Wednesday, March 14, 2012
China slapped with rare earth trade dispute … The European Union, United States and Japan formally asked the World Trade Organization on Tuesday to settle a dispute with China over Beijing’s restriction on exports of raw materials, including rare earth elements critical to major industries. The EU’s trade chief, Karel De Gucht, said the three trading powers were making the dispute settlement request, the first step before filing a full trade case, following a successful EU challenge at the WTO on similar restrictions earlier this year. “China’s restrictions on rare earths and other products violate international trade rules and must be removed,” De Gucht said. “These measures hurt our producers and consumers in the EU and across the world, including manufacturers of pioneering hi-tech and ‘green’ business applications.” − MSNBC
Dominant Social Theme: Gee, where would be without international trade organizations and the bureaucrats that run them?
Free-Market Analysis: Rare earth elements are not rare. You can count on it. Oil is not rare. Food is not rare. Water is not rare. These are all dominant social themes – scarcity memes – fear-based promotions of the power elite.
The idea is always the same. Manufacture the perception that something “critical” is running out and then bring in the “experts” – politicians, government generally – to “fix” the problem. Even if the problem is “unfixable” or drags on, the promotional meme is bolstered. The very act of politicians, experts, “leaders” arguing over an issue reinforces the idea that it is something too complex for ordinary people to fathom.
The media itself – controlled by the same power elite that apparently controls central banks around the world – plays a critical part in this charade. There is nothing like the New York Times emblazoning a scarcity meme on its front page to give it credibility. “World Running Out of Water” – etc.
Inevitably, the same “experts” that are brought in to negotiate these scarcity promotions are quoted in the articles, thus reinforcing their credibility as “big brains.” Of course, there is no such thing as an “expert.”
Almost everything we have been taught to believe in this world is likely false. In less than a few decades, most of what we have based our lives on shall be as dust. There are very few verities.
Think of previous centuries. Human beings believed that the sun revolved around the earth, that human beings would never fly, that going faster than 10 miles an hour in a vehicle could kill you, or at least damage your health.
The Titanic was never supposed to sink. The Dow was supposed to have reached 20,000 a decade ago. The dollar was “good as gold.” What was good for GM was good for America.
On and on. The Internet, of course, has helped debunk many elite memes. What we have discovered in the past 10 years is that most of these themes were promoted to frighten middle classes into giving up wealth and power to global facilities created by the elites.
These elites – and they are not confined to any one ethnic or religious group – are intent on creating world government. To do so, they have apparently manipulated not only people’s belief systems but history itself through a process we call directed history.
Directed history creates wars and economic disasters as a way of consolidating power and creating top-down hierarchies. These are run by “government” officials, but the real power resides behind the scenes. The elites are in charge – driving hard toward further homogenization and bigness via mercantilism.
These days it’s easy for people – informed by the Internet – to spot an elite meme. Most of these memes try to frighten you and most of them, once you know what to look for, are easily identified. Here’s more from this latest rare earth article:
China accounts for about 97 percent of the world’s output of the 17 rare earth metals, which are crucial for global electronics production and the defense and renewable-energy industries. They are also used in a wide range of consumer products, from mobile phones to electric cars. The dispute is one of several between Beijing and the world’s other three largest economic powers, as China’s rise changes the world economic order. It is the first case to be jointly filed by the EU, United States and Japan with the WTO, an EU official said.
De Gucht said during a recent visit to Hong Kong that China needed to be sensitive to perceptions that its huge economy is a threat in Europe. The cost to EU businesses of China’s export restrictions runs into the billions of euros, officials say. Trade between the EU and China has boomed in recent years, reaching almost 400 billion euros in 2010, but EU complaints against Chinese dumping range from the shoe industry to steel fasteners. De Gucht has in the past complained that China subsidizes “nearly everything”, making it hard to compete.
An EU decision to make all airlines using EU airports pay for carbon emissions has brought threats of retaliation from China, as well as from the United States and Russia. Critics complain it is a tax, which infringes sovereignty. The EU says it is not a tax because it is based on buying and selling allowances on a market and airlines can avoid costs by finding other ways to offset their emissions.
Japan has been worried about supply of rare earths, especially after fears that China held back shipments of rare earths as punishment after the territorial dispute last year. President Barack Obama is currently toughening his stance on China trade ahead of November’s presidential election. He recently created a new interagency trade enforcement centre, which is expected to be up and running in the coming months and whose primary focus is to make sure China honors WTO rules.
This kind of reporting touches all the bases: scarcity, complexity, even the idea that nation-states somehow have a personality. And of course, in the final paragraph here we read that President Barack Obama has created yet ANOTHER US agency to deal with China’s trade issues directly.
We are supposed to agree with this, of course. The solution to all this complexity, bigness and scarcity is … more bureaucracy! We are supposed to understand that within this larger context the individual is helpless and can only live his or her life as an onlooker as the big power players vie with one another for “scarce resources.”
Thank goodness for the Internet. Thank goodness for the PATTERNS it provides us. If we read enough and think enough, we can start to anticipate how these promotions work. The recent “Kony 2012” promotion was a case in point.
Ten years ago, this promotion would have carried the day and provided a great impetus for the US and NATO to get further involved in Africa – obviously with an eye toward unifying Africa by intimidating Africa’s leaders into furthering the formal arrangements of the nascent African Union.
But surprisingly, this didn’t work out. The backlash against what seems to us to be an evident and obvious promotion has been intense. This is exactly what we have been predicting for about a decade now. The Internet Reformationrolls on and the results are NOT predictable, just as the results of the first Reformation were likely not predictable.
More and more people understand the way the world Really Works these days and the result is that the Western power elites are increasingly falling back on the brutal regime of authoritarian laws and outright war.
In our view it may not matter, however, and may even motivate more people to begin to understand the “matrix” in which they have lived out their lives. If the 20th century was something of a Dark Ages, the 21st century may provide us with a kind of Renaissance in which the inquisitive human mind is rewarded by the tools of technology and the illumination that comes from seeking real knowledge.
As for rare earths themselves, here are excerpts from an article (in the Smithsonian Magazine, of all places) that puts this so-called scarcity into context:
Given their name, rare earth elements, and the fact that China controls 96 percent of REE production, you might think the Chinese had won some geologic lottery. But these metallic substances—elements 57 to 71 on the periodic table, plus scandium and yttrium—are not all that rare. It’s been economic and scientific smarts, not geologic luck, that has given China its near monopoly on these elements …
The United States has one of the richest REE deposits in the world, at Mountain Pass in California, but as interest in rare earths declined in this country in the late 20th century, China’s interest was heating up. Chinese scientists had visited during the Nixon Administration and taken their knowledge home, applying it to their own rich deposits. By the end of the 20th century, they were able to undersell the competition and drive most of the rest of the world out of the business …
Earlier this year, China blocked REE exports to Japan, renewing concerns about the Chinese monopoly and prompting new calls for developing rare earth production elsewhere. The Mountain Pass mine, which has been inactive for several years, is scheduled to start up again in 2011. A new report from the USGS documents REE deposits in 13 additional states, and India, Australia and Canada are planning to get into the rare earths business more heavily.
And anyone looking for new REE deposits could benefit from the years of Chinese work in this area. Most of the world’s heavy rare earths come from ionic adsorption clays in southeast China, [mineral commodities specialist Daniel] Cordier says, and no one has really looked at this type of clay elsewhere in the world. “There’s a lot of opportunity for exploration,” he says.
Rare earth minerals are also apparently plentiful in seabeds but really, that’s not the point. We can see from the above excerpt, once again, that games are likely being played. Scarcity is where the elites want to create it.
Oil is somehow only plentiful in the Middle East, and especially in Saudi Arabia. Just coincidentally, Saudi Arabia is the marginal (swing) producer and won’t sell its sweet crude for anything else but US dollars. What are the odds, eh?
In fact, oil likely doesn’t come from old dinosaur bones and may even be abiotic. One of the keys to realizing power elite memes is the labels that are applied to various promotions. Somehow oil and gas became known as “fossil fuels.” Coincidence? Did someone wake up in the morning and just decide to “apply” this name and use it? How does that happen?
No … The use of such labeling, in our view, surely means that that the powers-that-be don’t want people thinking “outside the box” and figuring out that the stuff is probably a naturally reoccurring geological process.
Would this tiny group of trillionaires be so devious? Heck, what do you think they created Tavistock for? They work on these promotions constantly – out in the open.
It is no coincidence that “rare earth” metals have ended up in a Chinese monopoly. It gives the elites the justification to pursue a trade war with China, exacerbate tensions with the “yellow peril” and generally provides additional globalist impetus.
Conclusion: We decided a while back that all of this is phony. These are stories we’re being told, quaint fables. These international tensions, even wars, are manufactured, with the Western elites controlling both sides. Yes, the East and West – and Russia, too – are all in it together. And the “it” is the coming world government.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:53 am