China - Neoliberalism’s Last Hope?

Just two days before the inauguration of Donald Trump as president, China was trying to position itself as the leader of the neoliberal world.

That's right - China!

Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, Chinese president Xi Jinping gave a speech that many are saying could mark a turning point in how China works with the rest of the world - or at least how it presents itself to the rest of the world.

In that speech, the Chinese President warned against a trade war, and said that the world must remain "committed" to so-called free trade.

He also said China would stand firm in support of these ideas - even if other countries wavered in their support of them.

We must remain committed to developing the global free trade and investment, promote the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment through opening up and saying no to protectionism.... China will keep its door wide open to the world and will not close it. An open door allows other countries to access China's market and China itself to integrate with the world. And we hope other countries will keep their door open to Chinese investors

President Xi never mentioned Donald Trump by name in that speech but it was clear he was talking about him and what he represents: a sign that the neoliberal world order is in serious crisis.

But is that necessarily a bad thing?

If an authoritarian regime like China can posture as the defender of neoliberalism and so-called free trade - is it really a system worth saving?

Comments

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 35 weeks ago
#1

How ironic that America's greedy titans of industry spent the last thirty-five years, or so, moving most of our manufacturing base -- "The Wealth of Nations" -- onto the soil of one of our principle geopolitical competitors and potential military enemies to take advantage of low wages and nearly nonexistent pollution regulations, eliminating tens of millions of high-paying American jobs. Now, international corporations -- the crown jewels of (ha ha) "free" trade -- are forced to operate under the thumb and at the mercy of a communist dictatorship that is pushing extreme capitalism beyond the limits that Western CEO's and stock holders anticipated or with which they are comfortable.

The fate of America's economy is now tethered to the whims of a communist politburo full of billionaires with even more real-world economic power than our own home-grown fascist fools. On top of that, since the Chinese can hardly breathe their polluted air any longer, they are highly motivated to convert their (our transplanted) industries to clean energy. They are setting the stage to lead the world's economies in that sector also, potentially creating at least 14 million jobs (the latest aggregate estimate by leading economic think tanks) that could be American jobs if we weren't so enamored with last century's fossil fuel industries.

Nothing is free about free trade.

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 3 years 35 weeks ago
#2

Thom makes a point that demands reflection. China has been weakening the U.S, economy through its business relationships with WalMart and Apple, two of the most successful U.S. corporations and also buying bonds to leverage our national debt -- tell me if I'm wrong on this. The global economy advocated by the neoliberals has not been good for the average American citizen. Treaties like NAFTA and the now discarded TPP not only sent jobs overseas but brought inferior and below standard products to the American consumer. The "New World Order" which would be sustained by the global economy also erodes the freedoms and rights of the individual and leads to a world of a few, elite super-rich haves controlling the lives of the rest of us, as well as a war-ravaged world using have-not soldiers to control the world's resources for the few super-rich. It seems ironic that Trump who on a personal level seems to have little regard for other's rights seems to be on the "right" and supportive side of the average citizen when it comes to the big issues as to who controls the world's wealth and the civil rights of the average American citizen.

jhhook's picture
jhhook 3 years 35 weeks ago
#3

Can I argue for history? Henry George fought for economic justice 130 years ago. He was once as famous as president U.S. Grant. How did the "neo-liberal" political economists bury him? Why can't we resurrect his ideas of how to tax wealth, rent and income.

cccccttttt 3 years 35 weeks ago
#4

Trading among nation is very positive as long as each nation

does not create unemployed workers in their own country.

ct

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 35 weeks ago
#5

Generally speaking, most average Americans on both sides of the aisle seem to be in rough agreement about the corrosive effects of these rapacious trade agreements and China's negative impact on the independence of our economy. However, too many cynical citizens and workers have been burned too many times -- by both parties -- to muster much confidence that a Republican-controlled Congress, hopelessly in the pockets of committed free-traders, will ever allow legislation to hit Trump's desk that might in the slightest erode the power of international mega-corporations or to entice them to move factories back to our soil en masse.

Trump simply has no credibility. His talking points about bringing jobs back sound good and reverberate with the base; nevertheless, his cheesy ties and other chintzy trinkets and baubles are still manufactured offshore. All that flourishing, campaign-style rhetoric simply cannot be trusted or believed in view of the facts on the ground.

The path forward looks even more bleak for the good citizens with a Congress hellbent on dismantling their safety net, health insurance, and retirement prospects. We'll soon find out if this bankrupted "billionaire" is tough enough and smart enough to buck his own party, all his many creditors, and the entire world-wide establishment of international "free" trade on behalf of the lowly American workers. If anyone seriously believes that ... well, he's got a wall to sell 'em too!

Johnnie Dorman's picture
Johnnie Dorman 3 years 35 weeks ago
#6

"Fair Trade," that's what works, and it worked just fine during the fifties and sixties.

This Free Trade BS is unfair trade, and because of the fact that things have been going in the wrong direction for too long where trade is concerned, ever since Nixon, Reagan and Neo-liberals like Bill Clinton, it will take just as long to change our economic standards back where it used to be. It certainly won't happen overnight.

If our government tries to force a quick reversal of our illfounded economic policies, countries like China won't be happy about it. Their economy is totally based on slave labor. If that slave labor is not used, their economy will callapse. China and countries like China have the economy that we build for them out of greed, and such a powerful and evil thing will not die easily.

Americans have been force fed cheap products from China and the like for so long they are finally starting to be sickened by it. Americans have no good paying jobs, no union protections, and are told to be satisfied with the low quality products that they have no other choice but to buy.

President Reagan, the Neo-cons and the greedy Neo-liberals (slave drivers) headed us down this road, too bad it took the general citizenry so long to wake up. Weather it be the owning of slaves or slave wages, the result will always be the same as what happened when the American Civil War began.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 35 weeks ago
#7

Well said, Johnnie!

Reality bites, but when the truth of things finally breaks out, it's like a dam bursting, washing through the minds of the population. And the negative can become the positive. Throughout history, the greatest changes of fortune in favor of the people have always started from the ground up, never from the top down.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 3 years 35 weeks ago
#8

Free trade agreements have always greedily left out one key item...The wealthiest country should be mandated to set a living minimum wage for it's own workers with all other countries in the agreement required to match that wage dollar for dollar for their own workers. Of course that defeats the whole purpose of slave labor now doesn't it.

Trump's own people are comparing him to Andrew Jackson.... no argument here...trail of tears and the panic of 1837!...pretty damn good comparison. However Trump's claim to a populous president like Jackson is absurd. Let's get the facts straight...he got less than 25% of the total eligible vote...and when you throw in the cross check election fraud he lost the popular vote by well over four million...populous my ass.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 35 weeks ago
#9

Haha ... Andrew Jackson! That is a damn good comparison!

Although, the degenerate lout the American idiotocracy just installed as their head clown almost makes Jackson look like a choirboy.

Chauncey Devega over at Salon today came up with a fairly comprehensive description -- based on the public record -- of the fool now entrusted with the nuclear launch codes, not to mention all other aspects of our lives:

http://www.salon.com/2017/01/21/congratulations-america-you-did-it-an-actual-fascist-is-now-your-official-president/

Way to go, all you bigots, haters, liars, and low-information voters, gullible enough to actually believe you were doing something religious and/or patriotic in filling out your ballots!

It would be so easy to add even more negatives to Chauncey's long list; however, in all fairness, here's a list of his positives:

...mmm... Gawdamn, that's a hard one! I was going to include his family members, like Hillary did; but let's face it, they're all shallow creeps too -- apples from the tree -- notwithstanding the poor little, bewildered kid stuck in the middle of it all.

Well, I suppose there's a few hopeful positives anyway:

1. He's too emotionally and mentally incapable, belligerent, greedy, insane, and just plain dumb to handle the pressures of the job, so he could be impeached before he really f--ks things up "bigly."

2. He's old, out of shape, and stuffed to his puffy gills with junk food, so he could just up and ... er, step down and retire for the sake of his health.

3. Sorry, ran out of positives.

Howard Laverne Stewart's picture
Howard Laverne ... 3 years 35 weeks ago
#10

China's GDP would drop alot if they played fair

Tim Blanchard 3 years 34 weeks ago
#11

I am unsettled with what Mr. Trump has said in his inaugeration speech and how he clearly is not speaking to us all. I am a first time opinion writer and have been part of the silent majority far too long. I know what i must do to stand against what is coming from our legislature, that is, speak up and help like minded people in my area of Wisconsin. I live in Representative Paul Ryan's district. There is a tough road ahead, but i have to stay focused and diligent. I am guessing this has been suggested by others, but in case not, the only way to influence Mr. Trump is to boycot ALL his products. Do not buy anything with the Trump name on it, do not play golf at any of his properties and do not stay in any of his hotels. I have dealt with bullies in my life and the only way to deal with it is to ignore them. It is the only thing that drives them crazy, but because he is going to be impossible to ignore we have to strike at his personal businesses. I do not use any of his or his family products or have stayed at his properties, but i can speak of this to others and hope by doing so it will give this man pause about his treatment of that verbal others. His personality is such that the only thing he will notice is the shrinking of his overly stated wealth. I feel that i am on to something that can and will affect Mr. Trump and his minions. I would like to call him my President, but will not until he actually helps all and not just the people he has brought into his political circle. I have this vision in my head of Mr. Trump sitting in his cabinet meetings getting council from 21 Mr. Potters, the bank president in the movie "It's a Wnderful Life."

jhonster1's picture
jhonster1 3 years 34 weeks ago
#12

Anybody with a critical thinking brain & an internet connection could do the research & find out that Trump is a pathological liar among other psychiatric abnormalities. But. With that said, I hope he does renegotiate our disastrous trade deals which have devistated the working poor & middle class in this country. I have seen personally how Southern California has lost jobs in several manufacturing sectors, especially within the automotive field & aerospace. My dad worked in aerospace for 30 years, and here in the San Fernando Valley, a lot of that work either got shipped out of the country... or.... to other zero or low business/Corp tax states. We not only need to stop the bleeding of our labor to other slave wage countries, but to other states whom are trying to recreate the Confederacy in regards of having slaves working under their draconian anti union "right to work" [for less] laws.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 3 years 34 weeks ago
#13

President Trump put the kibosh on the TPP today. Washed up lefties will deny it happened. President Trump received 57% of the Electoral votes, which much to the chagrin of the WUL, is how Presidents are elected in the USA. Workers and Unions are overjoyed.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 34 weeks ago
#14

The "left" is only about 500 people, or whatever number makes up what remains of the tiny Communist Party in America these days. Everyone else, who the right-wing fringe thinks is the left, is actually the majority, when they are polled on generic liberal issues. Normal people only look like "the left" when you're about to fall completely off the extreme right side of the political stage.

From the get-go, most liberals -- who are the middle -- were absolutely against the TPP, which would have already been dead on arrival in Congress. Trump is just grandstanding, yet again, by trying to take credit for something that most Democrats and Republicans would never have voted for anyway. (In private, most corporate Republicans were actually for it, but none of them wanted to give Obama any kind of "win.") Nevertheless, for everyone's sake, it is a good thing that he kiboshed it from his side of the equation. No argument there.

Never forget, though, that every "un-free" trade agreement in history was always born from Republican DNA, over which both Presidents Clinton and Obama were clearly out of step with the base. They foolishly sold out to Wall Street and Republicans in their infuriating efforts to find common ground with their corporate campaign donors and their political enemies -- much to the chagrin of most liberals.

You can't say you won the Electoral College if all the votes weren't counted. Millions of Democrats were purged off the rolls with the "Interstate Crosscheck" scam, and millions more were disenfranchised through voter suppression laws and old, error-prone voting machines sprinkled around Democratic districts in key states, which spit out notable percentages of "unreadable" ballots.

It was a stolen election, and Trump is still the illegitimate Pretender to the Throne.

The three million popular votes that Trump lost by were all workers too, as were the other 62 million Americans he never fooled. Also, most unions, other than cops, nearly always endorse Democrats, and their rank and file nearly always vote Democratic. Traditionally, the Democratic Party has always been the party of the workers, and the Republican Party has always been the party of the super rich.

...and La La land is populated by "overjoyed" wing-nuts. It's the meds.

:--))

Ou812's picture
Ou812 3 years 34 weeks ago
#15

Deepspace says "You can't say you won the Electoral College if all the votes weren't counted. Millions of Democrats were purged off the rolls with the "Interstate Crosscheck" scam, and millions more were disenfranchised through voter suppression laws and old, error-prone voting machines sprinkled around Democratic districts in key states, which spit out notable percentages of "unreadable" ballots."

Another lefties excuse. You saying it doesn't make it true. Where's the evidence?, Where's the proof? The recount in Wisconsin resulted in MORE votes for President Trump. The recount in Michigan (before a federal judge cancelled it) showed more people in Wayne County (Detroit) voted than were registered. Probably won't change your mind, but those are the facts.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 34 weeks ago
#16

Outside, objective truth exists whether I say it or not. And no, you absolutely won't change my mind with false corporate news, (or swamp gas) lies, half truth's, and cherry-picked partial facts, of which you have no proof, whether you say so or not. Again, look in the mirror as you type, little troll.

The first whopper is the recount snafu; the workers assigned the job were forced to run the same numbers through the same machines with different results. If anything, it exposed the foolishness of using error-prone machines in the first place, with faulty computerized tabulations that never seem to spit out the same results twice and that have no adequate paper trails.

The machine count didn't match the voting rolls for at least two glaring reasons: the machines were off; the rolls were purged. The proof in the pudding, among much other evidence, is the wide disparity in the gold standard of exit polling, which was wildly off the mark in key states and demonstrated quite clearly that huge percentages of Democrats thought their votes counted when they obviously didn't. But that's only one, albeit critical, metric.

Our state-run, third-world-country voting national nightmare should be replace by universal standards with good old old-fashion -- and much more reliable -- paper ballots, which can be recounted properly, monitored by the U.N., and where Republican-appointed judges with conflict of interest issues cannot arbitrarily shut it down.

Anyway, the recount effort was never the larger story, even though that's what ended up in the shallow, blurb news that sucked up all the oxygen in the daily news cycles, of which you are evidently, sadly, an avid consumer. It was primarily initiated to expose the much more widespread fraud perpetrated by Republican Secretaries of State over decades, and to reform the system, so that it won't happen again in succeeding elections.

There was never any massive voter fraud, which is just another Republican lie with absolutely no proof; however, there was massive election fraud with lots of proof. For obvious reason (which is too in depth to cover here in a blog post), the establishment -- including the Democratic Party unfortunately -- avoids the real facts like a plague.

Of course, you would have known all this already had you done your homework and researched the references that were presented quite extensively on Thom's program numerous times (among the wealth of written-down, recorded, on-the-record material that is available if one cares to look), and even right here on this forum by several other members. Obviously, you don't peruse much information that exists in the wide world outside of your tiny bubble of right-wing misinformation and the superficial corporate infotainment framework.

...because you don't really give a damn about the truth that challenges your limited world view, do you, little troll?

On the long odds that you might actually wake up from your deep stupor, here would be a good place to start a 101 entry level research program, from where you can then expand out to the many other reliable sources that are easily available in the vast body of knowledge in this modern era of mass communication, and begin your long journey back to mental health and reality: Greg Palast's "The Best Democracy Money can Buy."

Honestly, you and your kissing-cousin trolls have been endlessly spewing out shallow, dead-end circles of total BS about hugely important issues that require serious, sober, much wider examinations to fully understand in the context of the bigger pictures from which they sprang. If you insist on clogging up this forum with little, meaningless, mind-numbing -- and, to be honest, simply boring -- lies and half-truths, which you've dug up from only God knows where, then you'll have to suffer through long, countervailing dissertations. Enjoy!

BTW, I wonder how much Trump ass-kissers would be hollering and stomping their feet if the situation was reversed -- if he won the popular vote by millions, lost the undemocratic Electoral College, and millions of his voters were disenfranchised?

Now, c'mon, you crooked little troll; be real for once. Don't lie with a straight face, with that big twelve-incher stuck in your avatar's mouth. Be intellectually honest.

Otherwise, just go away and troll elsewhere. Or, like Stopgap advised, at least come out of the closet and quit hating yourself. :--((

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 3 years 34 weeks ago
#17

Deepspace sez; "Now, c'mon, you crooked little troll; be real for once. Don't lie with a straight face, with that big twelve-incher stuck in your avatar's mouth. Be intellectually honest.
Otherwise, just go away and troll elsewhere. Or, like Stopgap advised, at least come out of the closet and quit hating yourself. :--(("

First off, how can you tell anybody not to lie with a straight face? Ever look in the mirror Mr. Ed?

Secondly, give us a bit more information. I sense a lot of sexual tension on your part toward Ou812. You also seem to exhibit a lot of homophobia. Is that just a mask?

Lastly, accusing others of "clogging up this forum". You just typed 713 words of pure blithering rant. Who actually clogs up this forum?

Back on topic. Trump has to walk carefully with respect to a potential trade war with china. During the last eight years Obama gave away or closed most if not all our ability to produce the chips needed to further our manufacturing capability. Correcting that terrible mistake should precede any serious trade conflicts with China.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 3 years 34 weeks ago
#18

Gee, you sound angry. Touch a little nerve there, did we? Tch, tch ... better gobble up some more psycho meds, or go shoot something with your big 'ol "AR" that you so love to brag about. (WARNING: When still drooling from meds, do not look down muzzle to see if loaded!) You may use my avatar for target practice.

1. BTW, where's your avatar? Look deeply into the magic mirror on the wall that never lies, oh Dark Fuzzy Spirit... }:--((

2. After your nasty little smears shared with TomDorr against Chelsea Manning's sexual orientation -- buried at the end of the days-old thread, when you evidently thought no one would notice -- it has been established quite plainly for all to witness who the clueless bigots and homophobes really are on this forum. That's all the information anyone needs.

The purity of spirit within all living beings is worthy of honor. Nonetheless, as is most of humanity on Earth, I'm disgusted and appalled not by your spirit but by the noxious, right-wing, group-think disinformation campaign waged by reprehensible authoritarian leaders and followers, whose disjointed thought patterns have been twisted by hateful, fearful, divisive propaganda, such as that which constantly spews forth from immature, fragile EGO MAN Trump, Faux-Fox News, lie/hate radio, and the fringe swamp of the "big lie and half-truth" brainwash that would make Joseph Goebbels proud.

3. Again, your reading comprehension seems to suffer a bit when you get mad. The long, long menu of an unpalatable daily fare of easily debunked, despicable lies served up day in and day out by right-wing, angry little trolls is what was described in the previous exhortation as "clogging up the forum" -- not the mere volume of internet ink used.

But I get you. Reading anything longer than a few sentences on a blog thread is such a damn hassle these days ... so, so hard to focus in this world of quick and easy sound bites. Well, sometimes the simple truth is not so simple; unfortunately, it may require more of an effort than the pithy bumper-sticker sloganeering that trolls have perfected and are barely capable of absorbing.

It's very impressive, though, that you actually took the time to peruse my dissertations -- even delving in deep enough to actually count the words. Wow! I'm honored! I'll keep 'em coming just for your sake. There's hope for you yet, girl!

Back on topic: Now what were you "blithering" about?

Something about some cherry-picked factoid to do with some billionaire-inspired, Wall Street ancillary trade agreement, which you were dishonestly trying to pin solely on Obama, because he (yes) stupidly went along with your chosen party, jam-packed with unpatriotic Congressional Republicans?

Something about how your low-IQ, bankrupted, head pervert with the fake clown hair -- the laughing stock of the world -- was somehow going to swoop in and save the day?

Oh well, it doesn't matter -- just more white noise from another swamp troll. Bless her spirit.

How many words was that?

:--)))

Trump has told us how he and the Republicans plan to steal this election: can we stop him and save our republic?

Thom plus logo Donald Trump became president by exploiting a loophole called the Electoral College. The majority of Americans did not want him or vote for him as president, but he's there anyway.

Now he's planning on using a different loophole, the 12th Amendment, to hang onto power.
From Screwed:
"Hartmann speaks with the straight talking clarity and brilliance of a modern day Tom Paine as he exposes the intentional and systematic destruction of America’s middle class by an alliance of political con artists and outlines a program to restore it. This is Hartmann at his best. Essential reading for those interested in restoring the institution that made America the envy of the world."
David C. Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom Hartmann is a creative thinker and committed small-d democrat. He has dealt with a wide range of topics throughout his life, and this book provides an excellent cross section. The Thom Hartmann Reader will make people both angry and motivated to act."
Dean Baker, economist and author of Plunder and Blunder, False Profits, and Taking Economics Seriously
From The Thom Hartmann Reader:
"Thom is a national treasure. Read him, embrace him, learn from him, and follow him as we all work for social change."
Robert Greenwald, political activist and founder and president of Brave New Films