A reader accurately pointed out that the threatened writing change was quickly forgotten and my last blog was in the same vein as previous. And he’s right. I keep being despicable me and I have trouble changing. THAT is the real story: Guy struggles to change, remains the same.
Oh well, I am not the first to try to deviate from my genetic disposition, cultural heritage and situational circumstances. Look at Bruce Jenner (if you can). The struggle to change is not really the prime issue. It is the desire to grow that is the goal. You want to be all that you can be without having to join the army. Plus, you want to explore that which you are not so that you can see if anything else is in there and just hiding. Maybe there is a slim, handsome genius in there somewhere…shouldn’t I, at the very least, go look?
In the meantime, I will carry on with the same old, same old but know this: the search for Dave has NOT been called off! Rescue crews are still deployed. We have not given up hope just yet.
Let us return to economics for a bit – the study of human behaviour-by-numbers. And remember that all views expressed (by anyone, actually) are like the view of Manhattan from the perspective of an ant.
China had a war in the early 60’s with India over disputed territory. They both want it. It is rock and desert and can’t sustain rats or bugs but they fought over it. It is now ‘disputed territory’. China is also spreading it’s influence by way of it’s navy and huge engineering projects in the South China Sea. Some fifty or 60 years ago, China annexed Tibet and has claimed it as it’s own and seems to have succeeded since even the Dalai Lama has resigned from any political role there. And China claims Taiwan, of course.
So we can conclude that China has a sense of manifest destiny – just like the US did as they spread west to the Pacific a couple of centuries ago. They just ‘feel’ that a certain chunk of the planet is theirs and they are claiming it. Fair enough, I guess. The US. did that. Canada is doing that with our re-assertions over the north. Russia did it and still does it.
But, with the exception of Canada, everyone else seems inclined to morph from manifest destiny to imperialism without so much as a hiccup. And China is manifesting imperialistic inclinations in Africa in a significant way. They are building highways, railroads and bridges and all sorts of things in Africa in exchange for resources and influence. Today China is being classically imperialistic.
But (and here’s the point of today’s blog) they are also being innovatively imperialistic. They are simply buying BC. And we are selling it! We are selling our province for filthy lucre. We sold Richmond first. Then we sold portions of every Lower Mainland neighbourhood. Now we are selling all the best neighbourhoods willy nilly.
“Dave, that’s just the nature of immigration all over the world!”
That’s what I thought. Now, I am not so sure.
I need to reiterate at this point that I have no problem with Chinese people. They are just like us only slightly smaller and better at math. And they have great food. So, what’s not to like? But think of it like this: an ambitious government wants to expand. It wants to have an international empire on which the sun never sets. So how do they do that? In the old days, you sent warships and disease and killed the foreigners, raped the women, sold the young into slavery and imposed your will. Tried and true methods. It worked.
But the US added a wrinkle. They introduced their currency as the common denominator of international business and their popular culture as a soft-invader along with the killing and all. That proved to be an even more effective way to take over the world. China is now doing all of that and adding a new tactic. They simply pay the asking price. They even pay 10% more than the asking price when they have to. China has embraced Capitalism as an invasionary force. And it, too, is working.
Are the real estate prices in Vancouver (average house price: $1.3 million) just the result of normal immigration? Or is something else going on? If you also consider the effects of climate change (north-bound migration from ‘hot zones-getting-hotter’) and the desirability of British Columbia in the context as a gateway to North America, then BC has more appeal than just as a new home to a single immigrant family. Add into that equation China’s imperialistic ambitions and BC starts to look like a long term target.
“Oh, you are just being silly. But you are right about one thing – it is obviously time for a change. You are getting nutty!”
It’s compelling to read this thoughtful discussion on how the tables are being turned against the dominant philosophy of the west. The Chinese idea of hegemony is not imperialism in its 19th century form. The Chinese do not want to colonize to gain resources. Instead the Chinese are using American currency to buy resources to exert a soft form of hegemony. The Chinese are buying up land, mineral resources(copper mines, tar sands) paving a path to future control without the costs traditionally associated with hinterlands management. Soft hegemony provides jobs though resource extraction and agricultural activities without the administrative costs. Furthermore the Chinese are building infrastructure such as the China to Pakistan railway terminating at the Indian Ocean. The implications of the current philosophy of the west, everything is “For sale” even the the wheat Board ot Hydro Ontario points towards future loss of control over our economy.
Well said. I agree. I don’t really care who lives where. I really don’t. But I recognize an invasion (of sorts) when I see one. And I think I am seeing one in Vancouver. It could just be the rich buying into Havana (as they did before Castro) or it could be something else. I don’t really know. But there is not a hope in hell of any of my kid’s friends ever buying a house in Vancouver. Or my kids (if they wanted to). Not a chance. Vancouver is literally ‘on sale’ but not at ‘local’ prices. So, it raises – for me – why would anyone try? Why put yourself in debt with a million dollar mortgage for a dump? And so doesn’t that mean Generation Next relocates to say, I dunno….? Victoria? Nanaimo? Comox?
Given our prospective real estate bubble something has got to give. A house 12 feet wide recently sold for over one million dollars on the west side of Vancouver. I lived for many years on the west side and do not understand the attraction. At the time I was going to UBC and it was convenient and cheap. Today the city is unfriendly to autos, poorly serviced by transit and slowly going bike mad. Homelessness abounds, civility is in decline and many people complain about not having any fun. Are you metro folks having any fun? I can understand London, England being one of the most expensive cities in the world with first class amenities but why are Vancouver’s prices are so high? Dumbfounding!
The entire housing market in Vancouver ( and Toronto) is dangerously overpriced.
Every other market in Canada has slowed, stalled or contracted in the past 12 months. Those two markets are still climbing ………
I wouldnt blame immirgants for the problem.
Our federal govt has poured even more gas on the fire by LOWERING interest rates last January( to the surprise of many economists but not to any cynical political enthusiasts wondering what rabbits an unpopular govt would pull out of its ass to get reelected).
The US is talking/warning about raising interest rates as soon as this Sept to slow down their economy. We will be forced to follow and raise rates unless we want a 65 cent dollar…? Do we have a choice?
When will rates rise in Canada? After the Federal election in Oct ?Perhaps in January?
Overdebted Canadians . ( “Never have so many, owed so much, to so few.”). owe more now than at any point in our history as a country…..Will start losing houses, cars, boats, motorcycles, etc…
But even our own fiscal naivity isnt the total story.
Real Estate organizations in Canada are virtually a monopoly. We are bombarded on the tv and radio about how “its never been a better time to buy”. Even when we are staring at the lowest interest rates in history ( gee which way will they go….lower?) and the highest prices in our history( gee which way will they go….higher?)
And all this “information” is brought to you by the real estate industry without any govt guidelines as to what they can say or how they can massage the number to make it look like its a GreaTime to buy!
The real estate industry is currently fighting a lawsuit in Ontario against revealing a housing sale history similar to Zillow in the US.. ie What the house last sold for. How long its been on the market, How many times the price has been reduced, Has the house relisted at a lower price.
All pertinent information for a buyer making the most expensive purchase of their lives.
And Realtor dont want you to see that info.
Lets face it. The housing market in Van has reached unsustainable levels driven up by greed, misinformation, scare tactics and lust. And its all going to come crashing down.
Dont believe me?
Its different here?
Talk to any home owner in the US that bought just before the markets tanked in Oct 2008.
35% reductions on average.
Google the Greaterfool.ca for a more informed rant on the Canadian real estate industry.
Its well worth it.
Agreement again. But that point about the Cons pulling interest rates down to help in their re-election eluded me. Makes sense now that you say it. And then ‘blame the buyer’ who gets caught out for ‘over-reaching’. For a place to live?
I dont really concern myself with Chinese money flowing into Canada. It pumps our economy and its not like they can take their Vancouver houses with them if we ever declare war against then (or vice versa).
Same with our natural resources. If they wanna buy our Potash mines in Sask and then pump billions into making them more productive….who cares? The mines and the raw materials are still sitting here in Canada until the material is removed. It aint going anywhere.
If we’re too stupid, lazy or poor to take advantage of it. Let them.
Limit temporary foreign workers until our unemplyment rate drops below 5% then allow them in on temp work visas. No citizenship.
I’d rather have 1.1 billion chinese invested in Canada’s natural resources than 1.1 billion chinese wanting to invade and take our resources.
The new world order. Love it or hate it.
Its here to stay.
As for Chinese imperialism. I’d be more worried if I was Vietnam, Japan or Korea and had the Spratly Islands or the Daikoku islands all under the same land claim.
‘Cause China is pumping billions into its Army, Navy and Airforce with the expressed intention of seizing those Islands for their oil potential.
Guess thats why they’re building a landing strip on one of them against vehement protests by the US and its allies in the South China Sea.
Stay tuned, the unfolding military sabre rattling will be anything but boring.
I suppose you are right. Better that they buy us than bury us. And, quite frankly, Canada is pretty damn big. Still, I would not want to HAVE to move from my home and I think GenNext pretty much has to.
A nice thing about the rural outback is, for reasons inexplicable, people are opting to leave it for the merry-go-round of condos and traffic jams. Beyond my comprehension (like so many things).
Is it possible to become Chinese, or do you have to be born one?
Good question. The book I am reading by David Eimer suggests that you CANNOT become Chinese like you can become Canadian. I don’t think you can ‘become’ Japanese either.
I am NOT SO SURE anyone would want to become Chinese, tho. The govt. tends to be like the Borg. The CCP party rules and they are efficient but not concerned with the rights of individuals at all. NOT even Han individuals. I can’t imagine how much LESS they would care about a foreigner-Chinese. You get a hint of it, tho, at the way they treat Tibetans, Uighurs and the like. NOT good.
It seems to be a very economical way to expand your influence , use the West worthess currency to buy their true wealth (Resources and Gold) China is the new Economic Hitman on the Block. I still think that at the highest levels of power and control there is a agreement to move power to the East and the move is secretly agreed to by the West, in effect packing up there game of deceit and move it to a new venue.
I agree that it IS cheaper than waging war. But I am not so sure about a secret pact to move the seat of power East. Power corrupts and it is rarely shared. I think it more likely that the Western ‘powers-that-be’ are getting concerned that their own system is turning on them and they will then do what they always do – change the rules of the game they invented. THAT will cause tension. And tension will cause war. War is done by proxy these days so who knows where that will show up. North Korea, perhaps?
Soft hegemony will not led to war! The People’s Republic have made a study of the economic practices of the west and are busy converting American dollars into tangible assets. They do not use their own currency because the Americans insist on pumping theirs out the door as fast as they can print it. Converting paper money into railways, ports and highways is smart capitalism. The west wants to sell whatever they can and are addicted to profitable goods produced in low wage environments. The People’s Republic will oblige us. This scenario has our economy near recession and Xi Jinping’s is growing at plus six percent. No war needed because we are being played by our own system. Alfred E Neuman opined, “What me worry!”
I partially agree. I do not think the PLA will throw the first stone. But the US is slipping and they tend to export wars when they need an economic boost. No one is going to war because Vancouver real estate is a bubble – I know that. But China’s renminbi is ‘looming’ and has even officially threatened the US dollar as the ‘international default currency’ and it has partially succeeded in some countries already. Plus the Chinese are flexing military muscles. And that is NOT soft hegemony. If we are being played (I agree that we are) then there will be a reaction.
The West’s fault? I suppose. They played the game that they invented and were the masters at and when they get beat, they just change the rules. It’s been done. But the real fault is that all these economies compete rather than cooperate. That’s another topic altogether but, on this particular topic it means that our Capitalism model needs a makeover. It needs to become more ‘well-rounded’ in what it values and promotes. At this point in time, Capitalism is still just a self-centered brawler in a good suit. And brawlers fight.
To state the obvious the days of gun boat flexing is a page out of the 19th century. These days influence is purchased with jobs, bribes, infrastructure construction and low interest loans. African countries are lining up for this soft approach. The usual ways of wealth extratction, namely rape and leave a devastated landscape might be good enough for our tar sands but not so much in Africa. The People’s Republic must be poking some vested interests to be getting the sort of press the Econimist is puking out. It seems that leaving infrastructure behind is a very bad action.
I mostly agree. But I don’t accept that gunboats are anachronisms. See Iraq. See Yemen. “War is just diplomacy in it the extreme”. Or something like that. But I agree that it is better to leave bridges than bodies, hospitals rather than corpses and schools rather than orphans. But the key word in there is ‘leave’, Do they leave? Or do they occupy?
When folks legally invest in business or purchase real estate properties for whatever reason such purchases are not usually described as an occupation but I see your point. It does beg the question about the wisdom of government policy that hangs a ‘For Sale’ sign on the material assets of a country. It is a big issue in the Middle East where formally Arab owned properties were purchased as long as 100 years ago and now are in the hands of Zionists. Are they legally living or occupying?
It all goes back to the system. Westerners introduced/formalized land ownership where often indigenous peoples merely influenced territories. We introduced a legal component that is highly ‘finance’ oriented. Presumably the pre-Israel Arabs held legal title and so, if they were NOT compensated (by way of legal expropriation) then it is still theirs and Israel is an illegal occupier. But, if the UN, in it’s wisdom, expropriated ‘properly’ then the deal is done because we have submitted our collective will to the rule of law and Israel belongs where it is. That is MY arbitrator’s logic, anyway. If I were an Israeli or a Palestinian, I could make some convincing arguments otherwise.