2/28/2010

Talents or changing fortunes?

Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Yales, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs and all the eminent academics and intellectuals and financial gurus, are what America is famous for. It is a land of talents and world best institutions nurturing more best brains for the country and the world. What people did not want to see or acknowledge is that America is turning into a huge Titanic waiting to be sunk. America is now running in trillions of debt which it believes confidently that it could pay now or later. And it is still spending daily in the billions on wild hunting adventures in the Middle East and military excursions in the high seas, thinking that it is an Empire ruling the world and it needs to be in every corner of the world, with its soldiers and guns guarding the interests of the Empire. It took America more than 200 years of uninterrupted development and growth to reach this peak of achievements. And it took America the last thirty years to become the most corrupt nation in the world, with corruption concealed under a veil of respectability and legal framework. It is all legal, when all the 'knows who' have their hands in the cookie jar, and taking whatever they deemed fit, under the spotlight, and smiling to the banks. From Congressmen, bankers and CEOs, all are in for the quick bucks, grabbing everything they can that are within their control. Overseas they are sending our their armies of hedge funds to suck away the liquidity in foreign markets using technologies and the heavy hands of big bucks. They steam rolled the stockmarkets of the world to fill their pockets with instant millions and billions. In short, America’s brilliant minds are focussed on making instant billions for themselves at the risk of bankrupting America and countries that naively welcomed them and their system of operations with open arms. On the other hand, China is guarded and is carefully guarding what it has built up over the last 30 years. No, they will not blindly let in the Americans to mess up their economies and financial system. In the last 30 years, unknown peasant leaders from unknown universities that were partially ruined during the years of revolution have turned around a poverty stricken agriculture economy to compete with America for world supremacy. They are now number two, coming from nowhere. Until recently, what is Beida, Tsinghua, Jiaotong, Zhejiang, Nanjing, names of universities that were not even ranked, and could never smell the prestige of the Ivy League universities in America and their strings of Nobel Laurette and prominent thinkers and professionals. But the products of these universities, many still unknown, are now running a tight ship and running at good speed to challenge America as an economic power. While America is in debt of several trillions, China has surplus in its reserves of several trillions. Is it talents or fortune changing, or winds of change, that a country blessed with all the finest talents and a system of education that is churning out the best brains for tomorrow, is running aground or out of steam, while a third world country, rising from the ashes, with little known universities and talented individuals is giving it a run for its money? Are the Chinese more talented than the Americans or does China have more talents than the America? The answer is an obvious no. It must be fortune smiling on them. When fortune favours, even a beggar can become a king. When fortune smiles, whatever touched will be turned to gold. When fortune frowns upon the best, no matter how well conceived are the plans, no matter how talented are the executors, they will failed. Pundits are expecting China to overtake America in the near future. Could it really happen with America hoarding an abundance of talents and resources and a superior infrastructure in all areas, except finance and govt? One is infested with crooks and another with dunces. Will fortune smile for China and imbue it with more talents? So far none can be spoken of as talent in the American sense. The only Chinese talent is probably in America, in Yahoo.

13 comments:

Wally Buffet said...

America, land of crooks, dirty politicians, proselytizing "miracle" evangelists, Hollywood dream merchants, John Wayne gungho military adventurists, gambling, prostitution centre of the world.

China, a rising star wannabe of all that is America above.All it takes is time.

We just stand aside and watch them blast each other into oblivion lah.

Hehe, so what's new?

Happy Chap Goh Mey eh.

Anonymous said...

Well, we can more or less envisage, not predict, what USA is turning into, but nobody in power in the world is going to believe it is that bad. That is the reality.

They are now saying that Obama already failed in his first year in office, failing to change the financial system, failed in undertaking healthcare reforms and obviously also failed in his foreign policies.

So, nothing is new except that the USA is heading for disaster.

There is nothing we can do. Just know and watch them in their last throes. No, no, not in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Anonymous said...

The USA will NEVER fall out of grace. They hold too much power and furthermore there are too many countries around the world like Singapore which like to suck up to them. Without the US of A Singapore will be doomed to oblivion.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The US will simple implode by itself. They are just spending their futures away on warfare which they still have a strong lead. But empires that are overstretched will not have the resources to maintain such a huge force unless they can feed on a huge colonies of states.

Anonymous said...

Like the way Wally described USA, it fits to a T.
Wonder how long US made products can sell for a bomb. CD Players, converters, in short High Fidelity Equipments and the likes going for thousands, tens and hundreds of thousands SIN Dollars. And so many of them made in China some more.

As for their financial products, how can they be trusted is anybody's guess.

Made made follies and natural disasters plus a too idealistic thinking president who will soon run out of favour and flavour with the Whites will provide for much drama in history. Enjoy it !

Anonymous said...

Apology!
'Made made' should be Man made.
Sorry!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Now with China declaring that it is in the race for number one, the using need to run faster and plough more money into defence. How could it do so when it is already bankrupt?

Matilah_Singapura said...

I'm not sure if China will "overtake" America, although if you draw a straight line into the future, that's what will happen.

Of course, no one can accurately predict the future, and predictions are seldom "straight lines". i.e. anything can happen.

Although America is technically insolvent, one has to remember that it still has THE LARGEST capital structure of production in the world -- a legacy built up of nearly 400 years of industrialisation, diversification, and a dominant market economy. For 200 or so of those years everyone -- including the USA's enemies wanted to make money "American-style". In fact the term "make money" is American.

Whilst most of Europe was dancing with socialist ideas in the 1800's Americans were defending their free market, resisting taxes, hoarding their money, inventing and manufacturing stuff. So they've had a long successful start and now have an enormous capital structure which is global (investment in foreign countries).

But China is catching up fast. China doesn't have the debt America has. Despite the huge debt -- which would already cripple other countries several times over -- America is still standing and it is "business as usual". And China is catching up. But we've been hearing "China is catching up" for over 20 years now.

Hurry up lah China. We want to see you not only catch up but surpass these infidels :)

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

It is not easy for China to overtake the US. But nothing can be ruled out if the US goes the USSR way.

For China to be what it is today after opening up and adopting the capitalist way is quite a feat. 10 years ago they were still a straggler. Now there is a new expectation. The Sick Man of Asia giving the number one capitalist state a run for its money. I too find this a bit difficult to grasp.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Yes, that is true. There is a joke in economic conferences amongst economists: the economists from "developed" countries want more central planning and socialism, the economists from emerging economies want more capitalism and free markets.

No wonder sometimes I think our species is innately insane.

China -- if she stays smart and focused on the money -- will continue on her path of blazing capitalism, and instead of spending the wealth on dreams of "empire" keep it so that the people can continue to get rich very quickly.

America goes to war -- the "connected" in the oligarchy and military-government-industrial complex make shitloads of money. A country like China goes to war, whther she wins or loses most people, including the "connected" will be worse off and poor.

Go figure. Justice? No such thing in this case.

Another fact neglected is that the US is VERY GOOD at going to war. Over the last 200 years it has engaged in at least 20 wars. Win or lose is not the point. The point is when the US engages in hostilities there is MASSIVE upheaval and destruction of infrastructure and society. Meanwhile their military industrial complex keeps getting bigger and richer, nevermind the fact that their soldiers die or come home horribly injured -- many permanently.

The basis of capitalism is wealth creation... and RETENTION. China seems to know this, that's why I am surprised at this "war talk". You make money, you keep it to invest to make more money. Don't be foolish and spend it all (as well as borrow and tax) to engage in ego-tripping armed conflict.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Matilah, it is psycho warfare. China will not want to fight with the US and vice versa. Proxy wars possible.

What China is doing is to let the US know that they will also thump tables if the US thump tables. After that they will have their private talks behind closed doors, just like what the American envoy is doing in China now, to mend fences following the Dalai Lama hooha.

This is big power wayang.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I remain skeptical despite your certitude -- as if you have a crystal ball and can accurately predict the future -- you don't, and neither do I.

I go with the evidence to make (uncertain) predictions, at least the evidence of history.

1. The US is a war-like nation with elements of govt hell bent on imperialsm. In fact, their Council Of Foreign Relations makes veiled references to it.

2. The US has a huge defence industry which is not going away because of the vested powerful interests embedded in the govt-military-industrial complex. This is tied to the financial markets, the science community and it is spread out. Lots of money and power here, and it is well protected.

3. The US Govt has always used war as an "excuse" to argue for "freedom" (US freedom), "justice" (for the US), "democracy" (so our boys in the business community can sell their shit, steal the resources of the conquered, use cheap labour and install a puppet dictator govt)

4. The Chinese cannot afford to fight. Yes, they have to be able to defend themselves from foreign incursion. They have historically avoided protracted conflict unless is involves domestic political power struggles.

After dumping much of the toxic US Dollar denominated assets, China is now in 2nd place (next to Japan) as holders of US debt. Luckily for the world, Chinese people culturally like their money and are good (generally speaking) at making it and keeping it.

Thus it is sheer foolhardiness to start a war with the people you've lent money to.

So you might be correct for China and the US not to engage in war, but not for the reasons you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Now, I do not think the US dare fight a war with China. The American people are already living in fear everyday not knowing when and where tragedy will stride them in and out of the US.
The Americans are also not as nationalistic as that of their forefathers. They are the most globalized, most materialistic and most fun seeking, war is likely the last thought in the minds of the average Americans.

True, there must be some cowboys and hawks in the senate, but the people are unlikely to support these types of leaders now. Victory in war is nothing glorious anymore, to be rich and safe is the wisest one can be.

Obama is in the process of reducing Americas' nuclear arsenal. One of the very right thing he will be remembered for as the President of America.