FFT – Business After COVID-19

This is the first post of a set which I am calling “Food for Thought”. The main idea of this blog is to describe and possibly discuss things of interest to computer scientist and software developers. Occasionally I run into topics for which I would like to generate a post. You should be able to identify them quite easy for the first three letters “FFT” which I will include in all the titles lacking technical content.

Due to the fact that I work with computers and software development, I like to be able to use terms that are properly defined. My technical documents always include a dictionary or glossary of terms. I would like to make sure that the words China and Chinese are properly understood. Have read and heard so many times that people should not associate COVID-19 with China or Chinese due of xenophobia reasons.

In the context of these set of posts, China refers to the country formally known as People’s Republic of China. The term Chinese refers to the people that were born or have acquired nationality (not sure if this is possible or desirable by anyone) in the country of China.

As we all know, the world is experiencing a pandemic with the COVID-9 virus that originated in the city of Wuhan, China. The first reports date back to December 01, 2019.

Now let’s talk about some food for thought.

In the early 1980’s a person, that happens to be the father of a good friend, decided that there was a great business opportunity in China. His idea was to introduce ice cream in China. He traveled many times, invested pretty much all he had, and was able to open a few ice cream factories in mainland China. It was not easy to make flavors that had the possibility of becoming popular in the new market. Of course the Chinese government owned 50% of the company. Given the numbers of potential customers and the expected frequency of purchases, he dedicated years to get things up and running. When things started to payoff, he became ill and wanted to sell the business and return to the USA. He was able to return, but without a single penny. After a few months back home, he passed away leaving a wife and son.

In the mid 1990’s China started to develop rockets. Not sure what the world though the purpose would be. The rockets would take off and after a few seconds would start to wobble and become unstable. A few more seconds and the rockets would crash. A few weeks later the news covered some theft by China. A few weeks went by, and miraculously the issue with the rockets was addressed. As we all know today, such rockets are used by China to deploy satellites and deliver nuclear weapons.

In the early 2000’s my wife, sister and I flew from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul to Indianapolis, Indiana to attend a wedding. Driving to the town we passed hundreds of corn fields. We start discussing the use for such large quantities of corn. There is a limit in the amount of corn people can consume (e.g., corn on the cob, popcorn), livestock (e.g., chicken, pork, and beef) can convert to meat, sweeteners to make Americans gain a few pounds, or add to gasoline as ethanol. On the other hand, our governments and many large companies were busy pushing industry into globalization. So what happened to the millions of Americans that are displaced when their jobs went to China? They allegedly were retrained and / or had to get less paying jobs for which they were over qualified.

In the early 2010’s most large corporations in America and Europe had large portions or all of their manufacturing done in China by Chinese people who in the free world should be referred to as slaves. The communist party in China owns 50% of all factories. The hundreds of billions of Dollars generated by manufacturing go to the top seven leaders of the party, and the rest is used to keep the Chinese people under control (a.k.a. slavery). Next time you pick up your Apple product manufactured by Chinese slaves at a relatively low price, think about where are the savings going to? Are you paying $300 – $500 for an iPhone? No, the difference is not passed to consumers but profits for share holders and executives. The companies making products are owned 50% by the Chinese government. China is learning about how products are developed, and manufactured. The drain of intellectual property is draining from all over America and Europe and going to a communist regime.

A year or so ago, North Korea decided to develop rockets and nuclear weapons. North Korea is not Iran than has oil which it can sell for funding. The people of North Korea are working 12-hour shifts six days a week. They have little to eat and are constantly being fed propaganda that is just brain washing them. The same holds true in China. So how is it possible for North Korea to develop technology and manufacturing skills to design and build nuclear weapons?

In the past couple years, airlines that fly to China, were told to change the name of some of their destinations (e.g., South Korea, Taiwan) if they would like to continue doing business in China. They had to follow the name of the arriving city with the word China.

About that same time, there is a group of small islands in the South China Sea which are claimed by different surrounding countries. China just went in, built a landing strip and base for military purpose. What do you think will happen in a few years?

Last year it was in the news that the US government wanted to ban the some products (i.e., communications, drones) due to national security. The presidents of such companies published letters and videos stating that they would never allow the Chinese government to spy using their products. At the same time, the president of a well known Chinese airline based in Hong Kong had a picture taken with some employees asking the president of the USA for help from the Chinese government. Of course that was not a good move because our president could not intervene. The people in the photograph disappeared. Any ideas what might have happened?

If you believe a Chinese person would have a saying or contradict what the Chinese government wants, I have a bridge to sell you!

Finally, we have COVID-19 also known as the Wuhan virus. China knew about the virus and when they found out the impact that it would have in their economy, as usual they censored news and had scientists and reports disappear. A few months go by and without much technical expertise on the virus, claimed to have it under control. Whoops, another bridge came up for sale; any buyers?

One of my relatives currently lives in Beijing, China. We exchanged messages a week or so ago. The message said that what the USA is starting to experience in some of our cities (i.e., Seattle, New York) is what Beijing experienced a week or two ago. In other words, people are being infected and dying but such cases are going unreported. Is this a surprise for you?

In America we have a saying that goes like this “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. The idea behind is used in many fields for many different tasks. As a simple example, if you manufacture a product, would you have a single provider for it? Of course not, unless you are most of American and European companies that in order to make extra bucks for their upper management and stock holders, allows a foreign government (i.e., China) to threaten the global economy. Could I be wrong?

I fully understand that now a days there is a lot of misinformation at all levels and topics. When you are interested in finding facts about COVID-19 please use the CDC or a reputable healthcare organization (i.e., Mayo Clinic).

I would like to end this post making a suggestion for American and European companies. Manufacture at least 50% of all your products in your country. The remaining 50% have it done in at least three different countries each with no more that 20% of the entire process / product. If something like the Wuhan virus repeats (China has had similar events in the past and has not changed in how they are handled) we need to immediately close all borders and continue to live a reasonable life while the issue is addressed as a team by the global community. By being able to produce a large part of our products, the economies of the world should be able to handle it.

If you have a comment or question regarding this post, please feel free to send me a message or leave one bellow.

Please keep safe;

John

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