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U.S. meets its match in China

By David Post

Wall Street can do it. Wall Street owes us. After all, we’re in this mess because of Wall Street. If Wall Street can take a batch of loans from nannies and strawberry pickers who buy $700,000 houses on $14,000 annual incomes with no down payment and convince the world that the batch is no more risky than U.S. Treasury securities, it can do anything.
What does Wall Street do best? Mergers and acquisitions that are synergistic. Win-win situations where both parties win.
Wall Street can help the nation balance its budget. How? Easy. Put together a deal merging the United States and China into one nation.
The U.S. needs China to make stuff for it. China needs U.S. consumers to buy the stuff it makes. The U.S. buys a lot of stuff from China. Then China sends the money right back, admittedly as a loan, but it does send it back.
The U.S. hates taxes. China probably has no taxes — it already owns everything. U.S. manufacturers like low-cost land, lower regulatory restrictions and cheap labor. China has all that.
China’s economicgrowth rate is 9 percent. The United States’ growth rate has been anemic. Average the two, and we’re probably close to the Fed’s target of 2-3 percent.
The Chinese control exchange rates and interest rates. The Fed tries to control those in the U.S., but the average is probably healthy for both.
Chinese students love science and technology, and American students love Chinese food and art. Chinese students make good grades, so U.S. schools would report vast improvements. Chinese students love U.S. universities, and U.S. universities give boatloads of Ph.Ds to Chinese students.
U.S. kids like to have sleepovers and Chinese parents don’t let their kids sleep over, but since we’re 9,000 miles apart, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Chinese families want more children. The U.S. celebrates life — even those who support a woman’s right to choose say that they “personally” object to abortion.
As an accounting professor, I know most people hate accounting. Though the percentage of students majoring in accounting has dropped by more than half in the past 20 years, a large percentage of U.S. accounting students and most new accounting professors are Chinese. Even so, most people think accountants can always make the numbers come out right. Consolidation accounting is very difficult to understand, but the basic idea is that when the same company buys and sells to itself, the amount owed and the amount due cancel each other out.
So, merge the U.S. and China. The U.S. deficit goes POOF! Completely offset by China’s surplus. Hooray for accounting! Maybe we can shed that image of being boring. TV glamorizes doctors and lawyers … and even bachelors and letter-pickers. Imagine a TV show about accountants. Never mind. But, our time has arrived on the biggest stage of all.
Wall Street is always looking for the next big deal, and this would be the mother of big deals.
This is a win-win-win. Everyone gets what they want. Wall Street fees and bonuses will make $100 million bonuses look like chump change. The U.S. budget gets balanced. And China doesn’t have to worry about getting repaid.
• • •
David Post is one of the owners of MedExpress Pharmacy and Salisbury Pharmacy and teaches in the Ketner School of Business at Catawba College.

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