Friday, February 5, 2010

Should We Blame the Chinese for the Recession?

by William L. Anderson

When the economies of Singapore, Indonesia, and other Southeast Asian countries crashed more than a decade ago, mobs of people rampaged in the streets, seeking out ethnic Chinese merchants and workers and beating and killing them. Why? Well the Chinese were convenient scapegoats.

Today, Paul Krugman, while not advocating mayhem and murder against Chinese (thank you for being civilized, Paul), nonetheless is trying once again to blame China for at least some of our current troubles. China, he declares, is using a "beggar-thy-neighbor" policy against us.
China's "crime," it seems, is undervaluing the Renminbi relative to the U.S. Dollar, having an official exchange rate that values its currency lower than it could get in the market. This makes Chinese exports cheaper relative to U.S. goods, which is one reason that American consumers can purchase inexpensive Chinese products.

However, such a policy encourages China to send its goods abroad, and it also means that such goods are more expensive at home than they would be in a free market. Thus, if anyone is being "beggared," it is Chinese consumers, who are being fleeced in order to permit Americans to consume more goods from China.

Read the rest here.

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