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China owns US

Let’s face it, whenever you owe anyone anything, there is an element of superiority involved. Whether it’s five bucks, dinner, or a date, borrowing and lending creates positions of inferiority and superiority. Just look at some examples: “I am in debt to you.” “You owe me.” “I’ll pay you back, I promise.” This is what makes me scared about the future of America. America owes so much money to China, that it effectively own America.

Our total national debt load is absurd. It recently hit $15 trillion. Just a reminder, a trillion is a one with twelve zeroes. Of that 15 trillion dollars, China owns over 1.1 trillion dollars. Even in a country with a huge economy like the U.S., that money won’t be paid back anytime soon.

With China owning nearly one 10th of our debt, there are certainly some foreign policy dilemmas created. First of all, the United States has a strong business relationship with Taiwan, a country that China considers to be a renegade province. Every so often the United States and China do a dance in which the U.S. sells weapons to Taiwan, and then China protests. With China owning so much of our debt, what we’ve been selling Taiwan, in recent years, has been of a lesser quality and not as up-to-date than previous material.

Domestically, we are being hurt by China’s ownership of American debt. To be blunt, the reason why China manufactures more goods than the U.S. is because their currency is worth so little. The Chinese government unfairly manipulates its currency, so that production costs are lower and the goods will sell for less. Politicians have protested, and China has ignored them. Those fabled American manufacturing jobs won’t come back until China allows its currency to flow into the world markets, like the rest of the world.

In the U.S., something has to be done to reduce our high debt load. Republicans and Democrats across the nation have been at odds over the solution. Republicans favor spending cuts while Democrats favor increasing taxes on the rich. I am going to take a moderate position and argue for both. On the one hand, our country does need to trip its budget and Americans should accept less handouts from the federal government. On the other hand, rich people shouldn’t get handouts, in the form of ridiculously low tax rates and a multitude of tax exemptions, either.

This is supposed to be where I conclude with an epilogue of hope, and talk about how I have faith that we will become self-reliant and stop begging China to finance our wasteful spending. I don’t know though, and I think you should figure it out with me. Go to the New York Times Interactive website and determine how you would save federal money, so that we save money and China stops owning us.

About Eric J Cortes

Eric Jude Cortes describes his ethnic background as simply “New Yorker.” The son of an Italian mother and a Puerto Rican father, Eric Jude grew up in a Russian/Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn and attended extremely diverse public schools. Eric Jude credits his diverse upbringing with his success professionally, as since 2004 he has been teaching in a public high school with one of the largest percentage of foreign born students in the city. It is this diversity which has shaped his work for Being Latino, which have ranged from a lighthearted musing on the drink Malta, to a passionate diatribe against drug addicts. At the university level, Eric Jude has an MA in History, with a thesis on Contraband in Spanish Puerto Rico, from Brooklyn College. An avid traveler, Eric Jude’s bucket list includes a pledge to visit every Latin American country, something he has complete halfway so far. His secrets to success in life include faith, a type-A personality, and the ability to be silly and break into a dance at moment’s notice. Daily, he can be found running on your local street, lifting weights at your local gym, or praying at your local Catholic church.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.


  1. Jerry Alvarez says:

    Good article however we cannot only blame China for unfairly manipulating their currency. We have to recognize that our own Federal Reserve System has done that since its inception in 1913 which has caused many recessions and even the depression. We must understand that in 1913 we essentially gave them complete control over the US currency. Remember that the Fedreal Reserve Bank is a private corporation not audited by anyone in the congress, who by the US constitution is authorized to hand our monetary system. Everytime the Federal Reserve print any money, they make money on the interested the minute the paper is printed off their printing presses. This can no longer be tolerated if you agree that you do not want the US in debt to anyone, including China or the Federal Reserve.

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