11/4/19

Tariffs, China — How They Work

Everybody I know keeps telling me that tariffs won’t work, while I continue to stumble on instance after instance in which they work just fine.

Let me define what “work” means.

In my definition, the USA imposes a tariff on goods made in China, thereby making US-made products more attractive, and the company who makes the Chinese manufactured goods takes some action that somehow improves the US economy. That sound fair?

In this instance, we have the Stanley Black & Decker tool manufacturing company that bought the Craftsman brand from the failing Sears company moving production back to the United States.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

“When we purchased Craftsman in 2017 we were determined to revitalize this iconic U.S. brand and bring back its American manufacturing heritage,” Stanley Black & Decker President and CEO Jim Loree said in a statement. “From the launch of Craftsman’s refreshed brand identity last year to our announcement of the first new manufacturing facility in many years, we’re demonstrating our continued commitment to grow the brand and bring even more production of these great products back to the United States.”

When Jim Loree says he wants to refresh the brand identity, he is also planning on a $1B impact on sales by 2021.

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10/23/19

A Fable of Freedom and Hong Kong

There are men who have never known freedom. It is not their fault, but nonetheless they have never seen it in its naked splendor or glory, never tasted its intoxicating headiness, never smelled its exhilarating scent, never felt it settle joyfully upon their expanding minds, never felt its bubbles tickling their their nose telling them whatever they want and work for can be theirs, or felt it enliven and embolden their hearts. Because they are not free men, their dreams are smaller more timid, their ambitions less lofty. When they make love, they are poorly equipped to enjoy its wonder, for they have never been free and thus they have never known boundless love.

They live in a cage and have surrendered their life force to the evil men who imprison them. Make no mistake, men who deny other men their freedom are in league with the Devil. They are evil. The idea that the enslaved might contest their condition or wrest their lives back from their gaolers is a thought that cannot form and survive in their minds. They do not have the nutrients to sustain it. They believe they are entitled to nothing more, because they know nothing of this “more.” They are not even men.

At the other extreme, there are men who have manufactured freedom, who have made it with their own hands, who have fought for it, bled for it, suffered for it. They have looked the price tag in the eye and said, “For freedom, I will pay that price, consider it cheap in the bargain at ten times that price. Show me to the fight, clear out, and let me get about what I am here to do.” These are the dangerous men who dream with their eyes open and do not wake to think it was all just a dream. They saw it and will have it.

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10/15/19

China — The Pinnacle Of Subtlety

President-for-Life Xi Jinping issued a clear warning about the state of affairs in Hong Kong while being the first Chinese President to visit India in more than two decades.

The fact that he made these comments while on such a monumental foreign visit adds emphasis to their content.

In a statement at a press availability that incorporates all the subtlety of professional wrestling, Pres Xi said that any attempts to divide China will end in “crushed bodies and shattered bones.”

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10/12/19

Founding Fathers – China v The United States

The other day China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the “modern” China meaning Communist China.

That made me think about the founding father of China — Mao Zedong.

It also made me think about the founding fathers of the United States. First amongst them was this guy:

Both of these guys were citizen-soldiers who had a hook into agriculture. Our two nations have a different character which I attribute to the difference in our founding stories and our founding fathers.

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10/6/19

The Confusing State of Crypto in China

There is a huge amount of confusion as to the status of cryptocurrency regulation in China. The other day I read a commentary that suggested that all was rosy in China, when I was of the opinion that it was not.

Read this and you can judge for yourself. This is not intended as a nudge in any direction. It is just simple facts.

I did some research. Nothing ruins a good conversation like facts.

So, let’s review some facts, shall we?

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10/2/19

Communist China At 70 — A Bill of Particulars

China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its iron clad Communist yoke on the neck of its people yesterday. It was a fitting tribute to tyranny, enslavement, murder, and military danger.

China celebrates the horrific nature of its Communist foundation every day. Yesterday was not a unique celebration, except that there was a parade in which the Chinese celebrated their expanding nuclear threat to the world by showcasing a nuclear strike weapon that can make it to the USA in about thirty minutes.

China wants to be seen as a credible leader of the emerging world and a trustworthy nation — nothing says “trustworthy” like a nuclear weapon that can arrive at your backyard BBQ in less than the time to light the grill and throw the various meats on board.

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09/26/19

Digital Despotism — China

Tech can be a good thing; tech can be a bad thing. China, a vicious Communist country, is using tech to control its people. Soon they will use it to reward and punish their people. It is all about control. Let’s dig into this.

China — the world’s largest country by population — has 1,420,000,000 people. Some (talking to you, Hong Kong) are yearning to be free, free of the Communist leadership that desires to suppress the yearnings for freedom while controlling everybody. The promise of “One China, Two Systems” has evaporated. Hong Kong is going to conform to Beijing’s wishes or disappear.

Look at the picture of Moe and Larry. Two clowns who could cause a lot of trouble, who are big pals. If the Chinese wanted to control North Korea, they could do so in a heartbeat, but they don’t want to.

China is 92% Han Chinese with the balance being “other” minorities like the Uyghurs (Uygurs, Uighurs, Uigurs). The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic minority, one of the 55 “ethnic minorities” recognized by Beijing.

Since the 16th century, the Uyghurs have been Muslim which has defined their culture and identity. In China, there are 11,300,000 Uyghurs. More about the Uyghurs later.

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09/3/19

Tariffs — The Tariffs Are Working

A lot of folks whose opinions I respect have been saying that the Trump admin tariffs against China will simply impact our lives in the form of increased prices.

I have maintained otherwise. I have consistently said the imposition of tariffs will create structural changes in the way American importers source and deliver goods to the US economy; and, they will change the way individuals buy/boycott Chinese goods.

As a personal example, I no longer buy any Chinese goods. None. I check everything to see where it was made. Made in China? Adios!

Now, we are seeing the truth of that. I was right. <<< Obnoxious utterance ALERT!

Allow me to rub your nose in it, may I, please?

Comes now the story of the American dollar store industry in the specific exemplars of Dollar General and Dollar Tree who were literally created by their ability to access low cost foreign made goods and to sell them to a slice of America who not only wants a bargain, but desperately needs one.

These stores are ground zero when it comes to selling foreign sourced goods. They are the canary in the mine shaft. The canary has begun to sing.

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