The time has come for me to write about the future of relations between the US and China. It is becoming quite obvious to me that America's economy is on the fast track down. The fact that we are able to send people nothing but green money in return for JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING we consume amazes me. We don't make much of anything anymore.
How soon we forget history. Hitler forgot about Napoleon- then lost in Russia. Society forgot about tsunamis- 100,000 died. We are now forgetting about math/science/manufacturing education and how it relates to winning wars.
Technology has always won wars. Those warriors with superior armor had a distinct advantage over those without. The US has had technology on its side for well over 100 years. We have been considered the technologically superior nation since the END of the WWII. The Germans (in my opinion, but hey I'm right) were technologically superior at the beginning of WWII. Their subs, aircraft, ships, wheeled vehicles, tanks and crypto were all far superior to anything made by the Yanks or Brits. Germany was on top of the world because of one thing- a huge investment in education in the 1800's and early 1900's.
After WWII, the US enjoyed a huge advantage over the rest of the world. We had built massive factories, which never found themselves under an enemy bomber. Practically every other industrialized country had a good portion of their factories destroyed. We had the upper hand at the end, and got to choose the best scientists left in Germany. Any scientists who wanted to stay in Germany (such as Ferdinand Porsche) were tried and placed in prison. Scientists who chose to come to the US were provided with money and facilities- Werner Von Braun. Technology from these German scientists gave us a huge boost in aerospace technology.
Thanks to a push by the Ronald Reagan administration in the early 1980's, the US won the Cold War, by a narrow margin. In the end, it was an economic war. We ran the Russian economy into the ground.
It has always boiled down to Technology in the beginning, Economy in the end... Most wars have been won this way. The technologically superior army was able to inflict heavy losses in the enemy early on. But no matter how great the technology, you will always lose some soldiers. Eventually, if the battle continues long enough and the low-tech enemy can continue to supply cannon fodder and low-tech weapons, they will prevail by wearing the high-tech enemy down. We beat the Germans in WWII this way. They couldn't make their precision machinery as fast as we could make our quick-n-dirty. The Vietnamese beat us this way, but politics also killed our chances.
Now China is making everything and selling it to the USA. They make all the metalworking tools that you and I can buy. Are they tooling up for something? They can make machines to make machines faster than anyone else. They now have put a man in space. Ballistic missiles and putting men/women in space share the same technologies. Applied Materials just a few years back was granted authorization to sell sub-micron wafer fab technology to China. China has taken photos of microprocessors and enlarged them a thousand times- taking up an entire warehouse to reverse-engineer our devices. Our military technology depends upon electronics, and we have lost it all. Look at EE Times, it used to be almost an inch thick- now it is barely a tenth that! Intel co-founder Gordon Moore recognizes that China will be a challenge 20 years out, "If you look out 20 years, China is the challenge, If you look out 10, its finding new growth areas." New growth areas? I can give you plenty right now!
I attended college with a couple of men from China. They seemed very focused- to obtain information/reference materials. They were going back to their homeland and weren't interested in making friends.
Only one thing is going to slow down China's growth- resources. Of course, there are limited resources on earth, but right now the US consumes the bulk of energy. I see the US and China battling for what is left of the oil and gas.
China has gone to the 1-child family. Many families want a male child because a male child supposedly can produce more/is worth more than a female child. Or so I have been told. Many chinese female children are either killed or orphaned. What you have left is a population which is primarily male.... When this group men become 18 or so, they will make great soldiers- no women to start a family with.
China and Russia are joining forces in a mock island invasion. It is taking place on Dongshan Island. Chinese public opinion is slanted towards using military force to invade Taiwan. Some Chinese are brazen enough to call the US a "paper tiger". Let's hope Condi can straighten this all out on her upcoming visit. Let's all give her our support!
What we should learn from all of this is that it is important to have a strongly education populus in Math, Science, Engineering and Manufacturing. We have been slipping in this since the 1960's. We value doctors and lawyers, not engineers. Just look at network TV- how many shows do you see on cops and lawyers? The doctors and lawyers get SUV, Criminal Intent, Boston Legal, COPS, CSI, NYPD Blue, Third Watch, Medical Investigation, Scrubs, ER- all on free broadcast- are they being subsidized? On the engineer's side we have Monster Garage, Mythbusters, RobotWars, Junkyard Wars- all on Pay Cable. For all the fans of Orange County Choppers- I hardly consider this engineering. Who says math and science can't be fun or interesting? It just takes some brains to put together.Once again, these are all merely observations. I think the chinese are a very friendly, peace-loving nation and would never want to hurt anyone. I think they are all very happy making things for us. I like to make things and feel sort of left out. :( I especially lament the loss of our electronics industry.