Power Corrupts and Great Wealth buys that Power

February 20, 2019

In the United States, autocratic billionaires are destroying the country. For instance, since 1973, the Koch brothers have systematically and deliberately built a machine to subvert America’s Constitutional Republic. Charles and David Koch are not alone. They have at least 2,000 other wealthy allies that belong to an organization the Kochs launched in 1973. It is called ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council, a non-profit, private sector organization with one goal, to subvert the U.S. Constitution and strip the federal and state governments of their power.

But in China, the Chinese Communist Party is attempting to limit the power of that country’s billionaires. For instance, in 2013, The Atlantic asked, Why Do Chinese Billionaires Keep Ending Up in Prison?  The subtitle says, “In China, the rich get poorer.”

The Atlantic continues: “In the last fifteen years, China has produced greater overall wealth than any other country. The number of its billionaires has gone from a mere 15 to around 250 in just six years, but for a number of these people this vaulted status is short-lived. According to one study, 17 percent of those on the list end up squealing their way to court or end up in jail. If they’re lucky, those who are caught are investigated and jailed. Some are even executed.” …

“What accounts for the sharp rise and fall of China’s wealthiest? In a business environment in which personal connections and favors — referred to as guanxi in Chinese — predominate, many tycoons have amassed large fortunes without concern of rules and regulations. However, such a fast and loose atmosphere can cut both ways.”

That piece in The Atlantic appeared in 2013. Five years later according to Business Insider (December 27, 2018), China now has 373 billionaires, a 5% increase in billionaires since the previous year (2017) while the US, where billionaires run rampant spreading corruption with their great wealth, and seldom if ever end up in prison, there are 585 with an increase of 4% from the previous year.

Lord Acton, a member of Parliament in the UK (in office 1859 – 1865), wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”

While the United States is drowning in the corruption Lord Acton mentions, China is struggling to contain the abuse of that power.  For instance, the Los Angeles Times ran this piece in 2017: “Some of China’s richest and most powerful men have mysteriously vanished.”

If U.S. citizens Charles and David Koch had been Chinese citizens, they would have probably vanished a long time ago and the world would be better place without them.

Beware, China, great wealth can become a terminal cancer and it will eventually eat you too no matter how hard your leaders try to stop it.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Who Will Survive the Next Big Global Economic Crises

February 13, 2019

When the next global economic crises hits — not if, but when — how will China deal with it compared to the United States?

First, as of October 2018, the U.S. government owes China $1.138 trillion dollars.  That’s 29 percent of the $3.9 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries. The rest of the $21 trillion U.S. national debt is owned by either the American people or by the U.S. government itself. That is equivalent to about 47.6% of GDP.

On the other hand, the national debt of the People’s Republic of China is the total amount of money owed by the government and all state organizations and government branches of China. As of October 2018, it stands at approximately CN¥ 36 trillion (US$ 5.2 trillion),

In 2007, the United States federal government was only $9-trillion in debt. Today, it is $22.7 trillion in debt and with Trump cutting taxes and spending more; it is going to grow much bigger. The United States recorded a government debt equivalent to 105.40-percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017, and there is no end in sight.

After 2008, almost nine-million Americans lost their jobs, and there were more than 3.1 million foreclosure filings issued during 2008, and that was just for that one year. That can’t happen in rural China and most of China’s factory workers have homes in rural China. When a job is lost in an urban city, the government gave the unemployed workers a free train ticket to go home to the countryside where the family home was not at risk of being taken away since there was no mortgage or property tax to worry about.

What happened in China after 2008 reveals how the Chinese will survive the next global financial disaster.

“The lack in demand from abroad meant factory closures, resulting in high job losses all over China. Guangzhou, a major manufacturing town, lost tens of thousands of workers in 2008, forcing citizens to return to their home in the countryside.”  Along with being forced to go home, most if not all of those Chinese citizens were allowed to retire early and collect Social Security. Younger workers were put to work in state owned factories and sent to work on infrastructure projects.

HROne says, “China’s Social Security System consists of 5 mandatory insurance schemes (pension fund, medical insurance, industrial injury insurance, unemployment insurance and maternity insurance) + a housing fund (only applicable to Chinese employees).” … “An individual can receive a pension based on the amount accumulated in his/her individual fund after retirement.”

“In general, individuals need to pay at least 15-years of contributions prior to receiving a pension in China. Some industries have different retirement ages, but mainly men are 55 years old, women are 50 years old (blue-collar work), men are 60 years old, and women are 55 years old (white-collar work). The amount of retirement benefits depends on local regulations. Due to China’s population problems, these ages may soon change.”

The difference between the United States is China incorporates the characteristics of socialism, capitalism, and communism. China is not a pure communist or socialist or capitalist state. It is a hybrid and the CCP holds the reins of power.

As a socialist-capitalism country, all of China’s land is owned by the government. In urban China, the government leases homes and businesses but doesn’t sell the land. In most of if not all of rural China there is no mortgage or property tax, so losing your urban job and returning to your rural village home in the countryside doesn’t mean you are going to lose your home and become homeless. China also launched a $586 billion stimulus package designed to encourage more consumer spending and build new infrastructure putting people to work.

The United States is one of the most capitalistic countries in the world. Capitalism is an ideology where the means of production is controlled by private business. This means that wealthy, powerful individual citizens run the economy without government interfering in production or pricing.

What did the United States do in 2008?  President G. W. Bush, not President Obama, signed TARP’s 700-billion dollar bailout program. The initial purpose was to save the banks … not the people. The TARP program quickly turned around the banking industry but the U.S. didn’t do what China did to generate consumer spending and create infrastructure jobs. Yet infrastructure in the US is in horrible shape from its electric grid, its highway system, to its railroad network and bridges. G. W. Bush never intended the banks to pay the government back. When Obama became president, he changed that and most of that public money was paid back to the government.

While China used its government bailout money to help its people, the United States did nothing for its working-consumer class and more than a decade later many Americans are still struggling to survive financially.  When the next global economic crises hits, no one knows what will happen in the United States, because that depends on who is president at the time and what political party controls one or both Houses of Congress

For instance, instead of improving the social safety net in the United States, MarketWatch.com reports, “Why the latest warnings about cuts to Social Security and Medicare are a reason to worry.”

Here’s how bad: “Unless something’s done to shore up Social Security, monthly checks could get cut 23% by 2034.”

I think it’s a safe bet that China’s government will do something similar to what it did in and after 2008.

The United States will probably also do the same thing it did last time: bail out the banks and big corporations while continuing to keep cutting taxes for the wealthiest one-percent of Americans. As for the social safety net that’s supposed to be there for most U.S. citizens, who knows how it will weather another economic crises since it is already at risk.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Cradle to Grave – The Surveillance State: China vs the United States

February 6, 2019

It’s no secret that China monitors its citizens, internet activity, and battles pornography, and China is working to improve those methods to make them more effective and efficient.

But when it comes to the United States, what seems to be ignored is the fact that America is also a surveillance state.  The difference is in who is behind that surveillance. In China, it is the government. In the United States it is mostly private sector corporations that are owned and controlled by the 0.1-percent wealthiest citizens, or, to be more precise, the real Deep State that goes to extremes to manipulate the other 99.9 percent of US citizens to do what the autocratic billionaires in charge want them to think and do.

In China, there is no Deep State because the Chinese Communist Party with more than 80-million Party members spread across the country in every city and province rules the country as a team with a primary goal to hold on to power and increase the quality of every citizen’s lifestyle while insuring harmony.

Understanding what that harmony means to most Chinese helps explain one of the reasons for China’s surveillance state, but what is the reason behind America’s corporate surveillance state that monitors our lives and gathers data on every citizen that will follow us from cradle to grave?

In China, the state owned media is self-censored to the point that sometimes China’s president or a member of the Politburo, decisions are made through consensus, makes a phone call and requests that Xinhua covers an issue in more depth that has been ignored. In China, there is one unified message reported to the people and it is no secret that the people know the news is censored and can be misleading.


The U.S. is the only Western Country that doesn’t have a law that allows its citizens to know what information corporations have collected on them.

However, in the United States, the media is in bedlam and disarray. President Donald Trump repeatedly calls media reports he doesn’t like or disagrees with as “Fake News” while the media he supports and watches (since Trump has said more than once that he is proud he doesn’t read books), like Fox News, is spreading misinformation and lies to support a political agenda from one political and/or religious sect.

The reason behind China’s surveillance state is different. In China, the surveillance state keeps watch so it is almost impossible for an individual or group to sabotage the Party’s plans to continue to modernize China and improve the lifestyles of its citizens — even if the Chinese do not have the freedom to speak out on political issues and attempt to shake up the establishment.


In the United States people are products when it comes to information gathered without their knowledge and permission.

In the United States the media is in chaos, and that chaos is spreading throughout the country.

But China has already lived through more than a century of chaos until Deng Xiaoping ended the last element of that suffering, the  insanity of Mao’s Cultural Revolution. I think it is safe to say that the majority of Chinese citizens will support a surveillance state that focuses on promoting peace and harmony instead of insanity and chaos.

This blog post wouldn’t be balanced without mentioning that Actually, Most Countries Are Increasingly Spying on Their Citizens, the UN Says. “Today’s news shows that massive surveillance can no longer be said to be the realm of authoritarian regimes, and is part of an alarming trend worldwide,” reported Privacy International, a group that supports limits on surveillance.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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How the Chinese saved GM’s Buick Brand and Donald Trump is killing American Jobs

December 5, 2018

Malignant Narcissist and the embarrassingly ignorant Donald Trump used his “BULLY” pulpit as the president of the United States to threaten: “General Motors Should Pay Back Bankruptcy Aid.”

Trump said this, “One day after General Motors reported it will shutter five North American assembly and powertrain plants.” The reason: the tariffs President Donald Trump has placed on steel and aluminum in his trade war with the world.

After Losing $1 Billion to Tariffs, General Motors Announces 14,000 Layoffs

And the BBC.com reports. “(Trump’s) Critics point out the US gets most of its (imported) steel from Canada and the EU – staunch US allies.”

In addition, ABC News reports, “The U.S. produced 81.6 million metric tons of steel in 2017, according to steel trade group The World Steel Association (WorldSteel).” How much steel did the U.S. import: “In 2017, there were 36 million metric tons of steel imported to the U.S.”

In June, Trump already had “imposed a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese goods, including China-built cars such as the Buick Envision.”

The Envision was first introduced publicly in China on July 1, 2014, with a photo of the car under a cover and placed between a Buick Encore and a Buick Enclave.

The Buick Envision has never been manufactured in the United States and no American jobs were lost jobs because of the Buick Envision being produced in China.

Back in July 2014, NBC News reported, “How China, Not Your Grandfather, May Have Saved Buick’s Future.

The reason China saved Buick is because in China Buick became a luxury car equal to BMW and Mercedes Benz. “In the late 1990s, when General Motors wanted to become one of the first Western automakers to set up a plant in China, government officials told then-CEO Jack Smith they wanted GM’s ‘best brand,’ he once recalled — not Cadillac, not Chevrolet, but Buick. Today, GM is the second-largest automaker in China and Buick is its top brand.”

How many GM Buicks are sold in China vs the United States?

Forbes.com reports, “When GM went through bankruptcy a decade ago and euthanized Saturn, Pontiac, Saab and Hummer, the custodians also pressed the case to relegate Buick to the automotive graveyard along with Mercury, Plymouth, Hudson, Studebaker, AMC, LaSalle, etc. But they were deterred by a passionate case for Buick made by GM executives stating that if the brand were killed in the U.S., it would probably dramatically impact the brand’s bizarrely healthy business in China. That’s right. Buick sells more than 800,000 Buicks a year in China. In the U.S., Buick did about 220,000 last year.”

Do you think the Chinese would be willing to buy that many Buicks if China allowed them to be imported, with a price increase, if GM moved manufacturing back to the United States for Buicks sold in China?

In fact, some U.S. made vehicles are exported to and sold in China. USA Today reports, “Altogether, Chinese sales of U.S.-made vehicles totaled about 266,657, representing less than 1% of the world’s largest automotive market.” Compare that number to how many cars made in China were sold in the US: USANews.com provides the answer: 50,000.

What country will lose the most jobs if the U.S. is forced to stop selling more than a quarter million cars made in America to Chinese consumers while China stops selling fifty-thousand to U.S. consumers all thanks to Donald Trump’s trade war?

Let’s not forget that Donald Trump has said he is a stable genius, very intelligent, and a great businessman … that caused U.S. banks to lose more than a billion dollars from Trump’s six biggest bankruptcies. Did you know that Donald Trump said during the 2016 presidential election debates that he never had a bankruptcy?

It is safe to say that if Donald Trump brags about how great he is, he is lying.

If you are curious how to sell China manufactured products in China, visit the China Law Blog here.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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The Power Women Hold in China vs the U.S.

November 21, 2018

Since the end of foot binding in 1949, when Mao said women hold up half the sky, how much power have women gained in China vs the United States?

On July 4, 1776, when the U.S. became a country, women were considered the property of men and they were not allowed to vote. It wasn’t until June 4, 1919 when the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution that women gained the right to vote.

The Chinese Communist Party didn’t wait almost 143 years to make women equal to men and technically, women in the U.S. are still not equal because the Equal Rights Amendment has never been passed.

In October 2017, the BBC reported, “Of the 89.4 million members of the Chinese Communist Party, just fewer than 23 million are women – that’s 26%.

“And women make up 24% of China’s National Congress – the sprawling national parliament. You don’t have to be a Communist Party member to sit on that.

“Women are less represented the higher up the political tree you climb.

“After the last Congress in 2012, only 33 women sat on the Central Committee which elects the powerful Politburo – that’s 9%.

“Only two of the 25 members of that Politburo were women – 8%.”

How about the power Women hold in the United States?

Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics reported, the “Percentage of Women in Elective office. In 2018, 20-percent held seats in the U.S. Congress, 23.7 percent held statewide Elective offices and 25.4 percent held seats in state legislatures.”

The United States doesn’t have a Central Committee but it does have the President’s Cabinet that was established in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. The Cabinet’s role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member’s respective office.

Trump’s cabinet currently has 22 members listed and only five are women (was six but one recently quit), or 22.7-percent. Cabinet members are not elected but they must be approved by the U.S. Senate.

China’s Central Committee is currently composed of 205 full members and 171 alternate members. Thirty-three are women.

Members are nominally elected once every five years by the national Congress of the Communist Party of China. The Central Committee is, formally, the “party’s highest organ of authority” when the National Congress is not in session. Of the 2,280 delegates at the National Congress, less than a quarter was women.

No woman has ever been China’s president since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949, but the United States also has never had a woman as its president.

“Even though Mao once famously said, ‘Women hold up half the sky’, women still have a long way to go in their fights for equal representation.”

The same holds true for the United States.

China Power.org says, “China’s constitution guarantees women ‘equal rights with men in all spheres of life,’ and over the last several decades, women in China have enjoyed some notable gains. Life expectancy and literacy rates, for instance, have risen as China’s economy has developed. This progress, however, has been outpaced by the rest of the world. China’s ranking in the index fell sharply from 63rd out of 115 countries in 2006 to 100th out of 144 countries in 2017.”

While women in the U.S. have achieved 1st place in educational attainment, women in China are ranked 102nd. China has also taken strides to improve postnatal care … a significant improvement over the US, which has no federally mandated leave.

On Global Gender Parity, Chinese women beat American women for political empowerment. China is ranked 77th and the US is in 96th place.

Then there are the billionaires. Barrons.com reports, “China dominated a ranking of the world’s self-made female billionaires, making up almost two-thirds of the total, as well as sweeping the top four spots.” … “In total, China had 64 self-made women billionaires, representing 63% of the total. … “The U.S., with 17 women billionaires, had the second largest share of the list, accounting for 17% of the total.”

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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What Nixon Built with China Trump’s Wrecking Ball Destroys

October 24, 2018

In 1969, the Soviet Union was planning a nuclear attack on China. The USSR only backed down when President Nixon’s administration warned Moscow that such a move would start World War Three since the US would bomb Russia in retaliation.

The United States, under President Nixon (1969-1974), clearly indicated that China’s interests were closely related to America’s.

Then in February 1972, President Richard Nixon went to China and changed the course of history. His motives may not have been meant to encourage China to become the economic powerhouse it is today. However, if it weren’t for Nixon, the odds say the Soviet Union would have bombed China with nuclear weapons and China would have retaliated.

Nixon’s trip to Beijing wasn’t to see if China would help get the US out of Vietnam. Instead, the trip was designed to put pressure on the USSR with a goal to make them agree to strategic arms limitations.

Trump’s trade war with China is reversing everything President Nixon achieved with China.

The Financial Times reports, “Chinese soldiers join Russia’s largest military exercise since cold war.”

“Russia’s biggest military exercise since the cold war, and its first to be conducted with a country not from the former Soviet bloc, is the strongest sign yet of the deepening strategic bond between Moscow and Beijing that has been prompted by Russia’s souring western relations and may herald a redrawing of the region’s geopolitics.”

The Washington Post reports, “Washington is fighting a trade war with China and imposing mounting sanctions on Russia. The Trump administration has reoriented the U.S. national security strategy toward “great-power competition” with Russia and China, describing both countries as seeking to “shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests.” …

“The Chinese right now are sending a clear signal that, one, they don’t see Russia as a threat, which already should be a concern to the United States,” said Michael Kofman, senior research scientist at CNA, a U.S.-funded research organization based in Arlington, Va. “They are increasingly wishing to signal that increasing confrontation with the United States will drive them toward greater balancing behavior with Russia.”

But it isn’t just China Trump is alienating.

Business Insider says, “Trump’s fight with Turkey is helping Russia and Iran” … Trump is strengthening alliances between countries that don’t have America or the West’s best interest’s at heart. By punishing Turkey with sanctions, he is only pushing the country closer to other nations who see the strategic importance of having Turkey on their side.”

My question is this: Is Trump doing what Putin wants him to do, to alienate the United States from China and the rest of the world so Russia can step in and replace the U.S.?

What’s more alarming is what CNN Money says, “Russia has rapidly sold off the vast majority of its stash of American debt.” … “Between March and May, Russia’s holdings of US Treasury bonds plummeted by $81 billion, representing 84% of its total US debt holdings.”

While Russia’s holdings of US debt are insignificant, China’s are not, and Asia Times asks, “Russia is dumping US Treasuries. Will China be next?”

The Council on Foreign Relations attempts to answer the previous question. But no matter what happens, the fact is that what Nixon built with China is being dismantled by Donald Trump and the winner will be Russia.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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What might happen to Donald Trump if he was a Chinese citizen?

September 11, 2018

On July 16, 2013, Business Insider reported, Twenty-two Chinese People Were Handed The Death Sentence For White Collar Crime.” … About 4,000 people a year are executed annually in the country, according to human rights organization Dui Hua. And a number of those executed are white collar criminals.”

In the United States, The Christian Science Monitor asked, “How much jail time do white-collar criminals deserve?” For an answer, I turned to Grand Jury Target.com to discover, “the average sentence imposed in fraud cases in fiscal year 2015 was 27 months.”

In China, a convicted white-collar criminal might be executed but in the U.S. the average sentence for fraud (a white collar crime) was 27 months.

What about government officials in China?

Time.com reports, This Is How Much Money You Can Take in Bribes Before the Chinese Authorities Execute You: How much is an errant Chinese official’s life worth? Three million renminbi, or $463,000, according to a statement released on April 18 by Chinese judicial authorities. The legal clarification makes the death penalty applicable to anyone who either embezzles, or accepts bribes of, that sum or more.”

If Donald Trump is eventually found guilty of laundering money for the Russian mob, accepting bribes, cheating on his taxes, fraud, bribing others that know about his crimes to silence them, and maybe even murder, he’s lucky he doesn’t live in China. There’s a big difference between spending 27-months in prison in the U.S. or being executed in China for the same alleged crime or crimes.

If you are curious, you might want to read Trump’s Dirty Money.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about new releases and get a free copy of my award-winning, historical fiction short story “A Night at the Well of Purity”.

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