Friday, August 08, 2008

Thank God for the Chinese Consumer

The health of the global economy used to rest on the back of the American consumer. Now it will rely on the Chinese.

In the U.S. and Europe, public debate centers on China as a low-cost producer that puts workers in the developed world out to pasture; hence the popularity of antitrade legislation. But the real story is the rise of the Chinese consumer, whose passion for spending is remarkably American.

Take Yum Brands, with its Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut restaurants. In the U.S. and Germany, it is barely growing and has anemic margins. In China, KFC is hugely popular and growing more than 25% a year. It has 2,000-plus outlets that constitute a fraction of KFC's global presence but account for a staggering 20% of the company's total profits.

KFC is one of hundreds of struggling U.S. and multinational companies doing booming business in China. Proctor & Gamble and Oil of Olay found new life selling to the Chinese. Nike has long been an avidly desired brand for young Chinese. Caterpillar, which has seen its U.S. business contract because of a weak residential construction market, has hardly been able to keep pace with the demand for its combines and earth movers in a rapidly industrializing China. Otis Elevators, a division of United Technologies, has an enviable backlog servicing China's endless skyscrapers.

Luxury companies ranging from Louis Vuitton to Versace to Coach look to Chinese affluence as the next wave to replace a waning Japanese market, an aging European one, and an unpredictable America. And, let's not forgot gambling. Macau recently surpassed Las Vegas as the most lucrative gambling destination on the planet. You can always tell a country's proclivities to spend based on its eagerness to gamble.

The Chinese consumer is the only thing standing between hundreds of global companies and the abyss. While some U.S. companies may have cut jobs to outsource to China, think of how many more jobs they might be cutting if they were losing money or barely profitable. Caterpillar keeps its factories open in the U.S. because of what it currently needs to sell in China. So do countless other companies.

~Zachary Karabell in today's WSJ

29 Comments:

At 8/08/2008 8:24 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

Let me rephrase what he is trying to sell:

Let us thank the Chinese consumer who gets money from the world by selling low quality products that destroy healthy companies in the rest of the world that have invested billions in R&D.

Let us thank the Chinese consumer who uses our money he gets from selling products to buy our products when actually the trade deficit shows he is buying far less than he sells.

Finally, let us thank the Chinese consumer for using our money to buy our high quality products while his recent presence in the international trade scene has driven our consumers buy his low quality, often dangerous, products.

END of rephrasing.

No, I the sophist says this: Let us blame the politicians for the bilateral agreements they have made with several countries for the sole purpose of TRANSFERING WEALTH to those countries while here, you got people calling the transfer of wealth just an exchange of wealth.

Well, I got bad news for you. The trade deficit shows there is NET transfer of wealth from America to China. If the Chinese start selling US debt securities, US will be in great trouble.

Pray that will never happen. Maybe it is part of the agreements.

 
At 8/08/2008 10:24 AM, Anonymous QT said...

Strange, how the same mercantilist arguments used in the time of Adam Smith seem to come up so consistently. 3 quotes from The Wealth of Nations help put the issues into perspective:

Each nation has been made to look with an invidious eye upon the prosperity of all the nations with which it trades and to consider their gain as its own loss. Commerce, which ought naturally to be, among nations, as among individuals, a bond of union and friendship, has become the most fertile source of discord and animosity.

A nation may import to a greater value than it exports for half a century...even the debts too which it contracts in the principal nations with whom it deals, may be gradually increasing; and yets its real wealth, the exchangeable value of the annual produce of its lands and labour, may, during the same period, have bee increasing in a much greater proportion.

There is no commercial country in Europe of which the approaching ruin has not frequently been foretold...from an unfavorable balance of trade. Nothing can be more absurd than this whole doctrine of balance of trade.


As Smith demonstrated in Wealth of Nations, every freely conducted trade is balanced by definition. The definition doesn't change because one trader gets an iPod and the other gets an IOU.

The idea of a fixed pie of assets where one party's gain comes at the expense of another was thoroughly discredited several centuries ago by Adam Smith. Amazing how few people who study economics actually read The Wealth of Nations.

 
At 8/08/2008 10:30 AM, Anonymous rg said...

@sophist

"Finally, let us thank the Chinese consumer for using our money to buy our high quality products [...]"

Why is it "our money". I though we did buy something with it?

"No, I the sophist says this: Let us blame the politicians for the bilateral agreements they have made with several countries for the sole purpose of TRANSFERING WEALTH to those countries while here, you got people calling the transfer of wealth just an exchange of wealth."

I know there was a time (which ended in 1970, I think) when the US had a positive trade balance (also known as surplus). Are you saying that at that time American were transferring wealth from their trade partners to the US.

If so, why was transferring wealth right then and wrong now.

rg

 
At 8/08/2008 11:48 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

sophist,

I am in the American car business, as a union rep, and hear your complaint everyday about the Japanese, Chinese . . . taking our jobs away, selling us junk. . . . The excuse is getting old. The customer should have the freedom to buy whatever he or she wants. If one company does not do it, then another should.

As you can probably guess, a lot of people don't want to listen to what I have to say. Effective problem solvers should not be swayed by opinion—they should examine the root cause of the problem. The Chinese and Japanese are not the problem—they are just symptoms of the problem. We have to make products that the consumer wants, at a price the consumer wants, and deliver it to the consumer when they want it. Nothing else will work in a consumer driven market, and we are just wasting valuable time if we think that it will. Sophist: Aren’t you the one who does not believe in fairy tales? I don’t either.

 
At 8/09/2008 8:42 AM, Anonymous zoroab said...

Unfortunately the share of consumption in Chinese GDP has fallen spectaculary from 55% ten years ago to just 39%(one of the lowest in the world)Not only wages have decreased substantially as a share of GDP but the household saving rate is around 20%(the same as Japan or Korea at the same level of development).The current model of Chinese growth is unsustainable.State owned banks are awashed with cheap savings given to selected companies fuelling excessive investement and causing the biggest misallocation of resources in human history.The only thing Chinese consumers ande companies can buy is our debt so we can continue spending.Last but not least a look at the huge current account surplus can show the truth about the neoliberal myth that the Chinese consumer will save the world.It's like the myth of decoupling and the booming 90's

 
At 8/09/2008 10:06 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

Zoroab, I agree with most of your comments.

I believe that American politicians made a big mistake thinking that globalization will spread democratic values around the world and increase standard of living accross the board. Again, because many people misinterpret other posters easily, I do not mean to say globalization is bad. It depends who is at the other side.

At the other side are ruthless fascist regimes, like Russia and China and oligarchy states, like India, who take advantage of the fears of the West about global war and of the greed that has been cultivated. These regimes have created a major deception about moving towards a free economy and democracy. it's a smoke screen.

People in Russia and China suffer now more than they did under left fascism. The money are accumulated by the states and are used to make mostly weapons to prepare for a future global conflict or spent by the politicians or given to their friends overseas to run business.

For exampls, it is well known that Russian government has invested virtually nothing out of the hundreds of billions of dollars it has accumulated in its central bank for new infrastructure projects and to raise the standard of living of its citizens. Russians still suffer. No need to talk about China.

The biggest mythg of all is that the Chinese consumer will save the world. It sounds to me like lobbying against possible taxes imposed on Chinese imports.

American policy must change now. There is no time left. These countries are becoming much more powerful than they were during the cold war.

Nobody should be deceived that they will ever become democratic states.

 
At 8/09/2008 10:23 AM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

Very stimulating comments, one and all, and especially the more wide-ranging one left by zoroab on China's growth: what's fueling it, what will possibly happen in the future.

A few brief comments:

1) Last year, 2007, the Chinese GDP dropped 40% in dollar terms, adjusted for PPP . . . the reduction made by the World Bank.

What happened? As in the early 1990s, the experts at the World Bank found that China's price levels were closer to the US's than they had assumed in the previous years. Back in 1993 or 1994, GDP in PPP dollar terms was thus cut by 40%. It happened again in 2007 (or end of 2006).

Anybody see this emblazoned in media headlines?

2) Apart from what PPP index to use in making sense of China's GDP, its growth rate is just questionable . . . a matter that hasn't been limited to economists here and in China and elsewhere, but was complained about by Prime MInister Zhu Rongii repeatedly in the late 1990s . . . Zhu, a professional economist by training.

The statistics were so unreliable that came out of the various provinces --- gathered by local experts and supervised by the local professional CP bigwigs --- that Zhu ordered the central statistical agency to gather them himself.

The campaign failed. The statisticians sent out from Beijing had no way of dealing with millions of enterprises in the provinces.

3) The problem has been further aggravated by questions constantly raised by the World Bank and others about the price-deflators used by the Chinese government to estimate real GDP growth.

.... Most likely, the growth rates --- still high --- need to be reduced by about a third each year.

4) The analogy that Walt makes between China and Japan, though suggestive, is also misleading.

Japan was and remains, despite its stagnant GDP growth (and up and down recessionary tendencies) the home of about 7 or 8 giant, technologically advanced export-oriented corporations . . . especially in consumer electronics, vehicles, and to an extent high-technology ICT. And those companies continue, despite growing competition, to set the pace for productivity growth and quality products in their sectors. (These companies, by the way, are transferring more and more production abroad, including autos in this country).

By contrast, China's exports are largely based on diligent but low-wage labor, used by multinationals from Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, the US, and West Europe for largely an export platform for their own technology-embodied products. A good 65-70%$ of Chinese products in so called "high technology" and (if you want) "solid technology" derive from the multinationals' transfers of their own production-technology to CHina.

As for quality-control, what's to be said that isn't already known?

5) The lopsided nature of investment and exports in Chinese growth has been rightly singled out by Zoroab --- with consumption as a percentage of GDP, though rising the last two years, still very low.

This reflects government policies and preferences, plus a very under-developed domestic markets in retailing and wholesaling . . . along with the governments' use of state-banks to tap the huge savings of Chinese households for their own purposes.

How long a country of 1.3 billion people, with tremendous regional and class disparities --- not to mention vast pollution, shoddy runaway construction, and constant health problems --- can rely largely on distorted investment and export-led growth . . . well, that is the big question, no?

6) Not to mention the biggest question of all, to wit:

At what point, can a giant and "rapidly" growing economy move up a technological ladder toward the high-hanging technological frontier without devolving far, far more decision-making power away from central and regional bureaucracies and into the decentralizd hands of Chinese firms, technological innovators, and entreperneurs?

Which changes, if they materialize, would require the existing CP of 60 million privileged members --- all engaged in an orgy of money-making --- to commit hari-kari and transform China's political system into something far less authoritarian and bureaucracy-dominated?

There is no example in history of such a powerful, privileged group --- the professional, full-time CP leaders about 2-3% of the 60 million and in charge of the whole gang --- giving up power voluntarily.

And the more they are assaulted for corruption and unjustified power-wielding, the more they are likely to fall back on extremist nationalism as a rallying point for all the discontented.

.......

Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor, http://www.thebuggyprofessor.org

 
At 8/09/2008 10:47 AM, Anonymous QT said...

Zoroab,

You raise some interesting points. I was not able to verify the numbers that you cite on consumption as a percentage of GDP. Would appreciate if you could supply a link.

With regard to this ratio, it might also be skewed by the growth rate of GDP. Between 1975 to 2000, China's GDP grew at an average rate of 6% meaning that
its GDP doubled every 12 years. Average family income and consumption as a % of total family income might be worth looking at to try to get a clearer picture of what is happening.

Average income in China has
increased from $293 in 1985 to $2025 in 2006. Found this website which gives statistics for
wages & consumption although some of these charts are a bit confusing.

There are certainly phenominal challenges facing China, environmental, economic, political, and social. The mass migration from rural to urban puts huge strains to keep pace with infrastructure. The equivalent of the population of NYC moves every year to the city. There is also very little in terms of a social safety net. A particular problem is that citizenship goes by city ie. you have to be a citizen of Shanghai to obtain benefits from the local authority. That does not work very well with a society experiencing mass migration.

Opening up China's economy does seem to have created greater economic opportunity for the populace and the standard of living has definitely risen over the last 30 years. Still a long way for these folks to go but considering the oppression and grinding poverty that was experienced during the reign of Mao, things are improving.

 
At 8/09/2008 2:15 PM, Blogger bobble said...

the US, Europe, and Japan all now sliding into recession.

you have to wonder how many unemployed chinese consumers there will be when the orders for chineses goods stop coming in from the developed world.

 
At 8/09/2008 9:31 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Let me rephrase sophist's whinings: "the consumer isn't as smart as I am"...

"Chinese consumer uses our money"...

Our money? What? Did we 'lend' money to the Chinese?

The Chinese have forced the American consumer to buy the supposed low quality Chinese products?!?!

Hmmm, were the Chinese holding a gun to the heads of American consumers?

In the sophist world apparently caveat emptor doesn't exist...

Then the bobble chimes in with this: "the US, Europe, and Japan all now sliding into recession"...

Hmmm, got something credible to back that up with?

Well you may be right bobble if what Douglas McIntyre
wrote back July of this year: "To almost anyone else, a GDP growth rate of over 10% would be a dream, but to China it is probably more of a problem. Inflation rate in the country is rising at over 7%, and for commodities like food, the rate is closer to 20%. The increase in the number of Chinese middle class who can be consumers of much of the economy's local output and imports from other countries relies on rising wages. But a 50% drop in the Chinese stock market is already making many citizens in the nation feel pinched"...

 
At 8/10/2008 9:55 AM, Anonymous QT said...

Dr. Perry,

The rise of China represents one of the most phenomenal developments in modern history both in its rapidity and scale. It is very difficult to make sense of these changes and their implications given the sheer mass of data to synthesize.

Would very much appreciate if this subject could be explored in more depth. It seems that we are only scratching the surface of an event which along with the rise of globalization, represents one of the most dramatic developments of the last 30 years.

 
At 8/10/2008 10:33 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

buggy professor,

You can fill in the blanks with any country that you want. My point is that consumers, given the choice, will decide for themselves how they wish to spend their money. Possibly a niche market will allow for consumer choices on other than price, quality, or convenience, but large companies will have difficulty surviving with that business model.

Should we really propose that governments tell consumers what they must or can buy? You can aggregate data any way you want, but consumer choice will still be made at the individual level. That’s good. That’s globalization. That’s not changing back.

 
At 8/10/2008 11:14 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Well, I got bad news for you.

And, as usual, sophist demonstrates his utter lack of any clue about global markets, trade deficits, business finance, international trade agreements, or consumer motivation.

sophist sez (Emphasis mine):
> his recent presence in the international trade scene has driven our consumers buy his low quality, often dangerous, products.


OWW!! OWWW!!! It's that damned brutal Chinese WHIP, man!! I gotta buy their stuff!! I gotta!! I just gotta!! OWW!! OWWW!!!

LOL.

You're ignorant and stupid, sophist, and utterly clueless of that fact on top of that. Jeez.

 
At 8/10/2008 11:30 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> I believe that American politicians made a big mistake thinking that globalization will spread democratic values around the world and increase standard of living accross the board.

Again, sophist attempts to entertain us with his ignorant pronouncements which lack any basis or justification. He refutes without facts, claims without justification, and generally shows the biggest flaw with Free Speech: Idiots, fools, and the ignorant get to talk, too.
(Not to suggest I like the alternative).

The stupidity behind your remark is obvious when you start to grasp that, these people, having grown used to a high standard of living, are not about to go back quietly to whatever they had before. They are seeing and will see even more what the rest of the world, has.

Furthermore, they won't settle for less from their own government.

In short, the governments of nations opposed to the system of wealth creation invented by The West are not likely to succeed, once those people see the benefits -- not the least being vastly lowered infant mortality, notably longer life spans, and, in general, greater health and wellbeing.

They are not about to abandon it in order to maintain some less effective organizational system.

It will take decades, possibly even a century, for these ideals to take hold, for the fact that a generation or two have experienced nothing but wealth and comfort, but once they have taken root that tree's growth is mighty and powerful.

Mind you, they may find things to meld with it which work even better. That's possible, although I consider it unlikely, because I don't believe that there is a better system for refinement of such than the American melting-pot, which has a long history of importing other peoples and their ideas, picking through those ideas, and adopting the ones with the widest appeal. Hence, Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chop Suey, and Hong Kong action pix.

Q.E.D. -- You're an idiot, sophist.

 
At 8/10/2008 11:38 AM, Anonymous QT said...

Juandos, Obloodyhell,

Why do you bother with "I the Sophist"? How much pleasure can you have debating a guy who can't think his way out of a paper bag let alone discuss any subject without having a hissy fit?

Some of his positions like advocating anarchy as a viable alternative to democracy are so ludicrous it is an embarassment.

It's like taking the wings off a fly, guys. Not really much of a challenge.

 
At 8/10/2008 1:49 PM, Blogger Sophist said...

qt seeking callaborators against the sophist:

Before you can discuss serious issues you must get some basic education. Your limited reach and understanding is evident:

Anarchy: "A theoretical social state in which there is no governing person or body of persons, but each individual has absolute liberty (without the implication of disorder)."

"Anarchists are those who advocate the absence of the state, arguing that common sense would allow for people to come together in agreement to form a functional society allowing for the participants to freely develop their own sense of morality, ethics or principled behaviour."

Wikipedia is cheap resource if you cannot afford to get a tutor:

Anarchy

On the contrary, it is a major embarashment that there are people like you who associate anarchy with just disorder.

If you have gotten a fair education you would know the word means "without ruler" and not what you think.

Now, I do not understand where you got the idea that I am advocating anarchy.

As long as there are people like you around in the left tail of the distribution, it makes no sense to advocate anything but the status quo.

 
At 8/10/2008 1:53 PM, Blogger Sophist said...

"Q.E.D. -- You're an idiot, sophist."

Does this mean you had Chinese for dinner last night?

"the biggest flaw with Free Speech: Idiots, fools, and the ignorant get to talk, too."

Do not eat and talk at the sam etime, especially beef and brocoli.

 
At 8/10/2008 2:09 PM, Blogger bobble said...

"'the US, Europe, and Japan all now sliding into recession '

got something credible to back that up with?"


check these out. it hasn't hit china (yet), but the rest of the world is slowing down.

global manufacturing

global services

 
At 8/10/2008 2:25 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> People in Russia and China suffer now more than they did under left fascism. The money are accumulated by the states and are used to make mostly weapons to prepare for a future global conflict or spent by the politicians or given to their friends overseas to run business.

sophist, what kind of a complete moron are you to attempt to make this imbecilic claim on a website where the webauthor has actually BEEN to Russia in the last year and reported on it in the blog?

This isn't the flinkin' 1970s you nit.

1) Our weapons and military kick ASS.
2) Without massive leapfrogs in tech, there aren't any states which can hope to match us. Japan has some potential in this regard, techwise. Germany *might* but probably could not, and China has some vague possibility of attempting something on the basis of pure manpower and the fact that they are certainly, as a result of their population and history, deep in the other kind of power*. Russia doesn't stand a chance. Their strength comes almost entirely from the fact that invading them is damned near impossible. That's a defensive power, not an offensive one.

There isn't a single country who could, within the next 20 years, go to war with us and hope to win. And probably not for even longer. I am willing to bet that there are things in much modern equipment which would cause them to stop working if we decided to make it happen -- particularly in any second or third-gen back military hardware we sell.

This claim of yours isn't supported by any form of sense or reasoning from facts of any kind.

What you claim about Russia is blatantly false, from much of Mark's own observations. For such to be true of China it would be pretty obvious to anyone who visits there during the Olympics.

Why do you comment on stuff that makes it clear that you have no clue of any kind, because you haven't even paid attention to things Mark has himself experienced and shown?

=======================
* "... but I measure power not by the blows you can give, but by the blows you can take."
-- the "other" kind of power, which people forget about.

 
At 8/10/2008 2:32 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

.


> It's like taking the wings off a fly, guys. Not really much of a challenge.

qt, I only do it part of the time. If you leave him alone, other people reading might think there is some validity to things he says with remarkably poor reasoning but lots of sure-sounding terminology. They might not grasp that he's parroting other idiots, or putting together seemingly rational sentences like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELIZA"> Eliza.

Plus -- every once in a while, I get the urge to play Whack-A-Mole.

:oP

.

 
At 8/10/2008 2:43 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> As for quality-control, what's to be said that isn't already known?

As far as the supposed massive cracks in the huge slabs of low-grade concrete poured all over the place? Or were you referring to the smog that had people wearing face masks at the Olympics?

1) I'm waiting for some quickly-put-up building to collapse killing who knows how many thousands.

2) At some point, they will have to slow down playing catch-up and focus on quality for their own sakes.

China is out to play catchup with the rest of the world. Its low-price labor is certainly a boost for them, it also makes them a place of choice for manufacturing things that otherwise would be moving to fully robotized plants (ala the classic scene in Minority Report where Tom Cruise's char has a car built around him and drives it off...). There will probably be some other nations who will do this, too, as we slowly bootstrap the world up to at least 1980 level technology in prep for the future, while the rest of us advance still further to the point where things are built ala MR (China will become the market for the later catchups, and will be a market for our more advanced offerings in IP and enhanced services).

In other words, it's all fitting together nicely.

With China playing catchup, they will have far less reason to get jingoistic in the next 20 years, which would be the historical move when all those grown male babies start looking for the woman of their dreams. They can compete in the world of trade rather than fight for conquest (frankly, any parent who opted for a male child over a female child is stupid -- Chinese women will be the ones with real power in the China of 2030).

 
At 8/10/2008 2:50 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> you have to wonder how many unemployed chinese consumers there will be when the orders for chineses goods stop coming in from the developed world.

This, BTW, is another reason we don't want China's economy to bust. If that largely male population perceives itself as needing to go to war (as mentioned earlier, an historically inevitable result of any substantial imbalance in male-female ratio) to give them a means to "prove" themselves to the females, then the chances of a WW go up massively. If they see trade as an alternative in that regard to war, then we might see a violation of that rule for once in history.

 
At 8/10/2008 4:12 PM, Anonymous QT said...

Obloodyhell,

Whack-the-mole definitely on the nose. Personally, I enjoyed sophist's recent vacation because posts were spent discussing the subject rather than dispelling sophist's latest rantings.

Sophist,

No one needs to form a conspiracy against you. You are doing an outstanding job of shooting yourself in the foot.

One of these days, you may just accept and forgive yourself for the crime of being merely average just like the rest of us. You are not Protagorus, Albert Einstein or Nicola Tesla. You are a moderately bright individual but no genius which is perfectly acceptable.

It is time that you accepted the possibility that not everyone shares your opinions and that we learn not through seeking validation of our own pet theories but through the process of exploring subjects where opposing views might be equally valid. There are no simple answers to complex problems.

Ideas are the highest value in my existence. I expect more from you than a Rosie O'Donnell rant or a snide crack because I know you are intelligent and fully capable of being more than just a pedantic twit.

I could agree with you and just let you continue to make a fool of yourself trying to stand on your head to demonstrate how unique you are. I recognize how much you want approval and how much of your sense of self-worth seems to be tied to your ideas. For the rest of us, this is just a discussion. We don't have an emotional investment on the line.

I guess that is what concerns me. I guess that's why I have purposefully upset you. I regret that I have had to be so blunt in my language and I regret that the message is hurtful.

 
At 8/10/2008 9:29 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Its the sophist types that have to be kept in check...

They are the instigators of revisionist history...:-)

O.K. bobble!

Thanks for the JP Morgan fliers...

I need to check them against Edward Jones (only because that is where part of my play is at) and see how closely or not they agree with each other...

Regarding the reporting of business news consider the words of Simon over at Classical Values: Blazing Economies

Its a short read but it doesn't take an economist to figure it out...

 
At 8/10/2008 11:01 PM, Anonymous QT said...

Juandos,

Not all of us are as strong as you.

Sophist is a product of his experiences which I suspect have been very difficult. Such experiences take time and strength to overcome.

I have overstepped myself here in saying what I have and perhaps, that is wrong.

Alea iacta est

 
At 8/11/2008 6:41 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Alea iacta est"...

Ahhh qt quoting the wise general Julius Caesar is good and all be even his own Rubicon had to be crossed at some time...

'iacio can exsisto infractus'...

Sooner or later the realities of life dictate that we break our molds or we don't move on...

 
At 8/11/2008 8:17 AM, Blogger Sophist said...

qt, juandos, obloodyhell,

You win. I stop posting as of now. I hope this makes you happy. I want people to be happy.

You are just too impulsive and nervous to share blog posts with. You know everything and you just wait to pull the trigger, you have nothing to learn.

Dr. Perry, buggy professor and the nice rest, all the best. Keep up the good work.

P.S. In game theory and dynamic programming, accepting a temporary defeat, or loss, maybe the necessary step for being victorious at the end.

 
At 8/11/2008 9:36 AM, Blogger the buggy professor said...

Sophist:

I can only speak for myself, of course, but I hope you reconsider.

Your posts are a stimulus to reflection and should be a similar prod to polite and effective exchanges --- this, whether or not anyone agrees with them.

The measure of the substantive worth of any commentary isn't and shouldn't be whether it's popular or not.

If you don't come back, which would be a mistake, I think, I wish you good luck in your life.

......

Michael Gordon, AKA, the buggy professor

 
At 8/11/2008 9:03 PM, Anonymous QT said...

Sophist,

I also hope you reconsider.

I'm sorry to have hurt you. You have hurt me many times but I have refrained from retaliation in the past, refrained from returning your insults about my education, my intelligence and my country. You pushed my buttons once too often.

You felt no compunction about what you said to me yet I did not wish to return such gifts. There is nothing in scorch and burn save ashes. Is it not time to let it go? To let the past be past and to start afresh.

Can you forgive me as I forgive you?

 

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