Saturday assorted links


#2 "What will a Chinese world order look like?"
So this is how liberty dies... with Foreign Policy articles.

Read it and weep, troll.

I have read it, and I am nauseated. The elitists are already planning the day after the demisse of freedom and civilization! They have sold civilization out for a mess of pottage!!

NO because President-Captain Bolersenaro will stand against the wave and he cannot be broken.

So that is it. Americans sold out -- as always --, and Brazilians must fight to correct their mistakes.

Your incessant jingoism make me look up Brazil on a map. What a backwater!

Go back to your sh*thole country Brazilian filth. America #1!!! MAGA! These colors don't run!

#2 - "Mandarin has largely replaced English as the international lingua franca." - lol, I think it's easier to learn English if you're an African.

Bonus trivia: why does China ban scooters, motorcycles, and e-bikes but not cars from Shanghai and other big cities? The official reason ('cutting down on scooter crime') sound bogus; other theories include smelly, noisy scooters (but most these days are four cycle not two cycle anyway), saving lead acid battery environmental damage (but cars pollute more?), and encouraging Chinese to buy more cars to help China car makers (plausible, given Japan does the same thing with frequent 'safety' inspections that promote turnover).

As someone actively involved in cross border transactions, it’s laughable to suggest Mandrian is lingua franca.

I routinely have calls with lawyers and relatedness professionals in every major country in Europe, S.A., and APAC. All are in English.

Spoken Mandarin is easier to learn than English. Spend 1 month on tones and after that its relatively smooth sailing. No conjugation, no tenses, no tricky grammar. Written language is a whole 'nother ballpark.

So long as they eliminate progressivism it’s all good. Kill us all. It’s a net benefit for the universe.

One tip for a successful life: never read lists of tips longer than five.

My penis is only 5 mm

5. These sound good, and Geraldo Rivera reassures me that none of it is illegal.

2. What this essay and all of them speculating on China's future miss is the new phase of development for China, from one in which China produces goods for western firms to one in which China produce goods for Chinese firms to compete with goods produced by and for western firms including goods produced in China for western firms. Will Americans buy products with a Chinese name on it? Maybe. This will take place as China and the west converge, politically, economically, and socially, with the west becoming more like China and China becoming more like the west, with the west placing greater importance on investment in both infrastructure and productive capital and with China placing greater importance on consumption and social welfare. The contest will be one of equilibrium: more western or more Chinese. In either case, America won't be recognizable to us today. Of course, we have to survive today's chaos, which is to say Donald Trump. If not, the stronger military may well prevail, but the world will be much poorer for it.

Isn’t the question whether or not, and how much, China is able to produce world leading brands? And how well they can both produce technological innovations and then successful commercialize those innovations? If that is the case, I think that China actually has a harder hill to climb than most people recognize.

One reason being that the population of the economically developed Anglophone world under the age of 30 will continue to grow, while the under 30 Sinophone population is going to decline over the next thirty years.

The second reason, related to the first, is that immigrants will prefer the Anglophone world. The kids of immigrants to the Anglophone world get citizenship and are accepted as full members of their country (except at Harvard, but Harvard seems to hate Americans anyway, so it is fitting that it discriminates against the best Americans). And think about an immigrant who wants to start their own business; you start that business in China, and no matter what the law says, the government has a de facto ownership stake that it can exercise at anytime, and if it decides that a successful company needs more Han ownership (politically connected Han owners) you are just SOL. There is a reason wealthy Chinese are trying to get their wealth out of the country and into the West.

China produces 99% of Apple pfroducts, and while Jobs wanted them made in the USA, Tim Cook carefully explained the US no longer had the manufacturing capital required to manufacture the products Jobs wanted. And given Apple was insolvent, other than for Jobs personal bailout, Apple couldn't build the US capital required. The GOP industrial policy of destroying unions by destroying "the wealth of nations" enslaved the US to China and other nations.

This has been said in comments here before, but it bears repeating -- Dollar General and Dollar Tree have substantially different business models and demographics. Only the names put them in the same category of "Dollar Stores".
Dollar General targets the Wal-Mart demographic, but with smaller stores, limited selection, and many more rural/suburban locations. Business strategy is to carry the essentials at a little higher price than Wal-Mart but with less of a drive.
Dollar Tree is a classic "Everything is a dollar!" store. They locate in high-traffic strip malls and pull in shoppers from much greater distances looking for bargain household and party items.
Highly educated analysts insist on lumping them together. I don't know why.

#3 is very good indeed. The slides of Jean Twenge about the evolution (a drastic increase) of the rates of depression, suicides, etc. among the american youth and its correlation to the use of smartphones and other electronic devices are striking (and brought me to tears). Nir Eval objects in substance that correlation isn't cause, and points out that in other advanced countries with similar penetration of smart phones, the teenage rate of depression and suicides has stayed steady. For someone living between two countries (the US and France) an obvious objection comes to mind. The rate of penetration of smartphone may be similar in the two countries, but their uses are very different. In France you almost never see anyone using a smartphone while sitting as restaurant table -- in public transportation perhaps at a given tine 10 to 20% of people will have a smartphone in hands while in the US for what I see it is always well above 50%, etc. And the teens do as they see their parents do. For instance they don't use smartphones at schools, even between classes, because it is forbidden everywhere to bring a smartphone in a school.

I conjecture that the effects of smart phones may be similar to the effects of social media: they don't so much create social ills as exacerbate them, or make them spread more quickly and easily. France doesn't have mass shootings or opioid epidemics the way that the US does so it's easy to imagine that smart phones have a different effect there than in the US.

Smart phones and social media have positive social effects too, so a key question is: are there ways that societies can encourage more of the positive outcomes and fewer of the negative ones? Or would that be a hopeless exercise in regulation and social engineering?

But Nir Eval says a lot of interesting things too.

#2 Isn’t this all just boosterism that will come to look foolish in a decade or so?

Yes, remember all those articles from the early 80s about how the new Japanese world order would operate? It would be a good exercise if Tyler were forced to get out old issues of The Atlantic and read them while reciting at regular intervals: "I believed this once."

I watched Operation Red Sea on Netflix in which the Chinese Navy kicks some Yemeni terrorist butt. It has an interesting ending in which the Chinese Navy warns what looks to be US naval vessels to please not enter Chinese waters. Direct. I like that. And they have a pretty good motto too "Conquer Fear, Conquer All." What is the US military's motto these days anyway? "Inclusive and welcoming! Fat Retirement Packages for Career Officers!" If its not, its not because that is not the sum and substance of US military policy. At any rate defeat by the Chinese military is probably a better fate than slow torture by organizations like the Institute for Local Self Reliance described in 6. Tax exempt shake-down artists will eventually kill the US and there is not a chance in hell that the US will ever recover its social and political health when there are 6 dozen tax-exempt erstwhile do-gooder operations making it impossible for any company to operate without doling out payoffs. Non-profits are the new mafia. If we can't tax them, at least let businesses write off pay-offs and bribes.

Do not let them fool you. The Chinese regime is waging war -- economically, psychologically and geopolitically -- against the West. All attemps to make it look good will, in the gfuture, be remembered as sources of shame.The same way Coca Cola hates to remember it invented Fanta for the Nazis.

You're missing the point about Operation Red Sea. That movie constitutes a strategic loss for China. Not only have they created a carbon-copy American-style war propaganda film, they actually appear to think it was a good thing to do this. But warfighting movies like this are not a Chinese idea, they are quintessentially Western ideas. They betray that China doesn't even realise that it has been absorbed into the Western system. Another example is that Chinese businessmen all wear Western-style suits to meetings, and not traditional Chinese clothing. And communism is a Western idea, for crying out loud.

It's like we get so caught up with looking at GDP figures and PPP that we miss what's right before our eyes: the Western system is so big and powerful, everyone mistakes it for the status quo.

went to Dollar General just to see. lots of choices but not as many as Kroger, seems as if everything is out (no store room), only a couple of people running the store, decent prices. liked it so much i bought 200 shares. the stores are serving a market rather nicely.

Typical capitalist vulture.

6. How about almost none of the claims being correct. "Food deserts" are a mirage seen by the usual intersectional suspects:;

As mentioned, more dollar stores are also starting to offer more fresh produce too.

Yes, at least Dollar General on recent conference calls has been talking about increasing demand for fresh foods and is in process of adding that portion of the store. Many dollar stores don't even have coolers though - they're still in the process of renovating stores countrywide with coolers.

2. A poor article.

Modern liberalism of the kind exemplified by the American republic is neutral and mechanical. It is meant to be a system of checks and balances, capable of counteracting the follies of leaders through institutional and legal constraints.

Institutions are made up of individuals. They were created, modified and perhaps ended by individuals as well. If indeed institutional and legal constraints bedevil a leader, he's likely to change them. This has been the case in the American republic just as it had been in other places.

Finally, the Chinese order will break with the Western model by moving decisively away from Enlightenment ideals of transparency and public knowledge.

Such may be an "Enlightenment ideal" but it's hardly a reality. Bureaucracy, highly-developed in the west, requires opacity. Western institutions are famous for it.

"... hardly a reality ..."

True. We have the deep state monster.

Yeah, those government employees sworn to uphold the supreme law of the land as dsfined by laws passed by Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, and the amended constitution ratified by 3/4th the States, not the angry tweets or edicts of a president frustrated by his lack of power as president.

The deep state is the rule of law, not the rule of a man, or even a few men.

#5... "(43) Bookstores with chairs are good places to read the whole book and then you don’t have to buy it. More generally: try to own as few books as possible".

Never take advice from a Schnorrer.

When I was young, the neighborhood's book store's owner used to allow me to read all books I wanted. Then, he went out of business.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

#6 Egghead confused cause and effect.

Hot tip: Poor people shop at the $tore because it's a good deal.

You don't even need to be poor to shop there!!!! We have one in our neighborhood in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world - a suburb within commuting distance (1 hr.) of Silicon Valley!

I (working man) buy brand name items there at 1/3 the price of the supermarkets ( plural) right next door. Rich people buy those items at a higher price in the neighboring stores in order to save time! The $tore offers choices for people. There are tradeoffs. In my case, I buy: toothpaste, tooth brushes, dental floss, Ibuprofen, deoderant, ketchup, mustard, batteries, reading glasses, paper, pencils, pens, ramen, ...

Way off base!

Forgotten Man, Libertarians will go to extreme lengths to rationalize their fantasies. The dollar store article focuses on the effect of dollar stores on diet and health. I’m glad you got a good deal on a toothbrush at your dollar store, but you mention there are Supermarkets next door. Most dollar store communities do not have Supermarkets nearby. I think the MR commenters should put on their "Anthro-Economist” hats and get out more . . . mainly into the poor rural areas, and test their economic models. The article’s convenient map shows the location of the most dollar stores per 10,000 residents. Guess what? They are in the poorer states, like Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia. Forgotten Man, I don’t know where you hail from, but you might notice GMU’s home state has fewer Dollar Stores than the surrounding, and poorer states. Virginia has less need for dollar stores, because it feasts off the “swamp,” and if you haven’t been there, the food and wine offerings in Virginia are exquisite.

6. The lesson of the past 40 years for investors is to invest in consumer goods sellers based on a declining American middle class. Don't invest in Sears, invest in dollar stores. Amazon, on the other hand, captures all income groups and has so far escaped the declining fortunes of retail. Is it possible that the internet can avoid success or failure according to class? I don't know. But off the internet, it's dollar stores that are America's future.

Amazon excludes the working poor, not by choice, but because US policy prevents them from having internet access or their own means of electronic money transfers. Both are required to use Amazon.

#6. According to the graph, this is not news, and has been true since at least 2012. The more interesting take-away is Whole Foods revenue flatlining over the past three years. Also, some good pushback in the replies:

"Hi there! I’m from a rural town (Pop. 1700) and we have a Dollar General Marketplace. Lots of fresh produce and fresh meats are available, along with normal grocery store items."

"I’m from a small town (pop 174)and we just got a Dollar General. It has been a game changer for our small community, especially people who cannot drive. I did not know there was a Dollar General Marketplace! We need one like that!!"

Of course, these poor little people likely don't know what's good for them, right Stacy?

All people who can't drive are illegals who must be deported. Real Americans are born with a drivers license and title to an F-150.

5. "Don’t worry too much about your academic career until after you get tenure, that is when the hidden dangers set in." As a grad student reading this, I worry Callard might be insane. By far the biggest challenge is starting the academic career, i.e. getting the first job or (increasingly) a postdoc.

Indeed. It is obviously a joke, if she was intentional or not is irrelevant.

It seems to me all the 51 tips are intentional jokes. Can you take seriously tip #1, for instance?

On reflection, it is probably a (straussian?) parody of peddlers of wisdom like Xenophon's Socrates or Jordan Peterson

#6 She seems awafully worried about where other people shop

4: When is it beneficial (for a person or society) to play hard to get? (Or hard to find as in this example.)

Most high school students haven't heard of Cooper Union but I'm guessing that Cooper Union doesn't feel a strong need to advertise, they get plenty of applicants every year (free tuition at a good quality college in lower Manhattan). Deep Springs College (also free tuition at an even better college, but located in the middle of nowhere) probably does need to get the word out to students about its existence.

2. Why does everyone assume the China of the future will be the same (in terms of borders) as China today? If I were from Guangdong I would be looking into options to break off and join Japan/S.Korea/Taiwan and little brother Hong Kong, siphoning off talent from the rest of China and leaving their northern former countrymen to debate the details of Xi Jinping Thought.

China is not a threat because it is growing wealthy, China is a threat because it is growing big. American policies should be designed to attack the bigness, not the (net overall) wealth.

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