Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Real Conundrum: Why the Hell Do We Care if China Manipulates Its Currency in Our Favor?

Here's a little editing fun of Harold Meyerson's article in today's Washington Post:

"This week, committees on both sides of Capitol Hill will plumb the conundrum of Chinese currency manipulation. The conundrum isn't that -- or why -- China is manipulating its currency: By undervaluing it, China is systematically able to underprice its exports, putting American (and other nations') manufacturing consumers and businesses that purchase China’ cheap imports at a significant disadvantage. The conundrum is why the hell the United States isn't doing thinks it should do anything about it.

There are certainly plenty of senators and congressmen -- and Main Street Americans U.S. producers that compete with China -- who'd like to see the White House place some tariffs taxes on American consumers and businesses who purchase the underpriced low-priced Chinese imports. If the administration doesn't act, Congress may just consider mandating some tariffs punitive taxes against American consumers and business on its own."

24 Comments:

At 9/15/2010 12:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I love it, the fisking of Harold Meyerson...

Well Meyerson does have a track record of bizzare statements...

Did Harold Meyerson Really Just Compare Toyota to a Slave Owner?

 
At 9/15/2010 12:29 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The real answer to China is a cheap dollar, and some "Growth Hawks" at the Fed. The dithering Japan Wing at the Fed, however, will continue to suffocate American industry.

Anyway, the future of the world is in the Far East. Get over it. We have bankrupted ourselves on stupid military expeditions while China built up its economy.

 
At 9/15/2010 12:39 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Chinaron (China ala Enron) is going to crash and burn and it isn't about its real estate market.

When they keep their currency low versus the dollar they make their goods cheaper but they also make their imports and buyings more expensive.

Thus, when they buy energy they are paying way too much for it. And when they buy our Treasuries (and Europe's and Japan's) they are paying way too much.

The result is about a wash for the Chinese: they gain in their calculated GDP but if their balance sheet was properly accounted for they are losing that and more. This is just what Enron did: transfer assets from their balance sheet and calle it profit.

Also, we are putting China in a rarefied atmosphere just like we did Japan 20 years ago and the USSR 80 years ago. These are economies minipulated from the top which has never ever worked even if it looks so glorious in the intitial stages.

What works is what we do: Free Market Capitalism. You want to get enamoured with the Chinese model? Be prepared for a massive disappointment.

 
At 9/15/2010 12:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Did Harold Meyerson Really Just Compare Toyota to a Slave Owner?"

LOL!

Thanks for the link, juandos; now, when I start feeling depressed by conditions in the real world, I can get some comic relief by reading Meyerson.

 
At 9/15/2010 1:13 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

". These are economies minipulated from the top which has never ever worked..."

Gee, that sounds a lot like conditions these days where I live in the USofA.

"What works is what we do: Free Market Capitalism."

Where are you speaking from?

Free market capitalism certainly seems desirable, but we here in the US haven't actually practiced anything like that for a long time, if ever. In fact it appears that we are swiftly moving farther away from that ideal.

 
At 9/15/2010 3:47 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ron H.

You are right. Take a look at rural America--an entire swath of the nation living on federal lard.

Highways, water systems, power systems, postal services, telephone service, railroad stops, airports--even crops are subsidized.

The most mollycoddled, knock-kneed, enfeebled economic weaklings on the planet are residents of rural America.

It all started when then-Congressman TX LBJ started looting the US Treasury (with FDR say-so) for rural projects. It has been ballooning ever since, carrying through to R-Party domination of rural areas.

Without federal money, rural America would just about (and properly) blow away.

 
At 9/15/2010 4:18 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You are right. Take a look at rural America--an entire swath of the nation living on federal lard."

Benji, you failed to mention quantitative easing. Are you preparing another of your repetitive single issue rants as I write this?

Do you have anything to say on the topic of China's currency policy and how we all benefit from it?

 
At 9/15/2010 4:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"It all started when then-Congressman TX LBJ...Treasury...FDR...rural projects...ballooning...R-Party domination of rural areas."

How did those Democratic party heroes lose the loyalty of rural America to the Republicans? It doesn't make sense.

 
At 9/15/2010 4:26 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Except it's not in our favor if it eviscerates jobs faster than they can be replaced. The answer is a tariff.


Did Harold Meyerson Really Just Compare Toyota to a Slave Owner?

The problem is that Toyota's practices are closer to that truth than you want to admit.

 
At 9/15/2010 5:07 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"How did those Democratic party heroes lose the loyalty of rural America to the Republicans? It doesn't make sense"...

Well Ron H regardless of how it happened pseudo benny stumbled onto something there if the WSJ is to be believed...

Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements

This kind of policy will end up making us dependent on the Chinese regardless of their machinations unless something is done about it...

We can't as a nation keep stealing from the same old crowd and expect anything to improve...

"Except it's not in our favor if it eviscerates jobs faster than they can be replaced. The answer is a tariff"...

Hey sethstorm if you want to talk about real job eviceration consider your fellow travelers over at the EPA...

From the CBO: How Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Affect Employment

Here's my favorite sethstorm:

Appalachian Coal Miners Say EPA Rules Are Killing Their Jobs

sethstorm also makes the specious claim: "The problem is that Toyota's practices are closer to that truth than you want to admit"...

So what are the Toyota management people doing sethstorm?

Chaining employees to their workstations and forcing them to work at gun point?

Just asking amigo...

 
At 9/15/2010 5:38 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Hey sethstorm if you want to talk about real job eviceration consider your fellow travelers over at the EPA...

You imply that I support the EPA, which is false.

As for Toyota:
Ask them who does the assembly work for the Japanese-built cars. The answer will likely be permatemp'd folks from China who don't have their passport on hand and experience the same practices as China. Same thing that's done in the US, just with slightly more friendly approaches to their permatemping in the US.

If Toyota was serious, they'd take the hit and build cars(not their current set of golfcarts) in the North anyway. Then hire them directly & honestly.

Another thing:
Surprised that Toyota isn't getting called on being the supplier for various nations that US fights. It'd be too easy to say "Toyota: Moving terrorism forward" or even "Toyota: Moving our enemies forward" - given their sales to our enemies and factories in places like Myanmar(Toyota Tsusho) & China.

 
At 9/15/2010 6:27 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Obstacle to Deficit Cutting: A Nation on Entitlements"

Interesting article, juandos, thanks.

I have a lot of questions for the woman with the hyphenated name, as to whether she and her husband had exhausted all other possible sources of money available to them before they asked me to help them pay their mortgage. I especially wondered if they had considered borrowing against their 401Ks.

All I know about them is that they own a home, have children, and she has lost her job. They seem to want ,as much as possible, to maintain their current lifestyle, and she seems adept at finding money in other people's pockets.

Here's what Thomas Sowell has to say about that very subject.

 
At 9/15/2010 6:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey Ron H, the WSJ article was in many respects berift of basic facts, some of which you list...

Maybe the lady is actually divorced but or something else but either the number of available column inches or 'political correctness' left it out of the article...

Ahhh, Thomas Sowell is man on a mission to push common sense...

Gotta love it!

sethstorm says: "You imply that I support the EPA, which is false"...

Ahhhh, no I don't think so...

Regardless of the reasoning both you and the EPA end up with the same results, more unemployed people...

"Ask them who does the assembly work for the Japanese-built cars. The answer will likely be permatemp'd folks from China who don't have their passport on hand and experience the same practices as China"...

So these supposed perma-temps are forced at gun point to one: take the job and...
two: to stay on the job...

Did I get that right?

"If Toyota was serious, they'd take the hit and build cars(not their current set of golfcarts) in the North anyway"...

Well sethstorm that's really nice of you to want to spend Toyota's money in ways YOU see fit...

Hmmm, I wonder how many people working for Toyota North America would agree with those sentiments?

 
At 9/15/2010 6:53 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Ron H. said...

...and you want them to suffer as much as possible until they bend to your way.

They know that landlords are for the large part, screwballs. Rarely do you see an honest one, and it is unlikely that they are going to find an honest one with a clean property.

 
At 9/15/2010 7:04 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


So these supposed perma-temps are forced at gun point to one: take the job and...
two: to stay on the job...

Yes, and yes.

Force by practicality is also valid as well.


Appalachian Coal Miners Say EPA Rules Are Killing Their Jobs

Would you be fine with a very (unsafely) cloudy glass of water, courtesy of Massey Energy dumping stuff into your water supply? Not a defense of the EPA in the slightest. Yes, this did happen in a mining town.

That's what you get for believing the ones that brown-nose the owner of the coal mine and not the people that actually work in it. The greater danger is the lack of adherence to safety regulations and the owners that perpetuate it. The only defense of it is from people who really are forced by practicality to work in the mines.

 
At 9/15/2010 7:10 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Well sethstorm that's really nice of you to want to spend Toyota's money in ways YOU see fit...

They're in the jurisdiction of the United States, that's enough.


Hmmm, I wonder how many people working for Toyota North America would agree with those sentiments?

More than you would think.

 
At 9/15/2010 7:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Toyota: Moving our enemies forward" - given their sales to our enemies and factories in places like Myanmar(Toyota Tsusho) & China."

I didn't realize we were at war with either Myanmar or China. I'd better check the news more often.

"...and you want them to suffer as much as possible until they bend to your way."

No, Seth, I want them to take responsibility for themselves. They are independent adults who have made their own choices and decisions. I have no responsibility for them.

If they chose to live a little too close to the edge and suffered misfortune, then so be it. Before they ask strangers for help, they should be willing to exhaust their own resources. It sounds like those folks wanted me and other taxpayers to help them make ends meet while they maintain as nearly as possible their current life style, AND their current assets.

"They know that landlords are for the large part, screwballs. Rarely do you see an honest one, and it is unlikely that they are going to find an honest one with a clean property."

I'm reminded once again that you live in a bizarre parallel universe. Are you remembering that they are homeowners? Do you have any idea how many readers of this blog who are landlords you have insulted with those unwarranted statements?

If landlords were as bad as you claim, EVERYONE would still be living in their mother's basement.

Did you read the Sowell article?

I didn't think so.

get a clue, sethstorm, and a job. I should imagine your mother wants her basement back by now.

 
At 9/15/2010 8:04 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Did you read the Sowell article?

Yes, I read it. Same conclusion.

That insult is well-deserved, even for knowing the landlord side of it. They are not going to find a good, reasonable landlord or a clean house with a foreclosure on their hands. They will get someone in the private sector who will put the screws to them due to knowing their bad position. Something Sowell (and his readers) are not likely to ever know of in anything but far-off history.



I didn't realize we were at war with either Myanmar or China. I'd better check the news more often.

Myanmar for its despotism and friendliness to our enemies.

China for its despotism, friendliness to our enemies, and war against the country of Taiwan.

Either way, Toyota gives aid and comfort to our enemies(direct or not). For that, they deserve the slogan "Toyota: Moving terrorism forward".

 
At 9/15/2010 8:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

How about this, seth?

"It is widely acknowledged that in Myanmar there is suppression of ethnic minorities, nearly a million people are in forced labor and more than 1,500 dissidents languish in jail under a military government sponsored by foreign aid and transnational businesses, including GM and Suzuki"

Or this?

"General Motors Sales in China Rise 19.2% in August Demand for All Major Brands Continues to Grow"

 
At 9/15/2010 8:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I should imagine your mother wants her basement back by now"...

Oh geez Ron H, I dang near drowned on my Arizon Green Tea when I read that... Funny! Very funny!

sethstorm says: "They're in the jurisdiction of the United States, that's enough"...

Is that an admittance that the US is now a communist country?

"More than you would think"...

YOU of course have something credible to back up that statement, right?

Care to share sir?

 
At 9/15/2010 8:50 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Markets In Everything: The Chinese Yuan? Nope; notta; nothing. No market, no way.

There must be a market for the Chinese Yuan. There is a market for everything. Before China joined the WTO it promised to have a market for the yuan. So let's go to the FOREX (The world's Foreign Exchange trader): FOREX Currency Pairs Trading. Nope, no symbol for the CYN, and so no trading.

If China is market economy why does anyone think that it would keep its currency from trading? Shyness? Aloofness? Laziness?

U.S. producers are punished in foreign markets by the lack of a market for the yuan. One cannot state they support markets then trivialize the lack of a market for the yuan. They can explain it away but they are faux market supporters, pure and simple.
Markets in everyt

 
At 9/15/2010 9:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"...Something Sowell (and his readers) are not likely to ever know of in anything but far-off history."

If you weren't so ignorant, you would know that Sowell came from humble beginnings and through his own hard work and determination earned the success he enjoys today. Something YOU wouldn't know anything about because you would rather whine about how badly you are treated by others.

As for landlords, maybe the people we have been discussing should sell their house before they have a foreclosure to deal with. It IS possible to do the right thing even during difficult times. It doesn't generate much sympathy to remain in someone else's house until you are physically removed.

 
At 9/17/2010 6:15 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


If you weren't so ignorant, you would know that Sowell came from humble beginnings and through his own hard work and determination earned the success he enjoys today. Something YOU wouldn't know anything about because you would rather whine about how badly you are treated by others.

I know of his more humble beginnings(through his speech on "affordable housing"). I was hoping you'd pick up on that by my reference to "far-off" history.

 
At 9/17/2010 10:10 AM, Blogger SweetLiberty said...

Mark Perry does a brilliant job of illuminating the realities of government action. "Congress may just consider mandating some punitive taxes against American consumers and business on its own." In other words, let us force all Americans to subsidize favored industries large enough to lobby politicians to keep them afloat.

We have three choices: 1) Allow government to force us all to pay the price difference to keep an American Company profitable. This will clearly distort the true market price of the goods, leaving such pricing up to Washington bureaucrats. In addition, governments aren't good at ending subsidies, even when the original conditions which spawned them in the first place become antiquated. 2) Let those willing to do so pay the higher prices to the American Company in order to keep it solvent. 3) Let the American Company parish (or evolve into something else), letting the market (whether local or international forces beyond our control) redefine where America has a comparative advantage.

The dollars I save by purchasing Chinese goods will eventually make their way into the pockets of American companies which I do willingly support. Why penalize me for supporting company B over company A just because company A is getting underpriced by the Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Africans, Mexicans, Texans, Nebraskans, etc...

 

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