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February 27, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t blame China for our own failings

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I have watched numerous political commercials blame China for various ills in the United States. How ridiculous are they?

China has done nothing wrong. They did not attack us militarily and force us to buy their products. Wal-Mart and American consumers everywhere chose to do that on their own.

China did not force greedy American businesses to make anything in their country. These businesses and their consumers did that on their own.

Most significant, it is these same advertising politicians (of both parties) who have created the tax policies that have permitted this situation to happen.

Trying to blame China (or India, etc.) is wrong. This is simply our politicians refusing to admit to their own failures to pass laws and regulations that are best for our country as a whole and not just for lining their own pockets.

It is the American political way — blame others and accept no responsibility yourself.

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  1. We have to distinguish the Chinese people from the Chinese government. They are not the same. Thanks to their industrial focus and passion for freedoms, the Chinese people are pushing back against the Chinese government's dinosaur-like thinking. The Chinese people to their credit are becoming, dare I say, "Americanized."

    Yes, the Chinese government is a currency manipulator with its yuan. BUT what is Fed Chair Ben Bernanke with the dollar? Sadly, nothing was said about the Federal Reserve and its policies for the dollar during the debates. BUT there is a day of reckoning ahead for QE 1, 2, and 3 and who knows how many more.


  2. People talk as if China is invulnerable. It isn't, and neither are we. We account for 30 % of China's export economy. Obama has gone after China in some ways and China has not retaliated in a major way. If they are labeled a currency manipulator, I doubt they will retaliate in a major way.

    Let's face it. China could hurt us badly if it wanted to, but a 30 % loss in its export economy would devastate China, and they know it.

    What is most important is that we stop creating debt that China buys. Without that debt, we'd hold most of the economic cards against a nation whose economy depends on America buying 30 % of everything they offer for sale.

    It just one more reason, among many, that Congress needs to match spending with revenue and STOP creating debt.


  3. Mr. Stanelle, your letter reads as one big contradiction. Your first statement says China has done nothing wrong, and that they have not attacked us. So then by your next statement, it is WalMart and the American consumers who are responsible. Huh?

    You then pull out the "greedy corporation" straw-man and throw in "their consumers" which would be all of us.

    Next, you cite tax policies that permitted this situation, and a failure to pass laws and regulations to prevent this situation.

    The contradiction stems from the Marxian straw-man of "corporate greed", which then skews any further critical reasoning after that. which btw was Marx's intention from the get-go.

    WalMart doesn't produce anything in China, it merely procures the products from China. It does this to provide a wide array of products at the lowest possible prices for American consumers. In doing that it is thus the American consumers that have made Walmart the biggest corporation in the world. It would seem as if you, and those like you, believe that by patronizing Walmart, consumers are part of the problem. You skew even further by not recognizing that tax policies aren't "permitting" it, but that they are "causing" it. And that laws and regulations don't "prevent" it, but perpetuate it.

    Why is it that those who only see "greed" and a lack of government intervention fail to see it as a struggle to compete in a global market where the profit motive or bottom line is the most efficient way to give consumers any value whatsoever for their increasingly government-devalued dollars, in a slow or stagnant economy that was also created by government.

    The "currency manipulation" is the de-valuation of the Yuan, as China and the rest of the global central banking authorities merely follow suit to that of the Federal Reserve. Therefore is the American taxpayer that is being manipulated.

  4. I suppport free trade on a level playing field to the greatest extent possible.I believe the excerise of freedom extends to the marketplace.
    To that end tax policies should encourage busineses to pursue investment opportunities wherever they are the most profitable offering the greatest potential for return on investment.
    The tax policies should to the extent possible be nation blind or non disriminatory in nature. Our trade repreesentative should bargain hard for deals that level the playing field in all respects. Therefor our policies should be pro business in such a way that they discourarge isolationism and artificial direction of factor flows that are less than optimal for businesses.

    All the factors of production ( land, labor ,capital,entrepreneural) should receive returns in direct proportion to their contributions to the profits in a global network.

  5. Bradley,

    I really appreciate your views and the back and forth. I asked ASadTeacher (Nancy) the other day, who complained about outsourcing, what she would propose to stop it. I haven't checked today but yesterday, there was no response.

    Given the current economy, the deficits and the debt, if I were a wealthy corporation or individual, I would hoard and not grow and invest. I suspect you would too. In fact, I am doing so as a non wealthy individual. So, I'll ask you: What would you do to 'force' these individuals and companies to spend their own money and invest and grow?

    As for your history lesson, you neglect to mention that Japan had embarked on an expansionist path, much like Germany had under Hitler. Yes, the sanctions and acts we took caused Pearl Harbor, but we must also recognize the following: If we'd waited just a little longer to enter WWII, Hitler would have had jet powered fighters and bombers versus our prop driven aircraft, would have completed developing missile technology the allies did not have and would quite possibly have gotten the atomic bomb before we did. If he had gotten all three, he likely wins the war. Even if he'd gotten 2 of the three, the outcome of WWII could have been very different. As we discovered at wars end, Germany was very close to having weapons that could have changed the fortunes of war.

    I agree that it would help in the short run if government just ordered the wealthy to spend or took what they have and spent it, but that's not our system. Some Americans want to go to a system where that could be done. I don't, which is why, much to your disappointment and frustration, I can support Romney.

    Romney does not have the total answer, because without Congress controlling spending, we are doomed no matter what else we do. Same for Obama's plan.

    The wealthy businesses and individuals do need to spend, grow and invest for the economy to recover. Under this system, government cannot and will not 'order' that, so encouraging it is all government can do. I happen to believe that lowering taxes is a more effective encouragement than more taxes and higher government spending would be.

    I could be wrong but that's how I see it.


  6. Mr. Sun,

    Respectfully, please clear your pages of those who would plagiarise.


  7. I'm reading a lot of numbers, but not the reason we got'em.

    Stop blaming Obama. Weak excuse. After all, the numbers we are experiencing were in the making long before Barack Obama became president.

    Here is a number Barack Obama will help make:
    President Obama wins re-election by 6 to 8 points.

  8. China is a currency manipulator. Sure. They fix the value of their currency against the dollar.

    What nobody is saying is that we are also currency manipulators. We print money to buy our own debt to keep interest rates low. It is called Quantitative Easing 1, 2, and now 3!

    Greece and Spain wish they could be currency manipulators, but they don't have the economic strength to get away with it.

    The way forward is education. Obviously we can't compete with the wage some poor Chinese person who grew up in the country is willing to come to the city to work for. People need to stop complaining and learn to do something those poor people in China cannot do with their minimal education. Don't count on these Chinese workers to unionize anytime soon to drive up wages to equality.

  9. Walmart and China allow Americans to buy goods at prices cheaper than what they cost 40 years ago. I recently purchased some workout shirts on sale at Walmart for about six bucks each. When I played football for Santa Monica high school in the early 1970s I paid more than that for my football jerseys.

    A much bigger problem is that Walmart doesn't pay their employees anything. A worker averages about $11 an hour. Hundreds of thousands of their workers collect welfare benefits. The United States government provides Walmart with a massive subsidy that allows them to get away with these lousy wages. They could double the wages of their employees and only increase the cost of goods and services by a few cents. Wages are not a big deal when you sell nearly $500 billion worth of merchandise a year. They prefer not to do it because they want their employees to spend the money that they make at the Walmart stores. If the workers earned substantially more money they wouldn't have to. They could shop at higher-end stores.

    The days are coming to an end when you can spend six dollars for a shirt and then go back to a $50,000 year job. It's not China's fault that Americans love dirt cheap merchandise.

  10. @VegasEngineer,

    "The way forward is education..."
    "People need to stop complaining..."

    Some people actually get it. Some people don't. Good post VegasEngineer, good post!

  11. China has stolen our technology and made stealing a way of life--and then we buy the products from them. Something wrong here. We just don't enforce reasonable sanctions against counterfeiting everything from designer clothing to electronics. It would be impossible to immediately fix this but we need to start down the right path. Currency manipulation is a problem re China but what about the Federal Reserve's ongoing manipulation of our currency--devaluing our dollar by artificially lowering interest rates?

  12. Gerry,

    Maybe I am just uninformed but I wasn't aware that the Federal government subsidizes WalMart to a massive degree. Do you mean the government provides welfare to WalMart workers or is what you are talking about some other kind of subsidy?


  13. China has moved into a market economy with public, individual and privately owned economies for common development.

    It is a global competitor.

    Capitalists believe in competition, so we have no beef, except when it comes to being beaten by a competitor.

    What is China's goal?

    Development of diversified economic elements, with the public sector in dominance.

    A unified and open market system, domestic and international, that fits into a modern enterprise system.

    A distribution system that is based on efficiency and fairness. Promotion of optimal allocation of resources.

    A macro-controlled economic system, mainly by indirect government means to achieve a so-called soft landing of an economy that grows too fast.

    For it's people to achieve a high standard of living and modernization.

    Development of a social security system to promote overall economic development and social stability.

    Role of US outsourcing corporations and investment?

    Through outsourcing and consumerism, we are supporting China in reaching their goals.

    How corporation outsourcing benefits themselves and China?

    Lower capital costs for business enterprises in China.

    Lower taxation in China.

    Larger profits due to lower business and production costs.

    Larger profit margins between costs and retail price, plus larger sales volume.

    Profits for growth capital investors, and leveraged buyout companies.

    Consumers pay lower retail price, and increase purchasing of goods made in China.

    Cost to US?

    Less diversified economic elements in the private sector.

    Micro-economic system of supply and demand. When the demand decreases, so does supply.

    Stagnant wage growth, even in light of growing profits, decreases demand or moves demand to cheaper products.

    This results in less domestic production of products, plant closures, job losses.

    Lower standard of living for the majority of people due to the economic changes that result from the shift in production to outsourced locations.

    Decreasing middle class.

    Economic imbalance from protectionism of wealth through tax advantages and entitlements, shifting burden on middle and lower income brackets, resulting in less spendable income.

  14. Many Walmart workers get income and age based entitlements. Medical, subsidized housing, food stamps etc....If you are a single mom working for $8.00 an hour, which is their starting wage, you qualify for nearly every entitlement that is income based.

  15. It appears China is moving ahead and the US is moving backwards now.

    Alot of that moving backwards came through the tickle down economic policies of Reagan-Bush.

    Clinton gave us more growth and while there was the beginning of a recession at the end of Clinton's term, we don't know to what degree that recession would have gone, or how long it would have lasted. It could have been one of the many recessions that is part of the cyclic nature of capitalism.

    The recession was dealt with through spending on the military industrial complex of two unfunded wars.

    Then the burst of the housing bubble, and the almost near collapse of our economic system, which expanded globally.

    In comes Obama, with that reality on his shoulders, and which the Republicans expect he should have solved in 3+ years. The reality is that we cannot get out of a even a less serious recession in less than 8-12 years.

    So what can be done to better our lot? Some suggestions...

    Tax all income as income, including capital gains and dividends.

    Close all tax havens. Give a short tax reduction on the repatriation of money in tax havens.

    Follow Obama's tax plan, including raising taxes on the highest tax bracket. Give tax breaks for money deployed to start large and small businesses.

    Raise taxes on profits for companies that outsource jobs and start businesses in foreign countries such as China.

    Develop economic diversification.

    Rebuild manufacturing in the US.

    Look at how we can return to a distribution system that is based on efficiency and fairness, and the promotion of optimal allocation of resources.

    Have as a goal for the US workers to achieve a high standard of living and modernization, as is the goal of China.

    Maintain our social security system as it currently is to promote overall economic development and social stability.

    Establish a reasonable long term plan for paying down the debt, with prioritization of the most costly elements of the debt from an interest payment perspective.

    Try to renegotiate interest rates on loans.

  16. gerry,

    "Many Walmart workers get income and age based entitlements. Medical, subsidized housing, food stamps etc....If you are a single mom working for $8.00 an hour, which is their starting wage, you qualify for nearly every entitlement that is income based."

    LOL, shows what fools we are. I don't shop at Walmart, but till share in paying taxes to make up for the difference in wages for Walmart employees.

    Man, how far we have come in my lifetime to really bad economics and injustice.

    And Romney's plan increases the opportunity for companies to outsource and shelter money in tax havens. Here we come China! Bend over US!

  17. 40 years ago it was Japan and Taiwan making the cheap stuff, and now China is loosing to India and Vietnam for cheap labor. The letter is correct in that the majority people want the cheapest price and companies have to compete on price so cost of goods is a driving factor. Many of the factories have housing dorms for the workers because they travel a great distance to get a job,that is how bad they want to work, think you will ever see that happen here in the USA? This is an example of what drives the price.

  18. Peter, India is now more expensive than China.

  19. Forgot to add to my Suggestions in my 2nd post...

    Close loopholes.

  20. Bradley,

    I agree with much of what you said. We are our own worst enemy. Much of business is very greedy, as are many Americans, from rich to poor. We want to get paid a high wage for low skilled work. Many of us feel entitled and are lazy at the same time. We don't finish school or try hard in school; we have sex early, often and recklessly and without marriage. We recklessly create children. We give up on relationships at the first sign of trouble and go find a new one. We buy the least expensive products and services we can find, no matter who provides them. We want very low taxes and very high government spending and even though we live in a country where we CAN control our own government, we let government control US instead.

    No President and no Congress can change all that and it is sad.

    BTW: My minor in college was history and I know a lot about the history around WWII. I understand the point you were trying to make, but Japan wanted to be the big dog in the Pacific Asian area and control natural resources that did not exist in Japan. One country stood in their way and that was America. Yamamoto admitted that Japan would have to confront America eventually and he was not initially in favor of a pre-preemptive strike. However, although we precipitated the strike against Pearl Harbor by our policies and action, Japan would have fought us eventually in any case.


  21. Bradley,

    Let me say also that I understand your point about Macau and that the Peoples Republic of China controls much of what happens there. I know you see that as a model of what we should strive to be.

    I disagree. All systems have flaws and our does too. I would prefer not to have the government have that much control. I know you see it differently, and I respect your view and that of others. I just disagree.


  22. Bradley,

    Don't blow a gasket. I am not trying to manipulate you or your words. I just misunderstood your point. I apologize. Sorry about that. You sometimes seem to want to label me as a bad guy. I am not. I respect your opinions, although I often disagree with them.

    I am a little confused. Almost all government people believe in big government regardless of what they tell you, at least once they are in government. Macau is run by big government with some free enterprise tossed in. President Obama comes right out and says he is for large government... and you support him. Can you explain?


  23. Bradley,

    I honestly feel sorry for any President that has to conduct American foreign policy. If we leave the Middle East for example, other powers will fill the vacuum left there, including China, Russia and Islamic Fundamentalists. If we stay, it is difficult to remain neutral when so many players want us involved 'on terms they control'.

    I believe that Islamic fundamentalists will come for us, just as Japan did in WWII, because we are an impediment to their goal, which is domination of the world by Islamic Fundamentalism. We are the dominant non Islamic nation in the world and we must be disposed of for them to reach their goal.

    If we bankrupt ourselves, both morally and financially by intervention, we do the fundamentalist's jobs for them. If we totally remove ourselves, we lose track of what is happening and any opportunity to shape events and we set ourselves up to be attacked... as on 9/11.

    It's a fine line to walk, and I do not envy Obama or Romney as either man may have to walk that tightrope.


  24. peacelily: I must say I agree with much of your thoughts. As for others commenting, many of you make a 100% wrong statement. China is NOT a communist country. It is nothing close to communism. The party name may be communist but the country is a socialist government and has been for many decades now. In fact, daily life in China today is little different than daily life in the USA. True, migrant workers still often come from the mountainous west to the big cities of the east and many still live in dorms, but those are far fewer than twenty years ago. Life has dramatically improved all over China and their government is largely responsible for that and loved by their people. Currency manipulation? Not really. The cost of autos, consumer goods, hotels, et al, is much the same as here in terms of US$. Only food is somewhat cheaper through government support to feed their many people. Read "China: In My Eyes" ( to learn more about China today. It is a far different place than you think - unless you have spent recent time there.

  25. A Bit More - If the Chinese government does things to support and help their country and people economically, isn't that what governments should do! I would ask why our government, particularly Congress, doesn't do the same? Perhaps the greed of American businesses, which many of you have mentioned, gets in the way of good policy for the country as a whole?

  26. Robert Sanelle,

    I have a Portuguese friend who lives in Macau and whose job takes him all over China.

    I must say that the average American impression of China is far from reality, and way behind.

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful article.

    China has changed a great deal, and continues toward it's goals for the nation and it's people.

    You are correct, China is not "communist", it is "socialist", and there is a difference.

    There are certainly different and conflicting views on the role of government here, and as a result of the smaller government, bigger profits and bigger war machine philosophy, we are going backwards, not competing.

    I agree that China is doing what it should be doing for its people and nation.

    I would like to add something else.

    China is doing some smart trading strategies that will effect us negatively.

    We have spent decades playing the bully with other nations in trading. We have abused our neighbors with our outsourcing,and resource gathering that has damaged the sustainability of other nations and populations of their people.

    Some of these nations are changing on their own and working together for their benefit, as well as opening trade with countries other than the US.

    China now follows in on our mistakes and is growing in new partnerships, not only for markets, but for resources. In some they trade in the local currency, rather than the reserve dollar currency, whose stability is questionable.

    If they can treat these nations better than we did, all may prosper better than the "deals" we offered. If they follow our example, it will be transitory.

    The dogmatic hallelujahs and self back patting of capitalism in the US is going to be our undoing, unless we start understanding that we are in a different game.

    For one thing, we cannot preach human rights at the same time that we violate them.

    Robert, I agree with your statement...

    "If the Chinese government does things to support and help their country and people economically, isn't that what governments should do! I would ask why our government, particularly Congress, doesn't do the same? Perhaps the greed of American businesses, which many of you have mentioned, gets in the way of good policy for the country as a whole?"

    Additionally, brainwashing isn't limited to "socialist" countries. We have a fair amount of it going on here for purposes of self interest, money and power. It is often laced with fear or labeling someone a "communist sympathizer" or "socialist".

    We in the US need to get a more current view of the entire world, and join it, instead of hanging on to our past and watching our diminishment from stubborn pride.

    The history that others have written about here teaches that nothing stays the same, and aberrant self importance leads to downfall.

  27. No, Bradley, you don't have to remind me of 1989, 22 years ago.

    No matter what you call China (Peoples Republic of China), is a socialist state. It has an interesting political structure called the United Front. That includes the Communist Party and 8 minor parties. Totalitarian, but loosening.

    North Korea (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea had all references to Communism removed from its Constitution in 2009. It is currently an independent single party socialist state. Totalitarian.

    The Republic of Cuba is a Marxist-Leninist socialist state with a loosening of totalitarianism.

    Viet Nam is a nominally Marxist--Leninist single-party state. Totalitarian.

    Russia was called the United Soviet Socialist Republic, and was totalitarian. Russia is now a federal semi-presidential constitutional republic.

    No socialist country has met the "Communist" ideal.

    Many Americans don't have a full understanding of socialism, and apply the term loosely and pejoratively to many countries political systems incorrectly.

    There are many types of socialism, applied in many ways.

    The term is often used by Americans to describe a social welfare system, which really reflects a governments recognition that it represents the interests of the people as an important commitment in good governance.

    Some of the government types that have social welfare programs include:

    Federal parliamentary constitutional republic

    Federal republic with a directorial system and a direct democracy

    Constitutional monarchy, Unitary parliamentary representative democracy.

    Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic

    Back to China...

    Nobody is saying that there isn't political repression in China, based on their laws, nor human rights abuses.

    We are focusing on the economic changes in China, and how that relates to their people and the world.

    The US has it's own political repressions and while we haven't resorted to tanks in the streets to deal with protesters, we have the legal authority to do that now. Authorities have also responded with violence and force. First Amendment rights have been abused at various times since the 60's. We even have or have had human rights abuses nationally and internationally.

    So, it may be a matter of degrees of difference between one country and another.

    I think it is important to see the developments in countries and not forever cast them into a single category. China is changing, Cuba is changing. North Korea???

    I must say that throughout my life, I have learned alot from the disagreements I have with what others say. It provokes me to research points of disagreement, which helps me learn more.

    I know that you think deeply about what is shared here, and that adds to your respect for others and your understanding. I likewise respect you, Bradley.

  28. teamster,

    I am not defending China. I just can't stand that people take such ignorant views of a developing nation by today's standards.

    We had our time of developing and had to go through many mistaken ideas, like slavery and more, before we got to the point we are at now.

    To use your term, the "brain dead" thinking that labels instead of looks at the larger picture of today, is non-productive and leaves us at a disadvantage.

    I am sure your friends wouldn't go back after experiencing the US, even with all our own problems. Not many of us have the ability to wait a lifetime for the evolution of economic and political systems, especially when it can take more than one lifetime. That doesn't mean evolution won't occur.

    How do you feel when people demonize unions? There may be some real issues, but there is also some very good aspects of unions.

    Wouldn't it be good if people could see the good and not emphasize the bad?

    Same with almost everything. The trick is getting it all working in harmony or waiting for the evolution of each part to become a whole.

  29. Teamster et al:

    Poverty and slavery [without guilt] breeds communism. As the Chinese people accumulate more wealth and more thirst for freedoms [like the Americans], democracy is a natural outgrowth. The Chinese goverment and dictators will have no choice but to reform its ways. Else be overthrown. Recall Tianneman Square.


  30. Peaclily,

    They are bloodying you up the last couple of days.

    Amercians like a fighter! Come off the canvass and get back in the fight.

    Bradley is smart, I like his comments. You would do good by debating your position with him. The others, they just don't get it.

  31. BChap - I think it is sad to see how you keep commenting on China when you appear to know so little about China. Again, China is NOT communist, nor even particularly close to the Soviet model. T-Square was over two decades ago and would never happen in China today. The Chinese government learned from that. Have you forgotten Kent State? We here in the USA watch our freedoms get further restricted EVERYDAY. Free enterprise has become a joke with the severe limitations placed upon it including right here in Las Vegas where one cannot, e.g., even sell bottles of water on the strip. The people in China are MUCH freer than the average American today to start a business. You need to either travel to China or read more about contemporary China to get current. You are way off base about China.

  32. Bradley, you are very wrong and unjust about me. Your need to insult me shows you completely misunderstand what I wrote, and my intentions, as you do China.

    I am a Democrat, and I support Obama! I believe in a social safety net, as most Democrats do.

    I think Romney will be a disaster for our country, as he returns us to the policies that have led to our current economic recession.

    I believe that Obama's policies are correct and steady for moving us out of this recession.

    I attacked nobody, including Teamster.

    If you think so badly of me, as your comments portray, you are free to ignore me.

    You do owe me an apology for your injustice! However, I don't expect I will ever get one.

    I do agree with Robert Stanelle, who appears to have an accurate understanding of China today.

    I would never think of calling him a "Communist" because he understands the reality of China.

  33. Carmine,

    "Poverty and slavery [without guilt] breeds communism. As the Chinese people accumulate more wealth and more thirst for freedoms [like the Americans], democracy is a natural outgrowth."

    I agree with you on this, Carmine. This has been my belief for many decades.

  34. Bradley, you are sounding like a right wing fanatic, bordering on fascist.

    Take some deep breaths and relax! Maybe some oxygen to your brain will help you.

  35. Ok, Bradley, have it your way! It is unimportant what you think.

  36. Longtimevega,

    Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it.

    Sometimes, people don't realize how cruel they can be. It is in those times that they reveal who they really are.

    I still express my opinions, even if misjudged.

  37. To clarify Bradley's direct or indirect unjust and libelous classification of me. I am NOT a Communist!

  38. Thank you, kepi, you are so kind and I also admire and respect you and your efforts. You contribute some very sincere and thoughtful comments.

    Keep up the good work and be the good person you are.

  39. BChap - You may or may not be an independent thinker as you say. But that doesn't change the fact that you are flat out "independently" WRONG about the China of today. I would recommend you read "Red Star Over China" for historical perspective (written by an American) and "China: In My Eyes" for a more contemporary viewpoint. It is good to see some other comments here show an understanding of contemporary China. You should pay attention to them.

  40. By the way, for those who wish to label me, I am a true independent. I refer to myself as a "liberal humanist," meaning I support only change that I believe betters the human condition as a global entity.

  41. teamster,

    I agree with you about the cause of the ongoing demise of the middle class. It is also an effect of supply-side economics.

    Romney's plan is supply-side [trickle down], yet he is saying in his campaign...

    "we are tired of trickle down" LOL

    I have more bad news for you. I just read a very interesting article that China is at a crossroads.

    The are shifting from being the world's factory to an industrial power. Get ready for more goods from Viet Nam and Cambodia.

  42. Romney has changed his 5 Point Plan. Could we expect anything else from the chameleon?