Stepped away from the computer this weekend and ventured out to Chinatown. Went to get bubble tea at our favorite restaurant to find they weren’t serving it, because their milk came from China. A trip to a second bubble tea store and asked where did they get their milk. “Mei Guo! Mei Guo!” they said, which means America in Mandarin, “HEB!” the Houston grocery store. They showed us the half and half and carefully made the bubble tea with it so we can see it. Nevertheless they had a can of Nestle Chinese milk there, actually quite inconspicuous. So if you don’t ask they will use the canned stuff. So, there are
View Larger Map“>208 bubble tea stores in Houston, and if 75% are using Chinese milk, well you could do the math.
By the way, have you noticed that 300,000 Chinese babies have fallen ill from melamine poisoning? Keep in mind this number is what the official number is, so it is likely to be higher than that. Quite amazing.
Zakaria says America’s only hope is to kowtow to the Chinese. As usual, I disagree. Also as usual, the most interesting words are not his own:
“People often say that China and America are equally dependent on each other,” says Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics. “But that’s no longer true. China has two ways to keep its economy growing. One way is to finance the American consumer. But another way is to finance its own citizens, who are increasingly able to consume in large enough quantities to stimulate economic growth in China. They have options, we don’t. There isn’t really any other country that could finance the American deficit.”
The Chinese are in this position because their labor is far cheaper than ours, and as such they can sell a lot of it. My response to this is essentially this. You won’t see any return to sensible trade and fiscal policy in our country until the Chinese can (or will) no longer purchase our bonds in such large quantities. I’m not saying I don’t want to see foreign investment, I’m just saying I want to see the kind of policies, like balanced budgets, that in a reasonable world would invite foreign investment. Zakaria and the NY Times, and apparently everyone in the media, is saying we desperately need to deleverage….later.
I guess I’d rather a sharp steep recession than an endless one. But no, it’s all spend, spend, spend, more easy money, bail out rotten banks, and go Christmas shopping, for the sake of the economy.
Just in time for Christmas, boys and girls. Kids in Australia that consumed these aqua dots fell sick, it has since been pulled from the shelves in Australia, Spain, and from Toys R Us stores worldwide.
This kind of story is encouraging, though all these recalls of Chinese products have hardly made a dent in the market.
As consumers look for alternatives to Chinese-made toys following a series of recalls this year, dozens of small toy companies are struggling to meet surging demand. Some owners report online sales up as much as fivefold from last year. They’re hiring extra workers, expanding warehouses and adding extra assembly shifts.
Chinese recall spurs demand for American-made toys