Welcome, Truthdig readers, to this week’s live chat session with Robert Scheer! As we wait for our columnist, feel free to chat among yourselves and/or review some of the videos on the topic.
10:01 Robert Scheer
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:01:53 GMT
10:02 Comment From Guest
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:02:20 GMT
Comment: Sounds like the Taiwanese have a different take on this. China is definitely coming, from their perspective.
10:04 Robert Scheer
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:04:20 GMT
Look, there’s no question that coming from a common cultural and linguistic background facilitates communication, but as we’ve seen in places like Korea, Ireland, and in the cross-strait conflict it can also heighten tension. What has happened over the past 15 years is that, through trade, the remnants of the Chinese nationalists that controlled Taiwan came to realize that their economic interests were enhanced by getting along rather than by confronting their former mainland opponents.
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:04:52 GMT
One of our commenters said, “The unelected Chinese government looks out for China’s national interests almost as well as our elected government looks out for Israel’s national interests.”
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:04:56 GMT
Bob, do you agree?
10:06 Robert Scheer
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:06:47 GMT
I think this is one discussion that does not have to revolve around Israel. I think what happens to 1.4 billion Chinese who now have the second strongest economy in the world and are holding a lot of our national debt should be worthy of consideration on its own terms. And I think the real problem with our government is that it doesn’t look out for the interest of the average American, but rather for those who lobby it, and that includes the military-industrial complex.
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:10:17 GMT
Alice Fay Hammer asks, “And you think WE haven’t been buying up resources & otherwise taking advantage of Third World countries? If our greed hasn’t gobbled up our top position in the world, please tell me what has?”
10:10 Robert Scheer
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:10:21 GMT
(To Alice)—Clearly, what’s happening is that the Chinese Communists are behaving as far more effective international capitalists than our leaders. And what they are doing is what has been done by successful capitalists throughout hundreds of years of history, which is to gain control of resources, turn them into products that people want to buy, and focus more on trade than on military conquest, recognizing that military conquest is not a cost-efficient enterprise, as we learned in Vietnam, Iraq and now in Afghanistan.
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:10:39 GMT
Here’s another question: “Will Obama subsidize imports because low prices are more important than bringing back jobs to the USA?”
10:10 Comment From WSmart
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:10:47 GMT
Comment: Alcohol-fueled stupidity?
10:13 Robert Scheer
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:13:08 GMT
I think this is a false issue. I don’t think our jobs are undermined by cheaper products coming in from China. I know this goes against the conventional wisdom, but I believe there is an enormous efficiency in international trade, which used to be called comparative advantage, and we have it in agriculture, we have it in our entertainment industry—both of which are incredibly successful in the world economy. That is certainly true of our information technology—the whole computer world—it is true in a large part of medicine, drugs, and I think we ought not to be testy when other people produce goods that we want to buy more efficiently. And that is what I believe the Chinese are doing. And I don’t believe in protectionism; I do believe in developing international human rights standards that protect workers’ right to organize and ban the exploitation of child labor.
Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:13:18 GMT
One of our commenters, dihey, asks: Multiple thanks, Mr. Scheer, for reporting this. I actually knew about the breakthrough yesterday from the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Our MSM did not report this historic happening. The interesting issue now is: How can the Whitewash House continue to send arms to one of the partners of this historic deal? Will Mr. Obama toss a coin to answer this question?