Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bulletin from Planet Times

You have to wonder just what world the New York Times editorial writers live in ? The subject of today’s editorial “China, Unregulated” is the recent spate of product recalls of defective Chinese toys by some big-name companies, such as Mattel. No question, this is a problem, and the New York Times, oh thank God, knows how to fix it.

“What China needs” the Times explains “is some effective and transparent regulatory system to enforce product safety standards.” Great ! And Darfur and Iraq need the welfare state; we need the crops to grow; the trains to run on time; the poor to be rich; and, a chicken in every pot.
Until the Chinese reach the New York Times nirvana of an “effective and transparent regulatory system" though, it is “the clear responsibility of companies that import Chinese products to guarantee their safety.” That means (for those of us in backwards places like Texas), that because the Chinese toys are broke, it’s time to crack down on American companies.

“Clear responsibility of companies” eh ? I’m just having visions of a bunch of pursed-lip scolds hanging around the Times last night – banging-out this editorial before hurrying out for umbrella drinks at some Upper East Side bar: there to talk about the Harvard class reunion, bitch about how hard it is to find good child care in the City and how the maid was late again.

While we’ve making the American companies buckle down to their “clear responsibilities” we need to get on the stick with the Chinese too:

American regulators, who are constantly playing catch-up, must also do a lot more to ensure the safety of Chinese-made goods, sending their own personnel to China to perform inspections of factories and test goods before they are shipped.

I wonder what the Chinese phrase is for “diplomatic incident ?”’ This is from the same people who never met a military spending bill they liked. Sending American bureaucrats to the jurisdiction of probably our largest foreign creditor sounds like a great way to make friends and influence people while we cut military appropriations in favor of snail-darter research.
Just imagine the whole concept of a bunch of American pencil-heads, (Times in briefcase), tooling around Shanghai trying to get the time of day from Chinese industrialists for diversity schemes and the Family and Medical Leave Act. We'll still be here when you're done laughing. The Times editorial writers are clearly incapable of imagining a world in which we might not be in position to give the law to Chinese manufacturers.
Of course, as you can probably imagine, part of the problem with the regulators, the Times thinks, is the Bush administration "which disdains America's regulatory system."

It is obvious there have been problems with some goods we import from China. One good solution, for those who are concerned – might be to be more careful about what we buy (the Times does point this out). Anything, in fact, that reduces American imports from China a bit would be no bad thing, given all the money we owe them.

Still, China ain’t Burbank, and the Times, and a lot of other people, need to quit gratuitously harassing the bank before the check is presented. At least they could quit treating public displays of impotence, like this Times editorial, as some kind of badge of honor.


louielouie said...

another chinese topic the NYT can write on is why china is exempt from kyoto.

El Jefe Maximo said...

That's an easy one. China's exempt from Kyoto because (1) if China, (which has both signed and ratified the Protocol, but which does not have to reduce emissions) -- was required to reduce emissions -- they would never sign. They aren't stupid.

But having the Chinese on board makes everybody happy, because the Global Warming crowd can feel warm and fuzzy because they're Doing Something. Costs nothing for China, and gets them invited to world diplo-bashes, and in the Great and Good's good books, and puts pressure on the Americans (in Right Thinking People's bad books). So, everybody's okay with China getting special status.

Besides, (2) who can make China reduce emissions anyway ? In China, they don't let their equivalent of uppity Times reporters who whine about Kyoto go to cocktail parties, they reeducate them, jail them, or have accidents for them.

But who cares anyway ? I'm sure in a few years they'll have a big ceremony in the Great Hall of the Commissars, or whatever it is in Bejing, where the Grand Poobah or whoever will sign whatever is the late 2000's equivalent of Kyoto under the next US Lefty administration and agree to reduce emissions, so the Americans and Euros and whiny media types and actors will all be happy. Then the Chinese will proceed to use their copy for toilet paper and do what they want to anyway. And if anybody in China complains, see point #2 above.

And everybody will understand the game: the Gov't. won't push too much because China already has us by the short-hairs debt wise and the next administration won't want the financial consequences of bad relations with China (squeeze plus finding $$ for arms buildup); so-called business interests here won't push because they're in hock up to their eyeballs and want a continuous stream of $$$ and product without paying US wage scales. Then we can all get back to worrying about what actress is in rehab this week and what our kids will do for jobs because we're watching pollution. Parents ! Make those kids learn Chinese ! (You have to be able to communicate with the boss).

Of course, the Times crew will still complain -- but about us, because we aren't rolling over for China enough to save the South China Polka-Dotted Sea Bass.

This pattern will continue so long as the limo liberals can afford their Lexus and obtain credit inexpensively. When those conditions change, things will get interesting, but not before.