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Elizabeth Warren apparently never heard of the Chinese bubble and Stimulus

Elizabeth Warren apparently never heard of the Chinese bubble and Stimulus

Elizabeth Warren is punching back against her own embarrassing “no one got rich on his own” rant and Scott Brown’s devastating viral (350k+ 800k views) video.

Warren is doing so by insisting that we need to catch up with China on infrastructure spending.

Warren’s campaign just released this ad:

Warren has just demonstrated how clueless she is and how she is unable to look beyond government-spending talking points.

China started from a much lower point of development, so it has to spend more on infrastructure just to catch up.

China’s massive spending on infrastructure, intertwined with real estate construction, also has created a bubble of cities without people and bullet trains with no riders:

China is rife with overinvestment in physical capital, infrastructure, and property. To a visitor, this is evident in sleek but empty airports and bullet trains (which will reduce the need for the 45 planned airports), highways to nowhere, thousands of colossal new central and provincial government buildings, ghost towns, and brand-new aluminum smelters kept closed to prevent global prices from plunging.

The Chinese government is trying to manage the bubble:

Moreover, in 2008, a nearly trillion yuan stimulus program had developers building up China residential properties in hopes that the urban trend would spike.  They built, but the people didn’t always come.  While the urban trend remains in place, many of those properties remain vacant, either as unsold developments or as investment properties without anyone living there.

We also saw in the 2009 Stimulus Plan in the United States how funding infrastructure projects for the sake of funding infrastructure projects led to wasteful projects like sidewalk reconstruction.

Warren’s answer to everything is to throw more government money at it.  How’s that working out for us?

Elizabeth Warren may think she’s punching back, but she’s actually just shooting herself in the foot, once again.

Update:  From Todd at WRKO Boston:

In her new ad, Liz Warren complains that China is investing 9% of its GDP in infrastructure while our spending is running at around 2.4%. My rule of thumb is that whenever politicians are offerings statistics, there’s little truth to what they’re saying. The Warren campaign isn’t breaking the pattern.


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Someone should send her James O’Keefe’s video about digging holes and re-filling them.

Oh, and Elizabeth, China’s economy is in the tank right now, you dummy.

EW would be better off not running any ads and just slide in with the D on her name. She comes off as as at best a school marm or at worst a woman’s prison warden. Even for MA, where I’ve lived 67 years, this is a bridge too far.

She wants more government boondoggles ala ‘Big Dig’ so she can say “you didn’t build that, I did. I’m Elizabeth “soaring moonbat princess” Warren, and I approve this message – because I want to give the hammered middle class more jobs, and the unions told me to say this”.

    gs in reply to walls. | July 27, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    1. The Big Dig immediately crossed my mind as I viewed the commercial.

    2. Ask any commuter whose train passed through a Big Dig work site about the vigor and industry of those union workers.

    3. Only a Joanie-come-lately carpetbagger would evoke the Big Dig. Or maybe not: a lot of MA people are blasé about the boondoggle because the feds paid for it.

    In a sense, the housing bubble was a Big Dig on a national scale. Barney Frank defended the bubble ferociously but was reelected handily after it collapsed.

    4. As usual, the Left’s solution to the disasters created by collectivist cronysim is even greater collectivist cronyism. Have MA voters suffered enough to recognize the absurdity of this? A lot depends on how skillfully the Brown campaign and other Warren opponents respond to her latest claptrap.

    5. As usual, the Left offers us a menu without prices. The question of price is either ignored or dismissed with the lie that all will be well once “the rich pay their fair share”. They keep doing it because it keeps working. Hopefully conservatives can help voters recognize the consequences before the Gods of the Copybook Headings make them unavoidably clear.

“Officials with the Oklahoma DOT defended the project as necessary to bring the sidewalk into conformity with federal guidelines.”

They did this in Detroit with the removal of curbs and placement of disabled access ramps at street crossings.

You can see them on Google maps, whole blocks where the homes are now gone, land reverted back to its natural prairie land, sidewalks barely visable are broken and overgrown, but there’s four brand new street crossing ramps.

LukeHandCool | July 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I saw the shocking manifestation of this way of thinking in Japan. Driving through rural areas and small towns and cities, you’d find these jarring, completely out-of-scale public works projects as the country tried to jump start its economy back to life. “Pour concrete over every landform you find and the green shoots of economic revival will sprout” seemed to be the way of thinking.

You’d find these huge, brand new, expensive-looking museums focussed on obscure themes in sparsely populated areas; roads to almost nowhere, or, at least nowhere anyone is going; stadiums for areas whose demographics might mean filling them with semi-professional, fully-senescent teams.

From the NY Times, 2009:

“In hindsight, Japan should have built public works that address the problems it faces today, like aging, energy and food sources,” said Takehiko Hobo, a professor emeritus of public finance at Shimane University in Matsue, the main city of Shimane. “This obsession with building roads is a holdover from an earlier era.”

The fruits of that obsession are apparent across Shimane, a rural prefecture where Hamada is located. Every town seems to have its own art museums, domed athletic centers and government-built tourist attractions like the Nima Sand Museum, a giant hourglass housed in a glass pyramid. The prefecture, with 740,000 residents, even has three commercial airports able to handle jets, including the $250 million Hagi-Iwami Airport, which sits eerily empty, with just two flights per day.

In Hamada, residents say the city’s most visible “hakomono,” the Japanese equivalent of “white elephant,” was the $70 million Marine Bridge, whose 1,006-foot span sat almost completely devoid of traffic on a recent morning. Built in 1999, the bridge links the city to a small, sparsely populated island already connected by a shorter bridge.

“The bridge? It’s a dud,” said Masahiro Shimada, 70, a retired city official who was fishing near the port. “Maybe we could use it for bungee jumping,” he joked.

Koichi Matsuoka, a retired professor of policy at the University of Shimane in Hamada, said useless projects like the Marine Bridge were the reason that years of huge spending had brought few long-term benefits here. While Shimane has had the highest per capita spending on public works in Japan for the last 17 years, thanks to powerful local politicians like Noboru Takeshita, the deceased former prime minister, its per capita annual income of $26,000 ranked it 40th among Japan’s 47 prefectures, Matsuoka said.

He said the spending had also left Shimane $11 billion in debt, twice the size of the prefectural government’s annual budget.

Still, local officials in Hamada warn that their city’s economy will collapse without public works, though they recognize that the spending cannot continue forever. They offered their own lesson to American communities in the Obama era: When you choose public works projects, be sure to get ones with lasting economic impact.

Among Hamada’s many public works projects, the biggest benefits had come from the prison, the university and the Aquas aquarium, with its popular whales, they said. These had created hundreds of permanent jobs and attracted students and families with children to live in a city where nearly a third of residents were over 65.

“Roads and bridges are attractive, but they create jobs only during construction,” said Shunji Nakamura, chief of the city’s industrial policy section. “You need projects with good jobs that will last through a bad economy.”

Does she run her own home this way? If she was knee deep in debt from wildly overspending by giving away money to non-working members of her household, would she think the solution to her family’s financial troubles would be to build a new deck or maybe a greenhouse? The “Jones next door are building a new pool” isn’t really a justification for putting one in your backyard, especially when you simply can’t afford one. To paraphrase my mother “If China was jumping off a bridge, would you do it too?”

How can Harvard, the alleged center of enlightened thinking allow this person to embarrass them with such ridiculous rants?

JimMtnViewCaUSA | July 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that numerous Dems are math-challenged!
Regarding the Chick-Fil-A situation, please eat at C-F-A.

It’s for the calves.

The time for infrastructure spending was with Stimulus I and we all know where that money went… To keep government people employed and pet liberal wet dreams.

Now, the democrats are crying for more “stimulus” spending and expect the public to buy it. Lot’s of luck on that!

Just imagine how worse off we would be had not the House of Representatives not gone to the GOP fold in 2010.

Oh how I dream of a mass eviction of libs in November…

Well shoot.

I say we all split the difference. Let’s start “rebuilding America” with Obama and Warren, since apparently roads and bridges and all that jazz are what government does and what makes America(ns) great. I have a modest proposal.

Let’s make total government spending, oh, say, 5.0%, and we can afford to double (double!!!) our current 2.4% on infrastructure.

We’ll throw in some spending from the military. Heck, how about 8% of our money goes to the government and maybe something else could get done. Since Obama and Warren keep talking about all of those magical “roads and bridges,” we know they’ll be happy.

So, total government spending should be 8%. Everyone will be happy.


This is really dense of her. After all of that spiel about how business persons owe “society” (read: government) because of infrastructure, she readily admits that less than 10% of government spending is on these things.

    Patriot Dan in reply to abernard. | July 27, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I like the point you made when you said, “Heck, how about 8% of our money…” All of these “roads that we drive on”, etc, and the “stimulus” came from our money or the money our kids or grandkids we have to pay in taxes. The money comes from somewhere- the taxpayers. These “things” the government “provides” actually come from “we the people”in the collection or payment of taxes. Not from some the government stash but from us-uns.

      abernard in reply to Patriot Dan. | July 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      Indeed. Free persons in society establish a government. My memory betrays me, but I think there’s a document somewhere that mentions something called “rights” and that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men” or some gobbledygook.

      Obama and Warren apparently didn’t read that one! 🙂

BTW Does anyone know why Democrats are such construction fetishists? They simply don’t care about us programmers, lawyers, dog catchers etc? Why are only construction workers entitled to make work programs?

Calypso Facto | July 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Maybe someone should point out to Warren that the US, with 4 million miles of paved roads already built as compared to China’s 900,000 paved miles, doesn’t need to spend as much GDP on maintaining infrastructure as China does building all new. That’s the advantage of being an already-developed country. Leave it to a Democrat to want to spend more on pet projects without any concern for necessity or value proposition.

And of course, also not mentioned, is that the US outspends China, a communist state, by more than 2:1 on social welfare, despite the fact that China has four times as many people. Is Warren also proposing to cut spending on the US safety net by 7/8ths so we can be just like the Chinese there too?

Elizabeth Warren: proud candidate of dirt roads and poverty! (apparently)

Just saw a commercial that Ray Flynn (D), former mayor of Boston did for Scott Brown. He says he “tired of all of the bickering”

Typically, “lying sacaja sh^t” warren is NOT stating something original, but is just regurgitating stuff that’s already in the socialist borg collective: On 07 Jul 2012, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood argued …that China outpaces the United States in building major transportation infrastructure like high-speed rail because of its authoritarian system and because the Chinese don’t have the Republican Party holding up progress.

“The Chinese are more successful [in building infrastructure] because in their country, only three people make the decision. In our country, 3,000 people do,” LaHood said in a short interview with The Cable

shortwave8669 | July 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Massive infrastructure spending and national debt to pay for it didn’t work in Japan’s crash of ’91. 20 yrs on and Japan still hasn’t had recovery.

Japan went from the world’s largest lender to drowning in debt.

It is always folly to attempt to fill a black hole with other peoples’ money.

    The problem relates to supply and demand, or fundamental economic principles which are inviolable. For example, our present economy can be classified as 90% real and 10% virtual (e.g. debt-based). The concern is that a 10% annual deficit (federal government only) cannot be sustained and that the false demand it represents cannot be replaced. There is no evidence that our economy can grow at an annual rate exceeding 10% and, in fact, historical evidence demonstrates that it grows at a substantially slower rate. The outcome of this virtual or false economic activity is a real devaluation (or hidden tax) on all Americans. Since most people are unaware that both their labor and assets are being devalued, the knowledge they exploit to guide their actions is leading them to false conclusions, which are likely to have consequences exceeding their capacity to manage. This, of course, has already happened, but as the distortion of reality proceeds unfettered, it is inevitable that more individuals and cooperatives will be trapped by this constructed paradox that confuses reality and perception.

    The bottom-line is that resources are finitely (in time and space) accessible, and that no one labors without due compensation.

    Now, another question is, can we distinguish between cause and effect? Some people claim that they can; but, the evidence they have presented is isolated (i.e. discontinuous) and is at best sparse. It certainly does not establish a causal relationship beyond a reasonable doubt and no one is willing to assign comprehensive culpability. There are just too many individuals and cooperatives, from the poorest to the richest, who are implicated. So, we instead argue the merits of strategies to mitigate or correct the resultant distortion.

In the ideal world, we would have universal gratification. In the real world, dreams of instant gratification are neither universal nor without consequence.

While many people have faith in evolution to describe origin, they exhibit a remarkable aversion to evolutionary principles, to their and our detriment. Perhaps this explains the managers’ promotion of evolutionary and social dysfunction, which is purchased with promises of submission with benefits. They know that instant gratification cannot be universal and therefore limiting numbers through voluntary abrogation of descendent rights (by appealing to baser appetites) is a practical and necessary policy.

Midwest Rhino | July 27, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I’m always struck by people Warren and Obama, who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you got elected, you didn’t get their on your own. You sold your soul to unions and bankers, and came through for them with trillions of misspent taxpayer dollars. You won’t pay off the billions you gave to Solyndra executives and other donors, taxpayers will be paying for that. You didn’t fund the bailout and and handover of GM to unions, taxpayers will be funding your quid pro quo.

Command economies don’t work.


How many models do these Collectivist idiots need? How many wasted resources, deprived people, and lowered standards of living DOES it take…????

    The argument, ostensibly, is between central and distributed coordination. Each has its value. Most notably, the former has a potential for greater efficiency, while the latter is demonstrably more robust. As we circumstantially recognize the merits of each, we compromise accordingly.

    Unfortunately, this debate is not simply about a generic system. It is about efficiency and mitigating corruption; but, it is also about preserving individual dignity and recognizing the intrinsic value of human life.

    The problem is that everyone, based on their own desires or circumstances, assigns different weights to the system’s inputs and processes. There is, in fact, no perfect function. The system is necessarily chaotic. It is only through self-moderating behavior (or totalitarian control) that we will enjoy a dynamically stable system.

    This discussion reminds me of a concept described in Asimov’s “Foundation” series. There were individuals who claimed they could perfectly model a complex system in order to predict its outcome, thereby acquiring the ability to manipulate its progression to realize a preferred outcome.

    I think it is a fantasy. We cannot even create an accurate model for our simpler Earth system or its climate subset. Both are incompletely characterized and unwieldy. The system which integrates the conscious order is more so. People who believe that consciousness and intelligence are emergent phenomenon, should implicitly comprehend the contribution of even the smallest perturbations to the behavior of the system.

    Anyway, my principles place the trees before the forest. I prefer that any benefits which stem from reversing the relationship to be realized through voluntary behaviors. However, this is likely to be true only “while evils are sufferable.” Some people believe we have exceeded that threshold. I do not. Some people believe it is safe to exceed that threshold. I do not and oppose, with, unfortunately, minimal influence, their effort to motivate that outcome. As clearly you do also. Hopefully, this will remain a conflict of rhetorical exchange and little more.

      Ragspierre in reply to n.n. | July 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      “The argument, ostensibly, is between central and distributed coordination. Each has its value. Most notably, the former has a potential for greater efficiency, while the latter is demonstrably more robust.”

      I profoundly disagree. As Hayek noted, central planners CANNOT have enough information.

      From my POV, they have no right to take my choices from me.

This is cart before the horse Marxistnomics.

You must have a strong growing economy, with budgetable long term revenue projections to vorwarts “needed” social collective infrastructure projects…
*bike trails> *fist pound save the planet

Otherwise you’re just sucking potential private investment capital out of a sagging economy.

jimzinsocal | July 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm

She sure is a poster child for George Lakoff’s notion that suggests liberals paint themselves as “nurturing mothers” verses the conservative “strict father”.
I can just hear her saying “Oh you poor unemployed dear…if only the Republicans would let us spend more money….”
How some of these politicians even speak about how the economy works is beyond me. And I include Obama in that.
Sorry but when I listen to her its like hearing Ward Churchill all over again. Difficult to take a fraud seriously.

“Elizabeth Warren may think she’s punching back, but she’s actually just shooting herself in the foot”

In Massachusetts? I guess I’ll believe it when I see it. I would like it to be true but the state that gave Teddy Kennedy a job for life is not exactly a model of sanity.

I am glad to see this getting some exposure. I have been reading about this for over a year on other sites. 64 million empty apartments. Billions of square meters of empty real estate. People building buildings that will decay and fall down before they are ever occupied. The allocation of capital in China is insane.

Anyone who believes the manipulated statistics of 8% growth year after year simply is ignoring reality in China. The only question is whether the US or Chinese economy falls apart first, or maybe they go down in flames together.

It is all smoke and mirrors.

Stop making fun of Elizabeth Warren. It is not her fault she doesn’t know stuff. She grew up in terrible isolation and deprivation somewhere on on an Indian Reservation in which she was the sole inhabitant, eating bowwow chow with French mayonnaise, which could have clogged the blood vessels in her brain… (oh, no, wait, sorry, that was Obama who ate bowwow chow…) At any rate, please. This woman has struggled so.

    janitor in reply to janitor. | July 28, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Struggled so. Building roads… digging ditches, like on a chain gang… only she wasn’t, she was imagining stories from Aunt Bea while watching the Andy Griffith show, all alone…

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She’s been hittin’ the “peace pipe” far to long. Give her a teepee and send her to China.

“…those properties remain vacant, either as unsold developments or as investment properties without anyone living there.”

Many of the newly created Chinese middle class (profits secured from American consumerism) had invested in those properties… but since the Chinese are working diligently (with massive mandates and regulation) to burst that housing bubble, many Chinese have looked elsewhere to put their money.
Namely, Chinese investments in US property holdings (and our US corporations) are way up under Obama…
-so WHO are “WE” supposedly “building that” FOR?
Its important that know, is it no different than outsourcing jobs… if there is massive influx “insourcing” of foreign ownership?

Former Gov Granholm destroyed Michigan business climate and after corporations started to crumble she relentlessly traveled on our dime to secure foreign “investment” … -which means they came, they plundered and now those corps are foreign owned.

As a proud “Native-American” or the term “indian” that Ms Warren prefers, I would like to see this Blonde, blue-eyed “Indian” do more to help her “people” get off the reservations and take their proper place in society. But, during her tenure as Harvard’s only “Native-American” or as she prefers “Indian”, she never once attended one of Harvard’s 17 annual Native-American Pow-Wows. I guess once Harvard certified her claim as a Native, based on what her batty old auntie told her, there was no more need to flaunt her “heritage”.

[…] So do we have the beginnings of the new Democrat Party campaign slogan here? How about: “Vote for us and we’ll make America like Communist China”. Frightening stuff from the Democrats these days. More on how absurd Warren is from Legal Insurrection. […]

This guy gives a different perspective to your article and talks about the American highway system and how it spurred economic growth and continues to add to the economy

[…] The Dime Store Indian whining about how we spend so little on infrastructure and China spends so muc… […]