Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Made In China - Communistic Capitalism

I'm for free trade - but this is getting ridiculous.
Everything, and I mean everything, I see in the stores now is made in China.

Just as a matter of preference I avoid buying anything made in China because
1. I don't want to support a Communist government's economy and their slave labor practices and
2. I prefer to support businesses in the USA.

Unfortunately, because hardly anything is made here at home anymore this is difficult to do at best. But there are websites that support products Made in the USA and will point you to US businesses, here and here.

Needless to say the trade deficit we have with China is enormous. It was reported:
The department said the US deficit with China rose 15.4 percent last year to $232.5 billion, the largest imbalance ever recorded with a single trading partner. China's official trade figure concerning the US, usually much smaller, is not made public yet.
Additionally, the Chinese central bank, buys a great deal of Uncle Sam’s debt. Coupled with the trade deficit this is a cause of concern to many. Here's what one article says:
The trade imbalance with China places the United States in a potentially dangerous security situation. The outflow of U.S. dollars to China has enabled the Chinese to buy more and more government securities. This has given China tremendous leverage over the United States, since a quick sell-off of these securities would send interest rates spiraling up.

The Chinese of course are unlike to do this, not only because the U.S. government could retaliate by blocking Chinese imports, but because it would also have a negative impact on their economy. Low interest rates help Americans buy cheap credit, and it is in large part the use of credit that enables the United States to be such a rabid consumer of Chinese products.
Perhaps we ought to be more concerned with the USA racking up the amount of debt that it does in the first place. Our government spends like mad and then apparently just prints up more money to cover it.

Still one only has to look at the impact that the Shanghai market has on our own stock market to see that things can get dicey. Just yesterday we had a huge drop in our stock market precipitated by downward fluctuations in the Chinese market. It was the worst day of trading since 9/11 and the Dow fell 546.20, or 4.3 percent, to 12,086.06 before recovering some ground in the last hour of trading to close down 416.02.

Some say this trade is good for everyone involved. Here's a good article about this. Americans get cheap goods and the Chinese grow their economy and end some of their poverty (which no doubt Communism caused in the first place). I wonder why we ought to be helping them grow their economy anyway.. how much of their dollars will go into their military?
Cato Institute says we shouldn't worry.
Same thing from the Heritage Foundation.

Free trade is good - but I prefer to buy American and keep jobs at home and support our own economy.


Dana said...

and it appears that our trade with China is a lot of what is driving this whole thing with the Superhighway from Mexico to Canada.

Our Western ports are nearly maxed out, with little chance of expansion given local laws regarding development of the ports, etc. And our appetite for cheap goods continues to grow.

They're talking about double digit growth in Asian imports, far beyond what our ports can handle, and the only ports which are expanding are in Mexico.

Not to mention the amount of N. Korean goods "laundered" through China to get on our shelves. And I'm not so certain that working conditions are all that much better than N. Korea.

Mimi Rothschild said...

China is becoming more democratic by the day. As the Chinese become more used to a higher standard of living, we will have just as much to offer them as they will to us by providing high technology and infrastructure.

I think your patriotism might be a little misguided. I don't see anything wrong with facilitating China's economic growth and expansion.

"Preferring to keep jobs in our own country and support our own economy" sounds kind of selfish to me...

The MorningStar Academy Daily Education News

Judy Aron said...

To Mimi: China democratic??? You have got to be joking.. they are COMMUNIST!! The Communist party will NEVER give up the power they have!

You are confusing Communism (a type of government and form of society) with Capitalism (an economic system).

China is becoming more capitalist - yes (because it works) - but they still have a planned economy and the individual does not benefit from economic activity - the State does.

You seem to be very confused about economics and government. I suggest that you do some reading on the issues so that you are able to make appropriate distinctions based on correct definitions.

You can start here:

You consider me selfish to promote American goods and workers - that says much about your feelings for American business, and our workers in general, especially the small businessman. I prefer to support American economic growth and expansion for it to remain strong, and not China's. That's not patriotism that is domestic economic sense.

Do you feed your neighbors kids before your own? Do you repair your neighbor's house before your own?
Your comments suggest that you do. I am glad I am not a member of your family!

Cynthia Clarke said...

A friend linked me to your blog as she knows of our family's commitment to boycott goods made in China. Primarily we boycott because the masses of cheap goods are often made by the hands of Christians, democracy advocates and free spirits who are laboring as slaves in the "re-education" cells of chinese prisons. I have read first hand accounts that solidified this stand! Yes shopping is a challenge now. It takes days to find some items and many times we end up at thrift shops where all money supports charity and none a communist regime. We have been boycotting now for more than two years and are always glad to read of others who are joining in the movement. Thank you for writing the article.

Stephen Mendelsohn said...


I'm all for boycotting tyrannical regimes, whether China, Iran, Sudan, or Venezuela (think Citgo here). Unfortunately, China is a difficult country to completely boycott; for instance, most computer equipment is made there. We certainly can reduce what we buy from China in any case.

Another fact about China is that the country tortures not only human beings but animals as well. Your Chinese-made fur-trimmed winter coat probably came from a raccoon dog which was skinned alive. The Humane Society of the United States caught Burlington Coat Factory, Macy's, and other stores selling these Chinese items as containing faux fur when they actually contained raccoon dog. China does not have a single animal welfare law on the books. While, like Matthew Scully, I do not believe in "animal rights," and see animal welfare as a matter of human obligation, those who torture animals are likely to become cruel to people as well.