Two caveats: One, this article puts the cart well before the horse because we have not yet seen the worst of China Virus 19; yet this article focuses on the day after the crisis is declared over. After all, Trump’s critics and all “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” always complain after the fact that others did not plan earlier. Two, if President Trump is not reelected in November, this article is pointless because our future relations with China will be the least of America’s problems. With that duly noted …
China Virus 19 has brought home to more Americans than ever before that we absolutely have to divorce from China. We can agree to share custody of the kids, holiday visitation arrangements, even alimony. But the child support has to stop as soon as possible.
We knew that Apple makes iPhones and so much else of their stuff there. So do all the other Silicon Valley high-tech behemoths. On the one hand they all are blazing Kaepernick-quality leftist Democrats. Their money goes solid Democrat. Their politics is so far to the left that they even violate free speech values to tilt towards Democrats. Twitter closes down mainstream conservatives and Republicans. YouTube bans Dennis Prager lectures on the “Ten Commandments” because Prager mentions such words as “murder,” as in quoting “Thou Shalt Not Murder.” Diamond and Silk get expelled from the Facebook “community.” And yet these same flaming Silicon leftists flock to China to build all their products there because the labor can be had dirt-cheap and exploited shamelessly. A rabbi who mentored me 40 years ago taught me never to short-change quality employees because “when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” We now understand that when you pay less than even that, the poor suckers who assemble iPhones have to eat bats, snakes, and dogs.
We all knew that we save a few bucks on every iPhone, on every pair of Kaepernick-endorsed and LeBron-hustled Nikes we buy, because these Left-Democrat companies all evade labor unions and the American worker to get dirt-cheap labor from bat-eaters. As Americans, we all contributed, with willing suspension of knowledge, to this game. Along the way, we became a country Made in China. One industry after another moved there, to get away from mandatory union contracts and from paying for American-required “entitlements” so we could employ bat-eaters on the cheap. We thought we are safe forever, so we can move even our aluminum factories to China, our steel production, almost our national security. We even moved our pharmaceuticals to China.
Can you imagine? We, the most powerful and wealthiest nation there ever has been, are no longer self-sufficient in pharmaceuticals but rely on the single most heinous national security threat to our country to supply us with life-saving drugs. Did we realize that we even rely on them for large quantities of our hand cleansers and cough syrup? For shame, my beloved country!
Yet nothing changed our minds about giving China so much control over our lives and security. They hacked and raided our federal-employees databases and stole private data on millions of American federal workers. We didn’t care. They manipulate their currency and cheat on international trade, and they get away with it because most Americans never studied economics and do not understand, cannot even grasp, what is being done to them.
This is what currency manipulation is: learn it for yourself, and teach it to all the genius economics graduates of our colleges who studied alongside Ocasio and who likewise think that Von Mises is the surname of Pixie and Dixie, the ever-evasive targets of Jinx the Cat. Let’s say that one American widget costs 100 American dollars. Let’s say that one China Yuan Renminbi (“yuan”) is equal to one dollar. Let’s say that China also makes widgets, and they sell for 100 yuan. So you have two equal products at an equal price. Now China devalues its yuan to 50 cents so that you get two yuan for each dollar. That means that the $100-dollar American widget now costs people on the Chinese mainland 200 yuan because they have to pay the American exporter in dollars. But they still can buy the local Chinese widget for 100 yuan. Which will they buy? Meanwhile, they also export those widgets to America. They still want 100 yuan for each widget, and they have manipulated their currency so that one dollar gives you two yuan. That means an American here can buy the Chinese widget for $50 (which will equal 100 yuan), or they can buy the American product for the $100 that the Americans charge in dollars. So, by artificially manipulating and devaluing their currency’s value, which is illegal under international trade law, China increases its exports to America, decreases American imports to China, and blows open a huge annual $350 billion trade gap to our disadvantage.
They are crooks. They are cheats. And they are a country without a G-d. Even the Soviet Union under its G-dless communism always had an active Russian Orthodox church below the surface, and also Orthodox Russian Jews secretly baking matzos for Passover, circumcising their boys, and having rabbis solemnize their weddings. By contrast, China is a theological wet market. So the Chinese cheat on currency. And we certainly know dozens of times over that they have been caught cheating on product quality. More than 20 million children’s toys made with lead were recalled in one situation, while here in America lead has been banned in children’s toys since 1962. Also, they’ve sold soy sauce made from human hair:
When asking how the amino acid syrup (or powder) was generated, the manufacturer replied that the powder was generated from human hair. Because the human hair was gathered from salon[s], barbershop[s] and hospitals around the country, it was unhygienic and mixed with condoms, used hospital cottons, used menstrual cycle pad[s], used syringe[s], etc.
Turbot fish farmed in waste water. Cabbage sprayed with formaldehyde. Fake green peas dyed with carcinogenic sodium metabisulfite. Tofu made with sewage and slop. Fake baby formula made in 141 factories that caused malnutrition, swelled babies’ heads, and led to massive numbers of deaths. In October 2013, cat meat, slaughtered at a “black” slaughterhouse in Huai’an City near Shanghai, was sold to butchers and local markets under the guise of “rabbit.” Gee, how could COVID-19 and SARS and-and-and possibly have started in China? This is a G-dless country, and we should have divorced years ago. The list of filthy-food incidents with China is huge. But we all wanted to save a buck on our iPhones, on our underwear, and on the toys we buy for birthdays and Christmas presents.
We all have known all along that they cheat. They steal our intellectual property — over $200 billion worth of American business and technology secrets every year. They dumped cheap steel in England to drive British competitors out of the market. They dumped so much cheap steel into America that our industry had to lay off 13,500 workers four years ago during Obama’s last year. Yet any of our businesses that want to operate there have to agree that China nationals get majority ownership. We all have gone along with this manifest evil to save a few bucks on batteries, light bulbs, and string lights.
Not only have Democrats like Bill Clinton and Obama been weak-kneed door mats and easy marks, but Republican presidents have been patsies, too. Blinded by an ideological conservative economic devotion to “free trade,” they have failed to see that “free trade” with China never has been free. Ronald Reagan set the pace for free-trade agreements based on a conservative belief that individuals are most efficient and productive when government and their taxes and tariffs get out of the way. All true. But conservative economists also warn, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” And with China, that lunch has lead in it. And waste and slop and human hairs that have come from dreck.
If Rahm Emanuel famously and cynically has taught never to let a crisis go to waste, this coronavirus economic, social, and epidemiological nightmare will offer the critical opportunity, when it is over, to run the “Dissomaster” and to divorce from China. We will never do it if we do not do it under Trump. If they are capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time, Trump’s economic advisers need to start planning now. We have to get our manufacturing out of there — iPhones, toy trucks, and especially steel, aluminum, and pharmaceuticals. Trump saw that and has warned about it for decades. He is the first and only president who has had the guts to fight them, to stare them down, and even to stick to his guns as the great Wall Street gains he achieved during his first 18 months in office lost steam and reversed during the trade war and tariffs contest of 2018. Yet he did not back down, and China blinked. Soon the stock market resumed its torrid rise, even as unemployment virtually disappeared while wages rose ahead of inflation. It was tough. Americans found, amid the tariffs, that they had to pay more for steel and aluminum, for toys and for some meds. Our nation’s great and noble farmers were challenged to stand bravely on the front lines. They gritted their teeth, and we all did so. And China blinked.
When — not “if” — we get past this coronavirus period, Trump will have a very brief window to go full-court-press against China. Americans, like all others, forget soon enough. But we briefly will be of a mindset to bear anything to separate from depending on China. During the first phase of his trade and tariff war, Trump may have single-handedly saved our aluminum and steel industries. How in the world could this country’s citizens have allowed ourselves to be bereft of home-based steel and aluminum factories just so that we could save money on outlet adaptors? If we face a future war with China or North Korea, what were we going to fight the enemy with — Mattel toy airplanes painted with lead and “Sesame Street” Grover dolls? Trump saved those factories and brought manufacturing back to America, not by bailing out incompetent and inefficient car companies that made bad products that Americans did not want but by leveling the playing field. President Trump’s tariffs have forced trade concessions from China, but not nearly enough. After November, he will have only four years left to win the trade war with China. And especially to get our aluminum, steel, and pharmaceuticals — all critical to national security — made here.
We will never have another president as strong as Trump in our lifetimes. And, for a brief moment in time, Americans — fed up with coronavirus and quarantines and lost vacations and lost income and dead grandparents and ruined Easters and Passover seders — suddenly will see the economy rebound. Cash will start flowing again. We all will have a few more bucks to spend again, and we will feel bountiful after the storm. If Trump plays it right and ambles towards the divorce, for a brief snapshot in time Americans gladly will pay the extra dollar or two for their diapers and gift wrap, and the extra 30 dollars for their iPhones and athletic shoes. Trump will have to lead from the bully pulpit and pressure and shame American corporations to diversify beyond China and to close down many of their factories there, repatriating them to America or at least moving them somewhere else. Just as he has inspired millions to believe in a great America again, the President will have a brief window to create a national consciousness that Americans with a conscience gladly pay the extra cost, if any, for products made just as cheaply outside of China. Thus, for example, if Nike is to remain invested in Colin Kaepernick and in China, then at least half the country needs to be inspired to a consciousness that proud Americans do not wear Nike and should be ashamed to wear anything with that logo.
Yes, tomorrow and the day after we still will need to focus on coronavirus and on restarting our economy. But the day will come soon enough when that is behind us. We then will have a very narrow and fleeting moment — with cash flowing back into Americans’ pockets and with a nation ready to pay a bit extra for products not “Made in China” — to go full gangbusters and divorce. Better start planning now.