Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Is a trade war with China going to cost us anything?
OK, ask this question instead: Is a war with China going to cost us anything?
I think the answer to both questions is obvious and leads one to ask a more important question upon further examination, should we go to war with China? That's a big question far above my pay grade, but that question can't be answered without first answering a few other questions. The most pressing to me being, is going to war with China justified?
It's a tough question, but I think that if we can answer that question, then we can decide if a trade war with China is, if not a good idea, than at the least necessary for the safety of our own nation. So let's ask some simple questions starting with a false premise, and see if we'd be willing to enter into an economic war with that China.
Let's assume, for the sake of this thought experiment, that China's ruling party wasn't the Communist Party, but rather the Chinese Nazi Party. Let's say this CNP was sending religious minorities and political dissidents to re-education camps on trumped up and bogus charges after poorly scripted showroom trials, and at these camps they were attempting to change their entire thought process and make them fervent, good little Nazis themselves.
Lets also assume that this same CNP constructed the worlds most invasive CCTV system complete with facial recognition software so that they could find anyone and coerce their subjects to behave in a certain way (you know, a way that was very Nazi). Let's also assume that this same party also controlled all the information that went into the nation, and routinely censored anything from outside their borders, and replaced it instead with pro CNP propaganda, and if anyone was caught disseminating anti-CNP information, that they would just disappear into one of the above camps.
Now lets assume that this same CNP instituted a social credit system that would allow their subjects to report misdeeds or disloyalty to the government, and that this social credit system was used to prevent anyone who may not be 100% behind the party from buying a new home, going on vacations, or even getting a decent job. Lets assume to that "decent job" just means "job" and that things like workers rights don't exist. People can be forced to work in dangerous conditions for long periods of time for literal pennies on the dollar, because this CNP ruled China was also neck deep in corporate and governmental espionage, and were cranking out cheaper copies of other nations companies intellectual property.
Now lets assume that this CNP was working hard to become close friends with our nations enemies, and expanding their sociopolitical and military might across the globe via debt enslavement of developing nations. Oh, and they are continually threatening our allies in the region, and instituting a puppet government in a protectorate with the aim to annex it and bring it fully under their rule- against the wills of the people of that protectorate.
Now, with this CNP doing all these things- would we want to keep doing business with them, or maybe cut them off, regardless of how much it hurt us, because we have standards for those we will do business with, and these CNP autocrats aren't living up to our standards?
There's one thing I should tell you before you make your decision. Though the CNP was a straw man, everything that straw man supposedly did, the Communist leaders of China are doing right now.
Given all that, and knowing that right this minute that economy is gunning for us and our spot in the globe, I think we would be foolish not to start cutting business ties with them. Some would say that we need to keep our friends close and our enemies closer, that being so closely tied economically is a safer bet- a means of preventing a real war. I think that is naive. I think we are already at war with China. It's just a war of ideas and trade rather than one of bullets and blood.
On this I support the President, though I really wish he'd articulate a better argument than, "We have to protect our money." That's not what's at stake, and it never was.