Archive for March, 2018

China passes the US

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The most important, powerful, and effective weapon in the US arsenal is a fifty year old plane firing seventy year old cannons scoured from museums and looted from ancient forgotten overseas arms depots.

Some people may say that the most important, powerful, and effective weapon in the US arsenal is nukes, but after all these years, who knows if they work any more? We can no longer make tritium, we can no longer make Pu238, why should nukes have fared better?

Russia has been called a gas station masquerading as a country, because total GDP is very low, and per capita GDP unimpressive.  Its civilian technology is not especially impressive, but it produces military technology that is as good as the US at a considerably lower price, and is hoping to soon surpass the US in ways that will deny the sea and the air to the US.

China’s total GDP has passed the US, though the US official statistics are in denial.  Per capita GDP remains well below that of the US, but the gap is rapidly shrinking, with increasing numbers of westerners seeking Chinese jobs.  Technologically, China has focused on buying, stealing, and copying US civilian technology and Russian military technology.  But in civilian technology, the pupil has surpassed the master.  All Chinese CPUs are based on the Arm design that they purchased from the US long ago, but they are now improving on this design in ways that arguably leave the US behind.   They are at least equal in CPU design and fabbing, arguably superior.  They are still copying, but are less reliant on copying.

Meanwhile US academia focuses on combating masculinity and raising female self esteem by showering them with unearned credentials.


Monday, March 5th, 2018

About twenty percent of a car is, or should be, high quality specialty steel which is not made in America. Because there are no local sources of such steel, it is organizationally difficult to make such parts in the US, so the parts tend to be made overseas. Or, disturbingly often, made out of crappy steel.

When Jobs was creating the smartphone, he went to Corning to talk to the people who make specialty glass. If we had been importing our specialty glass from China, the way we are importing our specialty steels from India, maybe no smartphones, or smartphones with easily scratched plastic screens.

Let’s say that you’re after armor steel, and you want to buy it direct from the mill. Your options are more or less limited to:

  • Arcelor Mittal’s “Mars” Steel from India.
  • SSAB’s “Armox” or “Ramor” from Sweden.
  • ThyssenKrupp’s “Secure” From Germany.

And if you want it cheap, and you want a supplier who speaks English, probably India.

Assume the God Emperor is not a complete moron. If a tariff on all steels, an intent that locals will start producing specialty high tech steels. Remember all those people declaring that Trump was lying when he promised coal miners coal jobs were coming back? They told us coal jobs were gone, and were not coming back. Specialty steels are coming back.

Tariffs tend to have bad consequences, because they tend to reflect corruption and special favors. What happens is that there is a high tariff on goods imported by regular folks, and someone who is cozy with the government gets a special permit, a recategorization, or some such, and he gets to import stuff without a tariff, and mark it up.

But the biggest indignation against Trump’s tariff is that he is taxing specialty steels, taxing steel that you just cannot buy in America, which tax is not a gift of free money to existing steel producers, but a demand that they get their act together and an opportunity for them to do so.

And, if they do so, they create high skill, high pay jobs for white males in flyover country
High pay high skill male jobs
jobs for Trump voters in electorates where their votes make a difference.

Never forget who whom.  Be mindful of who are your friends, and who are your enemies.  The Democrats do not attempt to follow an economically optimal policy, but a policy that harms their enemies economically, even if it causes some lesser harm to their friends.  They have been aggressively destroying jobs in flyover country to force the great centralization, so as to get the most voter power out of the people they have been importing to live on crime, welfare, and voting Democrat.

It is likely that this policy tariff policy is economically efficient, because of technological externalities, but even it was not, ask whom it harms, and whom it helps.


Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Trump, in accordance with his campaign promises to the rust belt and flyover country, has just slapped a tariff on steel and aluminum.

If you look at the Nucor product catalog, you can see that the USA has ceded high end steel production to foreigners.

Ceding high end steel production to foreigners is militarily unwise.

Ceding the high end is also likely to have externalities. A network of skills unravels. If company A does something high tech, it cultivates employees, customers, and suppliers that make it substantially easier and cheaper for company B to do something high tech, and this benefit is not captured by company A, unless, as in South Korea during the dictatorship, the state gives company A substantial monopolistic privileges, something difficult to do in a democracy, particularly a democracy where covetousness is deemed the highest virtue and high status.

And if company A stops doing something high tech causing other companies to stop doing high tech stuff – you have the rust belt, which is the network of high skilled white males unravelling. You have smart white men deskilling, taking opiates, and committing suicide.

That the rust belt is rusting means that white males commit suicide or move to the big coastal megacities. Which means they move from where their votes are useful to Trump and Republicans, to where their votes are useless, because massively outvoted by hordes of aliens imported to live on crime, welfare, and voting Democrat.

Stopping the rust gives republicans a little more time, regardless of whether it is economically justified or not. Even if it was a total money loser (and quite likely externalities make it economically lucrative) it would still be politically a big winner, by halting the great centralization.

Recollect that the government was importing hordes of black male military age Mohammedans screaming for infidel blood and white pussy, and bombing marginal electorates in flyover country with them. The permanent government continued doing this for the first year of the Trump presidency, but in 2017 December, Trump finally managed to put a stop to it. This also gives Trump and Republicans a little more time.

A policy of economic autarky ruined Nazi Germany. The very similar Smoot Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was also an economic disaster, ruining the USA. And, similarly, India’s program of economic autarky kept India stagnant and desperately poor for decades. But these three examples of bad, indeed utterly disastrous, protectionism were accompanied by massive regulation. Trump is deregulating. That is a big and important difference.