The debt hawks are to economics as the creationists are to biology.
Despite all appearances, we own China. China has sold its soul to the U.S. By focusing on export, and accumulating dollars and T-securities, China has strengthened the dollar. Now, what can China do with its enormous cache of T-securities? If it stops “lending” to us, i.e. stops using its dollars to buy more T-securities, it simply will accumulate more dollars.
So, what else can China do with its dollars? Three bad choices: It can trade more dollars for other currencies. This would flood the market with dollars, weakening the dollar, and making export to the U.S. more difficult (while making our export easier). Or, it can increase its worldwide purchase of assets – real estate, hard and soft goods, etc. – which in addition to being politically risky, also would flood the world with dollars. Or it simply can keep more dollars in it’s checking account at the Federal Reserve Bank.
So aside from purchasing T-securities, which effectively locks up (actually destroys) dollars, China is stuck. If they wish to keep exporting to us, they are forced to keep accepting dollars, which in turn, forces them to purchase T-securities. All those pundits who worry about “What will happen if China stops lending us money?” do not understand that China cannot stop buying T-securities.
China does not lend us yuan; it cannot use yuan to buy T-securities. It lends us only dollars, the dollars we previously created. The U.S. does not need China to lend us dollars; we are a monetarily sovereign nation with the unlimited ability to create dollars. We don’t need China’s.
Previously, we discussed the China trade deficit myth, when we said:
”A trade deficit is an example of one country devoting great effort to creating scarce materials for another country in exchange for something that requires no effort by the other country. In that sense, China is our servant. They work, sweat and strain and use their valuable resources to create and ship to us the things we want, while we, hardly lifting a finger, ship dollars to them. Who has the better deal?”
“To satisfy our desires, China could ship us every yard of cloth and every ounce of steel in their country; they could burn all their coal and oil; they could employ every man, woman and child in dismal sweatshops; they could empty their nation of all physical resources, and still we would have plenty of dollars to send to them, simply by touching a computer key.”
So, we own China. By emphasizing export rather than internal money creation (aka deficit spending), China has dug a deep pit for itself. Yes, China has had strong economic growth, but at what price? It has received in return for its exports, an asset it cannot use – U.S. dollars. These dollars are unusable, not because they are worthless. On the contrary, dollars are quite valuable. The problem is that in using the dollars, China would depreciate their value, which would destroy China’s export-based economy.
Of course, China knows this. Sadly, U.S. pundits, who fret about our so-called “debt” to China, don’t understand it. And the debt-hawks, who believe exporting is more prudent than deficit spending, really don’t understand that for a monetarily sovereign nation, deficit spending is the most prudent, controllable way to grow an economy.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
No nation can tax itself into prosperity