Sunday, August 7, 2022

Changes in U.S. China Policy? It's the Corporate Interests, Stupid

I've become addicted to political podcasts that allow me to wade through the mainstream media bullshit coverage that leaves us in the dark as to what's really going on. This morning I listened to the latest Intercept aptly named "Deconstructed" podcast which provides context to US/China relations and takes into account the repression of liberty in China, while also referring to our own transgressions which make our attacks on lack of democracy in China (true dat) hypocritical. There have got to be other reasons for the switch in attitudes toward China over the past 6 years.

Two leading progressive foreign policy voices discuss the House speaker’s decision to visit Taiwan.

As usual, examining major corporate interests over time vis a vis China offers some insights. I support independent journalism like The Intercept.

As open market neo-liberalist unfettered capitalism captured the world starting in roughly 1980, which includes an oft neglected analysis of the attack on unions for "restraining" the market -- the decline in unions can be traced to this attack since 1980 when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. 

So let's look at how China was viewed by corporations anxious to see China opened up for two main reasons: access to it's massive populations as a market and access to cheap labor. Thus the corporate lobbyists were set in motion to get both parties to go along -- the classic Clinton/Obama free market neo-liberals. The result? Massive movement of manufacturing out of this country -- that great sucking sound echoed by Ross Perot - a profit before his time - in the 1992 election. 

Remember the days when North Carolina was the heart of American furniture making? It didn't take long to see China become the economic engine of manufacturing (and jobs) lost here. BTW - globalism is also an attack on labor unions - look at the UAW concessions when automakers started going abroad - with the avid support of both political parties who refused to put penalties on them in the name of free market neo-liberalism.

Not only Perot, but the left pro-labor movements in this country also pushed back with the riots in Seattle.

1999 Seattle WTO protests - Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › 1999_Seattle_WTO_p...
The 1999 Seattle WTO protests, sometimes referred to as the Battle of Seattle, were a series of protests surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference of 1999, ...

To many in North American anarchist and radical circles, the Seattle WTO riots, protests, and demonstrations were viewed as a success.[34] Prior to the "Battle of Seattle", almost no mention was made of "antiglobalization" in the US media, while the protests were seen as having forced the media to report on 'why' anybody would oppose the WTO.[35]

Previous mass demonstrations had taken place in Australia in December 1997, in which newly formed grass-roots organizations blockaded Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, and Darwin city centers.[36]

Bernie was probably the only elected who supported these protests.
 
The podcast does discuss the elements on the left that back China (and Russia) and blame American imperialism -- true on the latter but they seem to absolve current and former communist states of all blame. Nationalism on our part and their part is discussed in the context of attacking foreigners. 

There's a lot of material embedded in this roughly 45 minutes.
 
What happened over our policies toward China over two decades goes a long way to understanding the rise of Trump and Bernie. Both attacked globalism from different angle of course. The Republican party is not only under the control of Trump but an increasingly nationalistic anti-globalist  - and anti-immigrant policy.
 
BTW -- did you see that surprising jobs report? Guess what? The anti-immigrant policies result in labor shortages -- the contradiction for the anti-labor right wing. So let's raise interest rates and cause a recession to raise the unemployment rate and make workers hunger for any job at any wages. Think "late stage capitalism." But back to the main theme:
 
How did we go from "China good" to "China bad" so relatively quickly? The podcast connected a bunch of strands related to corporate interests. Is the real cause the increasing repression or aggressive nationalism? Focus on aggressive economic nationalism to get to the real change in how corporations (the real driving force in our politics) have been affected as China outsmarted them.

They forced them to give up so much to gain access to the markets and cheap labor - then they created competing industries using the technology they forced them to share. And of course, Chinese workers as they prospered began to earn more money and raise costs of production - so that the corps began to drift to Vietnam and cheaper labor.

Thus corporate lobbying began to shift from pro to anti-China. They want confrontations with China to curb their economic ability to compete -- remember -- China has heavy industrial policy of support for their companies - which is anathema to globalism and Neo-liberal free markets. 

Note the recent bi-partisan support for the chips bill which is a tepid version of industrial policy - with lots of perks and giveaways to corporations in the process.

Do you think Nancy Pelosi just went to Taiwan for the food? She is an instrument of a corporate wing of the Dem party that wanted this confrontation.

Don't forget - It's Corporate Interests which run our politics. There are competing corp interests and their lobbyists do battle it out with politicians, with some lining up with one party or the other -- but most place bets on both parties.

Witness they turned down the insulin price caps this morning. Let 'em eat sugar.



 

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