April 8, 2021

Scott Adams gets into a conversation with China state-affiliated media.

FROM THE EMAIL: A reader named Mike writes (and I haven't fact checked the history): 

China lies. The Central Pacific Railroad was built by free labor. The Chinese laborers were highly valued employees, in fact the CP couldn’t get enough of them. They knew how to use blasting powder, they worked without the hullabaloo that the white, Irish workers created. They didn’t drink and carouse. At one time they... quit and started working for another company.

Plus the fact we’d just fought a four-year war to end slavery.

See Stephen Ambrose’s “Nothing Like It in The World.” Great book about building the transcontinental railroad.

MORE FROM THE EMAIL: A reader named Daniel writes:

I think Scott Adams wasted an opportunity -- he caught Chinese attention, but he was more interested in making domestic points to domestic audiences than in calling out the Chinese. Randomly bringing up George Floyd using fentanyl is not about calling out the Chinese. And by the way, we've got our own problems with fentanyl behavior, between Purdue, McKinsey, over-prescribing doctors and over-dispensing pharmacies. I'd call it a big loss by Adams.

Adams seems to take every opportunity to castigate China over Fentanyl. I wouldn't have brought in George Floyd. There's an ongoing trial, and the key question seems to be whether it's possible that Fentanyl and not Derek Chauvin's knee was the cause of the death. Adams is deliberately writing as if we know the answer, and I guess that's the "thinking past the sale" type of persuasion he frequently talks about. I'm sure some of Adams's followers get off on that sort of thing.

There's also this from RigelDog: 

Like you, Adams produces content every day but in the form of a podcast. He's got a pretty big audience. It may interest you to know that he considers Chinese government to be not only the enemy of the free world, but also his, Adams', personal enemy. He openly vows to take them down in any way that he can. Looks like he is making some headway and getting some (dangerous?) attention.

He must love this.

YET MORE EMAIL: Christian writes:

Looking at China and the slavery situation, we can see how so many for so long countenanced what they even the called the evil "institution" of plantation slavery. It's not the same thing, but the dynamics are similar, and the stakes even higher, with the potential benefit to the USA lower than ever. 
The South declared war over the presence of someone they thought was a threat to slavery. If we actually managed to put real economic hurt on China (or maybe just threatened enough to push them over the edge), who's to say war with millions of Chinese and hundreds of thousands of US/allies lives won't be the cost? 
And unless we impossibly managed a modern day Sherman's March from the sea across inland China to pacify the country, we wouldn't end up making anyone more free. To say nothing of the devastating generational consequences of war across economy, government growth, families, etc. The toll is much higher than the casualty count, which would be unimaginable. 
So we do the calculations - are the wealth and prosperity gains from doing business with a bad nation, while also preventing conflict, worth permitting a terrible "institution" to continue. It's not just a question of "money". We don't develop the next MRI machine without high profit margins and high sales volumes that come from overseas manufacturing a wide range of goods across the whole economy. 
We may say one thing to assuage our conscience. But our actions demonstrate with clarity how we truly feel.