Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Sarcasm Report v.154

March 27, 2012
China's Surprising U.S. Buying Spree

Now this Asian nation is the third-largest buyer of U.S. exports, ranking behind only U.S. neighbors and free-trade partners Canada and Mexico.

Surprised to hear that it’s China?

I'm actually surprised that the percentage wasn't mentioned. 18.6% of our exports go to Canada. 14.6% of our exports go to Mexico. A mere 7.1% of our exports go to China. Meanwhile, 18.7% of our imports come from China. Surprise!

Alaska, for example, sold $1.4 billion of exports to China last year, more than to any other country, with the largest portion of that being seafood, followed by minerals and forestry products, the council says. Oregon sold $1.6 billion of electronics and computers to China, also its largest export market. Washington sold $4 billion in transportation equipment to China, its most important market. And the state of Texas sold $3.9 billion of chemicals to China, its third-most-important market, behind Mexico and Canada. (Overall, agricultural products, chemicals, computers and electronics, and transportation equipment are what China buys most frequently, the council says.)

I'm surprised yet again. The only mention of the whopping $10.4 billion in 2011 soybean exports is somewhat found within the parentheses (as agricultural products). Why is our top export to China hidden away like that? We sold less than $1 billion as recently as 2002. What a fantastic growth story that is. Oh my, look at those soybean prices. They've tripled since 2002. So here's the question of the day. How much of that $10.4 billion is just inflation? Surprise!

And let's not forget copper. That's another $4.3 billion. It was only $305 million in 2002. Growth, baby. Pure growth. Dare I point out what copper prices have done since 2002? Yes, I dare. They've quintupled! Surprise!

And since we are really getting into the spirit of fun surprises, we exported $0 of this item in 2009. We exported $0 of this item in 2010. We exported $264,000 of it in 2011. It might not seem like much, but just think of the growth rate!

So what is that item? You have one minute to ponder the question.

Military apparel and footwear!

We're actually shipping apparel to China. Surprise! We haven't had a Chinese military apparel and footwear export year like that one since 2007. Hey, is the biggest surprise yet to come? Perhaps someone knows something that we don't, lol. Sigh.

I don't mean to imply that it is all bad news. We did export $6.4 billion in civilian aircraft, engines, equipment, and parts. Once they figure out how it all works they'll probably make their own planes in factories that once made cheap American toys, but hey, that could be a long, long time from now.

March 9, 2012
China's J-20 Stealth Fighter Is Already Doing A Whole Lot More Than Anyone Expected

The J-20's development is also moving along much faster than anyone had expected. Back in 2009, Gen. He Weirong, deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force said in a TV interview that the J-20 wouldn't be operational until 2017-2019. That estimate will likely be revised if work continues at the current pace.


Scott said...

J-20 as opposed to the F-35 which is far behind schedule, will cost significantly more than originally estimated, and will lack promised functionality.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Yeah, it's starting to look like the plot in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins.

Troy said...

Have I mentioned recently that your blog posts are like 1000X more informative than CR's these days?

Stagflationary Mark said...


Well, he's trying to make money doing this and I'm not.

Police Squad!

ABC announced the cancellation of Police Squad! after four of its six episodes had aired in March 1982. The final two episodes were aired that summer. According to the DVD Commentary, then-ABC entertainment president Tony Thomopoulos said "Police Squad! was cancelled because the viewer had to watch it in order to appreciate it." What Thomopoulos meant was that the viewer had to actually pay close attention to the show in order to get much of the humor, while most other TV shows did not demand as much effort from the viewer.

See? I'm using the wrong business model. In my defense, I loved that show! ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...

And thank you by the way. :)