Obama-Bush Making U.S. A Socialist Republic By Patrick J. Buchanan

Obama-Bush Making U.S. A Socialist Republic

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Barack Obama and George W. Bush seem to have come away from their study of the Great Depression with similar conclusions:

To wit: After the Crash of 1929, the Federal Reserve did not move fast enough to save the banks and inject cash into the economy. Second, the New Deal, far from being wastrel deficit spending, was not bold enough. So it was that America wallowed in depression for a decade until the unbridled spending and mammoth deficits of World War II pulled us out.

Bush and Obama seem determined not to make the same mistake.

We are all Keynesians now.

Thus, we have the $700 billion Bush bank bailout, the $700 billion “stimulus package” Obama wants by inauguration to “jolt this economy back into shape” and the $800 billion fund Hank Paulson created to get consumers borrowing and buying again.

These come on top of Bush $455 billion deficit, the $29 billion bailout of Bear Stearns, the $105 billion in pork to grease the $700 billion bailout, the $100 billion to $200 billion to keep Fannie and Freddie afloat, the $140-billion-and-counting for AIG, the $25 billion for the greening of GM, Ford and Chrysler, the $25 billion more to save the Big Three and the $20 billion for CitiGroup.

Now much of this overlaps, and some will be retrieved. But we are still staring at a deficit that could approach $2 trillion.

How would this stack up historically?

A deficit of $1.4 trillion would be 10 percent of gross domestic product, dwarfing the postwar record 6 percent run by Ronald Reagan in the Jimmy Carter recession.

Bewailing the “Reagan deficits” has been a staple of Democratic oratory. This will stop. But the politics of this is not the point, the policy is.

Consider what we are about to do. Bush in 2008 spent 21 percent of GDP. States, counties and cities spent another 12 percent. Thus, one third of GDP is spent by government at all levels. Obama and Co. propose to raise that by another 10 percent of GDP. We may soon be north of 40 percent of gross domestic product controlled and spent by government.

That is Eurosocialism.

And where, exactly, are we going to get the money?

Americans save nothing. We spend more than we earn. Thus the levels of consumer debt, credit card debt, auto debt and mortgage debt. U.S. foreign-exchange reserves amount to a piddling $73 billion.

The only nation with the kind of cash on hand we need now—if we don’t print the money and invite another gigantic bubble—is China, with its $2 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves.

Will Beijing lend back the dollars it has piled up by selling to us?

China certainly has an incentive to keep Americans spending. For our purchases of Chinese-made goods have often been responsible for 100 percent of China’s growth. China does not want to kill the American goose that lays those golden eggs—until the goose can’t lay any more eggs. Then they won’t need the goose.

But should China decide to lend us the money, what will Beijing demand in interest rates and assurances that we will not default. After all, the U.S. debt is 70 percent of GDP, our savings rate is near zero, and our merchandise trade deficit is still running at 5 percent to 6 percent of GDP.

Unlike the 1950s, we are today dependent on foreigners for two-thirds of our oil and for much of our manufactured goods—toys, TVs, radios, cameras, cars, shoes, clothes, bikes, motorcycles—and for the $700 billion to $800 billion we borrow each year to pay for these imports.

With U.S. homeowners, consumers, companies and banks now going bust, why must the nation borrow trillions more to bail them out? So we can maintain our status and standard of living as the last superpower.

Bush and Obama are competing to shovel out trillions of dollars, so we can return to the good times of yesterday.

But wasn’t yesterday the root cause of today? Didn’t saving nothing and spending more than we earn, purchasing what we cannot afford in cars, consumer goods and houses, buying far more from abroad than we sell abroad—didn’t that cause this crisis and crash?

A family man in America’s condition, awash in debt, spending more than he makes, would cut back consumption, find a second job and get out of debt. Or declare bankruptcy, accept the shame and humiliation, change his wastrel ways and start anew.

Is it different for a nation?

Yet we seem to believe we can borrow and spend our way out of a swamp of unpayable debt into which borrowing and spending have plunged us.

We are headed either for default on our debts and bankruptcy as a nation, or something less honorable: a quiet cheapening of the debts we have incurred by inflating and destroying the dollar, robbing our creditors of what we owe them and robbing our own people of the value of what they have earned. And so it has come to this.

What would the Founding Fathers think of us now?

The Whiteness Of The Whale: A Comanche Contemplates Thanksgiving 2008

The Whiteness Of The Whale: A Comanche Contemplates Thanksgiving 2008

By David Yeagley

“It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me,” wrote Herman Melville, famous white American author of Moby Dick (1851). For its impropriety, its unnatural application, Melville attributes terror to the unexpected whiteness.”

It is a crime, then, to say that the U.S. Presidency, seat of power in the world, the great white throne, as it were, was created by the white race? Is it an evil that white men created the world as we know it today? Is it a terror to colored people (like me) that they find the power over the nations is white?

Edgar Allan Poe, another white American author, suggested as much in the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). A race of wild black people, discovered at the South Pole, was terrified of anything white, from the first white handkerchief Pym’s company held out for a parley, to the last moment of the novel, when Pym’s black captive dies of fright before a mysterious, snowy white shrouded figure.

But are white men so fearful of dark men?

Apparently not. Indeed, it was a white man who declared this month of November to be National American Indian Heritage Month,” honoring the “Red Man.” That white man was former President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, in 1990.

The United States of America, of course, was the country founded by white European men who intruded upon Indian land. The whites were grateful for the generous, compassionate nature of the Red Man, and created a national holiday, Thanksgiving Day, to commemorate the Red Man’s valiant courtesy, and the providence of the Almighty Who provided it.

Today’s white America, however, seems embarrassed to inhabit its own throne. In a remarkable act of self-abasement, Americans (or some of them) seem quite anxious to hand the throne over to the first available non-white they can put up to the job. The black African leftist, Barack Hussein Obama, was thought to answer all ills, at least in the minds of the guilty white liberals.

But, not to be left behind, the Republicans are already talking about Hindu Bobby Jindal, son of non-citizen Panjabi Hindu immigrants in graduate school, as their candidate for U.S. president in 2012. There are already children’s sweatshirts on the market with the message, “Bobby Jindal for President 2012.”

It’s either a male person of color, or a woman, even if she’s white—this is the rage of Washington presidential politics. The white male is simply out. No more. In this suicidal craze of self-eradication, darkness shall prevail.

Or so the whites in power want it to appear. I think power in America is white, and will always be white—even if the whites lend the token throne, that U.S. presidency and its “White” House, to an alien black African leftist. The door to that place of puppetry is now wide open. There may not be a white male in that showcase for some time.

Bobby Jindal was interviewed by Greta Van Susteren during the recent Republican Governors Convention. At one point, Greta asked him how many Republican governors were at the convention. Jindal said, “We just welcomed Luis Fortuno, that was elected governor in Puerto Rico down there.” Like Obama, Jindal is apparently counting any social entity associated with the Unites States as a bona fide American legal body. Obama said there were 58 states, and he had visited 57 of them. Either he was thinking of the 57 Islamic States, or he was counting Samoa, Guam, etc., and Jindal’s Puerto Rico. Maybe he was thinking of the Philippines. Maybe American should think about electing an illegal Mexican.

As an American Indian, I am particularly disappointed in this race game whites are playing. It frankly shows complete disrespect for the American Indian—the only race with the grandeur of natural courage to stand up and fight the mighty white man.

We owe no respect or honor to any other race. It’s a whale of an offense that the white man should put another race in charge of Indian Country. These other people never earned any such right. They never fought Indians, nor could any of them have defeated Indians, certainly not at the time the white man did.

I would prefer to honor the strength of him who conquered. But, with this pathetic skin shuffling in American politics, such honor seems a romantic notion of the past.

At this point, I’m thankful for the past.

A California Reader Says Unemployed Americans’ “Plan B” Is “No Mas”; etc.

A California Reader Says Unemployed Americans’ “Plan B” Is “No Mas”; etc.

From: Stephen Thomas (e-mail him)

As unemployment climbs toward 10 percent, many displaced white-collar Americans may contemplate a “Plan B” that includes dropping a few rungs on the ladder of vocational expectations and taking a “survival gig” to keep roof over head.

If they haven’t been paying attention, they may be in for a disappointment.

Americans have for the past two decades turned a blind eye toward the usurpation of manual labor-type jobs by illegal aliens.  Many assumed we would never again need those jobs ourselves and we could wash our hands of that type of work.  Result: Mexicans now permanently occupy that entire lower tier of employment.

And they aren’t going anywhere (if they can help it).

Americans historically tended to work such jobs as stopgaps, then the job rolled over to the next person in a jam. We called it “upward mobility.”

Mexicans, on the other hand, often take menial jobs as the first step in their lifelong careers.  They don’t advance and basically “squat” in the position.

Thus there is little turnover and therefore few opportunities for Americans who have fallen on hard times to avail themselves of safety-net employment.

And even when openings occur, small business employment infrastructures—the hiring practices and people doing the hiring—have become Mexicanized.

Americans will discover that Mexicans don’t look for or gain employment in the old way we used to—the jobs aren’t posted, advertised or interviewed for.

The market is conducted by personal contacts, the word passed among friends and relatives.

In some of the small/mid-size manufacturing firms I call on, those outer waiting rooms where Americans once filled out applications and waited for an interview with a personnel director have been put to other use. They have no legitimate purpose anymore.

When the production manager (himself often a Mexican immigrant) has an opening, he puts the word out within the company.  The next day, a fellow worker shows up at the rear employee entrance with a “cousin” in tow, vouches for him in a short conversation in Spanish, and the deal is done.

Meanwhile the clueless, newly-unemployed American who puts on a clean shirt dutifully writes up all this references and is ready to sweat out an interview is instead told “Sorry, we’re not hiring.”

When laid off in the 1982 recession I was in a bind—newly married, no savings, etc.

But that was a different era.  Even with high unemployment it was possible to go to the warehouse district and round up a menial job stacking boxes, sweeping floors or hosing out boxcars, etc.  Because I also had experience doing outside electrical work, I quickly got part-time work digging trenches for conduits, too.

It wasn’t fun, but it didn’t kill me and it paid the rent and put food on the table until I got back on my feet.

I’d hate to be in the position of trying to find work like that today.

Joe Guzzardi comments: Read Edwin S. Rubenstein’s series written for VDARE.COM titled American Worker Displacement. All the statistical evidence for Thomas’ letter are available to those who care to see them.

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A California Nurse Says Needy Illegal Aliens Depleted Local Food Banks—Just In Time For Thanksgiving!

From: Bob Cobb (e-mail him)

Here’s how things look in Orange County over Thanksgiving weekend:

“The Second Harvest Food Bank’s Irvine warehouse, usually stacked with canned food, bottled water and other non-perishable items, is looking empty and cavernous these days, as demand from charities working to feed the hungry has surged while the economy craters.

“Demand from those member agencies has risen from 20 percent to 70 percent over the past few months as legions of the working poor and the recently unemployed struggle to make ends meet.”[Food Bank Depleted as Holidays Near, by Erika Chavez, Orange County Register, November 25, 2008]

Although the story makes no direct mention of immigration—when does the MainStream Media ever report on a negative regarding aliens?—readers can easily figure out for themselves who is one of the largest users of food banks.

According to the 2006 Bureau of the Census, Orange County’s Hispanic population is nearly 33 percent, a number significant enough to be a major drain on scarce social services.

You would think that the Orange County Register, which I criticized in my previous letter to VDARE.COM for its immigration obtuseness, would begin to see the light. But so far, it remains in La-La Land.

Donate to these charities only if you wish to encourage more illegal immigration.

Cobb works in the intensive care unit of a major metropolitan hospital. A previous letter from him opposing organ transplants for immigrants is here.

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Lund Anti-Racists Plan to Stop the Nazis

Lund Anti-Racists Plan to Stop the Nazis

by Baron Bodissey

AFA FlyerWord has just arrived from Sweden about a counter-demonstration that is planned for Sunday November 30th — the anniversary of King Karl XII’s death — which is intended to block a demonstration by Swedish nationalists in the city of Lund.

It’s important to remember that in Sweden all forms of nationalism are conflated with Nazism, so that elite opinion consigns the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna) to the same basket as the real Nazis and all the other nationalists and non-Socialists.

I have no idea which of these groups will be present in Lund on Sunday — you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, and I don’t have one — but here’s the translation of a flyer that has been distributed to residents of Lund. It presumably originated with AFA (Antifascistisk Aktion, or Antifa) and its affiliates, the folks who intend to oppose all those Nazis on Sunday:

STOP
the NAZI DEMONSTRATION!

MOVABLE ANTI-RACIST BLOCKADE 30th NOVEMBER
RALLYING AT 14:30
Lund Railway Station

Informational meeting
Monday 24 at 19:30
the Småland’s Students’ Club

We want you and your friends, working comrades, and family to join us in a blockade of the planned Nazi demonstration the 30th of November in Lund. We will never stand silently and just look. United we will block their way, showing them that they will never operate freely in our city.

Lund’s citizens against racism

Here’s a photo of the site of the expected confrontation:
AFA-Nazi demo site
And this report comes from Sydsvenskan:
– – – – – – – –

Counter-demonstration planned Nov. 30

Antiracists are going to try to prevent the nationalists from entering the Lund Centrum on Sunday. The 30-Nov association’s chairman Lars Hulthén is going to speak, but says he does not really know to whom he is going to speak.

LUND. Because of the nationalists have sought a demonstration permit in Lund on November 30, the Organization “Lund citizens against racism” last night held a briefing at Småland’s Student Club. Fifty people attended to hear about the plans for a counter-demonstration.

“The goal is to get several hundred people who stand in the way of the Nazis so that the police will have to bus them away. They will not be able to enter the Lund Centrum,” said the meeting chairman Malin, who did not want to disclose her last name.

[…]

On the site nordisk.nu, a gathering place for Nazis, nationalists and right-wing extremists, advice is given on how the blockade should be avoided. Nationalists are invited to come to Lund ahead of time on Saturday, or attempt to travel there by car and seek police protection if there are counter-demonstrators nearby.

It is unclear exactly which organizations are supporting the demonstration. According to “Lund Citizens against racism”, it is the “Free Nationalists of Scania” that was formed by members of the Nazi organizations “Activism Öresund” and “Helsingborg Campaign”. The call for the demonstration it is by the “nationalistic”. Kristoffer Dahlström, who applied for a demonstration permit; he has a background in the “National Democrats”.

A Swedish reader supplies some background on Karl II and the November 30th celebrations:

The Karl XII celebration in Lund has a long history. The celebration of his death was held annually (with some interruptions) on November 30 from 1853 until 1991.

Karl XII has a special place among Swedish kings with regard to his relationship with the city of Lund; namely, the king resided in the city during 1716-18, which actually made it to the capital of Sweden during these years.

In 1853 the future professor of aesthetics Gustaf Ljunggren, then chairman of the Academic Society’s social committee and a general driving force in the student world, proposed that the memory of Karl XII’s death should be celebrated in Lund.

The proposal was adopted and during the 1800s, and it was celebrated with ‘fine’ speeches at the Academic Society and then students marched in torchlight down to the Cathedral School, singing “Viken, tidens flyktiga minnen” by Geijer and the poem “Karl XII” (“Kung Carl den unga hjälte” = King Carolus the young hero) by Esaias Tegner.

Among the ceremonial speakers you can find that century’s prominent names, such as Albert Lysander and Martin Weibull.

Eventually it was decided that the procession should be held only if at least 150 student union members had declared their intention to participate. Although the total student number at this time amounted to only about 600 (today up to 10,000!), the minimum was always reached. Also, from 1873 the city of Lund’s non-academic citizens were invited to participate in the procession.

The torchlight procession continued through the years with a break around the First World War, but then the Student Union took exception and did not want to participate.

The “30-November Association” consisted of national and right-wing groups at the University.

Lars Hulthén became chairman during the 1960s.

During the 1970s counterdemonstrations started to take off.

At the end of the 1980s a growing number of neo-Nazi elements, Heil Hitler greetings, swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were introduced. Skinheads formed an increasing part of the small torch-procession, and there was a huge police presence with blockade-containers, helicopters, road-blockings of Lundagård and an almost military presence. Lund resembled a city under siege at that time.

On Nov 30 1991, in connection with the neo-Nazi offensive in Sweden, a broad anti-racism coalition decided to stop the march. There was a big blockade on the Big Southstreet to hinder the torch-procession, and barricades all over the central city and “traveling BZ” (AFA scum-of-the-earth) activists from Denmark. Central Lund was a battlefield!

The police gave in and the torch-procession was stopped.

This was effectively the end the Karl XII celebrations

Now they say ‘30/11’ counts as an anti-racist red-letter day in Lund.

Since then, no disturbances have been reported.

Ten years later, on the site of what happened in 1991, a monument was placed with the inscription “Here racism was stopped 1991-30-11”.

For those who want to delve into even more detail, here’s additional information from Anna-Lena Lodenius on her blog:

Reawakening of the 30th of November in Lund

In recent years there has been calm in Lund on November 30, Karl XII’s death-day. Which many surely have been grateful for, remembering the annual riots on this date in the early 1990s. But now the Free Nationalists of Scania are planning to shake life into the celebration again. I note that the Liberal Nationalists had invited Marc Abramsson, leader of the National Democrats, as a speaker at the meeting launching the event.

The National Democrats take another step closer to the national movement, says Robert Boström, a Sweden Democrat in Örebro, on his blog. ND has also been a longtime participant in the annual Salem Demonstration alongside, among others, “Info14” and the Swedish Resistance Movement. Now all that is missing is that they also turn up at the People’s March in conjunction with the National Day, writes Boström. Free Nationalists Scania is part of the nationwide network of Free Nationalists. The Skåne branch of this network was formed in early November (see ‘Info 14’).

The November 30 celebration this year is supposed to be the biggest since the early 1990’s when the tradition petered out much because of the fracas with Danish BZ and other activists who sabotaged the parades. The return to tradition was apparently supposed to be accompanied by Lars Hulthén, an old celebrity in this context who used to waltz around in the media in his capacity of chairman for 30 November Association of Lund… Despite repeated questions, Hulthén could never point out any single major characteristic of Karl XII, except that he lived in Lund, which he happened to do during the short span of years 1715-1718, which may not be the first thing people think of when they hear of Karl XII.

There are a lot of things you can say about Karl XII. Something I never understood is why nationalists celebrate the ruler responsible for the collapse of the giant Swedish empire. On the other hand, celebrating the fact of his death — does anyone even know when his birthday was?

Stay tuned. We’ll see what happens in Lund on Sunday.

Destroy the Facts

Destroy the Facts

by Baron Bodissey

Obama haloBy now most of our readers have heard about the question of Barack Hussein Obama’s birth certificate. We covered it briefly back before the election, and Pamela has been on the issue like white on rice.

Before you jump all over my case: yes, I know that this is pointless. I know that a lot of people consider the topic an obsession of the fringe.

And Barry Soetoro is going to be President of the United States. He is The One, and nothing can stop him now, especially not some stupid little piece of paper like the U.S. Constitution. Get used to saying “President Obama”, because come January 20th, that’s what we’ll all be saying.

Except when we have to say “The Dear Leader”, of course.

But it looks like there really is an issue about where Obama was born, because his supporters apparently were already thinking strategically about the problem as early as 2006. According to a post at Patriot Brigade Talk Radio forum:

While digging my way through the Internet last night, I came across the following paper [pdf], written by SARAH P. HERLIHY. It’s title

AMENDING THE NATURAL BORN CITIZEN REQUIREMENT: GLOBALIZATION AS THE IMPETUS AND THE OBSTACLE

caught my eye, and had to read it…

I had to ask myself, what would drive any American to want to change a clause in a document that is the very foundation of our government?

So, I kept digging, and found that SARAH P. HERLIHY is employed by Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Noting that this law firm is based in Chicago, the light bulb was shining a little brighter. Upon looking at the firm, and the partners, I found that Bruce I. Ettelson, P.C., is Member of finance committees of U.S. Senators Barack Obama and Richard Durbin. (towards bottom of the page)

In addition, Jack S. Levin, P.C., another partner who, in December 2002 was presented the “ Illinois Venture Capital Association’s lifetime achievement award for service to the private equity/venture capital community” presented by Sen. Barack Obama

So it sure looks like Obama’s people have looked into the matter of “Natural born” as far back as early 2006. What is even more disturbing is that it would appear that they are following the thought of :

“If the facts do not support the theory, Destroy the facts!”

Here is the introduction to the paper… It looks like a road map for Obama’s defense lawyers…And a precursor to a Socialist world.

AMENDING THE NATURAL BORN CITIZEN REQUIREMENT: GLOBALIZATION AS THE IMPETUS AND THE OBSTACLE

SARAH P. HERLIHY

– – – – – – – –

INTRODUCTION

The natural born citizen requirement in Article II of the United States Constitution has been called the “stupidest provision” in the Constitution,1 “undecidedly un American,”2 “blatantly discriminatory,”3 and the “Constitution’s worst provision.”4 Since Arnold Schwarzenegger’s victory in the California gubernatorial recall election of 2003, commentators and policy-makers have once again started to discuss whether Article II of the United States Constitution should be amended to render naturalized citizens eligible for the presidency.5 Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution defines the eligibility requirements for an individual to become president. Article II provides:

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Of-fice who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.6

Although these sixty-two words are far from extraordinary, the natural born citizen provision is controversial because it prevents over 12.8 million Americans from being eligible for the presidency.7 In addition to Governor Schwarzenegger, the natural born citizen clause prohibits many other prominent Americans from becoming president, including Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm,8 former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao,9 and over 700 Medal of Honor Winners.10 Even though many of these individuals have served in high political positions or fought in a war on behalf of America, they are not able to become president simply because they were not born in the United States.11

The natural born citizen clause of the United States Constitution should be repealed for numerous reasons. Limiting presidential eligibility to natural born citizens discriminates against naturalized citizens, is out-dated and undemocratic, and incorrectly assumes that birthplace is a proxy for loyalty. The increased globalization of the world continues to make each of these reasons more persuasive. As the world becomes smaller and cultures become more similar through globalization, the natural born citi-zen clause has increasingly become out of place in the American legal sys-tem. However, even though globalization strengthens the case for a Constitutional amendment, many Americans argue against abolishing the requirement. In a recent USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll taken November 19—21, 2004, only 31% of the respondents favored a constitutional amendment to abolish the natural born citizen requirement while 67% opposed such an amendment.12 Although some of the reasons for maintaining the natural born citizen requirement are rational, many of the reasons are based primarily on emotion. Therefore, although globalization is one impetus that should drive Americans to rely on reason and amend the Constitution, this paper argues that common perceptions about globalization ironically will convince Americans to rely on emotion and oppose a Constitutional amendment.

Part one of this paper provides a brief history and overview of the natural born citizen requirement. Part two discusses the rational reasons for abolishing this requirement and describes why the increase in globalization makes abolishing the natural born citizen requirement more necessary than ever. Part three presents the arguments against allowing naturalized citizens to be eligible for the presidency and identifies common beliefs about glob-alization that will cause Americans to rely on emotion and oppose a Constitutional amendment.

Rapid Chinese economic collapse spurs desperation measures

Rapid Chinese economic collapse spurs desperation measures

A new World Bank report shows rapid deterioration.

Everyone was shocked on Wednesday when the China’s central bank lowered interest rates by more than 1% — the largest decrease since 1977, and the fourth interest rate decrease in just two months.

This comes just two weeks after China announced a gargantuan stimulus package, as unemployment soars and social unrest grows.

China is following a similar path to the U.S., where each failing bailout attempt is followed shortly after by a newer, larger bailout attempt, with absolutely no limit in sight.

The huge, worldwide credit bubble boosted China’s economy, just as it boosted America’s economy, and now that the credit bubble is leaking, it’s pushing China into the same “Great Depression” as the U.S.

World Bank report

A new World Bank report on China’s economy shows clearly how much the economy has deteriorated. This deterioration has become extremely rapid in the last few months, as the construction spree leading up the summer Olympics games in Beijing has been winding down.

I’ve gone through the report and extracted some of the graphics, which I’ll discuss below.


World Bank)</font>
China’s slowing economy (Source: World Bank)

Figure 1 shows how economic growth has been slowing. (SOEs are state-owned enterprises.) According to the report,

“China’s economy has slowed down considerably in the first 10 months of 2008. GDP growth declined from 12.6 percent year on year (yoy) in the second quarter of 2007 to 9 percent (yoy) in the third quarter of 2008, with industrial value added growth sliding even more steeply in October to 8.2 percent (yoy), the first single digit growth since 2001 (Figure 1). Much of the slowdown so far has come from weaker domestic demand.”

Note particularly that the fall in growth accelerated in October. What we’re seeing is an accelerating collapse of China’s economy, with no reason to believe that the collapse is going to reverse or even level off.

Figure 2 makes the point that China’s economy depends on exports, exports have been decreasing. According to the report,

“The economic impact in China of the international turmoil is set to intensify. Export growth to the EU started to weaken in August. Exports to emerging markets (including non-Japan Asia)—the destination of over half of China’s exports—still grew at 32 percent (yoy) in US$ terms in the third quarter but these are set to weaken too. Looking ahead, prospects are for a sharp reduction in export growth as the impact of the international turmoil deepens in the US and Europe and it starts to hit demand in many emerging markets. Recent indicators on export orders from the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) point in this direction.”

A major theme of the report is the collapse of a Chinese real estate bubble (although the report doesn’t use the word “bubble”).

A real estate bubble seems to be a part of the lead-up to every major financial crash. When you have a credit bubble going on, creating a lot of new money, then a lot of people believe that they can invest in real estate as a safe investment. After all, “they’re not making any more real estate,” and “the value of real estate never goes down.” Unfortunately, those old sayings are not true in a major credit bubble crash, as the world has recently been discovering.

The most dramatic recent example of this was Japan’s real estate bubble of the 1980s. It’s incredible, but at its peak, the value of all real estate in Tokyo was greater than the value of all real estate in the United States. That’s how huge the bubble was. After the 1990 crash, it was only after 16 years, that real estate prices finally bottomed out.

Now we see that China was also in a real estate bubble, especially in the large eastern industrial cities, and that bubble is starting to leak:


World Bank)</font>
Investment in real estate is slowing (Source: World Bank)


World Bank)</font>
China’s real estate bubble is leaking (Source: World Bank)

According to the report:

“The real estate sector—a key target of the policy tightening—has seen a particularly pronounced slowdown. The initiative to “cool off” the housing market included measures that reduced demand—especially “speculative demand”—such as tighter lending conditions for second houses with others that reduced supply such as stricter land supply and credit policies towards project developers. It appears that the demand side measures had a more rapid impact. Housing sales growth started to decline substantially and housing price increases moderated. The price weakness is affecting most parts of the country, but it seems to be more pronounced in large cities, especially those that saw rapid increases in recent years. Since early 2008 housing sales are falling (yoy) at an increasing rate, probably fueled further by expectations of housing price declines, concerns about overall economic prospects and China’s stock market decline (Figure 6). As a result, new real estate construction has started to weaken, with real estate investment growth now close to zero (Figure 7). …Weakness in real estate construction has contributed to a sharp slowdown in several “upstream” industries. The slowdown in steel and cement gathered pace in October in part in response to large inventory build ups (Figure 8). With these heavy industries decelerating faster than other sectors, “physical indicators” such as of freight volumes and electricity production have slowed significantly more than overall economic activity.”

The details of the collapse of the China’s real estate bubble are different from those for America’s real estate bubble, but the results are the same.

Debtor nations vs creditor nations

A lot of people make the point that China is a creditor nation and America is a debtor nation, but during times of systemic financial crisis, it really may not make much difference.

America was a creditor nation in the 1920s, but it made little difference in the 1930s. This was described in “The bubble that broke the world.” Just because some Brazilian bank owes you some money doesn’t mean that you don’t have stand in a soup line to eat.

Americans wasted their money by buying, among other things, Chinese manufactured goods. The Chinese wasted their money by investing in, among other things, a bubble stock market and American Treasuries.

One of these is called “consumption,” and the other is called “investment.” But in the end, there’s no difference. Your money is gone. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide whether people are “happier” if they waste their money on consumption or on worthless investments.

Once the financial crisis is in full force, it makes no difference whether you owe money or you’re owed money; either way, you have no money, and no credit is available.

The only thing that matters to an individual, creditor or debtor, is whether he has a job or some form of steady income. In a deflationary environment, even a very small income is enough to survive. The ones who don’t survive are the ones who have NO income at all.

China is headed in that direction very quickly. The unemployment situation is ‘grim’ and getting grimmer. Millions of young migrant workers, who came from rural areas to the big cities to make money to send back to their families, are now out of a job, with no hope of employment. They’re headed back to their rural area towns.

For Chinese leaders, already worried about social unrest, this is very significant. China’s two previous massive crisis wars — the Taiping Rebellion of the 1850s-60s, and the Communist Revolution of the 1930s-40s — were both based on massive rebellions from rural areas.

In 2005, I wrote “China approaches Civil War,” saying that a civil war is coming with absolute certainty, when economic conditions are right. Those conditions seem to be occurring right now.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the China thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.)

NoteMuch to my enormous shock and surprise, Paul Krugman’s Friday column actually makes sense. It’s the first column of his that I’ve read that isn’t loaded to the gills with fatuous political and ideological garbage. Maybe he’s had an epiphany? (28-Nov-2008)