atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3832: Like anyone with half a brain couldn't see that coming.

China may not, after all, overtake the US. All you had to do in order to predict that was look at four simple facts:
1) Everything they're saying about China they said about Japan in the 1980s, for exactly the same reasons.

2) Lots of the economic activity in China is due to false demand, such as the vast empty cities that they're building.

3) Another sizable chunk of the economic activity in China is "low-hanging fruit", the easy stuff that any industrialized nation needs, primarly infrastructure. Once that stuff is built, their GDP expansion will slow.

4) This ties into #1; China benefits from a lopsided exchange rate, but as its economy grows that will change. Right now they're an export powerhouse, but it can't last.
There is one other problem with the GDP statistics coming from China: YOU CAN'T TRUST COMMUNISTS TO TELL THE TRUTH, EVER.

China is still a totalitarian country, and the government can simply make up whatever numbers it likes.
[Prime minister Li Keqiang] complained in a US diplomatic cable released on WikiLeaks that Chinese GDP statistics are "man-made", confiding to a US diplomat that he tracked electricity use, rail cargo, and bank loans to gauge growth. For a while, analysts used electricity data as a proxy for GDP but the commissars kept a step ahead by ordering power utilities to fiddle the figures.

The National Bureau of Statistics has since revealed that data collected by the regions overstates GDP by 10pc, though they have not acted on the insight. It is well-known why this goes on. The reward system of the Communist hierarchy has been geared to talking up growth, and officials gain kudos by lowering the stated "energy intensity" of their zone.
We're seeing this, to a lesser extent, from our own government, which is gaming the employment and GDP figures to make them look better than they are.

And what does the article go on to say?
China's growth may not be much higher than the new consensus estimate of 3pc for a reborn America, powered by its energy boom and the revival of the chemical, steel, glass, and paper industries.
What revival? Has there been a revival in any of those industries? What's the American steel industry doing? We still can't smelt iron at a competitive price compared to countries without restrictive environmental controls (*cough*China*cough*) and the only "energy boom" we're seeing is limited primarily to natural gas--which the EPA is trying to stop dead in its tracks. We're producing more crude oil than Saudi Arabia but we can't do anything with it because we haven't built a new oil refinery since 1978; all we can do is sell the stuff, and--strangely enough--world prices for crude are not dropping.

If our energy, chemical, steel, glass, and paper industries were in revival, wouldn't we be seeing more than 1.5% annualized growth in GDP? I'd wager we'd be seeing more than the 3% this article talks about if that were so.

Today's DPUD post begins with this same story.
This reminds me of the “Rising Sun” era in the 80’s and early 90’s when the fear was Japan was going to dominate the world and buy out the US. Look how well that worked out.

* * *

"Moore's Law in action":
A cool quarter mil in '73 bucks for a machine with 64k of memory. 10 years later, a 64k PC would have been considered anemically configured. By the early 1990's a 400M drive cost under $500, and machines were getting fitted with megabytes of memory, not kilobytes.
Actually, in 1983, 64k was state-of-the-art for most machines. You could get an IBM PC with more memory, but it was hideously expensive to do so and most people who had home computers had machines that topped out at 64k. 64k was just fine for 90% of the computing population in 1983.

...and it cost $200 for a Commodore 64 in 1983. $400 if you bought a disk drive at the same time.

* * *

This is why the media are ignoring the Kermit Gosnell trial. It has the power to make people change their mind about abortion-as-contraception, because Gosnell's little butcher shop of horrors is such an awful thing to behold.

* * *

This is ridiculous. A pair of CNN anchors pretend that they're thousands of miles apart, even as things in the background prove they're actually standing a few feet apart in the same parking lot.

There's nothing I can say about this breathtaking idiocy, except, "How pathetic can you get?"

* * *

"Nobody knows what's going on" but there are plenty of us who do know why.

It's simple:
1) Prices of procedures are not published or agreed upon beforehand. Hospitals can charge whatever the market will bear.

2) There is little or no competition, by law, for any medical services, insurance, or payment plans, so providers can charge whatever the market will bear.

3) 90% of the problems with health care are due to government interference.
That's really all I have to say about it.

* * *

Environmentalists have always been extreme. "[Environmentalists] have changed from pro-green, to anti-everything." They've always been anti-everything. Anti-coal, anti-oil, anti-industry, anti-farming, anti-development, and they've been anti-everything because environmentalists are communists.

It's not about being green; it's about crippling capitalism.

* * *

Borepatch reminds us that Earth's climate is always changing.

* * *

Civil disobedience is not just for civil rights marches. Although, come to think of it, the right to keep and bear arms is a civil right guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

...and Denninger is right, by the way: the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee the right to keep and bear squirt guns. It guarantees the right to keep and bear WEAPONS, specifically firearms.

Not toys.

* * *

It's a Muhguhbuh!
I just remembered this from last summer. [Written in 2005, so this happened in 2004.]

After resurrecting my Dad's '77 'B from an 11-year slumber, and giving it a good wash and wax, I took it to my town's cruise night.

I was sitting in my lawn chair, relaxing and enjoying the early evening air, looking at all the people and all the neat cars and such. The 'B was one of about three LBCs there, but it was the first MGB which had been shown at a cruise night here in Crete that summer.

I talked with some people who recognized the car and had fond memories of them, and so forth; but a little later in the evening, after I'd walked around and looked at the other cars, and such, this family walked past the 'B.

They were all fat. This one guy was fat and unshaven, and he was wearing a T-shirt which advertised a pro wrestler of some kind, and he read the windshield display card which was also my permit for having the car on Main Street (only cars older than 20 years are allowed to park along Main Street during the cruise nights. Newer cars get the church parking lot.)

"Hey, look," this guy said to his family. "It's a muhguhbuh! Har har--it's a muhguhbuh!"

Although at the time I thought angrily, "What a f-ing MORON!", now I am chuckling to myself and thinking, "What a f-ing moron!"


It's going to be fun to drive it again, if that ever happens. But that's a good first step.

* * *

The birdbath Mrs. Fungus bought a week ago got broken yesterday, somehow.

The bowl is held onto the pedestal by gravity; the whole thing is made of concrete so you'd expect it not to fall over at random. Somehow, though, the bowl got knocked off the pedestal, onto the patio, and a chunk broke off. She was in tears over it and I was pretty upset, myself.

Now I need to find a way to epoxy the thing back together so it'll be watertight. That's my project for the day. Whee!

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