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Thread: China overtakes Japan as No.2 economy, US next by 2025.

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
    I've said this before and will say this again. the so called aging of the population will not really affect Chinese labour market that much. Right now, people in China are retiring when they are in their early 40s, because there are so many young people entering the work force. They then get paid pension for the rest of their life. Now, if the older generation become larger, that would force people to retire later. So they would be retiring in their 50s instead of their 40s in China. You really will not see a decline in Chinese labour force. And the other thing is that there are two extremes in China. There are the workers on the coast in the really industrial zones that work themselves to death (like people in New York). And there are people who just don't do much work in the central part of China and coast through life (like people in Greece). At certain point, the less efficient segment of Chinese population will be forced to work harder due to decline in those rural labour who have fueled the growth thus far.
    I concur TP. I think this population arguement has been over blown like the supposedly imminent Chinese economy collapse that has been coming for over a decade now.

  2. #62
    Contributor Crocodylus's Avatar
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    Why the large-scale food distribution network is not universal.

    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    Oh no...you do not want to have French style farming industry. You want American style farming industry. French is like Japanese. They are focused on protecting (subsidizing) family farmers and the tradition of farming. That makes them very inefficient and expensive.
    (Disclaimer: Right now I'm not thinking straight, so if there are any logical inconsistencies, my apologies ))\

    In Japan and France, family farms usually distribute to nearby towns and cities, rather than distributing nationwide as in the US. Operating a widespread transportation network of food distribution is possible in the US mainly because cheap petroleum-based fuels are still available. In other developed countries, fuel is a bit more expensive, hence the higher food prices, especially for imported food products. It's more cost-effective to distribute mainly to local customers.

    The relationship between people and food as it exists in France and Japan is a quality-centric one. Producing second-rate food products en masse just to fill the pockets of a few industrialists is rather unsavory. Food might be expensive, but giving less than one's best in the kitchen would be regarded as out of line.

    By the time the industrialization of agriculture began to take hold in the aforementioned countries, there was (and still is) a deeply entrenched idea that the quality, rather than quantity, of food is more important. Thus, there are housewives who will often not mind spending large sums to secure quality foodstuffs for the family dinner.

    The food culture in America has not matured to become like that of other countries, so often Americans are criticized for having rather plebeian palates. As well, the industrialization of agriculture has been very influential in providing affordable foodstuffs to almost every American. Of course there are native culinary traditions Stateside (e.g., New England cuisine, Southern cuisine), but they seem to have been obscured in the melting pot of American standardization.

    China is a country with its own deeply entrenched agricultural tradition. I doubt US-style agribusiness will take hold there any time soon.

  3. #63
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    China Buys $5.3 Billion of Japanese Bonds in June, Set for Annual Record
    By Masaki Kondo and Keiko Ujikane - Aug 8, 2010 5:17 PM PT

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    China bought more Japanese bonds than it sold for a sixth straight month in June, heading for the biggest annual increase since at least 2005.

    China purchased a net 456.4 billion yen ($5.3 billion) of Japanese debt in June, following a record net buying of 735.2 billion yen in May, according to a report released today by the Ministry of Finance in Tokyo.

    The dollar’s slide against all 16 major currencies monitored by Bloomberg since the start of June has reduced the attractiveness of U.S. assets for some investors. China should pare its holdings of dollar assets to counter the risk of a “sharp depreciation,” former adviser to the central bank Yu Yongding wrote in the China Securities Journal last month.

    “China may want to diversify risks in its foreign reserves,” Hiroaki Muto, a senior economist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, said before the report. “It may prefer yen assets as it wouldn’t want the drop in the dollar to erode the value of its assets.”

    At $2.45 trillion, China’s foreign-exchange reserves are the world’s largest. It held $867.7 billion of Treasuries at the end of May, down from $900.2 billion in April. Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore are also among the world’s 10 biggest holders of reserves that reduced their ownership of U.S. government debt that month.

    Welcome Purchases

    Luring more foreign investors to Japanese government bonds is critical for the government as a shrinking domestic population threatens to erode the pool of savings that has sustained demand for the debt. Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda last month said China’s purchases are welcome given policy makers’ efforts to diversify the investor base of bonds.

    About 95 percent of Japan’s debt is held domestically, which sovereign-debt agencies have said supports the country’s creditworthiness even as borrowings approach 200 percent of gross domestic product. In a sign that base is waning, Japan’s public pension fund, a holder of 12 percent of outstanding debt, sold more government bonds than it bought for the first time in nine years.

    The yield on Japan’s benchmark 10-year bond dropped to a seven-year low of 0.995 percent on Aug. 4. Ten-year bond futures for September delivery added 0.24 to 142.11 as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo.

    Japan has been bolstering its ties with China, which became its largest customer for exports in 2009. Japanese shipments to China tripled from 2000 to 2009, and Chinese demand has helped sustain Japan’s recovery from its deepest postwar recession.

    Japan’s government revised how it calculates bond-purchase data in 2005. Today’s figures don’t include breakdowns of government bonds, corporate debt and other securities.

    To contact the reporter on this story: Masaki Kondo in Tokyo at mkondo3@bloomberg.net; Keiko Ujikane in Tokyo at kujikane@bloomberg.net
    China Buys $5.3 Billion of Japanese Bonds in June, Set for Annual Record - Bloomberg
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

  4. #64
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    (Disclaimer: Right now I'm not thinking straight, so if there are any logical inconsistencies, my apologies ))\

    In Japan and France, family farms usually distribute to nearby towns and cities, rather than distributing nationwide as in the US. Operating a widespread transportation network of food distribution is possible in the US mainly because cheap petroleum-based fuels are still available. In other developed countries, fuel is a bit more expensive, hence the higher food prices, especially for imported food products. It's more cost-effective to distribute mainly to local customers.
    May I ask, why is this fuel expensive in other industrialized nations? Oil is traded on the world market. We pay $82 a barrel right now just like anyone else. Where is this extra cost from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    The relationship between people and food as it exists in France and Japan is a quality-centric one. Producing second-rate food products en masse just to fill the pockets of a few industrialists is rather unsavory. Food might be expensive, but giving less than one's best in the kitchen would be regarded as out of line.
    So you would rather starve for better food than to eat crap but have more spending money elsewhere? Well, what can I say? That's your choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    By the time the industrialization of agriculture began to take hold in the aforementioned countries, there was (and still is) a deeply entrenched idea that the quality, rather than quantity, of food is more important. Thus, there are housewives who will often not mind spending large sums to secure quality foodstuffs for the family dinner.
    That's just economically ignorant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    The food culture in America has not matured to become like that of other countries, so often Americans are criticized for having rather plebeian palates. As well, the industrialization of agriculture has been very influential in providing affordable foodstuffs to almost every American. Of course there are native culinary traditions Stateside (e.g., New England cuisine, Southern cuisine), but they seem to have been obscured in the melting pot of American standardization.
    Yes, and we have that choice. We can choose to eat cheap crap or expensive good food. Other nations don't even have this choice. Their farmers make the choice for them. You will eat expensive or starve.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crocodylus View Post
    China is a country with its own deeply entrenched agricultural tradition. I doubt US-style agribusiness will take hold there any time soon.
    Then continue to spend more money on food.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  5. #65
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    gunnut,

    That's just economically ignorant.
    not necessarily-- in china, there's been a big boom in imported organic foodstuffs, simply because of all the quality control issues with the domestic food supply.

    from my POV, that's actually fairly economically enlightened-- that means 1. those housewives are AWARE there's "hidden costs" in the cheap food, and 2. those housewives now have the spending power and the choice to DO something about it.

    that, in turn, puts pressure on the regular food supply to clean up its act. the resulting competition then makes organic food cheaper. win-win cycle.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #66
    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    So you would rather starve for better food than to eat crap but have more spending money elsewhere? Well, what can I say? That's your choice.

    Yes, and we have that choice. We can choose to eat cheap crap or expensive good food. Other nations don't even have this choice. Their farmers make the choice for them. You will eat expensive or starve.

    Then continue to spend more money on food.

    Better to spend more on food but less on losing weight programs or medicine.And I have yet to see a French starving.

    Btw,I checked the price on Albertsons.Considering all the differences between Romania and California wrt to costs and salaries(2-0 for California),we come atop on most products,pricewise and quality wise.Some of the products there are cheaper,most are 50%-100% more expensive than my local groceries.And that's discounting the cheaper imports from the rest of EU that pose an unfair competition thanks to bigger subsidies.
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  7. #67
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    gunnut,



    not necessarily-- in china, there's been a big boom in imported organic foodstuffs, simply because of all the quality control issues with the domestic food supply.

    from my POV, that's actually fairly economically enlightened-- that means 1. those housewives are AWARE there's "hidden costs" in the cheap food, and 2. those housewives now have the spending power and the choice to DO something about it.

    that, in turn, puts pressure on the regular food supply to clean up its act. the resulting competition then makes organic food cheaper. win-win cycle.
    You're mixing the two issues.

    1. Bad food supply/poor quality control
    2. Cheap food that doesn't taste "as good"

    The "organic" stuff you get here at farmer's market is about as safe as the corporate stuff from the supermarkets. Yet the "organic" stuff cost more. People say it taste better. I haven't tried enough to give a definitive answer. All I know is the bacon I had at 7thsfsniper's house was most excellent and that was "organic."
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  8. #68
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Better to spend more on food but less on losing weight programs or medicine.And I have yet to see a French starving.

    Btw,I checked the price on Albertsons.Considering all the differences between Romania and California wrt to costs and salaries(2-0 for California),we come atop on most products,pricewise and quality wise.Some of the products there are cheaper,most are 50%-100% more expensive than my local groceries.And that's discounting the cheaper imports from the rest of EU that pose an unfair competition thanks to bigger subsidies.
    Maybe, but you also have to take into account income differences.

    Median income per household in Orange County is $71,601; median income per family is $81,260; as of a 2007 estimate.

    Most of us have to eat cheap food because our money goes into the inflated real estate market
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    The problem with China is that they can't grow much further in population. They are feeding a 6th of the world population on 4% of the world's arable land. Unless they go ahead with lebensraum projects, which actually are great for solving food problems as in the German example WW2 managed to kill off around 35% of their population, they're stuck. 1.5bn is about as far as they can go, especially given declining water resources in north China and in the long-term declining water resources in South China due to global warming.

    Re: food

    The United States model produces tasteless low-quality produce, but I think even the Chinese realize that high-yield American-style agriculture is their future. While most people, if they had the money, would prefer the French or Japanese model, the Chinese market simply cannot afford organic farming on a large scale, especially given the limitations of Chinese water resources.

  10. #70
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    The problem with China is that they can't grow much further in population. They are feeding a 6th of the world population on 4% of the world's arable land. Unless they go ahead with lebensraum projects, which actually are great for solving food problems as in the German example WW2 managed to kill off around 35% of their population, they're stuck. 1.5bn is about as far as they can go, especially given declining water resources in north China and in the long-term declining water resources in South China due to global warming.
    Sooooo many things wrong with this post.

    We can easily support more people on this earth. The problem with food is not growing it, but distributing it.

    Global warming is a hoax.

    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    Re: food

    The United States model produces tasteless low-quality produce, but I think even the Chinese realize that high-yield American-style agriculture is their future. While most people, if they had the money, would prefer the French or Japanese model, the Chinese market simply cannot afford organic farming on a large scale, especially given the limitations of Chinese water resources.
    Hey, I'd rather eat steaks than eggs, but I can't afford to. Our produce might be tasteless (I don't see how, fricken plants taste like crap to me whether grown by machines or by hand) but it's food, it's cheap, and it's plentiful. You can starve for good food or live well on cheap but tasteless food. I don't know about you but I prefer living.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    gunnut,

    Sooooo many things wrong with this post.

    We can easily support more people on this earth. The problem with food is not growing it, but distributing it.
    the main problem wrong with inst's post is that population growth isn't really being driven environmental concerns-- some of the most environmentally damaged places on earth also have the highest birth rates.

    Our produce might be tasteless (I don't see how, fricken plants taste like crap to me whether grown by machines or by hand) but it's food, it's cheap, and it's plentiful. You can starve for good food or live well on cheap but tasteless food. I don't know about you but I prefer living.
    at some point in time the hidden costs overwhelm the upfront costs. sure, we grow cheap food-- so cheap that the problem isn't starvation, but fast rising obesity rates. high level use of antibiotics to mitigate diseases caused by animal factories causes disease resistance, massive runoff and environmental damage. food monocultures which make our agricultural economy vulnerable to virus mutations/new diseases. food with less nutritive value.

    as you say, the problem with starvation isn't so much food production but food distribution. we've perfected food production at the cost of over-extensive use of farmland and water tables, which threaten agricultural collapse. i think we can lower some of that efficiency in return for a more sustainable, healthier method of farming. in fact, as organic farming techniques improve, quite a few of its techniques have been adopted by conventional farmers seeking to improve the sustainability of their own farms.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #72
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    at some point in time the hidden costs overwhelm the upfront costs. sure, we grow cheap food-- so cheap that the problem isn't starvation, but fast rising obesity rates. high level use of antibiotics to mitigate diseases caused by animal factories causes disease resistance, massive runoff and environmental damage. food monocultures which make our agricultural economy vulnerable to virus mutations/new diseases. food with less nutritive value.

    as you say, the problem with starvation isn't so much food production but food distribution. we've perfected food production at the cost of over-extensive use of farmland and water tables, which threaten agricultural collapse. i think we can lower some of that efficiency in return for a more sustainable, healthier method of farming. in fact, as organic farming techniques improve, quite a few of its techniques have been adopted by conventional farmers seeking to improve the sustainability of their own farms.
    Sure, we can afford it. By all means, do it. Some people prefer more expensive food because it tastes good. Then there are those like me who really don't care about how food tastes. I don't eat much and don't like food. Cheap food is good enough for me.

    Then there are those who can't afford, or shouldn't afford, expensive food. That money could be better used at saving for retirement, or kids' college fund, or paying off debt.

    We have that choice.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  13. #73
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    i agree, we have that choice. but to get back to the original argument, just because one picks the more upfront expensive choice doesn't necessarily always mean that it's economically ignorant. they're two different products, in the end.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    the main problem wrong with inst's post is that population growth isn't really being driven environmental concerns-- some of the most environmentally damaged places on earth also have the highest birth rates.
    This statement is grammatically incorrect to the point where I can't understand your meaning. Are you suggesting that population growth is or is not limited by environmental concerns? If you mean it's not limited by environmental concerns, I agree; populations human and animal tend towards Malthusian collapse, not an orderly reduction in birth-rate as resource pressures mount. In this case, I think that China's population policy in the post-Mao era has been positive as a China with 2-3bn population would quickly implode due to resource scarcity.

    As far as environmentally damaged, I'm also not sure what you mean. By environmentally damaged, I understand that to refer to the ancient breadbaskets of old civilizations; Latin America would not be considered environmentally damaged in this case, because despite Mayan and Olmec environmental collapses, man has only been practicing intensive agriculture in the Americas for a bit over two millennia. Africa, as well, has only recently developed "high" civilizations, partially off trade flows for natural resources with the Arabs. The exception then, would be South Asia and the Middle East, where population growth is still quite substantial.

    As to the usability of organic farming; "traditional" organic farming with nightsoil fertilizer has been highly developed in China, but it was frequently insufficient to meet Chinese agricultural needs. At this point of development, the Chinese benefit most from opting for factory farming in order to control food prices.

    Gunnut:

    As to global warming, Malthusian limits; I agree that the world can support more people as Africa is experiencing severe lapses in agricultural productivity, and Russian agriculture in the RFE is underdeveloped, but in China's case they are reaching the limits of what they can support on their own agricultural land. I am talking specifically about China, not about the rest of the world, and for China's strategic position it's important for them to have food self-sufficiency.

    Regarding global warming, you've simply stated that global warming is a myth. Care to state why? And I'm ambivalent about anthropogenic global warming; the L-curve theory where a small spike in greenhouse gases can lead to run-away warming is not tautological, but we have been experiencing what is historically a warm spell. Aside from that, over the past millennium, we have spent most of that time in a cold spell so this warming deviation suggests that there is real (but not necessarily anthropogenic) global warming.

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    OoE: Re: Urbanites and the PLA, I am assuming you are discussing a China of the year 2040. At the present moment, the PLA still draws many recruits from peasant backgrounds, and I believe the incident in '89 involved peasant units being drafted in to do the work after local units refused to open fire. Regarding the control exercised by senior military officials, their own children are more likely to be overseas than participants in an urban revolt.

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