Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by luiz, Jan 15, 2015.
The west could never go to war with China, most of our economy depends on all the stuff they make.
you dont even need to have taste for exotic things to do damage.
As they gain more purchasing power theyre gonna demand more stuff. True that may come in form of killing exotic rare animals for traditional medicine or whatever, but most of the damage is most likely gonna come from more everyday/mundane choices like billion chinese people ordering beef lo mein over pork lo mein etc.
Good point, both of those involved miscalculations about escalation.
China seems very concerned with not creating conflicts that might escalate to a war. There seem to be only two potential locations for that to happen: Taiwan (going independent) or North Korea (war for whatever reason).
Not really. As things stand today the war economy would not be affected at all, and in a couple of years the civilian economy could rebuilt its supply chains where necessary. Longer, actually, because such a war would take more than two years. Let's hope it doesn't happen...
Scratch out North Korea on that one. Over the past decade or so China has done a complete 180 on their stance towards North Korea. In an effort to strengthen ties with their biggest economic partners, the Chinese government has, for all practical purposes, abandoned their alliance with North Korea.
Taiwan I don't know about. I would like to think China isn't stupid enough to press the issue to the point it comes to blows with another major power/coalition of powers, but you never know. I think they might use it as a bargaining chip. They'll wait until we really need something from them and then say they'll give it to us in exchange for turning a blind eye to them taking Taiwan.
China still believes that Taiwan is a rebel province. Most countries back that assertion to a point. As a practical matter, China cannot invade. Until that changes, it will remain an academic exercise.
We'll see who has the biggest economy when the USA reaches 1 billion people in another 100 years.
Also, who knew Nigeria had 173 million people in 2014?
And is projected to have 400 million in 2050? (More than the USA)
It's only 1/3rd bigger than Texas.
You know, in 100 years, we could be in space, or worst case scenario, hoping that the Vault we're currently inhabiting is a control one and not a mad experiment.
I've read that Chinese measures of GDP are highly suspect because they are notoriously prone to overstatement and a number of...unusual bookkeeping practices (such as calculating debt as part of GDP, and the interesting case of China suddenly growing a new, very prosperous province.) Also, while purchasing power parity is interesting for raising the GDP of developing countries and lowering the GDP of most developed countries, China is still far below the US in terms of nominal GDP, and will probably not catch up till 2030 or so.
Of course, we have to keep in mind that since China's population is almost five times larger than that of the US, then it would take some massive catastrophe to prevent them from overtaking the US at some point. So barring an unprecedented cataclysm, China definitely will overtake the US sooner or later, in nominal as well as PPP GDP. And so what? It doesn't matter as much as some people think. Even if China's economy were the same size as the US economy in nominal terms, the average Chinese would still be five times poorer than the average American. The US would also still maintain its technological and military lead even if the Chinese managed to reach gross economic parity. Why do you think the Chinese are busily trying to steal as much technology from the US as they can?
In any case, America-bashers expecting the US to be upstaged and cast down and a glorious era of Chinese oppression benevolent leadership to begin are likely to be disappointed. China's economy has problems, a lot of problems. Growth has slowed to 7% per annum, and with a per capita income of $6000, China is still far from being a developed country. The years of double-digit economic growth are in the past. China's population will soon begin to decline and once the last generation to be born before the one-child policy reaches retirement age, China will face a massive shrinkage in the work force and an unprecedented demographic crisis - one child having to take care of two parents and four grandparents. And then there's the obscene pollution problem, the ghost cities, the rapidly rising income inequality, and China's increasing public debt (oh the irony), just to name a few. It was never sustainable from the beginning. Even if predictions of a coming Chinese collapse are exaggerated, it's likely that China will instead stagnate at middle-income level. I expect that after a few decades of being the world's largest economy, China will itself be overtaken by India.
Now, this probably wouldn't matter as much if China had spent its boom years building up a coalition of states friendly to itself that could act as an opposing force to the US. Instead, China spent the time aggravating its neighbors with ridiculous and arrogant territorial claims while exploiting the poorest countries in Africa. Wrong move. And don't give me the drivel about "but a lot of countries like China!" Some smaller and usually poorer countries (or at least their mostly undemocratic governments) "like" China for purely economic reasons. There's no genuine feeling of friendship. There is no knowledge of, let alone fondness for, Chinese culture (note that Chinese pop culture is virtually unheard of outside China). These countries are just in it for the money, which is only fair, since China is just using them for the money as well. When push comes to shove, no one's going to stand by the Middle Kingdom.
Americans will no longer be able to say "We are the richest nation in the world" and I always got the impression that this statement being true is very integral to American self-identity.
Regarding future great wars - I think that what a lot of approaches to estimate the risk of this miss are the soft factors. Culture, popular sentiments.
WWI took place at time where occupying foreign nations so to control and exploit them was still the international norm. A time when there was such a crazy notion as that war would somehow rejuvinate the spirit of the people or some such.
And those kind of 'traditions' in the end also carried WWII, IMO.
The biggest danger in that regard is nowadays perhaps Chinese, American and Russian nationalism. But while at times worrying, all of them seem quite docile to me when compared to the past.
I think things would have to be extremely unlucky so to still cause a great war in this day and age. They may also have been a bit unlucky in say WWI - but other factors, soft factors, were infinitely more pro-war than nowadays, I think.
People are just wuzzies these days Similarly to how we stopped enjoying to see people publicly tortured in the middle of town square (exceptons non-withstanding) this whole war buisness seems to have become more and more unpopular on all levels of society.
Perhaps some day we will rediscover the spice in it, but I don't see anything suggesting so for the moment.
Yeah at this point China "overtaking" the US as the #1 economy has only symbolic meaning. But it's still reflecting seismic changes going on. Changes which will take more time to have substantial effect, but massive changes nonetheless.
I don't let Americans say that as long as they're not the richest per capita in PPP.
Otherwise is like claiming that Nigeria is richer than Massachusetts.
You probably get an interesting cross section of Americans. Or perhaps a really not interesting cross section of Americans. I'm kinda betting on the latter the more I think about it.
I think trade helps prevent violent confrontation by making peoples more familiar with each other, but I don't think it prevents warfare. Trade itself is a form of warfare, where parties try to use their superior power and superior access to resources to profit from others. The USA currently extracts labour and materials from China because of its superior access to technology and the military and diplomatic power behind US companies seeking to gain from this. Contrary to what some people are saying here, war between the two is avoided mostly because the Chinese know they would face certain defeat. The Chinese have no choice but to allow the US to exploit them, but it is not the ideal situation and no top Chinese or US strategist thinks this situation will last forever.
Did I just offend you?
And I take it, you think I am wrong?
The Haggling-part of it can perhaps be a psychological warfare. And to only give as much as you must so to get what you want certainly isn't very ... nice. And if you refer to economies in general - if you fight over market shares it can be like warfare (be it between companies or countries).
But aren't you a bit dramatic by labelling trade as a whole as a form of warfare? Perhaps mutually beneficial exchanges aren't the pivotal moment of human greatnes and morality as some market-enthusiasts suggest at times. But still, isn't there also a very peaceful and cooperative component to it?
It 'extracts' labour and materialis? One could think it was still 19th century and China just got occupied by US.
Okay so China will attack the US as soon as it is strong enough? You sound a bit crazy, at this point.
Of course the Chinese choose to be exploited by the US (and the world) to begin with. Because it has been a pretty sweet deal regarding the development of its economy.
And I have to wonder - what constitutes an 'explotation' to you, actually?
If I have a girlfriend and she enriches my life alot, but I enrich her live even alot alot (naturally), is she exploiting me?
No and yes, in that order.
Mostly it's sad that your experience seems to have been with people who would consider raw wealth so key.
Forget regular people. It is plastered all over your media. It is part of what your presidents, movies and newsmakers say. It is part of how you collectively refer to yourself.
And you seem to mix up indivdual and national identity.
Since when has the truth gotten in the way of some good old fashioned chest thumping?
Interesting that you think newsmakers and movies make our national self-identity. There's some there, the president constantly spews a huge amount of drivel too. You sure you aren't confusing your American national identity with ours? Forget regular people? Is what you care about actually the sound byte?
IMO national identities are soundbites. Not so say that national cultures were no thing. But idenitites are about collektive understanding, about simple messages repeatedly hammerd into the heads of the masses. Not what actually is there. Just what is assoicated on account of continious conditioning to do so.
Then it's still not the most important soundbite. But if what's being discussed is actually being pre-defined as massively vapid, I'm losing interest.
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