Will China overtake the Untied States and will India catch up to China? The world’s three most populous countries are in an increasingly competitive struggle for global influence and domination. The incredible rise of China over the past three decades took most everyone by surprise, and then the awakening and sudden growth in India has caused another surprise.
Forty years ago, both China and India were very poor countries. China was even a bit poorer than India as a result of the imposition of a total Communist system under Mao Zedong. India obtained independence from Britain in 1947, but its first leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, was also a committed socialist who imposed a less authoritarian but very bureaucratic version of socialism on the country. As would be expected, the economic results in both countries were disastrous.
China and India each have more than 1.3 billion citizens, with China slightly larger, but India is expected to overtake China in total population within the next few years. Tensions between these neighboring giants have been an eternal fact of life. The border has been in dispute forever and, just within the last month, another small clash took place between their respective armed forces, inflaming public opinion in India.
After Mao’s death in 1976, Deng Xiaoping gained control. Deng retained the Communist political system but allowed the development of a market economy with private ownership. China was soon able to achieve exceptional growth, with the economy growing more than 10% per year in many years. Forty years of high growth has enabled China to create the world’s second largest economy with per capita incomes equal to middle-income countries.
India slowly and in fits-and-starts opened up its economy, giving it very modest growth until recent years. India is far more diverse than China with many different ethnic, religious and language groups, with English being the only real national language (which is increasingly proving to be an advantage).
The Chinese, being far more brutal in their exercise of power than the Indians, have been able to impose more of a “national culture” and governing system — but even so continue to meet considerable resistance. The Chinese have focused much more than the Indians on building infrastructure. They have built an equivalent to the U.S. interstate highway system, new high-speed railroads and many air and seaports, all of which have reduced transportation costs and time. They have also built many dams, both for flood control and power generation, as well as a large number of coal-fired and nuclear power plants.
The Indians have lagged in all of these areas, in part because the national government has limited powers to override local governments. Because there is functional democracy in India — with a number of political parties — along with a bureaucratic state, it becomes relatively easy to block many needed projects. Despite the impediments, India has made considerable economic progress in recent years under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was elected in 2014. Mr. Modi is more of a reformer than his predecessors, but is not a Western-style free marketeer and has protectionist tendencies.
Many have argued, including officials of the Trump administration, for a tilt from China toward India. India has many problems but, unlike China, does attempt to follow the rule of law, and abide by intellectual property and trade agreements.
Two knowledgeable and very experienced (in dealing with both China and India) trade and economic development experts — Bart Fisher and Arun Tiwari — have written a completely up-to-date book, “India Wakes: Post Coronavirus New World Order,” on the history and relationships between China, India and the United States (though published in India, it is easily available to U.S. readers through Amazon).
Mr. Fisher has been a leading trade lawyer and economist for many decades; and, along with his many other publications, he is the author of a classic book on international trade. Mr. Fisher is also an active international businessman and lawyer, as well as an academic, having taught both economics and trade law at a number of U.S. universities.
Mr. Tiwari is a scientist and engineer who has received a number of important rewards for his scientific work. In addition, he has also been heavily involved in both scientific and economic policy in India, serving as adviser to senior Indian government officials. He has co-authored five books with APJ Abdul Kalam, former president of India, and written many other books and important articles.
Mr. Fisher and Mr. Tiwari make the case that it is in the long-term interest of U.S.-based companies to shift more of their investment and resources to India. India is increasingly well positioned to replace China as part of the global supply chain, and India is now and likely will continue to be a rapidly growing market. Mr. Fisher and Mr. Tiwari conclude with a series of recommendations that should be taken by both the Indian and U.S. governments to speed and strengthen the economic relationships between the two countries. This well written and very interesting book makes a real contribution.
• Richard W. Rahn is chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth and Improbable Success Productions.
When the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, they did so with unconventional tactics: sailing their fleet of aircraft carriers undetected from Japan across the Pacific Ocean and surprising the Americans on the distant Hawaiian Islands.
Innovation and gumption among Japan’s naval strategists helped to create one of America’s greatest strategic disasters. Japan wanted to knock out the American bases on Hawaii and deprive the U.S. military of power projection into what Tokyo considered to be its sphere of influence — the Indo-Pacific.
Today, the United States is set to endure yet another humiliating attack on the scale of Pearl Harbor unless it makes fundamental changes to its national defense strategy. This time, however, the attack will occur in the cold darkness of space.
The U.S. military is the only truly global military. It can deploy forces from anywhere in the world to any hotspot quickly. A globe-spanning web of logistical supply chains, communications networks and other infrastructure undergird America’s global expeditionary force. Modern warfare requires militaries to be faster than those of their rivals. The United States has outperformed rival militaries, in part, because of its technological superiority.
Satellite communications, surveillance and early missile-warning constellations are the basis of this technological supremacy. But without those satellites floating high above the Earth, the U.S. military deployed to distant lands in Asia or Eastern Europe would find itself outnumbered by its foes and likely overwhelmed.
American rivals understand this and have worked hard to deprive the U.S. military of its global dominance. Just as the Japanese sought to deny the U.S. military of its power projection capabilities from Hawaii, so too do China and Russia endeavor to deprive the United States of its access to space. Despite their importance to the U.S. military, though, most of the country’s satellites are far too vulnerable to attack.
The Russians and Chinese both have developed small, stealthy satellites — nicknamed “space stalkers” — that can tailgate larger American satellites, like those belonging to the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) or the Multi User Objective System (MUOS) constellations, and push them out of orbit. Since these American satellites are very expensive, replacing them is a laborious process. The speedy American way of war can, therefore, be slowed down if the U.S. military lost its satellites. Should that happen, the militaries of either Russia or China could gain key advantages over the U.S. forces they would encounter.
Russia has designs to reclaim vast swathes of Eastern Europe, if given the strategic opportunity and China yearns to hoist its flag above Taiwan. In both instances, it is expected that the U.S. military will play a major role in rebuffing either Russia or China in their ambitions.
But without the capabilities that a handful of satellites offer the Americans, it is unlikely that Western forces would be successful in defending either Eastern Europe or Taiwan from aggression. And once China or Russia achieved their strategic objectives with Taiwan or Eastern Europe, respectively, neither power would simply stand down. They would instead consolidate their power and then look farther beyond those areas, pressing endlessly against American power elsewhere.
To avoid a space Pearl Harbor from happening, the newly formed U.S. Space Force must launch space stalkers of its own. The American space stalkers would be formed into battle groups that would guard America’s sensitive military satellites in geosynchronous orbit from Chinese or Russian attack. America’s rivals are looking for cheap and easy ways to knock out the U.S. military’s many advantages so they can achieve ambitious strategic objectives on Earth.
Space Force must make satellite defense its priority, to ensure that neither China nor Russia are tempted to pluck what they think is America’s low-hanging fruit in space.
If only the Americans had taken the Japanese threat to Pearl Harbor more seriously, the worst aspects of the Second World War could have been avoided. Washington must learn the lessons of history and apply them today in space before it is too late.
• Brandon J. Weichert is the author of the forthcoming book, “Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower” from Republic Book Publishers available for pre-order on Amazon today. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.
In 2013, with the arrival in office of President Xi Jinping, China began the roll-out of its Grand Strategy, known internally as Unrestricted Warfare. Originally Mr. Xi cast the strategy publicly in a benign wrapper known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Its purposes and content, however, were unmistakable.
In close collaboration with Russia, China sought to penetrate country after country using predatory lending and traditional mercantilism, and by seductive offers to build infrastructure, China has sought to secure control of critical resources, strategic terrain and distant markets. The strategy seeks political and economic dominance through local dependency on Chinese goods and services.
In 2018 after securing changes in party rules that virtually assure his chairmanship for life, Mr. Xi accelerated the pace of his effort to expand China’s influence and control throughout the world. For example, today China owns 60% of Congo’s cobalt, much of Chile’s lithium (for batteries), and ports in Sri Lanka, Greece (Piraeus), Italy and others spread throughout Europe.
Russia has followed suit, contracting to build four large nuclear power reactors in Egypt and two more units in Turkey that will give it a dominant role on the Suez Canal, and in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Russia already maintains a naval base at Tartus on the coast of Syria.
Both China and Russia are expanding into Africa and South America, buying up substantial stakes in mineral resources and focused entrees in energy. China has also acquired a site in the Bahamas, where it intends to build a deep-water port. In sum, Russia and China are establishing dominance over country after country without having to deploy a soldier, a ship or to fire a shot.
Concurrent to the foregoing geopolitical turmoil two other evident trends — population growth in emerging markets and urbanization — pose serious challenges and potential opportunities for all of humankind. Over the next 30 years global population will grow from 7 billion to 10 billion people.
Ninety percent of that growth will occur in non-OECD countries and involve migration to cities where they will require a scale of industrial and social services unparalleled in human history. The need for clean electricity, fresh water and nutritious food will be staggering and will constitute the largest management challenge in human history.
Clearly the dominant provider of that infrastructure will have gained political control and breathtaking profits and will dominate the world. Today those providers stand to be China and Russia.
Nuclear power currently provides the only realistic solution for meeting the predictable demand for clean baseload electricity facing our planet, while concurrently addressing emissions at the scale needed to meet climate objectives. Today state-owned, heavily subsidized entities from Russia and China are capitalizing on this demand for nuclear power, creating alliances in parts of the world that will shape geopolitics for the next 60-100 years (the lifespan of these plants and fuel).
Tragically, over the past 40 years our country has allowed its capacity to build nuclear power plants to atrophy, leaving it unable to compete by itself with China and Russia.
Considering these realities — emerging Chinese-Russian collaboration and mounting centrifugal issues in the United States and allied countries — the need for U.S. leadership, and multinational coordination toward forging partnerships is more critical and urgent than ever.
Fortunately, opportunities are at hand this year and next to renew or strengthen the kind of strong competitive alliances we will need to compete successfully with China and Russia. To wit: The United States will host the G-7 countries in focused policy conference calls over the next few months, followed by the Three Seas Summit of East-European countries in October.
These significant opportunities will be followed by the G20 meeting in Saudi Arabia in November and by the COP26 meeting in the U.K. (Nov.). Each of these meetings present opportunities for the United States to deepen alliances in energy broadly, and on emissions reductions and nuclear energy specifically.
In order to take advantage of these opportunities, the Department of State has been taking the initiative with our allies to enable formation of public-private partnerships starting with the United Kingdom and Japan before the remaining G-7 teleconferences are held. Fortunately, much of the finance and engineering work is already being done in the private sector.
With American leadership, an historic opportunity is at hand. By teaming with our G-7 allies, American industry is in a position to lead the execution of the largest infrastructure project in human history. We must first engage with the United Kingdom and Japan to form a U.S.-led, allied-supported strategy to deliver energy for humankind, leveraging the following alliances where the United States maintains a clear leadership role: 5 Eyes, NATO, 3 Seas Initiative etc.
These enduring alliances provide the foundation for a strategy by which the United States can move from transactional energy independence to geo-political energy dominance and leadership. We have at hand the opportunity to launch a private sector-led global energy strategy that addresses de-carbonization while re-establishing America as the 21st-century leader in clean infrastructure development.
• Robert McFarlane served as National Security Adviser to President Reagan from 1983-87.
Not near enough critical discussion has been had about what it would really be like to have a Joe Biden administration in Washington. Collected here are some of the more troubling aspects of that possibility — in a national security context and context of the election campaign.
• Biden’s competency: At the top of the list of negatives is the distressing reality that Mr. Biden is likely in early stage dementia. Specifically, he has some painfully obvious cognitive deficits — this is likely a degenerative disorder and will only get worse. And it has.
More practically, how much more evidence of this kind of condition would one need — say if it was demonstrated by a relative, friend or colleague — before a comprehensive and professional evaluation would be appropriate or required? Just listening to Mr. Biden has too many of us shaking our heads and wondering how he could be so confused as to hook together such often incomprehensible ideas and concepts. It’s getting observably worse — and when he gets off the teleprompter he’s in serious trouble.
Does this explain why he’s being “kept in the basement”? How must his staff be addressing the realities of live debates with Donald Trump and how does the Democratic National Committee come to grips with the reality of an incompetent candidate? So far, all that has been suggested is that Mr. Biden “stutters” and that the DNC is concentrating on selecting a VP candidate who could step in on short notice.
This is hardly reassuring, and raises serious issues under the 25th Amendment: Section 3 thereof says that presidents can declare themselves “unable to discharge the powers and duties of their office.” It is unrealistic to expect an incompetent president to ever acknowledge such a reality, and the national security aspects of such a situation — especially in the very fast pace of the modern world — are potentially catastrophic.
• Biden’s blinders: Mr. Biden has been in D.C. since 1973, representing our second smallest state (Delaware) in the Senate until 2009, and then as President Obama’s VP for eight years — a total of 43-plus years. This shocking statistic speaks for itself, especially as to Mr. Biden’s extremely limited view of reality. In fact, he gets himself in trouble most every time he expresses an opinion on a national issue or matter, e.g., that “120 million” have died from coronavirus and that “150 million” are unemployed. In short, for most national matters, not only is he clueless, he truly is “the swamp.”
Watch out for the “look”: What is the key word Mr. Biden most always uses to set up one of his goofy statements or gaffes? It’s “look,” and he also uses it when he feels challenged or when he wants to get away from an uncomfortable subject or situation. So, beware: Any time Joe Biden says “look” means a big lie and/or another goofy gaffe is about to follow as he exits the situation.
• Biden the bully: When he gets confronted by most anyone or anything, Mr. Biden’s automatic and practiced reaction is to bully the source of the challenge. As when he said that he has “three degrees,” was on “full scholarship,” graduated at the “top of his class” — all false — and that he has a “high IQ,” which is especially wishful thinking on his part.
In fact, he was almost kicked out of law school for massive plagiarism his freshman year and graduated at the bottom of his class — 76th out of 86. So, is Mr. Biden just stupid as well as demented? Could be, but for sure he also fits the “Seinfeld model” — when George tells Jerry “it’s not a lie if you believe it.” Can he actually believe the strange stuff he says? Whether he does doesn’t really matter — he seems simply not bright enough to know, so he’s not concerned by it.
• Biden at his worst — the debates: Mr. Biden’s political handlers know they will have to “keep him in the basement” and dramatically limit his “free mike” time, otherwise he can’t help but hang himself with even more gaffes that demonstrate increasingly obvious incompetency. Accordingly, we can expect a very closely DNC-managed campaign that keeps Mr. Biden under very tight control.
The Biden campaign/DNC has reportedly agreed to three debates with Donald Trump — however, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that the DNC will comply with such an agreement. Can you imagine a “real” one-on-one debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden? Neither can the DNC, so we can expect some tactical maneuvers that will protect Mr. Biden against the risk of “live TV” and take him away from the teleprompter. The idea that there will actually be three — or any for that matter — “real” debates is highly unrealistic. This because Joe Biden is not nearly as smart as Hillary Clinton and the DNC knows it.
• The bottom line: Joe Biden puts us all at risk with his multiple incompetencies and his basic inability to tell the truth — all while very possibly not knowing it. This sad ruse may have “worked” for him in little Delaware — mostly because it didn’t really matter what he thought or said there. A much different matrix exists today, and the stakes are very much higher. Can we actually imagine Mr. Biden as a “Commander in Chief”? What happens when we have a “real situation” — one that requires the best clear thinking and most reliable judgment?
Joe Biden has neither — and proves it most every day.
• Daniel Gallington served in senior national security and intelligence policy positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of Justice and as the last bipartisan general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Given the seemingly diffident affair that is the Trump reelection effort to date, I have been asked by a variety of friends and enemies whether there is hope of the president winning reelection.
Yes, there is. But, as I’ve mentioned before, President Trump’s team needs to alter its strategy a bit, get serious about message discipline and start treating the campaign as an opportunity to persuade, rather than as a science fair project focused on who has the coolest database.
It is pretty much an article of faith among campaign operatives that an incumbent’s approval rating and his or her performance on Election Day are linked. There is some truth to that. If you take a look at the last eight presidents who ran for reelection, their percentage of the vote was pretty close to and just a bit higher (1.2% on average) than the approval rating measured closest to Election Day.
That’s good news for President Trump. His highest approval ratings in the Gallup poll (which has the best set of public numbers) have been 49%, which he has hit five times during his presidency. All five times have occurred this year, and three have been registered since the middle of March — the latest one being on May 13.
These numbers indicate two things.
First, as we move toward the election, voters are starting to think more carefully about their choices.
Second, it suggests that the president can and should make a case for reelection primarily on the strength of his record. He is within striking distance of victory. He needs to strike. He needs to remind voters what he and his team have accomplished.
The White House has a list of accomplishments that it updates frequently and occasionally shares with surrogates (at the top of the list is the somewhat cheeky “saved the failing New York Times”). Publishing that list would be an excellent start. Talking about it more routinely would be even better. Occasionally describing how the administration plans to build on it in the event of a second term would be helpful as well.
Emphasizing the work done on the economy, on regulations, on judges, on preservation of liberties, on the security of the nation while avoiding entangling us in another pointless war, on energy independence, on immigration, on dealing with China, all would be worthwhile themes. The recent creation of the rapid response Twitter account designed specifically to address administration accomplishments may be a worthwhile start.
Imagining that an incumbent president can run for reelection without reference to the main portion of his record is ridiculous. Voters need to be reminded of the good things that have been accomplished. Otherwise, they remain susceptible to the line of argument from the other side that not much has been done.
On a tangential note, it is necessary but insufficient to talk about the economy. Many voters are motivated by the economy, but most opinion research indicates (and common sense confirms) that if the economy is your most important issue, you are already voting to re-elect the president.
Similarly, those who are concerned about the violent nature of the recent protests are not likely to find their answer in the Democratic Party. One simply needs to remind them which party is stepping aside and allowing the violence to flourish and which is not.
That then is the pathway. Make the case that the last 42 months have been, on balance, very good in all sorts of ways, and, if given 48 more, those months will also be very good in all sorts of ways. Fold in the very obvious fact that the president is the candidate of both a good economy and good order.
But time is growing short, and at this point, that approach requires a sense of urgency.
• Michael McKenna, a columnist for The Washington Times, is the president of MWR Strategies. He was most recently a deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the White House.
In the July 2nd issue of National Review, Victor Davis Hanson, in bemoaning our present state of cultural chaos, asks, “How can so many so sheltered and prolonged adolescents claim to be all-knowing?” In other words, how could so many of our nation’s 18-year-olds become so clueless?
The answer: Your colleges and universities have taught them to be.
The proof of the ivory tower’s culpability in creating this marauding monster is seen in the endless list of apologies now pouring forth from our academic “leaders.” Here are a couple of examples.
Threatened by Black Lives Matter discontent, a university president in Oklahoma informs his community, “[Beginning immediately], our employees will reengage in training and development to build cultural competency and understand the role and impact of unconscious bias.”
Another college president from California adds his lament: “I want to offer a sincere, heartfelt, and anguished apology … I want to ask for forgiveness … for my lack of sensitivity, lack of nuance, and lack of perspective concerning Black Lives Matter.”
And yet another president from an institution in Kansas writes, “It is time to repent … [for the] prejudice embedded deeply into the very construction of a society that benefits some at the expense of others …”
“Anguished apologies.” “Heartfelt tears.” “Repentance for the very construction of society.” Mandatory training in “unconscious bias.” One has to wonder if a Google search of “capitulation” would immediately bring these three men to the forefront as its poster-children.
But amid such fecklessness, one college stands alone, resolute, bold, distinct and different.
Consider Hillsdale College.
When pressured by the same juvenile hoards to issue similar “statements” as cited above, this college’s leadership responded as follows:
“Amidst the events of recent weeks, a number of alumni and others have taken up formal and public means to insist that Hillsdale College issue statements concerning Black Lives Matter.
“[We are] told that failure to issue [such] statements is … an abandonment of principle.
“Well, Hillsdale College’s founding is a statement …
“[Our] curriculum is a statement, especially in its faithful presentation of the College’s founding mission.
“[Our] teaching is a statement, especially as it takes up — with vigor — the evils we are alleged to ignore, evils like murder, brutality, injustice, destruction of person or property, and passionate irrationality …
“Organizing our practical affairs so that we can maintain principles of equity and justice … is a statement.
“Dispensing unparalleled financial help to students who cannot afford even a moderate tuition is a statement.
“Helping private and public schools across the country lift their primary and secondary students out of a sea of disadvantages with excellent instruction, curricula, and the civic principles of freedom and equality — without any recompense to the College — is a statement.
“Postgraduate programs with the express aim of advancing the ideas of human dignity, justice, equality, and the citizen as the source of the government’s power, these are all statements.
“And all of these statements are acts, deeds that speak, undertaken and perpetuated now, every day, all the time. Everything this College does … is for the moral and intellectual uplift of all.
“There may be something deafening in the culture — certainly there are those who cannot hear — but it is not from the silence of Hillsdale College.
“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling and winning approval by espousing the right opinion …
“The fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook.
“It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College, though far from perfect, will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.”
This is so good it bears repeating:
“There is a kind of virtue that is cheap. It consists of jumping on cost-free bandwagons of public feeling … [T]he fact that very real racial problems are now being cynically exploited for profit, gain, and public favor by some organizations and people is impossible to overlook. It is a scandal and a shame that compounds our ills and impedes their correction. Hillsdale College … will continue to do the work of education in the great principles that are, second only to divine grace, the solution to the grave ills that beset our times.”
Thank you, Hillsdale College. As nearly every other university president in the nation cowers in feckless fear before the tantrums of the spoiled children they have created, you lead.
Thank God for your clarity. Though you stand alone, you stand. Would that other colleges show half your courage. For, if they did, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in.
• Everett Piper (dreverettpiper.com, @dreverettpiper), a columnist for The Washington Times, is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” (Regnery).
With less than 24 hours’ notice and no opportunity for the public — including those businesses most affected — to share their opinions, the D.C. Council on Tuesday granted preliminary approval of a new, devastating 3% sales tax on advertising and sales of personal information, supposedly to help balance a budget ravaged by COVID-19.
Part of the proposed 2020-21 budget, this new tax would be levied on the planning, creation, placement and display of advertising in print, broadcast and digital media. The council released the new $18 million tax less than 18 hours before unanimously voting in favor of it. Where does this new repressive tax leave District residents and businesses?
They’ll be left footing the bill for these additional taxes, at the worst possible time. Small business owners across the District are facing multiple unprecedented challenges just to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable advertising is vital right now for businesses as they begin to re-open, so they can carry their message to potential customers.
Advertising connects consumers to products and enables businesses to grow. Adding a short-sighted, 3% tax will mean they have even fewer dollars to spend on advertising, which in turn will lead to further declines in revenues and rising unemployment.
And the District’s consumers will suffer, too. It is fanciful to imagine that businesses can singlehandedly absorb substantial new taxes, on top of the devastation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, without passing along those costs to already hard-hit consumers. When the cost of advertising goes up, there is less advertising, which leads to less consumer demand.
Lower consumer demand reduces revenue, creates fewer jobs, slows the economy and reduces the tax’s usefulness as a revenue source for the D.C. government. Taxing advertising and advertising services will choke economic growth and delay recovery for businesses that have already been crushed in the last several months.
What happens when advertising is taxed? The effects are sobering. Arizona, Iowa and Florida each passed broad advertising taxes years ago, and each state later repealed the tax. Since 1987, when Florida repealed its advertising sales tax, 40 states have considered and rejected the idea. Florida’s experience is instructive. There, dollars spent on advertising fell by 12% after the ad tax went into effect and the tax was extremely difficult to administer.
The tax was an abject failure; it was repealed in a special session just five months after it took effect. Experience closer to home also provides a cautionary tale. Maryland legislators this year passed a tax on digital advertising. The governor ultimately vetoed that tax, calling it “unconscionable” during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis.
In addition to everyday consumers, businesses and jobs will be dramatically affected by this legislation. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, advertising expenditures accounted for $30.4 billion in economic activity in the District of Columbia. That represents 12.5% percent of the $244.2 billion in total economic output for the District, according to economic research for the media and advertising industries that applied an economic model developed by the 1980 Nobel Laureate for Economic Science, Dr. Lawrence R. Klein.
The research further shows that sales of products and services driven by advertising help support 149,579 jobs – nearly 20 percent of the 751,369 jobs in the District.
The proposed ad tax would also have a crippling effect on D.C.’s local media organizations — newspapers, radio and television stations — whose businesses depend on the sale of advertising. Newspapers, broadcasters and other news media serve an extraordinarily important, essential public service role, especially at a crucial time like this.
To that end, Washington, D.C.’s newspapers and television and radio stations continue during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency to work tirelessly, along with government officials and other public and private entities and community members, to keep the public accurately informed.
But local media, like so many businesses, are facing remarkable challenges at this time. Advertisers provide almost all revenue for radio stations, the majority of revenue for television stations, and a significant part of revenue for newspapers. While the public is constantly reading and watching and listening to their local and national news for the latest information, the companies that advertise in our papers and on our stations have had to make tough business decisions and are pulling their advertising dollars in droves.
This is creating a domino effect as local media companies’ revenue streams are drastically impacted, which puts great stress on newspapers’ and broadcasters’ ability to serve as “first informers,” all at the same time their newsrooms are serving the public virtually nonstop.
Increasing the cost of advertising at this time would only make an already bad situation much, much worse. The sales and use tax is supposed to be a consumption tax imposed on an end product, not on an intermediate service such as advertising. Advertising is a communications process that helps produce the final sale of a product, which is most like already subject to the state sales tax, thus layering tax upon tax. Ironically, less advertising — leading to fewer sales — could actually lead to reduced sales tax revenue.
Taxing advertising and advertising services doesn’t make good business or economic sense. It will hurt consumers and businesses and slow the District’s economic growth.
• Rebecca Snyder is executive director, MDDC Press Association, [email protected] Hal Schild is president, American Advertising Federation DC, [email protected] Lisa Reynolds is executive director, Maryland-DC-Broadcasters Association, [email protected]
The Chinese COVID-19 lockdown has cost tens of millions of Americans their jobs, but one group is doing quite well, thank you.
That would be race hustlers, who have been thriving since George Floyd’s shocking death in police custody in late May and the protests and riots that followed.
The race hustlers have struck it rich thanks to their counterparts in the streets who are looting, burning and shooting people. That sends chills up corporate spines.
Firms that offer training are inundated with requests, writes Maura Judkis in The Washington Post in her article, “The power of pointed workshops.”
The hustlers today have taken the “diversity” scam to a new level, selling their seals of approval to keep Black Lives Matter, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other Marxist groups off employers’ backs.
“Diversity” trainers ostensibly teach equal opportunity, but they often enforce leftist ideology, including the LGBTQ agenda. Now, the mask is off.
Indeed, “confronting the entirety of white supremacy is more intense than talking about how to hire and support people from a wide range of backgrounds,” Ms. Judkis writes.
“Anti-racism trainings are programs aimed at teaching people and groups to recognize the ways that white supremacy and implicit bias are a part of their behavior and how they shape nearly every institution in the United States,” she writes in a tone of obvious approval.
The “cure” is continual white self-abasement and “actions such as educating oneself and other white people about racism, and making donations to groups working to end discrimination.”
And there it is — the shakedown, which Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and other race hustlers perfected years ago. Give us the money or be called “racist.” Actually, you had better plan on a steady flow because we could do this all day and we’ve got The New York Times on speed dial.
The current onslaught of racial mania is moving America farther and farther away from Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where people are judged by their character, not their skin color. Decades of gains against discrimination and racial reconciliation are being thrown away. This is no accident. Focusing on race instead of our common humanity drives people into identity groups, a crucial stage in the Marxist revolution to radically transform America.
In June, Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights sent an email inviting “white City employees” to attend a training session on “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness.” The program helps White workers to accept their “complicity in the system of white supremacy” and “interrupt racism in ways that are accountable to Black, Indigenous and People of Color.”
Sounds to me like an “attend or else” invitation from the city whose Democratic mayor allowed violent goons to occupy a downtown section for weeks, resulting in two homicides, rapes, arsons, beatings and more.
As Christopher F. Rufo wrote in City Journal, the Seattle session mandated that “whites must ‘practice self-talk that affirms [their] complicity in racism’ and work on ‘undoing [their] own whiteness.’ Employees must abandon their ‘white normative behavior’ and learn to let go of their ‘comfort,’ ‘physical safety,’ ‘social status,’ and ‘relationships with some other white people.’”
If that sounds like cult programming to you, it’s because it is. The only thing missing is the dunce caps that Mao’s Red Guards forced people to wear as they dragged them through the streets on their way to “re-education” sessions.
Commenters on Ms. Judkis’s online article indicate that not everyone is worshiping at the altar of the Black Lives Matter fake religion applauded by Democrats, including Joe “I’m Woke!” Biden.
“Telling me I am a Racist, again and again and again, will make me a Racist, mission accomplished,” wrote one.
Another said, “I’ve worked at a major corporation for over three decades, and I’ve never seen even a hint of problems with racism. I work with people of all different races every day. The idea that we would have to sit through training to get lectured about how all the whites are actually racists is just absurd.”
Yet another offered some humor: “I understand that the text of this article was intended for an advertisement for Diversity Training Scam Artists of America but was accidentally emailed to the WaPo news department which published it.”
Because of the pandemic, some firms are conducting sessions via Zoom, but it’s not the same because “people can’t look one another in the eye,” Ms. Judkis writes. She noted that one company has “multiple facilitators, one of whom is responsible for watching people’s reactions.”
Mere attendance is not enough; Whites must affect facial expressions to show the browbeating is working. Better yet, they must repeat mantras admitting to White supremacy. One of Black Lives Matter’s favorite slogans is “Silence is violence.”
The madness has to stop. What we most need is a change of heart to see people as people, not racial cutouts. The race hustlers who are cultivating hatred and racial tension should be exposed and shown the door.
Most of all, we need to turn back to the One Impeccable Source of help. The Bible informs us that we’re all created in God’s image and are therefore brothers and sisters who need to love God — and one another.
• Robert Knight is a contributor to The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com.
On July 13, 85 years after he was born, we pause to honor and celebrate one of the most gifted, influential and transformational leaders in American history. Happy Jack Kemp Day.
When I first met Congressman Kemp in Denver in 1974, we’d already encountered each other many times across a pro football line of scrimmage. One of only 19 “Originals” who played all nine years in the American Football League — from 1960 to 1969 — Jack Kemp quarterbacked the Buffalo Bills in five AFL Championship games. My first game playing as a Denver Bronco against Kemp and the Bills was in December 1966 in War Memorial Stadium. After we became friends, Jack always remembered the play when he rolled around me and got a touchdown. He conveniently forgot the play when I rushed and sacked him.
But from the moment we met in 1974 until his passing at age 73 in 2009, Jack Kemp and I played in a whole new arena and on the same team. We played on the team that helped Ronald Reagan win the presidency twice and govern successfully. For the seven years while he was secretary of Housing and Urban Development and co-chairman of Empower America and I was executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, we led the team that advanced productive free enterprise and personal empowerment in America’s low-income neighborhoods.
In 1981, the Kemp-Roth tax law gave every American taxpayer a three-year 23% tax cut. As the third-year cut took effect in the third quarter of 1983, Americans left behind the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and embarked on 73 months in a row of economic growth. The Reagan-Kemp prosperity from 1983 to 1989 brought us average annual economic growth of 5.2%, 5 million new businesses and 21 million new jobs.
With the Reagan-Kemp boom, the doubts of the 1970s gave way to the confidence of the 1980s. We rediscovered our innate strengths as Americans, including our entrepreneurial spirit. Malaise gave way to “Morning Again in America.”
In his 1980 book, “An American Renaissance,” Jack wrote that the key to America’s greatness was that “America was the one place on earth where you could climb as far as your abilities could take you, unimpeded by your lack of noble birth or laws of entail and privilege that separated the people of other countries from their God-given right to pursue the good things in life and claim a portion of them for themselves. If you were a first-rate carpenter or mezzo soprano or football quarterback, and you gave it your best – here, if anywhere, you’d make it.”
On July 17, 1980, during his speech at the Republican National Convention, Jack declared, “We are here tonight because we believe in an idea — the American Idea — that has made us the richest, most free, and most generous society on the face of the earth … The American Dream was never that everyone would be leveled to the same result. The American Dream was that each individual would have the same opportunity to rise as high or as far as effort and initiative and God-given talent could carry him or her.”
Jack knew in the depths of his being that there is no limit to growth when free men and women pursue their dreams and apply their creativity, intelligence, skills and talents in a system of productive free enterprise. And Jack’s boundless vision and bedrock conviction were matched by his optimistic, open-hearted, inclusive and dynamically energetic, even irrepressible, personality.
All of this carried over into Jack’s brilliance as a communicator. Jack conveyed his sophisticated economic arguments with passion and eloquence. Each time he got up to speak, Jack connected with, inspired and persuaded his audience.
The impact of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp was global. As it spread around the world in the 1980s and 1990s, the American Idea transformed billions of people’s lives. Nation after nation replaced its state monopolies with free enterprise. And as Mikhail Gorbachev said later, he let the Soviet Communist empire collapse because he calculated that it would never be able to compete with the United States economically.
So any time you hear anyone express doubts about America, remind them, as Jack Kemp always reminded us, that with an unshakable faith in ourselves, anything is possible. And remind them, as Jack Kemp always reminded us, that each of us has the capacity, no matter how humbly we started out in life, to fulfill the promise of the American Dream.
• Samuel A. Brunelli served as deputy director of intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Education and as executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council. He played for the Denver Broncos from 1966 to 1972.
America is in a Cold War with China and winning will require more from Americans than the contest that forced the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Intellectuals complain that Donald Trump will pull us into permanent confrontation with China to express their disdain for his presidency. Henry Kissinger warns “we are in the foothills of a cold war,” and Richard Haass writes that President Trump’s policies will precipitate a conflict that distracts from transnational threats to national security — global pandemics, climate change and the like.
Granted, Mr. Trump’s bellicose and impulsive behavior undermine NATO, WTO and WHO and alienate our allies. However, his critics lack the courage to admit that decades of U.S. policy toward China, bearing their fingerprints, failed.
In 2005, then-Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick stated American policy was to encourage China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the liberal international system.
Successive Chinese leaders have walked through that open door to pursue aggressive mercantilism that has weakened the U.S. and European economies, enabled the rise of President Trump and nationalist political parties in Europe, and fuel American minorities’ frustrations and millennials’ flirtations with socialism.
Since the early 2000s, the Chinese Communist Party has acted on a central premise that the Soviet Communist Party’s embrace of Western liberal values sealed its demise. It has demonstrated through its repression of Muslims, crackdown on Hong Kong, social credit system and string of broken promises on trade that it believes its authoritarian rule and a socialist-market economy are superior and should displace democracy and market capitalism as the prevailing model.
President Xi Jinping is out to undermine Western democracies and their economies, and impose the CCP’s values in a China-centric system of refurbished international institutions.
China is pushing out in all directions — building naval power to enforce illegal territorial claims in the South China Sea project into the Indian Ocean and Middle East, imposing tributary relationships on smaller states through aid and trade, and subverting the WTO, WHO and other international institutions.
The linchpin of international power is domestic economic strength that reduces to technological prowess.
Just as China invests in its Navy and dollar-driven soft power, the Huawei challenge lays bare that America has let important national technological assets decay. U.S. efforts at catchup in 5G may come down to bankrolling an inferior European competitor — Nokia or Ericsson.
For decades, federal support for R&D has been declining. Meanwhile, Mr. Xi promises more subsidies for Chinese technology companies.
China’s supply chain, state-subsidized exports and large domestic market are woven into the prosperity of the United States and our allies. Europeans clearly see the threats China poses to their sovereignty and core values. But its richest state, Germany, has grown addicted to exports to the Middle Kingdom.
The first Cold War was won, most fundamentally, by the American record of superior prosperity and stability, and Western embrace of American exceptionalism as expressed through our performance and values.
Unlike the Soviet Union, China is not poor, isolated or backward. It enjoys greater size, stronger economic growth and more domestic stability than the United States.
America is a deeply divided nation with socialists gaining a strong foothold in the Democratic Party. Its mayors happily tolerate anarchy and rioting in the streets to answer brutality by police already subjected to their progressive reforms.
We need to get our domestic house in order to again be a shining example — for this century.
Leftists offer few constructive ideas through demands for social justice. The federal government, states and big cities already celebrate civil rights heroes, lavishly prioritize health care, social services, education and affirmative action programs that have failed to move the needle for Black communities over several decades.
All acceding to their demands would accomplish is to denigrate our defining national heritage and add more wealth, under the marque of Black Lives Matter, to already privileged professionals within minority groups without lifting conditions generally in America’s barrios.
The federal government must spend more on R&D — lest Huawei becomes a habit repeated throughout the technology space — and fund a bigger Navy with a base in the South Pacific to replace Subic Bay. Eleven nuclear carriers are not enough, especially given our commitments elsewhere. Address endemic racism but without kowtowing to Robin DiAngelo’s anti-White racism or extortionists’ demands for a false rewriting of history and cultural genocide, and recognize that stronger growth to pay for it all, no matter who occupies the White House, is essential to prevailing.
• Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.