Friday, February 28, 2014

dragon and the bear

DRAGON AND THE BEAR

If you think back on all your Cold War propaganda that was seared into your skull, besides the All American Apple Pie And Chevy hoo-rah for our side, what was the main gist of the message we were given about the Soviet Union? Besides being godless commie scum of course. Answer- they were inferior because their consumer economy didn’t function ( the tales of ever-lasting lines to go shopping, the special mall just for Party officials, etc. ). Now that I think back on it, rather than our propaganda being a military recruiting tool, I think it was more the property of Madison Avenue. And what of the swill we are fed on China? It sounds to my practiced cynical ears as another duplicate of Japanese economic superiority angst. Remember all the gnashing of teeth over how Japan was going to take over the world? How is that working out for them? You don’t hear all that much apologizing over the wrong call all the pundits made on that one, do you? Not necessarily because they are just as bad as the weathermen in their predictions, but because we are already down the same path of Bubbleland Economics as Japan went and no one wants you pointing out how Japan’s twenty plus years of stagnation is also our fate ( and that’s the BEST case scenario ).

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I bring up China because the Ukraine is all news recently. We are all thinking/being told to think that China is THE newest and greatest threat to American global hegemony, but since that tune has been our elevator ride to hell background music for near twenty years ( run for the hills! Clinton is selling nuclear missile tech to the Chinese for re-election campaign money! That propaganda sold us TWO bills of goods. Godless Chinese Imperialism and Elections Matter ) I’d like to question that basic assumption. Assuming that there will be a regional superpower in the years ahead, rather than an also probable highly decentralized quasi-Euro Dark Ages fragmented map of powerless tiny principalities, why does China get the nomination? I’m voting for Russia. All the “good” things we think make a super-power are just other symptoms of Industrial Age Power. China has a growing deep sea navy. Growing industrial capacity. Growing population. Growing empire. Growing international influence. The problem is the simple “growing” part.

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In a world of contraction ( perhaps why the Ukraine is in chaos? Economic slow down or collapse, perhaps ), growth is not all that great of an idea. Almost all resources needed for an industrial empire are no longer economically abundant ( it isn’t about to disappear, it just no longer is cheap enough or available in enough quantity to supply all the demand ) on a global basis. We’ve been feeling that for decades, and China will soon enough if it isn’t already happening. Russia, on the other hand, has plenty of material to be self-sufficient for a very long time. And they shed their excess population, both the troublesome Muslim southern border states and a lot of urban excess closer to home. Their contraction, a solid minus in the empire game, will soon be or already is a big plus ( last drought, the shrinking grain supply was enough to feed a smaller population. China, with an ever growing population, can’t easily suffer a food supply contraction. As just one example ). Keep your eyes on the bear. The dragon might be over rated.

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17 comments:

  1. We all have a growing problem.

    Mine is my organ.

    As soon as I go to bed. STARTS GROWING.

    I have to caress it in order to settle down.


    Signed.

    Stu Pidass.
    Israel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh. WOW.

      I would like to play that organ.


      Signed.

      Monica Blewbillsky.
      Right here in Tel Aviv, Israel.
      (see the white pages)

      Delete
  2. Great...I get to follow da dumbass Stu.

    Anyway, just got a letter from the campground management about the Wife feeding the stray cats. Cease and al. I told her that we are rentors and must abidle by our landlord's (& snowbirds') rules. Hopefully she will be more willing to move to our land. (Can't tell her about the coyotes till we get there. They love cat...)

    Seems to me in my limited life-span that people richer then you are afraid that you will lower their net worth/property values. The poor want what you have. I just want to be left alone.

    A few years ago, the campground had a BIG stray cat roundup since the snowbirds complained that the cats were eating the baby bunnies. After the roundup, the baby bunnies grew up and started to eat the snowbirds' flowers. Much nashing of teeth. Almost as much as when one doesan't rake up the fallen leaves in a timely matter.

    Just a lil rant. (PEOPLE SUCK!!!)
    Gil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Feel free to rant. I do it everyday and you suckers pay me ( insert diabolical Dr. Evil laugh ).

      Delete
    2. Gil, While in Nam I ate a lot of cats (I think they called pussy over there).

      It' not that bad, have the oriental flavor. ( good for the hearth). Don't worry about the mushrooms.

      signed.

      Jack Inoff.
      (now living in Ireland.)

      Delete
  3. Japan had no raw resource base; they just had a period where there industrial output was more efficient than others (including the U.S.)- when they lost that edge they were done growing. China and Russia both have resources and production capability- both are more-or-less free market economies with repressive government. We are well on our way to just having the second of those two. Doesn't matter to me though. What good is national wealth if you don't personally get a piece of the great big pie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are describing Japan AFTER WWII. What about prior to that, quickly rising from an agrarian nation to kicking Russia's ass at the turn of the century, then China's ass twenty odd years later. I think what did in Japan was the financeers taking over. Just like here. The differance being, Japan intelligently manages lack of resources and we don't. Our problems in a similar decline will be far worse because of that.

      Delete
    2. And you left out the single cohesive society/culture (with strong self sacrifice and 'group good' goals).

      Delete
  4. I could have swore I read somewher that we have plenty of resources in stokcpile. Meh, I don't really care, I got mine, that's all that matters. Gil, that rant above made me laugh. I friggin' hate snowbirds. Like, a bumpersticker once said, "If It's called snowbird SEASON why can't we shoot them?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, like we have gold stockpiled in Ft. Knox. Which is why the Krauts have to wait seven years for theirs. Its all financialized smoke and mirrors. Also, almost ALL global grain stockpiles ere drawn down years ago. JIT inventory there also.

      Delete
    2. I've been listening to some financial podcasts. Jim Willie is saying that there is no gold, which we all know but that the germans are a bit pissed about the lack of returned gold. Only 5 tons outta 300.

      Germans may play hardball. Dunno... Jim Willie sorta reminds me of our own Lord Jim. Crazed teddy bear...

      Only a couple more months of snowbirds, Nick! :)

      Gil

      Gil

      Delete
  5. Japan was an expansion economy and had global control in mind when they started their crap in the Russo-Jap war just prior to WW2. Japan had to import almost almost their resources where as China does not. What China does not have, Russia will give them. Follow the money.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Russia will give them NOW, as a foil to the US. After our day is done, those two will be rivals.

      Delete
    2. They already are rivals, only cooperating a just enough to keep the 'super power' from completly dominating them- as soon as we are less of a threat they will begin having more and more conflicts in little brush fire wars hopefuly not building into direct fights along their shared border (could turn nuclear if things go wrong enough).

      Delete
  6. Jim, it's Sat morn and I just read this article at Zero Hedge. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-28/new-spy-technology-spawn-oil-revolution
    I'm hoping that when you read this Monday you will take time to comment on it.
    Long time minion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not impressed. Oil is too expensive for our economy, and lowering costs to find the last drops won't drop it enough to get things moving again. Best case, the can still can be kicked a bit longer.

      Delete