Weaker Dollar, Stronger Yuan May Hurt The United States And Help China In The Long Run!

I’m no expert in economic matters, but I just want to use my own personal logic to make sense of a few things that are currently happening.  People are seeing that the Dollar is weakening as we speak, and the Yuan is growing stronger as we speak.  Some people say weaker Dollar is a good thing because export will become more profitable.  Furthermore, when export becomes profitable, it also drives up the manufacturing sector at home.  That’s the theory for some people, but I feel that it’s way more complicated than this.

Since the United States isn’t a world manufacture hub — China is holding this title — the United States’ exports won’t matter as much unless the United States becomes the world manufacture hub.  Sure, with weaker Dollar, the United States’ exports will become more competitive than before.  The question is, will a little gain in competitiveness in exports spur the manufacturing sector at home?  Meanwhile, weaker Dollar will make the United States’ imports a lot more expensive.

I think the United States currently imports a lot more than exports.  The United States’ import is at $2.25 trillion and the export is at $1.45 trillion for the year of 2016, according to Wikipedia.  If the United States’ exports continue to slack even with the weak Dollar and the imports continue to grow, the United States could face an even stronger trade deficit.  For an example, manufacturer companies in the United States may have to import more expensive materials from the outside to manufacture products at home for selling across the world and at home.  This may not make the products at home cheaper for homegrown consumers.  Furthermore, this will increase the trade deficit in manufacturing sector if not enough products within the United States get to export to balance out the import costs.

Weak Dollar will increase less buying power for the Americans who go abroad for vacation, business, and so forth.  Weak Dollar can make purchases of products from foreign companies through online websites or offline imports more expensive for the American consumers.  For an example, I could be buying a music plugin from an online website which belongs to a French company, and with a weak Dollar, I could be paying more for this software.

I guess good things and bad things do exist even when the Dollar is weak or strong.  Nonetheless, the most interesting question is can the United States fare better when the Dollar is weaker or stronger.  In my opinion, weaker Dollar can help spur export a bit, but if the United States’ exports don’t carry the whole United States’ overall, long-term economy, then the weaker Dollar will be a very bad thing!

What about China?  If the United States enters a trade war against China, China can increase import tariff costs for the products from the United States.  This could hurt the United States’ export market because weaker Dollar would be neutralized by this move from China.  Furthermore, China can also buy up weak Dollar on the cheap to make Yuan stronger if this would serve China’s agenda.  Of course, stronger Yuan for China could make China’s exports look expensive.  Still, from what I’ve heard, China is trying to spur demands at home to create a bigger home consumer market so China won’t be relying on too much from the export market.  If this is the case, then cheap Dollar would be beneficial for China in a big way!

Stronger Yuan would allow Chinese who are going abroad to get more bang for the buck.  Meanwhile, Chinese imports would become cheaper, and so China won’t have to spend so much money to import stuff.  As China’s export market isn’t doing so bad and the imports get cheaper, stronger Yuan allows China to continue to reform her consumption market.  Foreign companies would love to enter China’s bigger homegrown consumption market because China has 1.4 billion headcounts and growing.  As China becomes an ever more important factor for foreign companies due to the size of Chinese population and market, China can begin to dictate tastes, styles, fashions, and so forth worldwide.  Chinese culture will become ever more influential if Chinese market becomes the most important market in the world.

With a weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan, entering a trade war against China might be very bad for the United States!  China can sanction the United States’ companies, entities, and so much more to crash the United States economy.  Of course, a trade war would be bad for China too, because the United States’ imports from China do matter to China a lot.  Nonetheless, as China doesn’t rely on the export market so much, a trade war between the United States and China won’t deter Chinese economic reform plan.  After all, China wants to grow the homegrown consumption market!  While growing a homegrown consumption market to rely less on the export market, China relies on the cheaper import market to balance out the reduction of Chinese exports.  Weaker Dollar and stronger Yuan will allow China to transit from the export market to a service market, also to move to a higher value-added export market — all in all – making this transition in a smoother fashion.

In conclusion, I think China can make the best out of either weaker or stronger Dollar, and the United States — as long as the country stays less competitive — won’t be able to have the upper hand if a trade war occurs between China and the United States.  Meanwhile, China can use stronger Yuan to buy cheap debts from United States’ weak Dollar to prop up China Yuan’s strength.  This, in turn, will actually help China transits from a manufacturing to a service economy.  As the low value-added market goes away in China, China has to accelerate the reform of the manufacturing sector at home so Chinese future export market will be more about high value-added products.  Anyhow, if the United States isn’t going to be able to use the opportunity of a weaker Dollar to reform her economy somehow to make the United States’ economy more competitive against rivals such as China, in the long run other rivals will use the weaker Dollar as the opportunity to make their own economies a lot stronger.

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We Can Marry Democratic And Authoritarian Values Into One!

The above video tries to explore the idea of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy values into one system.  In real life, currently, we do not have a system in which both values could be incorporated in a balance manner.  For an example, in the West, Democracy is being valued more, thus the systems lean toward mediocre leaders with greatest popularity.  In the East, the opposite case mostly occurs.  Still, there probably are situations that smooth sailing does occur for the West, and bad sailing does occur for the East.  This is a luck and bad luck happenstances.  For an example, the people in the West might just pick the best leaders by chance, thus the system could be run by the most popular leaders who are not mediocre.  In the East, bad luck could occur, thus the system could have corrupted, mediocre leaders who hold the positions of power and don’t want to relinquish such powerful positions — thus they become unpopular for sure.

The luck and bad luck happenstances are the unexpected elements, thus these things are beyond the control of the system.  What people want are the system that can be configured in a way that ensures the highest chance of electing the best leaders that could run the country in the best manner if possible.  Unfortunately, electing is more of a popularity contest than electing the best leaders.  Why?  Election is about who got more votes, and thus in theory anyone could be running for a position to get votes.  Strangers vote for each other — it’s more about who appears to be the most competence gets the popularity — thus getting the position.  In the Meritocracy system, a pretender who could keep the act together might also appear to be competence, thus fooling the previous leaders who vouch for his or her promotion.  Still, the Meritocracy system is built to ensure the highest chance of picking leaders according to meritocracy values.

When marrying Democracy with Meritocracy, we’re running into a direct conflict.  Democracy encourages the priority of voting while Meritocracy encourages the priority of strictly observing/testing before a promotion.  Thus, in reality we don’t see any system which distributes equal powers to Democracy and Meritocracy.  In China, I think some local regions do have elections, but it’s obviously one party state — so there is no true election at the very top.  So the true dilemma is how are we marrying the Democracy and Meritocracy together?

I have an idea!  Why don’t we have a constitution that ensures a house of Democracy which governs by election, but the house of Democracy is there to examine the performances of the most popular leaders who had gotten the positions through the voting process.  After the leaders’ terms are up, they need to be either promoted to longer term positions according to their performance-report-cards, but if their performances are poor they could be demoted or even be impeached.  Once they got promoted to longer term positions they could move into the house of Meritocracy.  Still, even once they reach the house of Meritocracy, more examinations must be done to ensure that the leaders within the house of Meritocracy are truly excellent.  If they’re just pretending to be excellent at their jobs, they could still be impeached within the house of Meritocracy.

Well, I think the idea I suggest above could be tested out for the case of marrying Democracy and Meritocracy together.  It’s like the people got to participate in a popularity contest before the real leaders could eventually be recognized.  Such a system does provide layers of examinations of our leaders so they could not take it easy and get so corrupted such as becoming lazy in serving people, involving in corruptions and scandals, and so forth.  What do you think?

Nationalism Vs. Globalism, Where Does This Lead? Probably to a Nowhere!

Globalism seems to be getting a bad rap lately, because locally people are suffering from global competition.  Jobs from a global market either had already been moved to another part of the world in the name of efficiency in cost and whatnot or will be replaced by market elsewhere that is more competitive.  So, locally, people are not feeling good at all about global aspects.

We’re seeing many people try to promote local brand, local ideas, local culture, and local anything over anything global.  Of course, it’s not a bad thing to promote local culture, ideas and whatnot, because these things are essential for a local life-force.  Nonetheless, when we become too extreme in promoting local over global agenda, we may create an atmosphere that would lead to a road of violences and not of solutions.

Imagine how the Nazi or similar groups came about or will be created because of such extremism.  Basically, I believe that the Nazis were not only Hitler’s henchmen, but many of them were believing in a movement of a pure race mentality which believes in purity and superiority over other identities.  So, in Hitler’s time, if you’re a Jew, you would be considered the lowest scum of all scums on earth, thus Hitler did try to wipe out the entire Jewish identity from the planet earth.

The Nazi mentality would seem making sense for the Nazis, but on the outside most people would not agree, because such a movement promotes senseless killing and senseless violence.  Thus I think anything that is taking too extreme may do more harm than good.  So, in these days, many people are promoting local brands over global brands, and it’s not really a bad thing.  Nonetheless, I think we should do this on a scale that makes sense — by not overdoing it.  If not, we may promote a form of extremism that will only incite a bigger conflict eventually.

Imagine a scenario in which we would close off our border, stop trading with everyone else globally, and try to create a self-sustain nation in which we believe that would stop global competition and bring better economic prosperity for people within our nation — this looks a lot like North Korea now.  But we all know that North Korea isn’t doing very well economically for a very long time.  Actually, North Korea had been poor since the conception of its whole political body.

Just right next door, China, once was as poor as North Korea, but now this neighbor known as China has become the largest economy on earth in term of Purchasing Power Parity measure and many people suggest that China will become the largest economy on earth in nominal GDP term sooner than later.  The neighbors cannot be any differ in term of size and economic prowess, because the gap between the North Koreans and the Chinese seems to be the size of a galaxy — an exaggeration of course but relevant nonetheless.

China achieved all of their success not by closing down borders, stop trading, and try to be self-sustained like North Korea, but China opened and continues to open up just the right amount of space for foreign trades, investments, cooperations, and whatnot.  So, I think China did think about how to face the challenge of global competition before they opened up their economy just right which had allowed them to be where they are today.

For countries like the United States, we’re facing a challenge of cost efficiency, and so our products are more expensive to export.  Perhaps we should think about closing our door with just a right amount of space but leave the door open just wide enough to stem the outflow of jobs — creating enough breathing space for people within the country to survive and thrive and compete.

Nonetheless, such a solution is only for short term treatment, because in the future our technologies may be so disruptive that the technologies we will employ will take away all of our jobs.  When such thing occurs, no matter how many borders you close down, how many trades you stop from occurring will not be able to keep jobs at home.  So, the solution won’t be available in the basket of creating jobs for the people, but the solution would be in the basket of how to support a society in which people will no longer work for a living, on a global scale.

What is the solution?  At the moment, I don’t think any single solution would be satisfactory in answering the AI taking away jobs question, because we’re not actually suffering from a total domination from a machine overlord just yet.  Instead, we’re seeing machines slowly take away jobs from various people in various sectors.  Eventually though, the Artificial Intelligence would get so smart that it would take away most jobs from the people.

If AI is inevitably going to take away most of our jobs, we should steer the course of such a trend to benefit the humanity.  After all, we’re the humanity!  So, I suggest that we should employ smart machines to create the abundances that we need to free us all from basic necessaries, and this would allow us to focus on living better.  We then would probably question ourselves what would we do if the smart machines do all the jobs.

Will we become so bored and mindless that we rather die young than live too long?  Nonetheless, in the future we may have technologies that would extend our lifespan.  But there is a possibility in which we as the humanity as a whole would try to explore the next frontier which is the universe itself.  Maybe the smart machines would get us to be so free that we would venture out into the farthest space within the universe to explore and question not only our origin, but the universe itself — and have a better chance at doing this than ever before.

Anyway, after watching “Nationalism vs. globalism: the new political divide | Yuval Noah Harari” TED Talks video on YouTube, my brain starts to question a lot more about our future.  This brief essay is the result of my watching of this video.  The video is right after the break.  Enjoy!

Could Saturn’s Rings Were Made By UFO?

I don’t think I can claim that I’d seen a real UFO as in an alien craft from outer space, but I think what I’d seen once was something that I could not describe since it flew too fast and appeared to be an orange or red ball that flew way too fast for any modern craft to do so.  It hovered like for a few seconds to the left of the tree line and then it flew in a strangest way and disappeared real fast behind the tree line, and that was around 9:00 or 10:00 PM or so, because I don’t remember the exact time.  I know it was night time for sure.  This is why I remember it was so bright, but I could not remember the exact color of the unidentified object.  Anyhow, so nowadays when an incredible person with incredible background in science or reputable field claimed that he or she had seen a UFO, I wouldn’t disregard his or her claim immediately.  After all, my experience was rather strange too.

Dr. Norman Bergrun, author of Ringmakers of Saturn, claimed that he believed the rings around Saturn are stuffs that were created by the aliens.  I could be wrong on what I just stated, because I couldn’t find much information about Dr. Norman Bergrun.  I tried to find a wikipedia page of the man, but I couldn’t find any.  Nonetheless, on Amazon, a book under the title Ringmakers of Saturn is available for purchase, and the author of the book is indeed Norman Bergrun.  Anyhow, I’ve found that it’s interesting how Dr. Norman Bergrun thought that the rings weren’t naturally formed by Saturn and the spatial environment around Saturn.

Furthermore, the article Cassini Finds ‘Nothing’ in Saturn’s Ring Gap on astroengine.com digs into how scientists studied the data that Cassini found in regarding to the space between the rings and Saturn was a big empty.  This confound the scientists as they thought there should be more space dust between the rings and the Saturn itself.  This mystery of Saturn’s rings makes me wonder could Dr. Norman Bergrun has been onto something all along.  Anyhow, check out a YouTube video right after the break where Dr. Norman Bergrun talks on why he thinks Saturn’s rings aren’t natural.

Short Thought: Can Labor Cost And Related Costs Speed Up Automation And Artificial Intelligence To Out Compete Competitors?

Here are few sentences that I want to express in short thought on the matter of automation/AI.  I think labor cost and other costs that impose on innovation, manufacturing, and whatnot would speed up automation and artificial intelligence a great deal, because countries such as the United States would like to outdo countries such as China in term of trade and other economic factors.  For your information, I think as now China still has labor cost advantage over the United States.  I see though that the United States could try really hard to push for automation and artificial intelligence, because in this way the United States can gain a competitive edge in trade such as in labor cost and whatnot.  Nonetheless, if I’m China, I would do the same, and this vicious cycle would only speed up automation and artificial intelligence.  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think we may live in the future sooner than we would have like or prepare for.  Furthermore, automation and artificial intelligence will only increase job losses, but it will take a much longer time for people to find new jobs.  After all, getting a new job in a totally different field requires retraining and relearn.  Before you know it, the whole world will try to push for automation and artificial intelligence.  It’s coming sooner than you think!

A World of Tomorrow Will Not Embrace A Racist!

When people try to turn everything into a racist thing, it becomes so obvious and distasteful.  What worse is that such behavior can only divide up people into them versus us mentality and such behavior would not solve any problem.  As the world is getting evermore connected as we speak, there is no going back to the caveman era whence you could just draw a border around your cave without being fear of being discovered.  Nonetheless, when you are so obviously being a racist, it’s worse since you’re instigating one ugly hatred (a caveman idea indeed).  Basically, the world of tomorrow will not embrace you if you’re a racist.  Why not?  Imagine this (but it’s a reality so don’t try to imagine too hard) — not all, but some foods (e.g., fish, pork, chicken, beef) you eat may also be prepared by another country with people who do not speak English and with different skin colors.  It calls product chain I think.  The chains of products that get around the today markets are quite complex and skin color tolerant.

I’m ranting on about skin deep because I’m watching a YouTube video which shows that a woman demands for only a white doctor in a Canadian clinic.  If she doesn’t like any other doctors with any other colors unless the doctor’s skin color is white, then she should have made it less obvious even though she is a racist.  Nonetheless, she makes it so obvious that as if her demand is a statement in which it’s a promotion of racism which could divide people up in an evermore connected world.  It’s a dangerous thing to do!

Remember Rwanda?  Even people with same skin color could kill each other enmasse, and yet today we’re seeing people who are trying to divide people up according to skin deep beauty.  Furthermore, history has shown that civilizations rise and fall, and none shall stand forever.  Thus, each civilization may harbor a people of a majority that comes with a specific skin color.  Never make racism so obvious, because you never know if your group would decline into the abyss and the opposite would be otherwise for the people with a skin color that you hate.  I don’t have to say more, because you would know it won’t be easy for any group to have to kowtow to another group ever!  Put yourself into the shoes of other people so you can be a better person and a more constructive self for the world.  The world is large, and history is very generous to different parts of the world according to the tides of time, and without a decent mind and a tolerant doctrine, no such group of people can ever grow into a more prosperous and wise civilization.

Anyhow, for goodness sake, this is the 21st century, it’s time for people to be evermore united and stopped all the hatreds.  Even with different beliefs in religious matters, people should be more tolerable.  Racism, of course, should be recognized as a caveman practice, because it’s full of hatreds and a tool to divide the world up into groups.  Some people even act as if the world is so mysterious that wars happen all over.  Well, duh, because there are people with mentality of us versus them and skin deep racism.

Back to the topic at hand, imagine if your child is about to die for whatever ailment and you want to be choosy about which doctor you need according to your skin deep bias; you must be insane — your child will die without any proper medical procedure.  I’m sure even an average doctor with a skin color that you don’t like knows more about medical procedures than you will ever do in your whole life.  While you’re playing with the devil, your child could be whisk away by the reaper himself.  So, I think it’s not OK for you to be a racist when it comes to the people who could save your children’s lives and probably your own life.  To be wise, I think you should avoid inject racism into the services that you urgently need such as a doctor that you need, a cook that you need, and so forth.  Otherwise, besides you’re being a racist, you could very well be a stupidest person in the world.

Take my advice and you should be fine in the world of tomorrow.  Don’t be so hateful and the world of tomorrow may embrace you in a big way.  Go 21st century!