Protectionism Is Best Choice During Depressions

ΩΩSorry about the lack of a daily story lately, my schedule has been very busy from 6am to well into the evening. But today, I am free!  Hooray!  The world is still very much in the grip of a global depression.  Proof of this is the wild swings between states suddenly being forced to pay very high interest rates on borrowing while the biggest economies are nearly all ZIRP while seeing real economic growth flounder in the 1% or less growth sub basement.  All of this increases protectionism including protecting the borders from economic refugees.  The US and EU struggle with protectionism, that is, continue to cling to internationalism whereas Asia goes fully protectionist.  

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ΩΩSince Asia has been winning the economic wars this last 20 years thanks mostly to China’s rocket rise in economic power, it is no surprise to see Asia leveraging the US and EU in regard to protectionism.  Since both the EU and US let Japan and South Korea act in outright protectionist manners for dozens of years, it is no surprise to me to see China and the other communist countries as well as India doing exactly the same thing.  Since half of the world’s biggest economies are very protectionist, it is no surprise to see the West’s half going down the drain very rapidly due to being nearly totally unable to penetrate Asia’s markets over the long run.

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ΩΩOne cannot blame Asia for this.  Asians did what made perfect sense: they exploited the ideological weaknesses of the West, they took advantage of crazy ideas of the West and they played the West off of itself quite masterly.  It has been no secret that Asia is very protectionist!  It is an inherent part of their deeper, longer, cultures.  Korea was always called ‘The HERMIT Kingdom’.  China built huge walls to keep out ‘barbarians’ and restricted trade from the very start, if it meant imports coming into China (exports were OK, of course) and Japan shut itself off from all trade from the entire planet except for one very small, restricted port which allowed only a few ships in over the years!

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ΩΩThis attitude is very deep.  The explosion of trade in Asia has always been aimed outwards.  The need for barriers is very strong and supported by the populations who are accustomed to trade barriers for the last 2,000+ years.  A general rule of thumb of life is very simple: when in a depression, put up barriers and increase protections.  This classic response to economic distress has been short-circuited in the US and EU due to propaganda about the last Great Depression.

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ΩΩThe ideology is simple: the protections put up by desperate governments caused the Great Depression, they were not the result of the credit bubble collapsing.  The Austrian Economics camp has the correct take on this matter: all depressions follow in the wreckage of a collapse of too much easy lending.  An easy way to detect this ‘too much credit’ is when we see stock markets, tulip bulb prices, property values and Picasso paintings suddenly shooting up in value while there is relatively (that is, at a slower but still significant rate) inflation in the price of food and fuel.

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ΩΩSince the West has thrown away the natural response to a credit bubble crash, we are in deep trouble with Asia who embrace the ‘protect your own homes and borders’ model in a depression.  Japan is the leading cause of this global depression which is why this country was the very first one to go ZIRP as well as suffocating all foreign goods from being sold there using all sorts of schemes including high taxes on the lower classes so they can’t buy foreign goods or much of anything.  This crushing of the lower classes reduces commerce at home while increasing foreign aimed exports.  This model, that is, preventing imports by defunding the peasants so they can’t buy any stuff at all, while increasing exports tremendously is the Japanese model but not the Chinese model.

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ΩΩWhich is why I prefer the Chinese model.  At least, it means improvements in the lives of the people of China!  Japan is dying.  The US tells us, if we export more goods, we will thrive.  But Japan shows us clearly that merely doing that is fatal.  Now, on to today’s news illustrating the stresses of this depression and how we respond to all of this:  Japanese Tanker Explodes Near Strait Of Hormuz, Injuring One

A Japanese tanker exploded near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, leaving one person injured, according to the owner of the ship, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Kyodo news reported.  The tanker may have been attacked by an outside force, Mitsui O.S.K. said.

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A total of 31 Indian and Filipino crew members were aboard the ship, the company said.

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ΩΩThis isn’t big news in the US but the chances of this being an action of Yemeni rebels is rather high.  I will note that in the US, this story mentions how near this event was to Iran as if Iran would attack this ship which is total nonsense.  There is a lot of reasons why Yemeni revolutionaries would do this and of course, this is a hotbed of al Qaeda activity.

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ΩΩOne thing of import here is how this Japanese-owned ship is run by the very same people who do all of the cheap labor for Japan: India and the Philippines.  These two are major sourced of cheap labor for most of the OPEC nations and Dubai, etc.  An out of control birthrate coupled with severe poverty at home drives all of these people into the international labor markets.  My ex-husband worked in international shipping and most of the major shippers do this.  One of the things that evolve out of this is the slow end of captains who are the nationality of the flag of the ship: over time, the Japanese or Norwegian or British captains are replaced with people who speak the language of the crews and over time, the ownership of these lines shift slowly but relentlessly towards the countries which supply the labor on these ships.  It is a relentless process.

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ΩΩRight now, shipping is like the British Raj rule in India: the European or other imperialist captains stride about the upper decks, barking simple orders to the crew who dwell below but chatter amongst themselves, planning to take over some day.  The captain, unable to understand a word of all this, is blissfully ignorant.  Now on to another Japanese story from Nikkei News:  Japan – Nippon Steel Corp – Japan steel shares fall after nippon-mittal deal

Reuters – Shares in Japanese steel makers fell on Tuesday 18 July after news that Nippon Steel Corp. will keep its ties with Arcelor and Mittal dimmed chances of further industry consolidation.  A Nippon Steel source confirmed a report in business daily Nihon Keizai on Monday that Nippon Steel, the world’s third-biggest steel maker, had agreed to continue a technology-sharing deal with Arcelor following Mittal’s planned acquisition of Arcelor….

…Mittal, the world’s biggest steel maker, succeeded on June 26 in a $32 billion ($NZ52.23 billion) bid for its closest rival Arcelor, creating a steel giant with a global market share of about 10 per cent.   The move has spotlighted the vulnerability of Japanese steel makers to foreign takeovers ahead of changes in Japanese corporate law next spring that would allow foreign listed firms to use their own shares for the first time when bidding for Japanese companies.

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… “Now that the two firms have signed a nonaggression pact, the threat of a takeover has eased,” said Tsuyoshi Segawa, a strategist at Shinko Securities Co. “An urgent need (on the part of Japanese steel makers) to boost cross-shareholdings has gone.”

Nippon Steel has a strategy of supplying its sheet steel to Japanese car makers abroad through technology alliances with the world’s top steelmakers, rather than setting up its own plants overseas.

It recently increased its stake in ball bearing maker Sanyo Special Steel Co. Ltd. to 15 per cent and has been expected to buy shares in other speciality steelmakers to create a web of interests. Acquisition of a specialty steel firm would mean stronger supply links with Japan’s top carmakers such as Toyota, which are boosting production around the globe.

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Mittal Steel Company N.V. was one of the world’s largest steel producers by volume, and also one of the largests in turnover. The company is now part of ArcelorMittal.[1]

CEO Lakshmi Mittal‘s family owned 88% of the company. Mittal Steel was based in Rotterdam but, managed from London by Mittal and his son Aditya. It was formed when Ispat International N.V. acquired LNM Holdings N.V. (both were already controlled by Lakshmi Mittal) and merged with International Steel Group Inc. (the remnants of Bethlehem SteelRepublic Steel and LTV Steel) in 2004. On 25 June 2006, Mittal Steel decided to merge with Arcelor, with the new company to be called Arcelor Mittal. The merger has been successfully approved by shareholders and directors of Arcelor making L.N. Mittal the largest steel maker in the world.

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ΩΩThe Indian owners of this company now headquarters in the EU/UK system due to this being still one of the greatest imperial power centers on earth unlike India which doesn’t dominate the planet with the web of influence Europe still commands.  The founder of Mittal Steel which began as a ship dismantling system in India, is the richest man in Europe as well as a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs.

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ΩΩJust as the US is now outsourcing major sectors of former US work to India and thus, bleeding power to India, the Mittal family got its start in dealing with floundering EU and US shipping.  As Asia muscled into mercantile shipping, the West scrapped its fleets.  Today, Mittal steel is the biggest on earth whereas the mighty US steel industries are pretty much dead or are owned by Asians.  I remember the steel mills of Pennsylvania.  At night, they lit up the entire landscape.  The roar of the fires could be heard far away in the hills.  We invented some of the processes for smelting and working steel and now we lost most of the technology.  This loss is tremendous.  It is very important.  We can’t wave a wand and get it back.

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ΩΩThis is why passively letting our technology and our industrial processes slip out of our hands is so very, very dangerous.  Sure, we got cheaper foreign cars this way.  But it has a fatal ending.  The temporary state whereby we get to drive around in our steel chariots brainlessly having fun will end with us trading places with peasants in Asia and returning to walking or using oxen or horses to get around in the future.

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U.S. Steel posts loss on currency costs – MarketWatch

(MarketWatch) – U.S. Steel Corp. on Tuesday reported a narrower quarterly loss that included a $96 million loss on foreign currencies, while AK Steel Corp. swung to profit as shipments rose for the fourth consecutive quarter….For the third quarter, U.S. Steel forecast an operating profit. But the company said operating results will be below the period June 30 as the U.S. and European economies work through a “gradual and uneven recovery process.”

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US Steel shares fell to $45.77, a decline of $3.12, in recent trading. The shares are down 17% for the year.

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ΩΩThe floating fiat currency business has decimated our true industries.  True, we now have great banking profits due to this garbage but the true business of our country making things, industry and running systems is collapsing!  We protect the international bankers while ravaging our domestic systems in favor of foreign dominators determined to take over all our systems.  How stupid is this?

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ΩΩThe US is now embroiled in an inevitable debate about illegal aliens.  Of course, emotions run high.  There seems to be no political organization here that ties together all the protectionist issues we need so very desperately.  The export of US jobs, the destruction of our native work force, the Japanese-style crushing of wages in a ZIRP system, as well as the flood of illegal aliens is all very important and tied very much together.  Instead, we have the usual political grandstanding.  Just like on so many other issues, both political parties talk hot but act cold.  That is, they rouse their voting base with various chatter about things that matter to the base and then coldly go back to the usual business of collecting bribes from internationalists seeking to suck our nation dry.  This is why both political parties allow a flood of aliens into the country.

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ΩΩJust as the supposedly temporary computer expert foreign labor law let in a flood of aliens who undercut US computer jobs at the top ranks of corporations leading to a near total collapse in US citizens studying in college in computer technology, the flood of illegal aliens displaced citizens who demand higher wages and better working conditions. But the leftist organizers side with the aliens against the workers and then wonder why they lose elections and the US citizen workers are so angry with the left!

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ΩΩBoth the far left and far right have united in destroying US jobs just as the top leaders in both mainstream political parties destroy jobs in the name of higher profits for the very rich.  This is pure insanity and eventually someone will create a ruckus about this, I presume it will be fascist since the left has dropped even the pretense of wanting to protect US citizens.  This alarming business isn’t endorsed by myself, I am against it!  But I can easily PREDICT this happening because desperate people will do desperate things in the long run!

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Arizona Immigration Law: Sections BLOCKED By Federal Judge

The key issue before U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in the case is as old as the nation itself: Does federal law trump state law? She indicated in her ruling that the federal government’s case has a good chance at succeeding.  The Clinton appointee said the controversial sections should be put on hold until the courts resolve the issues, including parts that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws.

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In her preliminary injunction, Bolton delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places – a move aimed at day laborers.  The judge also blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation.

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ΩΩArizona has very successfully made this a big issue in the next election.  The ideological choices of the Democrats are suicidal.  This judge was installed by Clinton and her ruling has been applauded by the Democrats in general and reading comments at Huffington Post is rather amusing.  There are many people who think this is a great victory for Obama.  I say, it is a terrible defeat in the long run.  The courts in the US have to support the good services of the People of America.  When they go against this (such as the pro-slavery rulings just before the Civil War) this leads to rebellions, etc.  Dangerous stuff!  Here is another ruling with terrible future outcomes:  Asylum’s broad reach – Los Angeles Times

On first reading, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued earlier this month seemed absurd: Immigration judges should reconsider whether women from Guatemala constituted a “particular social group” whose members could face persecution simply for being female, in which case they would be eligible for political asylum in the United States.

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Wait just a minute, we thought. Sure, Guatemala is a horribly violent country, and sure, we believe in providing sanctuary to the truly persecuted whose governments do not protect them. But could all female Guatemalans really be eligible for asylum as this would suggest? What about Guatemalan men, who are killed at six times the rate of women?

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ΩΩWomen all over the planet have unhappy lives due to sexual customs!  Does this mean we have to let everyone in?  How absurd is this?  The solution for all women on this planet is to stay where they are and fight for their rights.  This means organizing themselves.  This is hard work.  In the US, we won our rights bit by painful bit and the struggle for these rights made us stronger, this is the whole point: it can’t be handed out like candy!  We have to live, learn and fight!

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ΩΩThis idea is a problem for many people who want things to simply happen.  I wish there were so!  But reality is, we have to live, learn and struggle.  So the US can help people in this struggle but how are we doing it?  Ask Afghanistan!  We go in as bully boys and butcher people and then grandly tell the men we are fighting so viciously, ‘We are going to give your women equal rights, HAHAHA.’  And guess what?

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ΩΩThis doesn’t work at all!  It is stupid!  Even the women we are freeing have to side with their men in this fight!  We see this at home.  The GOP right wing women who scream about how we have to have babies and be hausfraus are the same people who act exactly like the freest Women’s Lib Leftists!  There is no actual difference!  The concern for retreating from women’s rights is all fake.  This is due to our culture.  We all live in it and imagine someone ordering us to have more men’s rights, for example?

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ΩΩRefugees always want to flee violence but then, there is something to be said about turning and facing violence.  This forces us to take charge in our lives.  In Mexico, the ability to flee is very great so people flee instead of fixing anything there.  So the country spirals out of control as more and more people flee.  The US is spiraling out of control due to our JOBS fleeing the country!  And this is a very, very important life and death issue.  Should all of us who are losing our jobs to aliens, flee the country?  How insane is this solution when we look at it rationally?

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The Associated Press: Neb. city suspends immigration law, now with court

A Nebraska city has suspended its voter-approved ban on hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants, but opponents want a judge to block the ordinance until all legal fights are resolved.  The Fremont City Council suspended the ban during a meeting late Tuesday, less than two days before it was set to take effect. The ordinance is being challenged in court, and council members say suspending it will save the city money in legal costs.

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ΩΩI looked at a video of this meeting where it was decided to retreat on this issue.  The anger in people’s faces was obvious.  On the left, Protestants who come from a European background are mocked for being concerned about illegal aliens.  This is a very dangerous rift the left has chosen to widen as much as possible.  The city will save money but the rage will rise to dangerous levels as people see their government not responding to their desires.

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ΩΩRight now, many of these same angry people are not angry about spending another trillion dollars trying to control angry Afghani men who want us out of their country.  This is a paradox which is the dark heart of our distress: few in this country connect our international imperialism with our agony at home.  The imperialists know that if they let in a flood of aliens, both legal and illegal, into the country, they dilute nativist powers and enrich themselves.  So they do it, whether they have a D or an R after their names.  Now, back to Japan for some immigration news:

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Strict immigration rules may threaten Japan’s future

But the economic partnership program that brought Paulino and hundreds of other nurses and caretakers to Japan has a flaw. Indonesian and Filipino workers who come to care for a vast and growing elderly population cannot stay for good without passing a certification test. And that test’s reliance on high-level Japanese — whose characters these nurses cram to memorize — has turned the test into a de facto language exam.

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Ninety percent of Japanese nurses pass the test. This year, three of 254 immigrants passed it. The year before, none of 82 passed.  Kan’s goal to double the number of skilled foreign workers seems reasonable enough, given that Japan currently has 278,000 college-educated foreign workers — the United States has more than 8 million, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development — but it meets some resistance.

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When Japan struck economic partnership agreements with Indonesia and the Philippines, attracting nurses and caretakers wasn’t the primary objective. Japan sought duty-free access for its automakers to the Southeast Asian market. Accepting skilled labor was just part of the deal.

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ΩΩThere is this ongoing scandal between China and Japan about foreign labor.  Chinese are lured to Japan on promises of good jobs only to be treated like WWII slaves and literally worked to death!  This is infuriating the Chinese who also demand Japan move Chinese into higher tech positions with Toyota and other Japanese industries operating on the mainland.  Japan is literally dying.  Protecting the people means improving the lot for the lower working class but that means ending the ZIRP regime that enriches the top elites.  Just as ZIRP is enriching our own top elites here in the US.  That is, dropping wages enrich the rich and make the poor, poorer.

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The Raw Story | France vows to tear down Gypsy camps

France vowed Wednesday to tear down illegal Gypsy camps and expel Gypsies from other EU states who break the law, after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the minority posed security “problems.”…Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said 300 illegal “camps or squats” housing Gypsies and travellers would be shut down and foreign Gypsies breaking the law would undergo “virtually immediate” deportation to their countries of origins….

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…The group said it wanted Sarkozy to meet its representatives to begin a dialogue to try to find a solution for the 400,000 Gypsies and travelling people in France.

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Authorities estimate meanwhile that in France there are about 15,000 Roma, an ethnic group widespread in eastern Europe.

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Most in France are thought to be from Romania and Bulgaria, which both joined the EU in 2007. Many live in slums in suburbs such as Aubervilliers on the outskirts of Paris.

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ΩΩThe EU rushed in and embraced former Soviet allies because the Europeans imagined this would protect themselves from Russia.  A stupid and rash move which is causing mayhem in many countries.  Country identity is all bound up in history, language skills and culture!  Everywhere on earth, this is true.  If 50 million US white European Protestants were to suddenly move to Mexico, the Mexican culture would be vastly changed and the dominant language would shift decisively towards English, for example.  This is a harsh reality people hate to talk about in public but do talk a lot about, at home or with each other.

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ΩΩEurope has no united culture nor language.  English washes over it all due to the US empire, so Europeans mostly all learn English to some degree but the linguistic chaos that is now ripping apart Europe is triggering a right wing reaction that is rising, not falling.  Rising very strongly.  What is amusing here is, Sarkozy isn’t French, I am more French via my Petitt ancestors even though they were Protestants and had to flee 300 years ago.  Sarkozy is closer to Dracula than the Bourbon kings but then Marie Antoinette was an Austrian….which reminds me that all the aristocrats are internationalists!  That is, they take over countries at will usually via marriage since this is less onerous most of the time (but not always) than invading via war.

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The 1893 Economic Depression:

In its impact on industry and employment, the depression of the 1890s was on a par with the Great Depression of the 1930s. In some places it began before 1890, in a deep agricultural crisis that hit Southern cotton-growing regions and the Great Plains in the late 1880s. The shock hit Wall Street and urban areas in 1893, as part of a massive worldwide economic crisis. A quarter of the nation’s railroads went bankrupt; in some cities, unemployment among industrial workers exceeded 20 or even 25 percent.

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ΩΩSlightly over 100 years ago, the US responded to the flood of immigrants brought in via the NY harbor front door being held wide open by doing this:  Immigration Restriction League – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Immigration Restriction League, [1] was founded in 1894 by five Harvard College graduates, Charles Warren, Robert DeCourcy Ward, and Prescott Farnsworth Hall and two others. The members of the league felt it necessary to oppose the avalanche of supposedly “undesirable immigrants” that were coming to the United States from southern and eastern Europe. Many people in the U.S. at this time felt that these immigrants were threatening what they saw as the American way of life.

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The League was founded in Boston, but quickly gained support across the United States. Important cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco became major recruitment centers where many prominent scholars and philanthropists joined the cause of the League. A National Association of Immigration Restriction Leagues was created in 1896 and one of the founders of the original League, Prescott F. Hall, served as its General Secretary from 1896 to 1921.

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ΩΩImmigration was put under restrictions.  Many modern Americans are the offspring of this flood of immigration.  Each time the door was closed, the recent immigrants had breathing room to organize, improve their desperate condition and live better lives and above all, become integrated into the US political and language systems.  This is of vital importance.  Passively allowing a flood of more immigrants into a country struggling to survive is a great way to destroy that country.  This is true of all countries.

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ΩΩTrue, there are lunatics out there who imagine we don’t need ‘countries’ or ‘borders’ because we can all ooze around the planet doing whatever pops into our heads but history is very clear about this: only empires can do this and everyone else better beware when empires do this!  When empires decay, the reverse happens: the empire’s rule shrinks, aliens invade the main base which then degrades and divides until it ends up like Italy, for example.  Italy, after the fall of Rome became a collection of hostile city/states that fought each other from 600 AD all the way until well into the 19th century. Note that the concept of ‘fascism’ was reborn in a destroyed Italy as it struggled to reunite.

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China’s government news chief ‘missing’ in Britain – Telegraph

But a Chinese official based in Britain rejected suggestions Mr Wan had gone missing.  “This is totally wrong. It is a rumour,” said Hei Dalong, the Xinhua bureau chief in London. “Mr Wan is at my home. He has been ill for 50 days and the doctors say he is recovering but only slowly. He cannot travel at this time.”  However, another reporter close to the situation claimed Mr Wan had tried to flee China.

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Mr Wan is regarded as one of Xinhua’s brightest stars, joining the agency after graduation in 1976 and being commended as an outstanding reporter in both Shaanxi and Hubei province….

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…Xinhua reporters have been sacked for taking bribes in the past, notably in 2002 when two journalists accepted gold ingots to cover up coal mine accidents, according to China Youth Daily….Cases of corruption involving senior officials arrive on a monthly basis in China, with the latest seeing Chen Shaoji, the former top political adviser of Guangdong province, sentenced to death last Friday for taking nearly £3 million between 1992 and 2009.

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ΩΩAnd here is another cultural difference between the US and China: China executes even high officials if they take bribes.  In the US, bribe takers thrive which is why Congress has an approval rating around 15%.  And dropping.  No ‘democracy’ can run this way!  This level of approval comes at a time when Congress sees easy reelections even in bad times.  Even the Tea Party is bringing in little new blood.  And the left is nearly dead, after decapitating itself by alienating the working class.

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32 Comments

Filed under .diplomacy, .money matters, Free Trade, Politics, war and peace

32 responses to “Protectionism Is Best Choice During Depressions

  1. nah

    companies muddy the waters using the US as a base of capitol and skill to venture to china or india and set up operations that in the end only extracts more profit for themselves… not the governments or the people
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    mostly internationalism is unstable for a tax market… and it would also appear unsustainable for a society that values labor
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    the dollar is more and more just a unit of measurement for the success/failure of internationalist corporate decision making…. instead of the full faith and credit of the US people
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    me thinks a small government that cant afford to subsidize every globalist nonsense ‘blackwater’ will spin off all the bottom feeding garbage that needs a highly centralized power structure and more and more moeny
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    it is ALWAYS more expensive to produce things 2000 MILES from where they are needed… a complete lack of real accountability is the only thing that maintains ever bigger government duopoly
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    http://www.cahrecords.com
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    insurance to defend business models that need regulators to serve the government

  2. Colin

    The austrians have the right analysis, but only when it suits them. On Monday, Yglesias, blogged an article on the man-i-love-to-hate, Nail Ferguson. Exposing what an utter lying shill of lickspittle he is.

    It’s two of Ferguson’s speaches put side by side; (i’ll give a few snippets) the first from 2003 when he was fully endorsing Keynesianism to justify the Bush TaxCut and declared that inflation was impossible in the modern free market:

    “But, as Keynes remarked, in the long run we are all dead! Aren’t these “inflationary expectations” priced into the markets?”

    The other 2010, he was denouncing Keynes to justfy cutting welfare:

    “It was said of the Bourbons that they forgot nothing and learned nothing. The same could easily be said of some of today’s latter-day Keynesians!”

    http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/07/niall-ferguson-debates-himself/

    Even the comments are well worth reading, as people trawl up more of Ferguson’s rampant hypocrisy; in 2009 he claimed to have predicted the crisis years ago:

    “Well, I can say with a degree of self-satisfaction that it wasn’t luck. Two and a half years ago I decided to write this book, because I was sure that this financial crisis was going to happen, …”

    But look back thru his record and find out what he was really saying two and a half years before:

    “First, economic volatility has declined markedly since the 1970s. In all the G7 industrialized countries, annual growth rates vary much less than they used to. So do inflation rates. Recessions are happening less often, and when they do, they are not too steep and not too protracted’).”

    Oh, Ferguson! Hating you is so ENJOYABLE, because you SO deserve it.

  3. mike

    had shares of the stock in the Ltv company and felt that manipulation led to condusion ked to being robbed of the money involved….

  4. nah

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100729/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iraq
    Al-Qaida briefly planted its flag in Baghdad on Thursday as militants killed 23 members of Iraq’s security forces across the country in a combination of shootings and roadside bombs demonstrating the dangers the country still faces.

    “We take responsibility for targeting this corrupt channel, and we will not hesitate to hit any media office and chase its staffers if they insist on being a tool of war against almighty God and his prophet,” the announcement said.
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    middle east justice…. assassinate from the long shadows of intolerance
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    the more this becomes normal, the more our leadership needs to figure out a way to not babysit 50MIL 20yr olds viewing life thru continual emotional meltdowns
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    life is full of other peoples problems… peak oil does not have to be one of them… these people were murdering each other WAY before we got there, what you are viewing is a stable and increasingly prosperous iraq as it was and will be… this is victory in iraq get used to it

  5. Colin ,you are the first person to confirm my impression of Ferguson, I’ve seen him telling chamber of commerce types what they want to hear.

  6. Chorddog

    Elaine,
    Protectionism is impossible, America is well past the point of no return.

    We can only compete globally in agriculture and large weapons systems.

    Repatriating a manufacturing base is not possible, with tariffs or even with a ban on imports!

    -A foreign worker’s salary is 3% to 10% of a U.S. hourly wage for the same work.

    -Trying to impose wage controls this dramatic would be political suicide.

    -It would destroy the tax base of our bloated federal government bureacracy by causing simultaneous lower wages and higher prices.

    -Price controls would strangle any manufacturing, resulting in empty store shelfs.

    -State governments would cease to function because sales tax revenues would fall dramatically.

    -There is no solution, only painful readjustment, and the pain will come.

    -But never because people decide that they want it!

  7. Aussie

    @ Elaine
    Re: The US and EU struggle with protectionism, that is, continue to cling to internationalism whereas Asia goes fully protectionist.

    Tragically, the good people in main street USA are the peons in a political-economic system ruled by oligarchs that is known as the US of A.
    Everything said by Elaine is so painfully true.

    WITNESS HOW WASHINGTON PROTECTS BP INTERESTS AT THE EXPENSE OF US PEOPLE:
    The corrupt core is beyond redemption?
    These videos are symptomatic of what has gone wrong:

    Feds think public can’t HANDLE THE TRUTH about toxic dispersants says EPA Sr. Analyst

    BP Oil, Enough is Enough we need to spread the info, please mirror & share, make it Go Viral

    How can we expect respopnsible and rational policies in the interests of common folks?

    I wish it was not so.

  8. wb

    @Chorddog

    “We can only compete globally in agriculture and large weapons systems.”

    I think that the ‘agriculture’ part is highly questionable, if you consider the subsidies that American farmers receive and the high inputs from petro-chemicals.

    If the subsidies from tax payers were removed, is American agriculture competitive ? I doubt it. I don’t think Big Ag is sustainable, it mines the soil and relies on massive inputs of chemicals and diesel. If the costs of these latter rises, ( not to mention climate change and more frequent extreme weather events ) I doubt agriculture is very competitive.

    Of course, every ag commodity is different, so it’s a mistake to generalize. I guess a return growing hemp would be a good bet
    🙂

    @vengeur on Brave Victorian women

    Wonderful photos. I noticed how slim and athletic the people are… imagine modern American workers could do manual agricultural work ?

  9. Igneous

    Yeah I remember posting that the facists would probably gain more power as people wantEd more nationalism. The arrogance of left wing middle class people who promote the idea of rights for illegal imigrants to live in Australia is astounding.

  10. wb

    @Igneous

    “The arrogance of left wing middle class people who promote the idea of rights for illegal imigrants…”

    It’s motivated by compassion for others, isn’t it ? Also Christ’s parable of the Good Samaritan. If we discard compassion, what do we become ? Fascists ?

    Elaine is doing a grand job, hammering away at the conundrum, but I don’t know what the answer is…

    The white Europeans stole USA from the Native Americans, then stole the S.W. states from the Spanish/Americans. All done by trickery, violence and killing.

    None of that was legal or moral. Now they complain that illegal immigrants want to steal it ? Who will do all the hard dirty low paid work, pick the crops ? The American middle class ?

    Same in Australia, stolen from the Aborigines…

    Not saying I have a satisfactory answer for that puzzle either…

  11. wb

    The costs, for Americans, of doing nothing about AGW and climate chaos.

    “Conversely, what are the costs of not acting on prevention when the results turn out to be serious: costs that may dwarf those for prevention; and probable political destabilization from droughts, famine, mass migrations, and even war. ”

    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/07/grantham-everything-you-need-to-know-about-global-warming-in-5-minutes/

  12. Aussie

    @ Igneous and WB

    Re: “The arrogance of left wing middle class people who promote the idea of rights for illegal imigrants…”
    It’s motivated by compassion for others, isn’t it?
    ….The white Europeans stole USA from…aborigines..

    Difficult issue, we inherit a legacy of guilt as well, and more desperate people will try to enter Australia and the US.
    Elaine is also right about citizens have the sovereign right to refuse entry based on fair principles.

    From my perspective, we have to insist on the right to refuse but do it as transparent, firm and expeditious as possible.
    This is necessary to uphold our own standards for civilised behaviour….easier said and done.

    What happens when we refuse the hordes of poor illegal migrants coming from devastated countries or in war or are refugees?
    Do we keep 100,000 such poor souls incarcerated in some isolated desert camp for ever?

    We have to send them back with some money and with a hard heart…but have it done transparently and reasonably.
    The worst harm to our own standards when we become hypocrites with subterfuge.
    Yes, some of the poor souls will perish when repatriated and the money received will not solve their need to suyrvive.
    But they fled because they could not survive.

    Everything should be done to prevent the social conditions from occurring in the first place and steps to discourage such attempts as well.
    This means we in the west should recognise US imperial wars supported by lackeys Australia and Britain have caused the problem as well.
    The Brits and France etc arbitrarily created nation state and manipulated their evolution for our own geo-political bias.

    So we own the problem and need to acknowledge the need for change.

    There is a cost to everything including upholding moral standards and facing problems beyond our control.

    What I object to in Australia is the lack of collective courage to face the problem fairly with some compassion.
    We end up shoving the incarceration problem offshore to poor countries desperate for our dollars.

    In reality, we will enforce wilful denial and use fear to “resolve problem”.

    In other words, sadly, our ape side will prevail as it has done since hominids existed.
    That is why Elaine is precious…she reveals the mirror before our eyes.

  13. wb

    Yes, thanks for that, Aussie. We are reaping what we have sowed, karma, history…

    The only thing I would add, is that the devastation people flee from, is also often caused by corporations… and I fear it will all get much worse, for example, Korea and China, buying up large portions of Africa, ( Madagascar, I think a third of all agricultural land ! ) and then shipping the crops back. What happens to the indigenous people, when their land is bought from under them, and the crops are not available for the local people ?

    The left want to be fair and just and kind, while the right say, ‘I’ve got mine, so you can eff off and die !’, and neither solves the problem.

    We would need three Earths just to maintain the current levels of population and consumption. There’s another three billion humans expected by 2050. Something’s gonna break…

  14. Aussie

    @ WB
    Re: Something’s gonna break…

    How true.
    I suggest the discovery of oil and western capitalism created the cascading rampant growth of our population fueled by the industrialized economic csystem we live in.
    We are like an exploding viral infection that will soon kill its exhausted host (Gaia).

    Individually we are sentient beings with ability to exercise free choice.
    But collectively, we follow the same cosmic law governing bacterial culture in vitro.

    The end point?
    Another bottle neck for our species…and maybe some will survive to live local low energy lives?
    Witness the magnificent Mayan ruins and the impoverished hardscrabble lives of their descendants today.

  15. wb

    Agreed, Aussie.

    Western hubris. Then it spread to Japan, China, worldwide….

    It’s understandable. With Newton and the Enlightenment and the rise of science, folks suddenly found something that actually worked, cured disease, produced more crops, better weapons. When I read the arrogance of Victorian imperialism and militarism, it’s like reading about some sort of weird psychosis…

    The world has changed more in our lifetime than ever before. Seems to me we’re at the edge of a big cliff, an abyss. What to do ? 🙂

    Hahaha, just read this:

    “Nearly 20 years ago, a querulous Madeleine Albright demanded to know:
    “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Today, an altogether different question deserves our attention: What’s the point of constantly using our superb military if doing so doesn’t actually work? ”

    http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175278/tomgram:_andrew_bacevich,_giving_up_on_victory,_not_war__/

  16. CK

    A foreign worker’s productivity is 100% of an American worker’s but at only 15% the hourly labour cost.

    Since foreign factories are newer and enjoy less technical and regulatory restrictions, one can only expect foreign productivity to grow while domestic productivity regresses.
    Foodstuff, hides, coal and bombs are all that america has to export, So I agree, let’s bring on the next revolution by prohibiting all foreign imports. Suggest we start with coffee, sugar ( oh that already is protectioned), computers, mobos, fasteners, machine tools, … just keep out the things that the USA stopped making and without which nothing gets made.

  17. Claire Voyant

    Since the early ’80’s corporations have been hoarding cash and laying off workers, under the economic theory of driving down wage/cost inputs. Now they’re sitting on peak profits with skeleton staffs. And this formula’s about to fail, big time. Case in point: one large well-known manufacturer of household goods used to have 17 staffing a key department, they’re now down to 9 … with the 8 jobs going permanently unfilled; yet this company is now having product safety and quality issues, necessitating recalls, bad press and stock price gyrations.

    There’s a ripple effect of not wisely reinvesting profits. As a small business owner who sells to large corporations, I find our sales cycle has slowed tremendously. With so many unfilled jobs, it’s hard to find anyone on the other end of the phone. When you do reach a decision maker, they’re stretched too thin to accomplish even routine tasks of establishing a new business relationship. They want, even need the services offered, but getting an NDA signed and returned now takes months, not a few weeks — and that’s before doing any business.

    Key problem is, the traditional economic models that point the path to profitability through layoffs does not account for more important macro effects. For instance, oil is a key input into commerce (it pervades all aspects, from manufacturing to the logistics supply chain to consumption to landfill) — yet our system permits wildly leveraged oil speculation to inflate prices artificially, driving out more productive uses of oil in manufacturing and distribution. Unregulated, wildly leveraged speculation leads directly to destruction of economies and empires (e.g., completely unproductive oil wars which destroy assets and personnel).

    If we were simply to regulate speculation, driving down oil prices instead of wages, for example, so that businesses could put the asset to immediate productive use — would this not be a more sensible economic allocation? Has anyone seen an economic model that accounts for the devastating effects of overleveraged financial speculation competing with productive businesses for essential raw materials? Eh? Economic models completely ignore the real costs of financial speculation, but boy do they ever consider the “cost” of wages.

    ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

    ELAINE: How true! How very true! The lack of employees means huge gaps in communication and sending these jobs to India is a total disaster, I don’t enjoy trying to explain something to a person who barely can carry on a simple conversation along the lines of ‘Where are the public toilets?’

    I know a number of coders in the computer world who tell me they can’t bear trying to unravel issues with coders in India, for example. But at home the chaos in major corporations is astonishing, I get gossip all the time about this.

    Outsourcing work to subcontractors makes this chaos worse. I feel this directly when shopping: stores have poor staff coverage now, too. I hate recessions because they cause a collapse in service up and down and all around. Pathetic, isn’t it?

  18. igneous

    aussie and wb
    I am not really looking at the issue of illegal immigration from a historical perspective or Karma.

    However I would say that the issues the native American Indians, Australian Koories (prefered name for native australians) and newzealand Maori faced with the Europeans show that you have to be really careful with foreign governments and their citizens.

    As for middle class , I am middle class and left wing. Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that most left wing middle class people don’t want to deal with the tough questions raised trying to implement their ideals. I really wander if its just a way to gain moral superiority or appear compassionate.
    As for
    “Do we keep 100,000 such poor souls incarcerated in some isolated desert camp for ever”.
    While I agree that we should be fair. I don’t have much pity for people who can’t be bothered to find out if they can immigrate before they travel thousands of ks on a boat. Or try to jump the queue.

  19. igneous

    Another thing. . The ‘Boat people’ issue is to my mind a no brainer. The only debate we should have is about details such as how long we detain them, where etc. Especially since it applies to people who aren’t even Australian. Its one thing to put forward policies that benefit a minority in society at the expense of the majority but people outside your country, wow thats special.
    How about applying that caring and sharing feeling to other issues. Such as lets see the destruction of the western industrial base. Or the poverty of the working classes as opposed to the treatment of rich people(people smugglers cost a lot) who break the law. Or the actions of a completely unregulated banking system which is destroying our economic system. Or the cost of fucking housing. Or companies off shoring work.
    I guess none of those issues are as sexy as another bunch of try hard materialistic aspirants seeking a better life. Even though and this is the thing that pisses me off these issues are all real socialist issues.

  20. wb

    Koch Industries outspends Exxon, trying to deny there’s any problem re CO2 emissions.

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/03/30/koch-denial-machine/

  21. JT

    “This is a simply amazing debate from 1994 whereby Sir James Goldsmith outlines with superb detail the downside of unfettered global trade liberalization and more or less calls the next 15 years with stunning accuracy while Laura Tyson, then chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under the Clinton administration, blathers on in an incredible show of utter foolishness.

    How do you like the “facts” now?

    Listen closely to the last 6 or 8 minutes where Goldsmith talks about the risks of derivatives and the speculative nature of the financial system and its implication for the real economy… simply genius… really pretty amazing and almost shocking accuracy… remember this segment was from 1994.”

    http://paper-money.blogspot.com/2009/12/sir-james-goldsmith-genius-laura.html

  22. wb

    Interesting stuff, JT, thanks.

    Prefer the younger brother, myself.

    http://www.edwardgoldsmith.org/

  23. JT

    Best video on this subject.

    If you want to watch just one 😉

  24. JT

    @wb

    “A new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA, claims that if all eligible urban flat roofs in the tropics and temperate regions were made white (and sloped roofs to cooler colours) they would offset the heating effect of around 24Gt of carbon dioxide. If true, this would offset the equivalent of the emissions generated by 300 million cars over a 20 year period, but only on a one-off basis. ”

    Now that we can live with can´t we? Not too high tech either.

  25. Aussie

    @ Igneous

    Re: I don’t have much pity for people who can’t be bothered to find out if they can immigrate before they travel thousands of ks on a boat….

    Try living at Hermansburg where aborigines live off the beaten track in a reserve outside of Alice Springs.
    They are in Australia but have no access to media or education and have access to walking distance only.
    How can you expect them to find out anything?
    Let alone some poor semi literate Afghani simply fleeing to escape death and or poverty.

    Remember our heritage in Australia where poor illiterate underclass English stole a loaf of bread then was sentence to Australia.

    The point being we need to be clear of the reality then do what is necessary so we and outsiders can see refusal and repatriation was don’t reluctantly and with some compassion.
    Otherwise we cannot criticize others.

    Re: Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that most left wing middle class people don’t want to deal with the tough questions…

    You are soo right.

    Our Australian society prefers illusions rather than the truth.
    That is why our bureaucracies cannot adapt and invoke “Commercial In Confidence” and spin to counter Freedom of Information requests; Politicians is all rhetoric about tokenism and political theatre; Media is infotainment; our industry is mining the land since Captain Cook discovered Australia.

    That is why we are called the lucky country where a small population occupies a huge mineral/energy rich continent.
    That is why we attacked chinese miners when they out produced white miners from tailings at the dawn of federation…leading to the white Australia policy.

    We got rid of the white Australia policy because after Asian colonies collapsed and started developing.

    Japan post WWII, for example, dismantled their obsolete small iron smelters to create gargantuan state of the art coastal smelters to underpin their export drive of products using iron such as cars etc.
    They invested JV money and provided the off-take agreements for our Hancock to open our gargantuan iron ore mines transported by their gargantuan iron ore vessels.. ..it was a Japanese vision and initiative.

    Australia has achieved much and is a good country by the standards of or world.
    But we need to be mindful of unpleasant facts as well.

    Yes we have to make hard decisions but do it honestly with courage and ethics.

    Unfortunately, we will not and resort to specious strategies and justifications.

    The rise of China is because they rose from the gutter and realised they had to look at the truth and change what is necessary ….We have not the courage or mindset to do so – yet.

  26. wb

    @JT

    “Now that we can live with can´t we? Not too high tech either.”

    Probably, JT. I’m not sufficiently qualified to be able to check the mathematics involved, and I’d be slightly worried about unintended unpredicted side-effects of big albedo changes, but at least it’d be cheap and reversable. I’ve seen the same idea proposed for all car roofs.

  27. JT

    @wb

    Yup. This James Goldsmith video shocked me. Someone understood it all from loss of jobs to derivatives breakdown.
    He saw it all coming 16 years ago and everyone laughed. And he explains it so clearly.
    He also talked about how we should promote green energy technologies btw (not in this video)
    -sigh-

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5064665078176641728&hl=en#

  28. wb

    @JT

    Yes, you posted it before. I didn’t watch it all yet.

    I think he didn’t understand how to get political power. He was mega-rich, and very litigious and vain, suing people for slight insults. He sent a video tape to every household in UK. I don’t know what was on it, I didn’t have a video player, it went straight in the bin, and I thought, how can a man who claims to be green, waste so much money causing pollution. He came across as much too fanatical for public taste.

    But I’ve read most stuff by brother Edward Goldsmith. A very interesting thinker, but also a bit crazy and hopelessly unrealistic sometimes. Like saying there would have to be a law to prevent people owning luxury goods, like pleasure boats.

    Which reminds me of Elaine’s gripe re global warming and the rich. The Goldsmiths were/are very rich and privileged, yet preach that the rest of us should limit ourselves.

    Zak Goldsmith is part of the present coalition government,

    I like the Kogi film, though, and James Goldsmith financed that.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-521537373096312859#

  29. JT

    @wb

    Well this Jimmy guy just happened to be 100% right with free trade and derivatives 16 years ago.

    So maybe you should have watched the tape.

    But you already have everything figured out don´t you 😉 .

  30. wb

    Okay, JT, what are you saying, that if more people, anybody, had listened to Jimmy Goldsmith, the credit crunch and recession could have been avoided ?

    But people don’t listen, do they. Or, maybe they listen but are not persuaded or convinced ?

    I want the suffering and death that will result from climate chaos to be avoided, that’s why I write about it. Doesn’t work though. People won’t do anything until it’s too late…

    There’s plenty of stuff I don’t understand at all, but I learn more all the time 🙂

  31. thank you for to share in topic thank you for to share in topic

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