Approaching the 2010 election one commercial, produced by Citizens Against Government Waste, riveted the public imagination. It was called "the Chinese professor." And can be seen in its one minute entirety here.
Public intellectual and journalist extraordinaire James Fallows, writing in TheAtlantic.com, had this to say about it:
I think this will be remembered -- like "Morning in America," "Willie Horton," the "Daisy Girl" ad from the 1960s, and perhaps even "3am Phone Call" -- as a notably effective introduction of a new theme. ... Watch, marvel, and learn.
The Professor, in the year 2030, states: "America tried to tax and spend itself out of a great recession. ... [incurring] crushing debt. Of course, we owned most of their debt... so now they work for us."
Now, Lehrman Institute founder and chairman Lewis E. Lehrman decisively addresses the heart of the mystery of why, to their mutual detriment, both great nations -- the United States and China -- find themselves locked in what is a mutually debilitating, and even humiliating, cycle. Writing in the September issue of The American Spectator and promptly being republished around the world Lehrman presents a piece entitled China: American Financial Colony or Mercantilist Predator? The perverse effects of the world dollar standard. (Available in full here.) Lehrman observes:
The social and economic pathology of 19th century colonialism is well studied, but the monetary pathology of its successor, the neo-colonial reserve currency system of the dollar, is less transparent. In order to remedy this pathological defect, the United States must rid itself of its enormous Chinese financial colony, whose exports are subsidized by the undervalued yuan in return for Chinese financing of the U.S. twin deficits. Both China and the United States must also free themselves from the increasing malignancy of the dollar reserve currency system, the primary cause of inflation in both China and the United States.
After clearly and authoritatively demonstrating the "neo-colonial" nature of the reserve currency system of the dollar and its associated economic, political, and, indeed, spiritual pathologies, Lehrman urges America to take a lead in a new campaign for emancipation -- emancipation from the perverse outcomes wrought by a reserve currency system:
Such a monetary reform program would entail a careful windup, by agreement, of the world dollar standard. At the same time America would reestablish by statute a dollar convertible to gold, i.e., a dollar defined in law as a weight unit of gold. Gold would replace the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
In so doing, Lehrman advocates a Lincolnesque path -- a path both of dignity and prosperity. One hopes that, among others, authoritative Chinese monetary figures such as Zhou Qiren, dean of Peking University’s National School of Development and a member of the People’s Bank of China Monetary Policy Committee, will take note of China: American Financial Colony or Mercantilist Predator? The perverse effects of the world dollar standard, and recognize that there now is an authoritative pragmatic blueprint to end the disorders caused by a defective dollar-centric world monetary system and to replace the dollar, very practically, with gold as the world's final money.
The world is in peril. The great nations of the United States and China absolutely need not fail. Success depends entirely on something as simple, yet profound, as this. Lehrman calls upon us to:
establish a tested, non-national, neutral monetary standard as the basis of a stable dollar—one which reasonable sovereign trading partners could accept. Gold would become the international settlements currency and thus would replace the dollar as the basis of world trade and finance.