The United States of America is at grievous risk of eclipse by China as the world's foremost economic, and ultimately, military power.

President Biden has a plan for that. The plan is clear, bold, wise, and is already being executed:

* End the pandemic's devastation of our economy, health, lives, and livelihoods, through the American Rescue Plan: shots in arms, money in pockets, kids in schools: done, delivered, working superbly.

* Restore American technologic leadership: 250 billion dollars (just passed by Senate); $52 billion in funds for our semiconductor industry, ending our abject dependence on China for components for autos, electronics, and even military weapons systems, and $190 billion for R&D, to cure our piteous laggard status in the world.

* Reinvigorate America's leading role among allies and confront Russia and China: President Biden is meeting with the G-7 at this moment, and will confront Putin in a few days. NATO is reassured of America's commitment, and Russia deterred from its worst aggressive ambitions. Provide vaccines to desperately needy nations to end their devastation, restore the world economy, sterilize the Petri dish of viral mutants, and re-create the soft power we engendered with CARE, Peace Corps, Marshall Plan, etc.

* Lead the world in infrastructure: both the hard, traditional infrastructure and the human capital that will be built with the American Jobs Plan and the American Family Plan. Seize the moment, electrify virtually everything, build the next generation of cars, trucks, trains, support the whole system with a robust, resilient grid, and protect it all with enhanced cybersecurity. Educate the young, support moms and dads (thus avoiding the baby-bust China is experiencing), assure college and technical/vocational education, And, oh: Buy American at every step.

Jobs, freakin' jobs.

Cost: high. Benefits many. Cost of losing to China, incalculable.

Joseph Yetter

Azalea

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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(15) comments

Momos

Where are we going to get the throwaway junk we put in our landfills if we can't get it from China? American consumers are largely to blame for China's booming economy.

dejadoodoo

"End the pandemic's devastation of our economy, health, lives, and livelihoods, through the American Rescue Plan: shots in arms*, money in pockets, kids in schools: done, delivered, working superbly."

* Unless, of course, you live in an area of the United States that can't trust science over and above ignorant superstition; that describes more of Douglas County than I ever thought possible. Wanna be part of a community that kicks COVID to the floor -- get some protection. Or, you can be a horse too stubborn to drink after being led to the proverbial water.

DavidWReeck

As a United States Marine Corps enlisted guy, and several decades later, living and working in China, I believe the USA is being passed by China’s economic momentum.

The USA wastes far too much on political battles, which greatly slows any advancement. As far as just one China infrastructure advancement: I witness the high speed electric train going from zero to 25,000 miles of rail in less than 10 years, and rode the high speed rail many times between 2012-2019. The USA cannot complete the red-tape permitting in 10 years, prior to any construction.

mworden

David, i had to read your comment twice because my first impression left me stunned. Yes, China made astounding progress on a rail system. One of the ways they did it was to ban all opposition and to prevent all legitimate debate. Your argument sounds an awful lot like those given to defend the Fascists during WW2: "Mussolini made the trains run on time." (In fact, he didn't, but even if he did was Italy's Fascist participation in WW2 a fair price to pay for that?)

We all get tired of political battles and the plain obstructionism we've seen from the GOP in passing a comprehensive infrastructure plan. But I'd rather have the right to obstruct than seeing everyone who disagrees with the Man in Power hauled off in chains and never heard from again.

Your admiration for China's ability to get things done ignores the reality of how things get done. I much prefer the American system with the right to redress grievances, even if it makes progress go in fits and starts instead of one straight line over the battered rights of anyone who disagrees.

DavidWReeck

“Letter: We don't want to be passed by China as an economic power” is the title of the article. So, I mentioned an economic (infrastructure) point.

Disappointed that you needed to conflate fascism and blame-the-GOP with the point.

Since I lived and worked in China for 10 years and married a Chinese woman, I have some direct experience with the interaction of the Chinese government and everyday people. If you look at most any opinion pole, you will see that Chinese have a much better opinion of their government than do Americans of ours.

mworden

My point is that although we have political disagreement and divisiveness in this country that slows forward progress I am indeed very grateful to live in a country where we have the freedom to disagree and the right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. People in many other countries in the world, including China, do not enjoy the right to dissent.

In the USA we're allowed to have low opinions of our government and to loudly proclaim those opinions, whether they are valid or not, on many platforms, including in our local newspaper. I find value in that. Not in all the opinions, but in our fundamental rights under the Constitution. The government of China has tried to censor dissenting opinion even here in Oregon.

In 2012, the Chinese consulate made economic threats against the city of Corvallis, Oregon, after a Taiwanese artist painted a mural about Taiwan on a building owned by another person from Taiwan.

"The Chinese consulate sent a letter to Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning on how this mural would “damage” relations between China and the state of Oregon. Manning simply reminded them that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed the artist and the building’s owner freedom of speech. Because of this, the mayor could not and would not interfere with the mural. Upon this reply, the consulate dispatched two officials to convey the Chinese government’s displeasure and to put pressure on Manning to have the mural taken down. Mayor Manning reiterated that the U.S. Constitution allowed freedom of speech, and that this is the law of the land. The Chinese officials stated that this could “harm” relations between the two countries as the mural has been called by these officials as “propaganda.” Propaganda or not, the mural is protected freedom of speech by the constitution that allows freedoms and expressions that simply are not allowed to exist in China. This is the law of the land, and no foreign power has a right to demand censorship for what they do not like. The Chinese government claims that such a thing “interferes” in Chinese affairs. Excuse me, but the Chinese consulate and Chinese officials basically telling Americans what to do in our country is gross interference in the affairs of the United States."

If the Chinese government dispatches officials to warn off the mayor of an Oregon town over a mural they didn't like, what do you suppose they do to dissenters in their own country?

https://www.wyden.senate.gov/news/press-releases/wyden-defends-corvallis-mural-as-free-speech-calls-chinese-attempts-to-remove-it-a-grave-affront

http://www.lawndalenews.com/2012/09/chinese-attempt-at-censorship-in-corvallis/

DavidWReeck

Uncle Joe and Hunter will obey China.

CitizenJoe

David: sure. In order to get Chinese trademarks, right?

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/business/ivanka-trump-china-trademarks.html

Mike

United States became a world power because of its historically abundant natural resources and the high standard of living created by its industrial harvest. The economic gap with previous 3rd world countries began to close as the U.S. exhausted/discontinued harvest of its natural resources and off-shored its industrial capacity. It will be difficult if not impossible to put the genie back in the bottle.

Non-democratic countries have a definite advantage achieving their agenda. They don't have to deal with the wasted time and energy of competing political parties.

Maybe not in my generation, but I believe it is inevitable the U.S. will be passed as the world's #1 power in most ways. And maybe that is for the best. Maybe the U.S. populace should be more focused on preserving the entire world we ALL live on rather than maintaining their claim as King of the World.

CitizenJoe

Mike, I agree, and: I think the reassertion of America's leadership with regards to technology and environment, democracy and justice will be good for the whole world; a nation does not need to exert hegemony in order to lead.

mworden

[thumbup] Yes, Joe.

CitizenJoe

mworden: you left out, Boomer... 😄

mworden

Hey, Boomer! Having grown up and come of age in the golden era of public health, antibiotics, polio vaccine, civil and women's rights, reproductive freedom, the end to the draft, the sexual revolution, great music and the right to non-conform, well, what can I say ... whenever anyone dismissively says, "Okay, Boomer," I respond, "Dang straight, it's very much okay." Except for the ones waiting for Trump to be reinstated before Labor Day. Not okay!

CitizenJoe

mworden: yes, and: as a leading-edge Boomer, I went to a segregated school in Leesville, LA, had a cousin crippled by polio, had high-school and college classmates and one cousin die because of the Viet Nam war, marched against the war but enlisted to beat the draft, saw a friend nearly die of a back-alley abortion, ...

...and got treated to the best music, ever.

(All the other generations think theirs was, too, of course. They are wrong.)

mworden

Plenty of wonderful things, lots of terrible things. JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcome X, Medgar Evers, James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Kent State.

Now there's a shooting every day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4irXQhgMqg

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