Home | About | Donate

China Is Not the Source of Our Economic Problems—Corporate Greed Is

China Is Not the Source of Our Economic Problems—Corporate Greed Is

Jeffrey D. Sachs

China is not an enemy. It is a nation trying to raise its living standards through education, international trade, infrastructure investment, and improved technologies. In short, it is doing what any country should do when confronted with the historical reality of being poor and far behind more powerful countries. Yet the Trump administration is now aiming to stop China's development, which could prove to be disastrous for both the United States and the entire world.

1 Like

Even just continuing to think of nation states using the lens of the Treaty of Westphalia leads to horrific misunderstandings and missteps. The world is far too integrated for such outdated foolishness to serve any purpose. Read Voltaire’s Candide if you want a satirical insight on that matter. Professor Sachs is right that cooperation in lieu of competition is the best path forward. Friction between peoples, while lining the one percent’s pockets, is ultimately the cause of much inefficiency and results in the literal waste of energy–currently in to the form of burning fossil fuels to everyone’s peril. Until humanity–all of it–learns to obey Mother Nature’s rules, it is doomed to suffer the consequences of further competition while damning the most vulnerable of it along with countless other wholly innocent species along the way. Knowledge is Power. It is also nonpolluting, renewable, and sustainable when stewarded by those who really value the treasure that the ride on earth can be.

3 Likes

Yes, but you aren’t dealing with rational, compassionate boards of directors. They are venal, petty, scheming and trained to be meat eaters ( in contrast to Japan’s “grasseaters” or “herbivores” the increasing number of young men who are simply opting out of a hypercompetitive system in which only their passive resistance remains viable). Recall Mercedez Benz built the ovens and General Motors received compensation for its bombed out Opel factories in Germany where they had been building heavy equipment for the Nazis, equipment used to kill young American farmboys.
I believe Prof. Sachs should amend his essay here to differentiate between China the State Actor and the Chinese, who by and large are being screwed badly by Western Robber Barons, an example of whom is Eric Smidt of Harbor Freight tools. This creature is exemplary of the modern corporate thief; he was sued by his own father in 2010 for looting the company funds for his lavish lifestyle including a $150 MILLION DOLLAR YACHT. Meanwhile the Chinese workers making the crap he sells to foolish American workers like myself make literally pennies on the dollar, perhaps $0.25 for every dollar an American worker makes.
These brutal, unjust realities are why many turn to religion. Prof. Sachs rational, measured, logical assessment means nothing: the suffering will continue, indeed worsen. The leaders are meateaters.

2 Likes

Please take care and never spend too long in a Harbor Freight store. The off gassing of formaldehyde and other noxious chemicals is not good for one’s health. OSHA should, but would never, test the air in their stores.

1 Like

I have noticed the peculiar odor of Chinese made tools, particularly rubber and plastics. What is intersting is while the corporate MSM keep rallying the hoiploi behind Trump with daily updates of the tariff wars, I wonder wh yHarbor Freight tools prices have never gone up. Is this fake news coverage? I wonder what the Trump Administration’s demands on the Chinese are (something conspicuously missing from much news coverage) I mean, honestly, if Trump’s Herd believe he is getting tough on them to bring factories and jobs back to America, I would be really surprised: more likely more enforcement of intellectual porperty rights for the rich investor class, and demanding of the Chinese cheaper products to sell to impoverished Americans, with the threat of moving production to Southeast Asia.

Sachs is right in his assessment of the greed of corporate America as being the root of all evil, but it seems unlikely that We the People have any chance of seizing power from the elites and establishing a functioning democracy.
To begin with, too many in the U.S. have fallen for the mainstream media’s campaign to blame anyone except corporate America for our low standard of living and the pending environmental collapse of the planet. Scapegoating the Chinese, immigrants, so-called Liberals, socialists, terrorism, etc. has been very successful. Rarely does an American talk about ending the age of consumerism, taxing corporate behemoths, ending the fossil fuel era or dismantling our MIC. Instead too many focus on media created distractions like the Trump circus, the Kardashians, entertainment events, and of course… shopping!
The entire focus of the American 99% should be on how we can remove corporate influence once and for all from our political institutions. But while a middle class American will think nothing of paying $250 a month cable bill or buying season tickets to see sporting event for thousands of dollars, most American don’t spend any time or money on the political movements necessary to bring fairness to the masses and reversing our path towards the sixth mass extinction.
I give credit to Sachs for coming of age (though it took him a while) and realizing that corporate greed is the root of all of our contemporary problems, but I’m not sure if he has any more influence in this arena than my cat does. Instead Sachs should focus on cleansing our government of corporate sycophants, raising taxes on the rich, closing the economic gap between the rich and the poor and attacking the counter productive concepts of endless growth and imperialism.

4 Likes

THis is a large part of the problem. And why corporations must be heavily regulated, monitored, held accountable, and the Sr. leaderships prosecuted personally

THESE are your captains of industry

China’s rise is a symptom of the problem

1 Like

The author makes very good points but to say China’s theft of technology is a simplistic way of viewing things simply because countries like China are catching up is wrong. The Chinese government colludes with companies to obtain and replicate US technology to their own advantage. They do so in violation of patent laws and international agreements. That’s theft. There is no need for the author to be dishonest to make the overall point that the 1% is destroying our country in the world.

1 Like

The whole ruckus over Huawei , with an executive arrested here in Canada awaiting deportation to the US and with the US Claiming it owned by the Chinese Government wherein the technology used to spy on the West , is over the fact that the gear is cheaper and more advanced than the US counterparts. The US wants to shut them out of the market.

This is exactly why they complain about Nordstream 2. They want the EU to buy US Natural gas and not gas from Russia.

1 Like

I would put the number ta closer to 2 in 3. The other 1/3rd go along with those 2 in three because being a psychopath is a good business decision.

1 Like

Wouldn’t argue against that
If Corporations are people, they are sociopathic , greedy and psychotic by design. And these creatures are bribing our ‘elected’ officials and our elected officials are doing THEIR bidding, not ours. And that system is by design too. We will not ‘elect’ our way out of this kids

That is a sad statement on our environmental commitment in the US.

Environmental and labor issues were not discussed adequately in this piece by Sachs. One can be against US hegemony in the world and attempts to bully China now and in the past, be against corporate malfeasance in the US and still oppose free trade with any trade partner that uses even worse labor and environmental standards than we have here. I’m completely against what we allowed to happen over the last 40 years.

1 Like

The Unions lose their ability to fight for workplace safety. This because of Free trade deals which allow the Corporations to set up shop in jurisdictions which such protections marginal. Again just as in the EU , a Corporation can simply up and move to another jurisdiction if the Union does not play along and still access that same market. A Union can not up and move so find it in their best interests to work in concert with that Corporation to diminish workplace safety.

Union membership declines the world over because the Corporations worked to gut their power via trade deals.

3 Likes

China Is Not the Source of Our Economic Problems—North American White Slave Culture Is

2 Likes

I haven’t followed the Huawei story closely, but have wondered what the real problem is with this issue. Since the implementation of the full-on security state, the big fight with these companies seems to be how wide of a “backdoor” they will grant to the alphabets(regardless of what they tell the media). Is that the underlying issue in this case? Or is it truly about trade?

1 Like

One side claims this a security issue with Huawei having left backdoors into their product so they can hack in and spy. This is IMO just being used by Western Interests to promote Western Technology over that from China as “Backdoors” exist in that Western Tech as well.

As far as I can tell this about ensuring western firms remain competitive. China claimed years ago it wanted to be a technological powerhouse and the West has always taken it for granted they would always have superior technology.

3 Likes

Thanks.

There was an article, yesterday, on one of the Websites I frequent, which claimed the U.S. is falling behind technologically; because, it has failed to invest in the education of its citizens. I’ve seen this in both the old school engineering (ME, EE, CE, etc) and high-tech engineering (software) fields. The U.S. elites’ kids would go into law or finance; but, there was no glory in entering the engineering fields. Corporations were bringing in engineers from other countries, especially India, and China (esp. Hong Kong and Singapore).

So, is it any wonder that the U.S. is falling behind technologically? Russia is apparently eating our lunch in the area of defensive missile technology (especially engines) and electronic warfare; and, China is about to eat our lunch in all sorts of electronics technology, including communications and renewable energy.

4 Likes

I do believe China about to introduce a high speed train that goes twice as fast as those used in Europe which an evolution of their existing trains which are already ahead of what Countries like the USA has. The West assumes it superior and that any Chinese advances are because China steals technology. This absolute nonsense. The West still has the image of China as was portrayed in the Movie “The Sand Pebbles” where the Chinese believe ghosts inhabit the engine on the vessel cruising the Yangtze.

Here the thing about The US in particular that I noticed. Not only does Hollywood churn out propoganda on an ongoing basis , its political leaders start believing the stuff as real.

3 Likes

Yes, Huawei is cheaper.
Sent to you from Sichuan by my Huawei.