Today I noted that I might have left the country too hastily. Only in America can an employee working for a large international company sign a contract that guarantees the payment of a six-figure bonus even if the company loses money. Even more astonishing is that the bonus is paid even if the Federal government bails the company out to the tune of $170 billion dollars. What a country! That is free wheeling capitalism like no one has ever seen before. And to think that the Republicans are complaining that the country is heading down the path to socialism. Truly amazing.
Looking back in on America, it is easy to see and posit that America has lost its way. The richest country in the world’s education system ranks 10th of industrialized countries. In the land of the free, 1 out of every 31 adults are currently in prison, jail or on probation or parole. There are now 4,234 PAC’s registered with the Federal Election Commission vying for the attention of elected officials with money rather than sound ideas and proposals.
This last week the State Department lost some credibility when Hillary Clinton gave Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a gift with the wrong Russian word on it. Apparently the State Department does not have anyone in it that knows how to speak, read or write Russian. Alternatively though, there is the possibility that the State Department thinks that Russia is a subsidiary of Halliburton. The misprinted word was supposed to be interpreted as “reset” but instead read “overcharge” in Russian. Thankfully, a war was averted. However, shortly after that event, it was announced that Russia is planning on basing some long-range bombers in Cuba and/or Venezuela.
The biggest news, however, was that China’s prime minister Wen Jiabao announced at a news conference in Beijing that he was worried about China’s $1 trillion investments in the United States. With Congress and the Administration spending money like drunken sailors, China is rightfully concerned about its assets. Unfortunately, everyone missed the subtle message that the prime minister was sending to Washington.
Basically, all the “experts” (the same people who missed the warning signs of the current economic crisis) rationalized that China had nothing to worry about. America, after all, has a reputation of paying its debts and meeting its obligations. They also cautioned China about expressing fears about the value and safety of its assets in American Treasury Bonds because such voiced concerns could lower their value.
China is on the outside looking it. It reads about the continual ideological disagreements and fights between the Democrats and Republicans. China knows more about America than the average American knows about America. No doubt China does not agree with the expenditures being made with its money in an attempt to stimulate the economy. After all, it is China's money that the government (and AIG) is using. But it is doubtful that was their motivation behind their stated worry.
Instead, China was sending a pointed message to America that it does not need to listen to all of its complaints about the internal affairs of China. It does not need to listen to the hypocritical concern about human rights. It does not need to be the target of a totally useless resolution passed in the House of Representatives about Tibet. Unlike America, the Chinese are subtle people. They do not like confrontations. They believe in the philosophy of “live and let live.” Unfortunately, Americans believe in the philosophy of “live your lives our way or else…”
In China’s warning there is a stronger message. If the human rights elements in Western Society and in America persist, and do somehow stir up dissent against the Chinese government, China can and will impose extreme sanctions on America. They may do so at some cost to their investments, but social stability in China is much more important than money. While it is true that China and America need each other in the big economic picture, without China’s continued involvement in America, the future would not be bright for America.
America needs to curb and check its arrogance. It no longer is the powerhouse it once was. It can expect to be challenged by China, and the odds are that China will come out the victor in many areas. China, unlike America, is not out to change the world or the world’s political structure. It merely wishes to be taken seriously and to be treated as an equal.
Recently Bishop Eugene Reeves of New Life Anointed Ministries International in Woodbridge, Va., was discussing the effects of the economic crisis on his church’s mortgage. He stated: “Right now, when you’re at the mercy of the lenders, you don’t want to look like you’re coming out against them.”
In its dealings with China, it would be a good idea for America to heed the words of Bishop Reeves.