Friday, May 19, 2017

Solving the Trade Deficit with China (One Pair of Sunglasses at a Time)

If you're one of my regular readers (and if you aren't, you should be!) you know that this is generally not the place to go for an in-depth analysis of the global economy. If you want a detailed examination of the United States of America's trade deficit with China, I would say you should look somewhere else.


That's right, today we are going to talk about our country's trade deficit with Republic of China. I know, I know, that's a pretty strange topic coming from a guy who usually writes about poo(h), farts, and questionable seafood. But, here we are.

It started when Thing 2 (my seven year-old son) was given a pair of sunglasses in his Easter basket by his mother the Easter Bunny. They were red, white, and blue with a design that looks about as similar to the American flag as is possible for a pair of sunglasses.

Being a patriotic, red-blooded, American boy, he loved the sunglasses and wore them everywhere he went for the next couple of days. He and the glasses were inseparable. And then, one day, he noticed some writing on one of the legs of the glasses. It said, "Made In China."

"That's weird," he said. "Why would someone in China make a pair of glasses with the American flag on it?" I could tell it was something that bothered him.

My son asked, "How do the Chinese even know what the American flag looks like?"

A couple of days later when his Grammy was over for a visit, he asked, totally out of the blue, "What does the flag of China look like?" Grammy pulled up an image of the flag for him on the internet. He looked at it intently.

Then he asked, "What do the stars stand for?" This got Grammy and I both looking at our smart phones to find the answer. (The large star stands for the Communist Party, while the four smaller stars symbolize the four social classes: the working class, the peasantry, the urban petite bourgeoisie, and the national bourgeoisie.) (At least, that's what Wikipedia says, so it's probably right.)

We gave him a slightly simplified answer (because ain't no one wants to try to spell or explain the "bourgeoisie!") and he seemed to accept it. Then Grammy asked him, "Why are you so interested in the Chinese flag?"

"Well," he said, "when I'm bigger I want to make a pair of sunglasses here in America that has the Chinese flag on it so I can send it to the people in China, just like they made some sunglasses with the American flag on it and sent it here."

And there you have it! The simple solution for solving America's trade deficit with China. All we have to do is for every America-based trinket or knick-knack that comes to us from China, we need to make a Chinese version here in the United States and send it back to China.

And that's it: the Chinese trade deficit solved by my seven year-old son! (Next week we're going to put him to work on bringing long-lasting peace to the Middle East.)

No comments:

Post a Comment