Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Japan surrenders, we're next

Japan surrendered unconditionally to China in the past day, effectively ceding all claims to the South China Sea and likely anything else that China wants. You can expect China to get its way anywhere in the world on every issue that it sees as important and it doesn’t matter how many aircraft carrier battle groups the US has, China still has the upper hand.

Why is China now the unquestioned and unchallengeable super-power in the world? Simply because there are 17 rare earth elements with names you can’t pronounce that are essential to all modern manufacturing. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 124,000 tons of rare earth elements were extracted around the world in 2009, among which 120,000 tons, or 97 percent, were from China, 2,700 tons from India and 650 tons from Brazil.

Cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, promethium, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium and yttrium in case you wanted to know.

Everyone of the things that make our lives different from the Amish require a variety of these elements and all those new green technologies require them in large amounts. China’s action has set off a sort of gold rush with companies that produce or might someday produce rare earths having their stock go through the roof. I wouldn’t rush out and buy any stock however with a minimum of 15 years lead time required to develop a new supply line as extracting these elements is a very involved series of processes.

China has raised a considerable amount of ire in the US Congress over the blatant manipulation of its currency that has increased their dominance over the US in trade. China has promised repeatedly to allow its currency to float but this has not happened. They issued the usual assurances again today ahead of a vote in the House to impose tariffs but this had little effect with the vote going against China 348-79.

There is believed to be little chance this bill will get to a vote in the Senate with the Republicans and a number of Democrats who put their personal fortunes above the national security of the United States (oath be damned).
In fact, thanks to the Supreme Court that the President rightfully chided in his State of the Union report, the Chinese can buy as many Senators and Congressmen as they need to see to it that everything goes their way.

Hundreds of millions are being dumped into the elections by corporations with complete anonymity. The biggest corporations are Chinese or beholding to them. Where do you think the tea baggers are getting their “grass roots” support?

Don’t expect anything to be done about this or if President Obama does take this on, the road will be a hard one. This makes all other things pale by comparison. War for oil? Child’s play. Terrorists? A mirror nuisance. It will take at least a generation to rebuild from this if people realize that it must be done and most Americans don’t even understand how their toaster works, very soon they probably won’t have one.


Athanasor said...

Probably the most important post you've ever made. Of course there are few people who understand the ecology of global economics, and fewer of them in the US Congress.

Keep it lit.

ickenittle said...

Keeping the lights on this winter is going to be a big problem for many of the new poor, and the toaster might come to another use, as a hand warmer.
Those who stumble blindly into the pud will find that those of us in the know, have already signed up for the budget plan,and as those bills mount up there will be more people in distress.Already demoralized by the welfare office they will suffer real despair.

It takes a thick skin to manouver around the system,it is it's own kind of hell.
American excepionalism-my ass.

Ronmac said...

Funny I just picked up an old toaster from the "take it or leave it" place at the local dump the other day. Not because I needed it but because it was an old GE maybe 30 or 40 years old. I liked the looks of it, antiquish almost.

Funny I just picked up an old toaster from the "take it or leave it" place at the local dump the other day. Not because I needed it but because it was an old GE maybe 30 or 40 years old. I liked the looks of it, antiquish almost (Nowadays GE is in the business of shuffling paper around).

Anybody out interested I can let you have it for a few hundred thoundsand $. Better make than yuan.

Anonymous said...

Get yer toasters NOW from Wal Mart.

We must always be careful of what we hypocritically demand. If China were to accede to the order of the oh-so-tough US Congress, and stopped "manipulating" it's currency, the price of 4/5 (see post below) of Wally World's items would jump, what, 40%? To THAT add proposed tariffs.

Be aware that with said toaster there is NO guarantee you'll be able to afford/find the "food products" to go into it, much less the electricity to make it work.

However, I would advise against sitting on a hot toaster waiting for China to dance to Congress's tune.

John Puma