Hmm…

From the WSJ Op-Ed:

Mr. Trump is the only thing that stands between us and a world dominated by China.

From the author’s bio:

Mr. Chang is author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”

Solve for the equilibrium!

Comments

Makes sense if the book assumes the inevitability of Trump's election? I did not know Chang was a Russian surname.

Every time I think of President Trump, I give thanks to God.

Mueller's baleful testimony should have laid to rest any impeachment talk among rational persons, whose minds were not destroyed by the internet.

I didn't vote for our God-Emperor in Chief in 2016, and probably won't in 2020, but I was always secretly rooting for the outcome that would produce the most butthurt for the politically pious among us. It's been like Christmas every day for the past two and a half years.

As a bonus, it aggrieves the actually pious.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

Respond

Add Comment

Until now, fewer than 5% of all European households have air conditioning, compared with 90% in the United States," the WashPost notes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/06/28/europes-record-heatwave-is-changing-stubborn-minds-about-value-air-conditioning/?noredirect=on&stream=world&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosworld&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=.f271f0d00d0e

It’s not changing stubborn minds about global warming, though.

+1

Respond

Add Comment

True!! Too many people still believe the AGW myth.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The most politically pious are those belonging to the hedonistic, neo-moral paradigm who are so quick to condemn based on their mores and laws of relativity.
The Chinese people have no idea about their sordid past and are blindsided by uber racial-nationalistic propaganda combined with rabid censorship.
Just as non-Party members were deliberately starved to death in the early days when imported Communism was implemented, political correctness enforced by government citizenship standards will eliminate dissent.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Do you remember when exactly you decided that defending your little leadership cult was more important than defending the US Constitution?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Granted, the Dems still have one year to crash the economy.... but if that doesn't happen, does anyone seriously believe that anyone currently in the Dem Clown Car is going to beat Trump?

I mean, Hillary was 200% GUARANTEED to do so.

If you're thinking "Eh, I bet the dim, ancient, white, woman-groping former-VP has a shot" then you should try to learn something.

I see, if the economy crashes, it was the Democrats.

Nice question-dodging there, Spanky. But I think we know your answer!

I forgot. Democrats are like the witches killing the cattle and destroying the harvest with their magic brooms. When they are in charge, deficits are bad. When they are not, deficts don't matter.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The $15 minimum wage is supposed to cause massive inflation and unemployment so the dems can blame Trump.

Hahahahaha. Evidently the inflation will come when all the unemployed workers spend their big wages.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Trump will lose even with Obama's record economy. He's that much of a stinker. The world will thank us for coming back to our senses.

One would hope Trump would lose, but given that the "base" is choosing amoral power over virtue, who knows.

Some PAC might run a perfectly legit quote from Mueller on Trump, or on Trumpland fraud, or Stormy Daniels, and the base will be "lol, liberals."

Because they are deep into "nothing matters anymore"

"They called me mad. They called me insane. They called me looney! They were right.”--Megavolt Mouse (https://disney.fandom.com/wiki/Megavolt)

Bonus link then

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/07/25/judge-rules-trump-can-be-sued-for-marketing-scheme-fraud/

"I keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping for a different result. They called me insane. They were right."

Of course if you want a settled case

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_University#Settlement

The troll's implicit argument here is that it's wrong to think about that, wrong to talk about it, wrong to really wonder if a guy who made his bucks screwing little people is really the best standard bearer for an American political party.

Bonus link

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/06/09/donald-trump-unpaid-bills-republican-president-laswuits/85297274/

Hustling is as American as Mom and Apple Pie. Equal rights for all to hustle. Love it or leave it.

Hustle was a good word, because it does have a range of meanings. I would say Americans have long approved of a "hustle" within the strictures of the 10 Commandments.

If suddenly they represent no bound, that seems a straightforward abdication.

Bonus: TC and WW, two paths taken.

https://twitter.com/willwilkinson/status/1154597249227399173?s=19

You little note nor remember any of the the high crimes and misdemeanors of Madame Hillary: why she lost in 2016.

Hey! The typical college grad with no job prospect and $100,000 student debt could sue the university ("a basically fraudulent endeavor"), and win if they found a political, oligarchic judge to go along.

Trump is a good and decent man. Every time I think of President Trump, I give thanks to my God.

I don't think Hillary was guilty of crimes, but you have to admit she had guts.

https://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/22/451012235/clinton-endures-an-11-hour-grilling-before-benghazi-committee

As opposed to this weird recognition and acceptance that "of course Trump can't testify, he'd just perjure himself."

hilary was 100% guilty of crimes, perhaps not Benghazi crimes, but at a minimum her email shenanigans would've landed any mortal in serious hot water.

You can't be serious. At least you should know that while Hillary ran a server, and kept what she claimed were related records, principals in the Trump administration have gone server-less to make sure that *no* records of diplomatic negotiations are kept.

https://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner-ivanka-trump-whatsapp-email-communications-1371218

So, do you want to prosecute them all?

Respond

Add Comment

Note that this might be a situation where Trump wins a war of attrition, not by any better standard of behavior, but just by wearing us all down.

No one is going on about this administrations disregard for records acts, because no one expects good behavior. No one on either side.

https://www.justsecurity.org/63348/trump-and-the-demise-of-the-presidential-records-honor-system/

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

LOL Obama did indeed have a record economy. That's a good one! You were kidding, right???

Quantitative easing and increased energy supplies from fracking kept the economy afloat during Obama's tears. The economy started turning around before any of his policies were implemented. His Tsars provided temporary relief with great costs.
Trump is back to basics on spurring economic prosperity . Government debt is proportional to the increasing inefficiencies associated with off budger entitlement spending. Congress needs to tackle their appropriation duty on entitlements. A March 2015 Senate Homeland Security committee hearing found that there were 6.5 million people over the sge of 112 years old still on the Social Security rolls- Wikipedia counted only about 10 pepole that old in the United States. Imagine the waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency robbing the trust funds and running up the national debt.
Trump will not touch that 3rd rail of politics unless Congress sends him the long overdue bill...they will just agree to another debt increase - as usual.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Remember when the WSJ was in favor of free trade and no government intervention in the economy?

What expedient times we live in.

Remember when a segment of the left made Molotov cocktails for use in Seattle because of trade and globalization? And when they had reservations about a national sovereignty-reducing Euro Superstate?

Elect one intuitively cunning orange hued narcissist, and presto! long held views are pfssst.

At least the right has a long tradition of being aware of a tension between nationalism and internationalism.

This is just politics, these days the other side has to hate whatever the bad guys are doing. The right sure doesn't seem to care as much about deficits as it did when Obama was around.

In fairness, the right lost all of those fights. Eventually, even Charlie Brown wises up.

Respond

Add Comment

with all due respect, comparing a mainstream conservative media organ to the most extreme protesters is either dishonest or idiotic. love ya <3

Respond

Add Comment

Obama's deficits were off the charts!!

And now the deficits are even higher than those “off the charts” deficits you’re getting emotional about.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

No, but I remember when the New York Times said there were Molotov cocktails in Seattle, and then retracted it later.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Yup. I agree.

Read Xi Jingping Thought. It's scary stuff, no way Xi's mentality is limited to the current borders of China. I don't believe China ever truly let go the idea of the "middle kingdom" with their sovereign leader being the access point to heaven (or in this case, prosperity)..

Exactly.

Respond

Add Comment

Xi buys off Trump. That's the equilibrium.

Agreed. But for baubles or something substantive. By the way, Trump has at least let the genie out of the bottle: there’s a widespread awareness on both sides of the aisle that China has been a bad “friend “.

Niall Ferguson makes this point also.

Respond

Add Comment

We've already known about China's antics including the cyberespionage. That's why there was a multi-lateral push before for TPP. We still prefer cheap goods.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/26/world/asia/xi-jinping-white-house.html

Respond

Add Comment

This is all shining the turd.

Trump's trade war is damaging Canada because .. Trump understands the nuance of technology diffusion and long range geopolitics?

No. This is because Trump thought, probably still thinks, a trade deficit is a net loss for a nation. In equal accounting terms.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2130027/experts-argue-trump-doesnt-understand-trade-deficits

ding ding ding ding ding ding

Amazing that even when deflection is all there is, deflection will show up and punch the clock.

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-03-14/trump-has-to-understand-trade-deficit-before-he-reduces-it

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Hey, if the argument is that the US should elect a person who understands "the nuance of technology diffusion and long range geopolitics" over simple free-market platitudes, sure.

But I can see taking one who understands it in terms of trade deficit=bad over a simpleton (dumber than Trump, by far, especially age adjusted) who takes free market platitudes as truth (Dubya) or some who probably could understand "the nuance of technology diffusion and long range geopolitics" but didn't do very much with it (Obama).

I guess I can see that. And perhaps it is because I do start with a free people, free markets, free trade bias that I come down differently. Basically, I support free ____, but with tax and transfers to provide an actual safety net for American citizens.

And I think we have to recognize that at least half of the technological diffusion that goes on is entirely natural. To thumbnail it, Reverse Engineering is Legal.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_engineering

Though of course there are places where "investigations" become illegal. Computer intrusions are illegal. As are IP violations under US or international law. There violations should be punished, and defenses should be established.

Respond

Add Comment

It's also interesting that we worry about mainland China when Taiwan, and companies like Acer and Asus, set the obvious pattern.

Or .. how dare LG make dishwashers?

Respond

Add Comment

Bonus link

"When people do inexplicable things, it’s always tempting to project qualities onto them that would offer a more innocuous explanation of their behavior than bad judgment, fecklessness, or stupidity."

The cute thing is, she's talking about Pelosi.

https://newrepublic.com/article/154523/nancy-pelosi-impeach

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Yes, they want to resurrect the old China Empire. But Xi will be in reeducation if his plans fail. I wonder what he told the party elders.

What are you talking about? What he’s told the Party elite already is, “I can have your children killed in 36 hours, even in their Seattle/San Francisco/Vancouver houses.”

Did you think he became Emperor because he is beloved or had some compelling Georgetown Poli-Sci grad school arguments? Fear!

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Scott Sumner: https://www.themoneyillusion.com/chinas-best-friend/

I've commented that the illustrious advisors in the Trump administration alternate between predicting the collapse of China attributable to China's version of state capitalism and warning of the threat from China attributable to China's version of state capitalism. What? A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

I suspect what the illustrious advisors mean (though they don't know it) is that China's version of state capitalism is the future. What? Ask our host.

Do you know that Dr. Sumner is married to an Asian? That he's even sired issue with her?! Doesn't that make him a Manchurian Candidate? Solve for the equilibrium!

If you had hopes of being interviewed by Cowen in his Conversations with Tyler (something you have suggested you deserve), you have blown it.

A kestrel, painted curls, gruesome.
Kerosene lamps, and daisies made from stone
Love murmurs silence// perennial flowers+clerical errors.
Ignition is a type of council. An Orchard. Someone’s anodyne.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

“I suspect what the illustrious advisors mean (though they don't know it) is that China's version of state capitalism is the future.”

“though they don’t know it”, but you do, sure rayward, lol

Its the only logical conclusion from their statements.

"Its going to destroy the world and its going to take over the world. "

That means its going to take over the world but they don't want it to. That means that regardless of how one may feel about it, its (by their admissions) a successful strategy, and so other countries are likely to adopt it to compete.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Having a troubled economy with insufficient oil didn't stop the Germans or the Japanese from making trouble worldwide. More recently economic woes probably encouraged Putin to invade Crimea. I can easily see a China facing an economic crisis becoming more not less belligerent on the world stage.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

China can do a lot of damage even if it's long term trajectory looks poor. No need to twist your mind to figure that one out.

^ to rayward

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The best thing is, Chang published his book in 2001, and wikipedia says he predicted China would collapse in 2012 (or 2016).

Arguably, the collective-style government collapsed, replaced by Emperor-for-life Xi.

Respond

Add Comment

There's high variability in any estimate of societal collapse even when it is obviously inevitable. A small change in events and the Soviet Union might have lasted another 20 years.

China is undoubtedly on borrowed time. The government is doing a reasonably better job of landing the crippled aircraft. Unrest in Hong Kong is the most recent sign but not the only one. A deep recession and the party is over.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Maybe "coming collapse" means after China achieves world domination, it will collapse like the Roman, British, and American empires?

Paul Kennedy for the win!!!

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

To be fair, this can be explained in part by time horizons, as TMC notes above.

To use another example, there is no contradiction between noting that North Korea is (or the USSR was) A) an economic basket case, impoverishing its citizenry and killing significant numbers by way both incompetence and political repression, and B) it the near-term, said state can skim resources from its long-suffering citizenry successfully, allowing it to equip a large (if often outdated) military and produce nuclear weaponry.

China may very well be this same story writ large, and somewhat more competently.

Exactly correct.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

If Red China is collapsing, why are we kowtowing to it?! https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/movies/a28479683/top-gun-maverick-jacket-flag-controversy-tom-cruise/

Something something Willie Sutton. One might as well have asked "If WaMu is about to collapse, why are people still financing mortgages with it?"

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Reminds me of the Cold War hawks who told us that the Soviet system was hopelessly inefficient and mismanaged and also that the Soviets were about to overtake us and conquer the world.

Or pretty much anyone who says that The Enemy is both incompetent and constantly losing and a horrible threat that can only be brought down by expending all our resources against it.

Isn't that commonly true though? Most enemies are not Nazi Germany where they're both evil and competent. Most of the time you get something like the Soviets, where they're incompetent, but evil, and therefore throwing a lot more of their resources at the problem than you are and maybe playing more roughly than you are.

Beyond that, for all of how economically unsuccessful the socialist movement has been, it has always been really convincing and seemed to have no problems attracting people. More than a hundred years of failure and death and it's _still_ attracting people. So there's something about the idea itself which is catchy, and therefore scary.

Most military historians wouldn't give Nazi Germany a rating of "competent." At the operational level, their troops were outstanding, but strategically their war effort was a mess. That said, the Nazi regime was both dangerous and so unstable that its ultimate collapse was highly probable.

I didn't want to get into a lot of explanation, but would you accept "relatively more competent than the Soviets?" And there's more to competency than grand strategy.

Respond

Add Comment

I suspect that in retrospect any loser will look like a mess. Part of growing up is realizing that all institutions are dysfunctional if you look closely enough.

Respond

Add Comment

The Nazis were incompetent. Hitler was lucky, in that he inherited an advanced industrial economy and the officer corps of the Wilhelmine Army, by far the best army in the world in 1914, and arguably even in 1918. It was the Wilhelmine junior officers, now promoted to command positions (Guderian, Rommel, von Manstein, etc.) who gave Hitler early tactical successes but the Nazis/Hitler never had a real strategic vision for how they could conquer all of Europe and hold it. Every notional accomplishment - conquering France, taking Yugoslavia, invading Russia - seemed at first to be a success but ended up draining resources and worsening Germany's strategic position vis-a-vis its enemies.

The Soviets seem to us brutal and inefficient, but arguably Stalin and the Soviet General staff had a clearer understanding of the strategic "big picture" than the Germans, and a better understanding of their own limitations.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"More than a hundred years of failure and death and it's _still_ attracting people. So there's something about the idea itself which is catchy, and therefore scary."

Maybe if America didn't support juntas, death squads and "holly warriors", socialism wouldn't look so good. Or someone really thinks that for Afghanistan, Honduras, Pakistan, Iraq et al. the Soviet Union wouldn't be step up instead of down? Maybe we should choose our allies more wisely?

The impulse to socialism is at least as old as the Acts of the Apostles, no?

I would not expect the idea to disappear as long as humans are around.

I'm trying to think of what aspect of the Acts you're thinking of here, but sure, the impulse to say "we'll all team up and do the one right thing rather than have everyone go their own way" is pretty elementary.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Maybe so. But "the good guy is not perfect therefore I'm siding with Darth Vader" doesn't seem well thought out.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

the Soviet Union did have high rates of growth for many decades. Playing catchup doesn't require great management. If you swap a tractor in place of a horse, you'll find farmers will grow a lot more food.

It wasn't a contradiction to say the Soviet economic system was not able to best the US in the long run but it had plenty of resources to make a lot of nuclear weapons and have a lot of conventional troops...enough to put the US at a disadvantage.

Good point. And it’s still true of Russia. Despite infrastructure and human capital issues, ranging from alcohol abuse to early make mortality to a falling birth rate, among other things, Russia still retains the capacity to be a serious irritant. Not a mortal threat, mind, except for the many warheads.

Respond

Add Comment

"the Soviet Union did have high rates of growth for many decades"

How do you know?

They're not speaking German in Volgograd?

But many wish they did.

You might be surprised how much of a grudge people can hold just because you tried to exterminate them that one time.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"How do you know?"

Good question. There's probably plenty of academic estimates of Soviet growth rates out there. How about just comparing the Soviet military of, say, 1939 to 1969?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Absolutely no contradiction there. The Soviet Union fell BECAUSE we opposed it. The arms race burnt out their economy. Our military opposition prevented them from expanding their economic power as well.

A world dictatorship can plunder the economies of the world for quite a long time before it collapses under its own weight. This doesn't imply efficiency.

What sense does the 'burned out economy' make? What massive military buildup did the USSR do to confront the US versus what they had to do to stop the Nazi invasion?

The Soviets fought the Germans with US provided materiel, and by retreating to Moscow and allowing the Germans to do themselves in by logistics collapse and winter.

During the cold war they had more tanks and artillery than the US. They matched the nuclear arsenal of the US, had a very large surface and submarine Navy. They were fighting wars in Angola and other places.

They collapsed because they couldn't provide consumer goods to their population. People went to work because they got fed, not for the worthless pay. It was amazing how quickly it fell once people realised that the tanks weren't going to show up.

And yet North Korea doesn't seem likely to fall at all, despite doing a really shitty job with consumer goods. And their economy seems nowhere near 'burning out' from asking a bad economic system to produce a lot of military goods.

China under Mao was very, very bad. Yet despite this they spun around economic policies and became a world power while the Communist Party did not lose control. And to be fair there were more consumer products in the USSR near its end than in the past.

I don't think we have any good model for why some regimes suddenly fall and others persist. A 'fed up' population doesn't really explain anything since there have been plenty of populations with all the more cause to be fed up but they don't get there.

There's an atom of truth here. If Stalin had been in power in the 1980s, there's no way the Soviet Union would have collapsed the way they did. I suppose they might have felt compelled to go to war to seize resources or secure satellite states as they began to break away. It had been a longstanding Western belief that the USSR would (with some justification given history) have gone to war to prevent German reunification, for example.

But the basic idea that the US was getting richer and richer and pulling away in the arms race was true, and that made the situation very challenging for the Soviets. We should all be thankful they had a guy in power who engineered, or at least tolerated, a transition that was mostly peaceful.

"We should all be thankful they had a guy in power who engineered, or at least tolerated, a transition that was mostly peaceful."

Amen to that.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

We've spent, what, a few hundred billion on SDI? We have maybe the ability to shoot down one or two missiles if the other side plays nice and doesn't do anything to make it hard...like inflating a few balloons along with deployed warheads. Meanwhile peak warheads were in the thousands. It would have been trivially easy for the Soviet economy to toss a few dozen more missiles onto their stockpile to overwhelm.

North Korea shows you can still be formidable with conventional weapons if you have a lot Present technology seems economically very costly because it combines high tech with massive capital/industrial investment (take an aircraft carrier group).

Not so sure about future tech. A state could build lots of drones on the cheap and follow the copy cat model of simply stealing the software and other innovations after richer countries spend the hard R&D dollars to get there.

If Stalin was running the USSR in the 90's I don't think they would have broken up and I don't think he would have found the economy 'burning out' 20 years later because they couldn't keep pace with drones. (Remember the USSR stole and mimicked the US atomic bomb, H-bomb and some of its early space program was ahead of the US....would modern drone warfare have really been one step too far?).

"If Stalin was running the USSR in the 90's I don't think they would have broken up"

No, Stalin would have just shot and tortured enough people to keep going regardless. It was a combination of falling behind and a less than ruthless leadership that led to the break up of the Soviet Union.

That's what I was thinking. There was nothing about the problems of the Soviet 80s that a couple of million murders couldn't have contained. But if you weren't willing to do that, you were going to lose control.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

+1 Without Western (specifically America) aid, the USSR stood no chance of standing up to Germany.

Lend-Lease is consistently downplayed by Russians, but without it they'd have been fighting with hammers and sickles, not tanks and planes and trucks and radios.

USSR oil production in 1939 = 29,000,000 imperial tons.
Lead lease oil during entire war period = 2,600,000 imperial tons
Soviet artillery piece production during war = 490,000 Lend Lease = 9,600
Soviet aircraft production = 136,800 Lend Lease = 18,700
Soviet tank production = 102,500 Lend Lease =10,800

Note Soviet production numbers aren't certain. Lend lease figures probably are, since US expected to be paid for it.

A strategic decision was made to specialize. The Soviets made tanks. There were five American trucks operating in the defense of Russia for every three Russian, and the American equipment was much higher quality. Russian radios also sucked, while lend-lease radios actually worked. Something like 25% of the planes were lend-lease. You also have to consider the timing. Lend-lease equipment was coming in when Russia was on the knife edge of disaster and incapable of producing anything with factories overrun. Later in the war the Western Front became a more important destination for materiel and Russian production was reconstituted east of the Urals.

No lend-lease, and the Germans would be in Moscow today.

Lend lease supplies were certainly important, useful, and highly valued by the Soviets. But, in the critical year of 1941 the Soviet Union only received 361,000 tons of supplies. That's only 2.4% of the total they received through the war.

By 1942 the Germans were close to their logistical limits and shifted their focus from Moscow to capturing the oil fields in the Caucuses. In this year Lend Lease was 2,450,000 tons or 14.1% of the total received during the war. You could argue that Lend Lease was critical in preventing the Germans meeting their objectives, but that's not something we can be certain of. And if they Germans had captured the Caucus oil fields that does not mean the Soviets would not have been able to dislodge them without Lend Lease.

So while it was a huge help to the Soviet war effort and no doubt shortened the war, I don't see how no Lend Lease would result in Moscow falling to Germany in 1941 as the amount of supplies it provided in that year was quite small. As the Germans had given up on taking Moscow in 1942 I don't see how no Lend Lease would have resulted in it falling. If the Germans had continued to focus on Moscow in 1942 they might have taken it, but the Soviets would have taken it back as the Germans wouldn't have the logistical capability or the oil required to keep it.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

So maybe he was wrong in 2001. Or maybe we are in a Thuycidies trap situation- which is something Tyler has posted about so to even make this post he has to pretend to not understand a concept he’s posted about.

And yes I’m being somewhat ironic Tyler posts about things he doesn’t understand all the time.

....to any person proving Sam Haysom is more intelligent than Tyler, or Alex, either one.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

When I bet on horses, I never lose. Why? I bet on all the horses.

Respond

Add Comment

There is a school of international thought that holds that China will seek to dominate the world not because they are strong, but because they are weak.

In theory, powers significantly more powerful than possible competitors have no need for domination; the world bends to their will through the implicit threat of force without need for formal domination. People point towards the US during the 90s, the UK during the Civil War era, and Rome during the early Imperial era.

Formal domination and conflict comes when a power anticipates that it will be surpassed in the near term. Powers, in theory, see that the future is not going to favor them so they opt to entrench their domination through force of arms before they cannot do so later.

Under this theory the worry of "Chinese Domination" is that China faces a lot of near to mid term internal threats. After all, China is growing old very quickly. China likewise faces increasing threats from automation and improved manufacturing prowess in SE Asia and other lower wage countries. There are even more speculative threats looming from debt risks, environmental issues, and global warming. Even if all of these are overblown, the real question is if the mandarins who run the place believe them.

Suppose they do, they the scenario we should most fear is a China turning its aggression outwards to forestall internal turmoil.

What might stop China from doing this? Perhaps a strong US military presence that makes the gains of attempted coercion less likely. Perhaps it would be a US president who provides the "conflict" that the communist party might want for propaganda reasons without as much economic risk.

Personally, I suspect that Trump diminishes the fear that China has that the US will try to dominate it out of fear of China surpassing our economy. Trump certainly is going to be the most hobbled of presidents if he attempts to start an armed conflict.

Nonetheless, I worry more about a weak China than a strong one. Very few states go gracefully in the night as their empires decline. If we are lucky, China will diminish like France with only a few costly and useless attempts to maintain its position once its population ages into costly territory. If we are unlucky, it will take the option of Italy or Kaiserine Germany.

Best comment in this thread, not that the competition was all that strong.

Respond

Add Comment

" China turning its aggression outwards to forestall internal turmoil. "

China can't exactly do this. In America, the POTUS can wag the dog by declaring war somewhere on the globe and the people will rally but in China, war will exacerbate existing internal tensions. The Uighurs, the Tibetans, Taiwan, and HK aren't going to stop what they are doing to "protect" the homeland from foreign invaders and instead would likely take advantage of any crisis for their own ends. HK's protests are a sign that Beijing clearly overplayed their hand not only globally but locally too.

Honestly, China fears are overblown, especially anything written by Gordon Chang who wavers between Chinese global domination and Chinese collapse. Barring any black swans, the US can more readily apply soft power to shape the East and China will just have to adapt.

On the other hand, the US is in a bit of an identity crisis at the moment and any time spent on worries in China are better spent here. The US created the existing world order but it doesn't benefit rank and file Americans as much as they would like causing some Americans to want to do away with the whole project and vote accordingly. If the establishment does not make the right moves for the whole of the nation, expect more political turbulence.

China currently has a population of 1.38 billion. Of that 1.26 billion are Han which excludes the Han of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. China would be quite happy if >95% of its citizens rallied against an external threat.

The worry from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang is not that they will overthrow China or even that they will do some serious economic damage. It is that they will lead to the common folks believing that they have something to gain by opposing the current rulers.

Much of China's external policies are about keeping internal politics quiet. Aircraft carriers, for instance, are useless for China's stated aims in the wider world (e.g. if you want to go beat down a small African country, you can get a lot more mileage out of helicopter carriers; if you want to go after India you are better off getting subs or long range bombers). They are arguably useful for something like assaulting Taiwan, but they are extremely useful for convincing the local population that you are a rising power whose best days are ahead. It also appeals nicely the historical gunboat diplomacy narratives.

Certainly in the past the leadership has highlighted external threats when it has had domestic worries.

The only scenario where I worry about Chinese Domination is one where China tries it because it is worried about collapsing.

Respond

Add Comment

In America, the POTUS can wag the dog by declaring war somewhere on the globe and the people will rally but in China, war will exacerbate existing internal tensions.

Does this really work? It seems that "cold", long wars against an equal adversary have worked for that (Russia), while "hot" small wars against weaker adversaries generally have not (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan), and have exacerbated social disaffection among the young.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

If you look to the east, you will see the might of men turned into the glee of societal changes

Huh? What does that even mean?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Quote: ' Liberty grew because it served the interests of power. ..'
- David Gress

Respond

Add Comment

Nag

Not sure what happened above, but I'm not that concerned. Hell, the smog'll kill 'em.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

The tendency to depict one’s enemies as simultaneously weak and threatening is strange. In China’s case I think neither is true—they will probably eventually join the lower tier of first-world nations but will never achieve the economic clout of the United States. It’s impossible to imagine China causing a similar level of economic damage to another country as US sanctions on Iran for example even if China’s economy were twice as big as it is now.

What rises in the east shall set in the west

Respond

Add Comment

It isn't at all strange. Military might relies on resources that can easily be overstretched. It produces a mighty army for a relatively brief period of time and vulnerable to unsustainability and disruption.

An economic dictator can plunder resources and operate inefficiently for a very long time, exploiting monopoly power within its realm.

Think Brewster's Millions.

Respond

Add Comment

China is a long way off having a significant enough world reserve currency to exert that sort of economic pressure.

Respond

Add Comment

Sanctions on Iran work because they include European states as well, in a movement led by American diplomacy (or perhaps, increasingly, not). The US standing alone is not that powerful here.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Good catch on the main topic. Funny.

Respond

Add Comment

The unintended consequence of Trump's trade war is that China is now going full throttle to replace American hardware. Alibaba just released their first chip processor using open source RISC-V. If China commoditizes a wealthy industry like semiconductor design then what exactly can Trump extract from them that will make up for this loss? This is in a way picking winners and losers.

https://technode.com/2019/07/24/chinas-chipmakers-risc-v-sanctions/

I think this “made in China” push was coming in any case. They have explicitly said they want to lead/dominate in critical technologies.

Although it’s interesting that none of the other top 10 countries outside the US appear to see it as essential (or feasible?) to have leading edge domestic CPU design and production.

India released their RISC-V SDK earlier this month and the Shakti chip itself last year. RISC-V is an American made technology created at UC Berkeley. Its open source nature is a gift to the world including India and China. IIT and Alibaba will make full use of this.

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/india-shakti-cpu-processors-sdk-risc-v,39781.html

It is interesting. CPU production is important and a huge business, but it's possible that we verge on it being a much more boring commodity business. Whether that is open source or cheaply licensed cores may not matter.

A Rasp Pi 4 is a heck of a $35 computer

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

"The unintended consequence of Trump's trade war is that China is now going full throttle to replace American hardware. Alibaba just released their first chip processor using open source RISC-V."

This has nothing to do with the trade war. Development of this chip was undoubtedly a years long process. This work is a result of the Chinese company C-Sky Microsystems that Alibaba bought in 2017.

https://www.eenewsanalog.com/news/alibaba-forms-chip-subsidiary-pingtouge

Do you think they wouldn't have bothered selling the chip they were working on for years without the trade war? Why not?

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Did he change his tune? "and a world dominated by China" ?? He should short the rhino bonds then.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_G._Chang

Gordon Guthrie Chang (born 1951) is an American columnist, blogger, television pundit, author and lawyer.[1] He is widely known for his book The Coming Collapse of China (2001).

https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/12/29/the-coming-collapse-of-china-2012-edition/

"The Coming Collapse of China: 2012 Edition"

"I admit it: My prediction that the Communist Party would fall by 2011 was wrong. Still, I'm only off by a year."

He's just building an anniity.

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment

Respond

Add Comment