China is clearly the cause of Monday’s market chaos. Clearly.
So a stock crash in China triggered a big decline around the world, while I was trying to have a personal life (and succeeding, actually). Leaving aside whether this really made sense, why should events in China matter for the rest of us?
Well, you and I might think that it’s because China is a pretty big economy — a huge buyer of commodities and a significant importer of manufactured inputs too. So when China slumps, you can and should expect knock-on effects elsewhere.
But trust the Republican field to declare that it’s all Obama’s fault. Scott Walker wants Obama to cancel a state dinner with Xi; Donald Trump says that it’s because Obama has let China “dictate the agenda” (no, I have no idea what he thinks he means). And Chris Christie says that it’s because Obama has gotten us deep into China’s debt.
Actually, let’s play a bit with that last one, OK? You could, conceivably, tell a story in which America becomes dependent on Chinese loans; then, when China gets in trouble, it demands repayment, pushing us into crisis too. But any story along those lines has a corollary: we should be seeing a spike in US interest rates as our credit line gets pulled. What you actually see is falling rates:
Oh, why am I even bothering?
But remember: all the experts said that the GOP had an unusually strong field, a very deep bench, a lot of talent running for president.
I’m not a nuclear expert, but off the top of my head I know several countries that have nuclear weapons. Let’s see… there is Israel, France, Britain, Pakistan, India. Oh, Russia and North Korea. That’s it. Oh, damn, I forgot. CHINA. How can someone who is running for president (Herman Cain) not know that China is a nuclear country? Either he is a moron or he thinks that you and I are.
A friend of mine sent me an article in which the author states what I think is obvious, that big business is betting against the American people. Without reading the article, I can tell you the basic favor. The article will mention a major company like GE or any other Fortune 1000 company, then quote some numbers which clearly show how American middle class jobs have been shipped to Mexico, China or India (it really doesn’t matter where the jobs were shipped). The final goods are shipped back into the good ole USA for us to buy. The profits are also transferred here so that the corporate big wigs can have their multi-million dollar bonuses.
Here’s my problem with this whole scenario – you and I are supposed to just take it. We aren’t supposed to get mad or upset. We are supposed to sit back in the house which the bank owns and simply be okay with all of this. We are supposed to believe that “market forces” are at work and there is nothing that we can do to change it. So, when we go outside to pick up the morning paper (which has more national news than local news because our local paper was bought by a national syndicate and all of the local guys except one or two were fired) we are supposed to understand market forces are at work. As we walk back to our house, we notice that there are more more “for sale” signs and forclosure notices on our street and we’re supposed to understand and accept that market forces are at work. (Look, I may be wrong, but it seems that “market forces” only enrich those at the top. When have you ever heard anyone say “market forces” and that actually benefits the middle class? Why can’t market forces actually help America and help the middle class?)
When you want to protest and stand up for the middle class, you’re told by the talking heads on the television that you’re anti-American, that you’re communist and that you’re hurting the American economy. It is my opinion that it’s time for us to quit listening to the talking heads. The talking heads are paid to tell us to support corporations. I’m happy to support a corporation that is betting on the American people. If you’re hiring Americans then I’m happy to support you. I’m just saying…