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Member Since 17 June 2013 - 10:05 AM
Offline Last Active Sep 17 2018 09:22 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Renamed: The 2018 Mid-Term Elections

01 September 2018 - 09:01 AM

I think anyone writing off Gillum for Florida governor is being very premature, as I understand it he won big on the back of an extraordinary turnout of the kind of voters that FL has struggled to get to the polls for anyone not named Barack Obama, he is from Miami and mayor of Tallahassee - important places to have connections for state-wide races, and frankly, the D record of running boring moderates in Florida to try to come up the middle has been a dismal failure for 20 years.
On top of that his actual policy positions are essentially a list of all the things about progressive politics that are actually popular with the American public.
I wonder if in the current political climate it will even make any difference if the corruption investigation touches him before the election - hell, it might help!

In Topic: CHINA

24 August 2018 - 10:58 AM

 Traveler, on 20 August 2018 - 06:31 PM, said:

Do you think social unrest in China poses a similar threat to leadership? So much so that it is necessary to exert such mercantilsm? My take is that China is so far along now, there is no more need for it to resort to SOE tactics to keep the masses happy.
My take is that social unrest is the threat to Chinese leadership.
Of course the primary threat to any particular leader is other members of the leadership but the only real threat to the continued rule of the Communist Party is social unrest.
I think that all of the Chinese leadership recognize that:
- Economic growth and improvement is a necessary but not sufficient condition for avoiding political turmoil
- The Chinese middle class at its current size and weight could foment a counter-revolution that would have some success through violent or non-violent means
- Nationalism is a good tool for uniting politically disenfranchised people with resources to space, to the extent that military and trade belligerence generates anger at the Chinese state it is a useful thing up to a point

I think that "Chinese mercantilsm" is necessary only in that if you want to wring the most out of your economy you should do everything you can get away with to do so. They can get away with a lot so they do.
I would also say that the behaviour of the Chinese with respect to forced technology transfers and requiring joint ventures, etc. are not in fact unprecedented or exclusively the domain of the Chinese state these days. Equity caps on foreign ownership is very widely practiced, board & workforce composition rules are the norm in SE Asia (which becomes a forced technology transfer) - non-enforcement of IP law is the only real issue with China that is exclusive to their jurisdiction. I think those complaints have merit, but I really don't think it is as big a deal as folks are getting so worked up about.

In Topic: CHINA

20 August 2018 - 06:24 PM

View PostTraveler, on 20 August 2018 - 08:25 AM, said:

Getting to the larger issue of the trade war, and China's purported need to play power games just to survive, is it your take that such an approach is still necessary? Even with the Great Wall, wechat and an omni-present militia?
Sorry, I don't quite understand the question.

In Topic: CHINA

20 August 2018 - 06:23 PM

View Postbaw1064, on 20 August 2018 - 02:18 PM, said:

I appreciate the raising of the point about cultural differences between China and western countries. But, by the same token, it makes it a little strange that Wang looks to de Toqueville for policy guidance.
"Maoism" was pretty popular by western standards in France in the 60's-early 70's as I understand it, leading a lot of the Chinese elites to get educations in the France around that time. Deng and Zhou both studied in France in the 1920's as well, there are some deep roots there. I think as a result, given the current demographics of Chinese leadership, is a lot of French history and philosophy in the zeitgeist right now in those circles.

In Topic: CHINA

19 August 2018 - 08:00 PM

View PostTraveler, on 19 August 2018 - 02:55 PM, said:

Which I don't think is the case with China. The CCP misinterprets discontent as folks being in dire conditions. It sure ain't great for many in the cities, but nobody is going hungry or homeless.
I think that the Chinese leadership understand what is going on, the fanatical focus on the Great Firewall and parallel government-controlled services like WeChat is evidence of that.