Friday, October 19, 2012

Here is a night shot of the IBM building in Beijing, China. Some call it the "Dragon Head"  - Notice the high tech video displays...
Neon buildings line China's biggest cities...along with thousands of cranes, which are as common as billboards in America -- and as active as LED bee hives.
Photo below is a shot from my room in Shanghai about a week doesn't capture a fraction of what your eyes see from the clogged freeways. China is 13 hours ahead of us - so its tomorrow there when it is still today here. confused yet?
In 30 years I have seen China's roads transform from a frenzy of bicycles in 1982 when I was a young 32 year old international attorney to a frenzy of cars
An apartment in the inner city of 300 s.f. costs $3 million U.S. (Oddly enough its cheaper to rent it, for as little as $1,000 a month!). Those apartments outside the third road ring around the city cost $1 million for a 300 s.f. apartment. You can get cheaper but you have to move to a city far away and ride the bullet train to work.
After two trips for the Fortune 500 in 1982 I went back to China in 1984 as an entrepreneur - then haven't been back until just this year, 2012. 
I found a transformed nation, a country already stuffed with cars that jam streets everywhere we went. I also found technology now surpassing our own in critical areas, like high speed rail. In 1982 they didn't even have high speed bicycles. Now the country is awash in cranes and construction, while hundreds of thousands of American bridges are like the I-10 bridge at Lake Charles - 70 years old, so shaky the light bulbs break from the vibration. They only allow two lanes of the four lane structure to be open. Do you want to be on it when it collapses like the one did in Minnesota on I-35? Yet Congress fails to invest.
China is now the largest car market in the world. It will add another 170 million MORE cars the next 5 years, even at $6 gallon for gas which is what I found out on this trip that they pay now.
Anyone believing in "$2 gas" is listening to someone passing a lot of gas - any "surplus" gas will be consumed by this growing nation of 1.4 BILLION people, along with India, Brazil, even Saudi Arabia consuming entirely its own national production in this declining resource.  
If we don't take this opportunity to develop electric cars running on wind and solar etc by the time it becomes $10 gas alot of us could be walking when the oil and gas do run out.  
P.S. it will only take another 200 million years to make more oil when its gone.
  We have to know, globally, what is going on to win in a GLOBAL ECONOMY, stupid.  Despite the Internet, I could not access Facebook in China, or Blogger. Or even my Go Daddy email account. Only yahoo and Gmail worked. Yet I could get the Houston Chronicle and my reading list of 20 some newspapers online.
You can have your fantasies but global money and power is based on strategic investment and results, not voodoo economics. Want to fly with a pilot who has never done it before?
Photo Above: Tiananmen Square, Beijing 2012. Compare that blur of 20 lanes of traffic behind Michael Fjetland (sorry, the light had faded by the time we got there) to the following photo.

BELOW Photo: The empty of cars Tiananmen Square in Beijing China that Michael found in 1982 as a young Fortune 500 legal negotiator) (Below right), Notice on the left another 2012 shot of logged traffic shot.

Note: EVERY road in China is a TOLL Road.
During my first mission 30 years ago, I found a poor China where everyone made $30 month and wore a blue suit.
Thirty years later that China caterpillar  has become a butterfly. a rich, high tech manufacturing country of 1.4 billion people dressed in the latest fashions. Its population outnumbers the total population of the United States by 1 billion people. It has a Great Wall and a 5,000 year old cultural history.
 Above Photo: Chinese we met in a Starbucks in Shanghai last week...a lot like us.
Bullet trains blew past our bus crawling along the freeways. I rode the fastest train in the world, a Maglev, at 265 mph that runs from a Shanghai suburb to its airport. We have nothing like it in the United States. Why not? Why doesn't the USA have the fastest train in the world? And the best healthcare, etc?
Here is a link to a 7 minute video of what its like going 265 miles per hour, so smooth water would not jiggle in a glass of water...(Click "back" to return)
Photo Above: China's MAGLEV, fastest train in the world - Hovers on magnets. China also has Bullet Trains which passed our slow bus...
China has trillions in cash reserves and is heavily invested in U.S. debt.  
They have pursued solar and wind technology and production - enough to drive even American companies out of business, while our Congress under-cuts the key investments we need to wind this global economic face off that determines who is really the No. 1 superpower in the 21st century.
China is run by a few old men at the top who can do whatever they choose can make investments in infrastructure like members of a corporate board meeting. They can buy aircraft carriers even though they don't have the aircraft or pilots that can land on them. 
But they can't guarantee that the common person's yearning for a vote will never blew up in their face, especially if their economy dives after 8-10% yearly growth rates of the past 30 years.
The Chinese could be our best friends or worst enemies in the coming years -- depending on how our government handles them, or mishandle them, in the future.  
The trick is how to outplay them in the global chess game. I have spent time negotiating across from the Chinese starting 30 years ago.  
do you know anyone else with that insight? Does Rush Limbaugh have that personal insight? He hasn't a clue, because he's never done that. 
Does Glenn Beck have that personal insight? He's never done that either, so Glenn Beck hasn't a clue
None (that I know of) of the "Talking Heads" on TV have dealt with economies worldwide in as much depth, in the real world - starting with the Fortune 500 but also doing and seeing it as the little guy with barely enough money to make his '84 trip as an entrepreneur to China...
How does America win with China in the 21st century? How does America deal with the Middle East to avoid another war and revive our role as the No. 1 superpower in brains and technology?
And most important! In election 2012:
WHICH President would help America succeed in dealing with China and our high stakes relationship?  
I have a recommendation. You think that someone who has been doing high stake negotiations in the Middle East, China, South America, Europe etc MIGHT have some helpful skills in making that call? LOL
  Answer and Details coming before Nov. 6 at Global American Values blog..
If you don't want to miss it, click "Subsribe" or "Follow" at the link
China is the key to our future - good or bad. Few have been there starting 30 years ago. I have.  
I am willing to share that experience and knowledge if you want that insight in making one of the most important decisions the American public in Election 2012, which will impact us for decades yet to come.
  Michael Fjetland....
ebook of experiences, chapter titles "Toto, This Sure Ain't Kansas" etc
 : "Better Times Ahead: April Fool?"
Final Chapter (Free on website) "Agenda for American Greatness"

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