Archive for china

America’s third world economy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2010 by pictureplane

It’s often said that America’s an uncompetitive economy—unable to produce stuff that satisfies global demand. Hence, a yawning current account deficit.

I’d say the reality’s harsher. America’s caught in a toxic, self-destructive relationship with the globe’s second most significant economy. In short, it’s making the worst trade in the world.

The worst trade in the world is this: America doesn’t export the stuff you might think a bellwether of the 21st century would—cutting edge assets, that power the global growth of emerging markets. Mostly, it exports industrial age raw materials and machines: literally plain old commodities. China finishes them up and “processes” them—and exports “consumer goods” right back to America. They’re the trinkets and toys that are piled high on the bleak exurban shelves in super sizes—and America’s pawned it’s future for them.

Consider America’s top exports to China. Leaving aside aircraft and soybeans (neither a sustainable basis for national advantage), America’s sole export of note is semiconductors. The rest? Plastics, steel, pulp, chemicals, copper, aluminum, engines, cotton—literally commodities. It’s hypercommoditized raw materials, of the lowest of value—literally just stuff, far from higher value goods or services. It’s not the picture of an economy humming with innovation, meaning, purpose—it’s the picture of a junkyard.

Consider, conversely, America’s top imports from China. Here (apart from one trade of enduring worth—America exports semiconductors, and imports back computers, creating and capturing the lion’s share of returns from a single high-value industry), the picture’s even bleaker. “Other—household goods”, toys, computer peripherals, apparel, footwear, TV’s. America put itself in hock for disposable, rapidly commoditizing, self-destructive, depreciating stuff, discount-rack junk—literally the lowest of low-grade “consumer goods”. Not assets that yield multiplying, long-run returns—the foundation of enduring, resilient, smart growth. It’s not the picture of an economy that’s investing in tomorrow: it’s the picture of Black Friday in a big-box store.

via AZ Spot
from Bubble Generation

Card Sharks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on September 8, 2010 by pictureplane

via the daily what

Red army beat it

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2010 by pictureplane

via Dangerous Minds

The worst thing about cersorship is *** ******* *******!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 18, 2010 by pictureplane

Search term you can’t use are shown in red while the sites in grey are either blocked or have pages blocked

Broadly speaking, most of the big social websites – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – are all blocked. Many familiar sites, such as Wikipedia, remain but with entire sections or contentious pages disappeared by The Great Firewall. Porn is pretty much outlawed.

via guardian article

This information was gathered in light of a recent release from Google last week announcing they had been hacked from within china.

In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google… We have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists…

Most sensationally, the google blog entry ends with,

These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered–combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web–have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down, and potentially our offices in China.

via information is beautiful
via unreasonablefaith

Taxi Spiral

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2009 by pictureplane

Taxi drivers queueing for petrol in Chongqing, China

via tywkiwdbi