Home > Uncategorized > “Protecting Intellectual Property” against China means redistributing income upward

“Protecting Intellectual Property” against China means redistributing income upward

from Dean Baker

The New York Times had an article discussing the prospects for U.S. trade relations with China during Biden’s presidency. At one point it tells readers:

“Mr. Biden has given few details about his plans for U.S.-China relations, other than saying he wants to recruit American allies such as Europe and Japan to pressure China to make economic reforms, like protecting intellectual property.”

Stronger and longer patent and copyright protections have redistributed enormous amounts of income upward over the past four decades, likely more than $1 trillion annually (half of all corporate profits). If Biden plans to put stronger enforcement of U.S. intellectual property claims at the center of his trade relations with China, it means he wants to redistribute even more money away from the vast majority of people who voted for him to the richest 10 percent of the population.

That should be a big deal in a news story on Biden’s trade policy towards China.

  1. Herb Wiseman
    November 19, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    More goodies for the rentiers. There is a new book out about the role of rentiers from Brett Christophers.

    Rentier Capitalism : Who Owns the Economy, and Who Pays for It?
    Hardback English
    By (author) Brett Christophers
    Share
    In this landmark book, the author of The New Enclosure provides a forensic examination and sweeping critique of early-twenty-first-century capitalism. Brett Christophers styles this as ‘rentier capitalism’, in which ownership of key types of scarce assets – such as land, intellectual property, natural resources, or digital platforms – is all-important and dominated by a few unfathomably wealthy companies and individuals: rentiers. If a small elite owns today’s economy, everybody else foots the bill. Nowhere is this divergence starker, Christophers shows, than in the United Kingdom, where the prototypical ills of rentier capitalism – vast inequalities combined with entrenched economic stagnation – are on full display and have led the country inexorably to the precipice of Brexit. With profound lessons for other countries subject to rentier dominance, Christophers’ examination of the UK case is indispensable to those wanting not just to understand this insidious economic phenomenon but to overcome it. Frequently invoked but never previously analysed and illuminated in all its depth and variety, rentier capitalism is here laid bare for the first time.

  2. Ikonoclast
    November 20, 2020 at 1:18 am

    China will do what China wants, The days of the USA dictating to China are over. Collapsing neoliberal, rentier America is in for a huge shock.

    The West’s failure to deal with COVID-19 is leading to immense social and economic damage. It’s a watershed moment. China will soon be vastly more economically powerful than either the USA or E.U. taken separately. Anyone who thinks the world hasn’t just changed completely in 2020 understands neither economics, nor geopolitics and geostrategy, IMHO.

    Here is an excoriating opinion piece on just how badly the West has failed. I endorse every word. Indeed, the West has failed.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/the-west-has-failed-us-and-europe-have-made-a-mess-of-handling-the-crisis-1.4395473

    If this were a sail boat race, the West would be dead in the water with a blown-out spinnaker and a busted boom. China is still flying along on a broad reach with full yardage of sails set. The race is over. China has won. The West has lost and is finished. The West will now pay with its own century of humiliation; with of course dangerous climate change thrown in for everyone. China too will not escape climate change, sea level rise etc. etc.

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