Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Heartbeat of Unobtainium

When hearts beat in synchronized rhythm it makes music to some, noise to others.

Hearts beat in the same language that smiles smile in; everyone knows what it means.

Avatar has been banned by the Chinese government, it has been banned by portions of the U.S. government (the few the proud the Marines), the Vatican, and some others.

When it comes to unobtainium, however, these heartbeats and smiles drop out of sync.

These hearts may beat together, but when their eyes glaze over by the color of unobtainium, their minds go off in different directions.

Unobtainium is what global agreement on climate change, energy, religion, politics, peace, and government is made of.

Oops, I forgot good and lasting economy.

China has a strong economic heart beat and a big smile after taking over first place from Germany in exports last year.

Not content to leave it at that, it is now rapidly advancing on other economic fronts:
China has said its economy expanded by 8.7% in 2009, exceeding even the government's own initial expectations.

The pace of change increased as the year went on, with growth in the final quarter of 2009 increasing by 10.7% from the same period a year earlier.

China is now on course to overtake Japan and become the world's second-biggest economy.

Japan announces its latest quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) figures next month.

The Japanese economy is likely to have contracted by about 6% in 2009.
(BBC News). Can anyone remember the last time the U.S. had 8.7% economic growth, I mean in a positive direction (excluding the war budget)?


  1. Dredd,
    Another good post. It's not hard to imagine a mid twenty-first century America where the government has either dissolved or become essentially irrelevant on the world stage and the dollar has become worthless scrip used by a few factions within our borders, but useless as a mean of international exchange.

    As the Chinese economy assumed dominance over world markets in the wake of the US meltdown, major exporters like China (who in spite of their exponential growth rate, still had not quite assumed the consumptive engine mantle that the US had gladly worn, partly due to cultural factors, and partly due to the fact that government officials viewed US consumption patterns as the reason for our demise in the first place and didn't want China to follow suit) began to realize that the US role in the global economy as "chief consumer of everyone else's stuff" was still as important as ever.

    Accordingly, they began to define the things we were still good for and either buy them up outright or subsidize them heavily – sort of a U.S. government by proxy. Things like universities and research and development of all kinds (albeit, now manned almost exclusively by foreign nationals), industrial agriculture, big pharma, and in the biggest boom of all: military, security, corrections, and administration, as Haliburton and its various spin-offs were consolidated and greatly expanded in scope, then deployed world wide, albeit now in service of Chinese and other world interests.

    Amazingly, other than for most Americans, the new arrangements were good for all, as overall militarism and susceptibility to financial corruption worldwide was definitely on the wane. Americans were still free to act as selfishly as before – within our own borders – but our particular brand of insanity did not now automatically infect every place we went. And, with the help of Chinese monetary infusions, we remained just prosperous enough at home to be stable, but not enough to regain ideas of world domination.

  2. Notes to the previous post (in two parts):

    The final wave of U.S. financial shocks began in 2011, continuing on until the military coup of 2018. At that point, with American service people virtually stranded in overseas locations with no economic lifeline, the military did what it does best. After suspending the constitution and returning a small sense of order, the Chinese and a consortium of wealthy world interests came to the rescue and "made us an offer we couldn't refuse."

    The Constitution, along with the House of Representatives (to much applause both at home and abroad), were both scrapped in entirety. The Senate was kept (although senate rules were now under the strict supervision of the executive branch), while the executive branch was expanded to a 3-way presidency, one to be elected by the American people as before, one to be appointed by the Chinese government, and one to be appointed by the consortium, with the Chinese member having ultimate decision making authority. The Judicial branch was kept, but all higher court rulings now had to be reviewed and approved by the executive branch.

    The military was sold off to a multi-national consortium, which had already absorbed Halliburton and its associated business interests, greatly expanded, and became the first truly global multi-national military enterprise in world history. Its scope was greatly expanded as well, now officially encompassing peacekeeping, nation-building, corrections (prisons), civilian law enforcement, private security services, and general governmental administration duties of all types as well. Shortly thereafter, the United Nations was formally disbanded as well, officially acknowledging the new world order.

    The Chinese voluntarily assumed, and even expanded, most US entitlement obligations, realizing that by doing so they were preventing the implosion of their symbiotic "trading partner", and essentially just indirectly subsidizing their own export industry. In any case, the baby-boom generation would be gone soon enough anyway, after which such costly non-sense would be phased out for good.

  3. In one of the first acts of the new government, the new executive branch officially repealed (and subsequently approved its repeal) all existing drug laws within the U.S., and freed all prisoners convicted under those laws. Surprisingly, this was an immediately boon to economic activity and overall law and order. Aging baby-boomers with new found wealth and leisure (but little else), re-explored the pleasures of various now legal opium based products of their youth. And with the war on drugs now officially history, Mexico to the south now found unimagined prosperity, unofficially becoming a US territory, as aging US boomers moved south to live out their remaining years in the sun, while many impoverished Mexicans simply joined up with Halliburton and left town altogether.

    Although rising sea levels were to be a worldwide problem in the years shortly thereafter, the U.S. enjoyed the fact it was simply able to abandon so much of its already crumbling infrastructure (the day Wall St officially went under was commemorated world wide with a multi-media extravaganza) without economic penalty, an area where China, with its newly constructed special economic zones along its coast, was not nearly so fortunate. This forced some localized crowding issues in the Midwest, but once again, the U.S. was very fortunate in that so many of its working class had joined Halliburton and moved overseas, many never to return, after experiencing the pleasures of often more enlightened foreign cultures.

    In time, the U.S. assumed the role of a sort of quarantined multi-cultural free-trade zone, where many of the more insidious aspects of capitalism and free trade were exported from countries wanting to enjoy the economic benefits, but not wanting to suffer the social ills. As such, tourism became a boom industry, with mini (as well as bigger and better!) Las Vegas’s popping up all over the country, and the population itself morphing into a much more diverse, albeit transient one than ever before. Although never again threatening to regain its status as a world power, the U.S. finally truly achieved its dream of becoming the engine of world growth, as every hair-brained (and not so hair-brained) idea was first exported to and tried out in the relative safety of the U.S., before it was approved to be safely used elsewhere.

  4. disaffected,

    Sounds like "Life After People" or the new book "2084" ... stop holding back ... ;)

  5. Thanks Dredd,
    I'm gonna continue working with it, as it's now officially gotten under my skin. Might call it Future Shock or some such, in a nod to Alvin and Heidi's Toffler's work, which I read all the way back in high school. Although this might all sound pretty far-fetched, I actually think it's not far off the mark. We're gonna experience some pretty radical change in this century, and I think this scenario at least reflects the magnitude of what we might expect. Cheers!