Sunday, June 24, 2007

How to Slice the Chinese Apple?

How does America view China, as economic partner or defense threat? Consider the dilemma through the eyes of a U.S. apple farmer. China grows nearly half of all the apples worldwide, more than five times the amount grown domestically. American farmers are worried about the prospect of imported Chinese apples on prices.

Haven't they heard of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's dollar extender? This suggests the increased buying power from cheaper imported goods more than makes up for any lost jobs. If correct, I can't imagine why this wouldn't apply to farm produce. So open the doors wide for Chinese apples to increase our economic success!

Huh? Farmer's don't believe a bunch of guys in suits from the Chamber of Commerce? Do they think it only applies to cheap imported tractors or those Chinese made Goodyear Tires?

Why don't farmer's imitate their corporate manufacturing counterparts, shut down U.S. production and import Chinese apples at half the cost? You mean they actually want to raise the product themselves and not contract it out? Well, finally someone deserves a big round of applause!

Once Chinese Red apples invade the West Coast, the value of apple farms will plummet. They'll be sold on the cheap to a huge congolmerate owned by a private equity firm. This politically connected investment house will use the plight of a handful of remaining independent producers to lobby for protection and subsidies. With a guaranteed government gravy train and firm apple prices, Apple Conglomerate will be ready to cut domestic production costs. A new immigration bill would come in handy.

That is if AC doesn't turn around and contract all apple production to China, letting the U.S. orchards whither. What other private equity affiliate could use the land for development, for water, to drill for oil or gas?

But wait, what if Chinese apples are U.S. weapons? The United States accounts for nearly half of world military spending and over seven times as much as the Red Scare. What's more dangerous, a rock propelled grenade launcher of a Fuji apple? What would you rather have sitting under a tree in your front yard, a Gala apple or a cluster bomblet?

While America subsidizes domestic weapons manufacturing it happily waved goodbye to other Chinese bound production capabilities. Where will farming fit into the mix? Will it be the beneficiary of "dollar extending" economic efforts? It will be an interesting game to watch...

No comments: