Economic Growth

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Why Only Losers Bash China


This election season, both parties have declared open season on China, America's second largest trading partner. But if the economic case for drawing the barricades against Chinese goods is weak, points out Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia, the political case is even weaker. That's because American voters are utterly fickle. They might demand protectionism, but if they don't like the results, they won't blame themselves, they'll blame you, dear legislators. "Rather than vilifying China," notes Dalmia in her latest Forbes column, "they (politicians) would do themselves—and the American economy—a world of good by trumpeting the benefits of trade with it."

Read all about it here.

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  1. Not all losers bash China. Libertarians don’t.

    1. Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf! Arooo!

  2. Well yeah; considering how our money’s value is plummeting like a rock, we might as well trade lots and lots of it for any electronic goods China is willing to send our way; then we’ll be poor, but at least we’ll have lots of nifty gadgets to entertain us in our unemployment. As for China, they’ll have lots of pretty pictures of our past Presidents to paper their walls or something…

    1. They say mercantilism is the first refuge to which the scoundrel clings.

      1. Keynesianism is neo-mercantilism…

  3. Democrats: mostly wrong on trade.
    Republicans: completely wrong on trade.

    1. Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf! Arooo!

  4. Some of the cheapest products are made by slave labor, and with American wages falling or stagnant, Americans need cheap products. By keeping labo costs down, China makes it possible for even unemployed folks who ae living out of theor cars to buy stuff. The invisible hand of the market signs in Chinese.

    1. Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf! Arooo!

  5. And you post in it.

    1. That reminds me of Madge, who used to regularly tell women they were soaking in it. “It” referred to Palmolive.

  6. People always need a sinister other to blame for their problems. It’s currently China’s role to provide us with an Other to hate. In my life to date, we have blamed the Arabs, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and now China for our problems. The circle of life continues.

    Any guesses on who is next in the chain? My guess is either Indonesia or Brazil.

    1. It’s the repetition of the Demon of the Decade that makes me blow off the whole business. I first really got it when everyone was scared of Japan, which, at the time, had obvious long-term issues. Something that China has even more of. People are silly.

    2. Shit.

    3. lemme get $5 on Indonesia.

    4. “In my life to date, we have blamed the Arabs, Taiwan, Japan, Mexico, and now China for our problems.”

      But never the Jews. Hmmmmmm…..

  7. Well, one reason to not favor doing business with China is that they are an evil Communist nation. I mean really, it’s totally cool to think you should not do business with some folks because of ethical reasons.

    1. India is relatively freeish.

      1. Are people running against India? I’ve seen scores of anti-China ads, but no anti-India ads.

        1. I just mean if you want to employ cheap, serf labor without feeling like you’re helping the oppressors, India is the way to go.

          1. Noted, but my point is that perhaps the anti-China sentiment is grounded in something more than just misunderstanding of comparative advantage or fear of the Other. It might be because China is a loathesome nation.

            1. fear of the Other. It might be because China is a loathesome nation.

              You mean the Gov’t of China is loathesome? Otherwise, and please correct me if since I’m wrong, but didn’t you just engage in some “fear of The Other” by generalizing over 1billion people?

              1. Of course I’m refering to the government (specifically the CP which runs it). But you knew that.

                1. Foiled in yet another attempt to show progressives for the racists they are.

            2. MNG, have you ever been to China? I’ve lived there off and on for over 27 years, not in expat colonies but in the Chinese community in cities and on farms. If you are getting your information from western news sources I suggest you go for a visit and see what is really happening for yourself. Everyone I have talked to who has done this ends up with the same comment: “This isn’t what I was told to expect at all.”

        2. You haven’t heard a candidate scream about TEH OUTSOURSING!!!11!! Most of that is about India.

          Although point taken about China. For a while, I made a half-ass attempt to avoid buying Chinese b/c of their human rights record.

          1. Now that would be one heck of a feat. You’d just about have to walk around naked to avoid Chinese products.

    2. According to Freedom House China is in the bottom 17 “un-free-est” nations in the world.…..;year=2010

    3. So by imposing tariffs and bureaucratic trade blockades we will usher them along the path toward liberty.

      Got it.

      1. Encouraging the use of their slave labor to make our disposable consumer goods doesn’t seem to have helped so far.

        1. Seriously, its not like selling goods to us (and any other country that likes cheap goods) has increased the Chinese standard of living over the past 30 years…oh, it has? Well, ummmm….HUMAN RIGHTS!

          1. HUMAN RIGHTS!*

            *Does not include the right to engage in trade.

            1. It’s not like human rights are important or anything.

          2. It doesn’t seem to have weakened the evil government of China.

            1. Concessions towards capitalism notwithstanding.

            2. Allowing capitalist practices in a communist country…yeah, that’s not progress. But hey, since China didn’t accomplish in 30 years what took America over a century to achieve we should condemn them from our high perches of moral superiority.

              1. what took America over a century to achieve

                Referring to the transition from an agricultural society to a post-industrial one.

            3. Compared to China’s government for the first 30 years of its existence, it certainly has!

        2. “Slave labor”? You’re joking, right? Those tens of millions of peasants flocking to the cities for a job and a better life sure must feel dumb when they find out they’re “slaves”.

    4. So you believe in punishing people because of the actions of their government?

      Just like Al Qaeda?

      1. I bet you believe we should have good roads, too.

        Just like Hitler.

        1. I believe we should have privatized roads.

          Quite unlike Hitler.

          1. What you think wasn’t actually relevant to the point.

            1. Ah.

              The point is that the US government’s forcefully abrogating Chinese residents’ — as well as US residents’ — rights to trade because China’s government artificially subsidizes investment rather than consumption is not of the same degree as terrorists abrogating US residents’ right to life because the US government mucks around in the Middle East.


  8. I took a shit in China once. They used it to make a soup.

    1. That’s brilliant.

  9. Does anyone else remember WalMart TV ads from a few years ago? They were touting “buy America” when we all knew–even Joe Dirtbag–they were getting all their shit from China.
    Well it didn’t take WalMart all that long to wake up and smell the coffee.
    Capitalism is funny that way.

  10. I’ll never understand why people brown nose China so much.

    Oh wait, yeah I do.

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