Trump's China Strategy: Death By a Thousand Paper Cuts

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3 hours ago, Rob Plant said:

So these workers have all the required skill sets and training to just swap and change roles at the drop of a hat? Sounds like a recipe for disaster or at best inefficiency to me. Health and safety issues must surely come into play, although having visited hundreds of different factories this doesn't seem an important issue in China. Somewhat ironic when the state is supposed to look after the workers.

If you honestly believe there is no corruption in China and local government politics then frankly we are never going to agree as you must be myopic.

Have you ever been there?

Do you think that a worker has full skillset in any country when he joins an industry? Everyone is made to learn via experience. But the basic roles remain the same. So, making a person sit in hiring process and make him uncertain about livelihood is meaningless. Why such unnecessary inefficiency? If a man loses a job because of strategic decisions of closing down a unit, then it is only reasonable that he is given a job of similar grade and type in another place where there is extra room. That is how a good society is managed.

I never said that China has no corruption. I am only saying that China does not have corruption at top levels of politics as people in politics is chosen through meritocracy. There is corruption at lower levels and other places but that is never a major issue as they don't threaten security or stability of society

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8 minutes ago, kshithij Sharma said:

Do you think that a worker has full skillset in any country when he joins an industry? Everyone is made to learn via experience. But the basic roles remain the same.

"Everyone is made to learn via experience. But the basic roles remain the same" Really?

I would have thought everyone is properly trained in how to do the job first, wouldn't you agree?? yes you will then gain experience but that takes time surely?

You were proposing that you shut a mine and they go and work in a toy making factory, what if vice versa? you send people down mines who used to make toys? seriously? Don't you think that might be a little dangerous?

16 minutes ago, kshithij Sharma said:

So, making a person sit in hiring process and make him uncertain about livelihood is meaningless. Why such unnecessary inefficiency? If a man loses a job because of strategic decisions of closing down a unit, then it is only reasonable that he is given a job of similar grade and type in another place where there is extra room. That is how a good society is managed.

Unnecessary inefficiency? If a man loses a job because of strategic decisions of closing down a unit, then it is only reasonable that he is given a job of similar grade and type in another place where there is extra room

Proper recruitment is selecting the BEST person for the job not anybody who just happens to be out of work. What I am saying is that for most jobs these require a certain skill set which cannot be learned overnight, and no not by doing the job until you are experienced as that can be dangerous for the employee and his/her peers.

You make it sound like a load of bees that just move from one hive to the next, in reality it is not that straight forward.

Regarding corruption I'm glad you agree that at lower government level that this exists, I will accept your opinion that this doesnt happen at higher levels as I have no experience of this. However In my experience of different cultures around the world the higher up the tree you get the worse corruption becomes.

I asked if you have been to China, but you did not respond, I am genuinely curious if you have.

 

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49 minutes ago, Rob Plant said:

You make it sound like a load of bees that just move from one hive to the next

Wonderful metaphor sir.

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(edited)

Frankly, if the US wants to beat or compete with China or Africa in manufacturing it needs immigration and no minimum wage.  

Edited by Zhong Lu
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19 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

9wjt.thumb.jpg.5a7eba1b5d932527d31799b153c9ae4c.jpg

Dilbert is funny because it's true.

Sadly corporations are legally required to save their shareholders money to some extent ("operate under the best interests of the company") regardless of ethics.

Moving stuff to Canada won't save them any money.  Laughably they want to come here for less government interference. Canada the land where we love legislate what business can do.

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28 minutes ago, Enthalpic said:

Canada the land where we love legislate what business can do.

Kathleen Wynne spent 17 years as premier of Ontario doing exactly that, and she ended up totally wrecking the manufacturing sector of the province.  

Finally, in the last election, the Wynne Liberals went down to a stupendous, crashing defeat, from a majority party of 124 seats to only 5, a disaster enough to wipe the Liberals off the map as even a third-party, and now without official standing in the Opposition.   Has it sunk in with the Liberals that theirs was a failed path?  Nope.  The Trudeau Liberals at the Federal level simply continue on the same catastrophic path, and the result is there for all to see:  a collapsed business sector. 

For Canadians, that seems to be OK.  They collectively seem to want to get out of all manufacturing, even food processing, in favour of "services."   The result: even the Campbell Soup cannery in SW Ontario has closed down, even the soup guys couldn't hack it, so Canada's tomato crop is history, left to rot in the fields, no market for the stuff.  Just brilliant. 

"Legislate what business can do?"  There is not much of that business left to go legislate.  OK, Suncor is still around, and that Husky refinery in Edmonton. Get past that, and what do you have?  The CN?

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(edited)

1 hour ago, Jan van Eck said:

 

"Legislate what business can do?"  There is not much of that business left to go legislate.  OK, Suncor is still around, and that Husky refinery in Edmonton. Get past that, and what do you have?  The CN?

We have a "refinery row" in Edmonton - several plants. Kind of pretty when you drive by it a night, the flare stacks, lights and all the clouds pouring out of the smoke stacks makes for neat visuals.

Canada mostly just exploits natural resources: oil, forestry, agriculture, mining.  We still have a couple auto plants and of course the perpetually bailed out Bombardier. :)

 

As for tomatoes ketchup was big news for a while.  French's took all of Heinz business.

https://business.financialpost.com/news/retail-marketing/condiment-wars-how-canadian-nationalism-helped-a-u-k-owned-corporate-giants-quest-to-be-ketchup-king

 

Edited by Enthalpic
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13 hours ago, Marcin said:

Mexico gangs - US can and should solve this problem, through literal control of Mexican state by US military or economic sanctions against Mexico, which became narco state like Escobar's Columbia in the past. Mexico would cripple in 6 months without US money. Why it is not done ? This is a real problem of drug abuse affecting millions of Americans. Because tackling this problem is not popular & good for winning next election, according to campaign strategists, so kicking the can down the road again.

De-dollarization already started - Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela are major proponents. US control over status of reserve currency is diminishing because of Chinese trading in own currency (only 15% now), building of alternative global institutions (SCO, BRI, AIIB).

Corruption of Chinese authorities - @Ward Smith This is really pot calling the kettle black ! United States is the most corrupt country in Top 10 largest economies, definitely most corrupt developed country (I am not sure about India, so here is caveat). Here comes proof: US corruption is directly related to making of law. Largest US corporations CAN and DO BUY ACTS OF CONGRESS, like good old Don Corleone in Godfather. Only here it is not Mario Puzo imagination but reality. Remember Citibank Act ? One of prime reasons of Recent Financial Crisis in US. It repealed Glass-Steagal Act. And you know what: Citibank Act is still the law because ALL US POLITICIANS ARE THIEVES & TRAITORS by most standards of developed world. I know what I am saying, I am also Certified Internal Auditor among other things. On the other hand Chinese and all other politicians are just stealing money from government contracts etc (golden rule of 10%).

Mexico.

Really? We just invade freaking Mexico?? What could possibly go wrong with that? 

"De-dollarization". OK, you're producing oil in, where, Nigeria? Right now you can sell that oil for dollars, fungible around the world for any nice things you'd like to buy. Would you sell for rubles? You could spend them where? Renimbi? OK maybe spend them in China but where else? Also what would you buy in China? Assuming you don't want, need 20,000 knock off Nike's. Would you buy land there, and trust their rule of law to protect you? Not even Chinese are able to truly own land in China. The only option is euros, and they're problematic for multiple reasons with our without Brexit. At least the Brits were smart enough to skip the euro currency. 

You're going to have to do better than point to yourself as the arbiter of all things corruption. Appeal to authority is weak on a good day. Perhaps you can share a link or three? 

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On 12/5/2019 at 2:13 PM, Tom Kirkman said:

I agree with Trump booting Huawai out of the U.S.  Huawei is a huge security risk to Western infrastructure and Intellectual Property theft.  Unsurprisingly, Trudeau supports Huawei in Canada.

 

As for CBC News Canada (where the article you linked is from) ...

Proof that Canada’s news media is far-left

"... As I was reading the Globe & Mail’s utterly uncritical story, which might well have been published in Soviet-era Pravda, I was listening to liberalvision CTV “News” Channel and the state-owned CBC News fiasco network in the background. Between them they presented me with at least 6 vehemently anti-Trump “news” stories — in a row.  Seriously. It went on for nearly an hour. Perhaps a “think” tank should have studied that phenomenon and its effect on the market, and profitability.

Maybe (and I know I’ve said this at least once before), the liberal-left Canadian media could switch it up a bit, and try a new thing — start an experiment where they try to tolerate conservatives and conservative thoughts and ideas, and don’t just mock conservatives and Republicans all day long, every day. Their taxpayer-funded 100-page “major” “report” doesn’t even suggest trying anything like that, notwithstanding the immense success Fox News Channel found in the U.S. in market share (they are number one by far), and their profits, and thus their sustainability.

Page one of my (free) report is this headline: Sell and Stop Funding the CBC. Enough said right there. So actually it would end at that headline on page one. Nobody would fall asleep, lose any more tax dollars, and Canadians would actually save huge amounts of tax dollars and get better media too."

Cards upfront on the table - both I and Plastic Blue Bottle are Canadian - although we were made somewhere else originally.

Your observations provide some really fascinating insight into cultural bias and viewpoint differences. If you would ask the average Canadian whether they consider the CBC to be “leftist” they would probably give you a rather quizzical look. It’s a bit like asking you to consider that the right to free speech enshrined in your constitution is a really a “leftist” and radical ideology (it was at the time!!!). So no, both I and Plastic Blue Bottle, reject the notion that we are societally left leaning since we consider it NORMAL. Just as you consider the shenanigans that pass for government in your fair country to be NORMAL. And I think we can both agree that stacked up against a dictatorship, we both look like an uncontrolled herd of buffaloes because they consider totalitarianism NORMAL.

In Canada, our biggest problem is how to ride the "tiger" and maintain some sense of identity in the face of the US's overwhelming culture. This leads to both envy and resentment which unfortunately plays out in the media and in the social platform bots. When we bash Trump it is because we try to imagine him as the leader of our country and nearly have a conniption fit in the process! There are a number of reasons why we believe that the Canadian approach to life is better than the American: 1) Ok fine, I was just kidding - trying to get a rise out of you.

But we really do resent the way the US has played hard and fast with our economy. It starts for me with the Avril Arrow and goes on from there to cars, aeronautics, forestry, steel, beef/pigs, water and most recently the successful strategy to land lock our oil and gas resources. However, the thread discussion about China/US relations indicates to me that there is sort of proxy war being fought through economics. Whereas with Canada/US relations, we like each other but… (and there is always a but) it always feels like the US is patting us on the head and saying things like "Ok, you can play in the sandbox but don't touch any of the big toys". We get it, but it's really annoying. We are a proud and diverse nation and, I think, have done a rather good job of dealing with our neighbor to the south with whom we share the longest undefended border in the world and who happens to be the biggest power in the world (for now… bwaaaahahahahaha…).

Also while I am on my rant, Plastic Blue Bottle says that he wishes Americans would stop making fun of "eh". We don't all say it!

And finally in keeping with our great Canadian tradition – sorry if this offends anyone, eh!

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2 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Kathleen Wynne spent 17 years as premier of Ontario doing exactly that, and she ended up totally wrecking the manufacturing sector of the province.  

Finally, in the last election, the Wynne Liberals went down to a stupendous, crashing defeat, from a majority party of 124 seats to only 5, a disaster enough to wipe the Liberals off the map as even a third-party, and now without official standing in the Opposition.   Has it sunk in with the Liberals that theirs was a failed path?  Nope.  The Trudeau Liberals at the Federal level simply continue on the same catastrophic path, and the result is there for all to see:  a collapsed business sector. 

For Canadians, that seems to be OK.  They collectively seem to want to get out of all manufacturing, even food processing, in favour of "services."   The result: even the Campbell Soup cannery in SW Ontario has closed down, even the soup guys couldn't hack it, so Canada's tomato crop is history, left to rot in the fields, no market for the stuff.  Just brilliant. 

"Legislate what business can do?"  There is not much of that business left to go legislate.  OK, Suncor is still around, and that Husky refinery in Edmonton. Get past that, and what do you have?  The CN?

fzfpeflhm2341.thumb.jpg.f378c16a07fc1463173ef33ebe5e5618.jpg

 

https://community.oilprice.com/topic/8852-is-the-euro-doomed/#comment-79247

 

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(edited)

2 hours ago, Ward Smith said:

You're going to have to do better than point to yourself as the arbiter of all things corruption. Appeal to authority is weak on a good day. Perhaps you can share a link or three? 

I provided all information needed, please read again (I will give 1 additional clue: Citibank Act is officially known as: Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106–102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United States Congress (1999–2001):

Marcin said:

"...Here comes proof: US corruption is directly related to making of law. Largest US corporations CAN and DO BUY ACTS OF CONGRESS, like good old Don Corleone in Godfather. Only here it is not Mario Puzo imagination but reality. Remember Citibank Act ? One of prime reasons of Recent Financial Crisis in US. It repealed Glass-Steagal Act. And you know what: Citibank Act is still the law..."

 

 

Edited by Marcin
typos
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(edited)

1 hour ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Yeah, Ontario elected Ford and Alberta elected Kenny.  Those conservatives do wonders for the economy... not.

Alberta lost 18,000 jobs in one month (record setting since 2008 crisis (also under cons)). 

 

Edited by Enthalpic

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2 hours ago, Ward Smith said:

Really? We just invade freaking Mexico?? What could possibly go wrong with that? 

Actually, there is historical precedent for this.  The USA has "invaded" Mexico a number of times, mostly in various border disputes, including the US taking of California  (some would say, "Take it back!  Please!") and that little fight at the Alamo against hothead jihadist US insurgents from Tennessee, led by Davey Crockett.  There was an actual US "purchase" of Mexican land, known as the Gadsden Purchase, for a strip of land that was basically worthless except it made a convenient run for the Southern Railroad connection into California. Not all that much conflict along the Northern Border, if you discount the gunboat fights on the Great Lakes with those pesky British and the sacking and burning of the border town of St. Albans, Vermont, by those renegade Confederate Southerners, via Montreal.  And oh, yes, there was the canoe invasion of Quebec City, pretty much a failure if you ask me, but hey, all is forgiven. 

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2 hours ago, WHY said:

Cards upfront on the table - both I and Plastic Blue Bottle are Canadian

What is that - a Labatt's drinker?  Eh?

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2 hours ago, WHY said:

Also while I am on my rant, Plastic Blue Bottle says that he wishes Americans would stop making fun of "eh". We don't all say it!

Of course you do!   OK, one exception:   Americans from Texas who move up to Alberta for that oilfield work....  

The rest of you guys:  eh?   (Besides, it is how the cops can tell if you are a real Canadian or not....)

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2 hours ago, WHY said:

But we really do resent the way the US has played hard and fast with our economy. It starts for me with the Avril Arrow and goes on from there to cars, aeronautics, forestry, steel, beef/pigs, water and most recently the successful strategy to land lock our oil and gas resources.

Whoa, there.    The Americans have precisely Zero Obligation to open their borders to any imports at all.  And even when imports are tolerated and the duties are limited by Treaty, there is still zero obligation for any American to actually buy anything from Canada.  

You complain about the Avril Arrow.  I assume you intended the Avro Arrow, a fascinating aircraft design built (only 5 prototypes ever made it to completion) by the A.V. Roe Aircraft Canada Ltd. company, itself part of a big conglomerate of some 30-40 companies and being the 3rd-largest employer in Canada, with over 15,000 workers. The Avro, known as the CF-105, was a stupendous achievement, no question there, a real triumph of great engineering.  But the Americans were under no obligation to go buy it, and they did not, instead developing the F-106 which was also a delta-winged interceptor plane. The Americans did NOT play "hard and fast" with the Arrow, it was your prime minister John Diefenbaker that cancelled the program  (and bankrupted the Avro Canada manufacturing company, throwing all those engineers and assemblers out of work).  So, don't blame the Americans, you built an airplane without having the customers lined up to go buy it. 

As to "cars,"  the US has been quite generous with Canada allowing access into the US markets of Canadian-built autos without the imposition of duties, or (depending on what time period you reference) with vastly reduced duties, much lower than from other countries.  As I recall, US duties ran about 3%, then went to zero with the Auto Pact.  I don't see what the complaint is.  Canadian steel has historically, as respects both the Algoma plant and the Dofasco plant, shipped some 97% of output directly to US buyers.  Is that "dumping" of excess production?  Probably is, but the Americans have tolerated it (until Mr. Trump and his imposition of a 25% anti-dumping tariff, since rescinded). Did Dofasco profit, immensely, from US largesse?  But of course.  

And the US is NOT doing some "strategy" to land-lock your oil and gas.  There is nothing - nothing - to stop Canada from building either pipelines or rail lines to move oil and gas to their three coasts for export, if they wanted to. The US does not owe it to Canada to allow a major pipeline (Keystone XL) to cross aquifers so that Canadian oil can arrive in the US Gulf.  Ship your oil by pipe or rail to Port Arthur and trans-load into tankers if you like, but don't complain that the Americans are strangling that industry, that is a bit silly. 

In trade with the USA, there is no serious question that Canada gets the better deal, and always has.  Your complaints are unfounded. OK, so Americans out-hustle you in the business world, but that is the nature of Americans - they are, above all, people of business. Beats having the Bezerkers for next door. 

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1 hour ago, Marcin said:

I provided all information needed, please read again (I will give 1 additional clue: Citibank Act is officially known as: Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, (Pub.L. 106–102, 113 Stat. 1338, enacted November 12, 1999) is an act of the 106th United States Congress (1999–2001):

Marcin said:

"...Here comes proof: US corruption is directly related to making of law. Largest US corporations CAN and DO BUY ACTS OF CONGRESS, like good old Don Corleone in Godfather. Only here it is not Mario Puzo imagination but reality. Remember Citibank Act ? One of prime reasons of Recent Financial Crisis in US. It repealed Glass-Steagal Act. And you know what: Citibank Act is still the law..."

I repeat, Marcin doesn't get to judge corruption. Was repealing Glass-Steagal stupid? Probably, but there were a LOT of interests wanting to repeal it, not just "Citibank". There was plenty of back and forth in the national press, everyone got to voice their opinions. Realize the reason Glass-Steagal got repealed was because European Banks were not thus handicapped! 

So, climb up on your high horse and pass all the judgements you want, you're still not even close saying the US is the most corrupt country. Not by any sane definition of corruption. It's just your opinion shared by few to none. 

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1 hour ago, Enthalpic said:

Yeah, Ontario elected Ford and Alberta elected Kenny.  Those conservatives do wonders for the economy... not.

Alberta lost 18,000 jobs in one month (record setting since 2008 crisis (also under cons)). 

It's going to take Kenny a long time to undo the fustercluck left by nut job Nutley. 

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11 hours ago, Rob Plant said:

"Everyone is made to learn via experience. But the basic roles remain the same" Really?

I would have thought everyone is properly trained in how to do the job first, wouldn't you agree?? yes you will then gain experience but that takes time surely?

You were proposing that you shut a mine and they go and work in a toy making factory, what if vice versa? you send people down mines who used to make toys? seriously? Don't you think that might be a little dangerous?

Unnecessary inefficiency? If a man loses a job because of strategic decisions of closing down a unit, then it is only reasonable that he is given a job of similar grade and type in another place where there is extra room

Proper recruitment is selecting the BEST person for the job not anybody who just happens to be out of work. What I am saying is that for most jobs these require a certain skill set which cannot be learned overnight, and no not by doing the job until you are experienced as that can be dangerous for the employee and his/her peers.

You make it sound like a load of bees that just move from one hive to the next, in reality it is not that straight forward.

Regarding corruption I'm glad you agree that at lower government level that this exists, I will accept your opinion that this doesnt happen at higher levels as I have no experience of this. However In my experience of different cultures around the world the higher up the tree you get the worse corruption becomes.

I asked if you have been to China, but you did not respond, I am genuinely curious if you have.

 

There is no proper employee. Look at how people jump from one company to another with ease. This is unnecessarily inefficient as the people will then again have to learn new skillset which will waste time. Yet, companies allow for such transition. Similarly, many other jobs are also interchangeable. Even riskier jobs like mining are made relatively idiot proof by keeping infrastructure ready and robust. So, all one has to learn when shifting from say, construction to coal mine is how to dig and extract coal. This will be learnt by observing and working for few days.

It is indeed like a bee moving from one flower to another. Sitting in long placement process with loads of uncertainty is unnecessarily stressful and avoidable.

6 hours ago, Jan van Eck said:

Kathleen Wynne spent 17 years as premier of Ontario doing exactly that, and she ended up totally wrecking the manufacturing sector of the province.  

Finally, in the last election, the Wynne Liberals went down to a stupendous, crashing defeat, from a majority party of 124 seats to only 5, a disaster enough to wipe the Liberals off the map as even a third-party, and now without official standing in the Opposition.   Has it sunk in with the Liberals that theirs was a failed path?  Nope.  The Trudeau Liberals at the Federal level simply continue on the same catastrophic path, and the result is there for all to see:  a collapsed business sector. 

For Canadians, that seems to be OK.  They collectively seem to want to get out of all manufacturing, even food processing, in favour of "services."   The result: even the Campbell Soup cannery in SW Ontario has closed down, even the soup guys couldn't hack it, so Canada's tomato crop is history, left to rot in the fields, no market for the stuff.  Just brilliant. 

"Legislate what business can do?"  There is not much of that business left to go legislate.  OK, Suncor is still around, and that Husky refinery in Edmonton. Get past that, and what do you have?  The CN?

Canada is dictated by USA. USA funds it's agents in Canada to form political pretty, funds then to win elections and then ask them to legislate according to USA wish. USA wanted to make Canada as a supplier of natural resources and wanted to eliminate all leverage with Canada. It's agents passed legislation to do that

5 hours ago, Ward Smith said:

Mexico.

Really? We just invade freaking Mexico?? What could possibly go wrong with that? 

"De-dollarization". OK, you're producing oil in, where, Nigeria? Right now you can sell that oil for dollars, fungible around the world for any nice things you'd like to buy. Would you sell for rubles? You could spend them where? Renimbi? OK maybe spend them in China but where else? Also what would you buy in China? Assuming you don't want, need 20,000 knock off Nike's. Would you buy land there, and trust their rule of law to protect you? Not even Chinese are able to truly own land in China. The only option is euros, and they're problematic for multiple reasons with our without Brexit. At least the Brits were smart enough to skip the euro currency. 

You're going to have to do better than point to yourself as the arbiter of all things corruption. Appeal to authority is weak on a good day. Perhaps you can share a link or three? 

What was the currency prior to 1975 when Petrodollar started? Dedollarisation simply means solder is replaced by national currency. There will be no one currency which in universal but a set of currencies. The dominant ones will be if those countries which provide the most critical goods or resources. So yuan and Arab currency could be the dominant one. After so, world trade depends more on oil and Chinese manufacturing than on USA

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(edited)

Countries can't dictate to other countries. Countries are not organisms.  They're collections of organisms.  And collections of organisms cannot dictate.  Only individuals can.  

Edited by Zhong Lu

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23 minutes ago, Zhong Lu said:

Countries can't dictate to other countries. Countries are not organisms.  They're collections of organisms.  And collections of organisms cannot dictate.  Only individuals can.  

That's just a new level of denial of collective human capabilities and the concept of power.

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(edited)

No, it's a statement of fact.  Countries don't do activities.  It's the people inside the countries who do activities.  

A country cannot eat, cook, starve, dictate, or act anymore than a house can.  

The actions of millions of individuals is too much for the human brain to grasp.  So instead we simplify these behaviors with labels we normally apply to other humans.  And so we think of countries as "people" who dictate/war/compete/trade/etc.

But this is not fact.  For example: Germany can't invade/compete with Russia anymore then a car can invade/compete with a river.  None of these nouns are "sentient." 

Edited by Zhong Lu
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3 hours ago, kshithij Sharma said:

What was the currency prior to 1975 when Petrodollar started? Dedollarisation simply means solder is replaced by national currency. There will be no one currency which in universal but a set of currencies. The dominant ones will be if those countries which provide the most critical goods or resources. So yuan and Arab currency could be the dominant one. After so, world trade depends more on oil and Chinese manufacturing than on USA

Perhaps sir, you would be so kind as to, I don't know, PROVE what you're saying? Perhaps a link or two? Otherwise the readers here will be inclined to think you're appealing to your own authority, a double no no. 

Bottom line Aramco doesn't want bolivars, yuan, piasters, rupees or any of the myriad currencies extant in the world today. There is a massive, Forex trading market that will ALWAYS bid for American dollars, but rarely for rupees. That's just the way it is. The US has the largest, most sophisticated and readily transparent banking system to handle these trades. Would you trust the Russian banks? Maybe Zimbabwe? Good luck with that sir, best of luck. 

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3 hours ago, Zhong Lu said:

No, it's a statement of fact.  Countries don't do activities.  It's the people inside the countries who do activities.  

A country cannot eat, cook, starve, dictate, or act anymore than a house can.  

The actions of millions of individuals is too much for the human brain to grasp.  So instead we simplify these behaviors with labels we normally apply to other humans.  And so we think of countries as "people" who dictate/war/compete/trade/etc.

But this is not fact.  For example: Germany can't invade/compete with Russia anymore then a car can invade/compete with a river.  None of these nouns are "sentient." 

The people get to do the activities because in natural language they are inseparable from their countries, so a person such as a President can be vested with powers granted by the people to dictate terms to less powerful countries, and when countries go to war it's sentient "people" who are killed.

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The irony above is ... amazing.

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