This blog aims to accomplish two things. Given how quickly events are reported, misreported, and dropped by the MSM, we want to go back and see if we can't find some answers to questions that were and were not asked. Second, because the lazy MSM's chief tool for what passes as journalism is to quote pundits without having done any homework,the right questions don't get asked. We want to provide our readers the contact information for these pundits so we can ask them directly.

Friday, September 18, 2009

NY Times Laments US Style Democracy?

On September 9th Tom "we've turned the corner in Iraq" Friedman openly lamented our inability, unlike China, to "...impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.... from the top down."
It's true his lament comes in the broader context of exposing the GOP in 2009 as "...standing, arms folded and saying “no.” " and it is, after all an op-ed.
Yet today, in the News Section(page a4) we get this from China correspondent Keith Bradsher.
He breathlessly reports "The image of laid-off workers here returning to jobs stands in sharp contrast to the United States, where even as the economy shows signs of improvement, the unemployment rate continues to march toward double digits."
Though it's clear in reading the article that China's central govt is purposely replacing one bubble (global demand) with another (domestic demand) through fiat, Bradsher wants to emphasize how well it's working now while giving short shrift to the inevitability of the coming bubble burst; "The state-controlled banking system here...unleashed $1.2 trillion in extra lending to Chinese consumers and businesses in the first seven months of this year. That money is financing everything from a boom in car sales, up 82 percent in August from a year earlier, to frenzied factory construction." Never mind that "As much as a third of the extra bank lending in China appears to have gone into real estate and stock market speculation.", stay focussed on "...the bulk has gone into investments by companies and local governments, with tangible results."
He breezes through eye-poppers like "Government agencies have been told not to buy imported goods with money from economic stimulus programs unless no domestic alternative is available." and "Beijing also has given huge tax breaks and other assistance to exporters. They include placing broad restrictions on imports and intervening heavily in currency markets to hold down the value of the renminbi, to keep Chinese exports competitive even in a weakened global economy." That looks like fodder for a whole article to me!
Only in the final paragraphs does he touch on the the dangers with "Cheap cash has a way of inflating bubbles — just ask Wall Street — that could damage China’s economy and its banks when they pop." But ends with the oddly editorial-sounding "But such concerns are so 2008."

For more than 20 years we have pursued an illusory 'engagement' policy vis a vis China in hopes of 'changing China from the inside.' Looks like WE'RE becoming more like China instead.


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