Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who is watching the world change?

“It turns out that the most efficient delivery system for capitalism is actually a communist-style police state....” China’s All-Seeing Eye

My old cobber Abi keeps a critical news eye on a range of issues and came up with this gem. This Rolling Stone article seems so un-American in its premise, but with arguments familiar to others around the globe.

“American commentators like CNN’s Jack Cafferty dismiss the Chinese as “the same bunch of goons and thugs they’ve been for the last 50 years.” But nobody told the people of Shenzhen, who are busily putting on a 24-hour-a-day show called “America” — a pirated version of the original, only with flashier design, higher profits and less complaining.” China’s All-Seeing Eye

Mind you, I don’t blandly accept the “communist-style police state” statement; it is a dubious proposition to suggest communism has even been tried to any great degree. What I find odd is that we attack China’s form of police state yet accept Singapore and a dozen other police states as good international citizens.

No doubt Singapore and others were quick to drive capitalism, so any deficit in civil liberties could easily be excused, or maybe we are too easily suckered by words and too lazy to look at realities. For the moment, at least, the pot is being stirred in the US.

Meanwhile our Teflon Kev here in Australia is doing a truly remarkable job of ignoring inevitable complaints and driving essential policy. Some of our pensioners here might be tearing their clothes off in symbolic protest, but his support is gaining strength at the same time.

Rudd's Mandarin 'a boon for Aussie business

Who would have thought it:

“PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd's ability to speak Chinese is opening up trade opportunities for Australian businesses…” NEWS LTD

That is the same China, by the way, those communist bastards who are going to kill our babies as we sleep. Well maybe not Aussie babies, we are now there trading partners. But it strikes me that Rudd can be in the process of dismantling the police state Howard was building, can take the complaints and attacks, and still deliver the goods. Well we hope he will deliver the goods.

15 comments:

lindsaylobe said...

Yes I agree with you, it’s best to communicate and develop a closer relationship with China who can be a positive force in many aspects, not least of which is the opportunity for increased trade. Average weekly earnings in the resources sector, concentrated in WA and QLD are now in exces of $100,000, manly by courtesy of the demand generated from china. On the home front however it’s not going to be plain sailing ahead. Sales of new motor vehicles fell 0.8% in April indicating a clear case of loss of momentum in the past 3 months (-1.8% in the 3months to April); finally confirming the clear downward trend. It was, as expected not so nearly as evident in the in the resource-rich states (WA, Qld) which help cushion the falls. But its yet another indicator of our slowing domestic demand since the close of last year, notwithstanding vehicle prices were held down by the appreciation of the A$. You can reliably expect bigger declines soon with ever rising fuel prices, continued food inflation, much tighter lending and so on all dampening demand and inevitably leading to a further contraction in GDP for the June quarter. But there will still be modest growth, dare I repeat it again by courtesy of ….

lindsaylobe said...

$100,000 per annum of course, to confirm in case one was to think I was trying to be flippant
Best wishes

Cart said...

Lindsay, flippant is not something I relate to your comments. You just tickle my curiosity on a related issue. With the rate rises to dampen growth I realise a lot of that is the cost of money (loans), but why does plant and equipment no longer figure in the equation? Have we stopped importing or stopping manufacturing?
I recall a time in my old timber days when I made a living selling tools and machines out of Europe. Beautiful stuff in its own way, but a drain on our relatively small economy; and timber was only one industry puling equipment into the country. It was a worry then, but barely raises a ripple now.

lindsaylobe said...

Because we have so little manufacturing in this country and most large companies have their capital expenditure relating to offshore activities. In every industry local operations are declining and those that remain have most of their manufacturing offshore principally in Asia. In just about every industry including the Service sector operations activities are being re located offshore and hence equipment or capital spending will be overseas.
If I take say just two examples and attempt to be practical, let’s say textiles and timber. You will recall in the sixties and seventies they were large industries employing many with a hunger for imported or locally made machinery! Spinning mills, weavers, garment manufacturers etc. But to day the domestic market is limited to just a few specialist up market fashion suppliers, just a trickle left in the Industry who also mainly import. The few who do manufacture also do it offshore.
In the Timber industry it is not quite as clear cut, (if you will pardon the pun), but it is of the same grain. Those involved are basically importers, there are far less sawmills and genuine local manufacturers of furniture and so forth, the majority is all imported. Large scale construction companies like Leighton have most of their demand from offshore although the new infrastructure spending will generate some additional capital expenditure. Capital equipment is still important but compared to where we were it far less significant, excluding the mining industry. And all the big Australian companies now have up to 50_70% of their operations located offshore. Look at the car industry, its retracting and only survived with Government assistance.
Thats why we have the need to make Australia the financial hub for Asia - to create new service industries.
Best wishes

Utah Savage said...

I thought China owned us by now. I mean us in the U.S. haven't we borrowed from them to the tune of trillions? We will have to start teaching the tots to speak Mandarin or some dialect of Chinese. I've never been a fan of our style of capitalism. I'm rather surprised the Bush/Cheney group of thugs hasn't found a way for Halliburton or one of it's subsidiaries to start billing us for the air we consume. I expect to be getting a bill any day.

abi said...

Hey, thanks for the mention, Cart. But someday I have to look up that word "cobber."

Cart said...

Savage, I really feel like a Jeremiah pushing this line. I still hold grave fears for what is coming.
Australia is more insulated than the US, by virtue of our current resource market. But even here it is evident that basic commodities like housing and food are becoming luxuries.

Abi, cobber is an archaism here that I'm rather fond of. It just means buddy or even friend in your language. Now if you were a close friend I'd probably cal you an old bastard or variant on that :)

Cart said...

Lindsay, thank you again. Your summary was very helpful.

Utah Savage said...

I'm an old bitch, does that count for anything?

Cart said...

Savage, not the bloody gender politics. Fact is I'm an old dog, and I don't count :)
However, I think a few more crusty bitches, bitching their sad old hearts out, might make a bit of a difference out there.

lindsaylobe said...

Just to be more specific the goods imports (debits) decreased 3% between March and April 2008. Capital goods actually fell $435m (10pc) with civil aircraft decreasing by $329m. Non industrial transport equipment decreasing $206m whilst others rose $143m (19pc) and intermediate and other merchandise goods rose $111m. More data out soon but the slowing in activity hopefully means interest rates will be left on hold.

I noticed the US Senate approved linking another $47 billion in spending to more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 25 Repubs joined Dems in a move to to extend benefits to boost assistance for military vets~ fair enough !. But I notice another $165 Bilion approved for continuance of the war efforts through to 2009.
Best wishes

D.K. Raed said...

I am late to this post, so all I can say is, be sure to take photos of all those pensioners taking off their clothes in protest! We need independent verification.

Cart said...

OMG, the TV footage was bad enough.

D.K. Raed said...

Not for us because we saw none of it. Was it kind of like an aging Woodstock concert?

Cart said...

DK, tyhe sight of a crowd of Aussie pensioners, (65+) taking their clothes off in wintertime Melbourne does not resonate with scenes of Woodstock. Mind you I haven't seen crowd images from either event that are really worth repeating.