Yankee Utopians in a Chinese Century
For those who can yet recall the
backyard blast furnaces of Mao`s China in the 1950s and
the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to re-instill
peasant values in the 1970s, the news was jarring.
said the Financial
Times, China will surpass the United States as
first manufacturing power, a title America has held
since surpassing Great Britain around 1890.
Each year, China passes a new
Last year, China surpassed Germany
as the greatest exporting nation. This year, China
surpasses Japan as the world`s second-largest economy.
This year, China became the first auto manufacturer on
For a decade, China has been
running history`s largest trade surpluses with the
United States and has amassed a hoard of $2.3 trillion
in foreign currency. She now holds the mortgage on
How has China vaulted to the
forefront in manufacturing, trade and technology?
Export-driven economic nationalism.
Beijing cut the value of its
currency in half in 1994, doubling the price of imports,
slashing the price of exports and making Chinese labor
the best bargain in Asia. Foreign firms were invited to
relocate their plants in China and told this was the
price of access to the Chinese market. Beijing began
looting these firms of technology, as she sent her sons
to study in America. Industrial espionage and
intellectual property theft became Chinese specialties.
And how has America fared in the
One in every three manufacturing
jobs we had in 2000, nearly 6 million, vanished. Some
50,000 U.S. factories shut down. We have run trade
deficits totaling $5 trillion since NAFTA passed. The
real wages of working Americans have been stagnant for a
While China has resumed her 12
percent growth rate, the United States, with 25 million
unemployed or underemployed, appears headed for a
Yet, even as the end of America`s
tenure as the world`s first manufacturing power was
being announced, the
Wall Street Journal
admonished us to keep our eyes on the prize: a new
world order where it does not matter who produces what
"The pursuit of some ideal global `balance` in trade and capital flows
is an illusion. … World leaders would do better to
worry less about (trade) imbalances and more about
whether their own nations are pursuing policies that
contribute to global prosperity."
There you have it—the conflict in
visions between us.
For decades, America`s leaders have
followed the Wall
Street Journal ideology. We put a mythical world
economy before our own economy. We put
"global prosperity" before national interest. We forced our workers
to compete, in their own country, against the products
of foreign laborers earning a tenth of their pay. And we
tens of millions of semi-skilled and unskilled
immigrants, legal and illegal, to take the jobs of
And the Chinese? They put China
first, second and third.
And who won the decade? And who is
winning the future?
Inside the July 1
Washington Post is
small story about how the World Trade Organization
finally ruled that European nations have been unfairly
subsidizing Airbus—for 40 years.
While welcome, what good will it do
now for scores of thousands of U.S. workers who built
commercial jets for Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas,
which Airbus took down, or Boeing, which was outsourcing
jobs even before Airbus dethroned it as the world`s No.
1 aircraft manufacturer?
Why did some U.S. president not
tell the Europeans when they started this: Either stop
subsidizing Airbus to kill our U.S. aircraft
companies—or start defending yourselves against the
The day the FT reported that China
was sweeping past us to become No. 1 in manufacturing,
New York Times
ran a front-page story on the closing of the
Whirlpool refrigerator plant in Evansville, Ind., and
the loss of 1,100 jobs. The plant is moving to Mexico.
The Times spoke with Natalie Ford,
a worker, whose husband and son also worked at
Whirlpool, as had her dad,
"This is all about corporate greed," Mrs. Ford said,
to our family and to everyone in the plant. I wonder
where we`ll be two years from now. There aren`t any jobs
here. How is this community going to survive?"
"My mom and dad
told me that when they were young, there were jobs
everywhere. They said we had Whirlpool, Bristol-Myers,
Mead Johnson, Windsor Plastics, Guardian Automotive,
Zenith. Now if you want to find a job, there`s nothing
"Free trade! Free
Henry Clay in the tariff debate of 1833.
"The call for
free trade is as unavailing as the cry of a spoiled
child in its nurse`s arms for the moon or the stars that
glitter in the firmament of heaven. It has never
existed. It will never exist."
It will only place us, said Clay,
"under the commercial dominion of Great Britain."
Today, it is the dominion of China.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.