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(NPR)   What if -follow me here- what if we countered China's Belt & Road Initiative with 1/5 their budget?   (npr.org) divider line
    More: Unlikely, United Nations, Investment, Finance, International Monetary Fund, part of a global infrastructure project, President Biden, Developing country, Private equity fund  
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1917 clicks; posted to Politics » on 27 Jun 2022 at 5:35 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-06-27 1:20:16 PM  
Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.
 
2022-06-27 3:17:37 PM  

AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.


And the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago...
 
2022-06-27 4:25:52 PM  
Who gives a shiat about woulda/coulda/should? Get on with it.
 
2022-06-27 5:38:36 PM  
It's so frustrating seeing America try to compete with nations that have leaders that want their country to do well.
 
2022-06-27 5:41:18 PM  
No, because that would be SOCIALISM!!!1!
 
2022-06-27 5:45:31 PM  

anfrind: No, because that would be SOCIALISM!!!1!


It would only be socialism if we spent it on our own people. But we can't do that, no. So let's instead try to bribe third world countries to like us instead, Fark the poor living here.
 
2022-06-27 5:45:36 PM  

AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-27 5:45:51 PM  
Belt and Road is largely a scam for other countries.  China expects a number of defaults on their loans so they can take ownership of infrastructure in other countries.  It stands to reason that you wouldn't put that kind of money up front if you don't expect the same returns

Regardless, it's not like the US didn't invest in its own infrastructure projects (aka influence projection) over the years.  China doesn't have permanent military bases in Germany, Japan, Turkey, etc, and they're not part of a number of the major trade agreements/organizations that the US is.  Yes, you should always invest in yourself, but a lot of the hard work is already done, while China is still trying to set a groundwork to even compete
 
2022-06-27 5:46:22 PM  
I'm a huge proponent of soft power solutions, but it's still hard to see this when every penny has to be fought for tooth and nail domestically.
 
2022-06-27 5:51:22 PM  
How did China get so rich that they can fling money all over the place anyway?
 
2022-06-27 5:53:58 PM  
This will certainly fuel republicans to say Biden cares more about spending in other countries and creating jobs in other countries than he does lowering gas prices and creating jobs at home.
 
2022-06-27 5:54:04 PM  

bhcompy: Belt and Road is largely a scam for other countries.  China expects a number of defaults on their loans so they can take ownership of infrastructure in other countries.  It stands to reason that you wouldn't put that kind of money up front if you don't expect the same returns


Yeah it's basically loansharking. And governments and development agencies know that, but they're desperate.

Still, I assume the US fund is going to come with some standards -- governance, human rights, environmental, etc. which might make Belt and Road continue to be seen as a viable alternative in some corners.
 
2022-06-27 5:56:58 PM  

olorin604: I'm a huge proponent of soft power solutions, but it's still hard to see this when every penny has to be fought for tooth and nail domestically.


Well, sure, we can't even fund our own educational system well enough to teach people to tell when Republicans lie (it's not hard; their lips move). But look at it this way: both the leadership of the right and left seem to agree that budgets don't matter, and we can just print as many American dollars as the current leadership wants at the time. If you don't have a lot of investments in assets tied to the American dollar, it's not a big deal.

/yeah, I know, there aren't very many assets that aren't tied to the American dollar, even worldwide
 
2022-06-27 5:58:10 PM  

Gnaglor: This will certainly fuel republicans to say Biden cares more about spending in other countries and creating jobs in other countries than he does lowering gas prices and creating jobs at home.


The timing is pretty odd. Couldn't this have waited until after midterms?
 
2022-06-27 5:58:54 PM  
If you read the whole article, the plan is for the US to put in 200 bil in 5 years, while the G7, collectively, is putting in 600 bil, also in 5 years. China's 1 tril is in 10 years, and is therefore 100 bil/year to the G7's 120.

So it's not 20%/year subby, it's 120%/year.
 
2022-06-27 5:59:24 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: How did China get so rich that they can fling money all over the place anyway?


By not paying their construction workers jack shiat and having a lot of them die on the job from safety hazards?

Also having the roads and rails fail spectacularly within a decade.
 
2022-06-27 6:01:18 PM  

leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]


Things China doesn't have:

1. Elections.
2. NIMBY Lawsuits.
3. Environmental laws.
4. Requirements to pay fair market value for land acquisition...
5. ...at ridiculous California land prices.
6. Requirements to pay American union wages to workers.
7. Worker safety laws.

If California didn't have these things either, I'll bet it could have built said high speed network for a fraction of the cost they are spending on it and have it completed by now.
 
2022-06-27 6:02:42 PM  

Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

1. Elections.
2. NIMBY Lawsuits.
3. Environmental laws.
4. Requirements to pay fair market value for land acquisition...
5. ...at ridiculous California land prices.
6. Requirements to pay American union wages to workers.
7. Worker safety laws.

If California didn't have these things either, I'll bet it could have built said high speed network for a fraction of the cost they are spending on it and have it completed by now.


8. Elon Musk
 
2022-06-27 6:04:55 PM  

Super Chronic: bhcompy: Belt and Road is largely a scam for other countries.  China expects a number of defaults on their loans so they can take ownership of infrastructure in other countries.  It stands to reason that you wouldn't put that kind of money up front if you don't expect the same returns

Yeah it's basically loansharking. And governments and development agencies know that, but they're desperate.

Still, I assume the US fund is going to come with some standards -- governance, human rights, environmental, etc. which might make Belt and Road continue to be seen as a viable alternative in some corners.


How are those standards working out for the aid flowing to Mexico & Central America?
 
2022-06-27 6:05:33 PM  

Super Chronic: Yeah it's basically loansharking. And governments and development agencies know that, but they're desperate.


Desperate?  In some cases.  Huge pools of money floating around for both corrupt Chinese middlemen and corrupt locals from Beninese provincial ministers to Sri Lankan port authority directors to all get their beaks wet?  In basically all cases.
 
2022-06-27 6:05:36 PM  

leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]


Elon Musk has had no influence on HSR in California.  HSR in California hasn't moved anywhere because there are laws that limit the government's ability to take land from people without due process(and lots of money), because the state respects environmental laws and EIRs take forever, because it was not funded to completion, because California has significant geographical and seismic challenges, and because, largely, air travel is significantly faster and fares are cheaper.

The state would see much better results investing in regional trains, commuter trains, and local trains/light rail than HSR between SF and LA, and, to some degree, that's what's been happening in parts of the state.  LA/SoCal has been undergoing serious upgrades and a major expansion to the LA Metro rail system, with a number of major projects already completed and more to be completed by the 2028 Olympics, Metrolink (commuter train), which completed a significant extension to previously unserved territory in Riverside County a few years back, OCTA has the OC Streetcar light rail project underway, RCTC is in design assessment stages on the LA/Palm Springs train, etc etc.  The HSR from (greater) LA to LV is being handled privately.

The connection between SF and LA is really the last thing they should be working on.  There's so much more value for the dollar and value for the populace that can be had by improving local transit, and our legislators know that
 
2022-06-27 6:11:35 PM  

Gnaglor: This will certainly fuel republicans to say Biden cares more about spending in other countries and creating jobs in other countries than he does lowering gas prices and creating jobs at home.


Republicans never need a reason to do that. Also, Republicans never care about team building with other countries except to fight wars. If ANY of these projects (China or US) take hold and these countries prosper more, these countries buy products made by (China or US). Investing in future consumers isn't an inherently bad idea - especially when you can reap some of the raw materials at a fraction of the cost by bribing local officials as well.
 
2022-06-27 6:17:28 PM  
China has had over 300 years to study how to effectively control countries/vassal states thanks to the West, and now they have the resources to do it for themselves.

I'm not sold on it is a good thing, but it is how the world works.
 
2022-06-27 6:18:44 PM  

snowjack: Gnaglor: This will certainly fuel republicans to say Biden cares more about spending in other countries and creating jobs in other countries than he does lowering gas prices and creating jobs at home.

The timing is pretty odd. Couldn't this have waited until after midterms?


In a sane world, the Democrats would come out punching with "we would be glad to invest in America, God knows how much of our infrastructure is falling apart, but the GQP refuses to let anyone."
 
2022-06-27 6:19:05 PM  

Slaxl: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

And the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago...


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-27 6:22:18 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: How did China get so rich that they can fling money all over the place anyway?


Massive tax cuts for the rich and then it all trickled down.
 
2022-06-27 6:25:57 PM  

AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.


But the Cheney family got richer, and Poppy Bush may have told his cokehead son he loved him before going down to Confederate Heaven.

Isn't that worth it?
 
2022-06-27 6:27:18 PM  

olorin604: I'm a huge proponent of soft power solutions, but it's still hard to see this when every penny has to be fought for tooth and nail domestically.


Quit feeding the "scratch-offs and Marlboro Lights" states with the revenues of states that actually make money then.
 
2022-06-27 6:29:28 PM  

bhcompy: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Elon Musk has had no influence on HSR in California.  HSR in California hasn't moved anywhere because there are laws that limit the government's ability to take land from people without due process(and lots of money), because the state respects environmental laws and EIRs take forever, because it was not funded to completion, because California has significant geographical and seismic challenges, and because, largely, air travel is significantly faster and fares are cheaper.

The state would see much better results investing in regional trains, commuter trains, and local trains/light rail than HSR between SF and LA, and, to some degree, that's what's been happening in parts of the state.  LA/SoCal has been undergoing serious upgrades and a major expansion to the LA Metro rail system, with a number of major projects already completed and more to be completed by the 2028 Olympics, Metrolink (commuter train), which completed a significant extension to previously unserved territory in Riverside County a few years back, OCTA has the OC Streetcar light rail project underway, RCTC is in design assessment stages on the LA/Palm Springs train, etc etc.  The HSR from (greater) LA to LV is being handled privately.

The connection between SF and LA is really the last thing they should be working on.  There's so much more value for the dollar and value for the populace that can be had by improving local transit, and our legislators know that


Land acquisition problems and more lawsuits are involved, NIMBYs from all over can sue for environmental laws (really suing to stop the process).   The trains themselves were commuter trains really, the marketing of SF-LA, but it was more Fresno->SF and Bakersfield-> LA, places with more reasonable housing that just happened to link up the two biggest population centers, but because the lawsuits the current plan is to build from Bakersfield to Fresno which is the least useful bit of the map for it.
 
2022-06-27 6:42:28 PM  

leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]


It's missing the people who now want millions for their barren land along the right-of-way. That's pretty much the biggest driver now. Just need to eminent-domain that shiat. Assholes. Don't even realize when the rail project completes Modesto and Fresno will be boom towns.
 
2022-06-27 6:44:00 PM  
"People like that Belt n' Road, daddy....hey maybe we should get us some!"

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-27 6:44:05 PM  

Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

1. Elections.
2. NIMBY Lawsuits.
3. Environmental laws.
4. Requirements to pay fair market value for land acquisition...
5. ...at ridiculous California land prices.
6. Requirements to pay American union wages to workers.
7. Worker safety laws.

If California didn't have these things either, I'll bet it could have built said high speed network for a fraction of the cost they are spending on it and have it completed by now.


Things that has China has

1. High speed train

Also things that Europe has

1. High speed train

Things we don't have

1. High speed train

Worker safety laws, elections and Elon Musk for not having high speed train is a new one.
 
2022-06-27 6:46:07 PM  

leeksfromchichis: Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

8. Elon Musk


Geotpf, I'm willing to give Musk to China but you need to go with him and accept everything that happens to him there. Should go swimmingly with his processed love of unfettered free speech. Just ask Jack Ma, who is/was China's wealthiest citizen before.. well..
 
2022-06-27 6:47:40 PM  

soopey: leeksfromchichis: Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

8. Elon Musk

Geotpf, I'm willing to give Musk to China but you need to go with him and accept everything that happens to him there. Should go swimmingly with his processed love of unfettered free speech. Just ask Jack Ma, who is/was China's wealthiest citizen before.. well..


Shiat, responded to the wrong person, apologies Geotpf for besmirching your name. Get bent, leeks.
 
2022-06-27 6:48:23 PM  

bhcompy: The connection between SF and LA is really the last thing they should be working on.


It literally is the last thing they're working on.
 
2022-06-27 6:49:11 PM  
"....US Government initiatives to expand critical infrastructure in developing countries including Angola were set back today, when the Armored Car carrying $600B in Government bonds fell into a pothole on the DC Beltway and caught fire.  Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful following the failure of the mains water supply due to a pipe break.  A water carrier from the DC fire service was unable to assist when a section of the Woodrow Wilson bridge collapsed.  A struggling 3 world nation, with corrupt Government and being ripped apart by internecine religious battles, the US is approximately 7000 miles from Angola."
 
2022-06-27 6:49:26 PM  
Since Biden seems to be over "How will we pay for it?"  There are better things we can spend money on for our citizens.
 
2022-06-27 6:49:46 PM  
So...who has WeChat?
 
2022-06-27 6:49:53 PM  
What China did would be like the United States extending it's interstate system and rail lines down into Mexico and Central America, all the way to the Panama Canal.  It would cost billions, but it would cost us billions, and it would be such a huge boon to the economy of our southern neighbors that it would probably be the end of illegal immigration, because why move to another country where you don't even speak the language when things are good at home?

We can't even agree to extend our rail and highway lines to every part of our country.
 
2022-06-27 6:51:31 PM  
Biden cares more about spending money in other countries than he cares about domestic gas prices. As a progressive, I find this to be a very bad thing endemic to the democrat party.
 
2022-06-27 6:54:10 PM  

winedrinkingman: What China did would be like the United States extending it's interstate system and rail lines down into Mexico and Central America, all the way to the Panama Canal.  It would cost billions, but it would cost us billions, and it would be such a huge boon to the economy of our southern neighbors that it would probably be the end of illegal immigration, because why move to another country where you don't even speak the language when things are good at home?

We can't even agree to extend our rail and highway lines to every part of our country.


You forgot the part where the terms are usurious and the concessions extracted for renegotiation give nationally owned companies of the lender access to natural resources at bargain prices. As noted above it's loan sharking at a sovereign level.
 
2022-06-27 6:54:57 PM  

Super Chronic: bhcompy: Belt and Road is largely a scam for other countries.  China expects a number of defaults on their loans so they can take ownership of infrastructure in other countries.  It stands to reason that you wouldn't put that kind of money up front if you don't expect the same returns

Yeah it's basically loansharking. And governments and development agencies know that, but they're desperate.

Still, I assume the US fund is going to come with some standards -- governance, human rights, environmental, etc. which might make Belt and Road continue to be seen as a viable alternative in some corners.


As long as Dems are in control, US funding is going to come with monitoring, reporting and evaluation to ensure that the work is actually done and the money actually went where you say it went.  (The saying in international development projects is "if you didn't monitor it, you didn't do it," for good reason.)

If we're ever foolish enough to let another Republican into the Oval Office, they will immediately switch US funding to come with requirements to recipient countries prohibit abortion and teach abstinence.

/foreign-affairs-adjacent during the Bush Jr. and Obama years
 
2022-06-27 6:55:24 PM  

Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

1. Elections.
2. NIMBY Lawsuits.
3. Environmental laws.
4. Requirements to pay fair market value for land acquisition...
5. ...at ridiculous California land prices.
6. Requirements to pay American union wages to workers.
7. Worker safety laws.

If California didn't have these things either, I'll bet it could have built said high speed network for a fraction of the cost they are spending on it and have it completed by now.


It does sort of make me long for the days of Robert Moses here in NY, where the process was generally: (1) Day 1, have idea; (2) Day 2, start digging; (3) Days 3-365, build out infrastructure; (4) Day 366, request permission; (5) Days 367-730, complete project; (6) Day 731, check if permission was received.

I mean, other than the parts about Moses being a racist asshole.
 
2022-06-27 6:56:19 PM  
In Biden's defense , Wall Street wants this infrastructure. You want healthcare. It isn't even close.
 
2022-06-27 6:59:08 PM  

Subtonic: Biden cares more about spending money in other countries than he cares about domestic gas prices. As a progressive, I find this to be a very bad thing endemic to the democrat party.


The votes resulting from SCOTUS redefining emergent liberty has to be offset somehow, geesh.

No, both sides are not bad, but both sides answer to the rich and the contraction of the economy or concentration of wealth since 2008 is about global competition.
 
2022-06-27 7:01:26 PM  

Unscratchable_Itch: How did China get so rich that they can fling money all over the place anyway?


Mostly by realizing that money is a collective fiction and they could print as much of it as they wanted, provided their own people didn't get so wealthy that it got too expensive to employ them.
 
2022-06-27 7:09:03 PM  

Geotpf: leeksfromchichis: AlgaeRancher: Sounds like something America should have done decades ago instead of pouring money into the sand.

[Fark user image 425x653]

Things China doesn't have:

1. Elections.
2. NIMBY Lawsuits.
3. Environmental laws.
4. Requirements to pay fair market value for land acquisition...
5. ...at ridiculous California land prices.
6. Requirements to pay American union wages to workers.
7. Worker safety laws.

If California didn't have these things either, I'll bet it could have built said high speed network for a fraction of the cost they are spending on it and have it completed by now.


It is significantly easier to build stuff when you don't care who dies or gets displaced while you build it.
 
2022-06-27 7:17:31 PM  
We can counter it with 1/5 the budget since our cost is lower. And our cost is lower because we import it from China.
 
2022-06-27 7:18:01 PM  
We can do better roi than investing in foreign infrastructure.  We should have been investing in foreign companies and importing the profits.
 
2022-06-27 7:19:39 PM  
Reverend J:

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.comView Full Size


And this?
 
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