Rising China, Bleeding US: Way off the Mark? Blatant Lie?

Zbigniew Mazurak's juvenile response to my article is littered with phrases such as "way off the mark", "numerous factual errors", "blatant lie", "most ludicrous claim", "downright ludicrous" etc. I will reply to his objections one by one and this will be my final and only response:

1. Mazurak starts by casting aspersions on China's official fertility rate of 1.8 children/woman by quoting CIA's estimates of 1.54 children/woman. On what grounds Mazurak believes CIA is supreme authority instead of official Chinese census? In my article I quoted China's official census numbers. This does not make it a "factual error" which "begs correction". Mazurak's accusation that I am so naïve and un-informed that I do not even know the basic facts of replacement fertility (2.1 children/woman) is childish. I never contested China's gradual aging. Why he would resort to such non sense is not clear, but I will make the following two points on demographics under 2) and 3):

2. Total Population: We must consider total population, not just birth rate. China's population is more than four times that of US and more than twice that of Europe. In 2010, China's 65+ were 115 million, and in 2030, they will be 240 million, according to Nic Eberstadt of American Enterprise Institute. This means even if China adds 125 million more aged (65+) to its ranks, it will still have more than 1.1 billion younger people. It is foolhardy to dismiss such formidable manpower in overall balance of power. If China becomes more like a giant Hong-Kong/Singapore, its power relative to US will be enormous. As I originally mentioned, at its height, Soviet economy was only 44% that of US, and its population was in the same range as US, not even 10% higher, let alone 400% greater.

3. Relative Birth Rate: Europe and Japan's birth rates are substantially lower than China. Europe's largest and most productive state Germany's birth rate is 1.3-1.4 children/woman, much lower compared to China's 1.8. Moreover, Germany saw sub-replacement fertility since 1971, whereas China saw it much recently, since 1994. Europe's pension problems are so acute because most Europe is aging and dying like Germany. Moreover, Europe and America has more nuclear families due to individualism, whereas China (Collective-Confucianism) and India have substantial percentage of multi-generational households composed of - grandparents-parents-grandchildren. Such households more easily absorb aging and pension problems. Individualism works beautifully if you are "fruitful and multiply".

4. Bullet-Trains: Mazurak's claim that China's bullet trains are a "total waste of money" and that "no one rides them" is rubbish. 40 million Chinese rode in 2 years on a single line. If bullet trains are a total waste, why have densely populated Japan (88 million passengers/year) and Europe (100 million passengers on French TGV) spent billions of dollars on them for decades? I am myself NOT in favor of Bullet trains for US because its population density is low, and even in California the density is much lower than Coastal China, Japan and urban Europe. Mazurak fraudulently claims I advocate high speed rail for US.

5. For infrastructure crisis, here are two good links. A comprehensive report by Edwin Rubenstein which discusses America's infrastructure catastrophe. Demand for highway infrastructure grew "six times" faster than supply. Second link from American Society of Civil Engineers. According to them, China spends 9% of its GDP whereas US spends just 2% on infrastructure. If 3200 unsafe dams is not crisis, what is?

6. On war issue Mazurak cries "blatant lie", "Where is the huge burden on Society?" Look at Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz's Iraq war testimony, this blunder will cost upwards $3 Trillion. He later revised it to $4 Trillion. With more than 5,000 dead and 360,000 with brain injuries, the human cost of these wars has been catastrophic. Most Americans see the pain of veterans, their families and Stiglitz's warning. Counting only "Defense" budget is fraudulent and deceptive. You must count State Department, foreign aid largesse, Veterans benefits, military retirement etc. Please see this interactive budget from NY times. In my article, I simply took the position of founding fathers and conservative statesmen like Robert Taft and George Kennan. A powerful republic, not a bleeding empire. See also this classic work by Seymour Melman, called Pentagon Capitalism, about the hazard of assuming 4.5% or 3.6% of GDP as "defense" budget at its face value and ignoring the hidden human/ industrial calamities such cancerous spending inflicts on civilian economy.

7. Can anyone seriously believe Mazurak's non-sense that technologically advanced South Korea with twice the population and 40 times the economy of third-world North Korea needs US to defend itself? And is it sensible to station troops in Korea, Japan, Europe and dozens of other regions 65 years after WWII? Will US allow China to put troops to protect it from Blood soaked Mexican border, rebuild New Orleans or send high school drop-outs and drug addicts back to school and work? Why shouldn't our young people rebuild America instead of squandering it all in foreign wars and bases?

8. Finally, Mazurak makes such a catastrophic misreading of my Japan, Russia, India alliance that I wonder if he is even capable of any thinking at all. Towards the end I advocated an alliance "between" India, Japan, Russia, Korea and ASEAN (together 5), to contain (I use "partnership" instead of blunt word "contain") China's rise in a 5+1 format, where "1" stands for China. Mazurak woefully interprets it as advocating an India, Japan, Russia "alliance" WITH China. In fact I explicitly mentioned Sino-Japanese/Sino-Russian/Sino-Indian wars, and Indo-Russian/Indo-Japanese friendship to make the case for containment, NOT "alliance", but he completely inverts the truth to claim I advocate "Sino-Japanese or Sino-Indian alliance".

9. Towards the end Mazurak again fraudulently claims that I wrote "China's infrastructure is superior to America because of Bullet trains".

10. In India there is an old saying "Vinaash Kaale Vipreet Buddhi", "when the time of destruction approaches, the intellect becomes self-destructive". Mazurak's warped thinking and attacks are provocative, but without any merit. Instead of attacking my article, Mazurak and his readers should think hard whether the founders were right, and who has America's best interests at heart. If readers still get brainwashed in Mazurak's lullabies, it will be a tragedy for US and all of us. But, from my side, the debate ends here.
Zbigniew Mazurak's juvenile response to my article is littered with phrases such as "way off the mark", "numerous factual errors", "blatant lie", "most ludicrous claim", "downright ludicrous" etc. I will reply to his objections one by one and this will be my final and only response:

1. Mazurak starts by casting aspersions on China's official fertility rate of 1.8 children/woman by quoting CIA's estimates of 1.54 children/woman. On what grounds Mazurak believes CIA is supreme authority instead of official Chinese census? In my article I quoted China's official census numbers. This does not make it a "factual error" which "begs correction". Mazurak's accusation that I am so naïve and un-informed that I do not even know the basic facts of replacement fertility (2.1 children/woman) is childish. I never contested China's gradual aging. Why he would resort to such non sense is not clear, but I will make the following two points on demographics under 2) and 3):

2. Total Population: We must consider total population, not just birth rate. China's population is more than four times that of US and more than twice that of Europe. In 2010, China's 65+ were 115 million, and in 2030, they will be 240 million, according to Nic Eberstadt of American Enterprise Institute. This means even if China adds 125 million more aged (65+) to its ranks, it will still have more than 1.1 billion younger people. It is foolhardy to dismiss such formidable manpower in overall balance of power. If China becomes more like a giant Hong-Kong/Singapore, its power relative to US will be enormous. As I originally mentioned, at its height, Soviet economy was only 44% that of US, and its population was in the same range as US, not even 10% higher, let alone 400% greater.

3. Relative Birth Rate: Europe and Japan's birth rates are substantially lower than China. Europe's largest and most productive state Germany's birth rate is 1.3-1.4 children/woman, much lower compared to China's 1.8. Moreover, Germany saw sub-replacement fertility since 1971, whereas China saw it much recently, since 1994. Europe's pension problems are so acute because most Europe is aging and dying like Germany. Moreover, Europe and America has more nuclear families due to individualism, whereas China (Collective-Confucianism) and India have substantial percentage of multi-generational households composed of - grandparents-parents-grandchildren. Such households more easily absorb aging and pension problems. Individualism works beautifully if you are "fruitful and multiply".

4. Bullet-Trains: Mazurak's claim that China's bullet trains are a "total waste of money" and that "no one rides them" is rubbish. 40 million Chinese rode in 2 years on a single line. If bullet trains are a total waste, why have densely populated Japan (88 million passengers/year) and Europe (100 million passengers on French TGV) spent billions of dollars on them for decades? I am myself NOT in favor of Bullet trains for US because its population density is low, and even in California the density is much lower than Coastal China, Japan and urban Europe. Mazurak fraudulently claims I advocate high speed rail for US.

5. For infrastructure crisis, here are two good links. A comprehensive report by Edwin Rubenstein which discusses America's infrastructure catastrophe. Demand for highway infrastructure grew "six times" faster than supply. Second link from American Society of Civil Engineers. According to them, China spends 9% of its GDP whereas US spends just 2% on infrastructure. If 3200 unsafe dams is not crisis, what is?

6. On war issue Mazurak cries "blatant lie", "Where is the huge burden on Society?" Look at Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz's Iraq war testimony, this blunder will cost upwards $3 Trillion. He later revised it to $4 Trillion. With more than 5,000 dead and 360,000 with brain injuries, the human cost of these wars has been catastrophic. Most Americans see the pain of veterans, their families and Stiglitz's warning. Counting only "Defense" budget is fraudulent and deceptive. You must count State Department, foreign aid largesse, Veterans benefits, military retirement etc. Please see this interactive budget from NY times. In my article, I simply took the position of founding fathers and conservative statesmen like Robert Taft and George Kennan. A powerful republic, not a bleeding empire. See also this classic work by Seymour Melman, called Pentagon Capitalism, about the hazard of assuming 4.5% or 3.6% of GDP as "defense" budget at its face value and ignoring the hidden human/ industrial calamities such cancerous spending inflicts on civilian economy.

7. Can anyone seriously believe Mazurak's non-sense that technologically advanced South Korea with twice the population and 40 times the economy of third-world North Korea needs US to defend itself? And is it sensible to station troops in Korea, Japan, Europe and dozens of other regions 65 years after WWII? Will US allow China to put troops to protect it from Blood soaked Mexican border, rebuild New Orleans or send high school drop-outs and drug addicts back to school and work? Why shouldn't our young people rebuild America instead of squandering it all in foreign wars and bases?

8. Finally, Mazurak makes such a catastrophic misreading of my Japan, Russia, India alliance that I wonder if he is even capable of any thinking at all. Towards the end I advocated an alliance "between" India, Japan, Russia, Korea and ASEAN (together 5), to contain (I use "partnership" instead of blunt word "contain") China's rise in a 5+1 format, where "1" stands for China. Mazurak woefully interprets it as advocating an India, Japan, Russia "alliance" WITH China. In fact I explicitly mentioned Sino-Japanese/Sino-Russian/Sino-Indian wars, and Indo-Russian/Indo-Japanese friendship to make the case for containment, NOT "alliance", but he completely inverts the truth to claim I advocate "Sino-Japanese or Sino-Indian alliance".

9. Towards the end Mazurak again fraudulently claims that I wrote "China's infrastructure is superior to America because of Bullet trains".

10. In India there is an old saying "Vinaash Kaale Vipreet Buddhi", "when the time of destruction approaches, the intellect becomes self-destructive". Mazurak's warped thinking and attacks are provocative, but without any merit. Instead of attacking my article, Mazurak and his readers should think hard whether the founders were right, and who has America's best interests at heart. If readers still get brainwashed in Mazurak's lullabies, it will be a tragedy for US and all of us. But, from my side, the debate ends here.

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