China: A Cold Shower (It’s only a lump. It will probably go away.)

China: A Cold Shower (It’s only a lump. It will probably go away.) By Fred Reed.

Demographics is destiny. America draws its scientists and engineers from roughly 200,000,000 STEM-capable whites. Blacks and Latinos contribute, if not negligibly, then almost so. China depends on a billion STEM-capable Han Chinese. These are the people who dominate America’s elite technical high schools and universities. Thus, it can potentially put five times as many scientists and engineers to work on tech work. As America’s schools deteriorate under the assault of social-justice warriors, China expands its already-rigorous schooling. Add that psychometricians put the East Asian IQ about five points higher than that of Eurowhites. Thus, many more and somewhat smarter STEM people from demanding universities against fewer and less intelligent from inferior schools. Then add stable, focused government versus rule by chaos. Arguably, massive Chinese technological superiority might seem likely.

Increasingly America does not compete with China, but strongarms it because it cannot compete. For example, in Five G China is ahead in technology, manufacturing capacity, and turnkey systems. Unable to produce an equivalent product, Washington banned Huawei Five G in the US and has twisted arms to keep countries that it controls from using Huawei. Seeing that Huawei had very attractive smartphones that would have competed with Apple, it banned these also. What America can’t do, it seeks to keep anybody else from doing. …

The shifting balance may already be visible. For example, America used to make superb aircraft such as the SR-71 and the F-16. Now it has the F-35, an engineering horror. The Boeing 737 MAX, its flagship product, has been grounded internationally because of poor engineering, second-rate software, and corporate lying about both.

SR-71, from the 1960s

America invented the microcircuit, and once dominated its manufacture. Today, American companies cannot make the seven nanometer chips now used in high-end telephones, and certainly not the five nanometer chips now coming online. Neither can China. Both countries buy them from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, TSMC. Interestingly, the Taiwanese are genetically and culturally Chinese. Washington has strongarmed TSMC into ceasing to sell to Huawei — the US still can’t make high end chips. Recently it strongarmed TSMC into agreeing to build a semiconductor fab in Arizona. Because America can’t.

Then there is TikTok, a hugely popular Chinese video app that threatened to break America’s lock on social media. Unable to compete, Washington decided simply to confiscate it on grounds that it might be used to spy on Americans. (Chinese intelligence is deeply interested in your daughter’s video of her cat.) …

Those who follow China soon notice that when Beijing needs to decide something, it does, without fifteen years of talking, congressional infighting, and interminable lawsuits. When it decides that something is important, it does it. Right now. …

All anecdotal, but enough anecdotes become a statistic, enough points a picture. Nuff said.

America has identity politics and a great past. It has systemic racism and postmodernism, a dopey elite, and a fistful of PC fantasies to guide it. And ever more immigrants, mostly from the third world. After the fiasco of the last election, it may even have lost its democracy to a growing authoritarian activist class. Sure, China has problems too. But there are a lot of self-inflicted wounds that America could heal.