China has a 100 billion dollar per year trade surplus with the US. Last year the Chinese economy nearly doubled. One year. Fucking wow! I wish I would have invested in Chinese stock. The Chinese are dumping billions of dollars into African and Middle-Eastern oil economies to help its own booming economy. They surpassed Germany to become the third largest economy in the world.
Doesn't that sound like a free-market economy? Even at its most base level? They might be communist to Mr. President Bush, but I'm starting to wonder if that's all just a load of shit to control us Americans.
Regardless, we are losing a lot of money to foreign powers right now. Imagine if we could start a fad or a progressive movement like in the early days of our country where we would only purchase items that were made domestically or imported from US-friendly countries. That would greatly decrease the trade deficit people! And we could pick a country that has a relatively stable government and is friendly and work with them (Brazil, for example).
Or Mexico. If we shifted that 100 billion a year to Mexico instead of to China, we'd save a lot on postage, we've friendlier relations with Mexico, it would greatly reduce the illegal immigration problem since it would raise the standard of living in Mexico. Plus, if we industrialize Mexico, it won't be creating another superpower. If we industrialize China, it will create another superpower. If we ever had to go to war with Mexico, we outnumber them more than three to one, have more resources, and a stronger economy (even if we did industrialize them). But with China, they would outnumber us four to one, have vast resources, and a formiddable economy.
Solution to all problems: reduce the deficit and shift what we can't reduce to friendlier nations.
Forms of Money
When everyone hears the term money, they immediately think numbers and $$$. They hear di$count, free, and $ee $ymbol$ everywhere. What they do not realize is that there is more than one form of money.
Just to name and define a few:
Money itself: how much green is in your wallet or bank account
Income: How rapidly your bank account is growing.
Property: Shit you can barter on any level. Can be a home or a car or a can of soup.
Opportunity/knowledge: People pay a lot of money just to open doors, close doors in other people's faces, and to get educated (which is a form of opening a door).
Information: CIA. Billions of dollars per year. Need I say more? Maybe a little. One piece of information can be used to spare a war. That is definitely beneficial information to have.
One that is commonly skipped: Man-Hours. Labor. China is making a lot of money right now because they have a lot of cheap labor and people are working their asses off over there.
Time is money, don't forget. In an investment where value increases exponentially, every second counts.
Now with these few (and there are more), you can increase your wealth. Get educated so you can get a good-paying job. Get a good paying job. Bribe an investment analyst so you can know where to put your money. Buy property that can be used to increase your wealth (like starting a business).
One backwards thing about people these days is that they buy shit that can't be used for anything except maybe bartering. They buy iPods, they buy shoes, they buy food... Pretty soon nothing they own can be used to increase their wealth. I'm not saying you should go hungry to get rich. But we buy so much shit we don't need and wonder why we're getting deeper and deeper into debt.
I had a roommate once tell me (and he was quoting someone I can't remember): let your money work for you. Don't work for your money. I'm a firm believer. If I led my life by this wisdom, I'll die a comfortable man. You would too.
Increase Wealth While Spending Money?
That's right, you heard me. Increase wealth by spending money. On a person-to-person basis it's a bad idea. But when you've got a society, that's when it becomes a reality. In the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, his father says to a somewhat random character, "If you want to sell, you got to spend." It's not bullshit.
But that's an advertising scheme. That's not exactly what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the speed at which money circulates. Right now the average American makes just over 30,000 a year, though the statistic is skewed by there being a lot of incredibly wealthy people here in America. Most average Americans I know make just less than 30,000 a year. But imagine if we made and spent 60,000 a year without inflation. We would have more property, businesses would have a more lucrative income, and money would accelerate its circulation by an incredible amount.
This is how America is growing richer even with a massive trade deficit. As money circulates, property is created. Property can be converted back to money. The faster money circulates, the more property can be made and converted back to money. In a way, we are creating money without inflation. So yes, we are exporting jobs and money, importing goods, and getting richer all the time.
Now we just need to get corporations to pay their workers more to speed up the circulation of money. Earn more, spend more. If you want to sell, you got to spend. It can be turned around too: if you want to spend, you got to sell. Make something that you can sell. Voila! You're a rich person. Even if your bank account says zero, you got all the property you'll ever imagine. But don't buy property if you can't afford it. And buy shit that will pay itself back, damn it!
There is the small problem where the more property you own, the larger your ecological footprint. Some wisdom must be exercised in what you buy and the reasons you buy it. Replacing your iPod because your old one is "old" is not the type of mindset that will fix the problem.