The 21st Century Will Belong to China, Demographics is Destiny
Watch the video, it is central to this discussion.
“The World IsFlat” by Tom Friedman extolled the virtues of a global economy, and it became the de facto talking points for liberal intelligentsia to declare “Demographics is destiny, China will own the 21st Century”. This best destiny described by Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman of the New York Times has become so ingrained in our business strategies we became convinced that this prognostication was indeed an accurate forecast as we sent manufacturing off shore.
ADV China offers a well balanced look at China. Watch this video, it is central to this article.
On many occasions Friedman wrote about the superior organization of cities, industry and transportation in China. While lamenting censorship, you get the sense that Friedman felt that the inconvenience of backward US urban planning and lack of centralized planning outweighed well intentioned censorship. China was building great things, better things than the US, so that is the price to pay.
It actually started well, on Kau Sai Chau, an island off Hong Kong, where I stood on a rocky hilltop overlooking the South China Sea and talked to my wife back in Maryland, static-free, using a friend’s Chinese cellphone. A few hours later, I took off from Hong Kong’s ultramodern airport after riding out there from downtown on a sleek high-speed train with wireless connectivity that was so good I was able to surf the Web the whole way on my laptop.
Landing at Kennedy Airport from Hong Kong was, as I’ve argued before, like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones. The ugly, low-ceilinged arrival hall was cramped, and using a luggage cart cost $3.
Yes, this is the typical America bashing we have been accustomed to for decades, and in the past, comparisons of Europe to the US has been the foundation of those criticisms. But watch the video included with the article, and you’ll see that there has been a bait and switch swindle that has occurred in China. ADV China, two ex-patriots with businesses in China rightly report how the Ghost Cities in China are crumbling. Yes, after only three years, they are crumbling. Three. Years. The video will show you the construction techniques used, and most telling is that where ree rod and mess should have been used in concrete, wood has been used instead. No wonder these buildings are crumbling and dangerous.
Krugman and Friedman have propped China for nearly two decades, and the result has been investment that has fueled the “miraculous” growth, as well as the myths that China, under technocratic guidance, is the destiny of a sustainable and managed society. China is no longer a communist nation, it has been shaped into something far more sinister. It is a technocratically engineered society that benefit a small group of elite globalists. That is, though the use of technology and under the helm of scientific elitism, and centralized and controlled society has been created which answers to global elite, not merely the CCP. There is top down control of expression of opinion, and when required, violence is used to subdue uprisings like we saw during the COVID lockdowns of ShangHai. But cell phones with a tightly controlled internet are the tools that give the Chinese government the ability to measure and manipulate population and the economy. The Chinese population is a resource that is farmed out to global manufacturing concerns, cheap labor, which attracts investments that the CCP use to fuel their controlled economy. In the early days of communist China, education and science was discarded for approved thought from communal groups. It was consensus, but not based on sound principles of economics, commerce and science as we define them in the west, that drove activity. Today, technocracy is what runs China. It’s far different. It does use economics, science, and demographics to inform planning decisions, but the technocrats securely captures the output and other activities of the Chinese people.
In Rationed State, we detail how the proponents of sustainability are actually technocrats who are of the same mindset as Friedman and Krugman: let the smart, elite employ scientific principles, unfettered, to reshape society. China is the model, they know how to get things done. Look at all the cities they have built in record time.
But the result is that the cities are falling apart. Not in a decade, but within years. This is what the “architects of the future” are delivering in the model for the world to see. Why would you trust them to craft superior food manufacturing or delivery systems for you.
In 2023 We Turn To China To Teach Us About Manufacturing
When you read the headlines from media based in Michigan you would think that a revolution in manufacturing is occurring, and that the World Economic Forum’s prediction that Michigan as a central focal point for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is coming to fruition. So far over 2 billion dollars has been funneled from the state legislature via the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to the emerging Electronic Vehicle manufacturing sector.
Along with misconstruing tax funds for prosperity and actual industrial production, there has been a reboot of the 1980’s comedy Gung Ho in the form of a documentary named American Factory that is now on streaming services with a message of hope for the American Midwest. Yes, China is depicted as savior. While the new jobs are indeed welcomed, notice that this trailer highlights that the US workers are clumsy, they need to be retrained, they are a burden. Despite the triumphant music playing throughout that swells your heart with hope, what is not included in the trailer is how manufacturing was outsourced overseas by our own auto industry and that practice has been encouraged by our legislators. Whether due to increased labor costs, union travails or burdensome regulation, the manufacturing know-how and opportunities were brought by the Big Three automakers to mainland China. Indeed, I have a neighbor who as an engineer for Ford spent years in China training his counterparts.
We have not only lost these opportunities to maintain a strong economy, we became accustomed to the predictive programming the Friedman and Krugman chanted that the rise of China was inevitable as our government at state and local levels created environments that gave the Big Three auto makers an excuse to move off shore. This is not the trend of economics alone at work, as Toyota has run successful manufacturing facilities in Tennessee for years. Yet with American Factory, the premise in the trailer is certainly biased against our work force retaining qualified knowledge. Yes, as Governor Whitmer and others from Michigan, including Ford, have stated “we need Chinese expertise.”
The trend in my state of Michigan is to suspend all questions of zoning, denying local communities their rights to information regarding new manufacturing facilities in their farming communities and potential impact as we race to build factories that will use the most toxic substances on Earth to create electric vehicles. City and county commissions have ignored their voters to usher in the new saviors. It is a bait and switch, as the companies are foreign entities and not US based. This limits the wealth that will be recirculated back into economy. They are not US subsidiaries of Chinese companies but are licensed entities from mainland China. They are CCP companies. This had been withheld from the public until after the 2022 election, and both Republican and Democrats were well aware of the parties involved with these projects. These plants will not reside in the Detroit region which has the infrastructure for waste disposal and transportation of materials via rail and truck; instead, we will destroy farm communities and locate these plants on the state’s largest watersheds. One battery plant will require 715,000 gallons of groundwater a day.
China has a terrible record with respects to environmental stewardship, and these facilities will be situated far from regions where industrial inspections currently take place. It does make you wonder what recourse the citizens of Michigan will have should environmental issues arise, will a Chinese entity respond in court to lawsuits, or will special interests looking to protect their relationships further obfuscate operations of these facilities?
Finally, despite all the fanfare regarding the return of jobs, have we as a country truly lost our expertise in critical manufacturing industries? There were no other US startups that could be considered viable instead of foreign corporations?
This bait and switch will continue. Maybe the miracle is if we could truly awaken to the false promise of government guiding success in our economy. Sometimes the experts have answers that are not in our best interests. You should ask yourself why do we ally ourselves with foreign interests over our own. Consider that the World Economic Forum has stated that there will be 75% reduction in total vehicle ownership and you may have a clue as to how productive these new factories will actually be.