Chinese President Hu's visit to Washington today (April 20) reminds us that the US is well on its way to becoming the tail on the China dog. Just as with oil rich Arab nations, the US is, at a record pace, sending its wealth (and the future prosperity of its children) to China. Record trade deficits continue to accumulate as China becomes the manufacturing site for US consumer items but continues to allow the theft of the US's only possible short term defense, it's intellectual property. US businesses must continue to invest massive amounts of economic energy in accounting and lawyering to deal with federal taxes, federal employment regulations, and runaway tort awards. These "investments" do not generate national wealth and help insure that the US will be uncompetitive in world markets for generations to come. China produces scientists and engineers while the US produces accountants and lawyers, but at the same time China has millions of people leaving the countryside for life in the cities and no amount of illegal immigrants from Mexico could offset this seemingly endless source of ready, able, and willing (to work cheap) labor. And as if that were not enough, similar challenges are coming from India and Southeast Asia. It seems increasingly clear that political power brokers in Washington are interested only in short term political advantage rather than the future of America's children. Perhaps free of Washington, Texas could move to create economic development zones and regulations designed to maintain competitiveness and to mitigate as much as possible the diminution in standard of living (relative to the rest of the world) which is inevitable in the US as global economic changes play out concurrently with the unraveling of US entitlement programs. While US politics continues to be dominated by an imagined struggle for social justice (e.g. rich versus poor), these world changes are consuming us and will make such debates moot.
Radio Free Europe's comments on Hu's visit: http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2006/04/91CC6541-2EFA-4CAD-B668-9AAF6226A96A.html
Fortune magazine on American competitiveness, "Is America the World's 97-lb. Weakling?": http://www.mutualofamerica.com/articles/Fortune/July2005/Fortune.asphttp://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1320226&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
More perspective by Eamonn Fingleton: http://japanfocus.org/article.asp?id=403
Inside look at Eamonn Fingleton's book, "Unsustainable. How Economic Dogma is Destroying American Prosperity": http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1560255145/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-5606343-3750225#reader-link