Getting off the ferry from Alcatraz today I noticed a large container ship headed for port in Oakland. It was no surprise to see the words “China Shipping” on the side of the ship. After all, the U.S. is Chinas largest and most profitable customer. China is also the largest holder of U.S. debt. They are funding a large part of our government’s deficit spending. None of this is new information, but here is what is troubling me.
China, perhaps more than any other nation, needs the U.S. to grow and prosper. If someone owed you a lot of money, would you want them to fail? Would any business want their biggest customer to fail? No way!
So why would China be considered a military threat to the U.S.? I can’t figure it out. Every time anyone suggests that we cut defense spending, the American people are told, China is increasing their military spending so we need to increase ours. We already spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined.
Throughout history wars have been fought for economic gain, and won by conquering the enemy with superior weapons. But today, with weapons of mass destruction, there can be no winner in a military conflict. The U.S. has the most powerful military in history, but today’s wars for economic gain are being fought with different weapons– intellectual capital and skillful, motivated workers. In my opinion, it is time to put more focus and money into developing the weapons that will enable us to continue our remarkable record of economic success over the past two centuries.
To Be Continued…