Washington DC Lies and Half-Truths:
No. 1: Mexico Overtakes China in Imports to the United States
No. 2: Violent Crime is Down

by Joseph Warren, Editor


From the Associated Press:
For the first time in more than two decades, Mexico last year surpassed China as the leading source of goods imported by the United States. The shift reflects the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing as well as U.S. efforts to import from countries that are friendlier and closer to home.

“(Democracy is based) not so much on any rational theory as upon the organized hatred of the lower orders.”
- Henry Mencken

The US Department of Commerce has released data supporting this truncation showing simultaneously the value of China’s exports to the US dropping to $427 billion while Mexico’s exports to the US increased to $475 billion, annually. Maybe I’ve just been spending far too much time lately in the intimate company of HL Mencken, but this disclosure has a fragrancy to it that seems more appropriately emanating from a Los Angeles Skid Row alleyway than from our Department of Commerce. It’s a spurious summary of the actual truth.

Clearly, Mexico is not producing the products we buy in lieu of those produced previously in China. China has not furloughed 600 million workers leaving them to languish in the equivalent of 1930s American breadlines awaiting the beneficent doling out of a cup of Wonton soup. And, while Mexico may be geographically a lot closer, their relationship with China and Russia in the last several years ought to be considered by many US citizens as suspicious and, perhaps, not as friendly as the Biden administration portrays it to be, notwithstanding the occasional
Bidentoben when the subject of China surfaces.

This is especially so this year since anything emanating from our easily flummoxed president ought to be immediately suspect and branded dubious as his handlers posture the vacuous shell of our current president to counter the efforts of the many who seek to depose him, Left, Right, and Center.

At first glance this Balance of Trade revelation seems like relatively good news insofar as it indicates a break from our financial support of a tyrannical Communist state, the revenue from which has been fueling their military and expansionist plans as they sprawled across the globe in their
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and other surreptitious and overt actions, through which they have engrained their political philosophy in the infrastructure and culture of their now various suzerainties (submissive, benefitting countries). Many foreign analysts see the BRI not as benign as the casual news reader might, and know it as a menacing trend with increasing momentum that has been foreshadowed by other events more salient to the average American.

The BRI is, after all, only a modernized version of Old School Imperialism advanced by European countries in the 17th Century onward in Asia, Africa, and throughout the world including serving as the catalyst of our own founding by Britain. But, owing to China’s political slant in opposition to our makeshift Democracy, it is viewed with a weary eye, deservedly so, I think.

So, what is happening in China? Have they idled 600 million of their workers and given them the next few years off,
with pay?

Enter Mexico and the neologisticly branded practice of Nearshoring.

Offshoring was the mot du jour of the prior few decades as companies sought greater profitability, and thus competitiveness, closing the distance, one after the other, by relocating everything, save the Executive Toilet, to China. Many Americans, this writer among them, observed that this was a dangerous practice relegating the United States to nothing more than a suzerainty of the primary manufacturing country, China.

The practice, as all bad habits must, caught up with us. Today, China owns approximately $1 trillion in US debt. That’s a great deal of leverage to hold over our collective head, and it is second only to Japan ($1.2 trillion), and far ahead of Great Britain ($400 billion). They have built a world-class system capable of waging war – unilaterally – in any part of the sphere. They have developed advanced capabilities to infiltrate everything from simple social to defense to research technology platforms. They have built alliances with Russia, North Korea, Mexico and others. They have a firm grip on our
short and curlies and likely to not let go with a light admonishment.

Over the last many years some of us began to rail heavily against those who waved Old Glory in an effort to shore up their competitive position by offshoring and/or indulging US Consumers with Chinese products when ironically, the flags they waved were being produced in China. Irony was everywhere, even in the product labels Wal-Mart sold under the brand, “Faded Glory” with our flag waving faintly and flaccidly in the background. Still, not too many noticed the obvious visual pejorative and happily outfitted for spring further stuffing the pockets of Chinese manufacturers.

It took a few years, but momentum began to build as our politicians joined in the chorus of expletives hurled against this international interloper, China. Some did so to insure re-election, some out of a sincere expression of concern, and some such as Joe Biden out of necessity. Today, still, no one assigns part-blame for this economic travesty to the United States Consumer who ultimately facilitated this botulitic banquet.

What did China just do?

China did what Al Capone did in the late 1920s when confronted by Prohibition Cops in Chicago, but instead of China moving to Cicero, Illinois, they elected to send things and people to Mexico. According to real estate market intelligence firm SiiLA Market Analytics, an organization that promotes relocation to Latin and South American countries:

SiiLA’s data shows that the number of industrial tenants from China has almost tripled while the number of occupied square meters in industrial warehouses increased by five times between 2019 and 2023, occupying over 1.8 million square meters in strategic locations across Mexico.

In other words, China acquired manufacturing facilities and adequate warehouse space to store finished goods. These products will make their way by truck and train north to destinations across our country on the new CANAMEX Corridor, and much like the Joad family in Steinbeck’s
Grapes of Wrath, meander through the heartland of our country distributing products probably not labelled Made in China.

Enter the next election cycle: Joe Biden wants to appear to be tough; tough on those who try to take advantage of America; tough on those who disabuse our sometimes wayward Democratic ways; tough on Americans who do not see things exactly as he does, and will without reservation or self-awareness, challenge the errant thinker to a contest of push-ups, or threaten to punch him or her (or they, as is the current gender practice in National Public Radio) in the nose. He very much wants to appear to be tough on Crime, too. He’s just a Tough Old Bird as Ray Chandler might have called him. He imagines himself as the old man standing on the porch and yelling at the neighborhood Young Republican kids to, “Get the hell off of my Liberal lawn” when, in fact, he’s far more duplicitous in his words and deeds.

He’s a conniving old goat steeped in many decades of old school political practices including the belief that Americans are far too dim to understand when statistics are being severely manipulated, such as in our business relationship with China, and with Crime on our streets.

From the very same
Associated Press, jumping onboard to spread the Good Word:

Violent crime across the U.S. decreased last year — dropping to about the same level as before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — but property crimes rose substantially, according to data in the FBI’s annual crime report released Monday.

The report comes with an asterisk: Some law enforcement agencies failed to provide data. But a change in collection methods in compiling 2022 numbers helped, and the FBI said the new data represents
83.3% of all agencies covering 93.5% of the population. By contrast, last year’s numbers were from only 62.7% of agencies, representing 64.8% of Americans.

If I am to understand this data summary correctly, Crime overall has returned to pre-Pandemic levels. Honestly, I did not know that we were pillaging our neighbors so feverishly during our Plague sequestrations. I would have thought that we might be a little more forgiving during that turbulent time in our recent past. Evidently not. No matter,
Property Crime is up: At least we are allegedly not killing our neighbors with as much fervor.

As an aside, and as one who reads the local news, I don’t believe the data coming from this administration:
Violent Crime isn’t taking a siesta. It’s as rampant, or more so, than ever. But Biden must appear to be a tough-on-crime candidate, tough on China, and tough on other candidates who wish to usurp his inalienable right to two terms.

Of course, we’re not post-election yet: By the time Joe Biden’s
Project Mayhem finishes spray painting smiling faces on the burning high-rise building that is our country, we’ll all have plenty of opportunity to reflect.