Waiting for Democracy/Pluralism

Mr. Mulroney wants Canada to rethink its relationship with China: make Canada great again. Must have been a mistake to let China manufacture for us. Now we’ll have to rebuild our manufacturing facilities.

But there are still laissez fairers willing to await natures course to democracy like Karl Marx and his scientific pal Engels predicting the evolutionary scientific inevitability of communism(not Marxism).

 

“… Canada need not give up on China as a place where pluralism and democracy will one day help its people rule themselves.

In years gone by, North American economic sanctions may have had the clout to pressure even large countries into adjusting their policies. It is implausible to think that China, with an economy that the IMF says is still growing — while Canada, the U.S. and Europe will shrink about eight per cent this year — will be pressured.

That will be the job of its own people.” Don Pittis CBC News

Afraid of the Trade war?

So much for the trade war ( that’s been spookin’ journalists afraid that big money making manufacturers might get them and they’ll get laid off because the money ‘s dried up) now that fearless apple’s closing the shop makin’ Mac Book Pro and movin’ it all to China where they already make everything you can buy at Walmart; and even grand pianos and cars, and stuff on ebay with no shipping. I heard some time ago that even if those Jobs that Mr. McCain once said were gone for good came back there’d be no one to do them because nobody’s been doin what the Chinese’ve been doin for so long that people over here in the noncommunist world no longer had the skills they lost with the jobs that started leaving for China maybe 50 years ago.

Made In The USA

Canada’s BNN says that a “Poll” confirms that most Canadians are prepared to boycott US products.
How did “Poll”learn these facts. How do any Canadians know which goods they buy are American made. Most items that Canadians buy are made outside the US. Whenever I see a US opinion about manufactured items, any mention that something is made in the USA is met by surprise and expressions of patriotism because most things that both Americans and Canadians buy are made in Asia.

Canada’s Steel Industry

Canada manufactures and exports very little steel. Steel manufactured in Canada is manufactured under the direction of global organizations. Canada sold its steel industry Hudsons Bay, Petro Canada, Tim Hortons and manufacturing companies like Dafasco  years ago. The Steel products that Canada exports comprise steel made and priced by China, the world’s foremost maker and marketer of steel.

Blather About Tariffs On Steel

Yesterday’s presidential tariff tweets have been dismissed by most online media as counterproductive because tariffs would increase prices on imported steel and aluminum products resulting in the manufacture of fewer steel products and greater unemployment not less.

All of the anti-tariff articles I read today highlighted Canada and the European Union as the greatest sources of U.S.’s steel and aluminum imports. And I was surprised to learn of Canada’s apparent near dominant influence on the United States in this area especially after seeing a man on Canada’s Business News yesterday reporting that China’s advances in steel and aluminum smelting having dwarfed production in the U,S. and Canada in recent years. Indeed I don’t know who in Canada produces these steel and aluminum products that the U.S. imports in greater quantity than from anywhere else in the world since all Canada’s steel making companies seem to have disappeared.  The Canadian Encyclopedia says

…Despite Canada’s formidable reserves of iron ore, the steel industry in recent decades has shrunk significantly as industrial markets have become increasingly globalized. Today, every remaining steel mill in the country is owned by foreign investors and Canada is a net importer of the manufactured product…

Trying to make sense of the steel imports to the U.S. that the American president threatens to tax I went to a Wikipedia page of metal industry statistics.

Now whether these numbers are accurate or not, they are – staggering – with China at the top of the list in 2017 with 831.7 metric tons from 14 metric tons in 1967, the European Union (all the countries of Europe) second with 168.7 metric tons production from NA in 1967, United States fourth 81.6 tons from 113 in 1967 and Canada seventeenth with 13.7. from 8.8 in 1967. Contrasting steel production in China with that of the United States from 1967 to 2017 in light of Mr. Trump’s tariff tweets is alarming. For As U.S. steel production diminished from 113 tons in 1967, China’s production sky rocketed from 14 tons in 1967 to 831.7 tons in 2017. Is there a journalist who has the authority to explain why U.S. steel production has been made irrelevant by China’s enormous advances and why journalists do not mention that Canadian steel making like that of the U.S.A. is diminishing to the point that ‘Canada is a net importer of the manufactured product.”

Tariffs may be the most lasting American political issue: opposed by southern states but favored by  manufacturing states: for example Pennsylvania and New York steel makers. Democrat Andrew Jackson’s   election as president in 1828 was assured  by “The Tariff of Abominations” which was framed to please both northern and southern voters who “would swallow the protectionist pill rather than abandon Old Hickory” Andrew Jackson.

“Those Jobs are gone for good.”

That’s what Republican Mr. McCain said on one of those Sunday talk shows when he was running for president and tripping to the Middle East with ex Democrat Mr. Joe Lieberman during the “Arab Spring”. Former Democrat Mr Trump says you can bring those jobs back, sounding like Jay Gatsby saying “bring back the past?” – “Oh yes you can”.

A Road Well Travelled

As the dust settles around the Donald Trump image and he adopts a proper humbler attitude with apologies widely heralded online for at least a week, he seems to be growing into that middle of the road. As Democrat former President Jimmy Carter said some time ago: Mr. Trump is malleable which to me means he’ll go with the flow. He thinks U.S. wages are too high no surprise to made in Asia or Mexico labelers of products that global importers sell. So what if the Clintons and their trade allies created laws that made the globe a manufacturers’ oyster unfettered by high North American wages  opening doors to opportunities for all who can afford them. And today one online writer seems in agreement with Mr. Trump’s favouring low-interest rates that make the U.S. debt affordable, the kind of position investment professionals like for buying financial assets despite the rising cost of living that neither they nor governments see.

Machine Versus Outsourcing

What follows was published on Feb. 7, 2013 on Blogspot. I’m putting it out again because for the past two days on BNN I’ve been hearing these themes: what Mr. Bernanke said last week about interest rates, fears about China’s monetary gyrations and dread of its GDP diminishing to 4 %, as though North American and European economies were really Chinese communist economies. Nothing is said about the real financial difficulties facing Western nations: capital being created beyond their borders.

Technology surges while labour falls in its wake.

The Canadian Business News Network recently interviewed an American economic thinker who repeated (reiterated as they say) the view that off shore labour was not taking North Americans’ jobs but that advances in technology were permanently replacing workers with more efficient “means of production,” so that today America was manufacturing more than it ever had.

Off shore labourers are not taking American jobs robots are.

I saw a PBS News Hour show on May 24,2012 about understanding financial news which explained how American workers are being replaced by technology. Videos showed examples of organic things (body parts) now inorganically fashioned by highly intelligent machines. Manufactured goods such as running shoes are shown as products of a computer program that has replaced the American shoe maker. Nothing is said, however, about my Clark shoes labelled made in Vietnam, and purchased last June at Canada’s oldest retailer, American owned Hudson’s Bay Company, nor is there mention of my wife’s recently purchased running shoes with their made in China label, nor my 7 month old once Canadian made Heintzman piano now manufactured in China. The solution of this job loss to technology say those employed at universities is higher education. Again no one dare mention the countless factory workers making pianos,toy trains, shoes, IPads, IPhones, and solar panels in China, telescopes in Taiwan, Korean and Japanese pianos in Indonesia; and other lower wage “off shore” labourers performing tasks that American workers could do without the expense of higher education, or the importing of semi skilled building trades workers from places such as Mexico.

A Consumer Based Economy

(Tuesday, October 14, 2008)
Since the U.S. began borrowing money from China fewer things have been made in the U.S. while ever more goods sold in the U.S. have been produced in China including food products, toys and pianos. Surprisingly, even products such as DKNY prescription eye glasses are made in and exported from China, and sold by U.S. merchandisers such as Sears.

Western countries such as Canada and the U.S. have become purchasers and marketers of these items made in China and other Asian nations, setting prices and creating credit vehicles from which they obtain profits. This practise of selling things created by Asian manufacturers has created a fantasy-like economy in which wealth is the product of borrowing foreign money and selling imported goods on credit in hopes that one day purchasers will have the full price plus interest.Similarly sellers of real estate sell homes and variable mortgages to people without money or income in hopes that one day purchasers will have the finances to pay rising mortgage rates and home prices.

And now borrowers including national governments have become aware that their wealth is a pocket full of I.O.U’s which governments must secure through tax payer contributions to financial institutions, and by importing purchasers from low wage manufacturing nations, and not through the manufacture and export of value creating products.

Recently I purchased a Heintzman piano originally manufactured in Toronto Canada from the 1800’s until the 1970’s. The company was founded in the 19’th century by Theodore Heintzman who is commemorated at 116 Bond Street in Toronto by a plaque before an historic church. My Heintzman was made in China and shipped to me in Toronto via our western province of British Columbia.