitals. If Mexico’s neighbor was say the Netherlands instead of the US, you can guarantee that their marketing plan would never get off the ground.

10 Thomas March 14, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Americans also like to generalize other Americans negatively, elevating themselves. You’re like, so sophisticated. Will you sign my petition to tax yucky provencials to fund abortion training for Syrian refugees?

11 Troll me March 16, 2017 at 12:59 am

New England and the entire West Coast could join Canada, and there probably would not be much cultural conflict in the process.

But 51st state? We’d need a 2nd amendment to do justice to such claims.

12 Troll me March 16, 2017 at 1:01 am

Maybe invite a few other locations with large numbers of relatively moderate and pleasant people who produce things that bring lots and lot sof money.

Say … Austin?

I don’t think we’re interested in the rest. But maybe that’s just me.

13 FG March 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm

“Just ask yourself why generic Mexicans restaurants don’t offer fish or sea food in spite of Mexico being located between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.”

A more prosaic reason is that chicken and beef are easier and cheaper to purchase, freeze, and cook into something acceptable.

14 Massimo Heitor March 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Tons of Mexican restaurants have seafood. Fish tacos are quite popular.

The food service industry and its consumers don’t care about history. The industry is based on products and service that people want to buy that is practical to produce, prepare, and sell.

15 Barkley Rosser March 14, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Uyghur food is good, and I am glad there are now three restaurants serving it in the Washington metro area. But it is too obscure to become a big national thing in the US.

16 Thomas March 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm

“I liked it before it was cool.”

17 Judah Benjamin Hur March 14, 2017 at 4:09 pm

Sadly, 95%+ of Americans think Chinese food is the fast food they buy at cheap “Chinese Restaurants.” Lots of Americans like Chinese food, but don’t think too highly of it. Kind of like imagining McDonald’s French fries represents French cuisine.

18 Cyrus March 14, 2017 at 10:07 pm

The Jewish delicatessen is definitely a thing.

19 Donald Pretari March 14, 2017 at 12:15 pm

“The majority of the members of the Irish parliament are professional politicians, in the sense that otherwise they would not be given jobs minding mice at crossroads.”
Flann O’Brien

20 Dick the Butcher March 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
– Mark Twain, a Biography

No one’s life, liberty and property are safe while Congress is in session.

“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.” George Best, reported in 2002 – reminds of the time one of my young sons asked why I let Mommy squander all that money on food and clothes.

21 GoneWithTheWind March 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm

“A dangerous myth about trade deficits”
Can we actually run trade deficits forever and stay solvent? I don’t think you can and I’m surprised to hear any economist say that you can. I believe that what is actually happening is many people/companies are doing quite well and part of their success creates these massive trade deficits. Those who are vested in these people/companies continued success have no other option but to justify trade deficits and to try to rationalize away any disagreement. Just saying that huge trade deficits won’t harm the country or the citizens does not make it true. I would turn that argument around and say that if trade deficits are so great than let’s give all our trading partners big trade deficits and share that good will.

22 Mark March 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm

With a fiat currency, yes you can.

23 GoneWithTheWind March 14, 2017 at 7:19 pm

So which of our trading partners does not have a fiat currency? I believe that they all do. If this was such a great idea why wouldn’t China begin buying twice as much from us as they sell us?

I tend to agree with your comment up to a point. However it still doesn’t change the fact that some people/companies are making big bucks based on a huge trade deficit and their gravy train will stop if we were to decide to be more pro-America and less globalist. And THAT is the reason we continue to have trade deficits and all the claimed benefits of it is pure BS.

24 Doug March 14, 2017 at 3:33 pm

American owned investments earn significantly higher returns than internationally owned investments. Trade deficits are financed by selling domestic assets to foreign investors (and/or domestic investors liquidating foreign assets). Let’s say we sell foreigners all the low-earning assets (T-bills at 1% interest, overpriced real estate, hedge funds with way too high fees), while us domestic investors buy the high-earning assets (long duration bonds, small-cap value stocks, early stage investments in Facebook). As long as the differential on the aggregate returns is higher than the long-run current account surplus, we can actually keep running a trade deficit forever.

25 asdf March 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm

The fundamental assumption here seems to be that we are really really good at picking investments and the Chinese are really really bad at picking investments. Something seems off there don’t you think.

26 Lurker March 14, 2017 at 8:48 pm

Either that, or we prevent foreigners from buying the good stuff. I was unaware of these restrictions.

27 Doug March 15, 2017 at 12:36 am

I basically comes down to American corporate management is really a league above even other highly developed nations. Even when comparing within the same country of operation. I.e. US multinationals operating in France deliver significantly better results than their French counterparts.

” Nevertheless, U.S. resi- dents consistently earn more income from their for- eign investments than foreigners earn from their larger U.S. investments, thereby holding down the size of the U.S. current-account deficit. That situa- tion mainly reflects the fact that U.S. companies receive more earnings from each dollar’s worth of direct investment abroad (ownership of foreign sub- sidiaries) than foreign companies earn from their subsidiaries in the United States.”

https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/109th-congress-2005-2006/reports/11-30-cross-borderinvestment.pdf

“Using two new micro panel datasets we show that US multinationals operating in Europe also experienced a “productivity miracle.” US multinationals obtained higher productivity from IT than non-US multinationals, particularly in the same sectors responsible for the US productivity acceleration. ”

https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.102.1.167

28 Humean Being March 15, 2017 at 2:48 am

I understand where you’re coming from, but this just completely misunderstands what the trade deficit is. Check out this blog post: it should be helpful.

https://humeanbeingblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/how-to-win-at-trade/

29 GoneWithTheWind March 15, 2017 at 10:16 am

I found that post to simply be more of the same rationalization to somehow prove that running up a deficit is really a good thing. Again I say if trade deficits are so damned good than what the hell let’s just buy stuff and stop producing goods and services and trading them. Let’s just end all manufacturing in our country and buy the goods we need. What could possibly go wrong?

30 Troll me March 16, 2017 at 1:06 am

If the economy grows faster than the deficit, then no problem.

31 Mark March 14, 2017 at 12:25 pm

Re 5, overly gendered. No Joyce ?? But a few that sense. Thanks.

32 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 1:00 pm

#5 – read through most of the Irish quotes, and they don’t say much except humor and defiance (something about borders obsess the Irish, maybe since it’s an island). Compares unfavorably to the memorable Greek quotes. Maybe–TR is the expert here–Irish quotes are on par with famous Brazilian quotes, probably along the lines of “let’s party!” (in Portuguese).

Bonus trivia: the Irish, to insult them, were called “the Greeks” by some about 150 years ago, but that’s a disguised compliment.

33 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 1:29 pm

In fact, Brazilian history is famous for the eloquence and witticism of famous Brazilians. Even our enemies were witty. Queen Mary the Mad, from Portugal, when her court was going to the ships to flee Napoleon’s invasion, said: “Don’t run. Otherwise, they will think were are running from them”. Tyrant Lopez said, when he was being killed by Brazilian soldiers and 95% of Paraguay’s male has already died, “I die with my Fatherland”.
One could make a thick book with Brazil noteworthy quotes. When rhe Paraguayan aggressor attacked Brazil, hundreds of Paraguayans, in a sudden and deliberate attacked, sieged a dozen Brazilian soldiers. When the aggressor ordered them to surrender, the leader of the Brazilian soldiers replied: “I know I wil die, but our blood, my comrades’ and mine will be a most solemn protest against this invasion of the soil of our Fatherland”. Even today, it is one of the most famous Brazilian sentences.

34 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 1:39 pm

TR please, while Brazil’s martial quotes are noteworthy, they don’t hold a candle to the Greeks’. Compare the Greek dictator Metaxas single word “No” to Mussolini’s ultimatum in WWII (commemorated every October by “No Day”), or Leonidas and the 300 memorable quotes (numerous), or the Spartan commander who was told the enemy would ravish, pillage and rape Sparta if they were to beat the Spartans, to which he replied with a single laconic (Greek Spartan term!) word, “If”. Can’t touch this TR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otCpCn0l4Wo

35 Dick the Butcher March 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

“Go, tell the Spartans . . . ”

That’s the etymology of the adjective “laconic.” Laconia or Lacedaemon were appellations for the larger city-state centered on Sparta.

Bill Bennett’s The Book of Virtues has under “Courage” the “laconic response/if” quote as the reply to the threats from Philip of Macedon. Legend has it that Spartan armies when told their enemies were located asked not “How many?’, but “Where?”

Surely, the book of world-famous Brazilian quotes has far more entries than the recently published book of reasons to vote for a Democrat.

36 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm

As a matter of fact, Antônio João Ribeiro (yeah, we share the last name – as far as I know, we are no relatives, even if my family took lart in all the wars of the Empire and won all of them), the author of the heoric sentence I quoted, is called the Brazilian Leonidas. I think I myself mentioned the “Go, tell the Spartans” line here when mentioning him last year in the anniversary of the Paraguayan savage attack. As for me, I say, “Remember, remember! The 29th of December, the original date which will live in infamy”.

37 Horhe March 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm

At no 3

Uh-oh, aren’t they oppressed by the evil Chicoms and their deplorable vision of national identity? http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21710264-worlds-rising-superpower-has-particular-vision-ethnicity-and-nationhood-has

And they have an interesting cuisine for the discerning palate? Quick, bring them in as refugees to the US. It’s not like you can have a Mexican or American prepare the recipe. Those lamb skewers won’t prepare themselves. Think of the diversity!

Personally, having tried Uyghur food a few times, I’m not really sold on it. It’s an interesting blend of what I, with my undiscerning palate, would consider Middle Eastern and Chinese food, but not in a way I can’t experience by simply alternating existing restaurants. Like a lot of fusion food, Uyghur food will be a temporary fad and then left to the Uyghurs and the signaling connaisseurs. They have a soup where you have to break bread into very small pieces before pouring the liquid over for it to be absorbed, but I wasn’t very enthused.

38 Uigher food is already well established in the Bay Area March 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm

There are several Uigher restaurants in the bay area. Best is Darda, in the shopping center in Milpitas where the Ranch 99 is. Restaurant is very large, with enormous photos of the skyline of Mecca and the interior of the Ka’aba. Best dishes are the cumin lamb, clams with basil, and the spicy mixed seafood hotpot (yes, I know, Urumqi is a long way from the ocean, but these are good dish). All the food tastes distinctly Chinese despite middle eastern seasoning. They have two kinds of Uigher bread. In early evening (6 pm) the crowd is all Chinese. Around 8 pm, the Moslem community turns up, including ladies in veils, for whom they have private family dining rooms. First Sunday after Ramadan is very festive for lunch. Christmas is good too, when Latino groups turn up to play Feliz Navidad for Chinese and Middle Eastern diners.

39 Alvin March 14, 2017 at 1:38 pm

I’ve been to Darda before, it’s one of my favorite restaurants, and the sesame bread (among others) is delicious, but I never thought of it as an uyghur restaurant. I always thought of it as a Chinese restaurant that had bread as a dish. It’s also a good place to carb load before a race.

One question. Can you provide the proper pronunciation of uyghur? I’ve never heard an actual uyghur person pronounce it as “wee-ghr”. It sounds more like “ooy-ghur”.

One misconception in the article. The person said Chinese hate Uyghurs but love their food. My impression is the Uyghurs hate the Chinese as well and refer to the western part of China as Eastern Turkistan. But I agree with the article that Uyghurs are warm-hearted, friendly people.

40 Susana March 14, 2017 at 11:24 pm

My Chinese friends say wee-gher. My husband’s Chinese students say wee-ghur. Everyone at Darda says wee-gher. My closest Chinese girlfriend has relatives in Urumqi, and is not hostile, and she says wee-gher. Many of the staff at Darda look very Uigher, Uyghur. Near Cisco and other gizmo manufacturers, exit from 237 is McCarthy Blvd, then left onto Technology Drive. Be careful in the parking lot, there are many collisions at slow speeds. Outstanding food.

41 Rags March 14, 2017 at 2:12 pm

“Where the Ranch 99 is” is not a bad way to choose lunch. I tried working my way around the one, but found too many favorites before I completed the circuit.

42 Alvin March 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Yeah, that place in Milpitas is pretty insane with all the restaurants (mostly Chinese, some Indian) side-by-side. The market is a good place to shop too.

43 Susana March 14, 2017 at 11:26 pm

Not just Chinese restaurants, but Chinese Indian restaurants, Chinese sushi, Chinese orthodontists, Chinese stockbrokers, Chinese golf equipment, oh geez, so many jewelers. The Ranch 99 is a lovely market.

44 Susana March 14, 2017 at 11:28 pm

They also have hand-pulled noodles, another typically Uigher dish, very delicious.

45 rayward March 14, 2017 at 12:51 pm

2. The similarities between Navarro and Trump are overblown, at least when it comes to trade. For Trump, the bluster is the policy: Trump uses trade, or the perception that China has beat the U.S. on trade, as a prop to extol his own negotiating skills. Trump promised that if elected he would use those skills to obtain better deals with China et al. How else was he supposed to impress voters, with a promise to use his negotiating skills where he has lots of experience, borrowing money or selling blue sky to unsuspecting investors? Navarro also uses trade as a prop, but not to extol his own negotiating skills, but to blame foreigners, Chinese and Mexicans, for his own mediocre record as an academic and politician. In that respect, Navarro and Trump are alike: insecure.

46 Rock Lobster March 14, 2017 at 12:54 pm

#6: It’s not “conference call with angry investors?”

47 Sam the Sham March 14, 2017 at 5:41 pm

I figured Jack Dorsey would just ban/shadowban everyone who disagrees with him, and talk to an echo chamber – at least based off of how he runs Twatter.

48 Michael March 15, 2017 at 10:07 am

I found that article remarkably banal and uninspiring. I felt dumber having read it. End your talk by playing some jazz music… classic stalling move by someone who is too dumb to have anything worthwhile to say.

I think McMegan has said something along the lines of we spend too much energy studying success stories, which can be too unique, and should spend more time studying failures.

49 rayward March 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm

5. Angela’s Ashes (number 18 on the list) was followed by a host of imitations, each attempting to outdo the others with tales of misery. And you though your childhood was miserable, wait til you read about the misery I suffered! The genre last a few years and, thankfully, receded. But it has returned with a vengeance, from books like Hillbilly Elegy to politicians like Donald Trump, all cashing in on our culture’s obsession with misery. Of course, we accept Frank McCourt’s account of his miserable childhood in Ireland because, well, Ireland, but America is supposed to be the land of smiling faces and unabashed optimism. I suppose the lure of misery is too great, even for Americans. As for Cowen’s trip to Ireland, complacency is the word that comes to mind when I think of the poor Irish.

50 Cooper March 14, 2017 at 1:12 pm

4., To play the Devil’s Advocate a bit, is it not a serious problem that foreign investors are buying up American real estate assets?

In the original economic models, trade was mostly thought of in terms of physical goods. British wool is traded for Spanish wine. If Britain buys too much wine, the Spanish accumulate gold which must eventually be traded for wool at some future date.

But if the Spanish immediately converted their gold into British pastureland, Britain would eventually reach a point where all of its income-producing assets were in the hands of Spanish investors and Britain would be incapable of ever buying them back.

In the modern case, theoretically we could have a situation in which the Chinese owned most of the real estate in San Francisco and could extract rents forever, making it impossible for San Franciscans to ever own property in their own city.

If China wants to buy companies, fine, we can create new companies eventually.

If they buy up all the physical land, what are we supposed to do? Make new land?

Is there not a reasonable case for protectionism in the form of limiting foreign land purchases?

51 rayward March 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Yea, and when the Japanese bought Pebble Beach one heard the same arguments: all of America would be owned by the Japanese, Americans enslaved forever to our landlords and masters the Japanese. That the Japanese paid outrageous prices for Pebble Beach and other trophy properties in America was as predictable as Chinese profiteers doing the same. If Trump is such a master negotiator, he needs to negotiates sales of American real estate to the Chinese. Heck, I’d even agree for Trump to take a commission. We will get all the properties back anyway when asset prices plummet. A win, win.

52 Bosephus March 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm

Realizing you’re playing devil’s advocate, the only reasoning for limiting foreign land purchases, that I can see, is to prevent short term price increases that will force out native San Franciscans (I guess…). So what is a native San Franciscan? Anyone who has lived in SF for ten years, five years, 1 year, has a desire to live in SF? And if the goal is to protect these little enclaves of “natives,” maybe we should restrict purchases by Americans who don’t live in SF. Another way to keep the prices down.

Who cares if the Chinese extract land rents in SF forever. Americans will move to lower cost locations, asset prices will fall (as rayward mentions), and then we buy the property back.

53 asdf March 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm

If you think SF land rents are going to go down, why aren’t you shorting them?

If moving to lower cost locations is such an obvious solution, why aren’t all the young go getters moving to the rural midwest?

54 dux.ie March 14, 2017 at 8:37 pm

https://crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/pep/pep-272.pdf

“””Japanese Foreign Direct Investment in Real Estate 1985–1994″””

In the words
of New York banker Ted Rall:
In early 1986, one of our clients, Mitsui Real Estate Ltd, expressed interest in purchasing the
Exxon Building in Manhattan. Mitsui asked us (IBJ) to contact Exxon and find out how much
they wanted. Exxon’s asking price of $US375 million for the 1970s-style building seemed high
to us, and we knew that Exxon was hot to sell. We relayed the price to Mitsui and told them that
Exxon would probably accept a lower offer. A few weeks later Mitsui called to say that they
wanted to offer Exxon $US610 million
. Neither my boss nor I could believe it. We prodded our
representative at Mitsui for information and he finally admitted their reason for deliberately
overpaying by $US235 million: ‘Our President read that the current record price paid for a single
building, as listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, is $US600 million. He wants to beat
the record’
(Rall 1995).

55 dux.ie March 14, 2017 at 8:45 pm

https://theasianexecutive.com.au/2015/business/classic-collins-street-address-fetches-a-record-aud-8888888

“””Bidding for the property opened at $5,000,000 and quickly raced to $6,000,000 with the property being declared on the market at $6,200,000. As has been the pattern of many recent auctions in Melbourne the strongest level of bidding came from Chinese buyers who battled it out to the end with the final price being struck at $8,888,888.”””

56 dux.ie March 14, 2017 at 9:03 pm

http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1995/07/10/204272/index.htm

“””On May 11, Mitsubishi pushed the Center into filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection — one more milestone in a saga of how a proud Japanese company grossly overpaid for a landmark piece of America and in so doing further enriched one of the world’s wealthiest families.”””

57 Ray Lopez March 14, 2017 at 1:49 pm

#4 – Sumner: “In the long run trade must balance, in the sense that imports must ultimately be paid for with exports—plus interest. Thus if we buy a billion dollars in laptops from China, we might pay for those goods by exporting $1.5 billion in Boeing jets in the year 2030.” – not true. Foreigners can buy US real estate, like Cooper says, or even own US treasuries, which is the preferred way the Chinese, Germans (who have a bigger cumulative trade deficit with the USA than even China does) and Japanese invest in America. Let’s hope the rest of the world does not lose faith in the dollar, otherwise it will be the end of the world as we know it.

58 JWatts March 14, 2017 at 3:40 pm

“4., To play the Devil’s Advocate a bit, is it not a serious problem that foreign investors are buying up American real estate assets?”

No, it’s not.

“In the modern case, theoretically we could have a situation in which the Chinese owned most of the real estate in San Francisco and could extract rents forever, making it impossible for San Franciscans to ever own property in their own city.”

The citizens of San Francisco would just raise property taxes to very high rates and use the surplus to help out other groups, the poor, the homeless, the arts, the parks, etc. The Chinese, who probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to vote in the local elections, would bear the brunt of the redistributionist policies, that they had to pay for, but got little benefit from.

59 asdf March 14, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Yes, wealthy foreigners have never been able to use the political process to protect their assets against confiscatory taxation. All these Chinese are dumb stooges that don’t realize we are just going to steal it back from them without paying. It’s so easy!

60 JWatts March 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

I assume you are being sarcastic, if not particularly thoughtful.

Are you familiar of Baja California? It’s pretty common for locals to fleece the tourists at every opportunity. Nor is it specifically an American phenomenon.

61 asdf March 14, 2017 at 4:44 pm

While I am well aware that people make bad investments all the time, and that sometimes those people are investing in another country when they make a bad investment, understand that what your proposing is pretty audacious. Your saying that a millions of people are investing trillions of dollars in fundamentally retarded investments that are going to perform badly. The only reason given why they are doing this is, “they are a bunch of sucker Chinese.” I’m not sure how that hangs with most peoples assumptions about markets around here.

So first prize is that we bilked a billion or so poor Chinese out of their savings so we could consume plastic toys at Wal-Mart. Second prize is that our children and grandchildren end up working for those Chinese to pay of our debts. Fun options.

62 JWatts March 14, 2017 at 10:16 pm

There’s so much wrong with your post that I’m not sure where to start.

“Your saying that a millions of people are investing trillions of dollars in fundamentally retarded investments that are going to perform badly.”

First, paying higher than the locals may not be a bad investment from the Chinese point of view. If they’re primary desire is to get money out of China and into a safe asset, overpaying by 20-30% for American assets, may be a good deal for the Chinese buyer.

The important take away is that historically foreign owners don’t buy “all” the assets up and rule another country. The most obvious example is the Mexican government making foreign ownership of land in Baja, CA (and other coastal and border areas) illegal a century ago. It’s pretty easy for the locals to restrict foreign ownership in any number of ways.

“So first prize is that we bilked a billion or so poor Chinese out of their savings so we could consume plastic toys at Wal-Mart. ”

That’s a laughably obtuse statement. No one was bilked out of their savings. They got paid money to produce goods.

” Second prize is that our children and grandchildren end up working for those Chinese to pay of our debts.”

No, that’s wrong too. The debts our denominated in dollars. The US just has to create a period of moderate to high inflation (say 15% for a decade), and the debts suddenly get reset to a much more manageable level.

63 asdf March 15, 2017 at 10:21 am

Even if you want to get money out of China, why not choose the best non-Chinese asset? Can Chinese not buy stocks too? Are all these Chinese investors simply incapable of noticing an asset is vastly overpriced.

I doubt the British colonialists owned “all” the assets in other countries, but they owned a lot and had a big influence on how those countries ran.

Your claim is that they are buying sucker investments and thus won’t get back the value they gave us. It’s the whole premise behind “this trade deficit isn’t such a bad deal for us because we don’t really have to pay it back.” In the very next sentence you claim that our plan to pay off the debt is to crank up inflation and make their investments worthless. Make up your damned mind.

64 Cooper March 14, 2017 at 7:21 pm

We can’t just build a new San Francisco. The land there is desirable because the climate is nice and the buildings are pretty.

Americans have a right to move around the country and buy what they want. Foreigners aren’t necessarily entitled to the same exact rights.

We *could* tax foreign property owners more than domestic owners but we don’t.

Sounds like you’d agree with me that we should consider having higher property tax rates on foreign owned/empty condos than on domestically owned and occupied condos.

Given that we aren’t going to allow a free market in real estate development, we might want to consider adjusting the tax regime to reflect this reality.

65 Henry Armitage March 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm

http://www.bcdc.ca.gov/history.html
” In 1849, as California’s Gold Rush was beginning, the Bay was 787 square miles in size. Today it is approximately 550 square miles. One plan, promoted by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the late 1950s looking forward 75 years, would have resulted in about 325 additional square miles of fill. ”

In the 1960s, as part of US losing its pioneering spirit and became complacent, homeowners stopped the new landfill in San Francisco Bay. But if Chinese buying up “too much” of San Francisco, there is already a “shovel ready” plan to reclaim 5 San Francisco worth of land into the bay. During the drought, there were even more drastic proposal of dam the Golden Gate, that’s 550 square miles of land that you can build on.

66 Judah Benjamin Hur March 14, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Gee, I have a 1/4 acre of good residential land in Central Florida that the Chinese can buy. Apparently there aren’t any Americans who want it at a price above a used car.

67 Cyrus March 14, 2017 at 9:18 pm

There is nothing wrong with land ownership that a broadly applied property tax can’t sort out.

68 Troll me March 16, 2017 at 1:12 am

Property taxes.

And, if they own land in San Fran, does that not imply that they are also contributing in various ways to the US economy?

You speak as though the value of a client to a local economy is zero if the producer or consumer has ethnic origin from some other place.

69 aMichael March 14, 2017 at 1:20 pm

#2. I’m not a fan of Navarro, but I think this “critique,” or maybe it’s just an observation, says more about academia than Mr. Navarro:

“He’s not doing the normal game as it’s defined in academics,” Bromiley said. “He’s much more interested in real policy problems and in having an impact on real policy problems, and that’s a little different.”

Don’t get me wrong, I think we need basic science, but I thought the social sciences existed because we were also interested in “real” problems.

70 asdf March 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm

4) If you mortgage your house to consume, you can go on mortgaging your house forever. The balance never reaches zero. It’s not like one day the money is gone and you don’t own a house anymore.

71 Cliff March 14, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Seems like you missed the point of the post? If you sell your house to buy something else, there is no requirement that you one day re-purchase the house.

72 asdf March 14, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Well, most of us like a roof over our heads. It tends to have more long run value to well being then cheap plastic crap you throw away.

73 Jon M March 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm

Tyler you mentioned a complacency quiz. Do you have the questions listed somewhere?

74 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 2:40 pm

No, he has become too complacent to create a quiz.

75 Anonymous March 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm

Clearly you’re not being complacent in looking for it , so you may have already failed it. (jk.)

76 Thiago Ribeiro March 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Saying oneself one is not complacent is the worst form of complacency.

77 Judah Benjamin Hur March 14, 2017 at 4:12 pm

#3 You can find Uyghur street food all over Shanghai.

78 mkt42 March 15, 2017 at 6:57 am

I was going to say the same thing. And it’s not just due to large supply; there’s large demand too, with frequent lines of customers at the street carts.

79 Ryan T March 14, 2017 at 5:08 pm

1. Mangu-Ward interview. Pretty good conversation, and I think this format might work well for CWT in the future. Turning the tables on the interviewer has worked well for other pods, including JJ Reddick’s and Tim Ferris’s.

Having said that, I’ve noticed a growing trend among journalists to say “talk about X” rather than to ask questions. I actually don’t mind this trend as it allows interviewees to share their ideas in a rehearsed, clear way and it removes a sort of combative dynamic that’s not always productive. In other words, “talk about X” allows interviewees to not be caught off guard and they therefore share their ideas more readily. But I wonder if it’s bad form to condescendingly insist that the audience “ask questions,” especially after so many of the host’s prompts are phrased “talk about” X Y or Z.

80 marris March 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm

#1 Who knew Jeff Bridges was so knowledgeable? 🙂

Who is this man?

81 Faze March 14, 2017 at 7:19 pm

Amazing that Jack Dorsey should recommend painter Robert Henri’s book “The Art Spirit”. Thirty years ago, my late father, an artist of the WPA era, once told me that Henri’s “Art Spirit” was considered holy writ among the art students of his generation, and those preceding his. I’d never heard of the book, and thought it had disappeared down the memory hole. Now to hear it extolled by the founder of Twitter … well, I ought to read the darn thing.

82 efim polenov March 14, 2017 at 10:15 pm

Faze, thanks for that info. I just googled Robert Henri portraits (google image search). Wow. I had no idea.

83 carlospln March 14, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Uighur cuisine: too greasy, monotone [I’ve only tasted cumin &/or red pepper flakes as a spice]

Where I live one can do MUCH better. [I’d never eat it in the summer; its more a winter selection]

84 Massimo Heitor March 15, 2017 at 2:48 pm

#3:

If a racially segregated food category like uighur food is going to be big, there generally needs to be a large racial population doing food service work globally. I do love the Uighur restaurants in Flushing, NY Chinatown.

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