…both actual trains and metaphorical trains, as in a recent Biden social media post: 100 days in–and America is getting back on track.
So I’ll give him a railroad story, actually a poem, the following excerpt from which was quoted by Winston Churchill in 1935:
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
For the pace is hot, and the points are near,
and Sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear
And signals flash through the night in vain
Death is in charge of the clattering train!
Original poem here; it appears that Churchill in his excerpt combined part of the first verse with part of the last. The poem, which was published in 1890, was inspired by an actual railroad accident.
76 thoughts on “Biden Likes to Talk About Trains”
Democrats are heavily invested psychologically in mass transit of all types except buses. They don’t seem to be as excited about buses. Trains, subways, light rail. Anything to get people out of their own cars. I have no objection to trains when they are well run. I grew up in Chicago where trains were a major means of commuting. Chicago, of course, is a densely packed metropolis and the Illinois Central did a good job of running those commuter trains. The New York subways are, or were, a good commuter system. I have never been in one. I have spent a lot of time on the London Underground and, in 1982 when I took six teenagers to London, I gave them each a 5 day pass and left them to their devices. London then was largely crime free.
California is the current example of brainless attachment to trains. First, the Mayor of Irvine, an Orange County suburb, built an elaborate transportation center and then decided to run a light rail system down the middle of a busy street, taking several lanes of traffic, and ran the light rail from the transit center to City Hall.
Everyone is familiar with the massive boondoggle of the “Train to Nowhere” currently being built in the central valley, far from any useful site.
The antipathy to personal autos is part of the Democrats’ antipathy to individual freedom. The loonier left wants to ban all “fossil fuels” and many seem to be located in Hawaii which would return to its isolated and pristine existence should their plans ever come to pass.
Literally the only non-local train line worth building in America today as anything other than a money laundering scheme would be LA to Las Vegas. I have no idea why they haven’t done that yet. My vague impression is the answer is that the mob controls the current infrastructure in Vegas so completely that they don’t want to disrupt it at all…
I loved trains – they peopled the mid-west, etc. etc. But spending our money on boondoggles for those morons in California is beyond irritating. They may work on the Wash DC to NY legs but when I visited my daughter one just didn’t show up – it turned out it wasn’t going to that day, no notice, no sign at the station. 3rd world service. And that’s a heavily populated corridors that might use this. Houston and Dallas have no real downtown destinations for many people going to them – a car remains a necessity once you are there. I know “they” want to put us all in windowless cells 40 floors high, but we don’t want them.
Anyway, for entertainment value: The Crash at Crush and a you tube of it. My husband did an amateur song about it and Scott Joplin a professional one – it is certainly an example of man’s attraction to stupid stunts.
James P. Hogan first exposed me to it, quoting it in something he wrote back in the 80s. He provided the short version, which, I think, is really the Good One, as it gets to the point quickly enough to fill you with horror.
It’s not my job to run the train,
The whistle I don’t blow.
It’s not my job to say how far
The train’s supposed to go.
I’m not allowed to pull the brake,
Or even ring the bell.
But let the damn thing leave the track
And see who catches hell!
Just before the Democrats lost control of Texas, forever we hope, there was a proposal to link Houston and Dallas with the remaining east-west line somewhere in Kansas if I recall. There was the usual publicity with politicians along the route talking it up until it was made clear to everyone that outside of the two cities, their participation would be limited to standing by the side of the rails as the train roared past. It died after no more than a few million dollars had been spent on “studies”.
Back when the MSM had, at least a veneer, of honesty, you would see a periodic unfavorable comparison between the cost of subsidizing an Amtrak seat with the cost a plane ticket. What we have isn’t a passenger railroad, it’s a nationally subsidized sight seeing tour.
“What we have isn’t a passenger railroad, it’s a nationally subsidized sight seeing tour.”
Riding Amtrak produces such memories…relaxing, looking out the window, rolling past some of the finest junk yards in America.
You know who I bet loves trains? Our resident troll. Who has been conspicuously absent lately, as Canada descends into a police state, which you’d think he’d want to gloat about, but it rather conflicts with his claims that Canada had a perfect covid response record…
(I actually love trains, but they’re a very limited use tool for America…)
Sigh. I love trains, too, but passenger travel on them is … well, severely limited. A direct regular line between LA and Vegas would make sense, though. Connecting up major cities on the east coast with Florida might make sense, also.
The Daughter Unit and I wondered a while ago if there wasn’t a market for a luxury bus service, a service many levels above Greyhound, connecting various resort locations with big cities: a luxury bus with reclining seats/bunks, WiFi, pickup service, catered meals, an attendant/valet. It wouldn’t be tied to existing rails, on which freight trains have priority over Amtrak, but would use the interstate highway system.
Agree that the current ruling class is enamored of mass transit, especially trains. Anything to get the stupid proles out of their individual automobiles.
Trains of course are by no means all *passenger* trains: freight rail is a very important economic asset for the US, and probably the best freight rail system in the world. One reason Progs like to talk about *passenger* rail is that it gives them another way to compare the US unfavorable with Europe and other places.
I do think there are routes where passenger rail makes sense in the US. Remember, there are realistic limits on how much air traffic a given airport can handle, no matter how sharp the controllers are and how many electronic aids they are provided with.
Sgt Mom…”The Daughter Unit and I wondered a while ago if there wasn’t a market for a luxury bus service, a service many levels above Greyhound”
There was a startup a while back, funded by a Peter Thiel spinoff, which was doing a luxury sleeper bus service between LA and SF….now you’ve got me curious as to what happened to them, I’ll see if I can find out.
OK, found it:
Yes, exactly that kind of long-distance bus service: luxurious, comfortable, dependable. And not much opportunity for graft, which is apparently a good portion of all those ballyhooed plans for high-speed rail construction.
The last time pre-covid that the Daughter Unit went out to California and bac by Amtrack, I saw a good many families at the station waiting for the train to Houston. I thought that it must be much easier, traveling by train with children than going by air.
Sgt Mom, there’s not that much difference between a super-luxury bus as you envision it and a self-contained RV, which they make in Elkhart, Indiana. I wonder if there’s a way to rent one for a week or a month, which is to say, there’s a fleet available for charter.
I do think there are routes where passenger rail makes sense in the US.
Amtrak runs a commuter service from Orange County to LA. The train actually runs from Oceanside where a rail yard exists. I used to take it when I was still teaching at USC. The LA terminus was at Union Station, the old rail terminal for LA, and USC ran buses to the main campus and medical campus during commuter hours. The train varied as much as a half hour from the schedule but, as long as time was not an issue, it worked well. Interestingly, there were light rail lines that originated there and ran across the city but NOT to LAX. The taxi union kept the light rail service away from LAX until the last few years. LAX has been a big center for graft in LA for 40 years.
Over half a century ago, Buckminster Fuller was writing incredulously that South America was afflicted by the usual international experts promoting the construction of train service — in countries already well served by air travel. Oh well! Let’s be grateful that the Usual Suspects are historically illiterate and do not know that before the railroad there was the canal; otherwise, we would be being deluged with plans for energy-efficient high-speed canals.
As for Beijing Biden* getting back on track — there is a story about how the young Andrew Carnegie took his first leap up the ladder. He was a young telegraph operator, when telegraphy was the Next Big Thing, extensively used by railroads for operations. He was thus used to delivering telegrams for the chief of a railroad. One day, young Carnegie delivered a telegram to the chief advising that a train had jumped the tracks. This usually meant the line would be blocked for days while the wreckage was slowly cleared, costing the railroad huge amounts in lost traffic. The chief was not in his office, so young Carnegie took the initiative to telegraph back an instruction to burn the wrecked train in order to clear the track quickly. One of those actions which could lead only to Dismissal or Promotion!
Perhaps we need to set fire to the wreckage that White House Resident Biden* has created on America’s tracks. Accept the near-term loss in order to focus on the longer-term benefits.
I get the appeal. Living in crowded cities stinks. Living in crowded cities where you have to spend hours a day driving REALLY stinks. And these progressive types have been programmed to believe that small towns/suburbs are Hell On Earth, and only cities matter, so they have to try to think of some alternative, and trains are one historical option, and they do work relatively well in a few big cities (well, two in America, really). Add in the fact that some cities still have gorgeous old train stations, since when trains were common people still cared about building beautiful buildings.
I’m no car-hater, but the reaction to the post-war suburban movement due to the affordability of cars was a total disaster. Urban renewal programs are a perfect example of how top down “solutions” can be so disastrous. Bulldozing historic buildings and whole neighborhoods to build freeways connecting urban centers to suburbs was a catastrophic mistake. It resulted in downtown wastelands, and horrible lifestyles for the average commuter. It would have been far better to have let the system adapt to people living more dispersed, presumably with clusters of business centers, etc. The push for trains is misguided but grows out of the recognition that the current system is inhuman and miserable.
Stephen, Sgt Mom…there are several RV rental companies, including this one, which is following an air b&b – type model:
I fear that all too many Americans are like the passengers in the poem:
“A hundred hearts beat placidly on,
Unwitting they that their warder’s gone;
A hundred lips are babbling blithe,
Some seconds hence they in pain may writhe.
For the pace is hot, and the points are near,
And Sleep hath deadened the driver’s ear;
And signals flash through the night in vain.
Death is in charge of the clattering train!”
…but with a lot less excuse, since those passengers could not know that the engineer had fallen asleep, whereas American voters still have plenty of sources of information if they care to use them.
David: A year ago I said that I wasn’t that afraid of “lockdowns” to fight covid, because people wouldn’t tolerate them going on for too long, or being too extreme. I was very wrong.
David, I loved the photo of LA in the RVnGo web site. Who in their right mind would want to go there?
Thanks, by the way. We might take a look for the hot months in Tucson.
David F: “… American voters still have plenty of sources of information if they care to use them.”
Undoubtedly true. But we have to move with the times. American “voters” can vote any way they want — American vote-counters will still hand the election to the already bought-off Democrat Insider candidate.
There is absolutely no doubt there was widespread fraud in the 2020 Presidential election. What is not clear is whether that widespread fraud changed the result of the election. And unfortunately it is blindingly clear is that no-one in a position of trust — not honest rank & file Democrats, not Republicrats, not the Supreme Court, not the Far Left media — has any interest in getting to the bottom of this question.
Democracy is over. There will never be another demonstrably honest election in the US. We are like the passengers on those planes on 9/11 — we have no way to avoid disaster. The only alternative to flying into the buildings is to force the plane to fly into the ground.
Gavin…it seems very unlikely that widespread social collapse and/or civl war would have an outcome that was, or even resembled, a free society.
If I was a secret GOP operative infiltrating the Democrat Party, with a mission to turn off as many Hispanic voters as possible, I’d make sure to promote the following as much as possible:
– America is racist and terrible
– Black Lives Matter
– The Catholic Church is terrible and must be destroyed
– Dudes can become women
So chin up, Gavin. These people are idiots, not some sort of evil supergeniuses.
Trains are old school thinking. By the time a few high speed routes are implemented they will be obsolete. The wave of future transportation is automated cars. Together with remote work opportunities, it will revolutionize cites. And not in an altogether good way.
There was a service called Megabus that operated on the route between Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. I believe it was in other cities too. It looked reasonably comfortable. The problem was it was down town to down town, just like a train which left both ends 20-30 miles from anywhere I wanted to be. It may not have survived covid.
There were also motor coaches running to the casino north east of Dallas in Oklahoma. I used to see them 5-6 at a time starting out from different places on Friday afternoons.
You’d think a train to Vegas could make a profit just on alcohol sales. But then you start to count up all those miles of right of way that you’d have to buy.
I think Texas’ attitude on high speed rail is great: “We won’t stop you, but it will be all your money.” They’ll not only have to buy the right of way, they’ll have to deal with the problem of noise anywhere it passes within a half mile or more of anyplace inhabited. So far, not a square inch of real estate bought.
The track Biden is on is a spur that was condemned before he was born that ends at the edge of a cliff and he’s tied the throttle and safety valve down. What could go wrong? A derailment would count as good luck.
David F: “… it seems very unlikely that widespread social collapse and/or civl war would have an outcome that was, or even resembled, a free society.”
Agreed! Historically, the conventional wisdom is that democracies fail and are replaced by dictatorships. We are at the “failing democracy” stage, so it is likely that the now-inevitable social collapse will lead to a rather non-democratic next phase.
But would we even notice? We already have a form of government which closes down businesses, requires us to wear masks, prohibits us from travelling freely, and is requiring us to be injected with experimental medical treatments — none of which we ever voted for. Throw in the obvious Political Class approval of blatant voter fraud, and it would be easy to argue that democracy in the US is already dead.
One idle thought — the US is a big country with a large population, just like China. China’s history has been one of repeated cycles of fragmentation and consolidation over thousands of years. Perhaps the most probable outcome of the coming societal collapse will be the fragmentation of the US into a number of independent (warring?) dictatorships?
Sad and unnecessary — but there is no point in kidding ourselves that there is going to be a painless resolution to the problems we have allowed to grow around us.
My apologies — I am that Anonymous.
“Trains are old school thinking.” The Chinese sure don’t think so.
“In 2019, railways in China delivered 3.660 billion passenger trips, generating 1,470.66 billion passenger-kilometres and carried 4.389 billion tonnes of freight, generating 3,018 billion cargo tonne-kilometres.”
The High Speed Rail network is one of the real drivers of China’s prosperity. The 40,000km of High Speed Rail allows billions of people to commute, travel for business, and really is a big part of China’s insane growth rate.
The British B1M: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=belm4kDAHgM
One big difference between China and the US, from a railway perspective, is getting right-of-way. Pretty easy in China; the government can just grab it. In the US, it requires negotiation and payment and, especially, lengthy environmental studies and litigation.
PenGun is an expert on China. Just ask him.
“PenGun is an expert on China. Just ask him.”
Well no, but information is widely available. The doubling of GDP every 8 years is likely to continue.
This twitter thread has similar thoughts to my post above about having no need to fear these morons:
There are many who still think the US government has some reserve of competence, that the military is “based” or whatever, that the unreality stops at some unmarked door. That illusion comes from Hollywood. The reality is that they are woke morons too. And so empire is ending.
It’s not just the plummeting competence of the surveillance state. American soft power is falling off a cliff as it transitions from the coolest country in the world to the holiest country in the world — and now to the most laughably woke country in the world. Who admires this?
We’re lucky the ones supervising surveillance, torture, and extraordinary rendition are laughable. Their propaganda is inept and crypto is a free country they can’t control. Doesn’t mean they’ll collapse overnight. The Soviets too were tragicomic. But it means there’s a chance.
It’s too bad that it’s come to this, but what’s past is past. Fear not.
The doubling of GDP every 8 years is likely to continue.
Pengun, why do you believe Chinese govt statistics about economic growth, COVID or anything else?
Jonathan. The numbers concerning China’s growth are not some Chinese scam. Economists the world over recognize these as being real. The Wall Street Journal has stated the Chinese economy grew 18% in the first quarter of this year.
I know its popular with the right to just believe the numbers that support their view, but its not a sustainable strategy.
Jonathan: the only thing more preposterous than the notion that Chinese government statistics have any connection to reality is the notion that the resident troll acts in good faith…otherwise he wouldn’t be the resident troll lol.
Brian, well said.
LOL. I bring you facts and ‘light without heat’, well as far as I can, and you descend to kindergarten levels of rhetoric.
Here’s a cool link to some of the best weapons in the world, and almost anyone can buy them. Its extremely subversive to the goals of the US as well: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCup7lwKDe7g4TPpE9MdEIEw
Pen, the PRC’s GDP growth rates now are similar to the United States during the Industrial Revolution. You have to consider that China was racked by civil war in the first half of 20th century only to implement a communist idiocracy until the mid-1980s. Deng stopped that nonsense and subsequent leaders have implemented fascism, which at least makes the average person richer, if not more free.
Flash in the pan, though. Their idiotic one-child policy ruined their demographics. Without Lebensraum and more young people the PRC will burn out in a few decades. Maybe Canada can volunteer to become the PRC’s next province? A Special Administrative Region? Canada’s tiny 38 million population would be no more than an appetizer for the 1400 million PRC, and at least some portion of Canada’s population seems to be enamored with one-party, authoritarian rule.
“Flash in the pan, though. Their idiotic one-child policy ruined their demographics. Without Lebensraum and more young people the PRC will burn out in a few decades.”
You hope this is true. Its not but even if it were, in 20 years China will be as big as the US and the EU combined economically. Probably sooner.
Lets give the elephant in the room some love. America is a democracy and to keep power in your country you need to convince the electorate to vote for you. This is one of the main reasons America keeps its people dumb and entertained. Your schools, as you freely admit are terrible, and you blame a variety of things for this, with credentialism near the top. So given a little time, as we enter a more and more complicated and technical world, education will become a critical part of any countries economy that want’s to compete for the worlds top place. You have crippled yourself and that will start to become more important as time goes by.
China is really reverting to the path it has taken for thousands of years and they were civilized before any of us. The Dragon is almost back and will become the predominate power, if only because of the way the present predominate powers are reacting. You will not be able to spin China and it will do what it thinks best for its people. As you have forced the Russians to react to your endless pressure, by becoming much closer to China, that whole can of worms is now another problem your military has no real answer to.
You are just not very good at diplomacy, and now you kinda need to be.
PenGun at 5:23 pm: “So given a little time, as we enter a more and more complicated and technical world, education will become a critical part of any countries economy that want’s to compete for the worlds top place. You have crippled yourself and that will start to become more important as time goes by.”
Remember 5:23 pm. That is the time the broken clock is correct.
China has only one plausible direction to “expand”. That’s North, into Siberia. Can’t wait to see if they can pull it off. The Germans and the French thought the Russian winter was brutal.
The Soviet Army is history, the Russian Army might be down to less than a quarter million deployable. Supplying their army on their own soil would be a nightmare with essentially a single train line, 4,000 miles long.
“China is really reverting to the path it has taken for thousands of years and they were civilized before any of us.”
For some pretty eccentric definition of “civilized”.
The interval since the close of the Cultural Revolution is probably the longest time without millions dying in some form of civil strife for centuries, possibly millennia in Chinese history. The toll for the 20th Century can’t even be estimated to the nearest ten million.
Like his apologizing for Canada’s health system, the troll spends time apologizing for China. His bizarre from of apology is to assert superiority when we know it is false.
Now, we have examples of How Canada failed with the WuHan Flu.
Pen Gun, I think it is nice that, like a little kid, you are convinced your team (Canada and China) is the best. Feel that way, if you like, and tell your friends, if you have any, but don’t expect us to believe your nonsense.
Twenty years ago it was commonly accepted that the Chinese government economic numbers were complete fantasy. I recall reading, I think in the NYT, when it still pretended to be a newspaper, about new Chinese numbers and how every regional governor had reported numbers that greatly exceeded the “targets” decreed by Beijing, and if you added them up, it would be something preposterous like 20% growth rate, which even the central government officials knew was absurd, so they adjusted the number down to only 10-15 percent or something like that. Compound that over a few decades since, and their numbers are meaningless at this point. It is very big business to try to provide investors and other interested persons with what might be relatively accurate numbers.
I still need someone to explain to me how China can become a 21st century power. The thugs in charge have done a good job of extracting a vast amount of money from the West thanks to feckless and corrupt politicians and business leaders, but they’ve already hit peak population, which means they’ll be aging rapidly now, and the West is in the process of massively devaluing its currency, which means all that debt is going to get more and more worthless, and Chinese consumers aren’t nearly wealthy enough to replace Western purchases for their junk. We have massive problems, but I don’t see China having a better position. We’re in for a very rough century, due to the demographic implosion of wealthy countries, but that seems certain to mean utter catastrophe for the rest of the world as well.
Brian: “We have massive problems, but I don’t see China having a better position.”
China certainly has its problems too. But there are three ways in which China is clearly in a better position than the West:
(1) China is the workshop of the world. While our Best & Brightest play around shuffling paper, they make real goods & services. China makes things that we don’t — everything from furniture to iPhones. More steel & cement than the rest of the world put together. And they are rapidly overtaking the master in many areas — Volkswagen makes more cars in China than in Germany. When the world economy teeters, the guys with the capacity to make real goods are going to be in a better position than the guys who used to import them.
(2) China does not have an excessive class of regulators, lawyers, and NGO-types. Consequently, things get done in China. Just look at those 15,000 miles of High Speed Rail vs California’s stack of legal filings. Or the nuclear power plants springing up instead of windmills.
(3) China seems to have a real educational system.
On the other hand, China’s official figures should not be believed. But does anyone (apart from the Usual Suspects) believe US government figures on the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, GNP?
Then one area where China is well ahead of us is education. They are educating millions of engineers while we focus on Critical Race Theory. Now, Stanford is setting up watered down Physics and Math programs for blacks because it is assumed they are inferior. This will not end up well.
Prior to Xi, I think China was on a winning track and was also no great threat to us. I think it was foolish to export our manufacturing but it was not so much a national danger until Xi came along with his megalomania. Now, the same urges by Xi are risking the progress that China has made by going back to the top down system of Stalin and Mao.
I would be more sanguine about this if our own ruling class was not so inept. Has anyone else seen the CIA recruiting video ?
One is tempted to assume this is a parody but it is not.
One is tempted to remember that Castro ran our Cuba desk at the CIA for 20 years.
Yawn. People used to say the USSR was churning out brilliant mathematicians and scientists. It was total nonsense, of course. Totalitarianism doesn’t produce brilliant individuals, by its very nature.
“How Canada failed with the WuHan Flu.”
Indeed we have screwed up mightily. But we are not in the same class as the US for failing with Covid. As you obviously have not looked at the numbers I will point out your deaths/million are about 3 times Canada’s rate.
yes indeed then there was the case of nadia prouty, the hezbollah mole who committed immigration fraud among her other crimes she was not expelled as was the customary procedure, so the notion that there were at least two deep cover moles, in the intelligence community for al queda is not so crazy, as I postulate in my novella,
cuba had one mole at dia, miss belen montes, one at state kendall myers for 30 years, he was also part of the language institute that trained european operatives at langley, and one at langley, that was fulton armstrong, littell in his roman a clef wanted to have it both ways, he wanted that angleton was right, but that he was fooled into picking the wrong target as sasha,
PenGun: “I will point out your deaths/million …”
When we have to measure the fatality rate from this dreaded “pandemic” in deaths per million rather than, say, deaths per hundred, we all have to acknowledge that it was not much of a disease.
“When we have to measure the fatality rate from this dreaded “pandemic” in deaths per million rather than, say, deaths per hundred, we all have to acknowledge that it was not much of a disease.”
I am just amazed that you think that going on 600,000 dead in your country is “not much of a disease”. You will have surpassed the Civil War soon, for deaths. The deadliest military conflict America has been involved in.
math is anathema to him,
Here’s a recent analysis of Covid mortality, stratified by age:
As another point of comparison, the fatal accident rate for workers in logging is 111 per 100,000 workers.
I cannot believe that “we” are about to start vaccinating children against this thing. Absolute hysterical insanity. I just received an email from our school asking about interesting in vaxxing 12+ year olds, assuming they are about to be approved for that age group. When one of the few things that hasn’t changed over the past 15 months is the fact that children essentially never get sick from it, and I’ve never seen it proved in any conclusive way that they even effectively spread it.
“math is anathema to him”
Why would I need to calculate a thing? https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
I am just amazed that you think that going on 600,000 dead in your country is “not much of a disease”. You will have surpassed the Civil War soon, for deaths. The deadliest military conflict America has been involved in.
One good sign of stupidity is lack of any comparison to normal. How many Americans die in a normal year, you idiot? Why are there no flu deaths in 2020?
Trolls will troll, I guess.
“I cannot believe that “we” are about to start vaccinating children against this thing.”
There are a number of variants of the virus that kill kids. They are becoming more prevalent all the time. As you don’t routinely sequence the genomes of the samples you have you may not know whats out there. In Canada we have lost children, a toddler and a new born, just recently. Its mutating.
China produces a lot of engineering degrees that they hand out to a lot of people, the actual production of engineers is not in evidence. India has been doing it for a lot longer. All of these engineers don’t seem to have produced much in the way of innovation.
My very limited interaction with Chinese engineers has not left me impressed. Not that I’m that impressed with the American variety just out of school either.
When some smart operators started adding melamine to game protein tests, American dogs and cats died, in China, it was babies that died.
American managers got lazy and listened to those smooth talkers that told the not to worry, all their production problems would be taken care of. This was accompanied by lots of fancy meals and probably more than a few fancy women. Now a lot are recovering from their hangovers to find out that they’ve been training their competition and giving them the blue prints to boot. Now that they’re being undercut by competitors that didn’t have to pay for all those development costs, the production problems have disappeared along with their market.
MCS: “Now that they’re being undercut by competitors that didn’t have to pay for all those development costs, the production problems have disappeared along with their market.”
Sad but true. If China’s leaders had planned to implement Sun Tzu’s dictum (The true Art of War is to win without fighting.), they could hardly have done better. Serious question — What do we do if (when!) China’s rulers announce they will no longer accept freshly-printed US dollars in exchange for real goods? That they will in future only export to the US as much as the US exports to China?
The related question is — how do we dig ourselves out of this hole? A hole that White House Resident Biden* and his merry band are continuing furiously to dig deeper? A hole that the US Best & Brightest refuse even to admit exists?
I’m still waiting for the grand Chinese plan that doesn’t start with them throwing many millions of their own people out of work and bankrupting all the businesses that have driven the progress that they’ve seen. They could do everything you said in your second paragraph tomorrow, by fiat. I’d be willing to bet it would hurt them worse than us.
Look what they did to punish Australia, dozens of ships full of coal anchored outside of their ports, unable to unload and with no other market available. At the same time, they suffered from power curtailments and pollution because of the missing coal. My impression is that the producer is paid once it’s loaded so the coal probably belongs to various traders, the mines have been paid.
I’ve read without being able to confirm, that there average a couple of thousand episodes of civil unrest every week that are carefully screened from outsiders. It would be the height of irony if the government that starved and murdered so many of their parents and grand parents with seeming impunity was brought down because the present generation saw their path to smart phones and Nikes blocked.
“I’ve read without being able to confirm”
Indeed. You will find this is the case for almost all the lies commonly told about China.
To address the Covid problem just a bit more. What is scaring a lot of virologists is that as this virus mutates so easily, it can easily get to a place where our vaccines are not effective anymore. Then we would be in serious trouble.
“In Canada we have lost children, a toddler and a new born”
Wait, what, two children? Oh, gosh, then by all means let’s inject millions upon millions of kids with a vaccine that’s gone through none of the mandated safety tests!
MCS: “I’ve read without being able to confirm, that there average a couple of thousand episodes of civil unrest every week that are carefully screened from outsiders.”
I’ve read that too, MCS. Trying to confirm it is like trying to confirm that 80 Million citizens voted for Resident Biden*. But let me share a thought from riding on the magnificent Chinese High Speed Rail system in western China.
Topography there is a civil engineer’s nightmare — all mountains and valleys, but high speed trains really need to travel in something that approaches a straight line. China has also built a rather impressive network of freeways and toll roads which face the same issues. Problem is that anywhere the engineer draws a straight line, he is going to run over some ancestor’s grave — they are all over the place, in the middle of fields, on the sides of mountains, everywhere!
Just a wild guess from me — a lot of those episodes of civil unrest were Chinese families making a token protest about their ancestors’ graves being disturbed. Token protest, because, as everyone knows, China is not like California where anyone can file suit and stop the High Speed railroad from being built. So the guys go and hold a demonstration at their ancestor’s grave. Police come and move them on. The ancestor’s grave is relocated. And the rail line or road construction carries straight on without delay. Chinese families would lose face if they did not make at least a token protest.
There have been reports of more serious clashes when local governments requisition occupied land & homes to build factories — but I would guess that most of those episodes of civil unrest are kabuki theater.
MCS: “I’d be willing to bet it would hurt them worse than us.”
You may be right. My fear is that someday we will all get the opportunity to see if you are right — that the US will be hurt less by the loss of everything from nuts & bolts to cell phones than China will be hurt by the loss of irredeemable US IOUs. Just remember the Great Covid Toilet Paper Panic — even though toilet paper is something that is still made in North America.
It would be (is) foolish for the US to casually assume that China will always be prepared to exchange their Real Goods for unneeded depreciating dollars. Which brings us back to the question — apart from President Trump, who else has a plan to deal with this looming problem?
A little bit of data for the idiot troll.
The last two weeks of data are incomplete, but the point is obvious. A large majority of “covid deaths” were people who were both elderly and already very sick. My own review of data from thousands of death certificates in Minnesota confirms that in most cases, given the number of severe conditions itemized as contributors to a “covid death”–i.e, one in which the word “covid” appears on the death certificate–it seems remarkable that the person was still alive at all.
I think the mortality statistics over the next couple of years will confirm that in most cases, people who died with “covid” on their death certificates would have died, in any event, in a matter of months or perhaps a year or two.
US death rate is now LOWER than the historic level since the “Covid” deaths exaggerated the annual death rate. We may never know exactly what happened as the politics has distorted so much.
They could announce today that they would only accept RMB or gold in payment from now on. Then what? Many, if not most, of the factories operate on the edge of insolvency. A common trope is production of a last big order, then the workers return to a locked, emptied building with the managers nowhere to be found. Other scams abound. It’s not like there is anywhere else to sell the stuff, they’re already selling Europe all the same sort of thing except in metric. American companies are exiting for Vietnam and Malaysia, as if that will not land them in the same fix down the road.
Time will tell about the underlying quality of all this new construction. I hear stories about how a lot of the impressive new, often empty buildings are crumbling and only partially finished on the inside. They haven’t had a big earthquake in a while, wouldn’t want to be on the 20th floor or a 300KPH train for the next one.
“Wait, what, two children?”
As you are ignorant, and quite proud of that fact, I will try to help. There are a number of variations of the Covid virus in play now and some of them have been killing young people all over the world. As we have some of that virus, among other mutating viruses, we have been experiencing this too. I don’t doubt you have a variety of viruses as well, but do not know which is which, from lack of sequencing.
No doubt PenGun will tell us someday how many children have died of the WuFlu. 50? 100?
re: China, the GOP needs to be pounding the table much, much harder that China was the source of the virus, and that Democrat responses have been to turn us into something like China. But that would of course require them not to be a bunch of corrupt sell-outs…
I will point out your deaths/million are about 3 times Canada’s rate.
Absolutely true. But consider that other big, racially diverse Western countries have death rates similar to the United States’ 1800/million. The UK is slightly higher than the US @ 1900, France slightly lower @ 1600.
A better comparison for Canada’s 600/million death rate would be other small, lily-white countries like the Norden: Denmark @ 400, Finland @ 200, or Norway @ 150.
Sweden @ 1400 is the outlier because of its racial diversity.
“Absolutely true. But consider that other big, racially diverse Western countries have death rates similar to the United States’ 1800/million.”
Parts of Europe, Brazil, the US and now India did a terrible job of containing the virus spread. They did this mostly, taking Britain as a good example, by opening and shutting things down in an arbitrary and unscientific way to preserve their businesses. This has produced a series of super spreader events which has pushed the infection and death rates far higher than they needed to be.
Canada and quite few countries really, did a half-assed job, and face infection and death rates at a somewhat lower rate. Some followed China more closely and had very low rates of infection and deaths, New Zealand being a good example. Now there are so many factors, New Zealand is far away from everywhere, India is extremely crowded, that its hard to really blame anyone for the mistakes that have been made. Ignoring them is madness though.
Mike. Numbers are difficult. However about 850 kids under the age of 9 have died in Brazil, including 500+ babies, in the last year. I expect that’s moderately accurate, although I don’t know enough about the virus types there to extrapolate further. There are most certainly variants that are more dangerous to the young than the Brazil variants though. The Indian and especially the South African varieties are killing more people, and children than the previous variants.
All we need is a vaccine resistant, and more deadly variant to change the prognosis a lot. That is very possible indeed, and getting everyone vaccinated and killing this thing off ASAP is very important.
If you stand back and ignore all the partisan bickering, the outcomes seem to fall in a fairly simple pattern.
Small countries with fairly low density populations and 1st world health care: low mortality. Especially if they were lucky enough that onset was delayed long enough to let them profit from the mistakes of others.
Larger countries, higher density in the cities and 1st world health care: somewhat higher mortality. Especially where they provided examples of things not to do.
Very high density, poor or spotty heath care: high mortality. They have enough infrastructure to keep count but not enough to do much about it.
Very high density, essentially no health care: anybody’s guess. Not enough infrastructure to keep count, many competing causes of mortality, the most vulnerable population died long ago of something else.
What isn’t evident is that the initial statements that there wasn’t much that could be done to stop the spread of an airborne virus once it became established were wrong. That all the shut downs and masks actually helped. That the original ship borne experiments that showed that around 30% would get sick with outcomes varying wildly from rapid death to mild discomfort were wrong.
MCS: I don’t agree with that at all. Most of the 3rd world has been nearly completely untouched, but it’s somewhat hard to tell because our media is so terrible, and national and global “public health” organizations have been found to be totally incompetent. It seems more like old, overweight populations that spend a lot of time indoors in close quarters has always been the major risk factor, and the indoor part is perhaps the biggest part of it.
Some followed China more closely and had very low rates of infection and deaths…
The Peoples Republic of China is something like 95% ethnic Han. It’s the least racially diverse large country in the world. And it’s very similar to New Zealand and Canada in that they have very, very few people of African heritage.
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