China: Smart Intern, Stupid Question

A really smart student intern I’ve had the privilege of working with (Jonathan Flack, GWU 2010) asked a really stupid question. “Why,” he asked, “Do we give China everything it wants? Why don’t we challenge them?”

This intern knows what’s going on. He knows about our $2 trillion trade deficit, the manipulation of the Yuan, and dumping of steel pipes in the US markets. Of course, he also knows about human rights and Tibet. But most importantly, he knows that economically China is eating our lunch.

He wants to know why our government doesn’t do something about it. He wants to know why we don’t take them on, rather than giving them the Olympics.

It didn’t take long for him to understand the answer. China isn’t the only winner in this U.S. trade imbalance. US corporations win big too.

Nike opens up sweat shops, makes sneakers in China for cheap, and sells them in America for $90 a pair. Who wins? Nike.

Nortel and Sun help China develop web censoring equipment. Who’s it good for? Nortel and Sun.

Our approach to China sadly indicates whose side our government is really on. The people need change. Big Business likes the status quo. The Obama administration is wrestling with priorities. Even my intern sees who’s losing.

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PS: What if we don’t change the status quo? Check out my novel, 2044. 2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother; it’s Big Brother, Inc.

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