Look Hu’s (Not) Coming to Dinner

20 January 2011

You would think, having lived in this town for now for 33 years, I would be at the top of the White House guest list whenever a foreign dignitary visits. You would think, having dropped “one large”, as Tony Soprano would put it, into O’s campaign chest, I would have made the cut.
Not so.
I was prepared, too, with some rockin’ ideas on how to reduce the trade deficit, if asked during the dinner conversation.
First, invite the entire High Command of the Chinese Armed Forces to Vegas. Give them a complimentary stack of five chips each, and tell them all further bets will be financed by redeeming part of their one trillion dollars worth of T Bills.
Second, exports. This made me think: what is it that we still make here that China might be interested in?
Super advanced weapons systems. But maybe not a great idea to export those. Taiwan might object.
Non defense high tech products. It would probably be about a week before clones of them started coming back the other way.
Okay, maybe it was just as well I didn’t make the list.
Turning to Tunisia, I struck by the fact that it was the self-immolation of a micro entrepreneur, Mohamed Bouaziz, that toppled the government. Bouaziz, you could say, was a poster boy for the plight of Arab youth regionwide. He had graduated from college but b/c of lack of other opportunities, he resorted to selling fruits and vegetables on the street. He killed himself because the cops would not allow him to do business without a permit. (I’m going to take a wild guess and speculate that he refused to bribe them, so they busted him) People are wondering: is it the beginning of a regional revolution that will take down other Arab leaders?
If the massive unemployment of youth isn’t addressed, it could well be.

Rupert Scofield


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