When my oldest son was little, he had a plastic airplane that always cracked me up. Made in China, the plane was a fighter aircraft that resembled the machines in “Top Gun,” a classic movie from the 1980s.
What made it so funny was the inscription on the underside of the wings. The Chinese manufacturer thought it would be “hip” to include an American saying on the product, so they wrote “Go for Break,” not realizing that the actual saying was, “Go for Broke.”
Some things don’t translate well.
Today, we are locked in a seemingly growing trade war with China that many free-traders and liberals are losing their minds over. Should they? This is worth a closer look.
China is currently our leading single-country trade partner and holder of most of the growing federal debt due to our continuous overspending.
Initial market response to the proposed second round of tariffs from the United States have been interesting. U.S. equities have remained remarkably unchanged (maybe dipping a little) but the weakening of the Chinese currency could spell disaster for China.
This is not a fight that China wants.
The most important question is “why?” Why does President Trump want a trade war with China?
Some believe that China is the largest economic counterfeiter in the world. It has been estimated that China accounts for around 70 percent of all designer brand knock-offs, resulting in immense losses to American companies.
Additionally, China routinely “borrows” technological innovation from United States tech companies and mass produces the stolen tech for export to other countries.
Did I forget to mention that China has a general disregard for U.S. copyright law? A friend was in New York City a couple years ago and was invited to purchase first-run movies for $5 a pop. He bought one and took a peek at it.
Someone in China had set up a camera in a movie theater and taped the whole thing. How do we know? The guy in front stood up to go get some popcorn. Seriously.
Hollywood now often delays movie releases in China since they know their products will be ripped off and soon sold to others, robbing millions if not billions from our domestic movie industry.
China is truly a rogue nation economically and needs to be reigned in. No American president has had the guts to take them on until Mr. Trump. Again, say what you want about him, but his policies are often the right thing to do.
Could China start refusing to buy our debt, causing a dramatic decrease in our ability to finance our over-consumption? Yes, but is that such a bad thing? Maybe we need a wake-up call and stop spending like drunken sailors on a weekend binge.
Without China, Congress would be forced to confront the mounting costs of our spending and not simply increase the debt limit each year. Personally, I don’t want to hand our nation to our sons and daughters so deep in debt that they will never enjoy the freedoms we have today.
They will be enslaved to debt and whoever holds that debt. It may well be China.
While it may be a very hard pill to swallow, this is medicine that we Americans, and possibly the rest of the world, need now.
Let’s go back to 1802 when the Barbary pirates were ravaging shipping off the coast of Africa. The pirates were demanding payments of tributes to their leaders or the ships would be seized and the crews held for ransom.
The other powerful nations of the world, notably France and Great Britain, were more than happy to pay the pirates whatever they wanted. Except for that fledgling country, the United States of America.
President Thomas Jefferson decided to fight the pirates and their control of trade rather than bow to it. Jefferson created the U.S. Navy for this purpose, broke the back of the pirates, and we have assured the world of free and fair trade since.
China is our modern-day pirate state and they must be stopped. Of course, no other nation on Earth has the guts but we do. Jefferson had no navy but soon built one. Trump will build a coalition that will make China back down and cease its immoral and dishonest practices.
“Go for Break” China, or Trump will make you broke. You decide.
Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita and cannot believe that Trump, again, has made another gutsy call. Steve can be reached at email@example.com.