A little bird and a big crow

While at a stop light, I saw a flying metaphor. A little bird (about three inches in height) chased off a big crow who is closer to a foot in height. The little bird chased the bigger one for well over 100 feet, most likely a mother defending her nest from an egg stealer.

I feel the big crow is analgous to the America First mindset, where we are devaluing our relationships and bullying people into action. Now, some might say we have always thrown our weight around. Yet, our allies are reacting to being treated worse with tariffs and talk of more, our pulling out of multilateral or global agreements, our denigrating respected multinational groups, and telling countries who they can and cannot do business with.

The little bird represents individual countries, businesses and farmers who are doing what they must to perpetuate commerce. When certain avenues are closed or made difficult or costly to use, they have to find new suppliers or customers. They are chasing away the impact of the crow. It is a simple equation – the more difficult an entity becomes to deal with, others will seek other options. Plus, the more difficult we make it for all transactions, then fewer transactions will be made and global trade will suffer.

It is reported the President reached out to former President Jimmy Carter. The reason is Trump’s having concern over an ascendant China. This was happening any way, facilitated by actual long term planning by China. Yet, what Trump fails to realize is his role in greasing the skids. By retrenching from our position of strength, pulling out of a Trans-Pacific trade deal meant to even the playing field with China, he has allowed China to fill the void. By telling countries they will face tariffs if they deal with Cuba and Iran, we are greasing the skids for China to fill the void.

These little birds have to eat. They will look out for their best interests. If they must acquiesesce to the big crow, those actions will be remembered, if they are needed in the future by the crow. It should be noted,  a foreign diplomat said two years ago, the strength of the US is its allied relationships – failing to nurture them comes at a cost.

And, that Chinese bird is getting even bigger and faster than this old crow.

8 thoughts on “A little bird and a big crow

  1. Note to Readers: To illustrate my point, here is part of an article from Reuters today on China investing in Argentina:

    “In a lunar-like landscape in the sunny highlands of northern Argentina, South America’s largest solar farm is rising, powered by funding and technology from China.

    Local officials said they had sought help at home, the United States and Europe without success. Potential lenders and partners, they said, were spooked by the project’s size and the fiscal woes of Jujuy province, one of the poorest in the country.

    The Import-Export Bank of China saw it differently. The state-funded institution financed 85 percent of the project’s nearly $400-million pricetag. At 3 percent annual interest over 15 years, it is “cheap money” for Jujuy, a person familiar with the terms said. The catch: the province had to purchase nearly 80 percent of the materials from Chinese suppliers.”

  2. “that Chinese bird is getting even bigger and faster than this old crow.” Indeed and high time. As anyone who knows me knows, I’ve always hated “America” with a singular passion. Not “Americans” per se, but America, the endless war-mongering would-be world dictator. As much as I also know that when (not if) China becomes the world ruler things will get worse for the conquered, never better, still it is satisfying to see America-the-Bully take its fall. But for those who extol the take-over by China, there are tears in the offing, make no mistake. All those long years of being denigrated and oppressed in so many ways will be remembered by the ascendant Chinese, for that is human nature. These serious racial and economic sleights will have to be atoned for, like it or not. Red will not mean “Republican” anymore, it will mean Communism, Chinese style, at the point of rifles. Another American institution that will disappear under Chinese rule: the NRA. The future, for America, Canada and much of the “West” is grim and that could have been avoided through cooperation instead of blatant aggression.

    • Sha’tara, I am higher on America than you are, but your point is well taken and well-said. I do wish our elected leaders could be our better angels, yet they tend to be our worst. With gerrymandering, we tend to elect too many strident voices, especially from the right where voter management is more an art form since 2010.

      Carter said the President was very bothered by China becoming number 1. I find it humorous he is aiding and abetting their efforts. Red will indeed mean something knew and we do not realize what strong arm leadership really looks like. We see glimpses with Trump, but we are nowhere near that yet.

      Keith

      • Trump is a psychopath imbecile, not smart. When he throws his weight around it isn’t focused and his handlers are not statesmen but just in it for themselves so with that comes chaos, not planned change (or non-change!). When you get the psychopathy along with greater intelligence then you get Nazi Germany or if China wins the race, then you get totalitarian Communism in reality with its brand of totalitarian capitalism to serve those elites and their dreams of a world empire that could stretch out into the solar system and beyond. Shades of Blade Runner… and how often has science fiction become fact? The more successful the technology, the closer we come to world-wide totalitarianism – the two go hand in hand. This may seem out of topic but I always look into the further future and pull back to the present to get a better picture of where things are heading.

      • Sha’Tara, I would be more inclined to say he exhibits behavior of a mercurial narcissist disinterested in learning the history, issues and context. It is truly an interesting mix.

        As for the AI, that is a different ballgame. It has great power that will help and harm. I do not have confidence in our ability to govern its use, so its misuse will produce more harm. The use of drones is a good example – farmers can manage their crops, but drones are clinical way to kill many people with less remorse. Keith

  3. Note to Readers II: I have often written of the Nash Equilbrium which won schizophrenic John Nash the Nobel Prize in Economics. Nash’s story was portrayed by Russell Crowe in Ron Howard’s “A Beautiful Mind.” The premise is applied to global trade relations and it reveals if all partners work to achieve a reasonable profit for all, everyone wins and the overall pie is larger. This is the antithesis of the Trump doctrine which is to denigrate all trade agreements and place tariffs on allies and all trading partners.

    • Linda, so true. What the current WH incumbent fails to realize is once he forces businesses, farmers and countries to change sales and supply channels, they cannot easily change back. Keith

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