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What Will China/Russia Do In The Next 10 Years?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by maverick4, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    The United States has some major challenges, and call me pessimistic, but I am foreseeing a fall reminiscent of the Roman Empire. What will China/Russia do, and what can American do in the near future to preserve its leadership and way of life? Some of our problems:

    - Huge federal deficits
    - Huge trade deficits
    - Social security and medicare disaster
    - Lots of debt owned by Japan and China
    - An impending housing bubble burst
    - Loss of manufacturing plants and jobs
    - Technology transfer and know how to Asia
    - World-wide antagonism towards American war invasions
    - World antagonism towards American support of Israel
    - A bloodbath in Iraq, and Iran knocking on the door
    - Attitude shift in oil-producing countries towards the PetroEuro

    In discussions with friends, we can't seem to figure out why China and Russia haven't already orchestrated a collapse of US leadership. Yes, selling their dollar reserves will also hurt their economies, but they would recover. Ultimately, we decided that nobody has done anything out of fear of the US's willingness to use nuclear weapons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2007
  2. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    You pose a very interesting question. Where I think too much is made of some of the issues you mention, like trade deficits, loss of manufacturing, and world sentiment, I do agree that we're facing some issues that are monumentally important. The deficits we've run as a nation, especially under this administration, will be the #1 detractor of American strentgth and culture. I think China nd the US both face problems of their own that aren't necessarily discussed here at home. The Soviets have massive problems with poverty, crime, and corruption. The Chinese are having social problems with respect to reform, and could be facing a crisis of both population stability, and economic depression. China has some issues it will be facing both now, and in the decades to come. They have an aging population, no social system of support to speak of, and the rapid increase in GDP makes them succeptible to decline. Interesting though. What's strange about the situation with the Chinese is that the vast majority of their goods, I believe something like 40% or so, is exported to this country. It makes you wonder how they would benefit from our demise.
     
  3. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Pro Bowl Player

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    #80 Jersey

    I, for one, hope that they join together their best scientists and create a robotic Doug Henning.
     
  4. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    There seems to be an unspoken race over the world's natural resources. The US has gone into Iraq, and soon maybe Iran, to control the Middle East. I think it will be very interesting to see what Russia and China do. I noticed recently that Russia booted out some American oil companies and put them under Russian control.
     
  5. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    When you look at Russia, or what's going on in that country, think Chavez and Venenzuella. Putin is doing teh same exact thing. Here's hoping Hydrogen becomes a reality very soon.
     
  6. Fixit

    Fixit In the Starting Line-Up

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    Oh my God, thank you! I've been trying to remember that guy's name since I saw his poster in "The Forty-Year-Old Virgin" a few weeks ago.

    So very random.
     
  7. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Pro Bowl Player

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    #80 Jersey

    http://www.doughenning.com/doughenning.jpg
     
  8. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's an interesting question. However, as Real World said, there is vested economic interest in your economy being strong. Here's something else to ponder. Would Russia and China wish for a weak US to be replaced, conceivably, in the power vacuum by an increasingly strong pan-Islamic movement?
     
  9. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    The more important question is what will the rest of the world do when America invents an alternative to oil?

    Sooner or later, some American is going to invent a re-chargable fuel cell, which is chaeper than oil, and when that day comes, the Middle east will be a real desert.
     
  10. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Hydrogen Fuel Cells! We're closer than most people think!
     
  11. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    For some reason I am under the belief that big oil will never allow this to happen.
     
  12. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    What you don't think that EXXON/Mobil will gladly give up there what was it this year 3 billion dollar profits for a safer America

    (tongue firmly planted in cheek)

    I think some MIT guy will do it just to spite them
     
  13. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    And they will find him 2 days later floating face-down in the Charles River... I saw it in a movie....
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007
  14. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    China is trying to find resources as fast as it can; its economy is already under-performing because getting resources is its rate-limiting step. I can imagine those guys must already be pissed because its pre-existing Iraqi oil contracts were negated by the US after we invaded Iraq. I have got to believe that if we go into Iran, it will cause WWIII, because the Chinese cannot tolerate another massive energy disruption.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
  15. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We've basically been exploring technologies to convert stationary energy (such as coal, nuclear, solar, wind, etc.) into portable fuel, by using the stationary energy to create a fuel, rather than using pre-existent petroleum, which, it so happens, we don't have enough of for the long run.

    The energy budget still does not work out for ethanol (for example,) but the fuel cost budget is getting close, because gas prices rose to the point that ethanol is a feasible alternative as long as you sell it close to where you make it. So right now, E-85 is big in the midwest but not many more places.

    But in the future, it's certain that at some point oil will skyrocket. So, whether or not it takes more energy to make a gallon of Ethanol than the gallon provides, we will have a feasible alternative fuel, assuming plentiful stationary energy. Right now only nuclear is a sustainable source, and nuclear has huge problems. Coal is a good stopgap, but at the same time a clean stationary source has to be developed on a huge scale. Otherwise, simple economics will dictate that we accept nuclear, at whatever level of safety we have achieved.

    As for Russia and China, I think they've gotten the memo that geopolitical power is better achieved through economic than military means. Russia has taken a fall and is on the rebound. Of course they want to maximize their actual assets (such as caucasus natural gas.) But they do not want to turn to military adventurism to secure new assets. The Chinese show no such intentions either; after all, they're a market of 1.3 billion people, and they control who markets what to those people. What do the Chinese have to gain by antagonizing the one major power that seems dead set on bankrupting itself through military adventurism? Americans have money to spend and jobs to export, so long as everybody plays nice.

    As for the Middle East, the current war has greatly increased anti-American sentiment, for obvious reasons. I won't turn this into a pro/con on the war, but the dynamic is becoming more and more clear. The region is polarized. Pro-Western elites control the nation-states throughout the region, and anti-American populaces increasingly turn to radical Islam. The difficulty, again, is that the radicals need to sell their oil to somebody.

    Iraq, by the way, is in a civil war. The sides are primarily defined along sectarian lines, with the U.S. attempting to prop up a putatively non-sectarian government. But the government is sectarian, as it would have to be. We promised democracy to a nation with a 60% Shi'ite majority, and a 30% Sunni minority, where the Sunnis use to be in charge. To the Sunnis, it looks like we're backing the Shi'ites. To the Shi'ites, it looks like we're forcing them to appease the Sunnis. Oh and by the way we have a rival for the Shi'ites' affections - the Iranians. Come up with your own solution; stay for 10 years and then let the lid get blown off again. Leave next month and be accused of "cutting and running." None of the choices are good. But one day, likely after a protracted civil war, the oil will flow again, regardless of what government takes power -- and there is little doubt that after the U.S. departs, that government will not be an ally.

    And guess who else needs oil from these many Western-averse populaces? That's right, your good friends in China.

    And the beauty of it, from the Chinese point of view, is that there's no reason to fire so much as a single shot, provided that the U.S. continues its current course of action.

    The American problem in the middle east will continue to be the solidification of trade partner relationships. Traditionally we forge these relationships with the elites, the great majority of the populaces are indifferent and often unserved by these relationships, and a marginal population turns to radicalism. The current wave of radical Islam seems poised to change this dynamic, making radicalism the "mainstream" for a far larger population in each nation with which we need such relationships.

    So essentially, we have two geopolitical concerns, as regards energy: solidify the business-friendly ruling elites in middle eastern nations (and of course, in other oil producers as well,) and reduce or eliminate our dependence on such nations.

    We can strengthen the business-friendly elites either militarily or diplomatically. Our most recent attempt to create a Western-friendly government in Iraq is proving far more costly and ambitious than was projected, and the same figures to be true elsewhere in the region. And to the extent we gain a single nation's compliance via military force, we show our hand to other nations, and strengthen the hand of radical Islam.

    It is arguable that this economic aspect of our foreign policy would be best served by a strictly business relationship, rather than one which seeks to demonize select middle eastern leaders. I am not certain that one can make a convincing moral case for the war either (in fact, I would not be convinced, given the outcomes.) But in purely economic terms, it would seem more effective to buy and sell, rather than shock and awe.

    In terms of the creation of alternative fuels, the development of infrastructures to do just that should be high on our list of national priorities. But we must realize the need for sustainable stationary energy facilities to create enough of the portable energy to replace oil. Right now, public opinion will not accept "the nuclear option," and that is a good thing. But the necessity of a renewable fuel economy must be addressed, and if no other candidate is developed by the time oil's scarcity forces a changeover, we'll end up going nuclear whether we like it or not.

    .02,

    PFnV
     
  16. PressCoverage

    PressCoverage Banned

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    wait... someone here has faith that America will invent something? ... when's the last time we did that? .... something as big as "alternative fuel sources?" ... wow...
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  17. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

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    PFnV, that was a great post.
     
  18. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First, thanks, Maverick... now on to this nugget above :yeahthat:

    One big misperception is that we don't do anything right anymore in America except export burgers and movies. This is not, strictly speaking, the case. We're still quite good at innovation, but not so good at implementation, manufacturing, and refinement any more. The obvious example is Detroit. Give them half a chance, and they'll still figure out how to sell more power and more gas-guzzling payload. The station wagon begat the minivan; the minivan begat the SUV; and yea, they burneth fuel prodigiously. Our pickup trucks are getting big enough that you can't fit them in one space in a public garage anymore. We still want 'em, when the oil is cheap, and Detroit just salivates at making 'em when the oil is cheap. Then we see the doom and gloom headlines, when gas prices go up and whining yuppies who've never even been off-road don't know how they'll afford the Ecuadoran nanny and the 4x4 (unless of course they don't pay their taxes...)

    Sorry, Detroit rant over. There are lots of other examples, and a lot of what feeds into these examples is that Americans are just the sorts of spoiled children to always feel entitled and special and selfish (by world standards.) This is exactly the mind-set that lends itself to innovators. I want what I want, goddammit. And if it doesn't exist, I'll bloody well invent it.

    But those are the 1 in 1000 guys. The rest of us are spoiled and selfish -- again, by global standards. And so, globalization is very bad for workers who feel entitled to jobs destined for offshoring.

    A note: being spoiled and entitled and selfish by global standards is not a bad thing, when you realize that it's the corporate fat-cats making the real ducats here. The workers are squeezed by other workers, who are more eager to work, have lower standards of living, and of course, are not protected by unions. We can fool ourselves that all of this is good for them, because a bad job is better than no job, and after all, a buck goes a long way in Sri Lanka. But this is nothing more than Capital owners using the cheapest labor available, and pitting labor "elites" against the rank and file, on a global scale.

    Be all that as it may: Who mapped the human genome first? Americans. Who made the first computers? Americans. The first personal computers, and the internet? Americans. I'm just naming the biggies we can point to as areas of current growth. Yes, we still invent and discover here quite well, but we don't manufacture well.

    We're going to have to patch that up, in my opinion. "New economy" can't keep meaning service jobs involving the flipping of burgers and the managing of hedge funds. There just isn't a sustainable base there. I would look to emergent technologies like the ones we've been talking about, as the best candidates for future growth.

    But then again, what do I know?

    PFnV
     

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