Teaching A Free-Marketeer To Read A Chart Thoroughly
Joe Weisenthal, free-marketeer advocate and writer for “Business Insider” wrote about the chart below:
From the December balance of trade report, here’s a look at exports to China.
Suffice to say, this idea that they don’t buy anything from us is long debunked.
Really? Yes? Or, no?
The answer is quite clear: NO!
It’s the trade deficit that matters. You will never find a citation of any respected economics writer saying, as it was put, “they don’t buy anything from us?” Gawd, what a dumb@$$ pseudo-assertion.
Well, here’s how much monthly we’ve bought from China, for comparison:
So, in point of fact, each month, the Chinese sell us over three times the dollar value of what we sell them? Yep!
“…[T]his idea that they don’t buy anything from us is long debunked.” Really?
Again, I’m not sure I ever heard anyone of intellect express that idea, but I have heard a lot about a trade imbalance. Why doesn’t Weisenthal’s chart show that reality? Here you, go:
Let’s just say it again: I’ve never heard it said that China imports “nothing” from the US. The problem is the trade imbalance. People might want to take a look at the real news:
- Imports from China hit record levels, totaling $364.9 billion for the year 2010.
- Chinese imports far outweighed the $91.9 billion worth of US exports going the other way.
- The trade deficit with China rose by 20.4% to an all-time high of $273 billion, the largest imbalance the US has recorded with a single country.
As was pointed out on a business discussion group, “Strawmen make the best boxing opponents.”
They don’t hit back, and you win every argument with them.
A similar tagline could be written…
This idea that dogs have twenty seven legs, five wings and a unicorn head at each end, is now debunked!
Normally dogs have a maximum of four legs, one doggy head and no wings.
Now, let’s address the headline: “US Exports To China Are Just Growing Ridiculously”
“Ridiculously” clearly implies, “Skyrocketing!” So the question is begged, “Really?”
- $10 billion exported in a month (and $91.9 billion for all of 2010) isn’t that much
- considering the US churns out over $14 trillion in GDP each year and
- China’s population of potential customers is over a billion.
From where do these writers come! In this case, he came from free-marketeer fantasy land called Texas (Lots more of him there!).
Let’s think now if there are any clues about what the Chinese are buying so much?
One discussion groupie thought: “Replace the word dollars with the word jobs.”
He’s probably not too far off. Think about this: “Boeing secures $19 billion, 200-jet order from China – Offsets helped secure a record Chinese order.” http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-scores-19-billion-jet-order-from-china-2011-01-19
Offsets? Yes, such as an agreement to purchase certain goods or services from the buyer (China), or to directly invest in the other country’s economy.
Now what does that mean to us?
We send 200 planes to China, they send just about everything we consume back.
And of course, that doesn’t mean more jobs:
Because here’s what “offsets” really mean:
After signing pact with China, Boeing lays off 1,100 U.S. workers
Yeah, we buy China’s manufactured products and they buy our land, jobs, and commodities. Great deal Americans…
China is having a drought problem. Their wheat production is down, and they are buying massive amounts of grain from USA now. This is one way to decrease food-price-inflation there — oh, thoughtful… go figure.
So… commodities? Day and night, mile-long coal trains and grain trains pass through the Yellowstone River Valley on their way to Seattle and on to China. From the coal fields of montana and Wyoming, this has been going on for many, many months. Any wheat and corn reserves that the US had are rapidly being sent to China — no doubt stockpiling grain reserves — which is what along with increased ethanol production has caused shortages of grain in the US.
A country that ships its natural resources to other countries and buys finished products of all kinds in exchange is a country that is becoming a third world country… and that is the direction America is heading.
A post-industrial economy is hard on actual labor workers, but good for brain people. This is why we must continue to boost everyone’s effectiveness by boosting education. wherever possible. Yet, Tea Partiers want to eliminate the Department of Education and the Student Loan Program for collegiate studies.
One other thought for supporters of Rand Paul and libertarian ideas of defunding the fed and moving back (as in regress) to the “Gold Standard:”
Three decades past, the Japanese were running massive trade deficits with the United States that led to a huge outcry in Congress, media, etc. At that time, the economist Martin Armstrong recommended to the Japanese that they buy Gold Bullion from the New York market. Doing so had the dual advantage of purchasing an actual hard asset and also reducing the deficits (because the trade is measure in Dollars). The Japanese heeded his advice and “wa-la” the deficits were reduced (making the media and Congress happy).
For all you Paul supporters and libertarians to consider, the Chinese may be stocking up massive Gold and Silver bullion inventories (as well as other valuable commodities) from the US and selling us cheap toasters, DVD players, etc. Then, when your retrograde plan to revert to the failed “Gold Standard” occurs, who’s got the new cash? Just goes to show how gullible the media and unsophisticated Americans can be as they fall for these gimmicks and sleight-of-hand policy proposals.