Monday, July 27, 2009

USA to Asia: You Save too Much!

Apparently savings is a bad thing. Patrick Barta wrote a very left-leaning article titled Asian Nations Revisit Safety Net in Effort to Bolster Spending. Apparently because Western nations have bloated social welfare programs that encourage spending (hey, if you lose your job there is always unemployment and welfare, right?) Asian nations should do the same. Why? To increase domestic consumption, of course.

Just look at this quote by Barta:

"Partly as a result, Asians tend to save more and spend less of their income than their counterparts in the West. That contributed to the global imbalances that are one cause of the current world recession: U.S. consumers went deep into debt to finance consumption while Asians socked away money and relied on exports to Western consumers.

Social-welfare programs are one way of addressing those imbalances. The idea is that if Asian consumers have more confidence in their governments to take care of them in times of trouble, they will be more willing to spend today, igniting new demand for consumer goods and leaving the world economy less dependent on Western shoppers."


In fact, countries like China have positioned themselves beautifully for the "demise" of the West which will occur with the free fall of the U.S. dollar. Imagine this scenario: China realizes all this debt they have been constantly purchasing from the United States is dang near worthless (which it is). Then, they decide they are not going to buy worthless paper U.S. debt. Okay Okay then what? Well, the dollars that China has in reserves starts getting shipped back into the U.S. This adds to our already stifling inflation, and diminishes our purchasing power. At the same time the yuan (and many other currencies) gain on the dollar, increasing China's purchasing power.

China realizes that it doesn't NEED Americans to consume their goods. Instead they start consuming more goods, as the price of goods lowers with less American demand. They no longer artificially prop up our consumer nation, and now take part in the fruits of their labor. This newfound prosperity they have gained allows them to have more money to spend domestically, instead of worthless U.S. debt.

So I'm sorry, Patrick, but no you don't create massive government welfare programs to allow for irrational spending. It's because of people who think like you that we are in the worst economic position in our history. Yes, Asian countries will be able to spend more on consumer items, but not to "lessen dependency" on Western shoppers. It will be because they can afford to spend money on consumer items while Western nations (particularly the U.S.) have to deal with a currency crisis on top of all the trillions and trillions we owe to our creditors and the debt we have accumulated or will be on the hook for in the future.

The scarier thing is that the people who are going to "talk economics" with China this week, really have no understanding of what is headed our way.

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