This is NOT what Globalization should look like


It's not quite the powers that be meeting in smoke filled rooms, but it's close enough.

At a morning-long event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Clayton, Qishan held closed-door meetings with Missouri's two U.S. senators while business leaders pitched the region to a roomful of Chinese firms looking to invest in the Midwest. And several local companies and soybean industry groups held an official signing ceremony for $5.3 billion worth of export deals to China.

If Chinese firms want to invest in the St. Louis area, then they can simply, uh, invest in the St. Louis area. Bringing government officials into the mix tends to mean one thing: government handouts. And I don't just mean subsidies. Missouri is notorious for it's eminent domain abuses. If St. Louis wants to compete for the destination of all Chinese goods flowing to the midwest, then they can do that with lower taxes, strong police protection, and strong property rights. Handing out subsidies and redistributing property ultimately will undermine the intended end of economic development.

Also note the hypocrisy of the Missouri senators. It's perfectly ok for Chinese firms to invest in Missouri, but not Belgian firms. At least not when it comes to beer:

"I was very upfront," McCaskill said of her discussion with [InBev CEO,] Brito. After offering him a Budweiser and sipping one herself, she told him she would "do everything I could to stop this sale from going through … It’s a bad idea. I don’t want you to buy [Anheuser-Bush]. The people of Missouri don’t want you to buy it."

Normally anti-foreign bias is the strongest against countries with a significantly different culture because it fuels the 'us vs. them' mentality. In this case the opposite seems to be occurring. Any speculation as to why?

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A Danger to National Security

I don’t know if I can explain the hypocrisy of politicians any better than anyone else but if Budweiser sells out to furiners they won’t be the first to do so. Of all the major beer companies Bud was the only one domestically owned.See- Sellout

This is not a well publicized fact but I found out about it when I toured the Budweiser Plant in St. Louis. You get two free beers and naturally you have to visit a certain public facility before you leave. There, as you relieve yourself, you get to read about the outrageous sellout of formerly All American Brands such as Coors and Miller. As I enjoy visiting the cold room where they age the beer especially on a hot day and looking at their neat automated bottling machines, I also visited the Bud facility in Fairfield California. They had the same signs. I will give you an update if I visit any of their other plants, if they decide not to sell out.
PS-Do Europeans still eat horses?


I know you're joking but, yup, you can still get horse in Paris, although it's becoming increasingly rare, and yes I've had it quite a few time when I was a kid. A quick search turns at least 21 "boucheries chevalines" (horse butcher shop) in Paris. Donkey sausage is common in the south too.

Don't Mess with a Man's Drink

There go the Clydesdales. Well, I haven’t seen anything about that yet, but if you read some of the comments at the end of the article from the Wall Street Journal I linked to above, there seems to be much angst about change and a fear that our traditional way of life is being changed by powers that be that the little man has no control over. Never mess with a man’s brew. After a few beers all sorts of strange linkages appear.

For example this one:
“I’d venture to bet that every so-called “patriotic” American that is complaining about this deal is also a “patriotic” supporter of the no-win, no-end-in-sight Iraq war, which according to Joseph Stiglitz will cost the country 2.7 trillion dollars. They also probably “patriotically” support us giving away 4 billion a year to Israel, a country that has a better standard of living than Spain.”
See,its George Bush's fault.

Never mind that European brewers set the world standards for beer. But Missourians do have a point. Why do corporate interests tamper with our lives? Why did all the soft drink companies stop putting cane sugar in the drinks and substitute hi –fructose corn syrup? Why did Aunt Jemimma lose weight ?


Why did all the soft drink

Why did all the soft drink companies stop putting cane sugar in the drinks and substitute hi –fructose corn syrup?

Um, sugar tariffs?

Possibly defensive?

Well, considering the mafia government opposition that met the Belgians when they tried to invest in the United States, might it not be prudent for would-be foreign investors to get together with the capos American politicians to grease the right palms coordinate before risking significant American ventures?

Of course, but why the

Of course, but why the significant popular resentment towards Belgians, who are culturally similar to Americans, but not against Chinese, who are culturally dissimilar from Americans? All else equal, I would expect this to be reversed.

One possible explanation is that Anheuser-Busch is high profile and the Chinese haven't actually tried to buy anything in the St. Louis area yet. So for the time being, the popular ire is on InBev. I'm sure there are more possibilities though.

Is it popular?

I'm completely out of touch with any supposed popular resentment towards the Belgians, so I'll have to take your word for it. What I actually see in the news reports that contributors here have directed my attention to is various politicians saying and doing this and that about Belgium and China. If you were to ask a slightly different question I might be more ready to hazard an answer: why are American politicians more friendly to the Chinese than to the Belgians? An obvious answer, which comes immediately to mind, is that, as a political entity, China matters and Belgium doesn't (much).

I think you have merely

I think you have merely pushed the question back. There is a public uproar in Missouri over the InBev deal which is at least in part driving Missouri politicians towards this sort of rhetoric. There doesn't seem to be the same uproar over the Chinese, at least evidenced by the same politicians' willingness to deal. The question is, why is there a popular check in one case and not the other? If the public was just as concerned with the Chinese as they are with InBev, I doubt that Missouri senators would be meeting with Chinese businessmen for any reason other than to espouse protectionist rhetoric in an effort to gain political support.

Perhaps the focus on the InBev deal is a calculated political maneuver intended to distract the public so that the politicians can work through a variety of deals with the Chinese for their own personal benefit. In which case, it seems to be working.