The Rabid Independent, Nonpartisan solutions, independent policy ideas

I’ve written about how the west has traditionally had a problem selling anything to the Chinese. Either they are too broke to afford western goods or their tastes just aren’t the same as ours. That’s why when the British discovered their taste for Opium they went to war to insure that the “market” stayed open. It appears that we have finally found something else they like that we make – new technology. The range of good stuff we are supplying is vast: Windows 8, Google search, iPhones… Being pure mercantalists, the Chinese government understands that it cannot ever buy this stuff from the west. To do so would corrupt its growth model and make it vulnerable to foreigners (even though a lot of the stuff is made in China).

When a company uses China as a manufacturing site it is told that it must do so with a Chinese partner and that the goods cannot be sold in China without strict government oversight (i.e. restrictions). Apple knew all this of course and to its delight found that local demand was taking off beyond the expectations of the government, so on Friday China said the iPhone “is a threat to national security”. The Trade Ministry also announced that their government would be “doing away with “untrusted Intel and AMD processors” over time, while launching an effort to build their own ARM-based “Baikal” processor and move to Linux for government systems. ” (Forbes) Do you remember how they blocked Google and replaced it with Baidu – by decree (Go Here for a refresher) .

Now Apple is squawking back at them, defending the phone and saying that the data is only processed in the device itself and that Apple does not track users’ locations. The entire discussion of privacy is a ruse intended to squash Apple and favor Xiaomi. The idea that a country protects its local producers is perfectly understandable even if ironically all the “foreign” goods are actually made inside China. The rest of the world needs to follow this economic nationalism. Egypt imports 10X more stuff from China than it sells (wow) so why are we surprised that its economy is a mess (Tom Friedman)?

In the old world (pre 1998) everyone used to (had to) buy locally made goods even when they knew they were inferior. We used to gloat about our better cars and blue jeans. Now that China makes everything for everybody, unemployment is pervasive and the 3rd world (including the Middle East) has been rendered unstable. Globalization, aka Chinese mercantalism, has ruined even small poor countries like Guatemala (imports exceed exports by 50%!).  China won’t even allow Apple to make a profit (off of Chinese buyers) because that money will go outside the country. It protects every nickel of domestic spending.

The entire world needs to take a leaf out of their book – even if it means that popular tech toys will cost more.

 

 

What does the US have in common with Jordan?:

We have no border wall that keeps out refugees and illegal immigrants. We have no intention of deporting all the illegal immigrants who are already here (or who recently arrived). Any life inside our borders is better than the life offered in their home country.

Refugee [...]

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OK, first I have to establish the premise: Is the Fed obsessed with the stock market? It seems to be a fairly well accepted position by Fed followers that the thing the Fed most fears is another stock market meltdown. Like any fallible human it is most afraid of the thing that just happened – a meaningful [...]

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If you get involved in a foreign “civil war” by taking a side you invariably run into two problems:

Your good guys aren’t really so good or at least they may start that way but after they get some American cash they start to behave no differently than the bad guys. The bad guys can’t survive [...]

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Let’s say we all agree that President Nouri al-Maliki of Iraq is an evil partisan bastard who could care less about the Sunni minority. In a normal functioning democracy that might enrage the Sunnis (and Kurds) to demonstrate and call for new elections. They might even challenge some decisions in court to appeal to the fairer [...]

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After the secular Soviet Union crashed, every component of the empire was left to sort itself out without the macro totalitarian overlay. Old tribal divisions came back to life like Dracula rising from a grave (Yugolslav civil wars). When a revolution or an invasion removes a dictator, the country inevitably becomes fertile ground for tribal [...]

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Corruption is a constant problem that seems to derail certain components of our economy. It also fosters government distrust. Municipalities like Detroit and Newark seem to be stuck in neutral, unable to bounce back no matter what else is happening in nearby environs. The VA seems to have no idea how to go about its [...]

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The Democratic party has become the entity that seeks to be the savior of the working man. It wants to:

raise the minimum wage to elevate the working poor; increase pollution controls to improve the quality of the air and water that the average resident ingests (Obama enacts new EPA standards) [...]

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The French Open is on, so I am inspired to draw an obtuse parallel. On the men’s side we have a core of exceptional talent that elevates the entire game. Djokovic is undoubtedly a better player because he has to beat Nadal on clay and Federer/Murray on grass. The women’s side of the game is [...]

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China is apparently pulling oil drilling platforms into Vietnamese waters and plunking them down as though they own the place. The Vietnamese navy (if there is such a thing) has responded with 5 mile an hour “rammings” and water cannons. It doesn’t get more low tech than this so allow me to wish for a [...]

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Irritations

Here’s my list of things that bug me. Some are big and some are petty. Feel free to offer new additions.

Irritations

Mottos, Creeds, Rules

As we search for legitimate solutions to America’s problems everyone must obey these rules or we’ll never get anything done.

Mottos, Creeds and Rules

Reading List