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Monday, April 11, 2011

City Life Update

I have a note from Blogger saying that Jack Mitchell posted a comment, but it hasn't shown up on the Blog Post it was sent to.  So, I am posting it here.
Jack Mitchell has left a new comment on your post "MoDo and Bob Dylan":

Yo, Cliff.

Based on our City Life talk were I called those fearmongers over at CAGW "scumbags," I figured I'd try to flesh out your point that China does not hold much of our debt.

Sorry, I leaned of The Wiki-
Foreign ownership
Composition of U.S. Long-Term Treasury Debt held by foreign states, Nov. 2005-Nov. 2010. June figures are results of comprehensive Treasury Department surveys.  As of January 2011, foreigners owned $4.45 trillion of U.S. debt, or approximately 47% of the debt held by the public of $9.49 trillion and 32% of the total debt of $14.1 trillion. The largest holders were the central banks of China ($1.1 trillion) and Japan ($885 billion).[28][29] The share held by foreign governments has grown over time, rising from 25% of the public debt in 2007[30] and 13% in 1988.[31]

If'in I kalkalates rightly, that means China holds $1.1 Trillion out of $14.1 Trillion or 7.8% of our debt. Japan holds 6.2%. Yet, no scary commercials about the Japs? Why not?

I'm sure even folks that graduate "land grant" colleges have heard of Pearl Harbor.

Lying scumbag fearmongers must be renounced.
Dealing first with "land grant" colleges (schools like MIT and UMass Amherst), those are the predominant colleges out across the fruited plain and are distinguished from those Ivy League schools which provide us much of our Government "leadership" (Judge that for yourself).  I do think that a graduate of a land grant college is more likely to have heard about and understand Pearl Harbor that graduates of some other schools—land grant colleges require ROTC.

The "fearmongering" is the Democratic term for when Republicans do what Democrats do.  I give you the editorial cartoon in our Newspaper of Record today.  That would be The Lowell Sun.

But, back to the issue at hand, while live on City Life this AM we agreed that the share of each citizen of the Chinese held part of our national debt (as opposed to our trade deficit) was about $3,333.  Examination this evening gives us a figure of $3,563 (1.1 trillion dollars divided by 308,745,538 people).

The problem on the show was the $14.1 trillion dollar debt gave a per capita figure of about $140K.  That was off.  My calculation this evening is $45,669.  I don't know where we went wrong.

As for why we are concerned about China and not Japan is that we were concerned about Japan back about 20 years ago, when writers like James Fallows were telling us about how Japan was the wave of the future.  Since then Japan has experienced a long lasting recession and this recent 9.0 earthquake hasn't helped them.  On the other hand, China has a much larger population and seems to be riding the crest of a great wave (and much of our goods come out of China).  As a nation mired in its own recession and concerned about several overseas wars that don't seem to be going away, we are further concerned about our place in the world.  Some think we are loosing our grip.  Maybe they even subscribe to Historian Paul Kennedy's thesis, laid out in his book The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

For another look at our financial position here in the United States go to Wikipedia here.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Has anyone tried to buy a shirt made in the US lately, aside from at the Custom Shop?


Jack Mitchell said...

This discussion is prompted by a TV ad that is airing now. Click here to watch.

That my friends, is fearmongering.

Cliff, you delve into the weeds on the choice by the fearmongers to focus on China vs. Japan. I'd like to offer a simpler explanation.

President Obama and many of us Democrats, if not all, have been portrayed by corporate and fringe right forces, as Socialists bent on destroying America.

Point being, the ad does not stand alone. It is building on an existing meme of Democrats bent on destroying America.

We remember in recent campaigns when questioning patriotism was a fad. Mulitply that by 10.

This ad builds on dog whistles designed to tweak a narrow mind.

Lastly, blur the matter with false equivalencies, as you see fit. That does not let CAGW off the hook.

Jack Mitchell said...

PS. Thanks for salvaging my comment from the dustbin of the intertubes.