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Our brighter future with China — 4 Comments

  1. My crystal ball is getting a bit cloudy. The clear part is that governmental over-reaction to his particular virus is going to trigger a recession, if not a depression, in the West. After that, it gets murky.

    Sometimes, when the sun shines, the crystal ball seems to suggest that Western nations will rethink globalization, roll back excessive regulation, fix the tax system, reform the educational system, begin to rebuild industry, bring international trade into balance — and after a decade or more of hard work, we will find ourselves living in a world full of opportunity, just like our ancestors.

    At other times, the dark vision that appears is of people with cash (or, as we call them, the Chinese) swooping into the depressed West, buying up everything worth having for pennies on the dollar, and shipping it back to China.

    Of course, even in this dark vision there is opportunity — there will be a great need for Chinese language schools to help Westerners better serve the coming waves of rich Chinese tourists exploring quaint & primitive backwaters. Oh! By the way, Chinese tourists don’t tip — it is a cultural thing.

    • I dearly hope you are right, Mr. H. Trying to be objective, it is going to be an uphill struggle for the Anglosphere to shake its reliance on China.

      Take a current example — medications, which today are predominantly sourced from China (or made in India from Chinese components). Manufacture of ethical chemicals is capital-intensive, not labor-intensive. The move of medications manufacture to China was not driven by lower labor costs in China — it was driven by irresponsibly excessive regulation in the West and foolish taxation & trade policies.

      In order for the Anglosphere to rebuild such industries, it will be necessary to take a chainsaw to Big Regulation, Big Law, Big Tax. But those people are the core audience of the Guardian and the New York Times; they will defend their iron rice bowl to the death.

      Even if we can establish broad consensus to roll back our excessive bureaucracies to something more reasonable and promote CO2-producing industry, it will still take years to rebuild factories and train workers. And while we are playing catch-up, China will be a moving target.

      It took us years to get ourselves into this mess. Let’s not underestimate the prolonged effort that will be required to dig our way back out.

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