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Open Thread 67
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I am amused to see that the I continue to remain an incidental object of Irish SJW discourse following Michael Connolly’s publication of an HBD-realist view on development economics.

Matthew Murphy:

More troublingly still, the article credits Anatoly Karlin, a well known member of the Russian far right who has appeared at events alongside American white nationalist Richard Spencer, as the source of many of the ideas expressed in the piece.

Liam McCubbin-Cramton:

I am already somewhat familiar with this name, as Karlin is a notorious anti-Semite and confidant of American white supremacist Richard Spencer. He has previously made statements like “The most vitriolic and obsessive Russia-bashing journalists in the media are mostly Jewish. The publications which push these writers most energetically are ALL Jewish-owned, and as a publisher, I know very well, that is where the buck stops. On the policy side, the neoconservative movement, Russia’s harshest foe, was conceived of, is led by, and consists mostly of, Jews”.

It’s pretty amusing to see these people are plainly just cribbing from the RationalWiki article. In reality, having only met with him once, it is hard to see how would qualify as a confidant of Richard Spencer (who is for that matter a white nationalist, but not a white supremacist). And of course the quoted text above was written by Charles Bausman, who is not me; I agreed with parts of it, and disagreed with other parts of it.

However, it is good that I now qualify as a “well known member” of the Russian Far Right.

***

@ak

From now on, this will be a new section on Open Threads that will highlight my more significant blog posts during the past week.

***

Featured

  • Lukashenko flip-flops on integration with Russia for the nth time. Not going to cover this here, as I’m planning a separate post on the Belorussian Question.
  • *Chinese sci-fi* New Chinese blockbuster “Wandering Earth” in which the Earth becomes a rogue planet and people need to survive on the freezing surface (or something like that)
    • I intend to watch it; not showing in Moscow, so I suppose it’ll have to pirate it.
    • Pertinent to discussions about: Potential of Chinese cultural influence; Russia-China relations (the movie is rather Russophile).
    • Are these “Snowball Earth” post-apoc scenarios becoming more popular? There was Matthew Mather’s “Nomad” series in 2015-2017, and the Korean-Czech movie “Snowpiercer” in 2013.
    • As I said a couple of months ago, my plans for this year – assuming Age of Malthusian Industrialism gets finished – is to write a sci-fi novel on a similar topic.

***

Russia

***

World

  • Guillaume Durocher Twitter thread on Israeli influence: “#IlhanOmar is learning that hard way that there at some facts gentiles – even black Muslim gentiles – are not allowed to mention.
  • Hungary PM Offers Incentive To Women: Have 4 Kids And Never Pay Income Tax Again
  • *Maximum Boot?* Max Boot: “Disgraceful ad hominem attacks by @IlhanMN on my @CFR_org colleague Elliott Abrams. She doesn’t seem to realize he is a leading advocate of human rights and democracy–not a promoter of genocide! More evidence of the loony left I caution Democrats about.

***

Science & Culture

***

Humor

  • *argument for fat shaming* Emil Kirkegaard: “If fat acceptance is causal for higher BMIs thru less social policing, does that mean that fat shaming is technically an underused protective factor for diabetes, heart disease etc.? Conclusion seems unavoidable.
  • Georgetown University Students May Face Student Fee to Pay Slavery Reparations
  • Nobody sane is surprised about Jussie Smollett having been a hate hoax. I care so little about the latest American domestic dramas that I’m putting this at the end.

***

 
• Tags: China, Open Thread, Russia, SJWs 
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  1. SHAME ON TRUMP AND THE JUDAISTS FOR THE ALIEN INVASION 2019 AND NO BORDER WALL.

    Shame on Trump for signing this recent finance bill (Feb. 2019) to reopen govt—with not only no funding for a border wall, but actually increasing immigration!!!

    Shame on you Trump, shame on you, for the fraud you are–for bluffing and lying and conning us.

    Shame on you Jewish alienists, Shumer, NYT, etc. for promoting the alien invasion, for your war on the West and genocide through massive 3rd world invasion (while keeping aliens out of Israel).

    This is truly a crime against humanity of the Judaists against whites.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    LOL! If you feel so strongly about this, you can try to encourage Whites to retaliate against this by pushing for large-scale Gentile immigration into Israel.
  2. Hi Anatoly, let me first say hi from the long-time lurkdom! Enjoyed the AOM series (well, plus the semi-regular Russian politics updates…media here doesn’t have especially good coverage of non-US/EU news).

    Was wondering (as proud Austrian, obviously) – are you still planning to visit Vienna sometime in 2019? Vaguely recall it was on the travel list at some point.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Probably, dependent on my finances and the availability of my friend's apartment as free accomodation.
  3. @frankie
    Hi Anatoly, let me first say hi from the long-time lurkdom! Enjoyed the AOM series (well, plus the semi-regular Russian politics updates...media here doesn't have especially good coverage of non-US/EU news).

    Was wondering (as proud Austrian, obviously) - are you still planning to visit Vienna sometime in 2019? Vaguely recall it was on the travel list at some point.

    Probably, dependent on my finances and the availability of my friend’s apartment as free accomodation.

  4. (who is for that matter a white nationalist, but not a white supremacist).

    You need to ‘splain this.

    However, it is good that I now qualify as a “well known member” of the Russian Far Right.

    Best part, right?

    Karlin is a notorious anti-Semite

    Serves you right for running that hokey ADL “test” on your blog.

    I care so little about the latest American domestic dramas that I’m putting this at the end.

    Getting the hang of that Russkie bashing America thingy.

  5. Anatoly,

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this article:

    https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2019/02/russia-china-alliance-rule-the-world/

    • Replies: @neutral
    I have not seen anything that shows that either China or Russia wants to rule the world, the opposite however is very clear, that the USA wants no one free of their rule.
    , @reiner Tor
    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis - whose opinion I value highly - wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.
    , @AquariusAnon
    I think this is a decent article for the most part, except maybe for ruling the world.

    Russia seems to *really* want China on its side, but what China doesn't want are Russia's enemies as its own enemies. If a formal EU/NATO-style Sino-Russian economic and military alliance bloc emerges, first of all China will have to kiss goodbye to building strong ties with Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe. A likelier chance won't be CEE switching to the Russo-Chinese camp, but China overnight losing all of its economic ties and political relations with CEE, and losing the huge, lucrative European market.

    And on the US, China doesn't think, rightfully, that its anywhere near a zero-sum Cold War. Upper level contacts happen on a very continuous basis, trust between the officials on both sides remain high, the sheer amount of economic and people-to-people relations between China and the US is one of the highest, if not the highest in terms of sheer numbers, between any 2 countries in the world. You can't call this a Cold War when these dynamics are still in place.

    A Sino-Russian EU/NATO like alliance will destroy whatever relationships and trust they have with the US, and this will send huge shockwaves into the Chinese economy like never before.

    From a Chinese perspective, a Sino-Russian alliance is something that can be activated any time, but it doesn't want to activate it itself per Russian requests, but only if the US pushes China into a corner, which has a good chance of not even happening.

  6. @Anonymous
    Anatoly,

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this article:

    https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2019/02/russia-china-alliance-rule-the-world/

    I have not seen anything that shows that either China or Russia wants to rule the world, the opposite however is very clear, that the USA wants no one free of their rule.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That's not a literal statement from Russia or China. It's an embellished headline.
    , @niteranger
    It's Israel and the Magic Jews who want control of the world and they use the American goy as their slaves to get it.
  7. I am watching the TV. BBC News is running a programme on Chernobyl. There is a place called Narodichi inside the exclusion zone where 2,500 people live. The Detski Sad is full of healthy looking toddlers. Background radiation is quite low (less than living on granite rocks in Cornwall or Scotland – from other sources). There are pensioners deep in the zone living in a village of 15 people. There are 200 altogether in various places.

    I don’t think It’s want to eat the local potatoes though or the venison.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Radiation is very good for you. Don't listen to the evil atomophobes.

    http://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/power-of-atom.jpg
  8. @Anonymous
    Anatoly,

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this article:

    https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2019/02/russia-china-alliance-rule-the-world/

    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis – whose opinion I value highly – wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Okay, now I found a newer and more comprehensive Pettis blogpost about the overstated GDP:

    https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/78138
    , @Anonymous

    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.
     
    It seems to me that China is trying to wait Trump out and see what happens. They only have to wait another year or 5 years at most to see whether the next US administration will be more friendly or whether there is a permanent change towards greater hostility from the US elite.

    Russia on the other hand has no such hopes. They know that future US administrations following Trump will be if anything more hostile.
    , @anonymous

    Michael Pettis – whose opinion I value highly – wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated
     
    Why do you regard Michael Pettis as a valued opinion?

    I'm asking because I'm quite skeptical of his wisdom. I've seen his name for over a decade. He has been for that time a permabear on China. He has repeatedly predicted what he calls over investment by China will bring an economic contraction (not just slower growth) anytime just around the corner.

    The archives at his old blog at mpettis.com don't appear to be available. That's good for his image because some of his predictions from a decade ago about the future of China now have become stale and a liability to his reputation as an accurate analyst.

    Here is a 2010 Forbes piece discussing him along with other China bears:

    Whew, that's a lot of bears. We go through these names on the latest Sinica podcast, "Attack of the China Bears," where we invited the comparatively bullish Arthur Kroeber, managing director of GaveKal-Dragonomics, to cook China bears on a skewer. His chief accomplice was noted bear trapper and Sinocism blogger Bill Bishop. Host Kaiser Kuo fed them questions as they went in for the kill. One of Kroeber's chosen prey is the bearish argument, put forward again yesterday by Pettis, that China's heavy investment in high-speed rail will end up costing so much that it becomes a drag on the economy. As you will hear, Kroeber essentially argues the opposite.

    To be fair, Kroeber puts some important caveats into his optimistic forecast, but it was left to me to try and defend the bear position.
     
    On the point of HSR, Krober turned out to be right. On bigger points, Pettis is losing. According to him the Chinese economy should be in contraction by now. It will still take several years to be definitive but Pettis is going to look like a fool at the end of it if the Chinese economy keeps on chugging along as it is currently. I think he is getting anxious.
    , @Kimppis
    I've mentioned this several times, and I'm certainly not an economist, but in my opinion China's GDP is probably understated (especially in nominal, ofc). Simply look at the market size and sophistication, as well as China's technological and scientific rise (even in per capita). There has also been this exceptionally rapid and large-scale decline in (absolute) poverty that still continues, despite China's high inequality.

    So how poor do you think China's in per capita terms? (Considerably) below Brazil, Thailand or Iran (!), for instance? Because otherwise you would have to conclude that the GDP figures are quite accurate, though maybe even overly pessimistic and still based on outdated methodology.

    I largely agree you on Russia, however the official government forecast for the 2020s is actually optimistic, they are beginning to prioritize growth again. I guess the memories of 1998 are still very painful and it seems the economic liberals are indeed too pessimistic about the potential of the economy (or they are jew-lizard traitors, if you ask the Sovok Russophiles on the internet). Russia has been focusing on increasing its reserves, but even then last year's growth was already pretty good.
  9. Believe me, after the article the pressure on this end has barely let up and it’s been a full week.

  10. @Anonymous
    Anatoly,

    Would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this article:

    https://www.politico.eu/blogs/the-coming-wars/2019/02/russia-china-alliance-rule-the-world/

    I think this is a decent article for the most part, except maybe for ruling the world.

    Russia seems to *really* want China on its side, but what China doesn’t want are Russia’s enemies as its own enemies. If a formal EU/NATO-style Sino-Russian economic and military alliance bloc emerges, first of all China will have to kiss goodbye to building strong ties with Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe. A likelier chance won’t be CEE switching to the Russo-Chinese camp, but China overnight losing all of its economic ties and political relations with CEE, and losing the huge, lucrative European market.

    And on the US, China doesn’t think, rightfully, that its anywhere near a zero-sum Cold War. Upper level contacts happen on a very continuous basis, trust between the officials on both sides remain high, the sheer amount of economic and people-to-people relations between China and the US is one of the highest, if not the highest in terms of sheer numbers, between any 2 countries in the world. You can’t call this a Cold War when these dynamics are still in place.

    A Sino-Russian EU/NATO like alliance will destroy whatever relationships and trust they have with the US, and this will send huge shockwaves into the Chinese economy like never before.

    From a Chinese perspective, a Sino-Russian alliance is something that can be activated any time, but it doesn’t want to activate it itself per Russian requests, but only if the US pushes China into a corner, which has a good chance of not even happening.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    which has a good chance of not even happening.
     
    It’s almost impossible not to happen.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Kenneth Rapoza:

    But consider this: on Friday, Trump spoke about the possibility of a trade deal with China during a Rose Garden press conference. The main point of that presser was to talk about his decision to declare a national emergency at the border and fund his border wall without a congressional vote. What was more interesting to the market was Trump's trade war talk, and saying he wants to include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in on a China trade deal.

    "Any deal I make with China, Schumer’s going to stand up and say 'oh it should have been better'. That’s not acceptable to me," Trump said during the press conference. "So I’m thinking about doing something very different...I’m going to bring Schumer, or at least offer Schumer and Pelosi to come with me and I’m going to say ‘join me on the deal'," he said.

    Schumer and Pelosi are Democratic Party hawks on China. Pelosi was critical of China joining the World Trade Organization in the late 1990s. China finally joined in 2001. The only thing Schumer and Trump see eye to eye on is China tariffs.

    So either this is going to be a lousy deal and Trump is going to tell the market, look it's not just me -- it's all of us. Or this is going to create the bipartisan support needed to keep tariffs locked in on China long after Trump is gone. This seems to be Lighthizer's thinking.
     
    , @Jason Liu
    Where are you getting this high level of personal trust between China and the US? It seems like the exact opposite. China is regarded as an amoral thief and cheater, and the US is regarded as an imperialist trying to contain China.
  11. @Philip Owen
    I am watching the TV. BBC News is running a programme on Chernobyl. There is a place called Narodichi inside the exclusion zone where 2,500 people live. The Detski Sad is full of healthy looking toddlers. Background radiation is quite low (less than living on granite rocks in Cornwall or Scotland - from other sources). There are pensioners deep in the zone living in a village of 15 people. There are 200 altogether in various places.

    I don't think It's want to eat the local potatoes though or the venison.

    Radiation is very good for you. Don’t listen to the evil atomophobes.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
    Time to nuke Megaton and let our souls be reincarnated into a 1000 stars! Glory to Atom!
  12. @reiner Tor
    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis - whose opinion I value highly - wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.

    Okay, now I found a newer and more comprehensive Pettis blogpost about the overstated GDP:

    https://carnegieendowment.org/chinafinancialmarkets/78138

  13. People who have been to Veliky Novgorod: is 2 nights sufficient to see everything of interest there? Would a third be overkill?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    What is the purpose? I don’t like traveling to a city for two days only. You have to rush through all the sights (okay, there might not be many), and then almost immediately you have to pack. No time to just sit in cafes or walk the streets aimlessly.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    When are you going? If not too soon, I'll try to finally post my travel report from last summer before you leave.

    You'll want to do the following things:

    * Explore the city itself (the Kremlin + churches). Dependent on how much you like old churches, that will take half a day to a full day.

    * The historical museum near the Novgorod Kremlin is highly recommended. You'll see some familiar things. Half a day.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1030399488622567424

    (Unfortunately, it is also something of a sovok fossil. The descriptions on the displays still talk of the history of Novgorod in terms of class struggle. I imagine they haven't been changed literally since the 1980s or 70s).

    * You can visit active excavations, which are within walking distance of the Kremlin. They don't mind tourists walking about the pits.

    * Vitoslavlitsy Museum of Open Air Architecture. Can visit it via bus tour. Half a day.

    * Rurikovo Gorodische. The original settlement. Half a day. I recommend taking the boat trip there.

    So to get the full flavor you really need three days, though you can cut it down to two by being less assiduous about the churches and skipping Vitoslavlitsy or Rurikovo Gorodische.

    There's really only one restaurant I recommend, but I recommend it very highly: ZAVODBAR. This might just be the best restaurant I have visited in all of Russia.

    No real nightlife as such, the few establishments are dubious places. People drink cheap beer and cavort outside at night. But I assume you're not going there for that.
  14. @AquariusAnon
    I think this is a decent article for the most part, except maybe for ruling the world.

    Russia seems to *really* want China on its side, but what China doesn't want are Russia's enemies as its own enemies. If a formal EU/NATO-style Sino-Russian economic and military alliance bloc emerges, first of all China will have to kiss goodbye to building strong ties with Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe. A likelier chance won't be CEE switching to the Russo-Chinese camp, but China overnight losing all of its economic ties and political relations with CEE, and losing the huge, lucrative European market.

    And on the US, China doesn't think, rightfully, that its anywhere near a zero-sum Cold War. Upper level contacts happen on a very continuous basis, trust between the officials on both sides remain high, the sheer amount of economic and people-to-people relations between China and the US is one of the highest, if not the highest in terms of sheer numbers, between any 2 countries in the world. You can't call this a Cold War when these dynamics are still in place.

    A Sino-Russian EU/NATO like alliance will destroy whatever relationships and trust they have with the US, and this will send huge shockwaves into the Chinese economy like never before.

    From a Chinese perspective, a Sino-Russian alliance is something that can be activated any time, but it doesn't want to activate it itself per Russian requests, but only if the US pushes China into a corner, which has a good chance of not even happening.

    which has a good chance of not even happening.

    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Then prepare for a global financial collapse and a WWI type geopolitical situation. This is the US's largest trade partner, largest source of non-transborder tourists, largest source of FDI, and largest supplier of international students to US universities. China isn't Russia; it isn't a mid-sized natural resources export nation here.

    Once Anglo-German relations broke down 100 years ago, it lead us to 40 years of nonstop war. This is what a complete breakdown of Sino-American relations will look like this century if it happens. The Chinese understand that, and I hope the Americans too.

    Again from a Chinese perspective, I really don't see how China can be cut off from the global economy without causing the entire house of cards to collapse into a period of utter global chaos. But maybe global chaos is indeed on the cards.

    Even the Valdai Club had an article saying that sanctions against China will likely not happen. The business and people-to-people ties between China and the West are too strong and stakes are too high for something like that to happen, unless we want a rerun of WW1/2
    , @for-the-record
    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    Especially when one considers US negotiating demands:

    Among the stipulations Beijing must acquiesce to before receiving tariff relief, according to leaked documents from U.S. negotiators that were spread on Chinese social media:

    halting all government subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its Made in China 2025 program, an endeavor that covers 10 key economic sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips, and artificial intelligence;

    accepting American restrictions on investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating;

    opening up its service and agricultural sectors – areas where Chinese firms have an inherent advantage – to full American competition.

    https://original.antiwar.com/Michael_Klare/2019/02/17/war-with-china/
     
  15. @neutral
    I have not seen anything that shows that either China or Russia wants to rule the world, the opposite however is very clear, that the USA wants no one free of their rule.

    That’s not a literal statement from Russia or China. It’s an embellished headline.

  16. @Jayce
    People who have been to Veliky Novgorod: is 2 nights sufficient to see everything of interest there? Would a third be overkill?

    What is the purpose? I don’t like traveling to a city for two days only. You have to rush through all the sights (okay, there might not be many), and then almost immediately you have to pack. No time to just sit in cafes or walk the streets aimlessly.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  17. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor
    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis - whose opinion I value highly - wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.

    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    It seems to me that China is trying to wait Trump out and see what happens. They only have to wait another year or 5 years at most to see whether the next US administration will be more friendly or whether there is a permanent change towards greater hostility from the US elite.

    Russia on the other hand has no such hopes. They know that future US administrations following Trump will be if anything more hostile.

  18. @reiner Tor

    which has a good chance of not even happening.
     
    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    Then prepare for a global financial collapse and a WWI type geopolitical situation. This is the US’s largest trade partner, largest source of non-transborder tourists, largest source of FDI, and largest supplier of international students to US universities. China isn’t Russia; it isn’t a mid-sized natural resources export nation here.

    Once Anglo-German relations broke down 100 years ago, it lead us to 40 years of nonstop war. This is what a complete breakdown of Sino-American relations will look like this century if it happens. The Chinese understand that, and I hope the Americans too.

    Again from a Chinese perspective, I really don’t see how China can be cut off from the global economy without causing the entire house of cards to collapse into a period of utter global chaos. But maybe global chaos is indeed on the cards.

    Even the Valdai Club had an article saying that sanctions against China will likely not happen. The business and people-to-people ties between China and the West are too strong and stakes are too high for something like that to happen, unless we want a rerun of WW1/2

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    The U.S.' trade as a percentage of GDP(that's trade with all countries, not just China) is one of the lowest in the world, and could be lower if it were determined to make it so. Furthermore, in terms of important things, things you need to be able to survive on your own, the U.S. is self-sufficient, China is not.

    The U.S. has the largest coal reserves in the world, by far the best agricultural land in the world, some of the best navigable waterways in the world, enormous population, is the largest oil producer(with top 10 producing Canada right next door as well). People looking for long term U.S. decline are barking up the wrong tree if they think trade problems will be the U.S.' undoing. For other countries, being able to trade with the U.S. is very important, but the reverse is not true, and never has been.

    Militarily, what threat is any country to the U.S.? Imagining a country trying to sail over and invade the U.S. is risible.
  19. @Jayce
    People who have been to Veliky Novgorod: is 2 nights sufficient to see everything of interest there? Would a third be overkill?

    When are you going? If not too soon, I’ll try to finally post my travel report from last summer before you leave.

    You’ll want to do the following things:

    * Explore the city itself (the Kremlin + churches). Dependent on how much you like old churches, that will take half a day to a full day.

    * The historical museum near the Novgorod Kremlin is highly recommended. You’ll see some familiar things. Half a day.

    (Unfortunately, it is also something of a sovok fossil. The descriptions on the displays still talk of the history of Novgorod in terms of class struggle. I imagine they haven’t been changed literally since the 1980s or 70s).

    * You can visit active excavations, which are within walking distance of the Kremlin. They don’t mind tourists walking about the pits.

    * Vitoslavlitsy Museum of Open Air Architecture. Can visit it via bus tour. Half a day.

    * Rurikovo Gorodische. The original settlement. Half a day. I recommend taking the boat trip there.

    So to get the full flavor you really need three days, though you can cut it down to two by being less assiduous about the churches and skipping Vitoslavlitsy or Rurikovo Gorodische.

    There’s really only one restaurant I recommend, but I recommend it very highly: ZAVODBAR. This might just be the best restaurant I have visited in all of Russia.

    No real nightlife as such, the few establishments are dubious places. People drink cheap beer and cavort outside at night. But I assume you’re not going there for that.

    • Replies: @Jayce
    Thanks! I'd probably going in the end of May, just doing some preliminary research now. My idea was to go back to Peter then the old Rus cities of the north: Staraya Lagoda, Pskov, Novgorod, etc.
    , @melanf
    This program is for a fan of medieval history of Novgorod. For an ordinary person one day is more than enough to see everything interesting in Novgorod. Unlike Europe, the cities of medieval Russia were built of wood - that's why there is little left of them.

    For visitors to Novgorod can be advised to buy Novgorod gingerbread

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DlHcHYIW0AAc6IM.jpg

    this gingerbread is really very good. .

    , @AquariusAnon
    Would you say that Nizhny Novgorod is the better Novgorod? I'm definitely more interested in there than the one close to St. Petersburg.
  20. @Anatoly Karlin
    Radiation is very good for you. Don't listen to the evil atomophobes.

    http://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/power-of-atom.jpg

    Time to nuke Megaton and let our souls be reincarnated into a 1000 stars! Glory to Atom!

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  21. @AquariusAnon
    I think this is a decent article for the most part, except maybe for ruling the world.

    Russia seems to *really* want China on its side, but what China doesn't want are Russia's enemies as its own enemies. If a formal EU/NATO-style Sino-Russian economic and military alliance bloc emerges, first of all China will have to kiss goodbye to building strong ties with Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe. A likelier chance won't be CEE switching to the Russo-Chinese camp, but China overnight losing all of its economic ties and political relations with CEE, and losing the huge, lucrative European market.

    And on the US, China doesn't think, rightfully, that its anywhere near a zero-sum Cold War. Upper level contacts happen on a very continuous basis, trust between the officials on both sides remain high, the sheer amount of economic and people-to-people relations between China and the US is one of the highest, if not the highest in terms of sheer numbers, between any 2 countries in the world. You can't call this a Cold War when these dynamics are still in place.

    A Sino-Russian EU/NATO like alliance will destroy whatever relationships and trust they have with the US, and this will send huge shockwaves into the Chinese economy like never before.

    From a Chinese perspective, a Sino-Russian alliance is something that can be activated any time, but it doesn't want to activate it itself per Russian requests, but only if the US pushes China into a corner, which has a good chance of not even happening.

    Kenneth Rapoza:

    But consider this: on Friday, Trump spoke about the possibility of a trade deal with China during a Rose Garden press conference. The main point of that presser was to talk about his decision to declare a national emergency at the border and fund his border wall without a congressional vote. What was more interesting to the market was Trump’s trade war talk, and saying he wants to include House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in on a China trade deal.

    “Any deal I make with China, Schumer’s going to stand up and say ‘oh it should have been better’. That’s not acceptable to me,” Trump said during the press conference. “So I’m thinking about doing something very different…I’m going to bring Schumer, or at least offer Schumer and Pelosi to come with me and I’m going to say ‘join me on the deal’,” he said.

    Schumer and Pelosi are Democratic Party hawks on China. Pelosi was critical of China joining the World Trade Organization in the late 1990s. China finally joined in 2001. The only thing Schumer and Trump see eye to eye on is China tariffs.

    So either this is going to be a lousy deal and Trump is going to tell the market, look it’s not just me — it’s all of us. Or this is going to create the bipartisan support needed to keep tariffs locked in on China long after Trump is gone. This seems to be Lighthizer’s thinking.

  22. @Anatoly Karlin
    When are you going? If not too soon, I'll try to finally post my travel report from last summer before you leave.

    You'll want to do the following things:

    * Explore the city itself (the Kremlin + churches). Dependent on how much you like old churches, that will take half a day to a full day.

    * The historical museum near the Novgorod Kremlin is highly recommended. You'll see some familiar things. Half a day.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1030399488622567424

    (Unfortunately, it is also something of a sovok fossil. The descriptions on the displays still talk of the history of Novgorod in terms of class struggle. I imagine they haven't been changed literally since the 1980s or 70s).

    * You can visit active excavations, which are within walking distance of the Kremlin. They don't mind tourists walking about the pits.

    * Vitoslavlitsy Museum of Open Air Architecture. Can visit it via bus tour. Half a day.

    * Rurikovo Gorodische. The original settlement. Half a day. I recommend taking the boat trip there.

    So to get the full flavor you really need three days, though you can cut it down to two by being less assiduous about the churches and skipping Vitoslavlitsy or Rurikovo Gorodische.

    There's really only one restaurant I recommend, but I recommend it very highly: ZAVODBAR. This might just be the best restaurant I have visited in all of Russia.

    No real nightlife as such, the few establishments are dubious places. People drink cheap beer and cavort outside at night. But I assume you're not going there for that.

    Thanks! I’d probably going in the end of May, just doing some preliminary research now. My idea was to go back to Peter then the old Rus cities of the north: Staraya Lagoda, Pskov, Novgorod, etc.

  23. The arsenic levels that I’ve heard bandied about don’t seem too high. I wonder if the water is antimicrobial. Guessing not, but it’d be pretty cool if it was.

    Got to also wonder about desert Arabs. Figure they probably have something for dealing with bad water. Probably intestinal.

  24. In A Short History of the Third Millennium, you assigned a 25% probability of a direct technosingularity, a 50% chance of a biosingularity to techosingularity, but only a 1% chance of eschaton through malevolant AGI. This implies that in the event of some form of techsingularity, there is only roughly a 1.3% chance of it being an existential threat. Why? Even if the Singularity takeoff is more likely to be soft and any potential risks resulting from it being able to be averted in time, there is still a non-negligible chance of the takeoff being hard, and we all get turned into paperclips before having any idea what’s happening. It seems absurd to assign this low a probability to AI risk.

    Another factor to consider is that, in the event of a technological singularity that leads to human extinction, what happens afterwards? Even if AI alignment is successful, Homo sapiens as it exists today will inevitably go extinct, being replaced with posthumans or something similar. In the event of creation of unfriendly AI, after killing off humanity, a superintelligence could either turn everything in its future light cone into utilitronium, or it could somehow create its own self destruction before it gets very far. Would you mind explaining in more detail where you draw the line between a superintelligence leading to “eschaton” and it not?

  25. All this talk about possible global chaos caused by America-China collision reminds me:

    Anyone have any recommendations for a cheap(ish), reliable rifle in a medium caliber? Semi preferable.

    I’m personally partial to Eastern Bloc guns, because the ammo is still very cheap. I do like 30 caliber.

    I perceive that I missed the boat a bit with the SKS. That’s one I want. Formerly (15-20 years ago) we here in the states could buy a Russian-made SKS from the Soviet plants at Izhevsk or Tula for about $100. Chinese Norinco models are still to be found for about $350 or $400, it seems. I don’t want a Yugoslavian one – those have stamped receivers, whereas the Chinese and Russians have stronger milled receivers.

    Mossberg’s scout rifle looks nice too.

  26. @Anatoly Karlin
    When are you going? If not too soon, I'll try to finally post my travel report from last summer before you leave.

    You'll want to do the following things:

    * Explore the city itself (the Kremlin + churches). Dependent on how much you like old churches, that will take half a day to a full day.

    * The historical museum near the Novgorod Kremlin is highly recommended. You'll see some familiar things. Half a day.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1030399488622567424

    (Unfortunately, it is also something of a sovok fossil. The descriptions on the displays still talk of the history of Novgorod in terms of class struggle. I imagine they haven't been changed literally since the 1980s or 70s).

    * You can visit active excavations, which are within walking distance of the Kremlin. They don't mind tourists walking about the pits.

    * Vitoslavlitsy Museum of Open Air Architecture. Can visit it via bus tour. Half a day.

    * Rurikovo Gorodische. The original settlement. Half a day. I recommend taking the boat trip there.

    So to get the full flavor you really need three days, though you can cut it down to two by being less assiduous about the churches and skipping Vitoslavlitsy or Rurikovo Gorodische.

    There's really only one restaurant I recommend, but I recommend it very highly: ZAVODBAR. This might just be the best restaurant I have visited in all of Russia.

    No real nightlife as such, the few establishments are dubious places. People drink cheap beer and cavort outside at night. But I assume you're not going there for that.

    This program is for a fan of medieval history of Novgorod. For an ordinary person one day is more than enough to see everything interesting in Novgorod. Unlike Europe, the cities of medieval Russia were built of wood – that’s why there is little left of them.

    For visitors to Novgorod can be advised to buy Novgorod gingerbread

    this gingerbread is really very good. .

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    LOL, there is precisely zero point in visiting Novgorod if you are not interested in its medieval history. Anybody who's going to Novgorod I assume is going there for the history by default. Otherwise, it's just another provincial unremarkable Russian town.

    Unless you are visiting for ZAVODBAR. That's worth a visit just by itself if time and money are of no object.

    Re-touristy crap, I would recommend either the local birch bark products - paintings, salt holders - and/or the metalwork plaques of the Novgorod Metallurgical Factory, which I understand is the prime commercial employer there. The ZAVODBAR is the restaurant of Alkon - the vodka company that happens to be the second major enterprise of Novgorod - so you can get plenty of specialty vodka and liqueurs at their store that you'd find difficult to locate elsewhere in Russia (I particularly liked Древнерусский Бальзам.
  27. @Anatoly Karlin
    When are you going? If not too soon, I'll try to finally post my travel report from last summer before you leave.

    You'll want to do the following things:

    * Explore the city itself (the Kremlin + churches). Dependent on how much you like old churches, that will take half a day to a full day.

    * The historical museum near the Novgorod Kremlin is highly recommended. You'll see some familiar things. Half a day.

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1030399488622567424

    (Unfortunately, it is also something of a sovok fossil. The descriptions on the displays still talk of the history of Novgorod in terms of class struggle. I imagine they haven't been changed literally since the 1980s or 70s).

    * You can visit active excavations, which are within walking distance of the Kremlin. They don't mind tourists walking about the pits.

    * Vitoslavlitsy Museum of Open Air Architecture. Can visit it via bus tour. Half a day.

    * Rurikovo Gorodische. The original settlement. Half a day. I recommend taking the boat trip there.

    So to get the full flavor you really need three days, though you can cut it down to two by being less assiduous about the churches and skipping Vitoslavlitsy or Rurikovo Gorodische.

    There's really only one restaurant I recommend, but I recommend it very highly: ZAVODBAR. This might just be the best restaurant I have visited in all of Russia.

    No real nightlife as such, the few establishments are dubious places. People drink cheap beer and cavort outside at night. But I assume you're not going there for that.

    Would you say that Nizhny Novgorod is the better Novgorod? I’m definitely more interested in there than the one close to St. Petersburg.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I haven't been to the Volga cities so I can't say, but everyone says that Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively depressed city.

    You'd probably have more fun visiting Kazan.

    If you don't care about medieval history then as per above visiting V. Novgorod is pointless.
    , @melanf
    A large merchant town built up with quaint houses of the 19th century.

    https://img.lookmytrips.com/images/look98rr/big-5915fd02ff936701f306f3ca-592c8046d958b-1cip027.jpg
    https://img.tourister.ru/files/8/4/6/6/2/3/3/original.jpg

    If you go to Nizhny Novgorod from Moscow - stop for a day in Vladimir. A pleasant city in which the best examples of medieval architecture of the pre-Moscow period

    http://img-b.photosight.ru/1ed/5142556_large.jpg
  28. Media firings

  29. anonymous[104] • Disclaimer says:
    @reiner Tor
    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis - whose opinion I value highly - wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.

    Michael Pettis – whose opinion I value highly – wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated

    Why do you regard Michael Pettis as a valued opinion?

    I’m asking because I’m quite skeptical of his wisdom. I’ve seen his name for over a decade. He has been for that time a permabear on China. He has repeatedly predicted what he calls over investment by China will bring an economic contraction (not just slower growth) anytime just around the corner.

    The archives at his old blog at mpettis.com don’t appear to be available. That’s good for his image because some of his predictions from a decade ago about the future of China now have become stale and a liability to his reputation as an accurate analyst.

    Here is a 2010 Forbes piece discussing him along with other China bears:

    Whew, that’s a lot of bears. We go through these names on the latest Sinica podcast, “Attack of the China Bears,” where we invited the comparatively bullish Arthur Kroeber, managing director of GaveKal-Dragonomics, to cook China bears on a skewer. His chief accomplice was noted bear trapper and Sinocism blogger Bill Bishop. Host Kaiser Kuo fed them questions as they went in for the kill. One of Kroeber’s chosen prey is the bearish argument, put forward again yesterday by Pettis, that China’s heavy investment in high-speed rail will end up costing so much that it becomes a drag on the economy. As you will hear, Kroeber essentially argues the opposite.

    To be fair, Kroeber puts some important caveats into his optimistic forecast, but it was left to me to try and defend the bear position.

    On the point of HSR, Krober turned out to be right. On bigger points, Pettis is losing. According to him the Chinese economy should be in contraction by now. It will still take several years to be definitive but Pettis is going to look like a fool at the end of it if the Chinese economy keeps on chugging along as it is currently. I think he is getting anxious.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Pettis wrote a book in 1999 (published in 2000) where he predicted the 2001 Argentine default. The book (with the title The Volatility Machine) was a good guide to emerging market crises driven by foreign currency borrowing.

    I’m generally bullish on China, and I think they will become a superpower. But the point is, maybe they don’t grow that fast right now.

    Regarding the growth target being an input rather than an output, I think it’s wrong to an extent. Basically the government could create some growth (and prevent a recession) by expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, but it couldn’t create any growth it needs, because while they can put unused productive resources to work, they cannot create those resources without massive misallocation of resources. Since people will in general have their own needs, if a government creates an artificial growth by misallocating resources, it will theoretically lead to inflation. (It’s not an altogether bad thing in a deflation, for example.)

    So I don’t think it could go on for decades. But maybe a couple years.
  30. @neutral
    I have not seen anything that shows that either China or Russia wants to rule the world, the opposite however is very clear, that the USA wants no one free of their rule.

    It’s Israel and the Magic Jews who want control of the world and they use the American goy as their slaves to get it.

  31. *Chinese sci-fi* New Chinese blockbuster “Wandering Earth”

    I’m also waiting for a good torrent of it. Any movie where at some point someone shoots at Jupiter with a minigun is worth watching.

  32. @anonymous

    Michael Pettis – whose opinion I value highly – wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated
     
    Why do you regard Michael Pettis as a valued opinion?

    I'm asking because I'm quite skeptical of his wisdom. I've seen his name for over a decade. He has been for that time a permabear on China. He has repeatedly predicted what he calls over investment by China will bring an economic contraction (not just slower growth) anytime just around the corner.

    The archives at his old blog at mpettis.com don't appear to be available. That's good for his image because some of his predictions from a decade ago about the future of China now have become stale and a liability to his reputation as an accurate analyst.

    Here is a 2010 Forbes piece discussing him along with other China bears:

    Whew, that's a lot of bears. We go through these names on the latest Sinica podcast, "Attack of the China Bears," where we invited the comparatively bullish Arthur Kroeber, managing director of GaveKal-Dragonomics, to cook China bears on a skewer. His chief accomplice was noted bear trapper and Sinocism blogger Bill Bishop. Host Kaiser Kuo fed them questions as they went in for the kill. One of Kroeber's chosen prey is the bearish argument, put forward again yesterday by Pettis, that China's heavy investment in high-speed rail will end up costing so much that it becomes a drag on the economy. As you will hear, Kroeber essentially argues the opposite.

    To be fair, Kroeber puts some important caveats into his optimistic forecast, but it was left to me to try and defend the bear position.
     
    On the point of HSR, Krober turned out to be right. On bigger points, Pettis is losing. According to him the Chinese economy should be in contraction by now. It will still take several years to be definitive but Pettis is going to look like a fool at the end of it if the Chinese economy keeps on chugging along as it is currently. I think he is getting anxious.

    Pettis wrote a book in 1999 (published in 2000) where he predicted the 2001 Argentine default. The book (with the title The Volatility Machine) was a good guide to emerging market crises driven by foreign currency borrowing.

    I’m generally bullish on China, and I think they will become a superpower. But the point is, maybe they don’t grow that fast right now.

    Regarding the growth target being an input rather than an output, I think it’s wrong to an extent. Basically the government could create some growth (and prevent a recession) by expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, but it couldn’t create any growth it needs, because while they can put unused productive resources to work, they cannot create those resources without massive misallocation of resources. Since people will in general have their own needs, if a government creates an artificial growth by misallocating resources, it will theoretically lead to inflation. (It’s not an altogether bad thing in a deflation, for example.)

    So I don’t think it could go on for decades. But maybe a couple years.

  33. What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Karlin wants China to be the "World's Greatest Country" and a Russia that is its "Greatest Ally" so he'll have a never-ending stream of Chinese girls and thousands of Chinese restaurants to choose from in Moscow.

    He also wants Russia to be cut off from the entire West so that Russia can not only be China-oriented economically, but also socially and culturally. Again, this is because he wants more Chinese girls in Russia, and having visa-free access to China to stuff his belly with laduzi-inducing Xinjiang lamb kebabs washed down by Snow Beer, all of which ended with a "happy ending" at a KTV with a Henan Province girl.

    , @reiner Tor

    doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile
     
    That’s very likely, because China will have way more capital than Chile, so, due to the dropping marginal utility of capital, it will have lower GDP per capital than Chile.
    , @reiner Tor
    Also, China printed way more of Capital (by Karl Marx), so it already has way lower GDP per Capital than Chile.
    , @Kimppis
    Chile? Why Chile? China's GDP per capita is already almost $20K (vs. Chile's $27K). And I don't see how that is relevant in any way, as China has 80 times the population. How will it NOT become a "superpower" (whatever that means)? The momentum is IMO almost certainly unstoppable, and China will easily become a "superpower" by 2030.
    , @songbird
    Defining superpower status is something of a philosophical question, but I think it is fair to say it is not well demarcated by per capita GDP.

    In a vague sense, it really is about the ability to project power. The USSR had nowhere near the standard of living as the US, but it was still a superpower. Part of that was military capacity, another part lay somewhat abstractly in space flight. China was the 3rd to do manned spaceflight. When they land a man on the moon, they will have equaled the US and exceeded the USSR, by that metric.

    In terms of the ability of the military to project power, at least for now, TFR is probably a more important metric. Might change with drones. Manned intervention seems to have limited potentiality in the age of nuclear weapons, anyway. It may not really be a good measure of superpower status, anymore, unless it makes other groups kowtow.
  34. @Ender
    What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    Karlin wants China to be the “World’s Greatest Country” and a Russia that is its “Greatest Ally” so he’ll have a never-ending stream of Chinese girls and thousands of Chinese restaurants to choose from in Moscow.

    He also wants Russia to be cut off from the entire West so that Russia can not only be China-oriented economically, but also socially and culturally. Again, this is because he wants more Chinese girls in Russia, and having visa-free access to China to stuff his belly with laduzi-inducing Xinjiang lamb kebabs washed down by Snow Beer, all of which ended with a “happy ending” at a KTV with a Henan Province girl.

    • LOL: Dan Hayes
  35. @Ender
    What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile

    That’s very likely, because China will have way more capital than Chile, so, due to the dropping marginal utility of capital, it will have lower GDP per capital than Chile.

  36. @Ender
    What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    Also, China printed way more of Capital (by Karl Marx), so it already has way lower GDP per Capital than Chile.

    • LOL: iffen, Anatoly Karlin
  37. @Ender
    What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    Chile? Why Chile? China’s GDP per capita is already almost $20K (vs. Chile’s $27K). And I don’t see how that is relevant in any way, as China has 80 times the population. How will it NOT become a “superpower” (whatever that means)? The momentum is IMO almost certainly unstoppable, and China will easily become a “superpower” by 2030.

  38. @melanf
    This program is for a fan of medieval history of Novgorod. For an ordinary person one day is more than enough to see everything interesting in Novgorod. Unlike Europe, the cities of medieval Russia were built of wood - that's why there is little left of them.

    For visitors to Novgorod can be advised to buy Novgorod gingerbread

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DlHcHYIW0AAc6IM.jpg

    this gingerbread is really very good. .

    LOL, there is precisely zero point in visiting Novgorod if you are not interested in its medieval history. Anybody who’s going to Novgorod I assume is going there for the history by default. Otherwise, it’s just another provincial unremarkable Russian town.

    Unless you are visiting for ZAVODBAR. That’s worth a visit just by itself if time and money are of no object.

    Re-touristy crap, I would recommend either the local birch bark products – paintings, salt holders – and/or the metalwork plaques of the Novgorod Metallurgical Factory, which I understand is the prime commercial employer there. The ZAVODBAR is the restaurant of Alkon – the vodka company that happens to be the second major enterprise of Novgorod – so you can get plenty of specialty vodka and liqueurs at their store that you’d find difficult to locate elsewhere in Russia (I particularly liked Древнерусский Бальзам.

  39. Regarding (among other things), Taras Kuzio, Paul Robinson, Stephen Cohen and Julia Ioffe:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/02/18/putting-new-cold-war-into-proper-perspective.html

    Providing top quality analysis on a range of key foreign policy, historical, media and sports issues.

  40. @reiner Tor
    Yes, it’s obvious that the Chinese are the great obstacle to the alliance.

    Regarding Russian pessimism about their own economic potential, they don’t seem to realize how extremely restrictive their both their fiscal and monetary policies are. On the other hand, Chinese growth may be overstated. Michael Pettis - whose opinion I value highly - wrote that he thinks Chinese GDP and growth are both overstated, because the written down bad loans should be subtracted. Instead, the banks don’t write down the bad loans, just sit on them. But since they are full of bad loans, it greatly impacts the GDP number, and leads to a substantially overstated growth.

    I’ve mentioned this several times, and I’m certainly not an economist, but in my opinion China’s GDP is probably understated (especially in nominal, ofc). Simply look at the market size and sophistication, as well as China’s technological and scientific rise (even in per capita). There has also been this exceptionally rapid and large-scale decline in (absolute) poverty that still continues, despite China’s high inequality.

    So how poor do you think China’s in per capita terms? (Considerably) below Brazil, Thailand or Iran (!), for instance? Because otherwise you would have to conclude that the GDP figures are quite accurate, though maybe even overly pessimistic and still based on outdated methodology.

    I largely agree you on Russia, however the official government forecast for the 2020s is actually optimistic, they are beginning to prioritize growth again. I guess the memories of 1998 are still very painful and it seems the economic liberals are indeed too pessimistic about the potential of the economy (or they are jew-lizard traitors, if you ask the Sovok Russophiles on the internet). Russia has been focusing on increasing its reserves, but even then last year’s growth was already pretty good.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Ender
    A lot of that are real estate debt bubbles or low productivity state owned industries.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    This is my position as well. Now I fully accept that the China bears will finally get the first recession of the many dozens they have predicted correct. In the long-term, it is inevitable. And it may well even happen imminently; China is currently at a stage of its development analogous to when Japan and Korea had their respective recessions.

    This is perfectly normal, of course. Recessions now and then are good for wheedling inefficiencies out of the economy, even if the China bears will ceaselessly crow about how it is no longer a "threat" to American hegemony, how this is a repeat of the popping of the Japan bubble, etc. But then vigorous growth will resume and China will decisively overtake the US across all the remaining key parameters anyway.
  41. @AquariusAnon
    Would you say that Nizhny Novgorod is the better Novgorod? I'm definitely more interested in there than the one close to St. Petersburg.

    I haven’t been to the Volga cities so I can’t say, but everyone says that Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively depressed city.

    You’d probably have more fun visiting Kazan.

    If you don’t care about medieval history then as per above visiting V. Novgorod is pointless.

    • Replies: @Gerard2

    but everyone says that Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively depressed city.
     
    Completely 100% incorrect? What filth are saying that.


    You’d probably have more fun visiting Kazan.
     
    Correct, well during the daytime, anyway

    Both Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan made excellent impressions during the world cup to foreign fans. Kazan shouldn't be that much of a surprise as it is one of the major areas and cities, but NN gained alot of positive feedback.

    Places like Lvov, I should add ,were avoided like the plague during Euro 2012, as befits the ghost-town that it is
  42. @Kimppis
    I've mentioned this several times, and I'm certainly not an economist, but in my opinion China's GDP is probably understated (especially in nominal, ofc). Simply look at the market size and sophistication, as well as China's technological and scientific rise (even in per capita). There has also been this exceptionally rapid and large-scale decline in (absolute) poverty that still continues, despite China's high inequality.

    So how poor do you think China's in per capita terms? (Considerably) below Brazil, Thailand or Iran (!), for instance? Because otherwise you would have to conclude that the GDP figures are quite accurate, though maybe even overly pessimistic and still based on outdated methodology.

    I largely agree you on Russia, however the official government forecast for the 2020s is actually optimistic, they are beginning to prioritize growth again. I guess the memories of 1998 are still very painful and it seems the economic liberals are indeed too pessimistic about the potential of the economy (or they are jew-lizard traitors, if you ask the Sovok Russophiles on the internet). Russia has been focusing on increasing its reserves, but even then last year's growth was already pretty good.

    A lot of that are real estate debt bubbles or low productivity state owned industries.

  43. @Kimppis
    I've mentioned this several times, and I'm certainly not an economist, but in my opinion China's GDP is probably understated (especially in nominal, ofc). Simply look at the market size and sophistication, as well as China's technological and scientific rise (even in per capita). There has also been this exceptionally rapid and large-scale decline in (absolute) poverty that still continues, despite China's high inequality.

    So how poor do you think China's in per capita terms? (Considerably) below Brazil, Thailand or Iran (!), for instance? Because otherwise you would have to conclude that the GDP figures are quite accurate, though maybe even overly pessimistic and still based on outdated methodology.

    I largely agree you on Russia, however the official government forecast for the 2020s is actually optimistic, they are beginning to prioritize growth again. I guess the memories of 1998 are still very painful and it seems the economic liberals are indeed too pessimistic about the potential of the economy (or they are jew-lizard traitors, if you ask the Sovok Russophiles on the internet). Russia has been focusing on increasing its reserves, but even then last year's growth was already pretty good.

    This is my position as well. Now I fully accept that the China bears will finally get the first recession of the many dozens they have predicted correct. In the long-term, it is inevitable. And it may well even happen imminently; China is currently at a stage of its development analogous to when Japan and Korea had their respective recessions.

    This is perfectly normal, of course. Recessions now and then are good for wheedling inefficiencies out of the economy, even if the China bears will ceaselessly crow about how it is no longer a “threat” to American hegemony, how this is a repeat of the popping of the Japan bubble, etc. But then vigorous growth will resume and China will decisively overtake the US across all the remaining key parameters anyway.

    • Replies: @Ender
    You know that all East Asian economies basically rank very low in terms of GDP per hour worked right? How the heck do you expect China's coastal provinces to overtake Taiwan's per capital GDP, which has basically flatlined? And the interior provinces like Hubei, Shanxi, Manchurian, Hunan, and Shaanxi are unlikely to catch up with the coastal provinces in terms of per capital GDP, and China can equalize the size of the US economy while still only having something like 20 percent of its per capita GDP, or something like Panama or Uruguay. And China is likely to hit the middle income trap when to reaches Chile or Uruguay or 2013 Russia levels of per capita GDP, with growth expected to hit no faster than 3 percent or so, or the same as the US, plus all East Asian economies be basically max out at per capita GDP levels a lot lower than Western Europe, all the while having better human capital and working double time. Basically the rivalry between the US and China will look a lot like Japan vs the US in 1939 in terms of per capita GDP.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Japan is a different case. It fully converged with American per capita GDP by the end of the 1980s. The collapse of the spectacular bubble didn't result in an outright recession until 1998, which was the first recession since 1974.

    In this century Japan is frequently in a technical recession, but that reflects Japan's shrinking workforce.

    For those looking to make comparisons with China, Japanese banks had around $800bn of bad debts from the bubble.

    A big difference is also the Dollar. Japan never borrowed in Dollars--at least not substantially.

    South Korea did so heavily, and it didn't actually learn its lesson in 1998. The Won collapsed during the Great Financial Crisis as the South Korean business sector borrowed heavily in Dollars to invest domestically (USD interest rates were lower, and long term trend of Won was to appreciate--hence the carry trade). Not very different from Russia (state and central bank in surplus, globalized business sector heavily leveraged in foreign currency) at the time.

    China has capital controls, but with a lot of leakage as we saw in the middle of this decade.
  44. @Anatoly Karlin
    This is my position as well. Now I fully accept that the China bears will finally get the first recession of the many dozens they have predicted correct. In the long-term, it is inevitable. And it may well even happen imminently; China is currently at a stage of its development analogous to when Japan and Korea had their respective recessions.

    This is perfectly normal, of course. Recessions now and then are good for wheedling inefficiencies out of the economy, even if the China bears will ceaselessly crow about how it is no longer a "threat" to American hegemony, how this is a repeat of the popping of the Japan bubble, etc. But then vigorous growth will resume and China will decisively overtake the US across all the remaining key parameters anyway.

    You know that all East Asian economies basically rank very low in terms of GDP per hour worked right? How the heck do you expect China’s coastal provinces to overtake Taiwan’s per capital GDP, which has basically flatlined? And the interior provinces like Hubei, Shanxi, Manchurian, Hunan, and Shaanxi are unlikely to catch up with the coastal provinces in terms of per capital GDP, and China can equalize the size of the US economy while still only having something like 20 percent of its per capita GDP, or something like Panama or Uruguay. And China is likely to hit the middle income trap when to reaches Chile or Uruguay or 2013 Russia levels of per capita GDP, with growth expected to hit no faster than 3 percent or so, or the same as the US, plus all East Asian economies be basically max out at per capita GDP levels a lot lower than Western Europe, all the while having better human capital and working double time. Basically the rivalry between the US and China will look a lot like Japan vs the US in 1939 in terms of per capita GDP.

  45. Given that the most talented ans driven people migrated from the interior provinces to the coastal areas, I really do not expect the interior provinces to be able to catch up in their natural state.

  46. Realistic best case scenario is that China will look like Slovakia or the Czech Republic or Slovenia in terms of standard of living.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    You say that like that's a bad thing. 😂
  47. This is a time when having multi-quote would be good.

    First, Michael Pettis has indeed had a poor track record and I’m surprised that someone that I view as intelligent and thoughtful as reiner Tor would look to him for wisdom. In fairness to reiner, Pettis is arguably among the more intelligent bears and many of his analytical points make sense, he has simply underestimated how resilient China truly is.

    Second, the best Western analyst of China is definitely Arthur Kroeber. His book on the Chinese economy is still the most intelligent, balanced and thoughtful introduction to an intelligent reader that I know of (read it!). He has lived there continuously for over 20 years and mostly relies on local analysts, which is why his understanding is better than most.

    But above else, he has a very fine mind. At the highest levels of analysis, having a high IQ is not enough. You must have something as hard to define as good judgement. Put more bluntly: a strong bullshit detection mechanism. See how many smart people fell for the tabula rasa meme, and still do. Being skeptical of mind while being intelligent is hard. Being skeptical without falling into knee-jerk contrarianism is even harder. Kroeber manages that.

    Third, the best paper on China’s growth has been written by Harry. X. Wu. I’ve pimped it here before and I’ll probably do it again. His paper is so thorough that its findings were even incorporated into the latest Maddison Database(!) and adjusted the Chinese GDP downwards.

    Kimppis‘ point about innovation and infrastructure deserve to be responded to. My answer is that just outside of Beijing you still have villages that look like this:

    Note that this was taken from a Reuters story just a year ago or so. Is it representative of “Real China”, whatever that even means? No. But neither are the tier 1 cities of China either. China invests an ungodly amount in infrastructure, especially in the elite sections of their coastal zones, which makes most visitors think that they are richer than they are.

    Tyler Cowen had a good line about this, when talking about the post-Soviet days in CEE. A visitor to Prague could easily think that the Czechs were much richer than they actually were by looking at the city, even back then, until he or she went inside and saw how backwards their technology was. By contrast, Warsaw probably looks poorer than it actually is even today despite having gross nominal incomes on par with Prague or Bratislava. The lesson is not to get too fooled by infrastructure. If you only visited Moscow and didn’t know about Russia’s GDP, then you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Russia was just as rich as Germany.

    I’m also aware of the “nightlights” argument, but that is also tied to an infrastructure buildout and not necessarily always productive economic activity. India saw a huge boom in the poorer BIMARU states from 2012-16 despite there being a generalised slowdown as agreed by everyone during this period compared to the 2004-2011 boom years. The lights in Northern India increased at a slower pace during the boom period despite the economy growing faster. Sometimes there is a lag effect from a previous time of faster growth. Sometimes there is a tenous relationship and more indicative of a high investment ratio to GDP.

    On Ender‘s point about GDP per hour worked. I wouldn’t take that too seriously. According to the OECD, Turkey is ahead of South Korea (!) on that metric. I won’t link too much stuff in one reply, but let’s just say that there is serious disagreement about how we measure productivity in the conventional way among economists, not since highly technological socities like South Korea doesn’t seem to get that picked up in official productivity statistics nearly as much as they should. Diane Coyle among others have been beating this drum for a long time. We are quite poor at measuring ‘intangibles’ in economics and too much of the profession is still fixated on a world where most of the action happened in the goods sector, but that is a professional sidenote I won’t people with.

    My own view is that China should continue to converge with the US simply because they have so much left to catch up on. The question is how long this convergence will continue and here I am more cautious.

    They have a huge amount of debt to GDP compared to their incomes. Total debt to GDP is close to 300%. By comparison, Poland and Czechia are both close to 125% of GDP despite being quite a bit richer.

    Most of China’s debt is concentrated in non-financial corporate sector companies – but household debt is zooming, too. Even the government is starting to leverage more and more, especially if you count local government debt which is hidden in specialised investment companies.

    The question here isn’t solvency: it’s rate of growth. China will remain solvent, the question is if they can grow when being burdened with that much debt. The good news is that they have stopped total leverage since 2017 from increasing too much, so I was far more worried a few years ago, but it’s still far too early to tell if they can ditch the habit of debt that they are in.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Kimppis
    Agreed on multi-quote, and a very good post overall.

    I'd just like to point out that I never suggested the tier 1 cities are the "real China." (That is why I also mentioned Brazil, with its massive inequality.) If China's economy is understated, it's so only modestly.

    And yes, it seems that even those major cities have a surprisingly low per capita GDP (PPP), comparable to the richer EE countries, IIRC. So I guess one could also argue that their GDP might be understated to some extent as well, but in any case those cities don't necessarily distort the overall picture (that is, GDP) THAT much...

    It could also indicate that this infrastructure investment's full impact on GDP is still quite delayed and only gradual, and that's why even the past spending will keep paying dividends quite far into the future, even if the pace of that somehow suddenly slows down soon.

    Call me ignorant and uninformed about the debt issue (which admittedly is true), but I'm not really convinced about the overall argument, especially when we're talking about long-term potential. There are so many different kinds of debts and so many ways to measure and compare them between totally different countries and economies...

    Ender, use purchasing power parity. By that metric, I don't think China's coastal provinces are that much poorer than Taiwan anymore. In PPP terms China is ALREADY 20-30% larger than the US economy! Do you realize that there's this 2x gap between China's nominal and PPP and that the currency markets, including yuan, have been quite volatile in recent years?

    Lastly, Czechia and Slovenia already have very respectable per capita GDPs (again, in PPP), and I think they're still converging, so I'm not sure that's a great attempt to prove China's upcoming relative stagnation or something.
    , @Abelard Lindsey
    I just bought a kindle version of the Arthur Kroeber book.

    Generally I am also bullish on China. But they will have many bends and dips along the way. In retrospect so did we. During the 19th and first half of 20th century, the U.S. had seven depressions (yes, the "D" word) as well as a civil war and times with no objective rule of law on our way to top dog, say, by 1960. The Chinese are driving the same rough road.
    , @reiner Tor

    Michael Pettis
     
    Obviously, I read one very good book and a few blog posts by him. The book constitutes some 95+% of what I read from him, by whatever metric (word count etc.), so his reputation with me is based on the book. (I don't normally follow blogs, except where both the blogger and commentariat are super smart, like...)

    As I wrote above, I don't agree with him that China could manufacture high growth for several years, but I find it clearly possible that they could create some kind of "false growth" for one year or two. One of our resident Chinese commenters (I think Duke of Qin) wrote a couple months ago that China has already had negative growth recessions over the past several decades, but the statistics nevertheless invariably showed high growth in each year. (I'm not saying Duke of Qin is correct, just that it's one extra data point in favor of the possibility of this year's growth being lower than the statistics show.)

    My only point was that Chinese growth this year might be lower than the statistics show, and that Russian growth is artificially depressed by an overly restrictive fiscal and monetary policy mix.

    In short: Russian growth is depressed because of certain Russian policy choices. (Which may actually be smart, if further sanctions are coming..?) Chinese growth is not that high these days, and it could actually be lower than people think. So, perhaps no reason for such Russian pessimism.

  48. @reiner Tor

    which has a good chance of not even happening.
     
    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    Especially when one considers US negotiating demands:

    Among the stipulations Beijing must acquiesce to before receiving tariff relief, according to leaked documents from U.S. negotiators that were spread on Chinese social media:

    halting all government subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its Made in China 2025 program, an endeavor that covers 10 key economic sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips, and artificial intelligence;

    accepting American restrictions on investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating;

    opening up its service and agricultural sectors – areas where Chinese firms have an inherent advantage – to full American competition.

    https://original.antiwar.com/Michael_Klare/2019/02/17/war-with-china/

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's a great article.

    It's incredible how psychopathic the Western ruling class is - we can do that, because it's us, but you shouldn't, because you are not us!

    I vaguely remember a trade dispute between Airbus and Boeing, where Boeing complained about government subsidies to Airbus. It turned out that Boeing did similar R&D on government budget, too, but it was paid by the Pentagon for some potential military applications, so it was OK. I can't remember the exact outcome.
  49. Again what makes you think that China will surpass Taiwan’s per capita GDP, or that China’s per capita GDP will exceed the Czech Republic’s, when you say converge, are you saying that China will exceed the US’s per capita GDP, when even Western European countries have been unable to do so, outside of tax havens, in which case with all due respect, better lay off the bath salts. I am not disputing that China will reach the US’ GDP level before maxing out to 3 percent growth per year, with a standard of living closer to Central Europe.

  50. @AquariusAnon
    Would you say that Nizhny Novgorod is the better Novgorod? I'm definitely more interested in there than the one close to St. Petersburg.

    A large merchant town built up with quaint houses of the 19th century.

    If you go to Nizhny Novgorod from Moscow – stop for a day in Vladimir. A pleasant city in which the best examples of medieval architecture of the pre-Moscow period

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Clearly, more tourist flow should be sent to Nizhny Novgorod.

    It has beautiful historical architecture in the centre but the city financial situation is reportedly a catastrophe - and reported they now need more income sources or investors which will fund future restoration of historical buildings.

  51. @Ender
    What makes you think that China will be a superpower, I think itnis doubtful whether China can exceed the per capital GDP of Chile.

    Defining superpower status is something of a philosophical question, but I think it is fair to say it is not well demarcated by per capita GDP.

    In a vague sense, it really is about the ability to project power. The USSR had nowhere near the standard of living as the US, but it was still a superpower. Part of that was military capacity, another part lay somewhat abstractly in space flight. China was the 3rd to do manned spaceflight. When they land a man on the moon, they will have equaled the US and exceeded the USSR, by that metric.

    In terms of the ability of the military to project power, at least for now, TFR is probably a more important metric. Might change with drones. Manned intervention seems to have limited potentiality in the age of nuclear weapons, anyway. It may not really be a good measure of superpower status, anymore, unless it makes other groups kowtow.

  52. @Anatoly Karlin
    This is my position as well. Now I fully accept that the China bears will finally get the first recession of the many dozens they have predicted correct. In the long-term, it is inevitable. And it may well even happen imminently; China is currently at a stage of its development analogous to when Japan and Korea had their respective recessions.

    This is perfectly normal, of course. Recessions now and then are good for wheedling inefficiencies out of the economy, even if the China bears will ceaselessly crow about how it is no longer a "threat" to American hegemony, how this is a repeat of the popping of the Japan bubble, etc. But then vigorous growth will resume and China will decisively overtake the US across all the remaining key parameters anyway.

    Japan is a different case. It fully converged with American per capita GDP by the end of the 1980s. The collapse of the spectacular bubble didn’t result in an outright recession until 1998, which was the first recession since 1974.

    In this century Japan is frequently in a technical recession, but that reflects Japan’s shrinking workforce.

    For those looking to make comparisons with China, Japanese banks had around $800bn of bad debts from the bubble.

    A big difference is also the Dollar. Japan never borrowed in Dollars–at least not substantially.

    South Korea did so heavily, and it didn’t actually learn its lesson in 1998. The Won collapsed during the Great Financial Crisis as the South Korean business sector borrowed heavily in Dollars to invest domestically (USD interest rates were lower, and long term trend of Won was to appreciate–hence the carry trade). Not very different from Russia (state and central bank in surplus, globalized business sector heavily leveraged in foreign currency) at the time.

    China has capital controls, but with a lot of leakage as we saw in the middle of this decade.

  53. @Ender
    Realistic best case scenario is that China will look like Slovakia or the Czech Republic or Slovenia in terms of standard of living.

    You say that like that’s a bad thing. 😂

  54. @melanf
    A large merchant town built up with quaint houses of the 19th century.

    https://img.lookmytrips.com/images/look98rr/big-5915fd02ff936701f306f3ca-592c8046d958b-1cip027.jpg
    https://img.tourister.ru/files/8/4/6/6/2/3/3/original.jpg

    If you go to Nizhny Novgorod from Moscow - stop for a day in Vladimir. A pleasant city in which the best examples of medieval architecture of the pre-Moscow period

    http://img-b.photosight.ru/1ed/5142556_large.jpg

    Clearly, more tourist flow should be sent to Nizhny Novgorod.

    It has beautiful historical architecture in the centre but the city financial situation is reportedly a catastrophe – and reported they now need more income sources or investors which will fund future restoration of historical buildings.

  55. @Polish Perspective
    This is a time when having multi-quote would be good.

    First, Michael Pettis has indeed had a poor track record and I'm surprised that someone that I view as intelligent and thoughtful as reiner Tor would look to him for wisdom. In fairness to reiner, Pettis is arguably among the more intelligent bears and many of his analytical points make sense, he has simply underestimated how resilient China truly is.

    Second, the best Western analyst of China is definitely Arthur Kroeber. His book on the Chinese economy is still the most intelligent, balanced and thoughtful introduction to an intelligent reader that I know of (read it!). He has lived there continuously for over 20 years and mostly relies on local analysts, which is why his understanding is better than most.

    But above else, he has a very fine mind. At the highest levels of analysis, having a high IQ is not enough. You must have something as hard to define as good judgement. Put more bluntly: a strong bullshit detection mechanism. See how many smart people fell for the tabula rasa meme, and still do. Being skeptical of mind while being intelligent is hard. Being skeptical without falling into knee-jerk contrarianism is even harder. Kroeber manages that.

    Third, the best paper on China's growth has been written by Harry. X. Wu. I've pimped it here before and I'll probably do it again. His paper is so thorough that its findings were even incorporated into the latest Maddison Database(!) and adjusted the Chinese GDP downwards.

    Kimppis' point about innovation and infrastructure deserve to be responded to. My answer is that just outside of Beijing you still have villages that look like this:

    https://i.imgur.com/HetY2bw.jpg

    Note that this was taken from a Reuters story just a year ago or so. Is it representative of "Real China", whatever that even means? No. But neither are the tier 1 cities of China either. China invests an ungodly amount in infrastructure, especially in the elite sections of their coastal zones, which makes most visitors think that they are richer than they are.

    Tyler Cowen had a good line about this, when talking about the post-Soviet days in CEE. A visitor to Prague could easily think that the Czechs were much richer than they actually were by looking at the city, even back then, until he or she went inside and saw how backwards their technology was. By contrast, Warsaw probably looks poorer than it actually is even today despite having gross nominal incomes on par with Prague or Bratislava. The lesson is not to get too fooled by infrastructure. If you only visited Moscow and didn't know about Russia's GDP, then you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Russia was just as rich as Germany.

    I'm also aware of the "nightlights" argument, but that is also tied to an infrastructure buildout and not necessarily always productive economic activity. India saw a huge boom in the poorer BIMARU states from 2012-16 despite there being a generalised slowdown as agreed by everyone during this period compared to the 2004-2011 boom years. The lights in Northern India increased at a slower pace during the boom period despite the economy growing faster. Sometimes there is a lag effect from a previous time of faster growth. Sometimes there is a tenous relationship and more indicative of a high investment ratio to GDP.

    On Ender's point about GDP per hour worked. I wouldn't take that too seriously. According to the OECD, Turkey is ahead of South Korea (!) on that metric. I won't link too much stuff in one reply, but let's just say that there is serious disagreement about how we measure productivity in the conventional way among economists, not since highly technological socities like South Korea doesn't seem to get that picked up in official productivity statistics nearly as much as they should. Diane Coyle among others have been beating this drum for a long time. We are quite poor at measuring 'intangibles' in economics and too much of the profession is still fixated on a world where most of the action happened in the goods sector, but that is a professional sidenote I won't people with.

    My own view is that China should continue to converge with the US simply because they have so much left to catch up on. The question is how long this convergence will continue and here I am more cautious.

    They have a huge amount of debt to GDP compared to their incomes. Total debt to GDP is close to 300%. By comparison, Poland and Czechia are both close to 125% of GDP despite being quite a bit richer.

    Most of China's debt is concentrated in non-financial corporate sector companies - but household debt is zooming, too. Even the government is starting to leverage more and more, especially if you count local government debt which is hidden in specialised investment companies.

    The question here isn't solvency: it's rate of growth. China will remain solvent, the question is if they can grow when being burdened with that much debt. The good news is that they have stopped total leverage since 2017 from increasing too much, so I was far more worried a few years ago, but it's still far too early to tell if they can ditch the habit of debt that they are in.

    Agreed on multi-quote, and a very good post overall.

    I’d just like to point out that I never suggested the tier 1 cities are the “real China.” (That is why I also mentioned Brazil, with its massive inequality.) If China’s economy is understated, it’s so only modestly.

    And yes, it seems that even those major cities have a surprisingly low per capita GDP (PPP), comparable to the richer EE countries, IIRC. So I guess one could also argue that their GDP might be understated to some extent as well, but in any case those cities don’t necessarily distort the overall picture (that is, GDP) THAT much…

    It could also indicate that this infrastructure investment’s full impact on GDP is still quite delayed and only gradual, and that’s why even the past spending will keep paying dividends quite far into the future, even if the pace of that somehow suddenly slows down soon.

    Call me ignorant and uninformed about the debt issue (which admittedly is true), but I’m not really convinced about the overall argument, especially when we’re talking about long-term potential. There are so many different kinds of debts and so many ways to measure and compare them between totally different countries and economies…

    Ender, use purchasing power parity. By that metric, I don’t think China’s coastal provinces are that much poorer than Taiwan anymore. In PPP terms China is ALREADY 20-30% larger than the US economy! Do you realize that there’s this 2x gap between China’s nominal and PPP and that the currency markets, including yuan, have been quite volatile in recent years?

    Lastly, Czechia and Slovenia already have very respectable per capita GDPs (again, in PPP), and I think they’re still converging, so I’m not sure that’s a great attempt to prove China’s upcoming relative stagnation or something.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan. I'm sorry to say this. But the cities of Taiwan are just messy and junky. They needed their own Lee Kuan Yew, say, in 1985.
  56. @Polish Perspective
    This is a time when having multi-quote would be good.

    First, Michael Pettis has indeed had a poor track record and I'm surprised that someone that I view as intelligent and thoughtful as reiner Tor would look to him for wisdom. In fairness to reiner, Pettis is arguably among the more intelligent bears and many of his analytical points make sense, he has simply underestimated how resilient China truly is.

    Second, the best Western analyst of China is definitely Arthur Kroeber. His book on the Chinese economy is still the most intelligent, balanced and thoughtful introduction to an intelligent reader that I know of (read it!). He has lived there continuously for over 20 years and mostly relies on local analysts, which is why his understanding is better than most.

    But above else, he has a very fine mind. At the highest levels of analysis, having a high IQ is not enough. You must have something as hard to define as good judgement. Put more bluntly: a strong bullshit detection mechanism. See how many smart people fell for the tabula rasa meme, and still do. Being skeptical of mind while being intelligent is hard. Being skeptical without falling into knee-jerk contrarianism is even harder. Kroeber manages that.

    Third, the best paper on China's growth has been written by Harry. X. Wu. I've pimped it here before and I'll probably do it again. His paper is so thorough that its findings were even incorporated into the latest Maddison Database(!) and adjusted the Chinese GDP downwards.

    Kimppis' point about innovation and infrastructure deserve to be responded to. My answer is that just outside of Beijing you still have villages that look like this:

    https://i.imgur.com/HetY2bw.jpg

    Note that this was taken from a Reuters story just a year ago or so. Is it representative of "Real China", whatever that even means? No. But neither are the tier 1 cities of China either. China invests an ungodly amount in infrastructure, especially in the elite sections of their coastal zones, which makes most visitors think that they are richer than they are.

    Tyler Cowen had a good line about this, when talking about the post-Soviet days in CEE. A visitor to Prague could easily think that the Czechs were much richer than they actually were by looking at the city, even back then, until he or she went inside and saw how backwards their technology was. By contrast, Warsaw probably looks poorer than it actually is even today despite having gross nominal incomes on par with Prague or Bratislava. The lesson is not to get too fooled by infrastructure. If you only visited Moscow and didn't know about Russia's GDP, then you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Russia was just as rich as Germany.

    I'm also aware of the "nightlights" argument, but that is also tied to an infrastructure buildout and not necessarily always productive economic activity. India saw a huge boom in the poorer BIMARU states from 2012-16 despite there being a generalised slowdown as agreed by everyone during this period compared to the 2004-2011 boom years. The lights in Northern India increased at a slower pace during the boom period despite the economy growing faster. Sometimes there is a lag effect from a previous time of faster growth. Sometimes there is a tenous relationship and more indicative of a high investment ratio to GDP.

    On Ender's point about GDP per hour worked. I wouldn't take that too seriously. According to the OECD, Turkey is ahead of South Korea (!) on that metric. I won't link too much stuff in one reply, but let's just say that there is serious disagreement about how we measure productivity in the conventional way among economists, not since highly technological socities like South Korea doesn't seem to get that picked up in official productivity statistics nearly as much as they should. Diane Coyle among others have been beating this drum for a long time. We are quite poor at measuring 'intangibles' in economics and too much of the profession is still fixated on a world where most of the action happened in the goods sector, but that is a professional sidenote I won't people with.

    My own view is that China should continue to converge with the US simply because they have so much left to catch up on. The question is how long this convergence will continue and here I am more cautious.

    They have a huge amount of debt to GDP compared to their incomes. Total debt to GDP is close to 300%. By comparison, Poland and Czechia are both close to 125% of GDP despite being quite a bit richer.

    Most of China's debt is concentrated in non-financial corporate sector companies - but household debt is zooming, too. Even the government is starting to leverage more and more, especially if you count local government debt which is hidden in specialised investment companies.

    The question here isn't solvency: it's rate of growth. China will remain solvent, the question is if they can grow when being burdened with that much debt. The good news is that they have stopped total leverage since 2017 from increasing too much, so I was far more worried a few years ago, but it's still far too early to tell if they can ditch the habit of debt that they are in.

    I just bought a kindle version of the Arthur Kroeber book.

    Generally I am also bullish on China. But they will have many bends and dips along the way. In retrospect so did we. During the 19th and first half of 20th century, the U.S. had seven depressions (yes, the “D” word) as well as a civil war and times with no objective rule of law on our way to top dog, say, by 1960. The Chinese are driving the same rough road.

  57. @Kimppis
    Agreed on multi-quote, and a very good post overall.

    I'd just like to point out that I never suggested the tier 1 cities are the "real China." (That is why I also mentioned Brazil, with its massive inequality.) If China's economy is understated, it's so only modestly.

    And yes, it seems that even those major cities have a surprisingly low per capita GDP (PPP), comparable to the richer EE countries, IIRC. So I guess one could also argue that their GDP might be understated to some extent as well, but in any case those cities don't necessarily distort the overall picture (that is, GDP) THAT much...

    It could also indicate that this infrastructure investment's full impact on GDP is still quite delayed and only gradual, and that's why even the past spending will keep paying dividends quite far into the future, even if the pace of that somehow suddenly slows down soon.

    Call me ignorant and uninformed about the debt issue (which admittedly is true), but I'm not really convinced about the overall argument, especially when we're talking about long-term potential. There are so many different kinds of debts and so many ways to measure and compare them between totally different countries and economies...

    Ender, use purchasing power parity. By that metric, I don't think China's coastal provinces are that much poorer than Taiwan anymore. In PPP terms China is ALREADY 20-30% larger than the US economy! Do you realize that there's this 2x gap between China's nominal and PPP and that the currency markets, including yuan, have been quite volatile in recent years?

    Lastly, Czechia and Slovenia already have very respectable per capita GDPs (again, in PPP), and I think they're still converging, so I'm not sure that's a great attempt to prove China's upcoming relative stagnation or something.

    Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan. I’m sorry to say this. But the cities of Taiwan are just messy and junky. They needed their own Lee Kuan Yew, say, in 1985.

    • Replies: @Swarthy Greek
    What about Chiang ching Kuo ? Wasn't he similar to LKY in most respects?
    , @AquariusAnon
    Taiwanese cities look pretty shabby, but they're cleaner than coastal Chinese cities in terms of the amount of dust or dirty pools of stagnant water.

    The infrastructure in what matters, such as healthcare, public transit, education, and road quality is what you'd expect for a country with its PPP GDP per capita (50,000). Its wages, shopping/dining options, and prices reflect its nominal GDP per capita (25,000), while the quality of its buildings and the sheer amount of noisy, dangerous scooters on the streets feels like they can be as bad as Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam or Thailand.

    Chiang Ching Kuo actually got his education, and even worked a full time job after graduation, in Russia. He married a Belorussian woman he met at work. So during the 80s, the Republic of China first lady was actually a Belorussian.
    , @EldnahYm
    "Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan."

    Yeah, I don't trust your observations. Feel free to sample China's tap water and put your observations to the test.
  58. @Abelard Lindsey
    Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan. I'm sorry to say this. But the cities of Taiwan are just messy and junky. They needed their own Lee Kuan Yew, say, in 1985.

    What about Chiang ching Kuo ? Wasn’t he similar to LKY in most respects?

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    Not in terms of pushing cleanliness and trying to get Chinese people to act less stereotypically Chinese like LKY did.
  59. Anatoly,

    Given many think genuine warfare may break out between the US and Russia, and given the fact that Russia seems to have pulled ahead in the quality of their military technology, do you ever fear that by living in the US you may risk being on the receiving end of these weapons? A fella would have to have a lot of confidence in his ability to read the tea leaves to decide whether or not it was time to get the hell out of Dodge. Given that there is roughly zero civil defense preparation in the US nowadays, it would seems to be a dicey proposition to play the odds.

    AK: You must have mistaken me for The Saker.

    • LOL: iffen, reiner Tor
  60. @Abelard Lindsey
    Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan. I'm sorry to say this. But the cities of Taiwan are just messy and junky. They needed their own Lee Kuan Yew, say, in 1985.

    Taiwanese cities look pretty shabby, but they’re cleaner than coastal Chinese cities in terms of the amount of dust or dirty pools of stagnant water.

    The infrastructure in what matters, such as healthcare, public transit, education, and road quality is what you’d expect for a country with its PPP GDP per capita (50,000). Its wages, shopping/dining options, and prices reflect its nominal GDP per capita (25,000), while the quality of its buildings and the sheer amount of noisy, dangerous scooters on the streets feels like they can be as bad as Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam or Thailand.

    Chiang Ching Kuo actually got his education, and even worked a full time job after graduation, in Russia. He married a Belorussian woman he met at work. So during the 80s, the Republic of China first lady was actually a Belorussian.

    • Agree: Swarthy Greek
    • Replies: @songbird
    China's move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.

    Taiwan I think is explained by a greater history of property rights. Small price for having a higher national income. perhaps, a big price, if that higher income attracts parasitic people from other countries. I'm surprised the scooters aren't all electric.
  61. @AquariusAnon
    Taiwanese cities look pretty shabby, but they're cleaner than coastal Chinese cities in terms of the amount of dust or dirty pools of stagnant water.

    The infrastructure in what matters, such as healthcare, public transit, education, and road quality is what you'd expect for a country with its PPP GDP per capita (50,000). Its wages, shopping/dining options, and prices reflect its nominal GDP per capita (25,000), while the quality of its buildings and the sheer amount of noisy, dangerous scooters on the streets feels like they can be as bad as Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam or Thailand.

    Chiang Ching Kuo actually got his education, and even worked a full time job after graduation, in Russia. He married a Belorussian woman he met at work. So during the 80s, the Republic of China first lady was actually a Belorussian.

    China’s move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.

    Taiwan I think is explained by a greater history of property rights. Small price for having a higher national income. perhaps, a big price, if that higher income attracts parasitic people from other countries. I’m surprised the scooters aren’t all electric.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    The Chinese elite want tier 1 cities to be showcases of the economic progress of China, both to its own citizens and to the world.

    Taiwan doesn't attract parasitic foreigners yet, but it does have a gasterbeiter population composing of largely Vietnamese and Indonesians hovering at around 3% of the total population, and this number will likely grow in the future. Vietnamese largely work in restaurants and construction sites, while Indonesians tend to be caretakers of the elderly.

    None of the scooters in Taiwan are electric. They're motorized, and they outnumber the number of cars on the streets. The amount of scooters on the main boulevards in the city center at rush hour can be an impressive, and noisy, sight to see.

    The national income in Taiwan is not that high. In Taipei making $800 to $2,000 a month is the norm for most people. $2,500 and above a month, and you're in upper middle class territory.

    , @Johann Ricke

    China’s move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.
     
    Purely arbitrary, and it's been around for almost a decade. China's leaders make these random decisions because they can. It's pure abuse of power meant to show the people who's boss, i.e. it's not actually the P in PRC. Motorcycles are legal in Hong Kong and Singapore, both of which are several times more densely populated than even the densest Chinese city. The emperors of the Communist Party have taken tyranny in peacetime to a level seldom achieved under prior dynasties. They are fortunate that that their reigns have been able to benefit from the Western inventions deprecated earlier by a Qing dynasty ruler during Mad King George's reign. What they get up to in the event of impending regime collapse doesn't bear thinking about. Tiananmen will end up looking like a footnote, relative to the bloodbath unleashed.
  62. @songbird
    China's move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.

    Taiwan I think is explained by a greater history of property rights. Small price for having a higher national income. perhaps, a big price, if that higher income attracts parasitic people from other countries. I'm surprised the scooters aren't all electric.

    The Chinese elite want tier 1 cities to be showcases of the economic progress of China, both to its own citizens and to the world.

    Taiwan doesn’t attract parasitic foreigners yet, but it does have a gasterbeiter population composing of largely Vietnamese and Indonesians hovering at around 3% of the total population, and this number will likely grow in the future. Vietnamese largely work in restaurants and construction sites, while Indonesians tend to be caretakers of the elderly.

    None of the scooters in Taiwan are electric. They’re motorized, and they outnumber the number of cars on the streets. The amount of scooters on the main boulevards in the city center at rush hour can be an impressive, and noisy, sight to see.

    The national income in Taiwan is not that high. In Taipei making $800 to $2,000 a month is the norm for most people. $2,500 and above a month, and you’re in upper middle class territory.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Interesting.

    Trading Economics pegs Taiwan's average wage at around $1,600: https://tradingeconomics.com/taiwan/wages

    I assume it will be higher in Taipei.

    Why the discrepancy between those stats, and observations?
  63. What do people think of China’s plan to create a Silicon Valley in the Pearl River Delta, is China too socially conservative to attract the kind of talent from to work in that place? I mean will Tim Cook, who is openly gay, or your mtf techie trannie to attracted to work in a place that is still a lot more conservative socially than Silison Valley?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    We'll see if its just talk, but no action. Greater Bay Area is supposed to have all economic facets included. Shenzhen is supposed to be the Silicon Valley. Hong Kong is supposed to be a center of finance, arbitration, and hi-tech manufacturing.

    China isn't that opposed to gayness actually. It doesn't support LGBT, but it is indifferent. It doesn't, and won't, mind gay bars or an active flourishing gay scene as long as it remains low key and not flaunted in public. China will likely make the likes of Tim Cook able to fully enjoy his lifestyle, just not actively promote it to the general public.
  64. Or maybe China will have to create a SAR where marijuana and gay marriage is legalized, plus free sex changes, in order to attract top Silicon Valley talent?

  65. @Ender
    What do people think of China's plan to create a Silicon Valley in the Pearl River Delta, is China too socially conservative to attract the kind of talent from to work in that place? I mean will Tim Cook, who is openly gay, or your mtf techie trannie to attracted to work in a place that is still a lot more conservative socially than Silison Valley?

    We’ll see if its just talk, but no action. Greater Bay Area is supposed to have all economic facets included. Shenzhen is supposed to be the Silicon Valley. Hong Kong is supposed to be a center of finance, arbitration, and hi-tech manufacturing.

    China isn’t that opposed to gayness actually. It doesn’t support LGBT, but it is indifferent. It doesn’t, and won’t, mind gay bars or an active flourishing gay scene as long as it remains low key and not flaunted in public. China will likely make the likes of Tim Cook able to fully enjoy his lifestyle, just not actively promote it to the general public.

    • Replies: @Ender
    It does make a very juicy MIRV target. What does everyone think of hyperloop vs. conventional HSR or maglev?
  66. @AquariusAnon
    We'll see if its just talk, but no action. Greater Bay Area is supposed to have all economic facets included. Shenzhen is supposed to be the Silicon Valley. Hong Kong is supposed to be a center of finance, arbitration, and hi-tech manufacturing.

    China isn't that opposed to gayness actually. It doesn't support LGBT, but it is indifferent. It doesn't, and won't, mind gay bars or an active flourishing gay scene as long as it remains low key and not flaunted in public. China will likely make the likes of Tim Cook able to fully enjoy his lifestyle, just not actively promote it to the general public.

    It does make a very juicy MIRV target. What does everyone think of hyperloop vs. conventional HSR or maglev?

  67. Meanwhile, Donald doubles down on Venezuela. Democracy seems to be on the march again. What are your predictions what is going to happen?
    Will Venezuelan army turn on Maduro, or will Donald get his short victorious war just before elections?

    • Replies: @neutral
    What a fraud and swindler he is, if people wanted to have the policies of Jeb Bush then they would have voted for Jeb. He is a total failure domestically, so now he has to resort to playing overseas adventures, which will likely cause even more non whites from Venezuela to move to USA.
  68. @Rational
    SHAME ON TRUMP AND THE JUDAISTS FOR THE ALIEN INVASION 2019 AND NO BORDER WALL.

    Shame on Trump for signing this recent finance bill (Feb. 2019) to reopen govt—with not only no funding for a border wall, but actually increasing immigration!!!

    Shame on you Trump, shame on you, for the fraud you are--for bluffing and lying and conning us.

    Shame on you Jewish alienists, Shumer, NYT, etc. for promoting the alien invasion, for your war on the West and genocide through massive 3rd world invasion (while keeping aliens out of Israel).

    This is truly a crime against humanity of the Judaists against whites.

    LOL! If you feel so strongly about this, you can try to encourage Whites to retaliate against this by pushing for large-scale Gentile immigration into Israel.

  69. @AquariusAnon
    Then prepare for a global financial collapse and a WWI type geopolitical situation. This is the US's largest trade partner, largest source of non-transborder tourists, largest source of FDI, and largest supplier of international students to US universities. China isn't Russia; it isn't a mid-sized natural resources export nation here.

    Once Anglo-German relations broke down 100 years ago, it lead us to 40 years of nonstop war. This is what a complete breakdown of Sino-American relations will look like this century if it happens. The Chinese understand that, and I hope the Americans too.

    Again from a Chinese perspective, I really don't see how China can be cut off from the global economy without causing the entire house of cards to collapse into a period of utter global chaos. But maybe global chaos is indeed on the cards.

    Even the Valdai Club had an article saying that sanctions against China will likely not happen. The business and people-to-people ties between China and the West are too strong and stakes are too high for something like that to happen, unless we want a rerun of WW1/2

    The U.S.’ trade as a percentage of GDP(that’s trade with all countries, not just China) is one of the lowest in the world, and could be lower if it were determined to make it so. Furthermore, in terms of important things, things you need to be able to survive on your own, the U.S. is self-sufficient, China is not.

    The U.S. has the largest coal reserves in the world, by far the best agricultural land in the world, some of the best navigable waterways in the world, enormous population, is the largest oil producer(with top 10 producing Canada right next door as well). People looking for long term U.S. decline are barking up the wrong tree if they think trade problems will be the U.S.’ undoing. For other countries, being able to trade with the U.S. is very important, but the reverse is not true, and never has been.

    Militarily, what threat is any country to the U.S.? Imagining a country trying to sail over and invade the U.S. is risible.

  70. @AquariusAnon
    The Chinese elite want tier 1 cities to be showcases of the economic progress of China, both to its own citizens and to the world.

    Taiwan doesn't attract parasitic foreigners yet, but it does have a gasterbeiter population composing of largely Vietnamese and Indonesians hovering at around 3% of the total population, and this number will likely grow in the future. Vietnamese largely work in restaurants and construction sites, while Indonesians tend to be caretakers of the elderly.

    None of the scooters in Taiwan are electric. They're motorized, and they outnumber the number of cars on the streets. The amount of scooters on the main boulevards in the city center at rush hour can be an impressive, and noisy, sight to see.

    The national income in Taiwan is not that high. In Taipei making $800 to $2,000 a month is the norm for most people. $2,500 and above a month, and you're in upper middle class territory.

    Interesting.

    Trading Economics pegs Taiwan’s average wage at around $1,600: https://tradingeconomics.com/taiwan/wages

    I assume it will be higher in Taipei.

    Why the discrepancy between those stats, and observations?

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    My observations are largely of young people (under 35 years old), in which case most start out at around the $1,000 mark in their first few years, especially if they didn't go to a good college. The nationwide minimum wage in Taiwan is around $650 a month.

    The $1,600 figure is definitely for Taipei, not all of Taiwan. The rest of Taiwan is definitely lower, which I guess to be around $1,200. Wages in Taipei are a bit higher than the rest of the island, but the difference isn't as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.

    Also keep in mind that there's a lot of wealth in Taiwan due to its sheer economic ties with Mainland China. Many Mainland-based Taiwanese entrepreneurs are extremely wealthy running conglomerates like Foxconn and really skew up the amount of wealth. Keep in mind that the Taiwan Stock Exchange is a top 20 stock exchange globally, with market cap over USD$1 trillion, and this is a place with nominal GDP per capita of 25,000 and 23 million people.

    Taiwan's wages have been stagnant at this level since the late 1990s and are extremely low given its economic complexity and standard of living; this is definitely the single largest economic issue in Taiwanese politics.

  71. @Abelard Lindsey
    Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan. I'm sorry to say this. But the cities of Taiwan are just messy and junky. They needed their own Lee Kuan Yew, say, in 1985.

    “Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan.”

    Yeah, I don’t trust your observations. Feel free to sample China’s tap water and put your observations to the test.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
    I don't drink the tap water in either Taiwan or Mainland China. I do drink it in western Malaysia (but not the east coast). I stand by my point about the coastal cities being cleaner (not as messy or junky) than those of Taiwan.

    I also have noticed the lack of motor scooters in China's eastern cities. I was wondering if this was due to a ban. They are everywhere in Taiwan. However, Taiwan is much more crowded than any part of China and they are a sub-tropical climate, which is optimized for moving about on scooters. Much of the air pollution in Taiwan is due to these scooters which use two-stroke engines.
  72. @Polish Perspective
    This is a time when having multi-quote would be good.

    First, Michael Pettis has indeed had a poor track record and I'm surprised that someone that I view as intelligent and thoughtful as reiner Tor would look to him for wisdom. In fairness to reiner, Pettis is arguably among the more intelligent bears and many of his analytical points make sense, he has simply underestimated how resilient China truly is.

    Second, the best Western analyst of China is definitely Arthur Kroeber. His book on the Chinese economy is still the most intelligent, balanced and thoughtful introduction to an intelligent reader that I know of (read it!). He has lived there continuously for over 20 years and mostly relies on local analysts, which is why his understanding is better than most.

    But above else, he has a very fine mind. At the highest levels of analysis, having a high IQ is not enough. You must have something as hard to define as good judgement. Put more bluntly: a strong bullshit detection mechanism. See how many smart people fell for the tabula rasa meme, and still do. Being skeptical of mind while being intelligent is hard. Being skeptical without falling into knee-jerk contrarianism is even harder. Kroeber manages that.

    Third, the best paper on China's growth has been written by Harry. X. Wu. I've pimped it here before and I'll probably do it again. His paper is so thorough that its findings were even incorporated into the latest Maddison Database(!) and adjusted the Chinese GDP downwards.

    Kimppis' point about innovation and infrastructure deserve to be responded to. My answer is that just outside of Beijing you still have villages that look like this:

    https://i.imgur.com/HetY2bw.jpg

    Note that this was taken from a Reuters story just a year ago or so. Is it representative of "Real China", whatever that even means? No. But neither are the tier 1 cities of China either. China invests an ungodly amount in infrastructure, especially in the elite sections of their coastal zones, which makes most visitors think that they are richer than they are.

    Tyler Cowen had a good line about this, when talking about the post-Soviet days in CEE. A visitor to Prague could easily think that the Czechs were much richer than they actually were by looking at the city, even back then, until he or she went inside and saw how backwards their technology was. By contrast, Warsaw probably looks poorer than it actually is even today despite having gross nominal incomes on par with Prague or Bratislava. The lesson is not to get too fooled by infrastructure. If you only visited Moscow and didn't know about Russia's GDP, then you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Russia was just as rich as Germany.

    I'm also aware of the "nightlights" argument, but that is also tied to an infrastructure buildout and not necessarily always productive economic activity. India saw a huge boom in the poorer BIMARU states from 2012-16 despite there being a generalised slowdown as agreed by everyone during this period compared to the 2004-2011 boom years. The lights in Northern India increased at a slower pace during the boom period despite the economy growing faster. Sometimes there is a lag effect from a previous time of faster growth. Sometimes there is a tenous relationship and more indicative of a high investment ratio to GDP.

    On Ender's point about GDP per hour worked. I wouldn't take that too seriously. According to the OECD, Turkey is ahead of South Korea (!) on that metric. I won't link too much stuff in one reply, but let's just say that there is serious disagreement about how we measure productivity in the conventional way among economists, not since highly technological socities like South Korea doesn't seem to get that picked up in official productivity statistics nearly as much as they should. Diane Coyle among others have been beating this drum for a long time. We are quite poor at measuring 'intangibles' in economics and too much of the profession is still fixated on a world where most of the action happened in the goods sector, but that is a professional sidenote I won't people with.

    My own view is that China should continue to converge with the US simply because they have so much left to catch up on. The question is how long this convergence will continue and here I am more cautious.

    They have a huge amount of debt to GDP compared to their incomes. Total debt to GDP is close to 300%. By comparison, Poland and Czechia are both close to 125% of GDP despite being quite a bit richer.

    Most of China's debt is concentrated in non-financial corporate sector companies - but household debt is zooming, too. Even the government is starting to leverage more and more, especially if you count local government debt which is hidden in specialised investment companies.

    The question here isn't solvency: it's rate of growth. China will remain solvent, the question is if they can grow when being burdened with that much debt. The good news is that they have stopped total leverage since 2017 from increasing too much, so I was far more worried a few years ago, but it's still far too early to tell if they can ditch the habit of debt that they are in.

    Michael Pettis

    Obviously, I read one very good book and a few blog posts by him. The book constitutes some 95+% of what I read from him, by whatever metric (word count etc.), so his reputation with me is based on the book. (I don’t normally follow blogs, except where both the blogger and commentariat are super smart, like…)

    As I wrote above, I don’t agree with him that China could manufacture high growth for several years, but I find it clearly possible that they could create some kind of “false growth” for one year or two. One of our resident Chinese commenters (I think Duke of Qin) wrote a couple months ago that China has already had negative growth recessions over the past several decades, but the statistics nevertheless invariably showed high growth in each year. (I’m not saying Duke of Qin is correct, just that it’s one extra data point in favor of the possibility of this year’s growth being lower than the statistics show.)

    My only point was that Chinese growth this year might be lower than the statistics show, and that Russian growth is artificially depressed by an overly restrictive fiscal and monetary policy mix.

    In short: Russian growth is depressed because of certain Russian policy choices. (Which may actually be smart, if further sanctions are coming..?) Chinese growth is not that high these days, and it could actually be lower than people think. So, perhaps no reason for such Russian pessimism.

  73. If Russia gets subject to Cuba or Russia level sanctions, what is the possibility of the middle class turning against Putin, and voting for liberals, or putting their wallets ahead of Russia, like what is happening with the Iranian middle class.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    If Russia gets subject to Cuba or Russia level sanctions, what is the possibility of the middle class turning against Putin, and voting for liberals, or putting their wallets ahead of Russia, like what is happening with the Iranian middle class.

     

    About zero. The great majority will sigh a sigh of relief and fall comfortably into
    state capitalism economy mode. It's the natural state for Russia, the country has been like that since Ivan 'the Terrible' anyways.
  74. @for-the-record
    It’s almost impossible not to happen.

    Especially when one considers US negotiating demands:

    Among the stipulations Beijing must acquiesce to before receiving tariff relief, according to leaked documents from U.S. negotiators that were spread on Chinese social media:

    halting all government subsidies to advanced manufacturing industries in its Made in China 2025 program, an endeavor that covers 10 key economic sectors, including aircraft manufacturing, electric cars, robotics, computer microchips, and artificial intelligence;

    accepting American restrictions on investments in sensitive technologies without retaliating;

    opening up its service and agricultural sectors – areas where Chinese firms have an inherent advantage – to full American competition.

    https://original.antiwar.com/Michael_Klare/2019/02/17/war-with-china/
     

    Thanks, that’s a great article.

    It’s incredible how psychopathic the Western ruling class is – we can do that, because it’s us, but you shouldn’t, because you are not us!

    I vaguely remember a trade dispute between Airbus and Boeing, where Boeing complained about government subsidies to Airbus. It turned out that Boeing did similar R&D on government budget, too, but it was paid by the Pentagon for some potential military applications, so it was OK. I can’t remember the exact outcome.

    • Replies: @songbird
    For a while, it seemed like their was a major push to set all US military contracts to international (or at least European bids). I was worried about it because the level of corruption in the US government seemed to indicate that they would readily sell us down the river, and lead to a situation where the US not only heavily subsidizes the defense of its allies, but also bears all the R&D costs, while the production would be nearly totally offshored.

    Fortunately, Airbus got caught in some big bribery scandal.
    , @for-the-record
    On China's rising superpower status in science, the MIT Technology Review (Jan/Feb 2019) has a special China issue which provides a very useful (at least for me) discussion of China's science ambitions, as well as its strengths and weaknesses:

    CHINA RULES

    Genes, chips, qubits, rockets, reactors, surveillance, and sand -- the tools of a rising superpower

    https://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/2019/01/
  75. @Anatoly Karlin
    Interesting.

    Trading Economics pegs Taiwan's average wage at around $1,600: https://tradingeconomics.com/taiwan/wages

    I assume it will be higher in Taipei.

    Why the discrepancy between those stats, and observations?

    My observations are largely of young people (under 35 years old), in which case most start out at around the $1,000 mark in their first few years, especially if they didn’t go to a good college. The nationwide minimum wage in Taiwan is around $650 a month.

    The $1,600 figure is definitely for Taipei, not all of Taiwan. The rest of Taiwan is definitely lower, which I guess to be around $1,200. Wages in Taipei are a bit higher than the rest of the island, but the difference isn’t as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.

    Also keep in mind that there’s a lot of wealth in Taiwan due to its sheer economic ties with Mainland China. Many Mainland-based Taiwanese entrepreneurs are extremely wealthy running conglomerates like Foxconn and really skew up the amount of wealth. Keep in mind that the Taiwan Stock Exchange is a top 20 stock exchange globally, with market cap over USD$1 trillion, and this is a place with nominal GDP per capita of 25,000 and 23 million people.

    Taiwan’s wages have been stagnant at this level since the late 1990s and are extremely low given its economic complexity and standard of living; this is definitely the single largest economic issue in Taiwanese politics.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the difference isn’t as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.
     
    Russia is very big, with enormous distances, so the difference in prices and wages could be larger between capital city and the rest of the country than elsewhere.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    The stagnation in Taiwanese wages is something I also noticed:

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1049598627935649797

    I suppose the reason for this is kind of obvious. The global socio-economic group that did (relatively) worst from globalization was American/European lower middle income blue-collar workers. There must have been a similar effect, but to the nth degree, in Taiwan, with the main generator of those changes just across the straits.
  76. Any thoughts on the Polish-Israeli spat? Especially from our commenters of the Polish (or Jewish) persuasion.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Seems to me that Jews just can't control their chutzpah. I mean, all they needed to do was to keep their mouths shut on that topic for a couple of days, but their complexes got the better of them.
    , @neutral
    It is good news, Poles are total cucks, but hopefully this should wake up some jew worshippers in Poland that jews really just see everyone else as goyim that must obey them.
    , @Polish Perspective
    I haven't thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn't. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven't completed "restitution", which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly "anti-semitism".

    For context: we're the only country in EU left which haven't passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I'm more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don't give a shit about this stuff, they haven't even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.


    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account "notes from poland" are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the '68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I'm against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn't play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.
  77. @AquariusAnon
    My observations are largely of young people (under 35 years old), in which case most start out at around the $1,000 mark in their first few years, especially if they didn't go to a good college. The nationwide minimum wage in Taiwan is around $650 a month.

    The $1,600 figure is definitely for Taipei, not all of Taiwan. The rest of Taiwan is definitely lower, which I guess to be around $1,200. Wages in Taipei are a bit higher than the rest of the island, but the difference isn't as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.

    Also keep in mind that there's a lot of wealth in Taiwan due to its sheer economic ties with Mainland China. Many Mainland-based Taiwanese entrepreneurs are extremely wealthy running conglomerates like Foxconn and really skew up the amount of wealth. Keep in mind that the Taiwan Stock Exchange is a top 20 stock exchange globally, with market cap over USD$1 trillion, and this is a place with nominal GDP per capita of 25,000 and 23 million people.

    Taiwan's wages have been stagnant at this level since the late 1990s and are extremely low given its economic complexity and standard of living; this is definitely the single largest economic issue in Taiwanese politics.

    the difference isn’t as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.

    Russia is very big, with enormous distances, so the difference in prices and wages could be larger between capital city and the rest of the country than elsewhere.

  78. @AquariusAnon
    My observations are largely of young people (under 35 years old), in which case most start out at around the $1,000 mark in their first few years, especially if they didn't go to a good college. The nationwide minimum wage in Taiwan is around $650 a month.

    The $1,600 figure is definitely for Taipei, not all of Taiwan. The rest of Taiwan is definitely lower, which I guess to be around $1,200. Wages in Taipei are a bit higher than the rest of the island, but the difference isn't as pronounced as Russia, which is truly an anomaly in the difference between the capital and the provinces.

    Also keep in mind that there's a lot of wealth in Taiwan due to its sheer economic ties with Mainland China. Many Mainland-based Taiwanese entrepreneurs are extremely wealthy running conglomerates like Foxconn and really skew up the amount of wealth. Keep in mind that the Taiwan Stock Exchange is a top 20 stock exchange globally, with market cap over USD$1 trillion, and this is a place with nominal GDP per capita of 25,000 and 23 million people.

    Taiwan's wages have been stagnant at this level since the late 1990s and are extremely low given its economic complexity and standard of living; this is definitely the single largest economic issue in Taiwanese politics.

    The stagnation in Taiwanese wages is something I also noticed:

    I suppose the reason for this is kind of obvious. The global socio-economic group that did (relatively) worst from globalization was American/European lower middle income blue-collar workers. There must have been a similar effect, but to the nth degree, in Taiwan, with the main generator of those changes just across the straits.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    The main difference between South Korea and Taiwan was the paths that their elites took when their manufacturing, outsourcing based economies both ran out of steam in the 1990s.

    South Korea decided to drastically change their economic model and poured money and investment into transforming their then-inferior companies into world class companies that's able to survive and thrive in any type of global market. Its investment in the entertainment industry also allowed it to displace the Japanese as the main source of soft power for East and Southeast Asia.

    Taiwan's path? Its elite decided to simply shift their manufacturing to China, with the Taiwanese upper middle class working mostly as the R&D and management of such factories (both as "expats" in China, and from the headquarters in Taiwan). Likewise for its entertainment industry: Taiwanese entertainers, instead of investing in a homegrown industry, decided to participate in the Mainland market instead, having dual residences in Taipei and Shanghai.

    Look at the biggest South Korean companies: Hyundai, Samsung, LG.

    Look at the biggest Taiwanese companies: Foxconn, TSMC, Quanta Computers. Notice all of them are high tech manufacturing companies with zero consumer recognition

  79. @reiner Tor
    Any thoughts on the Polish-Israeli spat? Especially from our commenters of the Polish (or Jewish) persuasion.

    Seems to me that Jews just can’t control their chutzpah. I mean, all they needed to do was to keep their mouths shut on that topic for a couple of days, but their complexes got the better of them.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Likud politicians receive more votes from this behaviour in the election, so it's rational - and probably was quite intentional.

    In Israeli elections, there are so many different parties, that Likud will only need around 20% of the total vote, to win the election.

    For this they will need to target the nationalist rednecks, and try to shift to the more nationalist image before the election (then after the election, they shift to the centre politically).

    As a party of power, Likud is centrist politics. But rhetorically, Likud politicians are mostly like Zhirinovsky (but a more uncultured/uneducated version of him). If Zhirinovsky wants more votes near elections, he does not keep his mouth shut, but tries to shout more nationalistically to impress his base of voters.

    During the election, politically centre Israelis, will vote for Benny Gantz, not Likud. So Likud is going to compete for votes with the more nationalist politicians, so they will try to project a nationalist and Zhirinovsky image for the next couple of months.

    -

    Still the Poland cancelling conference wasn't considered an important story in the Israeli news (from YouTube you can see it was the last and most minor story they reported on main Israeli "Kan" - news channel).

    -

    By the way, from the election polls, Likud is going to win.

    Here are reported the polls:
    https://knessetjeremy.com/

  80. @Anatoly Karlin
    The stagnation in Taiwanese wages is something I also noticed:

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1049598627935649797

    I suppose the reason for this is kind of obvious. The global socio-economic group that did (relatively) worst from globalization was American/European lower middle income blue-collar workers. There must have been a similar effect, but to the nth degree, in Taiwan, with the main generator of those changes just across the straits.

    The main difference between South Korea and Taiwan was the paths that their elites took when their manufacturing, outsourcing based economies both ran out of steam in the 1990s.

    South Korea decided to drastically change their economic model and poured money and investment into transforming their then-inferior companies into world class companies that’s able to survive and thrive in any type of global market. Its investment in the entertainment industry also allowed it to displace the Japanese as the main source of soft power for East and Southeast Asia.

    Taiwan’s path? Its elite decided to simply shift their manufacturing to China, with the Taiwanese upper middle class working mostly as the R&D and management of such factories (both as “expats” in China, and from the headquarters in Taiwan). Likewise for its entertainment industry: Taiwanese entertainers, instead of investing in a homegrown industry, decided to participate in the Mainland market instead, having dual residences in Taipei and Shanghai.

    Look at the biggest South Korean companies: Hyundai, Samsung, LG.

    Look at the biggest Taiwanese companies: Foxconn, TSMC, Quanta Computers. Notice all of them are high tech manufacturing companies with zero consumer recognition

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    One of the reasons for that might be that the Taiwanese are basically Chinese. So the South Koreans couldn't just simply outsource all they had to China (they couldn't speak the language, read the hieroglyphs, etc.), while it was probably the easier path for the Taiwanese.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    The roots of this might lie in earlier policy decisions.

    Taiwan made the decision to provide substantial support to SMEs early in its development. For a time, this was quite successful. During the 1970s for instance Taiwan clocked 13% annual growth rates. The first recognizable forms of "outsourcing" were ideally suited to this industrial structure. IBM outsourced wire harnesses to Taiwan already in the late 1960s for instance.

    South Korea instead has its chaebols--gigantic conglomerates. The South Korean government chose to partner with the chaebols and emphasize their development. Large firms typically have much more capital invested per worker and spend more on R&D and marketing.

    See data from this delightful web 1.0 page I found: http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/Country_comparisons/Taiwan_South_Korea.htm


    The major differences in South Korea’s and Taiwan’s economic conditions is how South Korea is a big business economy and Taiwan is a small-medium enterprise economy. There are three indicators in determining this conclusion:

    1) the production totals of large-scale firms (over 500 employees) as a percentage of national production was 45.3% for South Korea and only 26.8% in Taiwan in 1993.

    2) The total sales of corporations in the top 5, 10, and 50 listings as a percentage of GNP was 47.6%, 58.8% and 79.9%(1991) for the South Korean economy, while the numbers were much lower at 17.8%, 23.2% and 36.4% (1990) in Taiwan’s case.

    3) Exports of small and medium enterprises as a percentage of total exports, was 37.7% for South Korea and 67.1% for Taiwan in 1987. [9]
     
    These figures are from long before South Korean firms were global leaders (outside of shipbuilding and steel anyway), and this was also before South Korea diverged from Taiwan. In fact, Taiwan was wealthier than South Korea in the late 20th century. Perhaps because its SME-focused development did a better job of mobilizing peasants into the formal sector in the early phase of industrialization:

    In 2000, GDP per head in USD in Taiwan is $13,900 and $9,670 in South Korea.[16]
     
    In the early takeoff phase for both countries, the distinction probably did not make a great difference. Both were rapidly industrializing. But as both exhausted catchup industrialization and needed to push the bleeding edge of the technological frontier, South Korea's huge conglomerates were much better positioned to do so.

    State support programs differed early on.

    Taiwan's government focused on providing low cost inputs to SMEs. From memory there was a government program to provide low cost electrical steel and magnetic wire to transformer manufacturers for instance. Transformer manufacturing is low technology and low productivity and always disrupted by new low cost producers.

    South Korea instead formed Pohang Iron & Steel Corporation (the application for a World Bank Loan was rejected, which led to Japan quietly financing and providing the technology for the project) and launched its Heavy Chemical Industry drive with the goal of completing a modern, high tech heavy industrial base to provided advanced, low cost intermediate industrial products throughout the economy.

    The countries even pursued some similar technology policies in the 1980s. In 1980 the South Korean government ordered Samsung to enter the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In the same year Taiwan established Hsinchu Science Park on the model of Silicon Valley, which ultimately led to TSMC and UMC.

    But while today Samsung is the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer and has substantial microprocessor design expertise which has surpassed Japan, the Taiwanese firms are mere foundries which are completely dependent on foreign designs.

    In general one is hard pressed to think of truly rich countries which do not have large, globally competitive firms possessing the most advanced technology (and this also applies to services, not just manufacturing). The big exception here would be Australia, which is easily explained by its large amount of natural resources per head and the vast amounts of foreign capital invested over the past 150 years. This is good to remember whenever people start endlessly praising the supposed glories of small business.

    Incidentally, I am somewhat skeptical about the economies of Eastern Europe for this reason. Visegrad and the Baltic States etc. are mere appendages of Western European capital. I don't see a path for them to fully converge with Western Europe barring Western Europe's Afro-Islamization dragging their average down (admittedly a depressingly probable outcome).
  81. @AquariusAnon
    The main difference between South Korea and Taiwan was the paths that their elites took when their manufacturing, outsourcing based economies both ran out of steam in the 1990s.

    South Korea decided to drastically change their economic model and poured money and investment into transforming their then-inferior companies into world class companies that's able to survive and thrive in any type of global market. Its investment in the entertainment industry also allowed it to displace the Japanese as the main source of soft power for East and Southeast Asia.

    Taiwan's path? Its elite decided to simply shift their manufacturing to China, with the Taiwanese upper middle class working mostly as the R&D and management of such factories (both as "expats" in China, and from the headquarters in Taiwan). Likewise for its entertainment industry: Taiwanese entertainers, instead of investing in a homegrown industry, decided to participate in the Mainland market instead, having dual residences in Taipei and Shanghai.

    Look at the biggest South Korean companies: Hyundai, Samsung, LG.

    Look at the biggest Taiwanese companies: Foxconn, TSMC, Quanta Computers. Notice all of them are high tech manufacturing companies with zero consumer recognition

    One of the reasons for that might be that the Taiwanese are basically Chinese. So the South Koreans couldn’t just simply outsource all they had to China (they couldn’t speak the language, read the hieroglyphs, etc.), while it was probably the easier path for the Taiwanese.

  82. @reiner Tor
    Any thoughts on the Polish-Israeli spat? Especially from our commenters of the Polish (or Jewish) persuasion.

    It is good news, Poles are total cucks, but hopefully this should wake up some jew worshippers in Poland that jews really just see everyone else as goyim that must obey them.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Some (not all) Jews like:

    https://twitter.com/juliaioffe/status/1097563333643943936?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Some fact based overview of her towards the end of this piece:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/19022019-putting-the-new-cold-war-and-russia-bashing-into-proper-perspective-oped/

    I'd be responsibly careful in not over-generalizing, which serves as propaganda fodder for the likes of her.
  83. Today’s news from the United Memedome: “Meghan Markle to ‘DECOLONISE CURRICULUM’ in bid to end ‘male, pale and stale’ universities.”

    • LOL: reiner Tor
  84. @neutral
    It is good news, Poles are total cucks, but hopefully this should wake up some jew worshippers in Poland that jews really just see everyone else as goyim that must obey them.

    Some (not all) Jews like:

    Some fact based overview of her towards the end of this piece:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/19022019-putting-the-new-cold-war-and-russia-bashing-into-proper-perspective-oped/

    I’d be responsibly careful in not over-generalizing, which serves as propaganda fodder for the likes of her.

  85. @anonymous
    Meanwhile, Donald doubles down on Venezuela. Democracy seems to be on the march again. What are your predictions what is going to happen?
    Will Venezuelan army turn on Maduro, or will Donald get his short victorious war just before elections?

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1097625026801688579

    What a fraud and swindler he is, if people wanted to have the policies of Jeb Bush then they would have voted for Jeb. He is a total failure domestically, so now he has to resort to playing overseas adventures, which will likely cause even more non whites from Venezuela to move to USA.

  86. @Ender
    If Russia gets subject to Cuba or Russia level sanctions, what is the possibility of the middle class turning against Putin, and voting for liberals, or putting their wallets ahead of Russia, like what is happening with the Iranian middle class.

    If Russia gets subject to Cuba or Russia level sanctions, what is the possibility of the middle class turning against Putin, and voting for liberals, or putting their wallets ahead of Russia, like what is happening with the Iranian middle class.

    About zero. The great majority will sigh a sigh of relief and fall comfortably into
    state capitalism economy mode. It’s the natural state for Russia, the country has been like that since Ivan ‘the Terrible’ anyways.

  87. @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's a great article.

    It's incredible how psychopathic the Western ruling class is - we can do that, because it's us, but you shouldn't, because you are not us!

    I vaguely remember a trade dispute between Airbus and Boeing, where Boeing complained about government subsidies to Airbus. It turned out that Boeing did similar R&D on government budget, too, but it was paid by the Pentagon for some potential military applications, so it was OK. I can't remember the exact outcome.

    For a while, it seemed like their was a major push to set all US military contracts to international (or at least European bids). I was worried about it because the level of corruption in the US government seemed to indicate that they would readily sell us down the river, and lead to a situation where the US not only heavily subsidizes the defense of its allies, but also bears all the R&D costs, while the production would be nearly totally offshored.

    Fortunately, Airbus got caught in some big bribery scandal.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    It's not like the acquisition of a tanker aircraft was a high technology program, and Boeing hardly needed it to develop any new technology (especially since a 767-based tanker already existed).

    Airbus did have the better platform, but the A330 is nothing special. And the USA still got an Airbus assembly plant in Alabama out of it.

    I'm not terribly happy about Boeing's victory here given that the 767 is obsolete. If not for the freighter version, it would no longer be in production.

    For the life me I can't understand why the Air Force didn't pursue a solution based on the 777 or 787 instead. Both are more modern and are larger (an obvious advantage with tanker aircraft), yet can operate anywhere a 767 can. The smaller 787-8 variant barely even costs more than the 767-300.

    The 787 admittedly was still in development when the KC-X program was announced, but it was very well known and approaching its first flight. The 777 however was already a mature aircraft (being of the same vintage as the Airbus A330) and a huge commercial success.

    Boeing clearly phoned in its proposal. It already had a tanker version of the 767, and it (correctly) assumed that American nationalism would preclude the acquisition of the superior A330 MRTT.

    This sort of thing also shows that it was not a very good idea to allow the entire American airliner industry to be consolidated into a single manufacturer. Boeing didn't have any problems competing with Airbus prior to its acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas, but the existence of McDonnell Douglas provided for competition in defense contracts.

    McDonnell Douglas was struggling in the 1990s, but would've done well in the 2000s as the MD-95 (later the Boeing 717) became a sleeper hit (and no doubt would've done better with MD's salesforce hawking it).
  88. @Anatoly Karlin
    Seems to me that Jews just can't control their chutzpah. I mean, all they needed to do was to keep their mouths shut on that topic for a couple of days, but their complexes got the better of them.

    Likud politicians receive more votes from this behaviour in the election, so it’s rational – and probably was quite intentional.

    In Israeli elections, there are so many different parties, that Likud will only need around 20% of the total vote, to win the election.

    For this they will need to target the nationalist rednecks, and try to shift to the more nationalist image before the election (then after the election, they shift to the centre politically).

    As a party of power, Likud is centrist politics. But rhetorically, Likud politicians are mostly like Zhirinovsky (but a more uncultured/uneducated version of him). If Zhirinovsky wants more votes near elections, he does not keep his mouth shut, but tries to shout more nationalistically to impress his base of voters.

    During the election, politically centre Israelis, will vote for Benny Gantz, not Likud. So Likud is going to compete for votes with the more nationalist politicians, so they will try to project a nationalist and Zhirinovsky image for the next couple of months.

    Still the Poland cancelling conference wasn’t considered an important story in the Israeli news (from YouTube you can see it was the last and most minor story they reported on main Israeli “Kan” – news channel).

    By the way, from the election polls, Likud is going to win.

    Here are reported the polls:
    https://knessetjeremy.com/

    • Agree: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    It's about who can create a coalition after the elections rather than about who gets the most seats, correct? I know that, in 2009, Kadima got the most seats but Likud was able to form a coalition and thus secured the Premiership for itself. In 2009, right-wing parties controlled a majority (65 out of 120) of the seats in the Knesset even though the more liberal Kadima was (barely) the largest party in the Knesset (with 28 seats to Likud's 27 in 2009).

    Interestingly enough, I think that, since 2010, Iraq uses a similar system to Israel's.
  89. @Swarthy Greek
    What about Chiang ching Kuo ? Wasn't he similar to LKY in most respects?

    Not in terms of pushing cleanliness and trying to get Chinese people to act less stereotypically Chinese like LKY did.

  90. @songbird
    China's move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.

    Taiwan I think is explained by a greater history of property rights. Small price for having a higher national income. perhaps, a big price, if that higher income attracts parasitic people from other countries. I'm surprised the scooters aren't all electric.

    China’s move to ban motorcycles from its first tier cities is interesting. One wonders if it is purely domestically motivated by its elites, or has something to do with desire to project a more refined, civilized image.

    Purely arbitrary, and it’s been around for almost a decade. China’s leaders make these random decisions because they can. It’s pure abuse of power meant to show the people who’s boss, i.e. it’s not actually the P in PRC. Motorcycles are legal in Hong Kong and Singapore, both of which are several times more densely populated than even the densest Chinese city. The emperors of the Communist Party have taken tyranny in peacetime to a level seldom achieved under prior dynasties. They are fortunate that that their reigns have been able to benefit from the Western inventions deprecated earlier by a Qing dynasty ruler during Mad King George’s reign. What they get up to in the event of impending regime collapse doesn’t bear thinking about. Tiananmen will end up looking like a footnote, relative to the bloodbath unleashed.

  91. @reiner Tor
    Thanks, that's a great article.

    It's incredible how psychopathic the Western ruling class is - we can do that, because it's us, but you shouldn't, because you are not us!

    I vaguely remember a trade dispute between Airbus and Boeing, where Boeing complained about government subsidies to Airbus. It turned out that Boeing did similar R&D on government budget, too, but it was paid by the Pentagon for some potential military applications, so it was OK. I can't remember the exact outcome.

    On China’s rising superpower status in science, the MIT Technology Review (Jan/Feb 2019) has a special China issue which provides a very useful (at least for me) discussion of China’s science ambitions, as well as its strengths and weaknesses:

    CHINA RULES

    Genes, chips, qubits, rockets, reactors, surveillance, and sand — the tools of a rising superpower

    https://www.technologyreview.com/magazine/2019/01/

  92. @EldnahYm
    "Well, the coastal cities of China are certainly a lot cleaner than those of Taiwan."

    Yeah, I don't trust your observations. Feel free to sample China's tap water and put your observations to the test.

    I don’t drink the tap water in either Taiwan or Mainland China. I do drink it in western Malaysia (but not the east coast). I stand by my point about the coastal cities being cleaner (not as messy or junky) than those of Taiwan.

    I also have noticed the lack of motor scooters in China’s eastern cities. I was wondering if this was due to a ban. They are everywhere in Taiwan. However, Taiwan is much more crowded than any part of China and they are a sub-tropical climate, which is optimized for moving about on scooters. Much of the air pollution in Taiwan is due to these scooters which use two-stroke engines.

    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Chinese cities appear "cleaner" because all the buildings are brand new and everything old and crumbling has been torn down. Brand new everything. The old quarters of coastal Chinese cities that still haven't been torn down are definitely filthier than the old areas of Taipei.

    If you actually lived in China, you should know the sheer amount of dust that can accumulate in your home in a very short period of time; this is less of a problem in Taiwan. The tap water tastes funny and definitely lower quality than Taiwan. In general, everything gets dirty very quickly in China, not so much in Taiwan.

    Pollution has gotten significantly better in China compared to the absolutely apocalyptic levels seen circa 2010-2015, but it still has room for improvement. When the skies are blue, there's still an obvious grayish tint to it, which isn't something I've seen in Taiwan. The air smells worse in Taiwan though due to the amount of exhaust from scooters.
  93. @reiner Tor
    Any thoughts on the Polish-Israeli spat? Especially from our commenters of the Polish (or Jewish) persuasion.

    I haven’t thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn’t. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven’t completed “restitution”, which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly “anti-semitism”.

    For context: we’re the only country in EU left which haven’t passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I’m more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don’t give a shit about this stuff, they haven’t even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.

    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account “notes from poland” are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the ’68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I’m against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn’t play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.

    • Replies: @German_reader

    His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
     
    They're actually half-brothers, from a whole family of commies.
    As a German, I don't have a dog in this fight, but still, it has really astounded me to read the views of many Jews (especially American Jews) about Poland on Twitter. They really have this fixed idea that Poles were enthusiastic Holocaust co-perpetrators and that Poland owes them; German crimes against Poles don't seem to exist for them. It's completely uninformed by historical knowledge, pure resentment. But I do think that many American gentiles might actually fall for this bizarre view, since there's this weird fusion between Zionism and mainstream American "nationalism" (Trump is the perfect incarnation of that, and a majority of Republican voters probably agrees with it).

    That Iran conference also was rather ominous. Pence even accused Iran once again of planning a second Holocaust and building nuclear weapons for that purpose (kind of perverse given how Trump's administration deliberately wants to destroy the nuclear deal which was designed to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb). I really wonder if the end game here is war against Iran, it sure looks like it.
    , @reiner Tor
    Thanks. I think Orbán is in a rather precarious situation, he’s anti-immigration, he has lots of conflicts with the European leaders, but he’s also far from a pro-American Atlanticist. He’s even something of a Russophile. So he needs some kind of protection, and he found it in Netanyahu. It’s not very strong, and Netanyahu is in it for his own petty selfish reasons, but Orbán needs such shady deals if he wants to survive. As I wrote before, he’s pretty corrupt personally as well.
    , @iffen
    As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia,

    That's the ticket. I mean, what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.
    , @anonymous
    You guys are receiving the protection of the empire in the form of a US led battalion in Poland. You vassals need to repay the empire. While you don't like the bargain, your country has entered into it.
  94. @Polish Perspective
    I haven't thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn't. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven't completed "restitution", which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly "anti-semitism".

    For context: we're the only country in EU left which haven't passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I'm more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don't give a shit about this stuff, they haven't even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.


    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account "notes from poland" are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the '68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I'm against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn't play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.

    His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

    They’re actually half-brothers, from a whole family of commies.
    As a German, I don’t have a dog in this fight, but still, it has really astounded me to read the views of many Jews (especially American Jews) about Poland on Twitter. They really have this fixed idea that Poles were enthusiastic Holocaust co-perpetrators and that Poland owes them; German crimes against Poles don’t seem to exist for them. It’s completely uninformed by historical knowledge, pure resentment. But I do think that many American gentiles might actually fall for this bizarre view, since there’s this weird fusion between Zionism and mainstream American “nationalism” (Trump is the perfect incarnation of that, and a majority of Republican voters probably agrees with it).

    That Iran conference also was rather ominous. Pence even accused Iran once again of planning a second Holocaust and building nuclear weapons for that purpose (kind of perverse given how Trump’s administration deliberately wants to destroy the nuclear deal which was designed to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb). I really wonder if the end game here is war against Iran, it sure looks like it.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @iffen
    Hey GR, if AK is successful with his plan to rid Russia of 70 years of bad history (weren't none of me) maybe you could do the same for Germany. You would only need to get rid of 12 years. You could kick it off with a "That's Not Who We Are (Were)" campaign.
    , @songbird
    Israel seems to be making some small diplomatic headway out of the whole Middle Eastern cold war, or whatever it should be called. I don't think changing the status quo is really in their interest.
  95. @Polish Perspective
    I haven't thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn't. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven't completed "restitution", which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly "anti-semitism".

    For context: we're the only country in EU left which haven't passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I'm more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don't give a shit about this stuff, they haven't even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.


    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account "notes from poland" are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the '68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I'm against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn't play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.

    Thanks. I think Orbán is in a rather precarious situation, he’s anti-immigration, he has lots of conflicts with the European leaders, but he’s also far from a pro-American Atlanticist. He’s even something of a Russophile. So he needs some kind of protection, and he found it in Netanyahu. It’s not very strong, and Netanyahu is in it for his own petty selfish reasons, but Orbán needs such shady deals if he wants to survive. As I wrote before, he’s pretty corrupt personally as well.

  96. Anatoly; what’s going on about a supposed merging process between Russia and Belarus? The Western propaganda machine just got hysterical about “Putler’s evil plan to eat Belarus and retain power until his death”.

  97. @German_reader

    His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
     
    They're actually half-brothers, from a whole family of commies.
    As a German, I don't have a dog in this fight, but still, it has really astounded me to read the views of many Jews (especially American Jews) about Poland on Twitter. They really have this fixed idea that Poles were enthusiastic Holocaust co-perpetrators and that Poland owes them; German crimes against Poles don't seem to exist for them. It's completely uninformed by historical knowledge, pure resentment. But I do think that many American gentiles might actually fall for this bizarre view, since there's this weird fusion between Zionism and mainstream American "nationalism" (Trump is the perfect incarnation of that, and a majority of Republican voters probably agrees with it).

    That Iran conference also was rather ominous. Pence even accused Iran once again of planning a second Holocaust and building nuclear weapons for that purpose (kind of perverse given how Trump's administration deliberately wants to destroy the nuclear deal which was designed to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb). I really wonder if the end game here is war against Iran, it sure looks like it.

    Hey GR, if AK is successful with his plan to rid Russia of 70 years of bad history (weren’t none of me) maybe you could do the same for Germany. You would only need to get rid of 12 years. You could kick it off with a “That’s Not Who We Are (Were)” campaign.

  98. @Polish Perspective
    I haven't thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn't. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven't completed "restitution", which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly "anti-semitism".

    For context: we're the only country in EU left which haven't passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I'm more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don't give a shit about this stuff, they haven't even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.


    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account "notes from poland" are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the '68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I'm against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn't play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.

    As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia,

    That’s the ticket. I mean, what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.

    • Replies: @neutral

    what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.
     
    Poland still exists, now compare this to places under (((US))) occupation (Germany, UK, France, etc) all these places are basically being ethnically cleansed of white people.
  99. @German_reader

    His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.
     
    They're actually half-brothers, from a whole family of commies.
    As a German, I don't have a dog in this fight, but still, it has really astounded me to read the views of many Jews (especially American Jews) about Poland on Twitter. They really have this fixed idea that Poles were enthusiastic Holocaust co-perpetrators and that Poland owes them; German crimes against Poles don't seem to exist for them. It's completely uninformed by historical knowledge, pure resentment. But I do think that many American gentiles might actually fall for this bizarre view, since there's this weird fusion between Zionism and mainstream American "nationalism" (Trump is the perfect incarnation of that, and a majority of Republican voters probably agrees with it).

    That Iran conference also was rather ominous. Pence even accused Iran once again of planning a second Holocaust and building nuclear weapons for that purpose (kind of perverse given how Trump's administration deliberately wants to destroy the nuclear deal which was designed to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb). I really wonder if the end game here is war against Iran, it sure looks like it.

    Israel seems to be making some small diplomatic headway out of the whole Middle Eastern cold war, or whatever it should be called. I don’t think changing the status quo is really in their interest.

  100. @Polish Perspective
    I haven't thought much about it until now, so I wrote this stream-of-consciousness.

    The cancelled summit in Israel has presented us a rare chance to introspect on the role of the V4. In my view, it should be only used for the ends of our countries. Why were we even going to Israel? Because Netanyahu has tried to infiltrate it for years in order to boost the standing of Israel, by using the V4 as his trojan horse. How does that help us? It doesn't. Orban has a negative outlier role in pushing relations closer, but the rest of us are hardly without blame either, we went along with it.

    The spat also co-incided during another summit, namely the Warsaw one. What was that about? Basically, PiS is bending over backwards to appease ZOG by hosting an anti-Iran confab. How did the US repay us? By demanding that we send soldiers to die for Israel in the middle-east as well as whining that we haven't completed "restitution", which is basically code for giving away tons of expensive real estate in prime locations in Warsaw to various jewish shakedown artists. If we refuse then this is clearly "anti-semitism".

    For context: we're the only country in EU left which haven't passed this kind of law, so jews are obviously pissed about it, and this rage is coming through their shabbos goyim that they pressure to bring the topic up (do you think Mike Pompeo or Pence give a shit about who owns Warsaw real estate? Get real.)

    I'm more pessimistic on this episode having lasting impact. Early last year also saw a similar spat in conjuction with the whole IPN law, which made both israel and ukraine mad (supposedly also the US, but once again, that was just code for jewish rage, expressed in negative media coverage. Average Americans don't give a shit about this stuff, they haven't even head of IPN. I doubt most readers here have).

    Yet Polish tourism into Israel increased over 80% last year. Israeli tourism into Poland increased by over 50%. So, I doubt things will pan out differently now. In my view, demographics are a better bet than these events. The root cause of this nonsense is our diplomatic posture. As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia, we will grovel. If we normalise relations with Russians, and move closer to a European security framework while dissing Washington, it will lessen the demands that Israel, through its proxy the US, can make.


    One final footnote. The jews behind the twitter account "notes from poland" are whining that we are now demanding that Sweden extradites the holdout Stalinist-era judge (guess his ethnicity) who sentenced many Polish anti-communist fighters to death and fled to Sweden during the '68 purge. His name is Stefan Michnik. His co-ethnic Adam Michnik edits the leftist Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. Stefan is 90 now. I'm against diplomatic protocol, especially since Sweden doesn't play ball (probably out of fear due to his ethnic background). We should learn a thing or two from the jews and just kidnap him and have a showtrail in order to punish him.

    You guys are receiving the protection of the empire in the form of a US led battalion in Poland. You vassals need to repay the empire. While you don’t like the bargain, your country has entered into it.

    • Replies: @Ender
    You know that if Poland really wants an independent foreign policy, then it needs nukes right? And who here wants that?
  101. @Abelard Lindsey
    I don't drink the tap water in either Taiwan or Mainland China. I do drink it in western Malaysia (but not the east coast). I stand by my point about the coastal cities being cleaner (not as messy or junky) than those of Taiwan.

    I also have noticed the lack of motor scooters in China's eastern cities. I was wondering if this was due to a ban. They are everywhere in Taiwan. However, Taiwan is much more crowded than any part of China and they are a sub-tropical climate, which is optimized for moving about on scooters. Much of the air pollution in Taiwan is due to these scooters which use two-stroke engines.

    Chinese cities appear “cleaner” because all the buildings are brand new and everything old and crumbling has been torn down. Brand new everything. The old quarters of coastal Chinese cities that still haven’t been torn down are definitely filthier than the old areas of Taipei.

    If you actually lived in China, you should know the sheer amount of dust that can accumulate in your home in a very short period of time; this is less of a problem in Taiwan. The tap water tastes funny and definitely lower quality than Taiwan. In general, everything gets dirty very quickly in China, not so much in Taiwan.

    Pollution has gotten significantly better in China compared to the absolutely apocalyptic levels seen circa 2010-2015, but it still has room for improvement. When the skies are blue, there’s still an obvious grayish tint to it, which isn’t something I’ve seen in Taiwan. The air smells worse in Taiwan though due to the amount of exhaust from scooters.

  102. @anonymous
    You guys are receiving the protection of the empire in the form of a US led battalion in Poland. You vassals need to repay the empire. While you don't like the bargain, your country has entered into it.

    You know that if Poland really wants an independent foreign policy, then it needs nukes right? And who here wants that?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Nukes are a necessary but insufficient prerequisite for sovereignty.

    The most important ingredient, of course, is willpower. See for instance Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.

    Beyond that the most important ingredient may be financial independence. This is extremely difficult owing to the extraordinarily important role of the US Dollar in global finance.

    As an example, during the Great Financial Crisis Eurozone banks had about $2 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts--but close to zero Dollar-den0minated deposits. Eurozone central banks combined had only about $200 billion in Dollar reserves.

    How did they cope when their over-leveraged banks lost access to Dollar wholesale borrowing markets, just as American investment banks (and even some very creditworthy nonfinancial firms like McDonald's) did? After all, being foreign banks they could not access the TARP funds provided by Congress.

    The Federal Reserve System revived a Bretton Woods era tool in the form of swap agreements. The FED provided Dollar credits to foreign central banks in exchange for them providing local currency credits in the Federal Reserve System. No full accounting of these arrangements was ever done, but it's commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks. Swap lines were revived in this decade to deal with the "Taper Tantrum", in particular to the Bank of Korea.

    It is noteworthy that swap lines to foreign central banks were first cleared by the State Department. Three countries, never named, applied for swap lines and were denied by Foggy Bottom. It is almost certain that Russia was one of these countries.

    Since the demise of Bretton Woods, many countries have attempted to gain financial sovereignty by running secular current account surpluses and building vast foreign reserves. This is insufficient, because private sector Dollar borrowing can exceed the state's foreign reserves. Russia, South Korea, and even the PRC have stared down this gun barrel in this century.

    It's a very hard problem and the only country which has come close to mastering it is Japan. Not only does Japan have very large foreign reserves, but Japan's ultra-low interest rates and the secular upward pressure on the Yen mean that Japanese business rarely borrows abroad.

    The vast indebtedness of the Japanese state may actually be an asset in this department. The huge domestic pool of top-quality collateral means there is zero reason for Japanese finance to seek a "flight to safety" in the form of Treasuries.

    Japan quietly bailed out the emerging markets of Asia in 1998 and again in 2008. It even was instrumental in saving the Eurozone's bacon in 2011 (despite the best efforts of Merkel and Schaubl to destroy it).

  103. @iffen
    As long as we are wedded to hysterical anti-Russian paranoia,

    That's the ticket. I mean, what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.

    what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.

    Poland still exists, now compare this to places under (((US))) occupation (Germany, UK, France, etc) all these places are basically being ethnically cleansed of white people.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    This may simply be a consequence of the fact that Poland is poorer, and not so long ago was much poorer. No reason for vibrants to go there or stay (as Polish Perspective explained wrt the 90s-era program to import Chechens).

    Now that Poland is somewhat wealthy, Indians have started appearing in Polish cities. And the Polish government is discussing importing guest workers from the Philippines.

    US/Jewish/SJW/whatever influence is clearly negative, but it seems that the dominant threat to the survival of high-quality nationalities is simply global capitalism (and feminism, itself substantially an outgrowth of modern capitalism). Even Japan is now increasing its importation of foreign labor.

    Is any advanced country actually holding the line robustly? Does Hungary have guest workers?

  104. Kuzio replies

    An example of how Tweets often don’t go into a substantive mode:

  105. LvL 2 guilt by association, Connolly -> AK -> Spencer. What is our top record so far, gentlemen? What is the highest level libs tried to pull off so far? 3? 4?

    Pretty sure if you never quote anyone who had something of a relation with someone “odious”, you must be a very narrow thinker or writer. For example Derb is “odious” since that one Taki article, and every conservative writer worth his salt had some kind of relation with Derb. Quoted him approvingly or something. Even today’s cuckservatives in the past. So by that rule you don’t get to quote approvingly anyone to the right of Bryan Caplan. That means you basically have to be a Krugman or the like.

    Rules were a bit different in the past. Roosevelt used to praise Mussolini. So anyone who praised or approvingly quoted Roosevelt would have been attacked. Hm.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  106. @AquariusAnon
    The main difference between South Korea and Taiwan was the paths that their elites took when their manufacturing, outsourcing based economies both ran out of steam in the 1990s.

    South Korea decided to drastically change their economic model and poured money and investment into transforming their then-inferior companies into world class companies that's able to survive and thrive in any type of global market. Its investment in the entertainment industry also allowed it to displace the Japanese as the main source of soft power for East and Southeast Asia.

    Taiwan's path? Its elite decided to simply shift their manufacturing to China, with the Taiwanese upper middle class working mostly as the R&D and management of such factories (both as "expats" in China, and from the headquarters in Taiwan). Likewise for its entertainment industry: Taiwanese entertainers, instead of investing in a homegrown industry, decided to participate in the Mainland market instead, having dual residences in Taipei and Shanghai.

    Look at the biggest South Korean companies: Hyundai, Samsung, LG.

    Look at the biggest Taiwanese companies: Foxconn, TSMC, Quanta Computers. Notice all of them are high tech manufacturing companies with zero consumer recognition

    The roots of this might lie in earlier policy decisions.

    Taiwan made the decision to provide substantial support to SMEs early in its development. For a time, this was quite successful. During the 1970s for instance Taiwan clocked 13% annual growth rates. The first recognizable forms of “outsourcing” were ideally suited to this industrial structure. IBM outsourced wire harnesses to Taiwan already in the late 1960s for instance.

    South Korea instead has its chaebols–gigantic conglomerates. The South Korean government chose to partner with the chaebols and emphasize their development. Large firms typically have much more capital invested per worker and spend more on R&D and marketing.

    See data from this delightful web 1.0 page I found: http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/Country_comparisons/Taiwan_South_Korea.htm

    The major differences in South Korea’s and Taiwan’s economic conditions is how South Korea is a big business economy and Taiwan is a small-medium enterprise economy. There are three indicators in determining this conclusion:

    1) the production totals of large-scale firms (over 500 employees) as a percentage of national production was 45.3% for South Korea and only 26.8% in Taiwan in 1993.

    2) The total sales of corporations in the top 5, 10, and 50 listings as a percentage of GNP was 47.6%, 58.8% and 79.9%(1991) for the South Korean economy, while the numbers were much lower at 17.8%, 23.2% and 36.4% (1990) in Taiwan’s case.

    3) Exports of small and medium enterprises as a percentage of total exports, was 37.7% for South Korea and 67.1% for Taiwan in 1987. [9]

    These figures are from long before South Korean firms were global leaders (outside of shipbuilding and steel anyway), and this was also before South Korea diverged from Taiwan. In fact, Taiwan was wealthier than South Korea in the late 20th century. Perhaps because its SME-focused development did a better job of mobilizing peasants into the formal sector in the early phase of industrialization:

    In 2000, GDP per head in USD in Taiwan is $13,900 and $9,670 in South Korea.[16]

    In the early takeoff phase for both countries, the distinction probably did not make a great difference. Both were rapidly industrializing. But as both exhausted catchup industrialization and needed to push the bleeding edge of the technological frontier, South Korea’s huge conglomerates were much better positioned to do so.

    State support programs differed early on.

    Taiwan’s government focused on providing low cost inputs to SMEs. From memory there was a government program to provide low cost electrical steel and magnetic wire to transformer manufacturers for instance. Transformer manufacturing is low technology and low productivity and always disrupted by new low cost producers.

    South Korea instead formed Pohang Iron & Steel Corporation (the application for a World Bank Loan was rejected, which led to Japan quietly financing and providing the technology for the project) and launched its Heavy Chemical Industry drive with the goal of completing a modern, high tech heavy industrial base to provided advanced, low cost intermediate industrial products throughout the economy.

    The countries even pursued some similar technology policies in the 1980s. In 1980 the South Korean government ordered Samsung to enter the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In the same year Taiwan established Hsinchu Science Park on the model of Silicon Valley, which ultimately led to TSMC and UMC.

    But while today Samsung is the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturer and has substantial microprocessor design expertise which has surpassed Japan, the Taiwanese firms are mere foundries which are completely dependent on foreign designs.

    In general one is hard pressed to think of truly rich countries which do not have large, globally competitive firms possessing the most advanced technology (and this also applies to services, not just manufacturing). The big exception here would be Australia, which is easily explained by its large amount of natural resources per head and the vast amounts of foreign capital invested over the past 150 years. This is good to remember whenever people start endlessly praising the supposed glories of small business.

    Incidentally, I am somewhat skeptical about the economies of Eastern Europe for this reason. Visegrad and the Baltic States etc. are mere appendages of Western European capital. I don’t see a path for them to fully converge with Western Europe barring Western Europe’s Afro-Islamization dragging their average down (admittedly a depressingly probable outcome).

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Very good analysis, except this one:

    South Korea instead formed Pohang Iron & Steel Corporation (the application for a World Bank Loan was rejected, which led to Japan quietly financing and providing the technology for the project)
     
    That “financing” wasn’t so quiet. General/President Park Chung-Hee, then the dictator of South Korea, normalized relations with Japan against enormous and cantankerous domestic opposition and secured compensation, which he then directed toward industrialization, rather than to individual victims of colonization.

    Sometimes dictatorships have advantages.
  107. @songbird
    For a while, it seemed like their was a major push to set all US military contracts to international (or at least European bids). I was worried about it because the level of corruption in the US government seemed to indicate that they would readily sell us down the river, and lead to a situation where the US not only heavily subsidizes the defense of its allies, but also bears all the R&D costs, while the production would be nearly totally offshored.

    Fortunately, Airbus got caught in some big bribery scandal.

    It’s not like the acquisition of a tanker aircraft was a high technology program, and Boeing hardly needed it to develop any new technology (especially since a 767-based tanker already existed).

    Airbus did have the better platform, but the A330 is nothing special. And the USA still got an Airbus assembly plant in Alabama out of it.

    I’m not terribly happy about Boeing’s victory here given that the 767 is obsolete. If not for the freighter version, it would no longer be in production.

    For the life me I can’t understand why the Air Force didn’t pursue a solution based on the 777 or 787 instead. Both are more modern and are larger (an obvious advantage with tanker aircraft), yet can operate anywhere a 767 can. The smaller 787-8 variant barely even costs more than the 767-300.

    The 787 admittedly was still in development when the KC-X program was announced, but it was very well known and approaching its first flight. The 777 however was already a mature aircraft (being of the same vintage as the Airbus A330) and a huge commercial success.

    Boeing clearly phoned in its proposal. It already had a tanker version of the 767, and it (correctly) assumed that American nationalism would preclude the acquisition of the superior A330 MRTT.

    This sort of thing also shows that it was not a very good idea to allow the entire American airliner industry to be consolidated into a single manufacturer. Boeing didn’t have any problems competing with Airbus prior to its acquisition of McDonnell-Douglas, but the existence of McDonnell Douglas provided for competition in defense contracts.

    McDonnell Douglas was struggling in the 1990s, but would’ve done well in the 2000s as the MD-95 (later the Boeing 717) became a sleeper hit (and no doubt would’ve done better with MD’s salesforce hawking it).

  108. @Ender
    You know that if Poland really wants an independent foreign policy, then it needs nukes right? And who here wants that?

    Nukes are a necessary but insufficient prerequisite for sovereignty.

    The most important ingredient, of course, is willpower. See for instance Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.

    Beyond that the most important ingredient may be financial independence. This is extremely difficult owing to the extraordinarily important role of the US Dollar in global finance.

    As an example, during the Great Financial Crisis Eurozone banks had about $2 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts–but close to zero Dollar-den0minated deposits. Eurozone central banks combined had only about $200 billion in Dollar reserves.

    How did they cope when their over-leveraged banks lost access to Dollar wholesale borrowing markets, just as American investment banks (and even some very creditworthy nonfinancial firms like McDonald’s) did? After all, being foreign banks they could not access the TARP funds provided by Congress.

    The Federal Reserve System revived a Bretton Woods era tool in the form of swap agreements. The FED provided Dollar credits to foreign central banks in exchange for them providing local currency credits in the Federal Reserve System. No full accounting of these arrangements was ever done, but it’s commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks. Swap lines were revived in this decade to deal with the “Taper Tantrum”, in particular to the Bank of Korea.

    It is noteworthy that swap lines to foreign central banks were first cleared by the State Department. Three countries, never named, applied for swap lines and were denied by Foggy Bottom. It is almost certain that Russia was one of these countries.

    Since the demise of Bretton Woods, many countries have attempted to gain financial sovereignty by running secular current account surpluses and building vast foreign reserves. This is insufficient, because private sector Dollar borrowing can exceed the state’s foreign reserves. Russia, South Korea, and even the PRC have stared down this gun barrel in this century.

    It’s a very hard problem and the only country which has come close to mastering it is Japan. Not only does Japan have very large foreign reserves, but Japan’s ultra-low interest rates and the secular upward pressure on the Yen mean that Japanese business rarely borrows abroad.

    The vast indebtedness of the Japanese state may actually be an asset in this department. The huge domestic pool of top-quality collateral means there is zero reason for Japanese finance to seek a “flight to safety” in the form of Treasuries.

    Japan quietly bailed out the emerging markets of Asia in 1998 and again in 2008. It even was instrumental in saving the Eurozone’s bacon in 2011 (despite the best efforts of Merkel and Schaubl to destroy it).

    • Replies: @utu
    "it’s commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks."

    Let's look at Japan. It has circa $5b per month trade surplus with the US. This is $60b per year. Japan imports about 160 milion kiloliters of oil per year. This is about 1 billion barrels. At $50 per barrel they can spend the surplus on oil.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    If it's not a secret, where and how did you get your deep understanding of the interplay between global finance and power?

    Was it small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years, or are there a few especially insightful books and articles on the topic?
  109. @neutral

    what did the Russkies ever do to harm the Polish people.
     
    Poland still exists, now compare this to places under (((US))) occupation (Germany, UK, France, etc) all these places are basically being ethnically cleansed of white people.

    This may simply be a consequence of the fact that Poland is poorer, and not so long ago was much poorer. No reason for vibrants to go there or stay (as Polish Perspective explained wrt the 90s-era program to import Chechens).

    Now that Poland is somewhat wealthy, Indians have started appearing in Polish cities. And the Polish government is discussing importing guest workers from the Philippines.

    US/Jewish/SJW/whatever influence is clearly negative, but it seems that the dominant threat to the survival of high-quality nationalities is simply global capitalism (and feminism, itself substantially an outgrowth of modern capitalism). Even Japan is now increasing its importation of foreign labor.

    Is any advanced country actually holding the line robustly? Does Hungary have guest workers?

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Gerard2

    (as Polish Perspective explained wrt the 90s-era program to import Chechens).
     
    That's just Polish kamikaze scumbags trying to annoy Russia - not any specific issue of immigration.
    First Chechen leader Dudayev even has a square named after him somewhere in Warsaw

    Indians have started appearing in Polish cities
     
    Almost exclusively either medical students, or using Poland as a backdoor into getting into the EU properly.

    Russia has numerous Indian/Sri Lankan medical students- anywhere - Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg you will find them .It makes sense they would try the same , in an obscure European country.


    US/Jewish/SJW/
     
    Poland is the biggest supporter of these values - it also single-handedly caused Brexit
  110. Anonymous[362] • Disclaimer says:

    >With Putin Russia is Finally Getting Proper Roads – The Progress is Impressive

    Oh my, I haven’t had such a good laugh in a while. Does the author realise that Russia builds as many km of roads in a year, as China does in a week? Or that Russia builds 3 to 4 times less roads per year than it used to in the 80s?
    Another fun fact: Poland has more expressways than Russia. What a joke

  111. @Anatoly Karlin
    I haven't been to the Volga cities so I can't say, but everyone says that Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively depressed city.

    You'd probably have more fun visiting Kazan.

    If you don't care about medieval history then as per above visiting V. Novgorod is pointless.

    but everyone says that Nizhny Novgorod is a relatively depressed city.

    Completely 100% incorrect? What filth are saying that.

    You’d probably have more fun visiting Kazan.

    Correct, well during the daytime, anyway

    Both Nizhny Novgorod and Kazan made excellent impressions during the world cup to foreign fans. Kazan shouldn’t be that much of a surprise as it is one of the major areas and cities, but NN gained alot of positive feedback.

    Places like Lvov, I should add ,were avoided like the plague during Euro 2012, as befits the ghost-town that it is

  112. @ Anatoly Karlin: When will you review Russian Road Trip Simulator 2019 aka Metro: Exodus?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I don't have a PC atm (gave it away to a relative; working from laptop connected to monitors via dock station), so not for some time, presumably.
  113. @Another German Reader
    @ Anatoly Karlin: When will you review Russian Road Trip Simulator 2019 aka Metro: Exodus?

    I don’t have a PC atm (gave it away to a relative; working from laptop connected to monitors via dock station), so not for some time, presumably.

  114. @Thorfinnsson
    Nukes are a necessary but insufficient prerequisite for sovereignty.

    The most important ingredient, of course, is willpower. See for instance Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.

    Beyond that the most important ingredient may be financial independence. This is extremely difficult owing to the extraordinarily important role of the US Dollar in global finance.

    As an example, during the Great Financial Crisis Eurozone banks had about $2 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts--but close to zero Dollar-den0minated deposits. Eurozone central banks combined had only about $200 billion in Dollar reserves.

    How did they cope when their over-leveraged banks lost access to Dollar wholesale borrowing markets, just as American investment banks (and even some very creditworthy nonfinancial firms like McDonald's) did? After all, being foreign banks they could not access the TARP funds provided by Congress.

    The Federal Reserve System revived a Bretton Woods era tool in the form of swap agreements. The FED provided Dollar credits to foreign central banks in exchange for them providing local currency credits in the Federal Reserve System. No full accounting of these arrangements was ever done, but it's commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks. Swap lines were revived in this decade to deal with the "Taper Tantrum", in particular to the Bank of Korea.

    It is noteworthy that swap lines to foreign central banks were first cleared by the State Department. Three countries, never named, applied for swap lines and were denied by Foggy Bottom. It is almost certain that Russia was one of these countries.

    Since the demise of Bretton Woods, many countries have attempted to gain financial sovereignty by running secular current account surpluses and building vast foreign reserves. This is insufficient, because private sector Dollar borrowing can exceed the state's foreign reserves. Russia, South Korea, and even the PRC have stared down this gun barrel in this century.

    It's a very hard problem and the only country which has come close to mastering it is Japan. Not only does Japan have very large foreign reserves, but Japan's ultra-low interest rates and the secular upward pressure on the Yen mean that Japanese business rarely borrows abroad.

    The vast indebtedness of the Japanese state may actually be an asset in this department. The huge domestic pool of top-quality collateral means there is zero reason for Japanese finance to seek a "flight to safety" in the form of Treasuries.

    Japan quietly bailed out the emerging markets of Asia in 1998 and again in 2008. It even was instrumental in saving the Eurozone's bacon in 2011 (despite the best efforts of Merkel and Schaubl to destroy it).

    “it’s commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks.”

    Let’s look at Japan. It has circa $5b per month trade surplus with the US. This is $60b per year. Japan imports about 160 milion kiloliters of oil per year. This is about 1 billion barrels. At $50 per barrel they can spend the surplus on oil.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    What is your point?

    I don't see how this has anything to do with what I posted.
  115. @Dmitry
    Likud politicians receive more votes from this behaviour in the election, so it's rational - and probably was quite intentional.

    In Israeli elections, there are so many different parties, that Likud will only need around 20% of the total vote, to win the election.

    For this they will need to target the nationalist rednecks, and try to shift to the more nationalist image before the election (then after the election, they shift to the centre politically).

    As a party of power, Likud is centrist politics. But rhetorically, Likud politicians are mostly like Zhirinovsky (but a more uncultured/uneducated version of him). If Zhirinovsky wants more votes near elections, he does not keep his mouth shut, but tries to shout more nationalistically to impress his base of voters.

    During the election, politically centre Israelis, will vote for Benny Gantz, not Likud. So Likud is going to compete for votes with the more nationalist politicians, so they will try to project a nationalist and Zhirinovsky image for the next couple of months.

    -

    Still the Poland cancelling conference wasn't considered an important story in the Israeli news (from YouTube you can see it was the last and most minor story they reported on main Israeli "Kan" - news channel).

    -

    By the way, from the election polls, Likud is going to win.

    Here are reported the polls:
    https://knessetjeremy.com/

    It’s about who can create a coalition after the elections rather than about who gets the most seats, correct? I know that, in 2009, Kadima got the most seats but Likud was able to form a coalition and thus secured the Premiership for itself. In 2009, right-wing parties controlled a majority (65 out of 120) of the seats in the Knesset even though the more liberal Kadima was (barely) the largest party in the Knesset (with 28 seats to Likud’s 27 in 2009).

    Interestingly enough, I think that, since 2010, Iraq uses a similar system to Israel’s.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    The important thing for the Israeli election is to be party who wins the most votes. This is because, the party with the most votes has the first opportunity to form the coalition government.

    Tzipi Livni in 2009 was the winner of the election, and she had the first opportunity to form the government. The problem was her negotiations failed to form a coalition government, so Netanyahu then had the second opportunity and could form the government.

    Interestingly, there's a possibility for Likud to lose this election, even though right-wing voters increase in Israel every year.

    If Benny Ganz joins Yesh Atid to create a single party, they may have more seats than the Likud. Then they will have the first opportunity to form the government (although it would be difficult for them to create a coalition government, without including right-wing parties).

    The right wing vote in Israel is also divided into so many different political parties, some which will not pass the threshold, and will therefore be "lost votes".

    What could also occur is the right-wing voters will panic before the election, and will vote for Likud instead of their preferred parties (so Likud would be cannibalizing the other right-wing parties).

    So a large proportion of the right-wing electorate consider Netanyahu as a liberal. But they might panic and vote for Likud anyway, instead of their favourites parties, if they think there is a chance the left/centre party could otherwise have more seats than Likud.

  116. @utu
    "it’s commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks."

    Let's look at Japan. It has circa $5b per month trade surplus with the US. This is $60b per year. Japan imports about 160 milion kiloliters of oil per year. This is about 1 billion barrels. At $50 per barrel they can spend the surplus on oil.

    What is your point?

    I don’t see how this has anything to do with what I posted.

    • Replies: @utu
    It was not BoJ that needed swaps with the Fed.
  117. Mr. Hack and AP will be delighted to know that I discovered some honest-to-God Ukrainian culture.

    The superb synthwave musician Earmark, real name Vitaly Chys, is from Kharkov.

    https://earmake.bandcamp.com

    The song The Mystery of Betelgeuse on his Cosmic Hero album is particularly good.

    • Replies: @Another German Reader
    I highly recommend this Synthwave Youtube-channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/NewRetroWave

    WARNING Highly addictive.
    , @AP
    Thank you. I see we have a similar taste in music.
    , @AP
    How do you like these Greek girls' music?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLuA6gEEeV4
    , @Mr. Hack
    I'll surely give it a listen. Back in the day, I think that what you label 'synthwave' music was just called 'electronic' music. I liked to listen to the pioneers of this type of music, groups like 'Synergy', Jean Michelle Jarre, Tangerine Dream. Somehow, I lost touch with this style of music, but am surely open minded enough to go back and revisit it. You probably know about Spotify where you can freely sample many artists' musical repertoire. I listen to it daily at work now. I'm glad to see that you're back in the saddle and enjoyed reading your recent insights about modern aircraft.
  118. @Thorfinnsson
    What is your point?

    I don't see how this has anything to do with what I posted.

    It was not BoJ that needed swaps with the Fed.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    This is true, but it is not related to Japan's monthly current account surplus (except over the very long run).

    In 2008 Germany ran a surplus with the USA of about $5bn per month.

    But German banks had $1 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts and nearly zero Dollar deposits. They were in the same situation as American investment banks (and shoddier commercial-in-name-only banks like Washington Mutual).

    Neither the Bundesbank nor the ECB had substantial Dollar reserves. The BuBa does have large gold reserves, but not large enough (and gold is relatively illiquid and volatile).

    The point is that a nation's private sector can easily borrow more than the central bank's official foreign reserves, even in states with large current account surpluses. As we discovered in the middle of this decade with the PRC, even capital controls aren't a sure guarantee.

    Japan avoided trouble in 07-08 for two major reasons:

    1 - Unlike South Korea or Russia, Japanese business never borrowed in Dollars to finance operations
    2 - Japanese banks had relatively small involvement in the American mortgage market unlike European banks

    If Japanese banks had involved themselves in American mortgage finance as much as European banks did, the bad debts could have been equal to or greater than the BoJ's entire foreign exchange reserves.

    Japan largely used its swap line to bail out emerging markets in Asia. The Bank of the Philippines for instance received over $50 billion in Dollar credits from the BoJ (the Riksbank played a similar role with the Baltic states).
  119. @utu
    It was not BoJ that needed swaps with the Fed.

    This is true, but it is not related to Japan’s monthly current account surplus (except over the very long run).

    In 2008 Germany ran a surplus with the USA of about $5bn per month.

    But German banks had $1 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts and nearly zero Dollar deposits. They were in the same situation as American investment banks (and shoddier commercial-in-name-only banks like Washington Mutual).

    Neither the Bundesbank nor the ECB had substantial Dollar reserves. The BuBa does have large gold reserves, but not large enough (and gold is relatively illiquid and volatile).

    The point is that a nation’s private sector can easily borrow more than the central bank’s official foreign reserves, even in states with large current account surpluses. As we discovered in the middle of this decade with the PRC, even capital controls aren’t a sure guarantee.

    Japan avoided trouble in 07-08 for two major reasons:

    1 – Unlike South Korea or Russia, Japanese business never borrowed in Dollars to finance operations
    2 – Japanese banks had relatively small involvement in the American mortgage market unlike European banks

    If Japanese banks had involved themselves in American mortgage finance as much as European banks did, the bad debts could have been equal to or greater than the BoJ’s entire foreign exchange reserves.

    Japan largely used its swap line to bail out emerging markets in Asia. The Bank of the Philippines for instance received over $50 billion in Dollar credits from the BoJ (the Riksbank played a similar role with the Baltic states).

  120. @Thorfinnsson
    Mr. Hack and AP will be delighted to know that I discovered some honest-to-God Ukrainian culture.

    The superb synthwave musician Earmark, real name Vitaly Chys, is from Kharkov.

    https://earmake.bandcamp.com

    The song The Mystery of Betelgeuse on his Cosmic Hero album is particularly good.

    I highly recommend this Synthwave Youtube-channel:

    https://www.youtube.com/user/NewRetroWave

    WARNING Highly addictive.

  121. @Thorfinnsson
    Nukes are a necessary but insufficient prerequisite for sovereignty.

    The most important ingredient, of course, is willpower. See for instance Iran, North Korea, and Cuba.

    Beyond that the most important ingredient may be financial independence. This is extremely difficult owing to the extraordinarily important role of the US Dollar in global finance.

    As an example, during the Great Financial Crisis Eurozone banks had about $2 trillion in Dollar-denominated debts--but close to zero Dollar-den0minated deposits. Eurozone central banks combined had only about $200 billion in Dollar reserves.

    How did they cope when their over-leveraged banks lost access to Dollar wholesale borrowing markets, just as American investment banks (and even some very creditworthy nonfinancial firms like McDonald's) did? After all, being foreign banks they could not access the TARP funds provided by Congress.

    The Federal Reserve System revived a Bretton Woods era tool in the form of swap agreements. The FED provided Dollar credits to foreign central banks in exchange for them providing local currency credits in the Federal Reserve System. No full accounting of these arrangements was ever done, but it's commonly believed that the FED provided over $2 trillion in swap lines to the ECB, the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank, the Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, and various other central banks. Swap lines were revived in this decade to deal with the "Taper Tantrum", in particular to the Bank of Korea.

    It is noteworthy that swap lines to foreign central banks were first cleared by the State Department. Three countries, never named, applied for swap lines and were denied by Foggy Bottom. It is almost certain that Russia was one of these countries.

    Since the demise of Bretton Woods, many countries have attempted to gain financial sovereignty by running secular current account surpluses and building vast foreign reserves. This is insufficient, because private sector Dollar borrowing can exceed the state's foreign reserves. Russia, South Korea, and even the PRC have stared down this gun barrel in this century.

    It's a very hard problem and the only country which has come close to mastering it is Japan. Not only does Japan have very large foreign reserves, but Japan's ultra-low interest rates and the secular upward pressure on the Yen mean that Japanese business rarely borrows abroad.

    The vast indebtedness of the Japanese state may actually be an asset in this department. The huge domestic pool of top-quality collateral means there is zero reason for Japanese finance to seek a "flight to safety" in the form of Treasuries.

    Japan quietly bailed out the emerging markets of Asia in 1998 and again in 2008. It even was instrumental in saving the Eurozone's bacon in 2011 (despite the best efforts of Merkel and Schaubl to destroy it).

    If it’s not a secret, where and how did you get your deep understanding of the interplay between global finance and power?

    Was it small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years, or are there a few especially insightful books and articles on the topic?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    It's primarily "small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years".

    I can specifically recommend Adam Tooze's recent book Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed, which I read shortly after reading Wages of Destruction on the strength of that book's quality. It goes into considerable detail about the FED's swap lines and the matter of overseas private sector Dollar borrowing.

    For an operational view of how markets function, a good resource is the American personal financial blogger Cullen Roche. His website is https://www.pragcap.com.

    Classics of financial writing like Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker are useful and entertaining as well.

    Niall Ferguson has a number of good and interesting financial history books, though his modern day prognostications are mostly worthless (e.g. around 2010 he was loudly denouncing Paul Krugman and predicting that hyperinflation and soaring interest rates were just around the corner).

    Beyond that the financial press, both in the US and Europe, has considerably higher standards than ordinary journalism. Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times all have good reporting in this area.

    You might want to ask Polish Perspective and Reiner Tor as well about this.
  122. @Anatoly Karlin
    If it's not a secret, where and how did you get your deep understanding of the interplay between global finance and power?

    Was it small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years, or are there a few especially insightful books and articles on the topic?

    It’s primarily “small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years”.

    I can specifically recommend Adam Tooze’s recent book Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed, which I read shortly after reading Wages of Destruction on the strength of that book’s quality. It goes into considerable detail about the FED’s swap lines and the matter of overseas private sector Dollar borrowing.

    For an operational view of how markets function, a good resource is the American personal financial blogger Cullen Roche. His website is https://www.pragcap.com.

    Classics of financial writing like Michael Lewis’ Liar’s Poker are useful and entertaining as well.

    Niall Ferguson has a number of good and interesting financial history books, though his modern day prognostications are mostly worthless (e.g. around 2010 he was loudly denouncing Paul Krugman and predicting that hyperinflation and soaring interest rates were just around the corner).

    Beyond that the financial press, both in the US and Europe, has considerably higher standards than ordinary journalism. Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times all have good reporting in this area.

    You might want to ask Polish Perspective and Reiner Tor as well about this.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks.

    I read Wages ages ago, when you wrote your review of it, I looked to see if Tooze had written anything newer and downloaded Crashed. I'll probably start with that.
    , @Yevardian
    Has anyone else read Karl Polanyi's "The Great Transformation"?
    Reiner Tor perhaps? One of the (very) few true classics of the Economics genre.
  123. @Thorfinnsson
    It's primarily "small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years".

    I can specifically recommend Adam Tooze's recent book Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed, which I read shortly after reading Wages of Destruction on the strength of that book's quality. It goes into considerable detail about the FED's swap lines and the matter of overseas private sector Dollar borrowing.

    For an operational view of how markets function, a good resource is the American personal financial blogger Cullen Roche. His website is https://www.pragcap.com.

    Classics of financial writing like Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker are useful and entertaining as well.

    Niall Ferguson has a number of good and interesting financial history books, though his modern day prognostications are mostly worthless (e.g. around 2010 he was loudly denouncing Paul Krugman and predicting that hyperinflation and soaring interest rates were just around the corner).

    Beyond that the financial press, both in the US and Europe, has considerably higher standards than ordinary journalism. Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times all have good reporting in this area.

    You might want to ask Polish Perspective and Reiner Tor as well about this.

    Thanks.

    I read Wages ages ago, when you wrote your review of it, I looked to see if Tooze had written anything newer and downloaded Crashed. I’ll probably start with that.

  124. @Mr. XYZ
    It's about who can create a coalition after the elections rather than about who gets the most seats, correct? I know that, in 2009, Kadima got the most seats but Likud was able to form a coalition and thus secured the Premiership for itself. In 2009, right-wing parties controlled a majority (65 out of 120) of the seats in the Knesset even though the more liberal Kadima was (barely) the largest party in the Knesset (with 28 seats to Likud's 27 in 2009).

    Interestingly enough, I think that, since 2010, Iraq uses a similar system to Israel's.

    The important thing for the Israeli election is to be party who wins the most votes. This is because, the party with the most votes has the first opportunity to form the coalition government.

    Tzipi Livni in 2009 was the winner of the election, and she had the first opportunity to form the government. The problem was her negotiations failed to form a coalition government, so Netanyahu then had the second opportunity and could form the government.

    Interestingly, there’s a possibility for Likud to lose this election, even though right-wing voters increase in Israel every year.

    If Benny Ganz joins Yesh Atid to create a single party, they may have more seats than the Likud. Then they will have the first opportunity to form the government (although it would be difficult for them to create a coalition government, without including right-wing parties).

    The right wing vote in Israel is also divided into so many different political parties, some which will not pass the threshold, and will therefore be “lost votes”.

    What could also occur is the right-wing voters will panic before the election, and will vote for Likud instead of their preferred parties (so Likud would be cannibalizing the other right-wing parties).

    So a large proportion of the right-wing electorate consider Netanyahu as a liberal. But they might panic and vote for Likud anyway, instead of their favourites parties, if they think there is a chance the left/centre party could otherwise have more seats than Likud.

    • Replies: @Yevardian
    Is that ogre Naftali Bennet still a rising star in Israeli politics, or has he began his slide into irrelevance like Lieberman?
  125. @Thorfinnsson
    Mr. Hack and AP will be delighted to know that I discovered some honest-to-God Ukrainian culture.

    The superb synthwave musician Earmark, real name Vitaly Chys, is from Kharkov.

    https://earmake.bandcamp.com

    The song The Mystery of Betelgeuse on his Cosmic Hero album is particularly good.

    Thank you. I see we have a similar taste in music.

  126. @Thorfinnsson
    The roots of this might lie in earlier policy decisions.

    Taiwan made the decision to provide substantial support to SMEs early in its development. For a time, this was quite successful. During the 1970s for instance Taiwan clocked 13% annual growth rates. The first recognizable forms of "outsourcing" were ideally suited to this industrial structure. IBM outsourced wire harnesses to Taiwan already in the late 1960s for instance.

    South Korea instead has its chaebols--gigantic conglomerates. The South Korean government chose to partner with the chaebols and emphasize their development. Large firms typically have much more capital invested per worker and spend more on R&D and marketing.

    See data from this delightful web 1.0 page I found: http://econc10.bu.edu/economic_systems/Country_comparisons/Taiwan_South_Korea.htm


    The major differences in South Korea’s and Taiwan’s economic conditions is how South Korea is a big business economy and Taiwan is a small-medium enterprise economy. There are three indicators in determining this conclusion:

    1) the production totals of large-scale firms (over 500 employees) as a percentage of national production was 45.3% for South Korea and only 26.8% in Taiwan in 1993.

    2) The total sales of corporations in the top 5, 10, and 50 listings as a percentage of GNP was 47.6%, 58.8% and 79.9%(1991) for the South Korean economy, while the numbers were much lower at 17.8%, 23.2% and 36.4% (1990) in Taiwan’s case.

    3) Exports of small and medium enterprises as a percentage of total exports, was 37.7% for South Korea and 67.1% for Taiwan in 1987. [9]
     
    These figures are from long before South Korean firms were global leaders (outside of shipbuilding and steel anyway), and this was also before South Korea diverged from Taiwan. In fact, Taiwan was wealthier than South Korea in the late 20th century. Perhaps because its SME-focused development did a better job of mobilizing peasants into the formal sector in the early phase of industrialization:

    In 2000, GDP per head in USD in Taiwan is $13,900 and $9,670 in South Korea.[16]
     
    In the early takeoff phase for both countries, the distinction probably did not make a great difference. Both were rapidly industrializing. But as both exhausted catchup industrialization and needed to push the bleeding edge of the technological frontier, South Korea's huge conglomerates were much better positioned to do so.

    State support programs differed early on.

    Taiwan's government focused on providing low cost inputs to SMEs. From memory there was a government program to provide low cost electrical steel and magnetic wire to transformer manufacturers for instance. Transformer manufacturing is low technology and low productivity and always disrupted by new low cost producers.

    South Korea instead formed Pohang Iron & Steel Corporation (the application for a World Bank Loan was rejected, which led to Japan quietly financing and providing the technology for the project) and launched its Heavy Chemical Industry drive with the goal of completing a modern, high tech heavy industrial base to provided advanced, low cost intermediate industrial products throughout the economy.

    The countries even pursued some similar technology policies in the 1980s. In 1980 the South Korean government ordered Samsung to enter the semiconductor manufacturing industry. In the same year Taiwan established Hsinchu Science Park on the model of Silicon Valley, which ultimately led to TSMC and UMC.

    But while today Samsung is the world's largest semiconductor manufacturer and has substantial microprocessor design expertise which has surpassed Japan, the Taiwanese firms are mere foundries which are completely dependent on foreign designs.

    In general one is hard pressed to think of truly rich countries which do not have large, globally competitive firms possessing the most advanced technology (and this also applies to services, not just manufacturing). The big exception here would be Australia, which is easily explained by its large amount of natural resources per head and the vast amounts of foreign capital invested over the past 150 years. This is good to remember whenever people start endlessly praising the supposed glories of small business.

    Incidentally, I am somewhat skeptical about the economies of Eastern Europe for this reason. Visegrad and the Baltic States etc. are mere appendages of Western European capital. I don't see a path for them to fully converge with Western Europe barring Western Europe's Afro-Islamization dragging their average down (admittedly a depressingly probable outcome).

    Very good analysis, except this one:

    South Korea instead formed Pohang Iron & Steel Corporation (the application for a World Bank Loan was rejected, which led to Japan quietly financing and providing the technology for the project)

    That “financing” wasn’t so quiet. General/President Park Chung-Hee, then the dictator of South Korea, normalized relations with Japan against enormous and cantankerous domestic opposition and secured compensation, which he then directed toward industrialization, rather than to individual victims of colonization.

    Sometimes dictatorships have advantages.

  127. @Thorfinnsson
    Mr. Hack and AP will be delighted to know that I discovered some honest-to-God Ukrainian culture.

    The superb synthwave musician Earmark, real name Vitaly Chys, is from Kharkov.

    https://earmake.bandcamp.com

    The song The Mystery of Betelgeuse on his Cosmic Hero album is particularly good.

    How do you like these Greek girls’ music?

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Yes, this is good. And also new to me, so thank you.

    Other good synthwave stuff I've found recently includes Lazerhawk, Aerds, Starforce, and Dynatron.
  128. @Thorfinnsson
    It's primarily "small tidbits and continuous study picked up over the years".

    I can specifically recommend Adam Tooze's recent book Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed, which I read shortly after reading Wages of Destruction on the strength of that book's quality. It goes into considerable detail about the FED's swap lines and the matter of overseas private sector Dollar borrowing.

    For an operational view of how markets function, a good resource is the American personal financial blogger Cullen Roche. His website is https://www.pragcap.com.

    Classics of financial writing like Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker are useful and entertaining as well.

    Niall Ferguson has a number of good and interesting financial history books, though his modern day prognostications are mostly worthless (e.g. around 2010 he was loudly denouncing Paul Krugman and predicting that hyperinflation and soaring interest rates were just around the corner).

    Beyond that the financial press, both in the US and Europe, has considerably higher standards than ordinary journalism. Bloomberg, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, and the Financial Times all have good reporting in this area.

    You might want to ask Polish Perspective and Reiner Tor as well about this.

    Has anyone else read Karl Polanyi’s “The Great Transformation“?
    Reiner Tor perhaps? One of the (very) few true classics of the Economics genre.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I read it. It seemed to offer reasonably good insights into the destructive aspects of market economics, especially on traditional societies.

    Some interesting anecdotes on traditional societies that may not have had markets as we understand them at all, e.g. the Pacific islanders who apparently managed to set up a genuine gift economy. Which seems remarkable, if accurate. (The book was written in 1944 and there has been much more historical research since then. I wonder what current expert opinion on that topic is).

    There is obviously some value in it but taking it is a "refutation" of capitalism or markets (esp. wrt the modern era) as some do is bizarre.
  129. @Dmitry
    The important thing for the Israeli election is to be party who wins the most votes. This is because, the party with the most votes has the first opportunity to form the coalition government.

    Tzipi Livni in 2009 was the winner of the election, and she had the first opportunity to form the government. The problem was her negotiations failed to form a coalition government, so Netanyahu then had the second opportunity and could form the government.

    Interestingly, there's a possibility for Likud to lose this election, even though right-wing voters increase in Israel every year.

    If Benny Ganz joins Yesh Atid to create a single party, they may have more seats than the Likud. Then they will have the first opportunity to form the government (although it would be difficult for them to create a coalition government, without including right-wing parties).

    The right wing vote in Israel is also divided into so many different political parties, some which will not pass the threshold, and will therefore be "lost votes".

    What could also occur is the right-wing voters will panic before the election, and will vote for Likud instead of their preferred parties (so Likud would be cannibalizing the other right-wing parties).

    So a large proportion of the right-wing electorate consider Netanyahu as a liberal. But they might panic and vote for Likud anyway, instead of their favourites parties, if they think there is a chance the left/centre party could otherwise have more seats than Likud.

    Is that ogre Naftali Bennet still a rising star in Israeli politics, or has he began his slide into irrelevance like Lieberman?

    • Replies: @Dmitry

    Naftali Bennet
     
    He is the Education Minister. If you look at his positives and negatives.

    Positives:
    1. He doubled the number of Israeli students studying advanced mathematics.
    2. Was the only party leading Israeli politician to reject deal naturalizing illegal immigrants from Africa.

    Negatives:
    1. Want to annex Area C of West Bank by giving Israeli citizenship to around 100,000 Palestinians (often from radicalized areas which hate Israel).

    -

    In most Western countries, he would be great politician: he supports liberal economy with focus on scientific education, and yet opposes illegal immigration.

    The problem is a plan for annex Area C and including 100,000 extra Palestinians into Israel.

    Also, it can be added to the negatives, that he is religious, and may not fully respect a boundary between Church and State within Israel.


    irrelevance like Lieberman

     

    Lieberman is the only politician in Israel with a realistic plan that could resolve, or significantly reduce,the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieberman_Plan

    The problem with Lieberman is that he is a typical politician from the post-Soviet space. His NDI party was accepting bribes.
    https://www.bbc.com/russian/international/2014/12/141229_israel_corruption_scandal


    --

    Moreover, if you read about them - you can see there is a comical lack of spatial awareness.

    Anastasia Michaeli, for example, seems to think in 2012 that she was in Russia - and had perfect timing of comments about gay people, just when Israel has the opposite culture for gays.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastassia_Michaeli#Statements_on_gay_and_lesbian_people

  130. @Yevardian
    Has anyone else read Karl Polanyi's "The Great Transformation"?
    Reiner Tor perhaps? One of the (very) few true classics of the Economics genre.

    I read it. It seemed to offer reasonably good insights into the destructive aspects of market economics, especially on traditional societies.

    Some interesting anecdotes on traditional societies that may not have had markets as we understand them at all, e.g. the Pacific islanders who apparently managed to set up a genuine gift economy. Which seems remarkable, if accurate. (The book was written in 1944 and there has been much more historical research since then. I wonder what current expert opinion on that topic is).

    There is obviously some value in it but taking it is a “refutation” of capitalism or markets (esp. wrt the modern era) as some do is bizarre.

    • Replies: @songbird
    Many times I have heard the term "theft economy" to describe the system that existed in the Pacific at the time of contact. Magellen's crew gave the name Islas de los Ladrones to what later became the Marianas (and Guam.) And it seems to fit the descriptions of many early encounters.

    Still, the term is ironic when compared to the current globalist system, which really is an economy of theft. Better to be swarmed by people trying to grab some of your movable goods and run for it than your cities and countryside.
  131. • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Taras Kuzio’s fellow travelers get a debunking:
     
    Three comments from you? Another night of restful sleep, I'm sure Mickey - you're my hero, a real superstar (Putler's samovar polisher*). :-)

    *for all of your PR work for Putler, you'd think tha somebody from his marketing department would have already awarded you with some airline tickets and a 2 week stay in one of Moscow's better hotels?...you work for free?

  132. @Thorfinnsson
    Mr. Hack and AP will be delighted to know that I discovered some honest-to-God Ukrainian culture.

    The superb synthwave musician Earmark, real name Vitaly Chys, is from Kharkov.

    https://earmake.bandcamp.com

    The song The Mystery of Betelgeuse on his Cosmic Hero album is particularly good.

    I’ll surely give it a listen. Back in the day, I think that what you label ‘synthwave’ music was just called ‘electronic’ music. I liked to listen to the pioneers of this type of music, groups like ‘Synergy’, Jean Michelle Jarre, Tangerine Dream. Somehow, I lost touch with this style of music, but am surely open minded enough to go back and revisit it. You probably know about Spotify where you can freely sample many artists’ musical repertoire. I listen to it daily at work now. I’m glad to see that you’re back in the saddle and enjoyed reading your recent insights about modern aircraft.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Contemporary synthwave shares a lot of features with classical electronica, but it's also a reimagination of New Wave. Lazerhawk's best song for instance, Dream Machine, owes a lot to New Order's legendary Blue Monday. There is also synthwave with lyrics.

    The new right-wing Euro-American youth culture has a modest obsession with aesthetics, especially that of the 1980s. There's also the "vaporwave" art movement which emerged at the beginning of this decade.

    That's not to say that most synthwave is right-wing anymore than most heavy metal is right-wing. But just as heavy metal has subgenres like national socialist black metal (not recommending this--it's awful like most other 21st century metal) synthwave has "Hitlerwave" and "fashwave".
  133. @Yevardian
    Is that ogre Naftali Bennet still a rising star in Israeli politics, or has he began his slide into irrelevance like Lieberman?

    Naftali Bennet

    He is the Education Minister. If you look at his positives and negatives.

    Positives:
    1. He doubled the number of Israeli students studying advanced mathematics.
    2. Was the only party leading Israeli politician to reject deal naturalizing illegal immigrants from Africa.

    Negatives:
    1. Want to annex Area C of West Bank by giving Israeli citizenship to around 100,000 Palestinians (often from radicalized areas which hate Israel).

    In most Western countries, he would be great politician: he supports liberal economy with focus on scientific education, and yet opposes illegal immigration.

    The problem is a plan for annex Area C and including 100,000 extra Palestinians into Israel.

    Also, it can be added to the negatives, that he is religious, and may not fully respect a boundary between Church and State within Israel.

    irrelevance like Lieberman

    Lieberman is the only politician in Israel with a realistic plan that could resolve, or significantly reduce,the Israel-Palestine conflict.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieberman_Plan

    The problem with Lieberman is that he is a typical politician from the post-Soviet space. His NDI party was accepting bribes.
    https://www.bbc.com/russian/international/2014/12/141229_israel_corruption_scandal

    Moreover, if you read about them – you can see there is a comical lack of spatial awareness.

    Anastasia Michaeli, for example, seems to think in 2012 that she was in Russia – and had perfect timing of comments about gay people, just when Israel has the opposite culture for gays.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anastassia_Michaeli#Statements_on_gay_and_lesbian_people

  134. @Thorfinnsson
    This may simply be a consequence of the fact that Poland is poorer, and not so long ago was much poorer. No reason for vibrants to go there or stay (as Polish Perspective explained wrt the 90s-era program to import Chechens).

    Now that Poland is somewhat wealthy, Indians have started appearing in Polish cities. And the Polish government is discussing importing guest workers from the Philippines.

    US/Jewish/SJW/whatever influence is clearly negative, but it seems that the dominant threat to the survival of high-quality nationalities is simply global capitalism (and feminism, itself substantially an outgrowth of modern capitalism). Even Japan is now increasing its importation of foreign labor.

    Is any advanced country actually holding the line robustly? Does Hungary have guest workers?

    (as Polish Perspective explained wrt the 90s-era program to import Chechens).

    That’s just Polish kamikaze scumbags trying to annoy Russia – not any specific issue of immigration.
    First Chechen leader Dudayev even has a square named after him somewhere in Warsaw

    Indians have started appearing in Polish cities

    Almost exclusively either medical students, or using Poland as a backdoor into getting into the EU properly.

    Russia has numerous Indian/Sri Lankan medical students- anywhere – Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg you will find them .It makes sense they would try the same , in an obscure European country.

    US/Jewish/SJW/

    Poland is the biggest supporter of these values – it also single-handedly caused Brexit

  135. @Mikhail
    Nice picture of Poroshenko:

    https://www.fondsk.ru/images/myfls/2019/ds20021902.jpg

    C/o:

    https://www.fondsk.ru/news/2019/02/21/uniatskaja-sluzhba-v-sofii-kievskoj-47647.html

    --------------------------

    Taras Kuzio's fellow travelers get a debunking:

    https://www.eurasiareview.com/19022019-putting-the-new-cold-war-and-russia-bashing-into-proper-perspective-oped/#comments

    Taras Kuzio’s fellow travelers get a debunking:

    Three comments from you? Another night of restful sleep, I’m sure Mickey – you’re my hero, a real superstar (Putler’s samovar polisher*). 🙂

    *for all of your PR work for Putler, you’d think tha somebody from his marketing department would have already awarded you with some airline tickets and a 2 week stay in one of Moscow’s better hotels?…you work for free?

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Like Kuzio, you comeback with empty calories, as in not dealing with the actual subject matter. As previously noted, your end note concerns the matter of cronyism - something brought up by others.

    In all likelihood, you work for a noticeably cheaper rate than yours truly.
  136. @Anatoly Karlin
    I read it. It seemed to offer reasonably good insights into the destructive aspects of market economics, especially on traditional societies.

    Some interesting anecdotes on traditional societies that may not have had markets as we understand them at all, e.g. the Pacific islanders who apparently managed to set up a genuine gift economy. Which seems remarkable, if accurate. (The book was written in 1944 and there has been much more historical research since then. I wonder what current expert opinion on that topic is).

    There is obviously some value in it but taking it is a "refutation" of capitalism or markets (esp. wrt the modern era) as some do is bizarre.

    Many times I have heard the term “theft economy” to describe the system that existed in the Pacific at the time of contact. Magellen’s crew gave the name Islas de los Ladrones to what later became the Marianas (and Guam.) And it seems to fit the descriptions of many early encounters.

    Still, the term is ironic when compared to the current globalist system, which really is an economy of theft. Better to be swarmed by people trying to grab some of your movable goods and run for it than your cities and countryside.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  137. The US Air Force is determined to buy 80 new F-15X fighter jets. That points to a lack of confidence in the F-35’s abilities.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-21/air-force-requests-billions-f-15x-fighters-about-f-35

    Here they claim that it’s some obscure push by some higher-ups without any good reason (perhaps due to corruption or incompetence?)

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters-what-about-f-35-45152

    However, here they say Israel might also be considering the same:

    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Air-Force-to-purchase-advanced-F-15X-fighter-jets-from-Boeing-581213

    Here they are talking about the ability to carry hypersonic missiles:

    https://thenewsrep.com/114295/hypersonic-missiles-may-be-why-the-air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters/

    I think it’s just bad for the F-35, at least in an air superiority role, which admittedly it wasn’t designed for, but still.

    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Good decision, but inadequate.

    Realistically completely new fighters are required. Lockheed Martin has proposed an F-22 with F-35 avionics, which would amount to a new aircraft anyway (and the F-22's 1980s materials technology is hopelessly maintenance intensive).

    It might not be a bad idea to pursue an industrial partnership with Japan. Japan has similar operational requirements for an air superiority fighter (other than nuclear strike) and advanced industrial capabilities. The US and Japanese aerospace industries are also tightly integrated.

    This also has a commercial benefit in preventing the emergence of another competitor (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) in the international fighter market.

    F-16 procurement as an additional stopgap solution isn't a bad idea either. It's still in production, cheap, and remains competitive in WVR combat.

    , @Dmitry

    The US Air Force is determined to buy 80 new F-15X fighter jets. That points to a lack of confidence in the F-35’s abilities.

     

    Interesting story - it is obviously an intelligent decision that will attract Trump.

    If F-15 is more cheap to use and can hold more bombs. Moreover, they can reintroduce technology from the fifth generation aircraft to the fourth generation aircraft, which how the story is advertised.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaK_uSeCJgg


    However, here they say Israel might also be considering the same:

     

    They will need the plane to hold the heavier bombs (like heavy bunker busting bombs), which F-35 cannot, and also they needs to carry them a longer range (for example, if they want to threaten to Iran) - and F-15E has highest range of any of this kind of plane.

    Middle Eastern people all live relatively close to each other, so they do not have any real bomber aircraft.

    But F-15E is the closest any of the Middle Eastern peoples like Israel (and Saudi) have to a real bomber aircraft. So F-15E is for Israel, to have the equivalent role of Tu-160 or B-1 bomber.


    Israel as all Middle Easterners, do not have anything like

    https://i.imgur.com/dxA7Y6T.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/uSBt2qk.jpg


    So if they want to carry large bombs, they only have F-15E as their option.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-28

    So F-15E is indispensable and this was quite predictable from their position (although not for the US Air Force).

  138. @Mr. Hack

    Taras Kuzio’s fellow travelers get a debunking:
     
    Three comments from you? Another night of restful sleep, I'm sure Mickey - you're my hero, a real superstar (Putler's samovar polisher*). :-)

    *for all of your PR work for Putler, you'd think tha somebody from his marketing department would have already awarded you with some airline tickets and a 2 week stay in one of Moscow's better hotels?...you work for free?

    Like Kuzio, you comeback with empty calories, as in not dealing with the actual subject matter. As previously noted, your end note concerns the matter of cronyism – something brought up by others.

    In all likelihood, you work for a noticeably cheaper rate than yours truly.

  139. @AP
    How do you like these Greek girls' music?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLuA6gEEeV4

    Yes, this is good. And also new to me, so thank you.

    Other good synthwave stuff I’ve found recently includes Lazerhawk, Aerds, Starforce, and Dynatron.

  140. @Mr. Hack
    I'll surely give it a listen. Back in the day, I think that what you label 'synthwave' music was just called 'electronic' music. I liked to listen to the pioneers of this type of music, groups like 'Synergy', Jean Michelle Jarre, Tangerine Dream. Somehow, I lost touch with this style of music, but am surely open minded enough to go back and revisit it. You probably know about Spotify where you can freely sample many artists' musical repertoire. I listen to it daily at work now. I'm glad to see that you're back in the saddle and enjoyed reading your recent insights about modern aircraft.

    Contemporary synthwave shares a lot of features with classical electronica, but it’s also a reimagination of New Wave. Lazerhawk’s best song for instance, Dream Machine, owes a lot to New Order’s legendary Blue Monday. There is also synthwave with lyrics.

    The new right-wing Euro-American youth culture has a modest obsession with aesthetics, especially that of the 1980s. There’s also the “vaporwave” art movement which emerged at the beginning of this decade.

    That’s not to say that most synthwave is right-wing anymore than most heavy metal is right-wing. But just as heavy metal has subgenres like national socialist black metal (not recommending this–it’s awful like most other 21st century metal) synthwave has “Hitlerwave” and “fashwave”.

  141. @reiner Tor
    The US Air Force is determined to buy 80 new F-15X fighter jets. That points to a lack of confidence in the F-35's abilities.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-21/air-force-requests-billions-f-15x-fighters-about-f-35

    Here they claim that it's some obscure push by some higher-ups without any good reason (perhaps due to corruption or incompetence?)

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters-what-about-f-35-45152

    However, here they say Israel might also be considering the same:

    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Air-Force-to-purchase-advanced-F-15X-fighter-jets-from-Boeing-581213

    Here they are talking about the ability to carry hypersonic missiles:

    https://thenewsrep.com/114295/hypersonic-missiles-may-be-why-the-air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters/

    I think it's just bad for the F-35, at least in an air superiority role, which admittedly it wasn't designed for, but still.

    Good decision, but inadequate.

    Realistically completely new fighters are required. Lockheed Martin has proposed an F-22 with F-35 avionics, which would amount to a new aircraft anyway (and the F-22’s 1980s materials technology is hopelessly maintenance intensive).

    It might not be a bad idea to pursue an industrial partnership with Japan. Japan has similar operational requirements for an air superiority fighter (other than nuclear strike) and advanced industrial capabilities. The US and Japanese aerospace industries are also tightly integrated.

    This also has a commercial benefit in preventing the emergence of another competitor (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries) in the international fighter market.

    F-16 procurement as an additional stopgap solution isn’t a bad idea either. It’s still in production, cheap, and remains competitive in WVR combat.

  142. Anatoly, Would an update on the DNR be possible. It seems as though Russian citizens now run things; a display of photographs of dead “rebels” has been removed, actual locals have moved to Moscow, the new Russian governor avoids cameras etc etc.

  143. @reiner Tor
    The US Air Force is determined to buy 80 new F-15X fighter jets. That points to a lack of confidence in the F-35's abilities.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-02-21/air-force-requests-billions-f-15x-fighters-about-f-35

    Here they claim that it's some obscure push by some higher-ups without any good reason (perhaps due to corruption or incompetence?)

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters-what-about-f-35-45152

    However, here they say Israel might also be considering the same:

    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/US-Air-Force-to-purchase-advanced-F-15X-fighter-jets-from-Boeing-581213

    Here they are talking about the ability to carry hypersonic missiles:

    https://thenewsrep.com/114295/hypersonic-missiles-may-be-why-the-air-force-wants-80-new-f-15x-fighters/

    I think it's just bad for the F-35, at least in an air superiority role, which admittedly it wasn't designed for, but still.

    The US Air Force is determined to buy 80 new F-15X fighter jets. That points to a lack of confidence in the F-35’s abilities.

    Interesting story – it is obviously an intelligent decision that will attract Trump.

    If F-15 is more cheap to use and can hold more bombs. Moreover, they can reintroduce technology from the fifth generation aircraft to the fourth generation aircraft, which how the story is advertised.

    However, here they say Israel might also be considering the same:

    They will need the plane to hold the heavier bombs (like heavy bunker busting bombs), which F-35 cannot, and also they needs to carry them a longer range (for example, if they want to threaten to Iran) – and F-15E has highest range of any of this kind of plane.

    Middle Eastern people all live relatively close to each other, so they do not have any real bomber aircraft.

    But F-15E is the closest any of the Middle Eastern peoples like Israel (and Saudi) have to a real bomber aircraft. So F-15E is for Israel, to have the equivalent role of Tu-160 or B-1 bomber.

    Israel as all Middle Easterners, do not have anything like

    So if they want to carry large bombs, they only have F-15E as their option.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-28

    So F-15E is indispensable and this was quite predictable from their position (although not for the US Air Force).

  144. @AquariusAnon
    I think this is a decent article for the most part, except maybe for ruling the world.

    Russia seems to *really* want China on its side, but what China doesn't want are Russia's enemies as its own enemies. If a formal EU/NATO-style Sino-Russian economic and military alliance bloc emerges, first of all China will have to kiss goodbye to building strong ties with Russophobic countries in Eastern Europe. A likelier chance won't be CEE switching to the Russo-Chinese camp, but China overnight losing all of its economic ties and political relations with CEE, and losing the huge, lucrative European market.

    And on the US, China doesn't think, rightfully, that its anywhere near a zero-sum Cold War. Upper level contacts happen on a very continuous basis, trust between the officials on both sides remain high, the sheer amount of economic and people-to-people relations between China and the US is one of the highest, if not the highest in terms of sheer numbers, between any 2 countries in the world. You can't call this a Cold War when these dynamics are still in place.

    A Sino-Russian EU/NATO like alliance will destroy whatever relationships and trust they have with the US, and this will send huge shockwaves into the Chinese economy like never before.

    From a Chinese perspective, a Sino-Russian alliance is something that can be activated any time, but it doesn't want to activate it itself per Russian requests, but only if the US pushes China into a corner, which has a good chance of not even happening.

    Where are you getting this high level of personal trust between China and the US? It seems like the exact opposite. China is regarded as an amoral thief and cheater, and the US is regarded as an imperialist trying to contain China.

  145. Personal review of Wandering Earth: Triple A movie by Chinese standards, B movie by Hollywood standards. It’s a sign of improvement though.

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